I was arrested in 2003 for meeting an underage girl that I had met online. However, the “girl” was a Kansas police officer. I ended up spending 89 days in jail and was offered a plea bargain that I accepted. I was charged with Lewd and Lascivious Behavior, a non-person misdemeanor. I didn’t know it at the time, but upon visiting the parole officer the next day I found that I would be required to register for 10 years.
Now, still on the registry 13 years later because Kansas added five more years to the original agreement (yes, I know that’s wrong) I find that more and more of my rights are being taken away each year, and sometimes retroactively.
This past year I met a wonderful woman on an International dating site. We hit it off quite quickly and soon began to email and then moved to WhatsApp, and then Skype. After several months of this, we decided that we should meet. She lives in Jakarta, and since I’d never been to the other side of the freakin’ plant before, I decided to go visit her.
Very early in our relationship I explained “my situation” with her, and while it rightfully concerned her, she felt that we should still meet. She also understood that there was a chance that even though I was coming there that I might not be allowed entry. It was a chance we were both willing to take.
I notified the Oklahoma SORA with (21) days advance as I was required to do, and I was allowed to enter, no problem at all. We had a wonderful time and she showed me around Jakarta. What a beautiful country! We began to fall in love.
We decided that she would try to come here, but the US Embassy in Jakarta would not issue her a visa on the grounds that they felt that she was an intending immigrant. Very frustrating. We tried another time, and again she was denied for the same reason. (We’re still trying!)
Three months after I had visited her, I knew I needed to go see her again. This time, I took an engagement ring. We had been “seeing” each other for about 9 months at that point. Once again, I fulfilled my state obligations, made my plans and flew to Indonesia. Once again, no problems whatsoever.
While there, she again showed me more of Indonesia. We took a train to Bandung and I learned so much of Indonesian culture. While there, I proposed to her and she accepted. I was so happy to find such a wonderful woman. She is so intelligent, wise, tender and loving. And it helped immensely that she was a Christian in a predominantly Muslim country.
Then, out of no where, being a smart girl, she asked “Will your legal situation cause us trouble in getting the fiancé visa?” Strange question, I thought. I mean, why would it? The government doesn’t tell anyone else who they can and cannot marry, right? What does one thing have to do with the other? One is a “sex crime” and the other has to do with immigration. Nevertheless, I told her I would find out.
What I found made me sick to my stomach. Her doubts and concerns were valid. Because my crime (my original arrest charges) were against a “child” (even though not real), Title IV of the Adam Walsh Act states that I could not petition for a family member to be sponsored into the US. Why? To help stop sex trafficking and abuse in other parts of the world! What the heck? And now, how do I tell this lovely woman the truth?
Well, I did, and she was heartbroken. But I had found out before telling her that I can apply for an AWA waiver that basically says that the government believes that I am of no danger to her. So, with the help of Allan Lolly in California, we decided to go that direction. It’s not right that I am being judged for my arrest, not my conviction, nor is it right that a law written in 2005 apply to a conviction that happened in 2003. But we know how it goes with this group that we’ve found ourselves in.
Then in June of 2016, I decided to go see her again. But things were different this time. Upon my arrival at the Jakarta airport, I was denied entry. I was told that I must return immediately to the US. I flew 21 hours to see her and now was forced to fly 21 hours back home. (Luckily, with a few well placed bribes, I was able to see her for 1 hour.) Nevertheless, this was incredibly difficult on her. They led me around with guards, confiscated my passport, and told me that I could not enter because of “immigration reason.” But I know it was the “Angel Watch” that caused this action.
We had made plans to take a plane to Yogyakarta, see some old shrines, and visit so many place. Now our plans were cancelled, and she ended up staying in the hotel that night alone. She cried the entire time and was still awake, crying, when I called her from home. This woman, who had never done anything wrong, was being punished by the US government.
This part of the AWA, above all other parts of it’s content, are overreaching and abusive. If the goal is to protect women and children from abuse, then why are murderers and rapists not disallowed of this very same privilege? If safety is the goal, why are American women and children not given the same protections? And if the legal system, with it’s trials and plea bargains are to be simply ignored and decisions are made based on arrest charges, then why spend the time? It’s clear that we are being subjected to crimes against humanity by our very own government.
I’ll be going to meet her again next month, in another country. We hope that it works out better this time. But just this morning we were talking about it, and she said she is “too afraid to think about it.” That’s so sad. It breaks my heart. She is like me: her hopes and her desire to see me out-weigh our fears. Our love for one another draws us together and keeps us together. If you’re “the praying kind”, I’d appreciate your prayers. She, and women like her around the world, (some even in the US), are one of the reasons we started this website.
This law is just a bad law, and what it’s doing to US citizens is just wrong. We have paid our debt, done all that we’ve been told, even when it’s unconstitutional, and it keeps coming. You know… tell me where I can and can’t live. Tell me I can’t go to playgrounds, and State Parks, or churches even. Tell me I can’t give candy on Halloween. Heck, even tell me I can’t go to McDonalds. Whatever. But don’t tell me that I, a law abiding citizen, cannot be with the one that I love, the one who loves me. Don’t tell me I cannot be with the one who makes me happiest. That’s wrong, and it has to stop.
