I am a convicted felon. This journal was created solely for the purpose of documenting this experience. I am intelligent, articulate and well-read. I have served no jail time for my offense, and barring any unforeseen circumstances, I do not ever expect to.
I was convicted of being a pedophile. I was convicted at least 18 years after the offense. I was a teenager at the time, and the other person was 7 years younger than I. I have not physically engaged in any sexual conduct with anyone who was underage since then. I've engaged in salacious conversations with 15-17 year old girls who showed up in sex oriented communities or lied about their age to get on dating websites, but in general I've not sought out girls who were underage and I'm not sexually interested in them. I'm definitely not ever sexually interested in prepubescent girls. This has been true since the last time I touched the person I was convicted of touching.
When the victim approached me about it 4 years before I was convicted, I admitted what happened, apologized, and tried to make amends. Eventually that included paying for her therapy. She is my half-sister.
She hauled me into court regardless largely because I responded to queries of "Why?" with a statement that I was young, stupid and didn't really realize the extent and nature of the harm I was causing when I was a teenager. I think she felt I wasn't taking enough responsibility for my actions. I think she also blamed me for our mother's death from heart failure due to complications related to her cancer treatment.
Rather than be convicted of a charge with a mandatory 7 year minimum sentence, I pled guilty to a slightly lesser charge that was still a felony but had no minimum sentence. My other choice was a trial with a jury who would likely be unsympathetic to my assertion that convicting a 35 year old for the crime of a confused 17 year old was ludicrous on the face of it, regardless of what the law said.
I still care deeply about my half-sister. I am very sad that her life has been so negatively affected. I want to help any way I can. But, I can't help but feel a little angry at her over what she has chosen to do. It will have only neutral or negative consequences for everybody. But I'm much more angry that the law allowed her to do it.