For the Record

For the record, I am not trying to be the “good guy.” I’m not trying to be some sort of great person doing a great thing — nothing of the sort. I know what kind of person I am (or was) and I know the sins of my past do not deserve forgiveness. I am not speaking out against my crime (and ongoing crimes like it) because I’m trying to cultivate some kind of image or seem like less of a bad guy.

I am speaking-out because it is the right thing to do. If there’s one mantra from Sex Addicts Anonymous which I’ve genuinely taken to heart, it’s the cliche, “Do the next right thing.” Read more

The Sound of Silence

When I was 18 years old, I was raped. In a vulnerable moment of pseudo-consciousness and inebriated confusion, a “friend” of mine — a male “friend” — sexually violated me in a manner that changed my life, forever.

In the news recently, there has been a plethora of sexual assault victims who have stepped forward and identified the individual who assaulted them. This has happened to numerous celebrities, and (I assume) many people who are not famous. I deeply admire the courage it takes to do this, but I will not be one of them.

Only two people know the identity of my rapist: My wife and my sister. And both have promised to keep this secret. Read more

Where I Belong

“Anyone can achieve their fullest potential. Who we are might be predetermined, but the path we follow is always of our own choosing. We should never allow our fears or the expectations of others to set the frontiers of our destiny. Your destiny can’t be changed but, it can be challenged. Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one.”

― Martin Heidegger


We all become who we were meant to become. I firmly believe that because I firmly believe in a God who intends the lives of all people to serve a purpose. And while I believe each person makes his/her own choices (and bears the weight of the consequences), it is also incumbent upon each of us to figure out where (and who) we are supposed to be in this world — and sometimes, an integral part of that is determining where we do not belong.

“What did you ever do to change the world?” asked Trevor, the young boy in the film Pay It Forward. I ask myself that question every day, and that is why I do what I do. Read more

Change the World

Thursday—6:03 AM (CDT): On the Tarmac
I literally made my flight with 40 seconds to spare (thanks to the long TSA line.) And now I’m sitting in the best row of coach — that first row behind First Class, the row with the extra leg room. Score!

I am flying from here to Denver, then on to Phoenix for my first major public appearance. I am speaking at the annual conference of the National Association of Teacher Certification tomorrow. So today is a travel day, today is a preparatory day, today is a day to be nervous.

I’m not nervous about speaking. I’m not nervous about the questions I’m going to get during the Q&A session at the end of my speech. Read more

Madness

Maybe I really am crazy. Maybe I really am out of my mind. Maybe I really am insane. Maybe I’m living a life of complete and utter madness. (Afterall, I’ve openly admitted that I struggle with Depression and High-Functioning Anxiety.) And why do I think this? Because I think, in my opinion, I’m not a bad person. And actually, I think I’m a pretty damn good person — now. Read more

Ninety-Five %

With all due respect, I hope Corbin Breitenbach dies in prison — slowly, painfully, and without mercy.

Of course, I — along with 95% of the population of Wichita, Kansas — am pretty certain, based on the available evidence, that Corbin Breitenbach is guilty of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl on June 11, 2017. As far as I’m concerned — speaking as a father — the only brand of mercy this man deserves is leniency regarding which circle of Hell into which he shall be cast.

Breitenbach is a convicted sex offender who was released from prison on April 28, 2017 after spending time in prison for raping a 22-year-old woman in 2013. Thus, he was only free for a matter of weeks before seeking his next victim. If guilty, this man is a predator of the most dangerous variety because he seeks little-to-no discrepancy between his victims and lacks the self-control and self-discipline to follow the very simple rules of Kansas parole. He is a repeat sex offender, and as I have written before, he should be automatically given a Mandatory Life Sentence — no parole.

Every sex offender in prison is required to attend (and complete) Sex Offender Treatment prior to release. In fact, I credit my treatment program (and the therapist) with helping me break through to the deepest and most difficult event of my life: coming to terms with having been sexually assaulted as a teenager. Without her, I never would have made the progress I’ve made in living a healthy life. Therefore, for those who actively participate, the treatment works.

