Dad upset he can't see son in NICU because he's a registered sex - KMOV.com

Dad upset he can't see son in NICU because he's a registered sex offender

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A Metro East dad, who wants to remain anonymous, is upset he’s been banned from seeing his newborn at the hospital because he’s a registered sex offender. Credit: KMOV A Metro East dad, who wants to remain anonymous, is upset he’s been banned from seeing his newborn at the hospital because he’s a registered sex offender. Credit: KMOV
SOUTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -

A Metro East dad is upset he’s been banned from seeing his newborn at the hospital because he’s a registered sex offender.

The man has asked to remain anonymous to protect his wife and children.

“They shouldn't have to pay the consequences for something I did when I was young and stupid,” said the dad.

The man was 19-years-old when the offense happened in 2004. The victim of the aggravated criminal sexual abuse was 13.

14 years later, he is a husband and a father.

His son was recently born about a month early and was rushed to the hospital after he stopped breathing.

The dad said he showed up to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and his I.D. was checked, which is hospital policy.

“They called security and explained because I was a registered sex offender I had to have an escort to go anywhere,” he said.

The hospital confirms to News 4 that is their policy.

The dad signed a paper and agreed to be escorted. He was then taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to be with his wife and son.

He said he didn’t have cell service in the building and asked a nurse for an escort to go to the parking lot to make calls.

“She said you don't need an escort for that you can just go on your way,” he remembered.

He was stopped by security on his way out and has since been banned from returning.

The hospital said there can be consequences for violating policy.

“At SSM Health, the safety and security of our patients and families is always our top priority. As such, our visitor policy requires security escorts for registered sex offenders. If our policy is violated, it can lead to restriction, including revocation, of visitation privileges,” said a spokeswoman for the hospital.

The dad said this comes down to miscommunication. He feels like he’s served his time for his crime, but the sex offender registry continues to punish him.

“I should be able to go to the hospital and see my kid especially at that time we didn't know if he was going to live or die or not,” he said.

The dad would like the hospital to change its policy. He would also like to see the sex offender registry disappear because he feels like it isn’t doing what it’s intended to do.

News 4 checked with other hospitals for their visitor’s policies on sex offenders.

St. Louis Children’s Hospital (BJC) said it doesn’t release that information, but a spokeswoman said their patients’ safety is their top priority.

St. Anthony’s Medical Center said it does not have a visitor's policy for sex offenders.

The national group Women Against Registry sent News 4 the following statement:

We do not believe this man should be subjected to further punishment after he has paid his debt to society by successfully completing the terms of his sentence.

There are 874,000 men, women and children on the sex offender registry across this nation. The unbridled fear and punitive attitude toward anyone labeled as a sex offender is wildly out of control. As proven in numerous scientific studies, the registry does NOT increase neighborhood safety and instead, provides a false sense of security. It subjects a single class of people in our society to double punishment and it puts registrants and family members in harm’s way.

This man wants to be with his gravely ill infant son and help his wife and children navigate a very stressful, scary time in their lives.

Our national non-profit organization is in favor of abolishing the sex offender registry. For this man, and so many others, when does redemption begin?

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