November 16, 2012

Woman works to help sex offenders

11-16-2012 Texas:

A San Antonio woman has taken on a controversial role. She helps sex offenders--the guilty and the proclaimed innocent--without judgment.

"I'm lost. My life is in a shamble. I just don't know what to do."

Those are the words of a convicted sex offender. When everyone else shuts the door--Mary Sue Molnar extends a hand.

"You are my only hope. Please say that you can help me," Molnar reads from a letter. "Those are tough."

Molnar is with Texas Voices for Reason and Justice.

She and several other families started the group in 2008 after her son was convicted of sex assault.

"He was 22 and the girl was 16," she said.

Molnar's son is serving an 11 year sentence for the crime. He will be on the sex offender registry for life.

Her initial goal was to fight for a fairer registry.

"We all have children. We have grandchildren we want to keep the public safe. There needs to be differentiation between these offenses. They need to look at these cases differently than grouping everyone under the sex offender registry for life," Molnar said.

Molnar says the response has been overwhelming. She now has 500 members. She quit her part time job and converted a bedroom in her home to an office so that she can sit in front of the computer all day.

She got four phone calls during our 30 minute interview. When she's not on the phone, she is responding to letters. Sex offenders mostly ask for help with housing and finding employment. Molnar also offers counseling to family members of offenders. Every once in a while she gets a jaw-dropping case of innocence.

"She allowed me to speak and tell my story without interrupting me. At the end she said. I'm so sorry. That's a horrible story," said Sandra Trevino, wife of an exonerated sex offender,

Sandra Trevino looked to Molnar for support several years ago. For two decades, she fought to get the truth out about her husband Michael.

"Every year that he had to register it was like someone sticking a knife in my gut," Sandra said.

The Spicewood couple first met with us in June.

"Being labeled as a sex offender is not easy and it hurts. Hurt me, hurt my wife, hurt my kids," Michael told us on June 21st.

Court documents show that Trevino's ex-wife contacted APD in 1990 saying he sexually assaulted his then eight year old daughter. He was convicted of the crime in 1994. He was sentenced to eight years deferred adjudication and required to register as a sex offender for life.

In 2010, Trevino's daughter recanted her story telling Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg that Trevino didn't harm her. It was another man.

On May 24th of this year--a judge dismissed the charge.

"It was the best feeling that anybody could have," Michael said.

When we checked back in with them at their Spicewood home in October, they were a different couple.

"I can be myself and I not have to worry should I be here, should I not be there. Altogether it's a better feeling knowing I can do what any other person is able to do and go and just, just I don't know whatever," Michael said.

They were looking forward to celebrating Halloween. Trevino was prohibited from doing that as a sex offender.

"I may even dress up. I haven't dressed up in a long time," he said.

Molnar still keeps in touch with the Trevinos. She says there are many other cases just like theirs.

"I did receive a call from a girl who represented herself as victim and then proceeded to tell me she was not the victim and would like to recant," Molnar said.

She wishes more people would listen.

"I've probably lost some friends along the way because they don't understand and they don't care to understand, but that's okay. I know it's the right thing to do. I sleep well at night," Molnar said. ..Source.. by Noelle Newton

No comments: