Registered Sex Offender

I’d like some opinions on how to deal with a situation I’m currently dealing with. There is a man at my church who is a registered sex offender. (His crime wasn’t against someone underage, by the way.) At one time, he was a close friend of my family.

Anyways, it makes me uncomfortable to be anywhere near him, or to have my children anywhere near him. But he’s pretty active in our church. Seems he’s one of those that are in the “good ‘ole boys’ club” of our parish. (He was very active and well-respected before his conviction.) It’s not just Sunday Masses. He’s there at the Lenten soup dinners, Stations of the Cross, parent nights where our children are invited to come along with us, etc. I’m sure it’s incredibly unlikely that anything would happen at the church, but just being in the proximity of this man makes me uncomfortable.

Is this just my personal problem? Should I just try not to be so judgmental? Or is it right of me to feel such a sense of being uncomfortable around him?

If it makes you uncomfortable, you can always stay away from those activities. From what you have stated, he is not doing anything at Church that puts him in situations of being alone with vulnerable children. For all you know, he has repented his past sins and been Sacramentally absolved.

I don’t see why it’s wrong to be uncomfortable. However, maybe he’s learned from his sins and is rahabed through God’s Grace? We really can’t know I guess, but unless you see something that raises questions you should at least not make an effort to make a fuss about it.

Everyone has the right to go to Church, even a sex offender.

I would still not let my children or wife be alone with him just to be safe but I’m not going to raise a stink about him being there either.

OTOH, if he’s on parole it may be a violation of his terms of parole to be around children at all which could be a legal issue depending on the sitaution.

Please don’t think I’m being nosy here, but since you mentioned his crime wasn’t towards someone underage, I was curious if you do know why he is an offender. If he happened to have been intoxicated and urinated in public (gross, I know) and was caught and convicted, he will be on the registry. If that was the case, while his behavior is inappropriate, it’s not in the same category with a convicted rapist or child molester. If that was the reason for his conviction (public indecency and you know it was because he was relieving himself outside) and I would simply be extra-cautious around him with your little ones. Or if the reason he’s on the registry was because of being caught in a “compromising position” with a hooker/stripper in a public place. Still a bad thing, but not in the same “danger” league as a rapist or molester.

Now, if he was being a “flasher” and exposing himself or was caught “performing impure acts with himself”…well, that’s another story. While you should pray for him, it would be quite wise and prudent to not only keep your children at a good distance, but yourself, as well when attending activities outside of Mass. Simply be charitable and kind to him, but also remain cautious.

There is nothing right or wring about a feeling. What you do about that feeling may be right or wrong, but having the feeling is morally neutral.

If you feel uncomfortable, avoid being in situations where you and/or your children are in a position where you have to interact with him.

But I have to ask the question - what would you suggest be done with him? Would you keep him away from the Church?

Peace

Tim

Without being too graphic, do you know what the nature of the offense was?

Do you know why he is a registered offender?

I know of a young man that was convicted of what ended up being sex with his girlfriend. :shrug: Yes she was underage. But they are now married and have been for a number of years. Seems like he isn’t really a sex offender, but a man in love.

I think it really depends on what the crime was.

Yes, I could stay away from those activities. But then I wouldn’t be involved with my parish at all. I’d go to Sunday Mass and that’s it. :shrug:

And about repenting, I hear your point. If he’s truly repented, I shouldn’t hold it against him. The thing is, he feels like he’s done nothing wrong. He says he’s the victim in all this. Having known him personally from before, it wasn’t surprising that he ended up being formally charged with a crime. It was really just a matter of time before he pushed a line far enough for the authorities to get involved.

Lots of questions about the specific offense. He’s a doctor, and he was convicted of showing nude photos of himself to his female patients, exposing himself to them, and some other things of that nature.

But it sounds like, for you, the only other option is for him to stay away from those activities and not be involved at all with the parish.

And I was wondering if he was caught relieving his bladder in public or was caught in a “compromising” position with a prostitute or exotic dancer in a public place. If convicted, those guys end up on the registry, too.

Yep, that what I would refer to as a perv!

While it appears he repented, that doesn’t mean you (or anyone else) should let their guard down around him.

Pray for him, be kind to him, but NO NEED to go out of your way to be around him. Keep a close watch on him around your kids, too.

Perhaps that may be true in your state, but it is not the law in the majority of states.

How would I handle it? I would treat him like a human being, just as we’re called to do.

For example, I work in a prison in Texas that’s known for it’s 70% population of sexual offenders. We have them in all types. But, I know that if I were to abuse my privilege of a computer program to look up the conviction, I’d also cross against the oath I took when I entered into the medical field.

We must treat as human beings, as members of our society and Church. If the offense wasn’t committed against a child, I see no reason to be hesitant against such. Very rarely does one go from adults to children.

The person has been judged, done his civil punishment, and obviously has repented and gained acceptance back into the church. It’s now your duty to act in charity and behave as you would around anyone else.

Yep, I agree that there is a heightened risk here. Can’t be too careful when it comes to your kids and stuff like this.

:thumbsup::thumbsup:

As for repentance, I truly believe that he’s still in denial over the whole situation. He’s a person who lives two lives–the public image one, and his personal one that few people see. He still to this day claims that he did nothing wrong in this whole situation. He hasn’t gone so far as to say that he was wrongfully accused, though. Just that it shouldn’t have gone to the authorities in the first place.

I am trying to behave civilly towards him and not judge. It’s proving to be somewhat difficult, as I run into him frequently, and I’m still very uncomfortable around him. I agree that he shouldn’t be kept away from the Church–it’s probably the place where he needs to be the most. I just can’t shake the feeling of being so uncomfortable when he’s around at these events.

Behaving as you would around anyone else doesn’t mean to let your guard down. There was a reason he did what he did. Now, there’s a good probability that he won’t do it again, but he’s not someone I would want to invite into my home or have my children around, if it wasn’t a public setting. A parent’s job is to protect their children and while he may have had a propensity towards adult women with his past perversions, that doesn’t mean he is “cured” and that speaks volumes about what my comfort level would be around him.

Again, treating him charitably and allowing your children to be around him in non-public situation are two very different things.

I would call your feeling of being uncomfortable around him “intuition”…the inner feeling that God gives us to protect ourselves and our children. Don’t ignore it, but don’t let it keep you from attending parish functions. Just keep a watch on your little ones (and yourself).

You dont know whats truly in another persons heart first of all. Not everyone wears thier feelings on thier sleeve. What do you mean by one of the good ole boys of your church??? You sound pretty angry about him, I hope you dont slander him at church. I would use commen sense and obviously not keep my kids around him. But like another person said what should be done???
Okay after saying all that, No matter where I am church function, block party park, library ect. I dont leave my kids unsupervised for a moment. I am more concearned about the perverts I dont know about!!! These things can happen any where in fact I did not read the entire story becuase it made me sick but there was a news story about a two year old being raped at an amusement park by a family friend while parents went on a ride.:eek:. We need constant vigilance.

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