So it’s a normal day and I’m going to pick up the mail. I’m praying for a package that contains all good things so I’m expecting a blessing but with no such luck. There is a strange letter in the box. It looks like something official and I flinch. I don’t want to open it. Court is over but there it is, living proof of my nightmare. My hands are shaking as I open the letter and across the top see Jeff Ashton State Attorney plastered on the letter head along with the department of corrections. I feel sick as I promptly put the letter back in my purse. Memories come flooding back, I get physically ill. Court is over. I have nothing to worry about. If I keep saying these things maybe my heart will begin to understand them.
I have been trying for weeks to reach a probation officer in Ohio because that is now where my offender lives. I want to know exactly what his probation entails because of course no one has told me thus far. I called Ohio state attorney’s office and was redirected to Ohio victim services then again redirected to the probation office. The probation office then informed me there is no one by that offender’s name being supervised here, call the interstate board. The interstate board then told me that they have no knowledge of this offender being transferred. FRUSTRATION SETS IN. WHY IS THIS SO HARD?
Finally there is a letter with an actual number of a probation officer in Florida, but I’ll take it. He gives me general information but says he doesn’t know who my offender is being supervised by in Ohio and that I have to call the interstate board. REALLY?! Ok, so one last time, I call the interstate board. Finally, two weeks and LOTS of aggravation later I got an answer. Don’t judge me. You know you would be aggravated too.
HIS TERMS OF PROBATION:
TIER III OFFENDER-
Predator Status/ Highest Tier/ Must register as a Sex Offender for Life
A sex offender on probation must also comply with any of the following conditions that the probation officer checks or the court specifically imposes:
1. He will participate in and complete any sex offender evaluation and recommended treatment as directed by a probation officer (He is financially responsible for all or part of the costs of his evaluation and treatment.)
2. He will participate in polygraph examinations administered by a CSSD-approved, specially trained polygraph examiner for treatment purposes and to determine level of supervision- He got Tier III Offender!
3. He will have no contact with the victim or victim’s family by letter, telephone call, tape, video, email, text message, or third party contact unless approved by a probation officer. (Contact with the victim or victim’s family must be reported immediately to a probation officer.) I dare him to contact me… It would not be good for him.
4. He will notify his probation officer of any new or existing romantic or sexual relationship- well that sucks.
5. His place of residence must be approved by a probation officer.
6. He will not move from his place of residence or sleep elsewhere overnight without a probation officer’s prior knowledge and permission- umm awkward.
7. He will allow any probation officer entry into his residence and notify any occupant of his residence that a probation officer may enter where you live- bummer.
8. All employment must be pre-approved by a probation officer.
9. He will provide financial and telephone records upon a probation officer’s request.
10. He will abide by any curfew imposed by a probation officer. – He has a curfew of 10pm.
11. He will not possess or subscribe to any sexually explicit or sexually stimulating material deemed inappropriate by a probation officer or patronize any adult book or video store, strip club, or adult entertainment club or similar establishment.
12. He will not use telephone numbers that provide access to sexually oriented services.
13. He will not hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers.
14. He will submit to electronic monitoring as directed by a probation officer, He is required to pay for the costs of such monitoring, he will not tamper with electronic monitoring equipment, and he will not remove the equipment… I particularly like this one.
15. He will participate in any other treatment program as directed by a probation officer… Sex offender treatment program.
16. He must take any medication as prescribed if it is required as part of his treatment program.
17. He will not use any alcoholic beverages or drugs, except as prescribed to him by a physician.
18. He may not associate with other known sex offenders or convicted felons except in an approved treatment program or with prior probation officer approval.
19. He will not be in the presence of minors, nor have contact in any form, direct or indirect, including by means of computer, telephone, letter, tape, video, email, text message, or through another person with children under the age of 16 without probation officer approval. (Any contact must be reported immediately to a probation officer.)
20. He will not date or socialize with anybody who has children under the age of 16 without your probation officer’s prior approval. I wonder how that conversation would go “well you see honey…”
21. He may not possess children’s clothing, toys, or games, without prior probation officer approval.
22. He will not go to or loiter near school yards, parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, arcades, or any places primarily used by children under 16… He cannot live within 1,000 feet from a school.
23. He will not possess a camera, camera phone, camcorder, videocassette, DVD, or any device that can record or play back visual images without probation officer approval. NOT APPROVED.
24. He must maintain a driving log or activity log, as required by a probation officer.
25. He must agree to and sign a computer access agreement that will be provided to him by a probation officer, before using any computer and he must submit to an examination and search of his computer or other similar equipment to verify it is not used in violation of probation or treatment conditions; and- He is currently fighting this in court because he works for a computer company… boy, I bet that’s frustrating.
26. He must comply with other probation officer-imposed conditions.
Did I mention because he is a Tier III offender that the community must be personally notified… I did everything in my power so that this nightmare might be prevented for another person. It almost killed me but I fought the good fight and I told the truth. In the end we both lost because the game is rigged. My soul was damaged and he just lost his rights. Prevention, education, and awareness are needed. We can stop these crimes from happening. And even when we can’t we can equip first responder to be helpers not re-victimizers. We can add our voice to a broken system and commit to change for the next brave soul who is determined to fight…