Thứ Bảy, 20 tháng 12, 2014

'Sextortion': Online blackmail of men

Isn't it ironic that when the average citizen does it, it's a crime, but when the police do it for so called "sex stings", it's then magically ok?

Video Description:
Hundreds of thousands of men around the world are falling victim every year to a pernicious form of online crime. It has been nicknamed "sextortion" and is a form of blackmail. Victims are normally lured in through social media sites; the blackmailers are criminal gangs operating in countries like the Philippines.

Thứ Tư, 5 tháng 11, 2014

Vicky Henry, Women Against the Registry

Video Description:
Anyone convicted of a crime involving sex may be put on a public registry. At a conference on sex offender laws Vicky Henry, president of Women Against the Registry (WAR), tells of the horrendous consequences of the registry for the registrant and their family. There is no benefit to the society from the registry but quite the opposite.

CA - Sex-offender laws are ineffective and unfair, critics say

Frank Lindsay
Original Article


By Puck Lo

Frank Lindsay, 62, is a father, small-business owner and avid surfer. He’s also one of 105,000 people in California — and 760,000 nationally — listed as a sex offender. In accordance with federal law, his name, photograph and home address appear in a public, online offender registry. In 1979, Lindsay, then 27, was convicted of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14.

I thought I could do whatever I wanted,” Lindsay says. “Add on some alcohol, and I was a real asshole.”

Today, Lindsay considers himself a reformed man. He says he hasn’t had a drink in 30 years, is a Taoist and advocate for restorative justice — encouraging violent people to make amends for their actions. But, he says, “It seems that I can never be forgiven.”

Few groups are as widely despised as sex offenders. Activities prosecuted as sex offenses vary by state, but can include public urination, consensual sex between teenagers, streaking, prostitution, downloading child pornography and rape. In some states, law-enforcement officials distribute flyers to notify neighbors of registrants’ convictions. Some registrants are prohibited from using the Internet. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that indefinite detention at psychiatric hospitals — or “civil commitment” — of sex offenders is constitutional.

The first law requiring sex offenders to register publicly and for life was passed in California in 1947 and targeted gay men, according to Andrew Extein, executive director of the Center for Sexual Justice. But many of today’s laws have their origins in the late 1970s, when feminists and social conservatives worked together to publicize high-profile “stranger danger” attacks on children, says Roger Lancaster, anthropology professor at George Mason University and author of “Sex Panic and the Punitive State.”

Beginning in the mid-1990s, several laws went into effect that changed how sex-offense cases were prosecuted. In 1994, states were required to create databases of sex offenders. Two years later, Megan’s Law, named for a 7-year-old in New Jersey who was brutally raped and murdered by a neighbor with two previous sex convictions, allowed states to make those registries public. States passed their own versions of the law; in some cases, they required that neighbors be notified of paroled offenders’ previous convictions. Later laws moved those sex-offender databases online, created a national registry, required lifetime registration of people 14 years old and up and imposed harsh mandatory minimum sentences for crimes involving children.

But almost 20 years after the passage of Megan’s Law, criminologists and judges, along with a burgeoning movement of sex-offender registrants and their families, are challenging not only the constitutionality of the laws but their effectiveness in reducing sexual assault. In January, a California court ruled in favor of a paroled sex offender who had argued that city and county “child-safety zone” ordinances prohibiting people in the registry from using parks, beaches and similar recreation areas were an unconstitutional form of banishment. In April, the state Supreme Court upheld the ruling by declining to review it.

See Also: California Reform Sex Offender Laws

PA - Pennsylvania's Megan's Law mandate unfairly punishes offenders, court rules

Original Article


By Peter Hall

Some of Pennsylvania's latest sex offender registration requirements run afoul of a constitutional ban on laws that create new penalties for people who have already paid for their crimes, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.

The panel of seven Commonwealth Court judges also found, however, that requiring sex offenders to reveal their email addresses and other online aliases is not a violation of the First Amendment right to anonymous speech.

_____, convicted in 2001 of sexual assault, had already served his prison sentence and probation when the fourth revision of Pennsylvania's version of Megan's Law, named the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act, took effect in 2012.

