Reformed sex offender says he can't escape stigma

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, August 31, 2007

Aiken CTY--People are always concerned about sex offenders living near them. Now, a sex offender comes forward to tell Gene Petriello his story.

This week we featured 4 sex offenders from Aiken. Three of them had information on the sex offender registry that was not right. But Dean Monarch is a story of a man who says he has turned his life around.

Yet still lives with the stigma of being listed as a sex offender.

About 25 years ago, Dean Monarch was living in Arizona. One day he found himself charged with molestation of a child.

"It was something that happened and I'm ashamed of it and totally embarrassed."

Here's the Arizona law he was charged with violating: Intentionally or knowingly engaging in or causing a person to engage in sexual contact.. with a child under 15 years of age. In this case, his 10 year old daughter.

"That was wrong, terribly wrong and she told my wife and she turned me in, which I appreciate," he adds.

One year in jail and 3 years of a treatment program. Monarch and his wife moved to Georgia, which wasn't easy.

"My Georgia neighbors harassed me out of my neighborhood," says Leslie Monarch.

All because she says teenagers walked by their Martinez home and called Dean a pervert.

"I've gotten to the point where I am paranoid and won't go out without my wife."

But they also moved to Aiken County because they were living near a day care facility. That's a violation of Georgia's new sex offender law.

Aiken County is now proposing its own law against sex offenders.

"I just hope somewhere along the line, they come up with a degree system," adds Dean.

He would like to see offenders listed in a way that lets people know which offenders are bigger threats to the public. Dean understands why the public doesn't trust him, but he does ask.

"You can get all kinds of statistics, but what do you know about me? Nothing."

Dean doesn't think of himself as a threat and says he would want to sit down and talk to anyone to ease their mind. He would like to see the law go after those who are repeat offenders.

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