Sex-Offender Laws Keep Minn. Man ‘Down’ 17 Years After
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota’s sex-offender laws were made to keep tabs on sexual predators, but a Minnesota man says they’ve also kept him from success.
Kevin Cross was 19 when a video tape surfaced of him having consensual sex with his 17-year-old high school girlfriend.
As a result of his girlfriend saying she was unaware of the taping, Cross was convicted for use of minors in a sexual performance.
“I’ve been down ever since it happened,” Cross said.
It happened 17 years ago.
Now Cross and his family send much of their time trying to figure out how to clear his name. Jobs have come and gone, and many potential employers don’t hire Cross due to his sex-offender status. He has many letters from ministers, friends, family, and even a former probation officer, but they still don’t clear his name.
Lumped in the same group as a level one, two or three sex offender, Cross also has to register where he lives.
“I know I’m not a sex offender. I’m not a predator, I’m not nothing like that,” Cross said.
University of Minnesota professor Mike Miner works with predatory offenders and thinks Cross’ situation shows why it’s time to reexamine the sex-offender registration laws.
“I don’t know anybody ever intended for this kind of situation to result in registration,” Miner said.
On the other hand, Pam Zellers of the Sexual Violence Center sees a danger in changing a law that’s meant to protect.
“I think you’re always better off having a protocol or having law that sets a standard for which everyone has to operate,” Zellers said.
In 2003 Kevin failed to register after a move. Five years later, he went before the pardon board and was denied.
He recently asked to re-apply for a pardon board hearing, but he was denied again.