What Would You Do?

Lacye - posted on 08/30/2011 ( 45 moms have responded )

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My husband and I went out to eat breakfast Sunday morning with our 2 year old daughter. We had a very nice time, even Lily behaved! Well while we were there, Lily dropped her cup and one of the workers picked it up and handed it back to her. He smiled at her. Now I used to work at this same restaurant many years ago and I worked with this same guy, so I didn't think anything of it. Well the next day, I came home after I was done with my classes and my husband looks at me and he said, "What would you say if Lily dropped something at a restaurant and the person that picked it up was a sex offender and he smiled at her?" I looked at him kinda crazy but I told him the truth, I would have freaked the hell out. He said, "Well that's what happened yesterday." I looked at him kinda funny and asked him what he was talking about. My husband was looking up the people in our area who was a sex offender. Sure enough, there was the picture of the guy, who I have known for years, on the registered sex offender list. I don't know what he was convicted of, I really don't care what he was convicted of, but it literally scared the living shit out of me that a sex offender was that close to my child.

So I guess what I'm asking is, how would you react if you found out that somebody that you knew was a sex offender and knew you had kids and just never told you. Would you be as pissed as I am right now or would you be understanding the reason why they didn't tell you was because of the reaction they knew was coming?

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JuLeah - posted on 08/30/2011

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Lack of knowledge is a dangerous thing. We place our kids at risk every day because we don't understand sex offenders.



Some even think they jump out of the bushes and grab kids





Some even think it their motivation is somehow in someway related to sex. Of course, rape/sexual offences have nothing to do with sex – not a thing and a lack of understanding about that puts people in danger



Kids are sexually assaulted more often then not by a family member - someone they know well and have developed a relationship with



If this man were convicted of an offence towards a child, I doubt he would be able to work in any place he might come into contact with a child ... look into that



A person who assaults an adult is not the same animal as one who assaults a child



People who assault children prefer ... some just go for boys, some for girls, some for both genders ... some only like kids under three, some pre-teen, and some just like youth ....again, nothing to do with sex --- it is about power and control



A man who does time for getting drunk in bar and having sex with a women who later proves to be 16 with good make up is a different animal then a man who goes after kids - this guy is not a danger to your child



A guy charged with date rape is a different beast then a guy who goes after kids ... also not a danger to your child





Guys that do go after kids ... always a danger - no known case of a guy every being 'cured' - ever - if given the chance they will rape/assault/abuse again



So is this guy on the sex offender list because he went after a kid or got drunk and exposed himself in public on a college dare?



If your kids are going to be abused, I can almost promise, it will be by a family member or very close member of the family that is above suspicion .... pillar of the community ... everyone’s go to guy, everyone’s buddy .... leader in your community - will be known as a 'solid man' dependable - one you would never guess could do such a thing - especially because you are too busy looking at the guy who picked up your kid’s cup





I am not accusing anyone in your family - I am just suggesting that to keep your kid safe, it is important to actually understand the dangers



I know people who make choices like: Never hire a baby sitter because she might bring over her boyfriend who will molest my child. I will instead leave my child with her uncle Tommy.



Now, Uncle Tommy might be a wonderful man. But, IF your kid is going to be abused, it will be Uncle Tommy and not the babysitter’s boyfriend 9 times out of 10.

Jane - posted on 08/30/2011

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Well, there are sex offenders and there are sex offenders. He may have no sexual interest in your daughter at all. He might like little boys or had sex with a girl he thought was 18. You don't know. Certainly you wouldn't hire him to babysit but you also shouldn't treat him like a plague carrier.

As to why he didn't tell you, look at your reaction now! He probably was aware that others would react the same way and he needed the job.

Time to move on. If it bothers you then stop eating at that restaurant.

Kate CP - posted on 09/01/2011

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The other problem with sex offender registries: that's only the ones that have managed to get caught. And most of those who HAVE been caught...it wasn't their first time. Most sexual predators have a scale of escalation and by the time they finally get caught they could have HUNDREDS of victims (in one form or another) behind them.

Fearing those on the registry doesn't do much. You should be more leery of your second cousin than of some guy on the registry abducting and molesting your kid. A child is more likely to be victimized by a family member than a stranger.

