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Should Sex Offender Bro-in-Law Stay with Us?

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Guest blogger Lauren: My husband's half-brother, Kenny*, is a super nice guy ... but he's also a sex offender. Ten years ago, he got busy with an underage girl and was busted. It's a long story, but he ended up on probation and having to register himself in the sex-offender database. He is steadfast in his denial of any wrongdoing, and I (for one) believe him. To hear his side of it, it really does sound like the girl lied to get out of trouble with her parents and to "save face" with her friends. My husband, on the other hand, has his doubts about his half-brother's innocence.

Not Welcome

This whole stupid sex-offender thing was never an issue until we had our daughter, Janie, nine years ago. Kenny would visit and dote on his only niece, but my hubs was overly vigilant (in my opinion, anyway) whenever Kenny was around. He refused to leave her alone with him, even for a minute. I thought he was overreacting, but it eventually became a nonissue, because Kenny got a new job and moved across the country to California. We haven't seen him for years, so the subject didn't come up again until last week, when Kenny called and announced that he'd be coming back east for a "long-overdue visit." 

When he asked if he could spend a few days in our guest room, you can imagine what happened. I see no problem with this at all -- Kenny was always a good houseguest, and I would love to see him (so would Janie, who is curious about her "Uncle Kenny"). But my husband is having a FIT. Now that Janie is older, he doesn't want his brother anywhere near her! I get being protective of one's child, but I think he's being overprotective and silly. What the heck are we supposed to tell Kenny? "Sorry, we're scared you're going to jump on our 9-year-old child and have your way with her"? Ridiculous.

He paid the price for the whole situation ages ago -- and even if he was guilty, he's a different person now, and I completely trust him with Janie. It's not like he's going to babysit while we go on vacation! He just wants to stay a few days! What's the big deal?

My husband's not taking any chances, though. He thinks Kenny might really be a "Chester Molester," so even if it means alienating his only brother and Janie's only uncle, he refuses to let him stay overnight in our home. We haven't told Kenny the news yet, but since my husband is the one who's so obsessed with protecting his daughter, he can be the one to tell him. I'm not touching this one, and if Kenny asks, I'm giving him my full support.

I have a couple of girlfriends who think I'm the crazy one, and that my husband might have a point. "You just never know what could happen, and it's better to safe than sorry," they say. Look, we could get hit by a bus, too -- are we going to live our lives worrying about what might happen every time we walk out the door? This whole thing is stupid, and I can't believe I'm married to someone so unreasonable. What can I say that will make my husband see reason? Any ideas?

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29 comments so far | Post a comment now
Mama3000 July 15, 2010, 8:15 PM

I just couldn’t begin to even take that chance with my daughters. They are too precious. Trust, TRUST your husband’s vigilance on this one. Don’t let her be the guinea pig to prove a point. Have him stay near-by. DO some things together as a family. But this is one instance where I would have to honor my husband’s wishes. You are not in an easy position, and I wish you luck. Btw…we went through this when my sister and I were girls with 2 beloved relatives. I remember one of my Aunt’s saying again and again after the fact, “We knew he was capable, but just didn’t think he would do it.” Please don’t take that chance with your precious girl.

Anonymous July 16, 2010, 5:02 AM

Most children are sexually abused by the own family members! I would never take that chance.

Still wish we had all information to judge this by. How old was he? How old was she? Was it a one night stand or a “real” relationship?

Anonymous July 17, 2010, 8:18 AM

Ryan, WTF, counseling….holy batman, I bet If I checked, YOU are listed somewhere! All, you people who are siding with the mom don’t even know any history or the full details to really make a quality decision on this. However, I have to say, better to protect the weak than the strong.
Ryan, you sure sound like you are coming from experience and are biased.

Monica July 17, 2010, 12:30 PM

I agree with others… is there something your husband isn’t telling you about his brother? Maybe your husband knows that there are other underage girls. Maybe something happened when they were growing up that your husband was a witness to and he’s not telling. So if it wasn’t for your husbands creepiness around his brother I would side with you but it seems to me that there is a skeleton in the closet.

Jessica Warrick July 17, 2010, 5:41 PM

I totally side with your hubby on this he knows his bro better than you do and if he has real concerns with him around your daughter then there may be something to his concerns. Not only that but he did get charged with a sex crime no way i would ever let him around my child. No matter what the situation was. He should not be allowed around a little girl at all.

Amanda July 17, 2010, 6:12 PM

You seem to have very little concern for your own family. Number 1, you take zero chances with your daughter. ZERO. You have obviously never been a victim of abuse, give her the same security. 2. Your husband said no. Period. We do not allow NO men to stay over night in our home.

anita July 18, 2010, 1:38 AM

As someone who also has a so called “sex offender” in the family, I know where you are coming from. It’s a title that’s used loosely and inspires panic among the general public. In the state which I reside, a conviction is not even necessary to require registry as a sex offender. No one thinks about the people who have been labeled because of a relationship they had as a youth. It could be a matter of an 18 year old male having sex with his 16 year old girlfriend. In some cases these couples even go on to get married, but the parents pressed charges in a desperate attempt to keep the couple apart. I know that is not always the case, but so many people will not even consider the circumstances once they hear the words sex offender. That being said, I think your husband should offer you a better explanation if there is one. She is your daughter too and he should not think he has the final say in any situations involving her without any input from you. It’s the ones who haven’t been discovered that you need to worry about and I don’t think a visit from Uncle Kenny is going to be a problem. Like you said, it’s not like you’re asking him to babysit her.

Been There July 18, 2010, 4:32 PM

It strikes me as odd that you are so supportive of this BIL, who has been out of your life and living far away for many years. What do you know about his recent past, and why are you his champion? Stick up for your daughter’s safety, Lauren, not for the free-loading BIL. Your concern for his delicate feelings - more than for your husband’s fears and your daughter’s well-being - seems strangely enthusiastic. What’s up with that?

tabletki na pryszcze April 3, 2011, 7:36 AM

It’s good too read your site again buddy, i see some interesting updates here…

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