_____ argued that the revisions to Megan's Law were so much more punitive than the earlier version of the law that they violated provisions in the state and federal constitutions that prevent states from imposing tougher penalties for crimes than were in place when they were committed.

He also argued that the new requirement to provide information about his online identities violated his right to anonymous online speech because his crime did not involve a minor on the Internet.

_____, 63, was convicted in Montgomery County Court of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at a suburban Philadelphia restaurant. His attorney, Burton A. Rose of Philadelphia, had not read the decision and declined to comment. State police officials were unavailable to comment.

In an opinion for the unanimous panel, Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer rejected _____'s claims with regard to a majority of the new registration requirements, including mandates to appear in person to register four times a year and to provide extensive personal information, palm prints and DNA samples, plus advance notice of international travel.

Jubelirer wrote that each of those requirements is related to public safety and not intended as a punishment.

Failure to comply with the requirements is a felony punishable by a five-year prison sentence, according to the opinion.

NY - “Bathroom Cops” Arresting Men in Public Bathrooms After “Shaking Off” When Done Urinating

Original Article


By John Vibes

A string of recent complaints filed by alleged victims of wrongful arrest are bringing question to NYPD practices of arresting men in public restrooms. There are currently undercover cops posted up in public restrooms across New York City, waiting to catch “sexual predators” in the act.

However, according to dozens of alleged victims, average men are becoming entrapped by these undercover agents, when they have done nothing wrong. Many of the victims have claimed that after urinating, “shaking off” and zipping up their pants, they were accused of “simulating masturbation” in view of the police officer.

The New York Times recently reported that police have been standing in public restrooms and staring down everyone who passes through, while they use the urinals. If the person makes any movements that the officer does not approve of, they can be arrested for “lewdness” with no evidence aside from the testimony of the officer. Since police have been stationed in public bathrooms, lewdness arrests have increased 7-fold. In the past year alone, over 60 people were arrested in one bus terminal restroom, many of them for alleged “lewdness” in the bathroom stall.

Dozens of the people who have been arrested in this trap have sought legal representation from The Legal Aid Society and other independent sources. Many of these people reported that the police made them feel uncomfortable by staring at them while they used the restroom, and it seems that if anyone is guilty of lewdness it was actually the undercover officer.

It is not clear why undercover agents have been placed in these bathrooms to begin with, even Capt. John Fitzpatrick, the Port Authority police commander who oversees the bus terminal, admits that complaints of lewdness in public bathrooms are “few and far in between”.

Although, Fitzpatrick is still standing by the actions of his officers, claiming that the dozens of men who have now filed complaints were in fact being lewd in the restroom, otherwise, he says, they would not have been arrested.

They are not sidling up to somebody, trying to sneak a peek and misrepresenting what the person is doing, there is no mistaking their behavior,” he said.

One man, accused of “simulating masturbation” says that he was simply “shaking off”, a near instinctual act that is not at all lewd or uncommon.

I wasn’t committing a lewd act, I was peeing in the beginning, but I was shaking off when the guy stepped back and looked at me,” Mr. Holden, a 28-year-old baker, said of his police encounter.

After Holden walked out of the bathroom he was arrested by police and taken to jail. When Holden was being processed in the jail he overheard one of the other cops refer to his arresting officer as “the gay whisperer”. This was a fairly offensive comment for Holden, consider the fact that he is a gay man, and feels that may be the reason why he got arrested.

I wore a leather jacket, fitted clothes. I guess that fits the description of a homosexual male, I was like, O.K., although I’m gay, I wasn’t doing anything,” he said.

Holden’s story is just one of dozens, and although there may be a few perverts in the bunch, it is safe to say that a vast majority of these people are innocent.

Thứ Tư, 8 tháng 10, 2014

MO - Making money off sex offender information

KidsLiveSafe Logo
Original Article


By Garrett Bergquist

NEW BLOOMFIELD - How much money would you pay to know if any sex offenders live in your area?

Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Kids Live Safe charges its subscribers $29.97 per month, or $59.88 per year, to tell them where registered sex offenders live in relation to their houses, schools or other places they frequent. Users can set up email alerts for up to four addresses, install filters to monitor their children's online activity, and create profiles of their children to give to law enforcement if their children ever disappear.

