May 13, 2012 -- Updated 0246 GMT (1046 HKT)
Mothers of sex offenders share responsibility, burden of label
"MS celebrates his 21st birthday with his family before going to prison for possession of child pornography.
CS will never forget the moment she watched her 21-year-old son being led out of a Florida courtroom in handcuffs.
"This is not happening, this is not happening, this is not happening," she recalls thinking at the time. "Take me instead."
She sobbed because there was nothing she could do. M, the second of her three children, was going to prison after pleading guilty to 10 counts of possession of child pornography. A judge in Duval County sentenced him in April 2010 to 18 months in state prison and one year of probation, with the requirement that he register as a sex offender.
She told herself that they were lucky, that he could have received a longer prison sentence. But her worries extended far beyond prison. Under Florida law, he would likely remain on the registry for life, with the opportunity to appeal for good conduct. Where would he live after being released? How would he find a job? What about harassment? Would he ever date again? Who would want to marry a sex offender?
S is one of many mothers preoccupied with these questions on a daily basis. These women embody the notion that a mother's love is unconditional as they're often forced to look beyond horrific [sic] crimes that have left their children branded for life as sex offenders.
What's a mom to do?"