A “sexually violent predator”

By Lenore Skenazy…..

The note in my inbox was straightforward, and suicidal: “I don’t have much time left and that brings me some comfort. I can’t even imagine a life of freedom and happiness anymore. I hope my story will at least help people understand the grey areas of this stigma.”

It was signed “Mikey,” short for Michael Pascal, age 33, a warehouse worker in Pennsylvania. The stigma he’s referring to is the fact he is a registered sex offender.

In 2013, Mikey tried to use a cell phone to take a picture of a woman’s butt in the bathroom of his home, during a party. He was old enough to know better. It was a stupid thing to do. He is paying dearly for his stupidity.

While the woman did not press charges, another guest who happened to be in law enforcement did. Mikey confessed to her and asked for mercy. If he had done this deed early in the 2000s, he would have gotten it. Mikey was found guilty of invasion of privacy. That was considered a simple misdemeanor, because there was no physical contact, and no minors were involved. As such, it was punishable by a fine and up to two years in jail, period.

But Mikey attempted the picture after his state had adopted the Adam Walsh Act. The Act widened the number of crimes defined as sex offenses, and dramatically increased the penalties, public notification, and registration requirements for people convicted of them. Pennsylvania was not required to adopt the act, but it did. Any state that didn’t was at risk of losing a chunk of federal funding.

And so, Mikey stood accused of a crime that could brand him a sex offender. An independent psychological assessor met with Mikey, tested him, and testified that he had no mental abnormalities. Jennifer Hahn, a member of the Pennsylvania Sexual Offender Assessment Board who did not meet with Mikey and relied upon the charging allegations exclusively, testified the opposite.

The judge accepted the state assessor’s opinion and designated him a sexually violent predator. Now Mikey is on the sex offender registry, in the most dangerous category, for life.

Read the rest of the story at HEATSTREET.com.

15 comments for “A “sexually violent predator”

  1. Keith Krehbiel
    August 10, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I tell people to watch their local tv news. On any given week on any given local news program there will be 2 or 3 sex offenses reported. Usually we will hear whether or not the offender was on the registry at the time of the offense. Consider that if he were not on the registry there was no way the registry would keep him from offending. If he were on the registry and re-offended, it didn’t make any difference either. The real problem is that politicians back registration requirements out of fear that the electorate will see them as soft on crime and even sound tougher for proposing additional requirements.

  2. stan
    August 4, 2016 at 11:59 am

    If we were able to get (all 850,000) registrants to NOT register during the year 2018 as a strike, I bet changes would be made. That is a lot of people to arrest. It would make the News. Either they will reform the Registration Requirements OR demand that ALL criminals must register (which would ultimately make registering non-sense and a huge waste of tax payer money). *this comment is obviously just a thought.

    • Stan
      August 4, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      By the way, if you already did your time and you want them to stop punishing you – then you need to stand up against them. There are 850,000 of you registered. Stand up, make the News and go on strike.

  3. Steven
    July 28, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    No one can prove that the draconian registration laws have prevented even one sex crime, not one. What can be easily proved however is the number of sex offenders who have been denied employment, fired, discriminated against, assaulted, and even killed because of the huge target and stigma placed upon them.

  4. vince klock
    July 21, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    the only thing the sex reg laws do is hurt the family & the person that has to do it,it gives ppl a false feeling of security & misleads the public & destories lives by the thousands everyday but untill ppl fight them nothing will change but its not just the sex laws that need changed the whole system is BROKE

  5. Glenda
    July 11, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I can tell you sex offenders are not treated like human beings. They’re treated like animals. I believe in justice for sex offenders who have hurt, raped them. There is no justice for sex offenders. Once you plead guilty, your life is over. My brother was accused of touching his two grandchildren. Now this was only touching. He did not hurt them, he did not rape them, they were taken to a doctor to make sure that he had not hurt them and the results showed no sign of injury. He was labeled as a violent sexual predator. How did you get that from just touching child. Got the same sentence as a sex offender raped a child. How is that fair. Sex offenders are grouped together no matter if they touch a child or raped a child. It’s was my brothers first and only offense and his 61 years of life. How could he b labeled as a violent sex offender? Laws need to b changed for sex offenders. The law has a choke hold on them. They can’t even breathe. Make a long story short, my brother passed away June 10 of this year. The reason wasn’t the pressure from the law always had they their thumb on him. He couldn’t even walk outside 20 steps without that stupid ankle bracelet going off. And you know what they said to him when he said I am just right here at the trailer I’m 20 steps from it. They told him we’ll maybe he needs just that you’re inside the trailer. How is a person to live if he can’t even walk out in his yard without being hassle to death. We as family members of sex offenders need to stand up for these people, if it takes going to Washington to get things changed, the laws changed we need to do that. But that’s what killed my brother is the stress being under the gun. The Law had just as well took a gun to his head. We didn’t know the law. That made him even more vulnerable. I don’t believe in the justice system anymore after what happened to him that should’ve never happened. This lifetime supervision is a joke. It is only a way to punish them. When u have served your time like any other crime they should b given a second chance. If he reoffends then it’s time to make the sentence harsher. My brother was not a sex offender and I believe he would be alive today had been given a “second chance”.

    • Jewelbeach
      August 4, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      I agree. We need to make noise and quote the constitution as all other groups have been doing. You do pay the price in jail and yet you are labeled for life. I keep saying drug addicts and murderers also kill and have a potential to harm children. All should be labeled in the registry or not. In our case the prosecuting AG is now under criminal investigation yet she want all due process and her case thrown out. Her name rhymes with Lane. Yet in her sexual predators sting she had absolutely no mercy for those captured and many got the max sentence and tier and did not honor plea bargains.