Jane - posted on 08/30/2011

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"In my opinion, if you are a registered sex offender, if your friends have kids, you need to tell them about this so they can take precautions."

Things to consider:

Is he actually a friend or just a former coworker? If you haven't seen him in years why would he have any reason to tell you anything? Plus you recognized him, but are you certain he recognized you? And you say your daughter is 2, but you worked with this guy "years ago." Did you even have children when you worked in the same restaurant he did?

If someone is weak enough to break a societal taboo such as committing a sexual offense do you really think this person is strong enough to admit this? Especially when folks will react with horror?

Did he do anything inappropriate, or did he just do what a conscientious server would do, pick up a kid's cup and return it with a smile?

I think you are over-reacting in a big way. It isn't as if this person has direct, unchaperoned contact with your child, and you don't even know why he is on the registry. You haven't seen him in years and he didn't do anything when you did see him. Your reaction should be simple: in the absence of any offense directed at you and yours, simply avoid him in future.

Cecilia - posted on 03/21/2013

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The website your husband found him on should list some of what his offenses are. This will help you figure some things out. If the site doesn't give enough info feel free to go seek out the police records ( these will be public access so no issue on getting them) Look up his name online too, there might be some info on the case there.

If nothing else just keep your daughter away from him. Even if it isn't he isn't a pedophile, he isn't a good person to be around children.

If it was me, and I knew the person. I would ask them what their charged with. It could be something that you wouldn't see as a huge deal (like someone said peeing in the woods type of case) I heard a story of a 16 year old girl who has to register because her boyfriend broke up with her and she texted the pictures of him half naked to her friends.(that he sent to her) She there for distributed nude pictures of a minor. He also got the charge since he sent them to her...

I'm sure your daughter has been close to them before also. The problem is you just never knew. I ride the bus quiet often around here and my bus past my house has quite a few on there. Nasty offences too.. Either way one was smiling at my 2 year old and I asked him politely as I could to leave her alone because I know who he is. He turned right around. Someone else on the bus asked me what I meant and I told them, "he is a sex offender of a 7 year old girl". Not a word from him when I told them. I was not whispering by any means. Since then, he will not even look my way.

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Christina - posted on 03/22/2013

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I think our only choice is to just simply protect our own children. It's your personal choice whether or not to ever take her back there if he makes you uncomfortable. I don't think that it was his obligation to tell you that he is a registered sex offender just because you worked with him. Just because he is a registered sex offender doesn't mean he did something to children.

Susan - posted on 03/17/2013

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A huge proportion of "Registered sex offenders" are either men who, at the age of 18, was fooling around with his 16 year old girlfriend, and her parents found out; or they are men who got drunk and relieved himself in public, and some kids or women happened to be around.

My adult son has a RSO as a friend, and all he did was get caught making out with his pre-18 girlfriend when he was 18. That's it. I checked his record. I have no trouble with him being around my kids.

I would try to find out what he did before I freaked out.

[deleted account]

I'm not going to post my opinion as it's based on my professional experience as an ex-police officer as well as personal experience with the situation; and I'm certain most wouldnt agree with me. But I will say that I would feel very different if the situation involved my CHILD, rather than me personally.

[deleted account]

I agree with the four women above me, sex offender does not = child molester or pedophile. A man or teen boy that rapes a grown woman is a sex offender, a man/woman mooning someone in public is a sex offender, someone urinating in the woods is a sex offender ( if someone see's and reports it).

I completley agree with Sherri about more councling being in order for you, Ive never been a victim of anything like this but I imagine at some point you do begin to heal, when you let it happen.

Jane - posted on 09/04/2011

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Why do so many people assume that sex offender is a synonym for child molester?



Sex offenders have simply violated a law contained in a sexual category. Some of the titles of crimes which usually result in a mandatory sex-offender classification are: a second prostitution conviction, sending or receiving obscene content in the form of SMS text message (sexting), or relationships between young adults and teenagers that have resulted in corruption of a minor, so long as the age between them is greater than one thousand and sixty days. Other serious offenses are sexual assault, statutory rape, child sexual abuse, rape, sexual imposition, and pandering obscenity. One of our high school coaches was placed on the list for drilling a hole through his apartment wall so he could watch the woman next door take a bath (he was also fired after his conviction and can't get a job in a school without a lot of subterfuge).



