Jared was an Eagle Scout, honor student, pianist, community volunteer and regularly attended church. After high school graduation he made the big mistake of drinking with friends and one night ended up having sexual contact with an underage girl who was with them.
It came to the girl’s parents attention several months later. He could have easily denied it, there being no evidence, but he did the right thing and confessed to authorities that very day. Having no previous legal entanglements Jared’s family didn’t think to engage an attorney first, thus he had no defense under the law and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the mandatory minimum.
He remained a model prisoner. While there he took college courses, created a service project where inmates made quilts to donate to a charity, and provided the music for many church ministries that came into the prison weekly.
Jared filed for clemency after serving half of his sentence and in a very unusual move, both the District Attorney and the sentencing judge wrote letters to the governor supporting clemency. The parole board denied his request however. (Fewer than 6% of clemency applications make it to the governor’s desk per state data.)
Once released Jared completed his bachelor’s degree at UT, was hired upon graduation. His employer is aware of his background and was impressed enough with him to overlook it.
Jared married and has a child, but is now divorced. The family court required psychological examinations of both parents to determine custody of the child and decided on 50-50. He was determined to be equally able to parent his daughter.
Later his ex-wife sought full custody so she could move from the area, and again the court asked for more psychological exams. Same result: 50-50 custody. He was not considered a threat of any kind to his child.
As a side note, after Jared was released from prison he and his family contacted a victim support group in Nashville. He became face and voice for them in a DVD message which continues to be used in their educational programs. His desire was, and is, to warn other young men and to prevent them from making the same mistake he made.