I met my husband when we were 18. We dated for awhile but we each were very different. After we stopped dating, we continued to stay close and although we dated others over the years, we always knew that we belonged together. When we were 24, we were not together but he was working out of town and I didn’t hear from him that night to make sure he was okay.
I found out not long after that he had been arrested for “aggravated sexual assault of a child”. I was devastated and did not know what to do. After finding out the story, I did everything I could to help him in his legal battle (at the time I was pursuing my BA in Criminology). He had engaged in consensual activities with a teen girl who said she was 18. Apparently, when she went home (they were all out of town on vacation for Memorial Day at the beach ), she had stayed out past curfew, forgot her video camera and then spilled all that had happened. This girl and her friends had marijuana, beer, were flashing themselves for all cameras, and were not the least bit shy. My husband later plead to a lesser charge of “sexual assault of a child” if you can call that a lesser charge. We began to get close again after this. He had no friends because he could no longer go out anymore. Anyone with children, he could not be around. I myself had a 7 year old daughter. After completing about a year and a half of his probation, we decided to move in together and get married. Before any of this, I had to complete a costly and stressful chaperone training course as he was not allowed to be around anyone under the age of 17, not even family. During this time my mother was supportive, until the news came that I was moving to another city to be with him. I meaning my daughter and myself. My mother went into active mode. To explain a small but important factor, I had signed a paper in front of my mom’s friend who was a notary so that my daughter could be covered under her insurance. I was 22, a single mom, going to work and school full time. I later found out that the paper I had signed granted my mother guardianship of my daughter.
Upon completion of the chaperone course, therapists gave us the okay and I could go get my daughter who was with my mother for that weekend. We went and picked her up with the rest of our belongings and on to our new home we went. Three days later we were told we had to stay somewhere else because his probation was in another county and it had to go through that particular county judge first. No one told us that, so my daughter and I went to my dad’s home hoping for a speedy resolve to this unforseen problem. Three and a half weeks later, on the first day of second grade for my daughter, a sheriff was there to pick her up and give her to my mother. I had no idea how, but found out later she had guardianship with the papers I had signed five years prior. My mother had made false allegations about me, my husband, and ultimately we thought our lives were over before we had even begun.
I have been battling my mother for my child in court for over three years only because she was given guardianship and I didn’t know, and she used my husbands “Bar Code” to get custody of MY daughter. The judge acknowledged he made a mistake and said he knew my husband was not a threat but would not let my daughter leave my mother’s county of residence. He said that when my husband completes his probation, there will be nothing anyone can do about it. My husband is not a threat to children, or anyone else for that matter. He has known my daughter for her entire life. My mother doesn’t even have anything personal against him, only that he was going to move us from one city to another, where she couldn’t control us anymore. I pray that this dilemma will soon end and my mother will see she was wrong….It really is hard losing a mother that way and I wonder if she even realizes what she’s doing to all of us? It is the twisted laws that allow the justice system to separate and destroy families. The laws need to be reformed so that not only our loved ones who made a mistake with a teen, knowingly or not, can be taken out of the firing squad, but also because of their families who are suffering as well.