Sunday, June 7, 2015

It Was One Year Ago Today...

On June 7th, 2014 I was issued a citation for "trespassing and conduct unwelcome at Walt Disney World" and was banned from entering that Disney property for the rest of my life. This did not happen because I had done something new. I didn't spit on anyone from Dumbo or tickle any Haunted Mansion cast members trying to make them laugh. I didn't dine and dash from the San Angel Inn or scare the lions at Animal Kingdom. Any mischief on my record at WDW would have occurred years ago when my youth groups used to frequent the parks- and in those days we never got caught! The good folks of Disney asked me to leave and never come back because my name is on The List of registered sex offenders in the state of Florida and I had purchased an annual pass, so I was "caught" in a cross-check. You can read my post about that day by clicking here.

I won't recount again how my name got on the list, other than to say that I did what they said I did and I paid the price for it. You can read all about what I did and the sentence imposed by visiting the My Journey Page of this blog and browsing through the first three posts listed. The mess I am in is a mess of my own making and I have always acknowledged that fact. But still...  It is frustrating that WDW kicked me out with no appeal process, with no chance to tell them about my otherwise spotless record or about the rave reports from probation officers who had given me written permission to visit Downtown Disney and the resort hotels on numerous occasions during my 7 years of probation. There was no opportunity to talk about my probation being terminated 3 years early or about the dozens of families who were excited that I would finally be able to go back to the parks with them and their children. No one asked what my offense actually was- they just knew it put me on The List- so they had no idea that my offense involved no actual contact (or intent to contact) with anyone. They didn't care that we had been annual passholders (Will and Marilyn still are) for many years before my arrest without incident or that we hold stock in the Walt Disney Company. They didn't know that I brought large groups of teenagers to the parks for many years before my offense. They didn't care that I am not a pickpocket, which according to reports is the number one crime at theme parks- yet there's no banishment list for convicted pickpockets. They only cared that my name was on The List. We know now that we could have made an end-run around the banishment by always paying cash and buying short-term passes that didn't require me to give my name. But the fact that we didn't try to hide and were tossed out while others are not just makes me more frustrated. The fact that someone like George Zimmerman is welcome at the parks and I am not nearly makes my head explode! My extended family- Marilyn, Will, Lisa and Michelle- go often and have to go without me. I usually try to brush all this off and put on a happy face about it, but the fact is some days it really makes me angry. And about once a month it makes me so angry I want to turn green and smash things. I know that God has forgiven me, and though it took a long time I have forgiven myself as well. Why can't WDW get on board the forgiveness train? But then I calm down and remember what I'm truly angry about. It's not about WDW. It's about The List, who is on it and what that means to our lives knowing that there is no way to get off of it. And today I have realized it is finally time- 8 years and 1 month after being sentenced, 14 months after being freed from probation and 1 year after being banished from Disney- to tell you what life was like during probation and what it is like today for someone on The List.

So hang on to your hats. The next three days will feature my own editorial thoughts and real experiences from the inside of a system that is badly broken. It doesn't help protect the public, it just offers the illusion that it does. It doesn't help the victims. It doesn't help rehabilitate the offenders. And it creates an atmosphere of hopelessness for many that actually leads to more offenses instead of protecting you. If you think that everything you need to know about sex offenders can be learned from the nightly news or by watching To Catch a Predator, think again my friends. It's about to get real up in here...

Because of Jesus,


  1. Anonymous6/07/2015

    Is there no appeals process? Seeing a report a few weeks back of Mary Kay Latourneau (the teacher who had an affair with then married her student) indicated that at some point she will be able to get her name off the list? Is this an option for you? Or at the very least can someone @ Disney just listen to your story? {{{[Hugs}}}

    1. Thanks for the hugs my friend. There is no legal recourse (there are rare exceptions, and Latourneau has always been an exception to every SO law) and Disney made it clear they don't hear appeals on this issue. They issue trespass warnings so you can't appeal in court. Your name goes off the list after 25 years.

  2. Anonymous6/07/2015

    I am so glad to read that you have forgiven yourself. That is crucial. Your openness and positive attitude in the face of so much adversity never fails to amaze and inspire. Carl, you deserve some Hulk moments. Smash something for us all today!

    1. Thanks. Maybe I'll smash something at church! LOL But in all seriousness I just felt it was time for a Paul Harvey moment. I want to tell "The Rest of the Story." Wow...I am SO old!


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