Then, on top of that, there is one other filter. A month or two prior to release, a Kansas Department of Corrections analyst has a personal (and hard-lined) face-to-face interview with every sex offender who is preparing for release. This interview serves to answer one question: Should this sex offender be held for Civil Commitment?

Civil Commitment is a program in Kansas (housed at the Larned State Mental Health Correctional Facility) which essentially enables the department of corrections to hold and imprison any sex offender they deem to be a “sexually violent predator,” and they can be held for an indefinite amount of time. In fact, it is nearly impossible for anyone in Civil Commitment to ever leave prison, prompting a reporter for the Kansas City Star to say in a headline, “The most common way to leave Kansas’ sexual predator program is to die.”

So this begs the question: How did Corbin Breitenbach get released? If a man is released from prison on a sex crime and subsequently commits a more heinous sex crime weeks later, he was clearly not ready to be released from prison. He is a sexual predator and he should have been a prime candidate for Civil Commitment.

But, as Kevin Bacon said in A Few Good Men, “These are the facts of the case, and they are undisputed.”

But that’s not the only thing that bugs me.

Having done my due diligence of research over the years, I have come to the same number as an average for two different facts. And that number: 95

  • FACT #1: 95% of convicted sex offenders never commit another sex crime.
  • FACT #2: 95% of sex crimes are committed by someone who is not a registered sex offender.

I addressed this issue in a Halloween article I wrote a few years ago for an independent website (which coincided with one of the entries in my Ongoing Commentary), where I point out that sex offenders are actually some of the most compliant post-release parolees in the system. Here’s an interesting fact: According to the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics, the most common parole violations relate to “Failure to Register,” most often caused by the inherent difficulty of finding steady housing and employment — most places won’t rent rooms to sex offenders and most employees won’t hire sex offenders. And since most post-release and registration requirements stipulate steady housing and employment, sex offenders are often sent back to prison on parole violation or Failure to Register, regardless of how hard they try to attain housing and/or employment. However, these are not sex crimes. 95% of sex offenders never commit another sex crime — ever.

Labeling all sex offenders as dangerous predators would be like labeling anyone who has ever gotten a DUI as a raging alcoholic.

But don’t tell that to the general public; they love to fear sex offenders. Ask yourself this question: Would you rather live next door to a convicted murderer or a convicted sex offender? While contemplating that question, contemplate these facts:

  • According to the National Crime Victim Survey, only 25% of female rape victims were assaulted by a stranger — three out of four victims were acquainted with their attacker.
  • According to the Department of Health and Human Services, less than half of all sexual assault victims are children.
  • According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, “23% of reported cases of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by individuals under the age of 18.”

I’m not saying people should just blindly forgive all sex offenders for their crimes — I shouldn’t be forgiven, and I know this. I admit that my actions in 2010 are deserving of the title I carry; it is part of the punishment I must endure for the choices I made. I am not “pro-sex offender,” nor do I condone any of their (or my) actions; however, I am anti-paranoia, anti-ignorance, and anti-hysteria.

I’m also not saying people shouldn’t be cautious of sex offenders — they should; people should be cautious of everyone. But the facts are clear: 95% of sex crimes are committed by someone who is not a registered sex offender.

If a registered sex offender is fortunate enough to have a social support system which allows him/her to find a stable living situation and viable employment options, that person is more-than-likely the safest person living on the block. Not only does he/she need to keep pace with the normal everyday requirements of living and working productively, but they must also abide by the strict and specific rules set out by the state parole office. Statistically, living next door to a convicted sex offender is one of the safest places a person could live.

Absolutely no sex offender wants to go back to prison!

However, logic and emotion never coincide, and the result is public hysteria. Whenever a sex offender is in the media for committing any crime, the automatic public response is the demand for all sex offenders to be permanently locked up, no matter what their crime, or even promptly executed.