Yes…..this law is WRONG. My wife and I have been going through the same human indignity for the last seven years. I am fortunate enough to be able to visit my wife in China every year for about six months at a time, but the latest law up for vote will take away all of our passports. We need to stand together….all of us. Write to your state representatives, and yes, we can vote if no longer on probation, so write often and with respect. We are US citizens, and we have the right to representation. The United States Congress has taken away our basic right to Constitutional due process, and ONLY us. You and your love should be together…HERE if that is your desire, and so should the rest of us and our spouses. When I here a Senator say he or she wants to uphold the freedoms and rights belonging to ALL citizens….I want to throw up! Fight, write and write some more. More of our voices need to be heard. We count…believe that!
I agree completely, Andrew! We need to write, write, and then write some more. But please, be respectful, be polite, be persuasive, not argumentative.
On another note… please share some of your experience in traveling to China. Has it been easy, difficult, etc.? Your input could be helpful both here and at http://www.registranttag.org.
Same situation, it’s painful by being forced apart, Adam Walsh Act law for the immigration made many couples apart while they are enjoying their lives together. a law tells them cannot to be together, it’s very painful, you know that?
why not also create a law that cannot let sex offenders go to international dating sites?
I too am in this same situation. I’ve fallen incredibly in love with such a sweet, caring woman from the Philippines. I traveled there in March 2016 with no problems and we were formally engaged to be married in her church there by her Christian pastor. Her family welcomed me very warmly. I tried to bring her here to the USA on a Fiance visa, but I wasn’t aware of AWA. What a shock to me to discover this. And I wondered the same as you did Darrino. Why does my 2003 plea deal, have anything to do with trying to be with the woman that I love? Why shouldn’t I still be able to bring her here as my wife? Obviously the situation for both of us, has nothing to do with any Human Trafficking. My fiance and I were very disappointed, but determined that we would be together. So we made plans for me to live there in her home. I purchased land there and together we started a business to bring in a good monthly income. Then I went back to Philippines in July 2017, to get married. But as I arrived in Manila, I was not only turned away, but I was also black listed from returning. I didn’t understand why, until I returned to the USA and went in search of the answer. That’s when I discovered the IML and it’s devastating effects. My Fiance and I are very heartbroken and our families are also. This love is the kind that dreams are made of. Our lives belong to Jesus Christ and Our love is stronger and more powerful than any I’ve ever known. So we’ve made plans also, to meet in another country, just to be able to see each other. But we’re very concerned that “Angel Watch” will send notice no matter where I go, and that it might keep me from gaining entry, even in a country where their is no law against registered sex offenders. That’s what I was told in the Philippines by immigration officials there. They said it wasn’t them who denied me, but rather it was because my government sent them a request that they deny my entry. It’s been 15 years since my plea. I’ve satisfied all the requirements under the law and haven’t been in ANY other trouble since. I am no longer in any kind of parole or probation situation. How long will it be before people stop treating those who may have made 1 mistake in their lives, which such hatred. Murderers and thieves aren’t treated this way. This is a crime that is being allowed to happen to US citizens and it can not be permitted to stand without a fight. Please Darrino, if you and your beloved are able to get together in a country that allows you in. Please tell me. My fiance and I would be so happy, just for 1 day in each others arms. Thank you
Sounds so familiar! Without a doubt the worse part of this law is that most registered citizens aren’t even aware of this law until it affects them in such a real and personal way. I mean, why would you ever think that your ability to sponsor the one love would be affected by a one-time disaster of a mistake that you made years ago, right? It’s very painful.
As for a place to meet, you have two choices that I am aware of, though there may be more. All of Europe, (the Schengen countries) should pose no problem at all. Additionally, Hong Kong is an option. I have personally been to Hong Kong twice in the last year, although the last time I was questioned but still allowed to enter. The first time I had no problem whatsoever and as far as we can tell by the RTAG travel matrix (www.registranttag.org) no one has been denied entry. You might give that a shot.
I hope it works for you, Jerry. Like you, I have found a love with a depth and tenderness that I never knew existed. I’m confident that God has a plan for us, but for now, I’m not really sure what it is. I hope this helps in some way.
Thank you so much for the advice Darrin. And did “Angel Watch” send a notice about you to Hong Kong immigration officials, prior to your arrival? One issue for Judy and I, is the risk of my being turned away by destinations that would otherwise not prevent me, simply because of this notice being sent. Your success is an encouragement to me Darrin. I think We will try Hong Kong. At least it’s a place where we can spend some great time together, while we think about our next move. I will keep you informed of any positive or negative outcome that I have. Thank you. My Judy will be very happy
I to am in the same boat, I tried to visit my girlfriend in the Philippines back in Feb 2016 to meet her on Valentine’s day. Only to be denied entry at the airport. I had to return to the States the next day after flying 16+ hours. We were both heartbroken and now are trying to find a country where I can enter and meet her in person. I f you should find such a country please let me know also. Thanks
Please read “From the US to Hong Kong, via Bali” under the “Posts” section of this website. I hope it helps.
Please read “From the US to Hong Kong, via Bali” under the “Posts” section of this website. I hope it helps.