Texas Cops Mistakenly Label Mom a Sex Offender

At her kitchen table, with a few moments between being a mother to two young boys, 20-year-old Rachel Marquez cracks open her criminal justice text book to prepare for an exam at Garland's Remington College. 

As it turns out, life is giving Marquez plenty of lessons lately on injustice.

"I'm very upset, because it's on my character," said Marquez, trying to articulate her outrage at being publically labeled a sex offender.

Recently Marquez's search for an apartment led to the astonishing revelation.

"I got denied," said Marquez. "They looked at my criminal background record and said I was a sex offender." 

Marquez logged on to the first computer she could find.

"Sure enough it's on there," said Marquez. 

Her birthdate, height and weight were all on the Texas Department of Public Safety's sex offender registry for the world to see. Along with that, a photo of Marquez at 13, taken after a 2002 arrest for trespassing in the city of The Colony when she was in middle school.

The Colony Police Department confirms Marquez's juvenile arrest but said that she was neither charged or convicted of any type of sexual offense. 

The chief said that his department forwarded no information regarding Marquez to the Texas Department of Public Safety for any reason and that the department is puzzled as to how her picture and personal information got into the state's sex offender registry.

"I'm like, 'Why me?'" said Marquez. "Why of all people did this have to happen to me?"

Marquez has yet to get an answer. A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety said that all information on the sex offender registry is forwarded to Austin from local municipalities. An investigation is ongoing to determine how the registry got Marquez's information and how long her information appeared there.

Marquez is convinced that just as the background check identified her as a sex offender and nearly cost her an apartment, it may have also cost a job.

Detectives with Dallas' Police Department ultimately investigated at Marquez's urging and got the state to remove her name from the registry.

Marquez has her apartment, but now she'd like some peace of mind and answers as to how her name got on the registry, when it got there, and what could possibly be in store for her next.

"It's going to take a while for me to just forget about it," said Marquez. "It's always going to be on my mind, forever."

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