The public carries this errant opinion because, as far as their narrow scope of knowledge is concerned, people like Corbin Breitenbach represent all sex offenders. And this assumption is pure ignorance at its worst. The genuine fact is this: sex offenders who are compliant law-abiding citizens don’t make for good television. The media doesn’t report the successful business owner who happens to be a registered sex offender. The media doesn’t report the gallant family man and good neighbor who happens to be a registered sex offender. The media doesn’t report these people because they’re boring, they follow the law, and they generally go unnoticed. But the reality is, those people represent 95% of all registered sex offenders. However, as has always been the case, media reports target the emotional responses of readers and viewers, not intellectual or educational enlightenment.

I am not Corbin Breitenbach. I am nothing like him. I hope he dies in prison (or sooner) because he was given his second chance at freedom and it only took him a few weeks to completely throw it all away. He is part of the mere 5% of sex offenders who commit another sex crime.

To be honest, it’s not difficult for me (or any sex offender with whom I am acquainted) to remain in the positive 95%. Being a sex offender isn’t a sickness, it’s the result of a very terrible choice. However, being a sexual predator or a pedophile is definitely a sickness, which is exactly why Kansas has the Civil Commitment Program. Therefore, if Corbin Breitenbach was released from prison after finishing his sex offender treatment program and being screened for Civil Commitment, then perhaps some of the blame for the assault on this child is on the arrogant shoulders of the Kansas Department of Corrections; they released a predator into the same city where I am trying to raise a family and live productively. Shame on them.

The average sex offender is just an average citizen, trying to make a living, raise a family, pay the bills, and move on with life.  This is a fact, and it is undisputed.

Corbin Breitenbach is an extreme exception — he is not the rule. If every sex offender was as dangerous as Corbin Breitenbach, the world would literally burn to the ground. And yet, our world lives on.

But as far as I can tell, 95% of facts about sex offenders don’t matter to the general public.

Paranoia reigns supreme.

What Would Jesus Not Do?

I am a Christian. But I have very little tolerance for “Christians.” Granted, I’ve met some true and great Christians, but for the most part, people who call themselves “Christians” are more despicable, more cowardly, and more hypocritical than any Muslim or Atheist I’ve ever met.

As I learned in my high school youth group back in the 90s, the theme of the Bible is “The Redemption of Mankind.” Makes perfect sense, considering the foundation of Christian salvation is repentance for sins and God’s forgiveness. However, the Bible specifically states that, in order to get forgiveness from God, people must first forgive others:

Matthew 6:14-15

14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (NLT)

Or how about this version:

14-15 “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.” (MSG)

Pretty straightforward verbiage from the mouth of Jesus Christ himself. There isn’t much room for interpretation or skewing of the meaning. Forgive others. Period.

So why are “Christians” so mean-spirited and cruel?

Here’s a good example. A guy with whom I spent time in prison is now living in Georgia. Daniel is a good guy who made bad choices and is doing his best to live a better life, just like me. I’ve known him for several years now, and he has more integrity than 99% of the “Christians” with whom I regularly interact. And yet, “Christians” are the ones who hate him. With his permission, I am posting a letter written to him by an anonymous (and cowardly) neighbor:

HaterLetterPart1HaterLetterPart2

Amazing. Is this the way “Christians” accept one another? Is this what Jesus was talking about? Because apparently, this woman was refusing to forgive Daniel for something he did years ago, which had nothing to do with her. I mean, put aside the hatred and ignorance of this letter, and focus simply on the P.S. — “hope you find Jesus & get help.” Seriously? I know Daniel personally, and although he has made some bad choices in his past, I have met few stronger Christians than him.

Daniel has written a book about his experience in prison, and he included this letter at the end, which I feel was a very brave and bold act on his part because it illustrates the hate, paranoia, and fear which sex offenders face on a regular basis.