In addition, a 2002 study by the United States Department of Justice indicated that recidivism rates among sex offenders was 5.3%; that is, about 1 in 19 of released sex offenders were later arrested for another sex crime. In fact, recidivism rates for sex offenders have been shown to be lower than any other crime except murder. In other words, most of 'em will never do it again, whatever it was they did.



What this mean is that just because someone is on the registry it doesn't mean they are sexually attracted to your child, and just because someone is on the registry it doesn't mean they are actively trolling for new victims. Sure, be careful of strangers but show some common sense. Even if this guy is a convicted child molester and even if he is looking to continue his criminal career, you are all in a public place. What is he likely to do? Not a darn thing.



As I said before, if it bothers you this much just stop going to that restaurant!!!

Kate CP - posted on 09/04/2011

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How do you know what's going on in another person's head? You can't. You can never assume you know what another person is thinking or feeling.

Sherri - posted on 09/04/2011

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It seems you need some more counseling User. I was also a victim of child abuse and you most certainly can heal and I am proof of that.

Also no one is naive if they are registered they can not work around children. Also depending on what he was registered for does in no way mean that he wanted to even touch any child sexually.

Diane - posted on 09/04/2011

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U r very naive to assume that sex offenders aren't allowed to work where children are. Maybe he didn't touch her but you can bet he wanted to!

Diane - posted on 09/04/2011

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I work for a medical HMO in the phlebotomy lab. There is a man that works there that has been caught numerous times dropping empty urine cups or a needle or a vacutainer so he can bend over and lookup girls dresses!! WE have reported him time and time again and the company does NOTHING!!! He is also a churchman and I cringe and get sick to my stomach thinking that piece of dirt is in the same church as human beings little lone children, innocent innocent children with look the other way parents!! How would I react to this situation?? It would
depend on how well you know this guy. If he is more than a casual acquaitance then I 'd ask him straight out what he was busted for. If not then I would look in the legal records because they are open to ANY one! If this is a under age date thing I'd probably just not go into that restaurant again. If it is more than that I would alert his employers and any friends I had about taking their children into that place. I am not as forgiving as most and am all about the death penalty for sex offenders. The children they traumatize NEVER heal. I know I am one.

Sarah - posted on 09/03/2011

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I realize that about the sex offender registries. And it's also true that someone who might be close to your child (a cousin, uncle, etc...) are more likely to sexually abuse your child than Billy Bob down the street.

I mainly look through those sex offender registries, because I'm bored or something. It's just interesting to look at...in my opinion. I found a sex offender on that list who lives maybe a football field distance (if that) away from us. I'm not worried & I'm not going to hide away in my house because of it. It's not like I'm going to go knocking on his door to ask him to babysit or anything.

[deleted account]

as a parent i would probably freak out, but like you said, you don't know what he's on there for. he could have been 18 and in a consenting relationship with a 15 year old and her parents had a problem with it and had him charged. he could have attacked an adult, he could have been wrongly convicted (a significant percentage of convictions are wrong) so you really don't know what happened or if it concerned a child. if you feel comfortable, you could ask him about it. but as for him not telling you, he probably just \wanted a fresh start. he didn't feel that it was anyone's business except your employers and if he doesn't want to tell anyone else then he shouldn't have to. it's already on the internet for anyone who wants to look

[deleted account]

This is a very good reason why parents should never leave their kids alone when out in public or let them run around unattended.

[deleted account]

Here is the problem with sex offender registries: it doesn't tell you what the offense was and not all sex offenders are created equal. Someone could be on the registry for grabbing a women's butt in college at a frat party; another could be on there for molesting a child. There is no way to tell, short of pulling the person's court record. So without knowing more, you are overreacting in getting pissed. Further, why would he have an obligation to tell you about his criminal history just because you have kids? So you can discriminate against him? Ostracize him? Particularly since his offense, in all likelihood, has nothing to do with children? I agree with JuLeah that sex offenders tend to be very, very specific in their preferences (just like everyone else). They generally have a type and stick to it -- meaning a white man who is raping white women isn't likely to be remotely interested in little girls or little boys. I also agree with her general assessment of sex offenders -- they are the ones no one suspects -- the pillar of the community. Smiling at a child is normal -- it doesn't make someone a pervent. Really, the person you should be most worked about is uncle so-and-so who LOVES kids but doesn't have any of his own, etc.

