Man grabs girls arm, now he’s a sex offender.

Chicago Sun-Times article…

While acknowledging it might be “unfair for [Barnaby] to suffer the stigmatization of being labeled a sex offender when his crime was not sexually motivated,” the court said his actions are the type that are “often a precursor” to a child being abducted or molested.

Apparently now, it’s not a matter of committing a crime, nor a matter of planning to commit a crime, but now if you behave loosely like someone else who MIGHT commit a crime, you are now guilty of that crime.
The court system marches on, and more and more civil liberties are lost. What was lost here? The man did nothing wrong, and now he is labelled as a sex offender, and has to broadcast to everyone that he is a sex offender. Do you think the reactionary mobs who like to pillory ‘sex offenders in the neighborhood’ are going to read about the details of this man’s case before throwing bricks through his window? I doubt it.


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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4 thoughts on “Man grabs girls arm, now he’s a sex offender.

  1. I know I should agree with you. In theory, I do agree with you. But somewhere in my gut, something recoils and agrees with the court…
    When I was 12 (a very emotionally naive yet very physically developed 12), we were on the island of St. Thomas for a day. Our taxi driver (who drove like a maniac) took us to Megan’s Bay for the day and insisted on hanging around towards the end of the day to pick up the fare of driving us back again.
    A half hour or so before we were ready to go I was sitting at some picnic tables, exhausted, watching people pack up, and he started being flirtatious at me. I responded the only way I knew how at the time — I shut up entirely and refused to look at him. So he decided to get my attention and make his intentions clearer by grabbing my arm.
    I freaked. It was threatening and horrible and completely alien to any behavior I had been exposed to before in my life. It was a violation of my space and my body, even if it was just my arm, and of my psyche.
    My father almost decked him.
    Did he do anything wrong? Yes. Would he have done worse if not stopped, like tried to kiss me or drag me behind a bush? No clue. Was he a “sex offender”? I am not sure. He knew — had been told — I was only 12. Really, I think any interest on his part was inappropriate. If this was how he chose to respond to an uncomfortable 12 year old in FULL SIGHT of her parents, what is to say he would not be more aggressive next time with the next emotionally immature yet physically developed 12 year old girl he ran across? Probably, actually, it was pretty damn likely.
    So. I don’t know. My gut is torn.

  2. “The man did nothing wrong”. He was convicted of a crime. Given the facts as stated in the article, I probably agree with you (and the judge, apparently) that he should not be branded a “sex offender”, which means that the statute that apparently forced the judge’s hand is too draconian, perhaps. But he sure did something wrong, which is why he was convicted. Physically grabbing someone in an altercation, whether that someone is a 12 year old girl or a 50 year old man or whatever, is a violation of personal space and safety.

  3. Kai sez:
    But the statute -didn’t- say that. The judge said ‘he feels he is constrained’ – the statute, as I read it, didn’t have the actual mandatory sentencing in it, it was how it was interpreted. And when he appealed it, the appellate court said, and I’m quoting:
    Recognizing the stigma that comes with being labeled as a sex offender, the appellate court said “it is [Barnaby’s] actions which have caused him to be stigmatized, not the courts.”
    Which means the appellate court believed that the ugy is not only guilty, but also guilty of being a sexy offender, and will not remove that aspect of it.
    I do, however, agree with you that sure, he did a crime. And he can pay his fine, or take his misdemeanor, but ‘sex offender’? That’s more than just a label. He can never be a school teacher. He can never work with children at all. This must be disclosed, in an insane invasion of privacy, in any town this man lives.

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