  6. Ron
    July 8, 2016 at 1:45 am

    It’s a sad shame if you have sexual relations with someone who isn’t of the current legal age you are considered a sexual deviant and if it happen over a judged years ago, you’re just a human being. Times have changed and teenage thoughts have not. Anywhere in your teens you have the likelihood to be sexually active, so the magic number to consensual sex is set at a higher bar even though the propensity to be sexually active is set at a lower bar/age statistically. So the severity and naming of a sex offense or punishment correlate with victims age, so the younger you are as a victim the more severe the sentencing or conviction. The main concern I have is that some states are calling convicts violent when the body of the crime has no element of being violent or aggressive. You can clearly see for example in Florida if a victim is under 12 the more severe the punishment and for one over 13 the more lenient the laws are. Some states attempt to enhance the impact by rewording the charge to secure a conviction by the jury because the heinous rewording of a crimes definition. The disparity comes from fear factors among the courts on all levels. It is sad that a homeless registrant is classified SVP or level 3 if he or she has no actual or bonafide affixed address. He designation is sometimes issued by a non judicial authority and by special assessment boards or teams to determine someone’s level of risk.

  7. PHYS ED
    July 7, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    From what I read, there seems to be a lot more states pulling the same kind of sh**. Regardless of whatever your conviction was for, you are now reclassified as a sexually violent predator or SVP, that’s true now in Illinois, even if you’re one of those guys who just happened to be taking a whiz in an alleyway! The cops call it “indecent exposure” Even if it’s 2 a.m., you’re homeless and can’t find a public “John” open. Get on the registry… and you WILL be portrayed online as an SVP! There are 2 classifications in Illinois, there is a classification as a sex offender, and then one up from that as an SVP-now common to anybody in Illinois who is stuck with lifetime registration, No matter your original offense. You can now go from a Tier 1 to a Tier 3 offender at the stroke of a pen. We are all of us now turned into “Dred Scott”. To paraphrase Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B Taney back in 1857, “An RSO Has no rights a white man – Or anybody else – is bound to respect.”

    • d
      July 7, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      And that’s why we need to act now before it gets worse. New York just keeps expending the amount of time required on the registry. As far as politicians and the general public is concerned there’s no law that goes too far. We need to educate people and fight back before this gets more out of control than it already is.

  8. NH Registrant
    July 7, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    This is completely sickening to me. How can we treat people this way in this day and age? What he did was wrong but it didn’t warrant labeling him a sexually violent predator. This paranoia and witch-hunting has got to stop. I don’t know when it will and I’m not expecting it to stop anytime soon but it has to stop anyway. And of course, it’s all about money. It has always been about money and it always will be about money. It has nothing to do with the protecting of children. As I have always said, if the government was interested in protecting children they wouldn’t be bombing so many brown ones across the ocean into Red Mist on a regular basis.

  9. Maestro
    July 7, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I have a question…..

    Since sex and our individual sexuality is NORMAL and NATURAL and we all got here because of 2 people having sex, and we all laugh and enjoy the sexuality in movies such as “Porky’s” and “Road Trip” why is it that every time someone is accused of a sexual offense, there needs to be some half-twit psychological evaluation?

    We may as well be evaluated for BREATHING since that’s a NATURAL thing, too.

    I would like to ask one of these “sex offender” psychologists how it’s even possible how THEY themselves have NORMAL sexual relations? I’m convinced these morons don’t have sex…. EVER! They are robots.

    • Edie
      August 11, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      It is ironic how the shower scene in Porky’s (similar teen movies) is considered acceptable behavior. In reality if these young men were caught they would be put on a registry. Society some how finds this type of movie hilarious and the behaviors acceptable. In reality it only encourages stupid behavior that can ruin a persons life.

  10. Michael A. Lewis Sr.
    July 7, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I feel the same as he does. Every ones life would be a lot better if I wasn’t here.
    I am really tired of being labeled something I’m not, and a crime that NEVER happened. Just want my life to be over so everyone can move on to a better life.

  11. July 6, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    While I’m at the point that I don’t wish to comment all that much on here as others with all their worldly logic and all seem to know more about human understanding, we all need to come and reason together. let me just say that violence is a state of mind. We have heard the old saying Actions speak lower than words. Sure we all argue but if one argues to the point of violent and is obsessed with the status quo as it is than it becomes an obsession.

    Attempt can be misconstrued as intent. Government can label you as violent when they get one in their ballpark. From what I hear today they have labeled all sex people as violent predators.

    I don’t care if they label me a violent whatever, it is just an opinion as stated in the article that Sandy introduced. In all these sex offense things they give you the label status as a Charles Manson of the sex perversion Club.

    While it may be a stigma that is going to last a lifetime until it is what it isn’t. It is all the more that we as “Citizens” need to inform the general public that Government is covering up a lot of these sex sting operations to make themselves look good.

    One could say everybody is violent at one time or another but you put the word Sexually” in front of the word and it brings on another meaning all together.

    Sure Government does stigmatizes one in a way if you let it and boy it plays on my mind a lot. So would that be a compulsion to get at the truth or is their something wrong with me or you?

    Its these games people that run this country. Look at how all this sex stuff is playing out. Who would ever think that their is 850.00 people on the registry. Those must be a lot of violent predators or maybe we just listen to Sigmund Freud or Ann Landers to much.

    Am I upset about all this as much as you all are. Sure I am. If you can’t reason together with someone and agree to them than you might as well bow down to them and that is what a lot of these plea deals are all about. Labeling is like labeling someone good, bad, or ugly. All this has a lot to do with society as it is today.

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