Tasha - posted on 08/31/2011

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You never know who you are exposed to in a day, what if it was a violent offender that didnt have to register? Sex offender or not, i think the idea is that you where with your child, so who cares? Its who you leave your child with that is of real concern. While i think being sex offender is a nasty thing, people do deserve second chances, maybe he did it as a youth, has served his time, done couseling and has not reoffended and has no plans to, so should he go around telling everyone when he first meets them that he has a sex offense on his record? Bad people dont tell you theyre bad, i can understand not wanting your child alone around him, but what do you think will happen with you right there? I can see feeling a bit resentful about not knowing, but give the guy a break, if that was your past and you had changed, what would you do?

[deleted account]

I have to agree with JuLeah. Teaching a child to fear person A could send them running to person B (the one who has yet to be caught).

Children should be taught stranger danger as a general lesson. Don't talk to strangers. Don't go into a strangers house. Don't get into a strangers car. Don't go off alone. Giving them one image to fear may lead them to a false sense of security.
Most sexual offenders aren't making the list for assaulting random children. They take advantage of those in a position of their trust. Teach kids body integrity and to speak up if they are feeling violated.

Jenni - posted on 08/31/2011

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Oh boy, you Americans are lucky that you have the luxury (not sure if that's the right word in this context) to even look up if someone is a sex offender or sex offenders living your area.

In Canada the sex offenders list is not open to the public. So I would probably remain ignorant to whether or not someone I knew was an offender.

But hypothetically speaking, it's a tough call because as other's have pointed out... they haven't necessarily commited crimes against children. I also don't think if they had it'd be something *any* of them would go around broadcasting... and probably mostly for self-preservation.

Of course I'd be royally pissed if I found out a sex offender that has crimes against children was hanging out around them all non-chalant. I'd never talk to that person again. But I also wouldn't expect that they would (for many reasons) go around disclosing that information with anyone. I'm pretty certain that if they did, they'd have no chance of a human relationship with anyone. You can't really expect them to voluntarily wear a sign.

JuLeah - posted on 08/31/2011

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Marina, that is what endangers our kids. Teach them to listen to their gut if you want them to be safe.

A child's ability to look at a picture and then recognize that person on the street is next to nothing. They will pick up on a feature, then just be frightened of all people with black hair or something, but while doing that, not be listening to their gut and deepest feelings which WILL keep them safe.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/31/2011

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It is, but I would much rather have a face, and tell my kids to stay the fuck away from that guy, they are very bad to kids. Never ever talk to them, or go anywhere with them.

[deleted account]

@Sherri
p.s. And sex offender doesn't mean a child molester or anything to do with a child.

Thats what my husband and I were just talking about this morning, its kind of ridiculous some of the things they will slap a "sex offender" charge on. And I had also pointed out the same fact, that if he had done somethign to a child(ren) he wouldnt be working anywhere where children are.

@Marina, when I looked at that site with our street, there are two violent crimes against children and two sexual assult offenders on the two streets up from where we live. Our street and the two up from us are full of kids, its scarey when you can put a face to them.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/31/2011

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I finally got it to work for me. Very scary. Within a block or more of me there are 3 rape cases, 2 of them were of young children. Awesome. At least it provides a picture.

Jennifer - posted on 08/31/2011

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BTW, Sarah, I checked that site. I liked it very much, it didn't list every sex offender, just the 'violent' ones. I know of several that had public indeceny charges(mooning, peeing in public) that were not on it. Thank you! I will be sending people there!

Jennifer - posted on 08/31/2011

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I would not be too upset, it's not like he touched her, and you do not even know why he's on the list. Do you know that 'mooning' someone, even of the same sex, can get you on that list? My husband was on there for mooning his wife. Yes, his WIFE. Many young men are listed for having sex with girls just a couple years younger than themselves. One man here was 22, in a bar(legal entery age was 21) and assumed he was ok, the girl was 15. Think it can't happen like that? I was assumed to be 20 by a family friend, I was 14! My neice is now 5'11" and 14. A friend of mine(29) hit on her, and hell yeah, she lied to him. When I told him how old she is he about fainted. She list her age on fb as 22, and has male 'friends' who don't know. I also went to hs with a couple who are married now, she is 3 years younger than he is, and her parents pressed charges. My brothers and my cousin have all had times when they could have been charged with statatory rape. The sex offenders list is misleading, and plays on our fears. All they show is pictures, not very often are there details! Most of those sites also make a killing selling ads. Almost every state allows people to look up public court records on-line, if you are concerned, that is what you should do, then you have the full story!

