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McClellan: How robbing a pot dealer puts you on the sex offender list

4-21-2014 Missouri:

On a January evening in 2004, four young men were visiting an acquaintance who lived in an apartment in Maplewood. Also living in the apartment was a 17-year-old who attended an alternative high school. His name was Eddie.

Word was that Eddie sold pot.

Eddie was in his bedroom while the other young men were in the living room. Sometime after midnight, Eddie heard a knock on his door. He opened his door and was confronted by the four young men visiting his roommate. Three of these young men pushed their way into Eddie’s room, and demanded his drugs and money.

One of the three young men was Brendan Glaser. He was 20 years old. He was a high school dropout. He worked at an Auto Zone store on Big Bend Boulevard. He lived at home with his parents.

That was a tough situation for everybody. Glaser drank and did drugs. Mostly pot, but some prescription drugs. His parents were solid, working-class people. His dad was a mail carrier. His mom was an office manager at a medical practice.

At least he was working. They took some solace in that. Maybe he could get his life together. He had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in second grade. School had never been easy. As a teen, he was in low-grade trouble. He and some friends were caught breaking hood ornaments off cars. Or caught with beer. Stuff like that. Nothing serious.

Until that night in 2004.

One of the three young men had a pistol. Not Glaser. The other man pulled the pistol out after they pushed their way into Eddie’s room. Somebody shut the door.

Eddie said he didn’t have any pot. The three young men beat him. The one with the gun threatened to shoot him. Then pistol-whipped him. Eddie later told police they took turns pistol-whipping him. The three guys got some money and left.

The next morning, Eddie called his mother. She took him to the ER. He had some bruises, but no serious injuries. He was treated and released.

Police were notified and soon identified the three assailants. Glaser was arrested at the auto store. He was initially charged with assault second degree and unlawful use of a weapon. He wasn’t charged with robbery because the pot dealer didn’t want to admit to having money or drugs.

Eventually, Glaser was indicted on three felony charges: Assault second degree, armed criminal action and felonious restraint. That last charge had to do with closing the door of Eddie’s room, which meant “the defendant, acting with others, knowingly restrained (Eddie) unlawfully and without consent so as to interfere substantially with his liberty and exposed (Eddie) to a substantial risk of serious physical injury.”

Who can argue with that?

Glaser’s parents hired an attorney and he worked out a pretty good deal. Glaser would plead guilty to the assault and felonious restraint charges. He would be given a five-year sentence, but under the shock statute. He would do 120 days in prison and if he completed those 120 days without getting into trouble, the judge could then put him on probation.

He would have two felonies on his record, but that could not be avoided. This was serious stuff.

Serious, but not newsworthy. None of this made the newspaper. Glaser did his 120 days in prison. Then he was put on probation.

He completed his probation years ago. He is now married and has three kids. He works two jobs. By day, he is a grave-digger and general maintenance man at a cemetery, and at night he works at an auto parts store.

Although he is off probation, he is still required to check in every 90 days at county police headquarters as a sex offender. He will have to do so for the rest of his life.

That’s because if a felonious restraint conviction involves a minor for whom the perpetrator is not parent or guardian, it is a “registerable offense.”

To make things even odder, Glaser is not on the “public list.” Only law enforcement personnel are supposed to have access to the “nonpublic” list.

It’s hard to convince Glaser that people don’t have access to the “nonpublic” list. He told me he has applied for dozens of jobs — jobs that would be available to most felons — and can’t even get interviews. He figures it’s because he’s a registered sex offender.

By the way, what did he tell the woman he eventually married? “I told her I was a registered sex offender and she didn’t believe it,” Glaser said. “She asked me what I did. I told her I robbed a pot dealer.” ..Source.. by ​Bill McClellan is a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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