In previous chapters I mentioned having to register with the police department, this time the City of Poughkeepsie, since I now reside there. For all Level “3” sex offenders, who must register quarterly, the police officer in charge, a detective at the level of sergeant is responsible and determined what would be better for him is anyone classified the same level as I would do it on the same day, so there would only be four days out of the year versus each month having this requirement and perhaps each day of a month. So, in my case, having registered in July upon returning to New York would satisfy my own requirement making the next time to be October 29th, and not my birthday, as per the rule in Beacon and as was in Georgia. Each jurisdiction having their own procedure.
Having registered in New York State at least seven times prior, you become familiar with the form and unless there is any change of information regarding residence or contact, you merely fill it as before developing a habitual method where you do it without thinking. The form itself had not changed since I left two years before and my only variation would be my home address and telephone number I listed along with the same Internet email address I’ve maintained since getting out of federal detention in 2004, in Puerto Rico.
During my October 29th registration, again taking minutes to fill out the form, I was grateful because expecting a line, I was able to be in and out, although when I came, in the morning, I learned the detective’s shift would be the afternoon, so I would have to return later in the day.
When I received my copy of the form, I pocketed it and headed home and when I arrived, took the paper and unfolded to locate the next registration date, January 29, 2010, and placed it on my calendar software in my laptop. As I was doing so, it dawned on me, as I was now examining the form, perhaps I should have included the email address to my ministry’s website which by now being actively used, to my delight. I was getting emails from those who had browsed my site, most often comments regarding something I’d written in one of my blogs, but mostly the many were spam generated by European countries who did as I do, creating back-links to generate traffic to my site. Let me explain. In order to drive others to review your site and perhaps take advantage of your services, which in my case, would mean to provide counseling by those either afflicted by drug addiction or knew someone who was, or to arrange for me to come and speak to their organization or church, or arrange an opportunity for me to sale my book. I registered with Google to send me alerts anytime drug addiction or sex offending news was published from the various news outlets which had an Internet site, read the article and then posted my comment regarding the article and listed my own website, drawing attention to my site. Or, I would agree with someone else who had a similar interest, say in sexual offending and agreed to allow them to post my blog on their site while mentioning them on my site, generating traffic for both exponentially generating interest into areas, increasing our Internet presence so when others would Google, say, the word, “addiction” or “sex offender” putting my website within the first ten hits on the screen.
I was generating quite a bit of activity of about 2,000 hits per month, using the website’s email address created by Samantha who created my website when living in Atlanta, March 2009, so by October, I’m beginning to realize activity, so the thought occurred to me should I have listed this email address with the authorities? Samantha’s idea, which was a good one, was to create a separate email address which in turn would forward automatically the email from the website so I would not have a mixture of my personal email with the site’s. So, in essence, I never used the actual website’s email address, nor would I respond by using it because it involved more steps accessing then the time it took to log onto my personal site accessing those forwarded emails, and could respond from there as easily as normal emails. I settled within myself the next visit, in January, I would do so.
In December 2009, my goal of public speaking engagements was not generating the kind of interest and income I had believed it would. I had concerns about meeting my financial obligations, so I began seeking God’s direction. He asked me the one question I hadn’t expected to hear, but trusted in Him. He asked me the same question more than once: “Would you be willing to return to prison, for Me?” Having gone through this experience living in Puerto Rico, I knew to answer Him in the affirmative, the first time, trusting whatever His will would be for my life was best. I agreed to go if this is what He wanted me to do, but not believing it would take place.
Two weeks before I had to register in January, I received a phone call from the police department informing there would be a change in the registration process and instead of meeting with the sergeant I would now meet with him, Detective Fernandez. The call was pleasant although whenever I speak to police my heart-rate is always elevated, something I knew I would need to resolve since I would have to have contact with them for the remainder of my life or as the law now stood in this country, if I did not choose to live somewhere else. We ended with my being asked about what time I would be coming in and I asked at what time was he scheduled to work and when I learned it would be the morning, agreed to be there the time he would start, hoping to be the first in and avoid any lengthy lines if others wanted to take care of their requirement before heading to work. I had my day planned, too, because I was getting paid for work I was contracted to do for a gentleman Don put me in touch with, who put me in touch with him.
I have to share this experience because it was a definite miracle of God. I met Dr. Godfrey who worked in the corrections field with Don, who gratefully agreed to meet with me at Robert’s place of business. During our hour meeting, I shared with him my story, what I believed God was calling me to do, gave him a copy of my book and requested him to arrange for me to speak at his church. He worshipped at the Seventh-Day Adventist church in Kingston. (I mentioned in Chapter 5 how God arranged for me to speak at his church after meeting him without his actual invovement.) He mentioned speaking to two other contacts, which he did, and I had the opportunity of speaking and then meeting both, one of which was Mr. Coley. I called his office but unable to speak with him being told he was out of the office. I was supposed to have mailed a copy of my book but procrastinated doing so the day previously, so having not reached Mr. Coley, decided to use the time to fulfill my obligation to do so at that time. When I arrived at the post office, there was a distinguished looking man preparing a box to be mailed who gave me a look of recognition. Being one not to be found staring, I averted my eyes, but in one awkward moment, glanced back to see he was still looking at me, so I nodded in greeting when he spoke mentioning my having spoken at his church recently. I light-bulb went off in my head and I asked, “Are you Mr. Coley?” He responded affirmatively! I told him I had tried reaching him at his office not more than twenty minutes ago! He said, “Maybe this is of God.” Of course, I would agree and he asked if I would call him the first of the year and I assured him I would.
