General Question

justus2's avatar

Why do people assume that just because a person is a registared sex offender that its against a child?

Asked by justus2 (851points) May 5th, 2009

a friend of mine is registered as an offender for pissing in an alley everyone says hes a child molester but i was in court and know exactly what his offense was

he was charged with indecent exposure

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47 Answers

sjmc1989's avatar

I didnt know that pissing in public was filed under sex offender I would think it would be indecent exposure in public or whatever you call it.

chyna's avatar

Wow, that happened once in my very long ago college days… but that’s another post. I didn’t know you had to register as a sex offender for that.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Most people simply do not realize what “registered sex offender” entails. Take this as an opportunity to educate them. If they look him up in the registry, his offense is often listed. Or if not, it was indicated if he was a danger to minors, I forget which exactly but basically they could find out if he was a child molester.

Likeradar's avatar

I think a lot of people don’t realize just how many offenses will label a person as a sex offender.

DeanV's avatar

Because you only hear about the ones against children.

I kind of do.

Blondesjon's avatar

Yeah…I’ll take my chances with my bias.

westy81585's avatar

@sjmc1989 Depending on your district, indecent exposure IS most definitely considered a sex offense.

That is one of the biggest problems with forced registration of sex offenders, ANY sex offense, whether it be indecent exposure, statutory rape, whatever, it labels you forever as a sex offender. You know that those kids who are getting caught with naked pictures of themselves on their cell phones, are now registered sex offenders for life? (unless some new law retroactively ends that).

Not to mention registration is forcing these offenders to pay for their crime for their entire life (almost always after serving a lengthy prison sentence among other punishments). No other crime, even manslaughter and murder (and yes, some murders do get out of prison eventually, a life sentence is only 25 years), forces convicts to register as such.

(disclaimer, i do not support rape or child molestation at all, and in fact think such crimes should carry death sentences…. but all these other “sex offenses” are stupid imo)

btko's avatar

Interesting topic, I had no idea either – good to know.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

In the county where I live, sex offenders are listed by zip codes with their names, pictures and the actual offense (exposure, rape, statutory rape, etc.) that comes up if you hover over their name and I’ve never seen one like that.

Likeradar's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence There’s a website I can’t remember the name of… watchdog or something? Anyway, it lists the residences of sex offenders. A lot of them don’t specify the actual crime. Could be rape, could be peeing…

sjmc1989's avatar

@westy81585 Thank you for clarifying that I had no idea.

I have a guy friend that got arrested for pissing out a car window. Hard to believe he is now considered a sex offender because of that.

westy81585's avatar

@sjmc1989 Well he may not be, it varies from city to city, county to county, and state to state. A friend of mine here in Columbus was ticketed for indecent exposure and it didn’t carry the sex offender crime. Another friend though was ticketed for the same thing in another state, and has the sex offender listing now.

SuperMouse's avatar

Probably because the term Registered Sex Offender denotes a sexual offense. I don’t naturally assume the offense was with a child, but even if it was with an adult, I’m still none to fond of having my kids or myself spend time with them. As a parent, I feel like I can never be too careful, I’m with Blondesjon, I take my chances with the bias.

The moral of the story? Hold it in – even if you can pee standing up.

cak's avatar

I generally don’t assume it’s against a child. I have and will continue to look up the offense and see what the person did.

As a victim, and as a mother – it’s my job to be very thorough on what my child is possibly exposed to – included sex offenders – generally molesters and rapists.

By the way, he can fight that label, it just takes time and money.

justus2's avatar

blondesjon and supermouse, you know like 90–95% of sex offenders are NOT offenses with children, most are l ike a 19year old with a 17 year old or mooning someone or peeing in public and now kids who send pic of themselves to other kids.

benjaminlevi's avatar

@Likeradar I don’t remember the url of that site, but my friend showed it to me and we found two of the teachers at my school on it.

Blondesjon's avatar

@justus2,...Yeah I’m gonna need more than just your word on those figures.

Likeradar's avatar


@benjaminlevi Really? I’m not calling you a liar, but I find that hard to believe…

cak's avatar

@Likeradar – There was a teacher in Charlotte, NC that was on this list. How? A name change – years ago, that predated the list. He reverted back to that name and through some loophole, was legally allowed to change his name…again. Blah!

@justus2 – I don’t assume, but I don’t blame those that do…it is good to take that second look, but let’s face it. That is a pretty strong label. That is exactly why I said that if he was questionably labeled, or mis-labeled – altogether – he needs to have an attorney take a look.

There are people on the list for all kinds of reasons. The list to me, is very necessary. I have too much personal experience in this area and I do use it.

ccbatx's avatar

I think it’s because when you think of sex offenders, you think of people who have sexually abused other people. The person they abused was mostly likely a woman, and people are also quick to asume that it was a fragile woman too. Therefore, the thought of fragility comes to mind, making a person think of a child. Hence the thinking of regsitered sex offenders being against the child.

justwannaknow's avatar

Look it up on registry, Most list the charge.

tinyfaery's avatar

I do not understand this fascination with tracking “sexual offenders”. I have never once thought about looking up the criminals in my area. Why do we stop with sexual offenders? Why not murderers, thieves, drug dealers, and red light runners? Aren’t they a danger to us, as well?

Likeradar's avatar

@tinyfaery Children are usually more vulnerable.

