I Was Young, She Was Younger, Can I Ever Have A Second Chance?
Meet “David”, age 32
I had a feeling something bad was going to happen the second I got out of my car. I ignored it.
The house where the party was happening was in kind of a run-down neighborhood. It was a wet winter. I remember stepping in a wide crack in the pavement into cold slush. My feet were cold all night.
My friend Derek had invited me. I say “friend” even though I didn’t know him very well. He went to a different school. We just happened to have a mutual friend who introduced us at a concert.
Derek was cool, confident. Always up for a party. He made you feel like you could do anything, get away with anything.
He was also into some pretty shady stuff. I should have known when I entered his house. It was disgusting. The smell of something like rotten eggs was overpowering. Another sign that this was a bad idea. I ignored that, too.
I followed the noise down into the basement. The first thing I noticed were how many girls were there. I recognized a few from school, but mostly I had no idea who these people were.
Derek was playing video games. The air was full of choking smoke. I coughed as a grabbed a warm beer off the table.
That’s when this girl I didn’t recognize walked right up to me and gave me a big hug. I almost dropped my beer. The other girl she had been sitting with on the couch started cracking up. She said her friend dared her to hug the next guy who came into the room. Then she said her name was Zoey.
Zoey was beautiful. She had long, black hair. Bright green eyes. Full, red lips.
I know how this is going to sound, but she looked my age. She looked 18.
We spent the rest of the party together. I forgot all about the bad omens. I thought at the time that night was amazing. We talked about video games and movies, and she touched me a lot. I had never met a girl who was so physical. She always had a hand on my arm, or her fingers in my hair.
Before long we were making out on the couch. I couldn’t believe what I was doing. This had never happened to me before. I thought I was the luckiest guy in the world.
I knew where this was headed. I could see it in her eyes, and I was going nuts. I was a virgin. I took her hand and we started up the stairs. There were lots of empty rooms upstairs …
I thank God every day for what happened next.
Derek and Alex’s mom came home. She was drunk, and mad as hell they were throwing a party, and kicked everybody out. She looked like she was going to beat Derek half to death, and probably did.
That’s when Zoey ran off, down the street with her friend. I had no idea why. She said nothing. I didn’t have her number or anything.
The next day, a cop showed up at my mom’s house and arrested me. I was confused, hungover. I heard the word rape. I’ll never forget the look of horror on my mom’s face. She just stood there in the kitchen, frozen.
Zoey was not 18. She was 14, and she had a record.
Apparently, in addition to making meth, Derek and his mom’s brother were also doing a little pimping on the side. Zoey was one of the girls they were grooming, under her probation officer’s nose. Her friend got scared and told the probation officer, I came up in the story as a john.
Suddenly, I was a sex offender. It didn’t matter that we didn’t actually have intercourse. What I did with Zoey was enough to be considered sexual misconduct with a minor.
Ever since completing my jail time, life has been a nightmare. So why do I thank God that Derek’s mom showed up? Just think of how much worse it could have been if nobody had stopped us. I’d probably still be in jail today.
If you’re wondering what life as a registered sex offender is like, it is as terrible as you might imagine. I still live with my mother. I’ve only held a few jobs here and there. I wanted to be an architect once. Now I’d be lucky to bag groceries.
But listen, I’m not asking for your sympathy. I know what I did was wrong. It was careless. She was a child, somebody’s little girl. I was old enough to know better. There is no excuse, and I’m not making one.
All I’m asking for is a second chance. I want to work, to get out of my mom’s house. I want to maybe have a real relationship with a woman some day. I want to be a part of my community, not an outcast people can find on a map of places they want to keep their children out of.
I’m ready to apply for expungement of my record. I don’t know if it will work, but I have to try. I’ve lived in shame for over 10 years for one stupid night.
So, Mr. Prosecutor, tell me. Will you let me move on?
The above story is a work of fiction, but it might sound familiar. If “David” could be you, there is good news: you may be able to get your sexual misconduct charge erased from your criminal record. Contact Bruce Munson today to discuss your options for expungement.
It’s time to move on with your life.
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