Here's the catch: The sex offender information Kids Live Safe provides at cost can be accessed for free through the Missouri State Highway Patrol's website.

Detective Tom O'Sullivan, of the Boone County Sheriff's Department, said state and federal law require anyone who commits a sex crime to register as a sex offender. The registry includes a description of the person and their vehicle, where they live and work and what crime they committed. Missouri law requires the Highway Patrol to make such information available through its website at no cost.

Kids Live Safe representatives turned down multiple requests to speak on the record for this story. A company representative reached by phone said the subscription pays for tools government-run online databases cannot provide, such as the email alerts and filtering software.

The Scarlet Letter of The Twenty First Century

Scarlet Letter Logo
Original Article


By Emily Kristoffersen

We as humans like to take pride in our centuries of supposed social evolution. We claim we are no longer the people in the dark ages of our ancient past, however, even in our modern advanced age of the 21st century we are still labeling people in our society with a form of a scarlet letter. Sex offenders seem to get the brunt of it, being treated as the social undesirables. With this form of labeling they are treated as a form of an untouchable creature and the worst of the worst, in many, if not most cases, they are doomed to wear this label for life. This modern day form of labeling can in ways be compared to the treatment of the characters Hester Prynne and Reverend Dimmesdale in the classic novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne titled ‘The Scarlet Letter’, or possibly the letter or band many lesser valued peoples of Adolf Hitler’s time were forced to wear during WWII. Are we now reverting back to this uncaring and uncompassionate form of behavior we claim to have conquered almost 100 years ago?

After WWII Americans forced Germans to view how the horrors of the holocaust had affected so many innocent victims. The reason given for this forced viewing was said to be that if the Germans would see how the people had suffered from this it would help prevent the same thing from happening in future generations. Apparently this so called cruelty prevention actually never really worked for those trying to teach the lesson. Americans act as if they have learned nothing from the history of that era. That time in history was when Germany started to take away the rights of some of its citizens simply because the people in power felt some of the citizens were considered of lesser value. We here in America now seem to be acting in this same manner of our treatment to many others.

AZ - Arizona’s Naked Photo Law Makes Free Speech a Felony

Original Article


By Lee Rowland

Which of the following could land you a felony conviction in Arizona?
  • Showing images of naked prisoners tortured at Abu Ghraib;
  • Linking to the iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of “Napalm Girl,” showing an unclothed Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack;
  • Sharing a close-up photo of a woman’s breast with a breastfeeding support group;
  • Waving a friend over to see a cute naked baby pic — like the one you see on this page.

Unfortunately, the answer is all of the above. That’s because Arizona recently passed a law that makes it a felony — and potentially a sex offense — to share any image of nudity or sexuality before you get consent from every person pictured.

Protecting personal privacy is, without doubt, a laudable goal. Indeed, the ACLU works tirelessly to protect your private data. But Arizona’s “nude photo law” is a seriously misguided attempt to achieve that goal. This new crime is broad and confusing. It applies to anyone who shares a nude image, not just to bad actors who intentionally invade another’s privacy. A prosecutor need not demonstrate that a person had an expectation of privacy in an image before charging you with a crime for sharing it. And the law applies equally to a private person’s hacked naked photo and a beautiful nude at a photography exhibit — because the law’s breadth encompasses truly newsworthy, artistic, and historical images.

As a result, the nude photo law creates bizarre and troubling burdens on speech fully protected by the First Amendment.

What I want you to know about being the sister of a convicted sex offender

What I want you to know
Original Article


By Natalie

I used to believe in monsters. Until my brother became one. Three years ago, I got a call that my brother had been arrested for molesting his step-daughter. Certain there had been a mistake, I was obviously dumbfounded. Until he confessed. Through slurred words, drunken ramblings and tears that, yes, he had, and on more than one occasion. The arrest was just the very first drop in a roller coaster of emotion.

This event has single handedly shaken my world like nothing before it. It has transformed my family in a way I could have never imagined. Each of us in separate and different ways.

I'm happy to say I think it's made me a better person. I know this may be hard for some people to reconcile but what I want people to know is there are no such things as monsters. I no longer believe in "bad" people. My message to my daughters (and yes, I have all girls and one is the same age as the victim) is there is no such thing as "bad guys." There are good people who make bad choices.

