Serving Time Doesn’t Get You Freedom as a Sex Offender
It might seem safe to assume that the most difficult part of being convicted of a crime is the time served in a correctional facility. The story of Linda Lusk, however, proves that in many cases, the real consequences begin after being released from incarceration.
Lusk, a mother of five and the former mayor of Prosser, a small town in the state of Washington, was accused of having sexual contact with her daughter’s 14-year-old boyfriend in 2010. She maintained her innocence, but eventually pleaded guilty in an Alford plea, under which a defendant makes no admission of factual guilt, but admitted that sufficient evidence existed that would likely end in a conviction.
Lusk was only required to serve a 90-day jail sentence in 2011, followed by one year on probation. During her probation, she was banned from attending any events that included children — including her own — under the age of 16. After the probation period ended in 2012, those restrictions were lifted, but her previous status as a level-one sex offender has continued to haunt her. Now, school district officials won’t allow her on school grounds because of her past conviction.
After writing to the district requesting permission to attend her son’s baseball games, Lusk was turned down. Most recently, after being denied access to parent-teacher conferences, Lusk fears she will be banned from attending her daughter’s high school graduation.
Unfortunately, stories like Lusk’s are not uncommon. The long-term penalties resulting from a sexual offense conviction, regardless of the level, may last for decades. People currently battling sex crime accusations in New York will stand a greater chance of preserving their personal lives and reputations by working with criminal defense attorneys who understand how sex crime convictions work. If you or someone you know is dealing with this issue, be sure to speak with an experienced lawyer right away.