DID YOU KNOW:

  • According to the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics, 95% of sex crimes are committed by someone who is not a registered sex offender.
  • According to the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics, 95% of registered sex offenders never commit another sex crime again, ever.
  • On the television show “To Catch a Predator,” authorities involved in the filming arrested a total of 229 people who sought to meet an underage person online. Of those 229, only four were registered sex offenders.
  • The recidivism rate of sex crimes ranges from 3.5% to 4.3%. Registered sex offenders have the lowest recidivism rates when compared to assault, DUI, robbery, theft, drug offenses, battery, and domestic violence. Those crimes have recidivism rates ranging anywhere between 40% and 70%. The only crime with a lower recidivism rate is murder.
  • Less than half of sex crimes in the United States are against someone under the age of twelve.

Be careful, “Christians.” Don’t let these pesky facts get in the way of your Jesus-driven fear and judgment. Because in all honesty, it seems that living next to a convicted sex offender is a relatively safe place to live. Sex offenders don’t want to go back to prison, unlike many of the people Daniel and I encountered, who were in-and-out of prison with alarming frequency. With very very few exceptions, sex offenders do not re-offend.

Honestly, “Christians” like Daniel’s neighbor are the reason there are so many Atheists. I have not had the kind of experience with my neighbors that Daniel and his family had to endure. Honestly, I don’t even know if my neighbors are aware of my status because every neighbor with whom I have interacted has been very kind and friendly. However, my hope would be, if any of my neighbors were bothered by my status or my past, that they would have the integrity to knock on my door and ask me about it.

In fact, TO MY NEIGHBORS: Please feel free to ask me anything about my past, about my present, and about my future. I guarantee that a five-minute conversation with me will prove that I am absolutely no risk to anyone. Granted, I doubt any of my neighbors have ever visited my website, but on the off-chance that they have (or will), let it be known that I welcome an open and honest dialogue about me, my family, my crime, and anything else they may want to know.

I suppose it’s just upsetting to me that Daniel’s neighbor decided to bring Jesus into her hate mail. Daniel has found Jesus, and is a very devout Christian, regardless of his past.

Here, let me remind “Christians” about the sins of just a few of their most beloved Biblical characters:

  • DAVID: Murderer, Adulterer, Liar, Deceiver.
  • PAUL (Formerly “Saul”): Murderer, Persecutor, Liar
  • PETER: Liar, Denier of Jesus, Violent Assault
  • RAHAB: Adulterer, Prostitute
  • MARY MAGDALENE: Adulterer, Prostitute
  • NOAH: Drunk
  • ABRAHAM: Adulterer
  • SAMSON: Committed Suicide
  • SOLOMON: Adulterer (1,000+ times)

And, none of that even addresses the issue of men in the Bible with multiple wives, or who married girls as young as 12. And yet, an entire faith structure is based partly on these men and women, but “Christians” seem to ignore their sins or consider them anecdotal. So why is that Daniel and I are held to a higher standard than the people in the Bible? Why do “Christians” insist on casting their own judgments upon us based on a bygone past? Anyone who actually knows me knows I’m no threat to anyone, just like Daniel is no threat to anyone either. But since our pictures are on a website, all of a sudden, we are incurable, sick, evil, predatory people? Yeah, right. Here’s a statistical fact: While you were watching the five registered sex offenders in your neighborhood with fear and diligence, 95 people who are not on the sex offender registry committed a sexually motivated crime behind your back.

My past is gone. Daniel’s past is gone. There are numerous sex offenders who live in our nice suburban neighborhood, and none of them have caused any problems. During his ministry, Jesus specifically sought out people who society hated. Read the New Testament. And yet, if Jesus lived in contemporary America, he would be cursed as a liberal apologist for not hating people whom society has deemed to be undesirable.

Remember the “What Would Jesus Do?” trend from the 90s? Remember the bracelets and t-shirts? Well, allow me to answer a slightly different question:

What would Jesus not do?
He certainly would not be a “Christian.”

 


 

Please check out Daniel’s book, Doing the Minimum: A Prison Memoir

dointheminimum

amazon-logo_grey