Before you start to type your heated disagreement let me stress that I in no way condone or excuse my brother's behavior nor any other kind of deviant, illegal behavior. My brother was the perpetrator in this instance not the victim. But I refuse to crucify him either. And that's what I have really learned. Who am I to proclaim an individual, made in Christ's image, a monster? How can I possibly know the many facets of one person? Can anyone of us be defined so narrowly? Would you want to be? It makes us feel safer to categorize and label others because we can distance ourselves, disassociate with our fellow human beings and relieve ourselves of the all-consuming question, "How could this happen?"

Thứ Ba, 7 tháng 10, 2014

CANADA - Sex offender supports on a shoestring

Susan Love & Adina Ilea
Susan Love & Adina Ilea
Original Article


By Erin McCracken

The day the doors to David’s prison cell slid open and he was free after spending five and a half years behind bars for sex crimes against children, he was given a one-way ticket to Ottawa and placed on a bus.

Armed only with expired identification, a little cash earned inside prison and two boxes and a bag containing his few possessions, David arrived in the city with limited prospects.

The challenges he faced reintegrating in society were enormous. There would be hurdles in finding a job and stable housing, securing money and proper identification and abiding by strict supervision rules that kicked in upon his release.

It had been almost six years,” said David, speaking under a pseudonym to protect his identity. “It was overwhelming. Scary, because you’re coming out into society and it’s open, it’s freedom.”

So it was difficult at first, but eventually you blend into it.”

The key to blending in, in part, proved to be two smiling women who met him at the bus stop as planned, – his first introduction to a surrogate network of friends and family who wanted to help him rebuild his life, and in the process, ensure he would not reoffend.

They are among more than 50 volunteers with Circles of Support and Accountability-Ottawa, one of 20 CoSA programs across Canada through which 500 volunteers are helping nearly 200 high-risk, high-needs sex offenders reintegrate in society after prison.

At first I didn’t know what to do. I have no social life,” said David. “There was a bit of boredom, a bit of loneliness, but I was able to talk to CoSA about it.”

Each week, he met with his group of four volunteers to talk about his issues, and spent one-on-one time with each of them by going out for coffee, or watching a movie.

They provided him with friendship and support, referring him to services in the city that could help him.

Positive social supports, experts say, combined with sexual-behaviour counselling and treatment, are key to ensuring former offenders such as David do not fall back into their old patterns, leading to more victims.

After almost a year with CoSA, David seemed to be doing well. He had stable housing at a halfway house for ex-inmates and was taking part in a counselling program there. He had found work.

IRELAND - Facebook 'vigilante' (Joe McCloskey) accused of posting rapist's address

Joe McCloskey
Joe McCloskey
Original Article


A man who denies running a Facebook witch-hunt against paedophiles is to be asked to reveal whether he posted a rapist's exact address, the High Court heard today.

Counsel for Joe McCloskey confirmed he will seek to provide any un-redacted version of new evidence in a potential landmark civil action.

A judge also heard claims that the campaigner was hiding material that could aid the lawsuit brought against him by a convicted child molester.

Mr McCloskey and Facebook are being jointly sued for damages by the sex offender.

The man, who cannot be identified, is claiming misuse of private information, harassment and breaches of the data protection act.

Proceedings were launched after his photograph and details appeared last year on 'Keeping our kids safe from predators II', a Facebook page administrated by Mr McCloskey.

VA - Ex-Dumfries police officer (Joseph Ruhren) convicted in more sexual assaults

Joseph Ruhren
Joseph Ruhren
Original Article


A jury has recommended four life sentences plus 30 years in prison for former Dumfries police officer Joseph Ruhren, convicted this week of 10 more felony charges for sexually assaulting a young boy.

Ruhren faced trial this week on six counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor and four counts of forcible sodomy. He was found guilty on all charges. The jury recommended four life terms in prison on the forcible sodomy charges and five years each on the indecent liberties charges.

The trial is Ruhren’s second on sexual assault charges involving underage boys. In August, a jury convicted Ruhren of four counts of carnal knowledge of a minor, two counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor and one count each of aggravated sexual battery and forcible sodomy. The jury recommended he serve 74 years in prison on those charges. Sentencing is set for Nov. 5.

