In The Newsregistry

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin RX Is “Cruel & Unusual Punishment”

Having a seriously ill child is heartbreak enough, but a father prevented from visiting his sick child makes this story even more tragic and it should never have happened in the first place. This is “bad medicine” at it’s worst!

Stuart Yates, a hard-working husband, father and unfortunately, a registrant, is pursuing a legal remedy for the current and possible future disruptions at a time when the family should be unified to support their child.

Mr Yates’ 9 yr. old son Kahlil, born without some vital organs and already a triple-transplant recipient, has spent a lot of time in and out of Children’s Hospital.  As a concerned father, Mr. Yates has also spent his fair share of time in Children’s Hospital, without incident, doing what any good parent does, sitting next to his son’s bedside providing support and comfort during his son’s illnesses. And that’s exactly what he was doing during Kahlil’s most recent hospitalization, being there for his child.

That is up until a few days ago when hospital security guards and a male nurse told Mr. Yates that he would need to leave the hospital premises because he was a registered sex offender. 

I don’t know how the hospital officials knew about Mr. Yates’ status.  Perhaps there’s some hospital checking of ID’s required of visitors, maybe a signifier on a license gave it away.  The “how” is irrelevant, it’s the “why” that concerns me.

Mr. Yates’ conviction was in 1998.  A 2nd degree sexual assault, the records indicate the then 29 year old Yates inappropriately touched a 15 year old babysitter.

That was 20 years ago! He’s had no re-offenses.

Mr. Yates took a plea deal at that time believing he would serve a 6 month sentence but instead he was given a 5 year sentence and a lifetime on the registry.

This man who has paid his debt to society, who has for the past 20 years remained offense-free, who has been a good husband and father, now sees his 9 yr.old son as having to also pay for his father’s crime. This child is being denied his father’s presense at the hospital because of something his father did 20 yrs. ago, something whose debt has already been paid.

This is the eptiome of “cruel and unusual punishment”.

Mr. Yates has filed a lawsuit against Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.  His attorney states the hospital is breaking the law by barring Mr. Yates from visiting his son. Naturally, the hospital sees things differently and falls back on the old “we can do what we need to to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors and staff” jargon. The hospital, to legally cover themselves I’m sure, offers the suggestion that if the hospital makes a decision to limit a visitor’s access, the visitor can always ask to have that decision reviewed by the hospital’s security staff or patient relations.

Wait, hospital security staff can review the decision?  They’re the ones that advised Mr. Yates he would have to leave hospital premises in the first place!

In whose favor do you think that little review will result ?

And why should that have to happen at all?

Mr. Yates had spent years visiting Kahlil in the hospital.  There had never been any questions or concerns, never any incidents.  Why now? What happened to make someone in authority at that hospital decide that all of a sudden Mr. Yates was a threat or a danger to his child, other patients, visitors or staff?

Nothing. Nothing at all.

Except, someone at the hospital decided to play “big-shot” and by removing Mr. Yates from the premises, they were going to save the hospital from the threat of the imaginary “boogie-man”. 

What can I say, some people just have too much time on their hands for their own good.

According to Mr. Yates’ lawyers, the lawsuit would be dropped if arrangements could be made for Mr. Yates to visit his son and that has “sort of” happened.  A judge has decided that Mr. Yates could visit his son under several conditions, these being 2 hour supervised visits 3 days per week, notifying the hospital 24 hours in advance of his visit and having a “guardian ad litem” appointed for the child.

While Mr Yates says he is appreciative of the judge, I just don’t know that I’d be willing to concede to all those ridiculous stipulations. (But then again, most parents would agree that at this point, Mr. Yates just wants to be able to visit his son, whatever the cost and deal with the rest of this mess later.)

Hospitals, aren’t they supposed to be places of healing, making things better? This seems like it was bad medicine, for both father and son. 

A formal hearing is scheduled for 4/17/18 to determine a permanent decision on visitation.

I don’t think it’s just Children’s Hospitals that are pulling these types of stunts either.  A while back I read about a hospital in Florida that was banning registrants from visiting.  Again, the reason was “they could be a danger to other patients, staff or visitors”.

Well, the reality is that anyone could be a danger to anyone else. Look at the news on any given day and you’ll hear the neighbors of mass shooting suspects say “he/she was such a nice, ordinary person, I can’t believe they could do something like this”.

The hospital should realize that registrants don’t have a monopoly on misdeeds, anyone at the hospital, patients, visitors, even their own employees may have done something regrettable in their past, they just haven’t been “scarlet-lettered” yet.

Stranger-danger, the boogie-man, they don’t exist. 

Something’s got to change so this never happens again.

Neither Mr. Yates nor his young son Kahlil should have been drawn into this wicked game of “lifetime registry restrictions” where a hospital can remove a parent for no good reason other than their own ignorance about registrants. At a time in their life when they are both vulnerable, during Kahlil’s illness and hospitalization, the hospital had no cause to intrude upon a parent/child relationship when the parent was doing nothing more than being a concerned parent. The hospital had no cause to bring Mr. Yates’ registry status into the picture. None.

When a debt is paid, we should mark it “PAID” and move on.   


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