I contacted him and the other gentleman, the executive director of a drug inpatient program who worked directly with the court and department of corrections, who were interested but did not know how I would fit in since my belief regarding treatment of substance abuse went contrary to what they did and his concern my zeal for faith-based healing would cause problems with their oversight by state regulators, so I went away from the meeting not too encouraged. When I finally got interviewed with Mr. Coley, he candidly shared he had told our mutual acquaintance upon receiving my resume he did not have anything for me. He really did not want to meet with me but his wife told him to do so saying, “Listen to him”, and so he did, he listened while I spoke. After telling him what I was looking for he said, “Your presentation filled in areas your resume does not address, and I believe I can use you. This is what I will do. I will agree to hire you for one year, at twenty hours per week at ten dollars an hour. In this way you can continue to pursue whatever it is you believe you are being directed to do, and I will get a chance to see your work. Of course, this is not carved in stone, because you just may find a niche in my organization and we can always talk later. How does that sound?” It sounded spectacular.
I prayed for some type of relief because my relationship with unemployment was just about tapped and I did not know how I could continue living, especially between speaking engagements and I stopped having any expectations of becoming a “New York Best Seller”, so what he proposed was truly an answer to prayer. With the money he was agreeing to pay would take care of all my living expenses. My rent, phone and Internet connection would now go on uninterrupted, and the Lord would work out the other areas like food, etc. So, this is why I was anxious to take care of the registration requirement, so I could get paid and with my remaining funds in my account, my landlord would be happy and I’d be happy. But, it was not to be!
When I arrived and announced myself the person I needed to see indicated needing a moment, and when called for me, we walked past the usual office for the registration and into an interrogation office, which I thought a bit strange but my anxiety was alleviated when he said, as another officer entered the room, he was new in this work and I said, “No problem. I’m a pro at doing this. Just ask any question.” And, he did.
As I filled out the form, I was reminded by the Holy Spirit to provide the email address and as I wrote it down, the detective took my form asking me what this was and why I not offered it before? I told him it was an email used with my website and I was admonished by the officer to provide the website address and any other email addresses used and to be careful because they might have already checked and I did not want to provide wrong information. I finished what I’d started before he took the form and he wrote the dates I supplied verbally on the form, as I recounted from memory when I created them. I learned I was to have reported this information within ten days of their creation, but I countered was I to have done this while living in Georgia? Apparently, it did not matter because I needed to have done it upon arriving in New York and I failed to do so. I confessed a concern I’d had from the last registration, when he stopped me and read me my Miranda Rights and asked if I would write a confession. I took his paid and pen, but he took the pad back because from the bottom of the tablet, he pulled out a “Criminal Complaint” form mentioning the District Attorney’s office, my foe, Ms. Marjorie Smith had issued an arrest warrant for having discovered my website! I realized then my whole day was not going to work as I had planned.
Here is a copy of the form I filled out:
Following is the form the detective had hidden underneath the pad which I took to provide the information:
My confession, in an attempt to be honest, and their attempt at being dishonest by telling me the act I was charged with was considered an “administrative” infraction, not going on my record and usually resulted in a slap on the wrist. It turned out to be so much more then what they said. However, I shared with them after I got home in October, I worried if I should have given them the email address but never would have thought to provide them with my website, so I would have been in trouble anyway. They agreed. I was led to the “Booking” room, photographed and finger-printed and placed in a holding cell until I could be arraigned in front of a judge.
While waiting to be taken in front of a judge, a young man I later learned was named, Keith, was brought in. He was cursing and shouting and in my attempt to calm him learned he was being arrested for resisting arrest. I did notice how beaten-up he looked, as a result of biting a police officer. The main door opened and he was questioned by who I assumed was the police chief for what good reason he would put one of his officers in peril? After he left, Keith and I had a good talk about responsibility and how one should carry themselves regardless of the situation. I told him, if you show respect to them—first, you most likely would receive it, but any type of resistance will be met with overpowering resistance and you will not win. He listened. Later, I saw him again at the county jail and he was much more quiet and appreciative of the words spoken to him at the police station.
Five hours had passed before I was brought in front of the judge, and with a public defender I’d seen but was not my own, and now familiar Ms. Smith, after the charge was read, she stated she wanted the judge to order me to shut down my website because it was a “danger to society” with me asking for donations and “peddling” my book. When she spoke the words it struck me in the heart. This was my life and if it all went away, so was my purpose. What she engineered five years ago with my being given this higher level than required, now I was feeling the backlash not being able to work, and now she was wanting to take my only source of living away!
The judge asked what was the website called and to hear her speak the words: “Roymartinministries.com”, coming from her mouth said with disdain and as if the very words were problematic for her to pronounce. The judge repeated the website’s name and said, “A ministry? A ministry? I don’t know if I can do this, citing his First Amendment right. I guess I have the power to do so, but I will have to check.” Those words offered me hope but I was prepared, right then and there, to defy any request to remove what I believe God began in me almost a year prior. I was not giving up without a fight.
Bail was discussed but because I never pay bail realized I was not going to be let out to get my paycheck or have a nice meal, but instead, similarly as what I wrote in my first book, I began taking my meals courtesy of Dutchess County residents in their county jail!