Mother of sex offender speaks out
Melissa Shriver, khqa.com, April 24, 2008
The state of Missouri has some of the strictest sex offender laws in the country. It puts tight restrictions on where sex offenders can not live, and how often they have to register with police.
Supporters say those restrictions are necessary to keep an eye on sex offenders to keep you and your family safe. But those same laws also label all sex offenders as the same, no matter the circumstances or severity of their crimes. And that label follows the offender for the rest of his or her life.
So tonight we have a story every parent and teenager should see. We sat down with a mother of a registered sex offender who says a bad decision as a teenager left her son with life-long consequences.
This story begins here at Monroe City High School with a promising teenager. He was on the basketball and football teams. Everyone we talked with says he was a good kid and popular in school. After graduation he did what many kids do, he moved away to go to college. When he was 19 and at a Kansas college, he and a roommate stopped at a gas station before a night out. That's when this seemingly promising life came to a halt.
Janice Holliday's son says it wasn't until police knocked on his door that he discovered the girl wasn't 17 as he said she claimed. She actually was two months from her 16th birthday. 16 is the age of consent in Kansas.
During the trial, the jury convicted Holliday's son of indecent liberties with a child because he admitted to consensual sex with a minor. In front of a crowd of supporters from Monroe City, Holliday's son was sentenced to almost 5 years in prison.
What was your initial reaction when you found out your son was being convicted?
Now her son has served his time and is out on parole. In Kansas where he was convicted he doesn't have to register as a sex offender. But when he tried to move back to Monroe City, he found things much different because here he is a sex offender.
What has it been like for your son to get out of prison?
Because of his legal status, he can't spend time with his own child without supervision and can't attend her school events without approval from the school superintendent. He also faces a lifetime of registration as a sex offender.
A warning she says every parent and teenager should listen to.
Opponents of sex offender laws agree with Janice Holliday -- that it's unfair to put all sex offenders into one category, no matter their crime.