Ruhren is set to stand trial three more times, on Nov. 12, Dec. 16 and Jan. 6. Each of his trials involves a different victim.

TX - Sheriff’s Office sergeant (Chad Hightower) arrested for improper photography

Chad Hightower
Chad Hightower
Original Article


A Wise County Sheriff’s officer was arrested Friday morning for improper photography related to sex offenders who had been jailed. Sgt. Chad Hightower was charged with improper photography or visual recording. He posted $25,000 bond and was released. The investigation began from a complaint by a man who was registering as a sex offender. According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Hightower told the man a new state law required him to take photos of offenders in the nude. The complainant was photographed naked twice, the second time in an office at the county’s impound yard. The investigation revealed nude photos of other men as well, according to the affidavit. Look for a full story in the weekend Wise County Messenger.

See Also:

Thứ Năm, 4 tháng 9, 2014

FL - Why were service members targeted in local sex stings?

Original Article


By Noah Pransky

Former Army JAG tells 10 Investigates the Air Force is breaking the law by participating in local sex stings where no military members are involved.

PINELLAS COUNTY - Not only have Central Florida law enforcement officers violated federal rules in conducting "To Catch a Predator"-inspired sex stings, but 10 Investigates has learned they may also violate longstanding federal law that prohibits the use of military resources to enforce state laws.

While Tampa Bay-area law enforcement agencies continue to refuse to turn over public records from questionable "predator" roundups, 10 Investigates has learned through court records that a member of the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) has been a regular member of Central Florida undercover stings for more than a year.

In a recent deposition, the agent indicated his goal was to try and trap service members who might be willing to break the law. But he also admitted to targeting -- and helping arrest -- civilians as well. According to an operation plan from a recent Pinellas County sting, the agent, William Glidewell, acted as a "chatter," communicating with potential investigative targets online. He was put up in a Clearwater Beach hotel for four days and reported to the sting's lead agencies, the Clearwater Police Department and Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

"It's odd that you would have a military (investigator) being so treated like civilian law enforcement," said Charles Rose, a Stetson Law professor and retired Army JAG Corps member. "You cannot assign military personnel -- on orders -- to a (local law enforcement) organization."

10 Investigates previously showed how the sex stings were taking valuable resources away from other areas of law enforcement and frequently targeted young men who were merely looking for women their own age.

NY - Sex Offenders Housing Restrictions Are Pointless

Sex offender housing
Original Article


By Jesse Singal

On Thursday, Joseph Goldstein of the New York Times reported thatDozens of sex offenders who have satisfied their sentences in New York State are being held in prison beyond their release dates because of a new interpretation of a state law that governs where they can live.” In short, since 2005, sex offenders in the state can't live within 1,000 feet of a school, and a February ruling from the state's Department of Corrections and Community Supervision extended that restriction to homeless shelters.

Because the onus is on sex offenders to find approved housing before they’re released, Goldstein reported, they've been left with very few options, especially in densely-populated New York City, where there are schools everywhere. This has led to an uncomfortable legal limbo and sparked at least one lawsuit (so far) on behalf of an offender who is still in custody even though he was supposed to be out by now.

The unfortunate thing about this situation is that laws designed to restrict where sex offenders can live are really and truly useless, except as a means of politicians scoring easy political points by ratcheting up hysteria. There are many tricky social-scientific issues on which there are a range of opinions and some degree of debate among experts, but this isn't one of them. Among those whose job it is to figure out how to reduce the rate at which sex offenders commit crimes (as opposed to those whose job it is to get reelected, in part by hammering away at phantom threats), there is zero controversy: These laws don't work, and may actually increase sexual offenders’ recidivism rates.

Maia Christopher, head of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, sent Science of Us a policy paper her organization has prepared on this issue (it’s not yet online, but should be later this week). ATSA’s views on housing restrictions for sex offenders are completely straightforward: The group “does not support the use of residence restrictions as a feasible strategy for sex offender management” because of a lack of evidence they do any good.

The paper notes that these laws have proliferated—“[a]t least 30 states and hundreds of cities” have them—because of some basic misunderstandings about how sex crimes are committed. There’s a collective American fixation on the creepy image of a sex offender salivating just beyond the playground fence, but that’s just not how things usually work.