I used to bring my nanny kids to my old apartment and have picnics in the back yard. I found out I was pretty much surrounded by people who committed crimes against children and stopped the picnics and home visits instantly. Although I never left them alone out there, I have no desire to know I’m potentially putting them in some perv’s spank bank. Of course, an offender could be at the grocery store or anywhere else… it’s about not setting them up for negative things to happen

justwannaknow's avatar

Forewarned is fore armed. The more you know about what goes on around you the better you are.

cak's avatar

@tinyfaery – Funny, I am aware of other things, too; however, being a rape victim, I just might be a little more aware of sex offenders. I don’t see a single thing wrong with it, either.

Now, I’m perfectly aware that a “normal” person can do harm, as well.

tinyfaery's avatar

To hear people talk, it’s amazing we weren’t all kidnapped and murdered as children. Sexual abuse has always existed, as have crimes against children. It is no different now then when I was a kid, but I walked to the store, rode my bike, took the bus, came home by myself to an empty house, and here I am. It’s ridiculous to live in fear. And since this is totally off topic, I will stop now.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

A friend of mine got labeled a sex offender by drunkenly pissing behind a bush in his own backyard last year. He was drunk, climbed out of the swimming pool, stepped behind a bush and inadvertantly was facing towards the neighbor’s rear facing kitchen window. They called the cops, and the rest is history.

But yeah, most people hear the words ‘sex offender’ and assume the worst. Typical human reaction.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@tinyfaery it’s different today because the media has finally figured out they can make $$$ by scaring the fuck out of everyone by saying there are child molesters behind every playground swingset in America.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I know my personal stigma against registered sex offenders comes from having worked with a statutory rapist when I was 17. He made me uncomfortable 95% of the time, fully aware of the fact that I was 17, and it was upsetting. @evelyns_pet_zebra is right as well; the media is a huge influence. I think the law is also at fault for not creating a separate category for public urination and indecent exposure. In my book, those are two entirely different things.

Likeradar's avatar

@TitsMcGhee yes, totally different things. It’s comparing apples to… Hondas. What is labeled as a sexual offense is in desperate need of reform. Hopefully, the recent cases of teenagers having their lives destroyed due to texting their own pictures will help change the laws and the labels.

That said, until there is reform I will still keep children in my care far, far away from anyone with the sex offender label unless I know for a fact it was not what I consider a sexual offense. When it comes to offenders and children, in my mind they are guilty until proven otherwise.

benjaminlevi's avatar

@Likeradar Well we already knew what the guy would be there because he got fired for doing things-teachers-should-not-be-doing-in-closets-with-seventeen-year-old-students. My friend went to the site to find that guy specifically, I didn’t mean we found out that way.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Not everyone assumes it’s a child molestation case… just depends how educated the person is about the wide range of possible reasons to be labeled a sex offender. Child molesters are the worst kind therefore the ones usually in the news, so they are the first thing (sometimes only thing if someone doesn’t know any better) that pops into people’s mind.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@Likeradar: That’s definitely understandable, and I don’t blame you for doing so.

Zaku's avatar

Having peeing in an alley as a sex offense is a retarded injustice!

Does someone think it’s a “gateway crime”? “It all starts with a full bladder and an innocent alley, but it’s all downhill from there…”

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Zaku and should you be facing down the alley that runs downhill, well then, you know what that means…

drClaw's avatar

To be perfectly honest I have an overwhelming bias when I hear the term “sex offender,” however instead of automatically going to some sort of child abuse my mind goes directly to hate and disgust. That said, I have gone pee in public (even out of a moving car once @sjmc1989) more times than I care to remember, I have never been caught, but it scares the sh*t out of me that I could have been labeled a “sex offender” simply for being a stupid drunk college kid.

Also this is a little off topic, but there was this guy I worked with years ago who turned out to be an actual child molester. I know this because a random search on Google yielded pages documenting his crime. Recently it was brought to my attention that he has started his own business and that those pages documenting his crime have all disappeared (his site). Is it possible for a sex offender to hide their offense?

sjmc1989's avatar

@drClaw Just to clarify you know it wasn’t me that peed out of a moving car right?! Thats very difficult to do when your a girl the parts just dont work like that but GREAT ANSWER

chyna's avatar

@drClaw Your link only links to this question.
@sjmc1989 aw, it’s much more fun to think it was you peeing out of a moving car!

drClaw's avatar

Sorry here is the correct link:

drClaw's avatar

@sjmc1989 I did realize that it wasn’t you peeing out of the car, but thank you for hilarious visual! ;-)

sjmc1989's avatar

@drClaw Oh Your more than welcome!

bright_eyes00's avatar

I would say becasue a large majority of sex offenders were against children. i was trying to find some statistics but couldnt.

Bri_L's avatar

Our courts getting a legal hard on when they get to throw labels like sex offender on public urination is part of the problem. My biggest worry wouldn’t be sexually related it would be keeping my kids from copying it. And, as any parent who has driven for a 2 hour trip with a 6 & 4 year old, public urination is a part of life at times.

When it comes to my kids I will do what I can to protect them. To say it used to be this way and that when I was this age is pointless because you can’t say what society would have been aware of back then with the technology of today. Rape was ignored in the courts a ways back and spousal abuse was pretty well accepted a while ago to. That didn’t make it ok then and doesn’t make it right now.

That being said, I fully support the notification of the location of child sex offenders. To make that decision, all I have to do is imagine it happening to my kids.

Aethelwine's avatar

great answer @Bri_L I miss you buddy!

When you have children you do everything in your power to protect them. If a registered sex offender were to move into the neighborhood I would definitely assume, and I would make every effort to keep my children away from this person.

justus2's avatar

@jonsblond Some sex offenders you wouldn’t even know because they don’t even show up on the list or anything because they were for small things like indecent exposure.

Aethelwine's avatar

@justus2 I only stated that it’s better to be safe than sorry concerning your own children.

justus2's avatar

I know and that is true.

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