Editor's note: This letter was written by an inmate in the Florida State Prison system.
I was reading an article in your publication and felt compelled to write a response.
The article was in the Op-Ed section and dealt with the system used for tracking sexual predators and sexual offenders. I have several points I would like to make concerning this issue and truly hope that you read and hopefully concur in part with me.
First off, there are some major differences in the offenses that one has to be convicted of for the designations of either a sexual predator or a sexual offender. Most people who have the sexual predator sanctions are your rapists, pedophiles and sexual deviants listed under Florida Statutes 944.
Your sexual offenders, on the other hand, are mostly people who had a relationship with someone a few years younger than themselves or maybe copulating in public, or even urinating in public. There are many more listed under Florida Statutes 944.
Secondly, a sexual predator will always be that. They suffer from sicknesses. Why? I do not know. There is no amount of monitoring or tracking that could ever cure it. In turn it gives the other designees under one sexual offender a stigma that taints them for life.
As an example. In 2001, I met and fell in love with (a woman). She was four years younger than myself. She became pregnant when I was 18, herself 14. A time came about when some problems arose from another family member. Anyway, time passes and charges were eventually filed. I was charged with a lewd and lascivious battery---fondling 2nd felony. Really, her parents moved me in with them and allowed me to sleep in their daughters room.
I was not convicted of those charges, but of a 2nd misdemeanor---unnatural Acts. It is punishable by 60 days in the county jail and a $140 fine. No sexual offender designation.
Now I'm in prison where I have been for the last nearly nine years on an unrelated charge. Rules restrict me from seeing my daughter and son because of a past conviction for a sexual offense. Even though, I'm not a registered sexual offender.
I write this seeking a change, imploring really. Some people need advocates pushing for help concerning these matters. Now, do not get me wrong, it should be done on a case-by-case analysis with some determining factors set out that have to be met concerning certain aspects or facets.
I know I am but a single voice, but I believe if people truly have a problem with the way things are run, then we as a people need to petition the F.D.L.E. whom regulates these guidelines to either change them befitting each person individually or change them all the way across the board.
I believe the focus should be set towards those who prey on children, or even the rapists. Not on the "Accidental Child Molester" who had a relationship with a girl two or three years younger than themselves.
I do not know how long these articles have to be for them to be read, but I will stop here and dismount my soapbox. Thank you for your time, patience and consideration concerning this matter.