Sex Crime or Moral Crime in Mississippi
Sex Crime or Moral Crime in Mississippi
Why this petition matters
I raise up my voice- not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard. ( Malala Yousafzai). This topic is very touchy in this petition but the reality is that it is an issue that has caused me over a decade away from my family, friends and life as I knew it. I am speaking out not only for me but for other people in my situation. I first want to say I have children and that the safety of all children is very important. I urge anyone parent, coach, pastor, and teachers to pay attention if your child or any other child claims to have been sexually abused.
But the question, has become in my situation does a person deserve to be incarcerated for over ten (10) years for saying something in a joking matter that probably should not have been said but was. My case dates back to the days of " Myspace" where I made a comment online to a 14 year old who was previously one of my football team members. Take in mind that this is not some random child ( Justin Doe) , used to spend countless hours with me and my family along with other teammates at my house with my family as they liked being there because it gave them the opportunity to experience things that their family could not provide. In the State of Mississippi, I resided in Desoto County, the county is predominantly white, which created one of the issues being a black male and the players were white in a predominantly white county which asserted the race card automatically into the equation. During the Christmas holidays in 2008 Justin asked what can he do to make money for the holidays after him calling me over 50 times and sending messages on Myspace, I told him jokingly to "go make a porn and sell it on the internet." Then about a month later i was arrested and charged with child exploitation, it was found out later his mother saw the message that was left his computer when he left it on. After being arrested a search warrant was obtained and my house searched ( the search yield no pornography or pictures of him or any other child). The search included 5 laptops, 2 desktops and 2 cellphones. The statute for child exploitation in Mississippi falls under Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-5-33 (7), which states the following : " Did willfully, unlawfully and feloniously cause, solicit, advise and order a child to produce a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct." This crime could have never occurred according to the statute as no visual depiction of sexually explicit was found as seen by the results of the search. Several months later I was preparing for court and was prepared to go to trial and after speaking with my lawyer , I fell for his stories of how I would not get a fair trial in Desoto County simply because of the stigma of sex crimes then he added in the race issue and that I could be facing a maximum of 40 years behind bars and at the time I was 39. So, I took a plea under Alford vs North Carolina , which is a guilty plea in which a defendant maintains his innocence but admits that the prosecutions evidence would likely result in a guilty verdict if brought to trial. As a result, I was sentenced to 5 years followed by 10 years of post supervision release. I serve 5 years day for day and was released in 2015. Once released i found a good job and was doing everything I was supposed to. Then my God son ran into issues with drugs after his dad passed away and I started spending time with him and his twin brother. This included playing basketball and talking and just doing what I could to help him kick his habit. Then one night he called me and asked if I wanted to buy a tablet cause he needed money, so I brought it from him. It was later discovered that a photographic video was left on the tablet by my 8 year old daughter and her 9 year old friend, who were spending the night with my mother. I received a phone call from the 9 year old friend stating that there was as she said " something nasty of the tablet." So me and her mother went to my mothers house to get the tablet and delete said video. I later questioned all the teens involved in the situation until it was revealed as to who left the video on the tablet. I messaged the 17 years old concerning the video and in an attempt to refresh his memory without saying anything directly on messenger I sent a message that said " Let me see ----" , he say no and I said think about it I already seen that in the video you left on tablet. The police later became involved and I was arrested and charged again with child exploitation for the previously mentioned statement with the blanks. A detective Brannon Rushing went and got a warrant and lied to the courts by stating I asked a minor to send a picture of his penis. The messenger transcripts clearly has blanks in it even though the detective was allowed to speculates what those blanks meant to get said warrant. But common sense should state why would I ask the alleged victim for nude pictures when a video was present on the tablet sold to me. Detective Rushing was the affiant in the case not the alleged victim. I was on probation and my probation was violated as probation can be violated for picking up a new charge. You do not have to be indicted or convicted as seen in Mississippi Code Annotated section 47-7-37.1. ( see attached exhibit). I was given the 10 years of post release supervision time back by the state, via probation violation. The State choose this method as it is simpler to put someone back in custody as the rules of court are not applied in probation hearings. This allows them to use hearsay, search and seizure violations and perjury which all occurred in my case.
But the bigger picture to me is to get a spotlight put on the injustice in the judicial system and to focus on the stigma associated with sex crimes and to look at the backward laws in multiple States concerning said sex crimes. In the Bible Belt States, the age of consent did not increase until 2012 going to 16 as the federal government deems the age of consent. In Mississippi ,a person can get twice as much time for having a nude picture of a child as a person who has sex with a child or touches or fondles a child. Then to top that off a person accused of sexual activity with a child under the age of 10 does not have to have any medical proof shown against him of said sexual activity in order for a conviction to be obtained. I am not excusing my words by any means but I ask you how it that a person whose says something morally wrong serving more time in prison than one who has molested, fondled or raped a child. I ask everyone to review the laws in their individual states and see that everything the government says is not as it is perceived to be. Let protect the kids from the real predators out their by forcing your local officials to change the laws and put the people who deserve real prison time behind bars. Just image being in my shoes I have spent over a decade behind bars from saying something jokingly with kids I know, while multiple convicts sit behind bars and serve half the time for actually raping, molesting and fondling children. So as I close I admit moral I made a bad choice with the words I used but where is the crime in my situation. There was no pornography and none was ever attempted to be made by the alleged victims so how was this statue violated. No matter how my case turns out I will continue to be an advocate and voice for those who do not have one or have the courage to stand for change. The impact of this situation regarding my two children and parents can not be but into words still, but as long as I wake up knowing the truth and knowing I did not commit this crime i will continue to fight and find justice either for somebody else if I can not find it for myself.