Rather, these crimes are generally committed by someone known to the victim—93 percent of the time when it comes to child victims, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics—and the majority take place either in the victim’s home or the home of someone they know. “Therefore,” the authors write, “policies based on ‘stranger danger’ do not adequately address the reality of sexual abuse.”

NJ - Twenty years later, has Megan’s Law delivered?

Maureen Kanka
Maureen Kanka
Original Article


It’s been 20 years since New Jersey’s Legislature passed Megan’s Law. The two decades since have been filled with legal challenges and disappointment it didn’t accomplish what many thought it would. It’s what happens when politics and emotion team to shortcut the legislative process.

The law is named for Megan Kanka, who was raped and killed in 1994 when she was 7 after being lured into the home of a twice-convicted sex offender, Jesse Timmendequas, who lived across the street from the child.

Her parents, Maureen and Richard, lobbied the Legislature for a law to require registration of sex offenders; it was named after their daughter. It went into effect just months after her horrible death.

Typical of legislation rushed through, New Jersey’s version has been much challenged. Other states and the federal government took their time and did it better. In New Jersey, there is a back story involving Republican Garabed “Chuck” Haytaian, who was Assembly speaker and wanted to replace Frank Lautenberg in the U.S. Senate. His colleagues saw the law as an opportunity.

In his campaign ads, Haytaian bragged he “fast-tracked Megan’s Law.” Both chambers of the Legislature were controlled by Republicans, and so was the Governor’s Office. They wanted to see Lautenberg, a Democrat, beaten. Haytaian came within 3 points of winning.

Emotion and political ambition are not a good combination for strong, effective legislation — the usual vetting and debate got lost. After its passage, it was tied up in court for years, a lot of it because of unforeseen problems. As much as we hate it, there is a reason the legislative process is slow and deliberate by design.

In 2009, a study by the state Department of Corrections and Rutgers University concluded Megan’s Law doesn’t deter sex offenders in New Jersey. The report says it makes it easier to find them because of registration, but you don’t need a report to tell us that. It also said the cost of carrying out the law — the report used $5.1 million, the cost in 2007 — may not be justified.

Chủ Nhật, 17 tháng 8, 2014

FL - Officers bend rules to boost sex sting arrest totals

Sheriff Grady Judd
Sheriff Grady Judd
Original Article (Video available)


By Noah Pransky

This is the first of a two-part series examining how law enforcement is blurring the lines on due process.

POLK COUNTY - In the decade since Chris Hansen and "To Catch a Predator" popularized Internet sex stings, more than 1,200 men in Florida alone have been arrested, accused of preying on underage teens and children for sex.

But as the stings put more and more men behind bars, detectives are working harder and harder to keep up their arrest numbers. And the tactics they're using to put alleged sexual offenders in jail are sweeping up large numbers of law-abiding men, too.

A yearlong investigation by 10 Investigates reveals many of the men whose mugshots have been paraded out by local sheriffs in made-for-TV press conferences were not seeking to meet children online. Instead, they were minding their own business, looking for other adults, when detectives started to groom and convince them to break the law.

While detectives used to post ads suggesting an underage teen or child was available for sex, they now routinely post more innocuous personal ads of adults on traditional dating sites. When men – many of them under 25 with no criminal history - respond, officers switch the bait and typically indicate their age is really 14 or 15 years old. However, sometimes the storyline isn't switched until the men, who were looking for legal love, already start falling for the undercover agent.

According to arrest affidavits inspected by 10 Investigates, law enforcement is also now routinely making first contact with men who have done nothing wrong, responding to their ads on dating sites like After men start conversing with what they think are adults, officers change the age they claim to be, but try to convince the men to continue the conversation anyway.

Other examples include undercover officers showing interest in a man, then later introducing the idea of having sex with the undercover's "child." If the men indicate they weren't interested, they were still often arrested for just talking to the adult.

Critics of the stings, including a number of prominent Tampa Bay law enforcement leaders, tell 10 News the operations make for better press conferences than they do crime fighting. Many of the men who are arrested for sexual predator crimes see little jail time.

But Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, when asked about over-aggressive detectives, instead went on the offensive: "The concern (I have) is that you inflate your investigative reporting to make it glitzy."

IA - The people's voice is angry: Outcry over sex offender's release fires up social media — but when does the fire get out of control?

Hateful idiot
Original Article


By Sarah Tisinger

MUSCATINE - When a 23-year-old Muscatine man convicted of lascivious acts with a child was released from prison after serving four years of a 15-year sentence, the People of Muscatine exploded.

The outrage began after a July 30 post that appeared on the People of Muscatine Facebook page began taking on a life of its own. The post by the page's administrator was asking about the release of _____ from prison. Howard was sentenced to prison in 2010 after being found guilty of sexually abusing his girlfriend's baby son.

It didn't take long before responses to the post included death threats, graphic descriptions of bodily mutilation, and even jokes about _____'s arrest. The anger wasn't directed entirely at _____. One post said that the child's mother should be "stomped." Another person, who posted a defense of _____, was the target of outrage: "I guess Jessica needs to have her baby molested by this [man] to feel different."

The original post, and others after it, generated several hundred comments, nearly 50,000 views, and attracted the attention of KWQC-TV, who reported on _____'s release under the headline, "Child sex offender released early from prison."

What got lost in the public's outcry was the fact that _____'s release wasn't really early. He was released exactly when the law allowed.

Thứ Bảy, 9 tháng 8, 2014

AZ - Owner of websites loses case in federal district court

Original Article

Click the "Offendex" label above for all related articles.

This newsflash from California RSOL Charles Rodrick, owner of a family of websites that publishes the names, photos and other personal information regarding registered citizens and sometimes members of their families, today lost a case filed against him.

Who's Lying, Who's Self-Justifying? Origins of the He Said/She Said Gap in Sexual Allegations

Video Description:
The Woody Allen sex scandal of 2013 triggered a national conversation on who to believe, with people lining up on each side as if they knew what really happened. Based on recent research on how people navigate the often tricky waters of sexual negotiation, Dr. Carol Tavris shows that it is entirely possible in some sexual assault cases neither side is lying, but instead both sides feel justified in their positions. This talk was considered one of the best ever given at The Amazing Meeting.

WI - Former sheriff's deputy (Jeffrey Hilgers) charged with sex assault, child porn

Jeffrey C. Hilgers
Jeffrey C. Hilgers
Original Article


By Ed Treleven

A former Dane County sheriff’s deputy who allegedly began a sexual relationship with a woman while she was in a jail diversion program was charged Thursday with second-degree sexual assault.

Jeffrey C. Hilgers, 42, of Madison, who resigned in August 2013 from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, was also charged with seven counts of possessing child pornography, which was allegedly discovered on his computer as investigators searched it for evidence related to his alleged relationship with the former inmate.

According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday, Hilgers began a relationship in April 2013 with a 42-year-old woman who was in the Pathfinders Jail Diversion Program .

According to the complaint, at the time that Hilgers and the woman first met, she was an inmate in the Dane County Jail and he was assigned to the housing units where she was incarcerated. But the relationship didn’t begin until later, when the woman was at home on the diversion program.

State law forbids sexual contact between correctional officers and inmates because of the supervisory role the officers have over the inmates. In recent years, several guards have been convicted of having sexual relationships with inmates at state prisons.

Guards or correctional staff who have sex with inmates can be charged with second-degree sexual assault.

Hilgers appeared in court Thursday and was released on a signature bond. His lawyer, Brian Hough, declined to comment .

According to the complaint:

The woman told Pathfinders program manager Fran Augustine in May 2013 that she was in a relationship with a sheriff’s deputy who knew she was in Pathfinders.

The woman met with investigators and said that there was nothing going on between her and Hilgers while she was in the jail, where she said she hardly talked to him. But they ran into each other in April 2013 at Capitol Centre Foods and began talking, then exchanged phone numbers and email addresses. They met for coffee that day.

During the interview with investigators, the woman also said, “I just am so afraid that he’s going to get in trouble here and it’s really unwarranted.”

In the weeks that followed, their relationship included sex, she said, but she said she never felt as though he used his position as a sheriff’s deputy to pressure her into sex.

