DEARSUGAR NEEDS YOUR HELP: My Friend's Father Is A Sex Offender - Can We Remain Friends?

DEARSUGAR NEEDS YOUR HELP: My Friend's Father Is A Sex Offender - Can We Remain Friends?

DEARSUGAR and Fretful Friend need your help. The new girl on the block has finally made a friend. However, she's scared to go over to her house or get too close to her for good cause. How can she handle this kind of situation without hurting her friend's feelings?

Dear Sugar
My family and I moved from Florida to California about three weeks ago and it's been going well. Since my mom is still in Florida finishing up her job, I sometimes have to ride the public bus home. My dad gave me a little map of the area and the bus routes which I put in the front of my binder.

The other day when I was walking into one of my classrooms, a girl noticed the little map and said that she rode the bus sometimes too. I was excited to know that she lived around my neighborhood and that I could have a friend that lived close by. When we exchanged addresses and phone numbers, we found that we lived only around the corner from each other. That made me really excited.

Soon after, when I was driving with my dad, I pointed to the house where my friend lived. He seemed a little surprised and asked for her last name. Later that night while I was in my room doing homework, my dad came in and asked to see me for a moment. What he showed me blew my mind.

He took me to the office room where the computer is and said "I know it's not your friend's fault but take a look at this..." He then showed me a picture of a man under the title California Registered Sex Offenders. As I continued to read, I noticed that the man had the same last name and the same address as my friend.

I kept reading and was shocked to find out that he had been charged with several sex crimes such as: Rape by force, Oral copulation with person under 16 years and Sexual penetration with foreign object by force. This really scared me. I had so many questions running through my mind... Why wouldn't he be in jail? Does his daughter know about this?

My dad told me not to get close with her family and to not go to her house. She's a great person and we get along so well, but I'm worried that she might think I'm avoiding going to her house because of her. I haven't mentioned it to her or to any of our friends. What should I do? Fretful Friend

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