Sherri - posted on 08/31/2011

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I do know someone that is a sex offender, he didn't ever tell me he was one. No I was not pissed since it turned out he was 18 and in high school he was dating a 16yr old girl from the same high school. Her parents didn't like him and pressed charges for statutory rape and now he has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.



p.s. And sex offender doesn't mean a child molester or anything to do with a child. So why does it matter if you have a child or not. That should have no bearing, because if he was a pedophile he wouldn't be allowed to work in the restaurant.

[deleted account]

wow. I just checked out that website that you linked Sarah and its disturbing to see that we have a few violent offenders in our area *cringe*

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/31/2011

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Sarah, I tried it for my town, but it says it has no information. I have looked at other sites, and it was disturbing how many people on my street are sex offenders.

Sarah - posted on 08/31/2011

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FYI...if you are living in the US, you can use this website: http://www.familywatchdog.us/ to search registered sex offenders in your area. It shows their picture, their address, what they were convicted of, the age of the victim, etc... It's pretty interesting. I'm not sure what website your husband used, but this one has a lot of info. Check it out if you haven't already.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/31/2011

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You can be creeped out all you want. But who knows why he is registered.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/31/2011

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IMO there really is no need to be so upset. He is registered like he is suppose to be. That is as good as telling you. The man does not need to where a scarlet letter to inform you of his past. You don't know what he was charged for. That is the main point. It could be something completely scary (which I would think he would still be in jail for.....since he is registered as a sex offender, charges were brought up, and if they were really serious, I don't think he would be working in a restaurant) or it could be an ex girlfriend is pissed and screamed rape.....whatever the case it, if you are uncomfortable eating at the restaurant because he works there, you do not need to eat there.

[deleted account]

What was the guy meant to do? Scowl at your daughter for dropping her cup?
He was doing his job, the job he's been doing for many years from the sound of it. There was nothing predatory in that action.

An ex-coworker is not required to go around telling everyone he ever worked with of a previous conviction. Employer yes. Unless you are close friends why would he go around advertising a conviction to everyone who thought they were entitled to know?

Stifler's - posted on 08/31/2011

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I would be pissed off and avoid them maybe or maybe being who I am confront them and ask what happened. But yeah if I was a sex offender I probably wouldn't tell everyone I knew in passing what I did/that I was on the sex offender list either.

Becky - posted on 08/30/2011

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If he's not a close friend who is in frequent contact with your daughter, then I don't really blame him for not telling you. It's not something I would broadcast to everyone I came into contact with! Like others said, maybe it was an innocent mistake - sleeping with an underage girl whose age he didn't know or having consensual sex with his underage girlfriend and her family flipped out. There is a lot of stigma and judgement attached to being labled a sex offender, and if he made a one-time mistake, I can understand him not telling people about it. I mean really, when was he supposed to do that, while he was handing her her cup back? "Oh by the way, I'm a sex offender!" If the only time you see him is when you eat at that restaurant, then what precautions do you need to take, really? No more than you would with any other stranger or casual acquaintance. You probably wouldn't have asked him to take her to the bathroom anyway, right?! Now, if he was over at your house often, if you'd left your daughter alone with him in the past or had him babysit, then yes, he should have told you. But otherwise, I don't really think it's a huge deal that he never said anything. If it makes you uncomfortable, just avoid him.

Alison - posted on 08/30/2011

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depending on how close of a friend, I'd either ask him about it or just cut ties and move on like Erin said.

Alison - posted on 08/30/2011

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I wouldn't eat at that restaurant if it bothers you that much, but he was under no obligation to tell you unless you had asked him to babysit or something. It's not something he's going to go around advertising. You're shocked and lost your trust in him, and probably creeped out; that's pretty understandable, especially not knowing the details, but he didn't do wrong to you personally.

