Man who lost everything deserves a pardon
Adam Nesteikis will be 34 in December, yet has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old. He has spent much of his life enjoying what was on offer for him. His mother, Carol Nesteikis, wrote, "He had two great joys in his life: Special Olympics and scuba diving." In 2013, Adam was registered as a sex offender.
When Adam was 25, he was coerced by a neighbor into unzipping his pants and exposing himself to a 5-year-old girl. It was later discovered, before this occurrence, that the neighbor (who himself was molested) had been molesting Adam and his niece, the 5-year-old.
Adam had no understanding of what he had done. He had only stopped wetting the bed at age 16, and does not like to be touched, hugged, or kissed. Nonetheless, Adam and the neighbor were each charged with 19 felonies.
The family could not risk Adam being sent to prison so they accepted a plea deal. Adam plead guilty to a single misdemeanor; was on probation for two years, during which time he wore an ankle monitor; and would spend 10 years on the sex-offender registry. Once off the registry, if Adam wanted to return to Special Olympics, he likely couldn't because they often take place at parks and Adam now has a lifetime ban from parks.
Carol, 67, and her husband, 69, eventually sold their home and moved into a one-bedroom condo with Adam. Carol wrote, "We let my son have the bed. He has lost so much that we had to let him have his own bed."
Carol is seeking a pardon for Adam from Gov. Pritzker.
Thanksgiving, his birthday, Christmas, the new year -- all seem like optimal times to give back to someone who needlessly lost everything.