Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

New Sensation: SA’s Austin Mahone and teen pop superstardom

Music: Like the bulk of Austin Mahone’s Instagram account, this one’s a selfie. In a white tank top, hair coifed up real big, Mahone arranges his facial... By Matt Stieb 7/22/2014
Op-Ed: Don’t deny Ivy Taylor’s chance to ‘evolve’

Op-Ed: Don’t deny Ivy Taylor’s chance to ‘evolve’

News: The San Antonio City Council may gain a major accomplishment in the city’s already progressive history in race relations. When Julian Castro announced his... By Frederick Williams 7/2/2014
Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Guide: It’s almost summer, which means that your government-subsidized free daycare (aka public school) goes on hiatus thanks to an archaic allegiance to a rural agriculture economic system that hasn’t been in play for decades. What to do with the wee ones whining 5/21/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

News

In Texas, Juvenile Sex Offenders Get Virtual Life Sentence

Photo: , License: N/A


“Juveniles need to be held accountable, but the punishment needs to be appropriate,” said Pittman. The HRW report recommends that all juveniles be exempted from public registration laws, citing research that shows juvenile sex offenders are both the least likely to re-offend and the most likely to respond to treatment.

Unlike with minors charged with assault or even murder, “When you put a child who commits a sex offense on a public registry, that’s a virtual life sentence,” Pittman said.

Child protection workers visited Dominic’s San Antonio home when he was 15, following a domestic dispute between his mother and her partner. That’s when they first heard of allegations Dominic had molested his sister when he was 13 and she was 11. (Dominic’s family asked that the Current not use his real name).

Dominic spent much of the following year in and out of psychiatric treatment, diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder, his grandmother said in a recent interview. Dominic denied the allegations, but was eventually convicted and taken to a TYC facility convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Dominic’s mother died in a car crash while he was in juvi.

Dominic was released from TYC, put on strict parole, and moved into an apartment by himself on San Antonio’s East Side when he was 19. He couldn’t live with his grandmother, who had custody of his sister, the victim.

Last month, Dominic’s sister signed an affidavit claiming he never molested her, saying she was coerced into making the allegations. Dominic was arrested last month and remains in jail for violating his parole by failing to participate in his treatment program, which requires that he discuss the assault in explicit detail, his grandmother says.

In the past year, Dominic has twice slit his wrists.

“He doesn’t see any way out,” his grandmother said in a tearful interview last week. “He says, ‘I don’t have a life anymore, grandma. Everybody treats me like I’m a beast, like I’m an animal. They wish I was dead. I wish I was dead, too.’”

HRW’s report includes the stories of other juvenile offenders who attempted suicide — including three who succeeded. One, a 17 year old from Michigan, took his life months after the state passed a law to remove offenders from the registry who were under 14 at the time of the offense. “Everyone in the community knew he was on the sex offender registry, it didn’t matter to them that he was removed,” his mother told HRW. “[T]he damage was already done. You can’t un-ring the bell.”

Pittman insists registration laws, which require placing offenders’ photographs and personal information on online registries, also make juvenile offenders, and their families, targets for harassment and violence.

Josh Gravens was 12 when he had sexual contact with his 8-year-old sister. When his worried mother sought help from a Christian counseling center near the family’s home in Abilene, the center reported Gravens to authorities for sexual assault of a child — by law, it was required to do so. Gravens spent three years in a TYC facility. When he got out, he was allowed back into his parents’ home, with his sister, but authorities required his parents put alarms on his windows and a lock outside his door.

Recently in News
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus