Convicted man given clean slate - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Convicted man given clean slate

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-- Roy Robinson says his conviction was supposed to be expunged years ago.

It hasn't happened and he can't get a job, so he begged a judge for help.

Robinson says the system let him down, and hoped a judge could help him make a fresh start.

Robinson maintains his innocence and says he took a deal because he ran out of money to pay his attorney.

He never dreamed he would be working three years later to clear his name.

Eight years ago a woman under his care at the Moccasin Bend Mental Health Center claimed Robinson raped her.

"There were no witnesses to any crime, and there was no evidence to suggest anything happened," says Robinson.

Looking to avoid a trial, Robinson pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, was sentenced to probation and says he was guaranteed his record would be wiped clean.

"The charges were expunged in 2007. July of 2007. Backtracking I found that they never took a lot of things off my record," says Robinson.

Robinson successfully removed his name from the sex offender registry but is still listed in the Department of Health's database as an abuser.

"Most companies check the abuse registry before they even do a background check. My background check comes back clean, but you hit that abuse registry and there I am," says Robinson.

He's also still listed on Hamilton County's website. With a click of the mouse, we were able to access records tied to his expunged conviction.

Not only did we find documents online connected to Robinson's 2002 arrest, we searched Hamilton County's mug shot database, which turned up his booking photo.

Robinson says these documents make it impossible to find a job in his field.

Monday Judge Don Poole validated Robinson's claim that the county records should have been deleted years ago.

"It appears to me that you are probably correct, because there is something on your record that shouldn't be on your record," says Judge Poole. "I'm going to order that we expunge that okay?"

News Robinson says is encouraging, but there's still a long way to go.

"You've got to go through all these steps in order to get off these different lists. I don't think it should be that way. If my charges were expunged I think I should have come off that abuse registry as well," says Robinson.

The order signed by Judge Poole will limit the courts system from giving out any information about Robinson's expunged conviction.

I'm told it will take a few weeks before his records are deleted from the county's website.

It won't be as easy to remove Robinson's name from the state's abuse registry.

The Department of Health tells me expunged criminal records do not impact someone's placement on the registry.

Robinson has already begun the appeal process.

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