Saturday, June 2, 2012
I would really like to speak to someone. I was release from prison in August of 2011, after completing my ten year sentence.
Twenty-one years ago, my stepson accused me of molesting my stepdaughter. In December of 1992 I accepted a plea bargin of ten years deferred because my wife had had a baby which then eight months old. Iwon't go into the rest of the story here, but I wanted to give the beginning situation.
Eight years later my probation was revoked and I was sent to prison for ten years.
I turned down parole when it was offered because I only had fourteen months left to serve and probation was a nightmare.
I have done everything that was required of me and then some. I am not complaining about that I just want to move on with my life. I divorced my wife and found that the child I thought I had was not mine, so I moved to Kerrville and have no contact with anyone from Houston.
I don't expect life to be easy, which is why I studied and received two associates degrees while I was incarcerated. I have yet to find a full-time job because of my prison record and the fact that I am on the sex offender registry. I am working par-time with a landscaping company.
I have no restrictions. My DRA rating is 1. All I do is work go home watch TV and read. My only other outing on a regular basis is church. That is where my problem comes in.
I have been attending Riverside Church of Christ. After services are over, I always stepped just outside the front doors of the church, to wait for my parents to finish visiting with their friends. I didn't know many people and as I am sure you can understand I have acceptance issues.
There is one difference in this church and all the other churches in Kerrville. Riverside had a playground and jungle gym installed to the right-side front of the church, where most churches have the play area in the back. It didn't matter in the winter, (or maybe it was the fact that I was found on the sex offender registry). One Sunday nite, the kids come running past me to the playground. I stepped back and watched them go. The next thing I know I am being called to the Kerrville police department. One of the members accused me of stalking their children. The police wanted to know what happened and wanted to make me aware.
Now I am almost afraid to leave the house for fear of being accused of something. I almost wish I was back in prison. Time was actually easier.
All I want is to get a job and be left alone. What do I do from here. Please help, even if it someone I can talk to.
Thank you in advance
By Tracy Neal
BENTONVILLE — Joseph Hutchens, a retired Arkansas state trooper, stood in a courtroom Thursday and apologized for bringing disgrace to the uniform he wore for more than 25 years.
Hutchens, 66, pleaded no contest to 10 counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. He was charged as a habitual offender and received 56 years in prison.
Stuart Cearley, chief deputy prosecutor, agreed to dismiss another 10 counts under a plea agreement reached with Shane Wilkinson, Hutchens’ attorney.
Hutchens retired from State Police and was working as a bailiff when he was arrested on child pornography-related charges.
He pleaded guilty in January 2007 to eight counts of possessing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child. He was sentenced to five years in prison on each count. The sentences were to be served concurrently.
A forensic examination of the hard drive of Hutchens’ computer revealed at least 37 images of suspected child porn, according to court documents.
Hutchens was arrested March 25, 2010, in connection with violating parole and a suspended-sentence agreement. His parole officer discovered Hutchens was in possession of child pornography during a visit to Hutchens’ home, according to Cearley.
Hutchens, dressed in black-and-white-striped jail clothing Thursday, did not dispute Cearley’s description of the crime.
Hutchens told Circuit Judge John Scott he wasn’t coerced into entering the plea and he understood he was giving up his right to a jury trial.
Scott wanted to know whether Hutchens was satisfied with Wilkinson’s representation.
“Were you familiar with Mr. Wilkinson?” Scott asked Hutchens.
Hutchens told Scott that Wilkinson was his first choice among numerous defense attorneys he was familiar with.
Wilkinson was the deputy prosecutor assigned to the first case when Hutchens pleaded guilty in 2007.
Hutchens told Scott he used the knowledge he gained in his law enforcement career when deciding whether to enter the plea to resolve the case.
Scott accepted the plea agreement and Hutchens’ guilty plea.
Hutchens was sentenced to 20 years each on two counts and 16 years on a third count. The sentences will be served consecutively — a total of 56 years. He received a 10-year suspended sentence for the remaining counts.
He was sentenced to 24 years in connection with the suspended sentence in the 2007 plea. The sentence will run concurrently with the other sentence.
Hutchens was given credit for 650 days he spent in custody while awaiting trial. He must serve one-sixth of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
Hutchens apologized for his actions and told Scott he was remorseful about his conduct.
“I’ve destroyed my life,” Hutchens said. “I’ve destroyed my family. I’ve destroyed my career.”
Hutchens also apologized for disgracing the State Police.
“I am extremely remorseful,” Hutchens said.
Hutchens can’t have unsupervised contact with minors, and he must register as a sex offender and comply with all terms of a registered sex offender.
“Joe Hutchens had a distinguished and decorated career with the Arkansas State Police,” Wilkinson said after the plea. “He protected and served this community well for nearly 30 years. His mistakes since that time, no matter how egregious, do not erase all of the good he has done in his life.”
Bernard Baran spent 22 years behind bars for crimes he never committed. A lack of DNA evidence made it next to impossible to prove his innocence. He spoke at St. Francis College on April 17 for the Spring 2012 series, Miscarriages of Justice and Wrongful Convictions, put together by Sociology and Criminal Justice Professor Emily Horowitz.