NEW MEXICO - A registered sex offender who is tired of the stigma that comes with the label is one of the forces behind a national conference in Albuquerque next week that aims to soften reform sex offender laws.
Lloyd Swartz is one of the more than 2,700 registered sex offenders living in the state of
New Mexico, according to the state's sex offender registry.
Swartz, 43, was convicted of sexual assault in Texas in 1987.
"My conviction was over 25 years ago…I served my sentence
over 15 years ago. And yet I'm still being punished, and my family is still being punished," he told KOAT-TV.
The father of two must remain on the sex offender list for 13 more years due to state laws, but he feels he doesn’t belong on the list anymore because he’s served his time.
Swartz will be a part of the fourth annual Reform Sex Offender Laws National Conference.
Swartz believes the only people who should have to be on the list are those currently serving sentence, and he says that no one should have to be on the list for life.
However, many parents disagree. One grandmother, Sally Gomez, said she wants the ability to go on the internet and see what areas sex offenders are registered in.
"I mean, we just need to protect our children and we need to know where they're living ... it's important we know where they (sex offenders) are," Gomez said.
The New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said she doesn’t support softening the sex offender laws, and she actually wants to make them more harsh.
The conference runs from September 6 to 9.
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