Considered a Sex Offender Since He Was 12, a Plano Man is Finally Freed from the Registry

juvenilesexoffenders.jpg
Via.
In May, the Texas Observer profiled Josh Gravens, a 25-year-old Plano man struggling to find a job and otherwise coping with life on the Texas Department of Public Safety's sex offender registry.

His crime? Molesting his 8-year-old sister -- when he was 12.

Gravens's case illustrates a flaw in the state's rules for handling sex offenses perpetrated by juveniles, the absurdity of which has been previously documented. In 2009, when the Houston Chronicle examined the issue, there were 3,600 registered sex offenders who were juveniles when their crime was committed. Eleven of those were required to register at the age of 10.

This all stems from the 1991 law that established sex offender reporting requirements and made registration mandatory for adults and juveniles. Tweaks have since been made to the law, allowing juvenile sex offenders to petition a judge to remove juvenile sex offenders from the registry, but mandatory registration, which lasts for 10 years, under current DPS rules, remains.

The rule is perplexing, both since it means that the punishment for a crime committed as a child extends well into adulthood and because the Texas Department of State Health Services concludes that "there is no compelling evidence to suggest the majority of juveniles with sexual behavior problems are likely to become adult sex offenders."

In Gravens' case, his inclusion on the registry has more or less ruined his life. He enrolled at Texas Tech but later dropped out after he began receiving death threats following the inclusion of his name and picture on a local TV news report about sex offenders. He got a job on a construction crew after dropping out but was soon let go. His next gig, traveling around the country and putting up wind turbines, took him to Washington for a month, where he was convicted for failing to register as a sex offender. (It's not directly addressed in the Texas Observer story, but that's presumably why he was required to remain on the registry beyond the 10 years, until the age of 31). He eventually got married and had two kids, but he still couldn't find a job.

The future's a little brighter for Gravens now. The Texas Observer reported Friday that Gravens successfully petitioned to have his name struck from the list.


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15 comments
DirtyP1
DirtyP1

I know everyone wants to comment and say what a horrible person he is. I would highly suggest you read the Texas Observer article before passing judgement.

soissues
soissues

Well he may have been removed from the state registry, but there are thousands of mugshot web sites and such out there, and many extort money to have your info removed, so even if he's removed a Google search will still bring up info on him.

And example site would be:

http://www.offendex.com

They require a large sum of money to remove it.

And a recent article shows a lawyer is trying to sue these types of sites, but I doubt he'll have much luck:

http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/2012/12/oh-web-sites-profiting-from-mug-shots.html

shellystow
shellystow

Yes, he molested his sister. That could involve anything from inappropriate touching over the clothes to something much more serious. He was twelve. He was punished. He received counseling. He has not re-offended. What kind of a system would continue making it impossible for someone who regrets doing something stupid and harmful, regardless of how old they were when they did it, to ever again have a life? And how does that system help in any way to increase public safety when at every turn it does nothing but obstruct those who are repentant from leading a normal life? When are we going to stop demanding what satisfies our misplaced sense of outrage and start demanding laws and practices that are proven to work toward the betterment of everyone concerned?

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

If he was guilty and convicted how was that absurd?

YeaOK
YeaOK

Did you dumb asses miss the story that he MOLESTED HIS 8 YEAR OLD SISTER?

DOCensors
DOCensors

This should really bring out the NAMBLA contingent. Paging @guitarplayer

hix.miblue.john
hix.miblue.john

Another tool that serves no purpose in cases such as this but only serves to keep people down and a another welfare case for the state. Over reaction by the state and the far right ie. religious influence used this law to lock this man up either in jail or away from access to a career that could have made him a contribution to society.  

fl9826024
fl9826024

I am happy that he is off of the registry which is a total waste of tax payer money and protects no one (It didn't protect the victims of Sandusky, for instance), but this will still show up on a background check and forever on the internet and he will still be unemployable, unable to rent an apartment or be trusted. Essentially he is socially dead. Good job AmeriKKKa.

soissues
soissues

@shellystow Molestation in many states, doesn't require one to touch or have sex with a child.  Just exposing yourself intentionally, or urinating in public and a child sees you, could get you the "child molester" label.  A personal friend is in this type of situation.

pooua
pooua

@Scruffygeist I'm just curious if you realize that laws don't drop out of the sky? Men write them, based on dimly-remembered rationale. So, the mere fact that a law exists does not automatically make that law a good law.

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

@YeaOK Did you read the article this was taken from? He was raped when he was younger. Not justifying what he did but the kid was messed up. Spent 3 years in TYC.

pooua
pooua

@YeaOK What I didn't miss is that everyone in his family, including his sister, believes the law went too far.

DOCensors
DOCensors

@YeaOK The only criminals Dallas Observer liberals love more than child molesters are black murderers. 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

@pooua I stated it poorly. It's absurd that he should ever be allowed off the list.

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