Remembering the JTC

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In what looked like a raid, authorities began cutting up tents and destroying personal property in the process of shutting down Bookville.

CNN Interviews Mary and Ricky Blackman

BELOW AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN

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Stilwell, Oklahoma (CNN) — As a teenager, Ricky Blackman carried an Oklahoma driver’s license with the words “sex offender” stamped in red below his picture.

His crime? Having sex with a 13-year-old girl when he was 16. The offense occurred when he lived in Iowa, and the label followed him to Oklahoma.

As a Tier 3 offender on Oklahoma’s sex offender registry, Blackman could not attend high school, visit the town library, or go to his younger brother’s football games.

But the label did more than limit where Blackman could go. It transformed him from an outgoing, sociable jock into an introvert who has trouble trusting people, his mother says.

“He’s not the same,” said Mary Duval, a straight-talker who has become a full-time activist to reform sex offender legislation since her son’s conviction.

“I used to get a kick out of Ricky,” she added. “He was so fun-loving and just full of life. I mean, there’s no other word. Ricky was full of life and now he’s definitely more cautious, more reserved.”

Now 20, Blackman tenses up when he sees children at a supermarket and avoids talking to girls his age, even if they initiate contact, his mother says.

“I got a lot more fear in me, I mean, because anything could happen,” Blackman said. “Say you’re on the registry, and you’re in the mall and a kid comes up missing. Well, guess what? You’re the first person they’re going to because you’re on the sex offender registry.”
Ricky was full of life and now he’s definitely more cautious, more reserved.
–Mary Duval, mother