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Ethical Treatment for All Youth

Email: etay@ethicaltreatment.org

About the author

As told by his mother

My son Asa has dyslexia and ADHD, and was always in a resource class. As a first time parent, I did not know how wrong I was to put him in resource. Can you imagine how it is in this day and age to go to high school as a resource kid?  He is a good looking boy and a good athlete, but I never approved of many of his friends he made in resource. He was in and out of small time trouble.

His friend had a girlfriend from another town who came into Vidor and brought her friends. Asa met one of these girls, who during their first meeting, stated she was 16 going on 17.  In December, 2003, they met again, and she stated she had just turned 17. He had no reason to disbelieve her because most people in their crowd were 16 - 20. Her friend kept her secret.  I remember Asa telling me about his girlfriend from Nederland.
Asa had just turned 19 on the 12th of February.  After spring break in March, 2004, my son was asked to go to the police station to make a statement regarding this girl.  We did not seek legal council, and made Asa go. How stupid was that!  My son signed a statement stating he had had consensual sex with a 14 year old.  She had not just turned 17, she had justed turned 14 in November.  Asa's friend found out during an argument with his girlfriend her real age and quickly told Asa.

This girl became the aggressor, very upset over the split up.  But, during a spring break party, Asa knowingly was with her once.  To Asa's bad luck, this young girl was picked up by the police for drinking and as a runaway, with two other 14 year olds, the next day.  Asa had already left to go to Galveston.  In the mist of her troubles with her father and police, Asa's name came up.  Things went downhill from there.

After the police statement, we actually thought things were okay and settled. We had no idea that my son could be charged with sexual assault of a child, and that is exactly what happened in August, 2004.  We were in complete disbelief.  We obtained an attorney, but in January, 2005, Asa was given 8 year deferred adjudication, with lifetime registration as a sex offender.  He had to complete a sex therapy class, etc., etc.

Asa knows that last time was wrong, but he has to pay for it for the rest of his life. Asa has heard that this young girl has gone on to date several older boys. Asa himself went and told one of them her real age. Asa has never recovered from this. His life was not set up and he cannot find work. He cannot live with anyone in his family because of minors.  He has been isolated from his family and cannot pay his fees.

He is now in the county jail
until November because of probation violations (behind on fees, missing a polygraph that costs $180.00 and failing his UA test).  One good job offer he had, the probation officer told him he could not take until he finishes his sex therapy classes, which is in about two years. 

They set these kids up to fail. I have talked to alot of mothers whose sons in this situation are in prison.  Unbelievably, they would rather be there instead of dealing with the hysterical world of sex offenders, where Asa is right now.  What a sad future his life has become.  I have written several letters to anyone I can think of, hoping Asa could go in to the military.  I would rather see my son fight and die for this unjust USA, than taking up space in a local prison.

Cathy Morton
Vidor, Texas

Submitted September 12, 2005