A forty-four year old Southwest Miami-Dade man is on the verge of homelessness as he is trapped between a foreclosed home and residential restrictions that won’t let him move. He seems, by all accounts, to be a reformed man and doing his part to be a productive member of society. That could all change, however, if he doesn’t find a place to live.
The Miami Herald reported on this story stating that the man was accused of molesting his then-girlfriend’s 15 year old daughter. He wasn’t convicted and instead received what’s called a withhold of adjudication, meaning he doesn’t have a felony conviction on his record. Having fulfilled his probationary requirements years ago, he still checks in with the police 4 times annually, and does so faithfully.
He has adhered to the conditions of being a “sex offender” and actually ended up marrying the girlfriend whose daughter he pled guilty to molesting. Having been gainfully employed for years, his wife and him are now under serious pressure as their house has been foreclosed and they await eviction with nowhere to go.
The man and his wife had already made arrangements to buy the house down the street, but residency restrictions put in place between the time they purchased their first home and this one bar him from living within 2,500 feet of a school, park, or playground. This means he can’t move into the new home at all.
This isn’t the first case of a sex offender being stuck in limbo with no home available. The story of the Julia Tuttle Causeway encampment made national news and was a sign of just how restrictive the public’s fear of sex offenders had become. Restrictive sex offender laws can backfire, and make the situations worse for everyone involved.
Sex offenders face the largest stigma of any other criminal violators—perhaps even more than murderers. And while there is some evidence that the “worst of the worst”, child predators, cannot be reformed, there are cases like this man, who seem to have done everything by the book but yet can’t catch a break.
The vast majority of people back the residential requirements for sex offenders. They believe that by pushing “these people” as far away from society as possible, they will somehow keep themselves safe. This method of prevention backfires, however, when the restrictions leave sex offenders with no place to live.
While the repercussions of a sex crime conviction are some of the worst, any criminal conviction can forever change how potential employers and society in general view you. When you are facing criminal charges, you need to avoid a record at all costs. If you are accused of a crime, please contact our Florida criminal defense law offices to discuss your options, and what we can do to help.