Mistaken Identity Labels Innocent Man a Sex Offender

INSIDE EDITION talks to an innocent man who is trying to clear his name after a case of mistaken identity has labeled him a sex offender.  

Dan Wheeler has been wrongly labeled a sex offender and it all happened after his wallet was stolen.
Cops say the thief, who actually is a registered sex offender, used Wheeler's name as an alias, and now the thief's crimes are mistakenly linked to Wheeler.

Wheeler says he had no idea the identity switch took place until a cop pulled him over near his home outside Seattle, Washington.

Wheeler said, "Next thing I know, he's listening to the radio and puts his hand on his gun and says, 'Put your hands on the car. You are under arrest.' I sayid, 'For what?' He said, 'We have a warrant for your arrest.' "
Wheeler proved it was a case of mistaken identity, but it didn't stop there.

"The judge says 'Cleared.' Great, but it's still on my record," says Wheeler.

So why can't Wheeler get the sex offender label and the other man's name removed from his record?
Washington State police tell INSIDE EDITION whenever a criminal uses an alias that name stays in the system permanently in case the crook uses that alias again.

Bob Calkins of the Washington State Patrol said, "If we didn't connect those in the record, that person could continue to use his name and continue to build a duplicate record that would be very difficult to differentiate from the real."

Amazingly, Wheeler has kept his sense of humor about the very unfunny situation, which may never go away.

"All I can do is laugh and shake my head and think, 'You know, I'm screwed for life,' " said Wheeler.