You may wonder why I chose to write a romance in which the alpha male love interest (a handsome, intelligent, thoughtful man) is a convicted sex offender. Not sexy, right? Well, it's not that simple. Sometimes people are branded as sex offenders who are, in fact, nothing like the stereotype you may have in mind.
The story that inspired me to do some research on the topic was told to me by a friend. His brother in law was accused of harboring child porn on his office computer. When he was arrested, his marriage, career, finances and reputation were quickly destroyed. He ended up committing suicide, yet claimed until the day he died that he had been set up. My friend believed him. An angry employee or client with access to the man's office could have downloaded the material and called in the complaint. This is certainly an effective way to ruin someone's life.
That story got me thinking. So I looked into the topic, and some of the cases are startling. For example, the case of a 15 year old boy accused of raping a 14 year old girl. He pled guilty so he wouldn't have to go to an adult prison. After spending more than a year in a juvenile detention center, the boy was released when girl admitted she had invented the rape so her parents wouldn't be mad at her for having sex. Now the young man is unable to remove his name from the sex offender registry. His family has been forced to move several times due to neighborhood harassment. The kid can't go to school because he is not allowed near any school properties.
Other surprising cases abound. Rape "victims" who marry their "rapists" after the girls' parents are no longer able to have the men arrested for seeing their underage daughters. Revenge cases. Mistaken identity. In one chat room I read about the paranoia a man is experiencing because a convicted sex offender with a similar name, age, and build lives nearby. What if the neighborhood confuses the two men? What will the good folks do to him if they believe he is a sex offender?
Like you, I despise the evil creatures who prey on women and children. Sex criminals are sick and dangerous and need to be removed from society. But there are too many instances in which innocent people get sucked into the vortex of inflexible law and public opinion. Some people really do not deserve to be ostracized, punished, branded. This is the kind of situation I decided to write about in Whiskey Sour Noir.
Love to hear your opinion on this topic.
Mickey J. Corrigan's newest novella is the first book in The Hard Stuff Series from The Wild Rose Press. Whiskey Sour Noir is a tough luck love story about a woman who works in a homeless shelter and falls in love with a convicted sex offender. Can she believe his claims of innocence? Love can be so bittersweet.
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