Aracely and I met a man named Lex online a few years back. He was searching for information about proactive police stings and reached out to us. He had been arrested in Floriduh and was being prosecuted for attempting to meet a child for sex. Of course there was no child, and Lex never believed there was, but the facts don’t actually mean much in these stings.
Lex, like so many men entrapped, was coerced into taking a plea for a crime that was never committed, let alone intended. I remember his optimism when he was going in front of the judge for sentencing. It was a few days before Christmas and we were all hoping the judge would be in a festive mood. Lex was hoping to only have to give one year of his life to prison for this fabricated thought crime.
The judge gave him 2 years in prison.
We wrote to Lex for the two years he was in prison. He gave his pound of flesh and was eventually released a free man.
And it wasn’t easy! On probation and as a person required to register, his first challenge was even finding a place to live! The members of CAGE managed to scrape together a little money to help him cover his security deposit. He had to live in a motel while looking for a place, and that cost ate into his apartment fund. Without our help he might well have ended up homeless as so many do these days.
He managed to find a job after securing reasonable housing. But he was lonely, struggling with depression, and unable to go to, even just to visit, his out of state family because they have children. For those forced to register, reentry is a joke.
But, like 90% of men entrapped in police proactive sex stings, our Lex wasn’t a criminal. He has a good head, good morals, a big heart, and gumption. He was committed to making a good life for himself. For many people that plan often includes going back to school. As soon as he was able he applied.
A thief, a murderer, assault with a deadly weapon, embezzlement, drunk driver, elderly abuse, any sort of crime – once you do your time you are free to recreate a life. Not so for us. In order to be admitted Lex had to open his file to scrutiny. I personally wrote the reference letter mentioned below. In it I explained the victimless entrapment that occurred. To no avail. Those who cannot see reason, empathy, or humanity – they now rule our lives.
4 thoughts on “Any reason to be unreasonable”
That’s so sad but definitely not typical of today’s laws and blind thinking. Story after story of injustices and lives ruined because this won’t/can’t stop. All to fill someone’s pocket with a little more money. I think depression is definitely in my book these days too and not feeling very optimistic about April either. I hate to use the word hate but law enforcement has made that a regular word in my vocabulary these days
Is this ever going to stop? It seems like it’s gaining momentum and hurting more people the further we go. It doesn’t even seem that any of our advocacy is ebmven making a dent 😦
Very disheartening to see, but I believe that in time, someone will appreciate him for who he is, beyond the label. I love Mary Gauthier’s song, Mercy Now. I wrote a post on my blog/website: https://closertoreal.com/2022/12/12/closer-to-real-asks/
Pass it on, if you would. And best to Lex, to you, your organization, and your tireless efforts. We need more people like you out there!
I’m not sure why he chose a Private University, however, I would imagine a Public College would be a much easier route to pursue. Best wishes.