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Sex Offender Notification

We got a Sex Offender Notification in the mail, about a guy who’s living six or so blocks away. The card lists the following offense: “03/27/1995 14:81 2-Molestation of Juvenile.” There’s a mugshot, as well as his name, sex, hair and eye color, race, height, weight, age, and of course his address. It’s also got his nickname: Merkey.

We got one of these years ago and it really creeped me out in two different ways. There’s the unsettling factor of contemplating a neighbor’s alleged crime. And then there’s the weird Orwellian factor of the notification itself. I’m not sure which disturbs me more.

1995. That’s fourteen years ago. Did he go to jail? For how long? And what exactly was he alleged to have done, anyway? Molestation of a juvenile… If this is to have any value beyond titillation and fear-mongering, I need more details. If he raped an infant girl, for example, I’m going to regard his presence quite differently than if he had consensual sex with a teenage boy.

Published inPolitix

One Comment

  1. I share your apprehension of the whole “registered sex offender”. I understand the danger and the reasoning behind it, but that doesn’t make it right or just, especially because any conviction even remotely connected to sex can get you on the list.

    One of those notices came to our neighborhood a year or so ago and freaked everyone out. I actually researched the kid’s crime (just on Google, wasn’t hard at all) and found the details. He was 19, his girlfriend was 17. It’s not hard to connect those dots. He’s already been in jail for two years and now he has this hanging over his head. BTW, they were both still in high school.

    Not saying that they’re all that harmless, but there’s no way to tell from a freakin postcard. We have definitely gone overboard on the whole ZERO-TOLERANCE idea.

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