Two years ago the city of Seattle changed the name of the misdemeanor crime of patronizing a prostitute to sexual exploitation. The change has gotten at least one man fired from a job after a faulty background check. For an immigrant, says his lawyer, it could mean deportation. These charges of Sexual Exploitation are generally related to Backpage.com sting operations.
John Tymczyszyn, who represents the 24-year-old Arizona man, said the error on the man's background check isn't simply a computer glitch. It is a result of careless proseution
The man got a job at an Arizona grocery store, but was fired after a private data-mining company ran his criminal history, determined he had been convicted of sexual exploitation and wrongly labeled his crime a felony, according to the man and Tymczyszyn. After being denied a second job, the 24-year-old contacted the company to explain the mistake, but the company continues to insist the charge is a felony, he said.
The man's case is to be dismissed in August, but Tymczyszyn doesn't know if that will have any impact on his background check.
“Sexual exploitation, for potential employers, insinuates my client — or anybody with this on their record — is a registered sex offender,” Tymczyszyn said. “Misdemeanors aren't supposed to render you unemployable.”
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