Vigilantism against a wrongfully convicted sex offender

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September 1, 1995

Jean has been married to Ted for five years. He is a registered sex offender, having been wrongfully accused of molestation by a vengeful adult-age daughter. His attorney thought the case against Ted looked strong. He recommended that Ted enter into a plea bargain and spend a short period of time in prison in order to get the whole thing behind him. He took the attorney's advice and spent eight months in jail, even though he did not molest his daughter. Jean says how he regrets having taken the attorney's advice. Ted has since had a perfect parole record for five years.

In June 1995 the state of California opened up a 900-number hotline in which callers can get information about registered sex offenders. Someone in the neighborhood found out that Ted was on the list. He and Jean have since been hounded and harassed. The neighbors have placed posters all over the neighborhood containing information about Ted. They have received three death threats. Ted can go nowhere alone. They sent a cease and desist letter to a particular neighbor, but it had no effect. They've considered hiring a mediator to come into the neighborhood and discuss the issue with their neighbors, but have been told the situation is too extreme for mediation to be effective. Jean and Ted would like to move, but are not financially able to do so. 10-09-95


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