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Boy's sex offense still resonates

By Bill Scanlon, Rocky Mountain News, December 10, 2004

It started with a phone call, then a knock on the door. An Arvada police detective told the couple he was looking into allegations that their 14-year-old son, nicknamed Victor, had sexually assaulted an 8-year-old girl two years earlier.

When Victor pleaded guilty to sexual assault, he joined approximately 750 juveniles ages 12 to 17 who were on the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's registry as of this summer. He also became part of a program considered one of the strictest in the nation. Some say too strict.

Victor is 17 now and still has a couple months of probation remaining, during which time:
He can't go to the movies, the mall, amusement parks, parties or anywhere there is likely to be children. He has to phone his parents every hour.
He can't go shopping with friends without first filing an action plan with his treatment team, promising to avert his eyes if he sees young children, for example. If he meets those requirements, he still can't go shopping with girls his own age, only with boys his own age. He can't have a girlfriend.
He has to take his meals on the porch if his parents invite over another family with kids.
His little brother can't have friends over to the house - even if Victor is away.
He has to take periodic polygraphs, which cost his parents $225 each.

"It's put a major damper on a typical 16-year-old's life," the mother said. "I get so frustrated because I look at what they're putting my son through - group therapy once a week, individual therapy twice a week, probation twice a month. And I read in the paper about these people who are actually sexually offending walking around on the streets. It's a high price to pay for something he did at age 12."

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