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State Representative Jay Goyal Meets With Concerned Citizens

Last week, sex offenders and their family and friends met with Honorable State Representative Jay Goyal at a restaurant. They came to voice their concerns about the current law towards sex offenders in Ohio. They discussed how the state public policy is affecting them. Concerned citizens believe the state registry system fails to distinguish fairly between severe sex crimes and lesser offenses. Rep. Goyal understands that it is a complex issue that needs to be voiced from sex offenders and victims.

Rep. Goyal said "Your most important duty as a state representative is providing for the safety and security of your citizens...That’s always the No. 1 priority. However, you need to make sure you’re balancing that with the appropriate punishments."

The concerned group said the current system does not offer second chances for people who have worked diligently to turn their lives around. They believe that people who have committed lesser offenses are not allowed back into the society. Instead they are ostracized for the rest of their lives.

For example, Michael Proietti, 24, expounded that he had consensual sex with a girl when he was 19. However, he was arrested by the police, asking whether he knew the girl was 14. He admitted having sex and now knowing her age, but he was convicted even though  the girl's family did not seek criminal charges. As a result of this tragic incident, he has had trouble finding or having a stable job, despite the fact that he is now a responsible, diligent worker. 

"If we weren’t here to help him, he would be living under a bridge somewhere,” said Mark's mother. “There are corporations that, even if someone did want to hire him, wouldn’t be allowed to give him a job. Those are minimum-wage jobs, but they won’t let you work there, even if it’s just cooking back on a grill.”

In addition, he is not able to attend The Ohio State University and Ohio University. What's even worse is that some some community colleges might not accept him because he is registered as a sex offender. 

The 24-year-old has taken full responsibilities about his past. However, he does not understand why it has to haunt him for the rest of his live.

Some people of Mansfield believe that there should be a second chance for offenders. They want to see the system allow offenders to reintegrate into the community once they have shown they have truly turned their lives around.

It is wonderful to know that State Representative Goyal spent his time hearing the voices of concerned Ohio residents. Rep. Goyal and Ohio citizens will continue to discuss this complex issue and find a solution. 


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