Case Narrative

A Consenting Juveniles narrative is a first-hand account reporting the words of the research subject on his or her experience.

Nikki Rodriguez

He would pick flowers for me at the bus stop.

Source:   The Accidental Sex Offender
by Abigail Pesta, Marie Claire, July 28, 2011

Nikki Rodriguez’ high school sweetheart was arrested for having sex with her.

I remember the night we met at a friend’s house on spring break. We started chatting, and we clicked. I was 15, a freshman, a clumsy cheerleader. He was 18, a senior, a football star. We started calling each other every day.

Frank was different from other boys. He would pick flowers for me at the bus stop and bring them to school. At lunch, he came and sat with my friends and me, not with the guys. After nearly a year together, we had sex. We had no idea it was a crime. We were just madly in love. Everyone was doing it.

My mom liked Frank but when she found out we were having sex, that wasn’t okay with her. We started fighting all the time, and one day, she drove me to the police station.

The sheriff said I had to give a statement. I refused. They said I could be arrested, so I said, “Arrest me.” Then, thinking it would help Frank, I told them the sex was consensual. But that didn’t help. They drove me to the hospital to be tested for rape.

My relationship with my mom has never been the same.

Nikki’s mother soon regretted what she’d done. She’d only intended to frighten Frank about the potential consequences. But those consequences became immediately real. Frank was arrested and charged with sexual assault of a child. He pled guilty and was sentenced to 350 hours of community service, seven years of probation, and the rest of his life on the sex offender registry.

The day Nikki turned 17, the age of consent in Texas, she moved in with Frank. Two years later, they married. They have since had four daughters together, whom they are raising under the shadow of Frank’s crime.

It’s been really hard on Frank. We have to explain our situation over and over again — to teachers, to employers, to parents of our daughters’ friends. We’re always wondering what people are thinking. There were some kids in the neighborhood who used to come over every day, until one day they just stopped coming over. We wondered, “Did their parents see the registry?” You never know for sure.

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