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” Josh understood the destructive power of secrets because he had one of his own.
Between the ages of 6 and 8, Josh says he was repeatedly raped by three neighborhood high schoolers—a babysitter and her two male friends.
“Everything that I did with my sister came directly from the things I had experienced in the abuse,” he says.
“I was sexually confused, and it started to play out with my sister.” Josh was imprisoned in the Texas Youth Commission (TYC), where he says he was bullied for his age and crime. “I’d be marching in line when we were going building to building, and I’d have to endure the person behind me punching me square in the kidney the entire time. The guard would look, but he wouldn’t see anything.” He never told anyone that he had been abused.
Because of what he did when he was 12, Josh is a registered sex offender. Unlike some states, Texas lists juveniles, and adults who committed their crimes as juveniles, on its public sex offender registry, a searchable website run by the Texas Department of Public Safety.She called a Christian counseling center near their home in Abilene and described what happened.She was informed that, by law, the center had to report Josh to the police for sexual assault of a child. “The state took up the case and pressed charges.” Josh and I met earlier this year at his older sister’s house in Plano, where he lives with his soft-spoken wife Nicole and their four children, two from Nicole’s first marriage and a toddler and infant with Josh.Josh and his mother say Child Protective Services listed the second child on its original complaint, but the judge found the allegation lacked merit and struck it out.Josh says there was no such assault, he wasn’t adjudicated for it, never pled to it, but hasn’t had the money to petition to have it removed.
These children are also not generally being convicted of the crimes people associate with sex offenders, like rape. Paul Andrews is a forensic psychologist who works with juvenile sex offenders in Smith County.