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In Texas, Juvenile Sex Offenders Get Virtual Life Sentence

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When Gravens started classes at Texas Tech, he got death threats. People threw beer bottles at him in the campus parking lot. He eventually dropped out.

Last year, hoping to move out of a family member’s home, Gravens looked for a place to live with his wife and their four children. “We tried like 20 different apartment complexes. All told me no. It was because I was on the registry,” Gravens told the Current. Two apartments last year gave him abrupt notices to vacate once he’d already been allowed to move in.

Last November, Gravens showed the judge who sentenced him a Texas Observer article from last year that detailed his story. The judge removed him from the list. Though off the registry, Gravens still has two felony convictions for failure to register on his record — both, he claims, were the result of not being properly told about the reporting requirements.

“I’m off the list, but there are still repercussions that will follow me the rest of my life,” Gravens said. Those felony convictions “still limit what I can do, and they never would have happened had I not been placed on the registry as a child.”

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