Below is an excerpt from an article written by a woman who was charged with exposing someone to HIV and forced to register. She describes the stigma of being forced to register when her crime had nothing to do with touching a child.

“To me, and to most people I know, a sex offender means that someone sexually abused children (a pedophile). I was horrified! I had never ever touched a child!

I was never informed that if I pled guilty to the charges against me, I would be considered a sex offender for the remainder of my life! If I was told about the lifetime sex offender registration, I would have fought the charges.

Since I registered as a sex offender, I have to follow certain rules and requirements. I have to take classes for sex offenders. I have to pay a $150 fee once a year, which I cannot afford. I can’t be around any kids, and I can’t be within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare or anywhere children will be. When I see a child in a grocery store, I have to go in the opposite direction. I would love to go to a football game and watch my cousin play. He is going to be a senior this year, and I want to go to his graduation and see him walk across that stage.”

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