Christopher Reina: “My story is a cautionary tale”

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Dear SFGN,

I want to thank SFGN for adding some balance to the story of my recent legal troubles by publishing Michael McCloskey's piece in your August 28th edition. What I did was immoral and inexcusable. However, as Mike stated, it is far from a 'did he or didn't he' situation. I admit that I allowed an undercover FBI agent to download some videos containing child pornography from a password protected shared folder of mine via a file sharing website.

While this may be hard for many people to fathom, I possessed such videos, along with other types of pornography, not because of any sexual attraction to children on my part, but because they served as a form of currency in the shadowy world that linked heavy drug use, sex, pornography, and the internet into which I had immersed myself over the past year or so. A world in which it was encouraged to explore taboo subjects such as pedophilia, incest, bestiality, rape, and other perversions. In my experience, crystal meth in particular can bring out a dark side in many gay men's sexuality. My severe addiction to crystal meth and other drugs fostered my aberrant behavior, and having those videos afforded me credibility in my online interactions with such men.

I am in no way trying to excuse what I did, but rather to explain how I could possibly end up doing what I did. But let me be clear; I have never inflicted harm on any child or minor in my life, nor would I ever do so. Still, I realize that there are many in society, who are more than glad to know that I am facing a prison sentence from five to twenty years. In fact, the federal sentencing guidelines suggest that I be incarcerated for 12 to 17 years. On September 19th I will throw myself on the mercy of the court and pray that the judge will give me a lighter sentence based on the fact that I never touched a child and because, as a direct result of my addiction, my health is rather precarious.

For those who do not believe that drug addiction is not akin to a mental illness, I ask them what other word beside "insane" would they use to describe the fact that I, locked up within the confines of these concrete walls, behind bars and steel doors, away from everything I hold dear, still romance the thought of getting high. They are thoughts that I am powerless over, thoughts that even recovering addicts and alcoholics entertain.

Unfortunately, drug abuse and alcoholism have historically had a correlation to homosexuality, no doubt serving as a maladaptive counterweight to the stigma, hatred, and fear many gay men and women experience growing up and throughout life. Crystal meth has been a scourge in our community for well over two decades that I know of, and I am sure that people are tired of hearing about it, wishing it would just go away. Instead, I would hope that people in the gay community continue to discuss the subject and bring it out from the darkness where it thrives. My story is a cautionary tale; if discussion of it in your newspaper helps prevent others from falling into similar fates, well then, I am all for it. I am truly sorry for the pain I have caused to those who care about me, and for any hardship my actions may have caused others.


Christopher Reina Inmate # 50095-004 Federal Detention Center - Miami

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