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Dear Abby
Public data on Web site may shed light on man's shady past
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DEAR ABBY: I'm in a relationship with a man I'll call "Dominick," who was arrested a few years back, but he refuses to tell me what he was arrested for. I have two children, and I don't want to continue this relationship if Dominick is a child molester.
    Do you know where I can find out what he did? — UNEASY IN SANFORD, FLA.
    DEAR UNEASY: All you have to do is go to and click on the sexual offender data base link. It's the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Web site, and it contains public-record information on people who have been classified as sexual predators/offenders under Florida law.
    Readers, please note that different states have different laws about what information is made available to the public regarding criminals in this category.
    From the FDLE site, you can link to other state sites and to the National Sex Offender Public Registry at, which is provided by the U.S. Department of Justice.
    However, that this man has refused to divulge the reason for his arrest to you should have already raised a huge red flag. It means he has plenty to hide, and because he's unwilling to be forthcoming, my advice is to invest no more time in him.

    DEAR ABBY: I am 17. I had a dear friend I'll call "Gina." Her father was addicted to drugs and her mother died when she was young. Gina had nowhere to live because of certain things that were going on in her life, so I talked to my parents and they agreed she could live in our home. We took her in and treated her like a family member.
    After living here for a month, Gina did something horrible. She had sex with a boy I'll call "Jesse." He was my first love and meant the world to me. Jesse and I were together for two years, on and off, and it was right after we had broken up that Gina lied to my face about what happened with him. She couldn't even own up to it. I heard it from one of my other good friends.
    Abby, my family accepted Gina as one of our own. We clothed her, fed her, gave her a place to stay and comforted her through all her troubles. I don't know what to do. Pretend like nothing happened? She hurt me very badly, and everyone I tell this story to seems to think I should break off the friendship for good. I miss her company, but she really hurt me. Should I forgive her? — BURNED IN BROOKLYN
    DEAR BURNED: Gina may have lied because she was ashamed of what happened. I see no reason to pretend that nothing happened. However, whether you forgive Gina would depend on something you left out of your letter. Because this happened "right after" you and Jesse broke up, is it possible he used her to punish you? And who spread the story around? Was it Gina, or was it Jesse bragging about his latest conquest?
    You need to be able to tell Gina how much her fling hurt you. She used extremely poor judgment under the circumstances to forge ahead with that "romance" while living under your roof. But if Jesse told her it was over between you, I can see why she might have. Forgiveness will depend on the answers you get from Gina, and how much forgiveness you're capable of.
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