Here’s a story that’s ripe for discussion: Should this man be labeled a sex offender for sleeping with his own wife?
The future couple met at a mutual friend’s house when Frank was a senior and Nikki was a freshman, and a relationship quickly blossomed. It soon became sexual, a fact that Nikki eventually admitted to her mother. After ongoing arguments with her daughter over her relationship with Frank moving too fast, Melissa Ostman took her daughter to the local police station and reported Frank for having sex with a minor in an attempt to throw a scare into him.
A day later, Ostman returned to rescind her complaint, but it was too late. Her daughter told the police interrogator that the sex was consensual, but was taken to the hospital to be examined for rape. The case was now in the hands of the state, which charged Frank with statutory rape. In order to avoid jail time, he pleaded guilty and accepted seven years of probation, which also required having to register as a sex offender…
During his probation, Rodriguez was not allowed to talk to Nikki or go to public places like swimming pools or football games where children might be present. He also was not allowed to vote and had to perform 350 hours of community service while also attending regular counseling sessions for convicted sex offenders.
But the biggest blow may have been being forced to move out of his home because he was not allowed to be under the same roof as his 12-year-old sister. “If I had known the implications,’’ Ostman told Marie Claire, “I wouldn’t have done it.’’
Despite the limitations of Frank’s probation, the couple eventually reconnected, married and started a family. When they had their first daughter, Rodriguez was not allowed to live in the house because he was on probation, so he lived there illegally, engulfed by paranoia and fear until his probation ended in 2003.
Fifteen years later, Rodriguez is still on the sex offender registry. He cannot work for a major corporation or coach his daughters’ soccer teams. He must notify law enforcement when he travels out of state.
Texas is expected to modify its sex offender law this fall, at which time Rodriguez can petition to be removed from the sex offender registry. What do you think? Does he belong on that list? Or was this a major parenting fail on the part of the girl’s mother? Who is now his MIL. Awkward.
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