A Man Without His Name is Not a Man: false accusations and the criminal Injustice System

POOR correspondent - Posted on 06 July 2010

Editor’s Note: Dale Ray’s article was facilitated by Poor Magazine columnist Tony Robles. It Reflects one man’s experience with the burden of trying to overcome the injustice and stigma of an accusation of molestation. POOR Magazine understands the severity of child molestation upon its victims and families. It is POOR Magazine’s position that a person who commits this crime against children should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. POOR also realizes that the system by which individuals are accused and incarcerated—at The same time is flawed—incarcerating and stigmatizing innocent individuals. This article is written to inform the public of this situation.

Dale Ray and Tony Robles/PNN
Friday, February 22, 2008

A man without his name is not a man. A man can be stripped of many things, but regaining one’s good name is a challenge. I have faced challenges all my life. I have lived in the street, homeless and seemingly without hope. I have been incarcerated for numerous crimes and I take full responsibility for them. There were good people along the way, however, that saw something in me—saw hope when I saw hopelessness. Their belief and faith has allowed me to wake up every morning with new eyes and a purpose for living. I have 2 sons presently incarcerated in the Texas prison system. I was not a good father and I am reaping what I’ve sown. I have had time to examine my life through new eyes—the eyes of a survivor in this hostile American society—a society hostile and unforgiving to the poor. I have learned to forgive myself and I have changed my life to help those around me. As the philosopher Henry David Thoreau once said, “Be not simply good, be good for something”.

I am a “One man scared straight program”. Through will power and determination I was able to kick a 25 year addiction to crack. These days I talk to young people about the dangers of drugs and what it’s like when they’re in the adult system. Basically I tell them it’s no game. Youngsters going in for the first time are eventually going to be someone’s woman—and be told what to do and when to do it. I tell them that they might not get out alive. I tell them of the realities of prison life because I’ve lived it. Through my work in gang prevention with organizations such as “United Playaz”, I have been able to get young people into job training programs. Those youngsters are succeeding where I once failed. My motto, “your past does not dictate your future”.

My life took a very positive turn in 2007 when I received an award--101 men making a difference. I felt that I was fulfilling my life’s purpose. I was a mentor and father figure making a difference in the lives of young people and I also had a radio show on KPOO where I addressed issues of poverty, homelessness and addiction.

While these wonderful things were transpiring in my life, I was still dealing with the impact of a toxic relationship I had when I was caught up in my addiction. This relationship came at the cost of my family and it took a toll on my financial and emotional resources. The relationship, which lasted from 1997 to 2001, was tumultuous. We fought often and I found myself in a vicious cycle. She would take my money and I would end up on the street. Why I tolerated this situation, I can’t say but I eventually sought to free myself from its tethers. The situation reached its apex when I came home one day and was called the “N Word” (among other expletives) by her 11 year old daughter. I did what I thought was right—I spanked her with an open palm.

That incident sparked off a reaction that has come at the expense of my name in the community. I was accused of touching the 11 year old inappropriately. This accusation was entirely false leading to a 10 month incarceration and forcing me to accept a deal with the DA—accept a lesser charge and be registered as an offender on Megan’s List or go to trial—a trial that I would likely lose. I had 2 strikes. I had no choice but to accept a charge of Child Harassment. CPA interviewed the girl. A child psychiatrist reviewed the video and was of the opinion that the girl had been coached and pressured to say things that were not true.

Prior to these events I was on parole for 4 years—a perfect parole with no incidents or violations. It is infuriating that my name and reputation have been compromised by an utter falsehood. I have since lost my radio show with KPOO because of this accusation. Other opportunities afforded me have been lost due to the injustice of the system.

I understand the concern and panic people feel when accusations of this nature arise. I feel that no child should be abused in any way. Anybody that would abuse a child needs to suffer serious consequences for their actions.

I am writing this in my fight to liberate myself from this situation by telling the truth. It is ironic that the source and inspiration for so much of my work is also a cause of much of my pain. But I will continue to work with the youth in gang prevention. I will continue to be a mentor and an example to them. And I will continue my fight through the courts to fully exonerate myself of the false charges levied against me. I will continue to fight for my good name. As I always say, “you may bend, but you don’t have to break”.

Dale Ray will release his debut book, Hell and Back a POOR Press publication this spring. For more information or to order a copy, please call 415-863-6306.


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