[deleted account]

"There is a chance that it was just a statutory rape situation (especially if he is young.. maybe he was 18 and had a 15yo girlfriend who's father hit the roof when he found out) but I honestly don't think I'd take the time to find out the details"

This is the exact situation and friend of mines brother is in.
He was 19 and slept with a 14yr old. She cried rape to her father when he found out so that she wouldn't get into trouble. The girls father went to the police he is now on the sex offenders register even though it came during the trial thingy that she had consented to it and he wasn't the only guy she had slept with that night. He is not after your children he just did the wrong thing with a silly little girl and he is now paying for it for the rest of his life.
I also agree with the above that i probably wouldn't take the time to figure this stuff out i would just keep my distance. Although if it was a stranger then i would probably still go to that place to eat. I would just be cautious.

[deleted account]

The term "sex offender" can mean a number of things. It would really depend on the act honestly. My ex was charged as a "sex offender" because boys being boys, him and a friend yelled out to a girl they knew "lift your shirt up" the girl willingly did but was caught by her mother and her mother was the one who pressed charges. Another instance, this guy I knew had moved out here from gerogia and was commenting on how the young girls look much older than they actually are, my ex and I told him make sure you ckeck i.d.'s, he was 23 at the time and looked at us like we were crazy. Well sure enough he started dating this girl (who lied about her age)and a few months later he was slapped with a child abuse charge and stagatory rape so he was not allowed ANYWHERE near kids or teens. So again like I say it would have to depend on the act.
Now if it were someone actually touching and causing harm then I would be so out of my mind with anger.

I wonder though, you say he works in a restaurant, I would think that being a registered sex offender he would not be around kids, if kids were involved in his offence.

Rebecca - posted on 08/30/2011

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It seems like there are a whole lot of assumptions being made regarding what type of offence has been committed (whether against an adult or a child). Also, has this person ever been left alone with your child - it sounds more like he is an old work acquaintance of yours rather than a "friend" who hangs out with you regularly.
If I was in this position I figure my options would be to ask the guy directly what the charge was - bearing in mind that many predators will lie about things such as the severity and downplay their own responsibility for what happened. Secondly, I could ensure my child is never left alone with this person if I determine that they are a threat.
A couple of points to finish - in many ways known sex offenders are less dangerous than the unknown ones - we can ensure that they don't develop relationships with our children and use contact as an opportunity to discuss age appropriate concepts of safety, boundaries and not keeping certain types of secrets with children. Further, having worked in child sexual abuse, I was interested to learn that the single most important factor in determining whether a sexual offender will re-offend is lack of social contact with other adults - unfortunately, things like sex offender registers tend to ensure that precisely this occurs!

Kate CP - posted on 08/30/2011

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Yea, it completely depends on the offense. Some people are labeled by the law as "sex offenders" for having consensual (but homosexual) sex with another adult. They're tried, convicted, and voila! Instant sex offender who is really absolutely no risk to anyone.

Would I be offended by this? I don't know. I had a friend for a while (more like an acquaintance, really) who was a registered sex offender. The story I got, but it was never verified because he was convicted as a minor so it's not open to the public, was that he sodomized an 8 year old boy when he was 16. He still has to register as a sex offender but the details of his crime aren't available to me. My "friend" never told me what his crime was, exactly. He just told me that for a period of time he was under house arrest and didn't want to talk about it. When I eventually got married and had children I cut all ties with him. I absolutely do not want him around my kids.

Now if one of my current friends were to pop up as a sex offender and it turns out he date raped a girl or didn't properly check her ID...I don't know if I would shun him completely. Depends on what he did.

Lacye - posted on 08/30/2011

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JuLeah, I understand the dangers of what could happen. That's not what I'm asking though. I'm asking, what would you do in this situation. How would you react to finding something like that out.

Jane, I never said anything to the guy. I never had any intentions of saying anything. The fact of the matter is, I've known him for a while and with me having a child, he should have told me. Even if it was a simple I didn't know she was under age. In my opinion, if you are a registered sex offender, if your friends have kids, you need to tell them about this so they can take precautions.

Erin - posted on 08/30/2011

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My only reaction would be to ensure that person had no contact with my child ever again.

There is a chance that it was just a statutory rape situation (especially if he is young.. maybe he was 18 and had a 15yo girlfriend who's father hit the roof when he found out) but I honestly don't think I'd take the time to find out the details. I'd just cut all ties and move on.

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