Hilgers told another sheriff’s deputy about the relationship on May 30, 2013, and said that nothing had happened while the woman was in the jail. Hilgers told Deputy Gerald King that the woman was supposed to get off the jail diversion program around April 30, 2013, but her release date was extended.

King told investigators that Hilgers didn’t seem to realize the gravity of the situation until King told him that the woman was still an inmate.

Hilgers told investigators that when he learned that the woman’s release date had been extended, he decided he couldn’t wait any longer and began to see her.

As part of the investigation, investigators got a search warrant and seized two computers from his house, looking for evidence of communication between Hilgers and the woman. A search of the computers turned up eight images considered to be child pornography.

Hilgers is alleged to have possessed the child pornography in July 2011, prior to an April 2012 change in state law that made child porn possession punishable by a mandatory minimum three years in prison.

For crimes before the change in law, there was a mandatory minimum three-year prison sentence, but the old law allowed judges to impose a lesser sentence or place offenders on probation if they believe the sentence is “in the best interests of the community and the public will not be harmed.”

Thứ Tư, 6 tháng 8, 2014

FL - Port St. Lucie mom arrested after allowing her 7-year-old son to go to a nearby park alone

Original Article

Parents, remember this the next time you let your child out of the house alone.

You could be treated like a criminal for it!

This is what we get when we continue to let the idiots in congress trample on others rights! We get a police state where Big Brother is the kids parents, not you!


By Elizabeth Harrington

PORT ST. LUCIE - UPDATE: DCF says that the investigation is "very much open" and they are not planning on dropping the case as of right now.

A mother faces a charge of child neglect after she allowed her son to go to a local park alone. She says he's old enough but Port St. Lucie Police disagree. Now she's fighting back.

"I'm totally dumbfounded by this whole situation," said the mother, Nicole Gainey.

It began last Saturday afternoon when Gainey gave her son Dominic permission to walk from their house to Sportsman's Park .

"Honestly didn't think I was doing anything wrong," says Gainey, "I was letting him go play."

It's a half mile from their Port St. Lucie home. Dominic says it only takes him about 10 to 15 minutes to get there. During the walk, the 7-year-old passed a public pool. Someone there asked him where his mom was.

"They asked me a couple questions and I got scared so I ran off to the park and they called the cops," says Dominic Guerrisi.

Dominic was playing at the park when an officer pulled up.

"They said 'where does your mom live,' " says Dominic.

Police took him home. That's when his mom was arrested and charged with child neglect. Gainey says she was shocked.

"My own bondsman said my parents would have been in jail every day," says Gainey who paid nearly $4,000 to bond out.

The officer wrote in the report that Dominic was unsupervised at the park and that "numerous sex offenders reside in the vicinity."

"He just basically kept going over that there's pedophiles and this and that and basically the park wasn't safe and he shouldn't be there alone," says Gainey.

She believes Dominic is mature enough to go to the park alone during the day. Gainey adds her son always has a cell phone which she calls to check on him.

"That I'm here and safe," says Dominic.

Gainey plans to fight the felony charge. But after this she won't let Dominic go to the park alone. She's afraid she'll be arrested again.

The St. Lucie County State's Attorney's office says there is no law that specifies how old a child has to be before he or she can go somewhere unsupervised. It's done on a case-by-case basis.

See Also:

Thứ Bảy, 2 tháng 8, 2014

FL - Seminole deputy (David Rodriguez) accused soliciting sex from teen girl on Facebook

David Rodriguez
David Rodriguez
Original Article


By Desiree Stennett

A Seminole County deputy was arrested Thursday after investigators accused him of soliciting sex from a 17-year-old girl through a series of Facebook messages.

David Rodriguez, a 28-year-old patrol deputy, recently received recognition from Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger for saving a man after a boating accident earlier this year.

Rodriguez now accused of using a computer to solicit sex from a child.

He and the girl both participated in martial arts tournaments. When they met, she was 6 and he was about 17. The two kept in touch over the years, his arrest report stated.

The girl told deputies that she and Rodriguez, who is married and has a newborn, started out with friendly text messages.

Eventually the two became Facebook friends and would send private messages back and forth.

After the girl's 17th birthday, the conversations became sexual, the report stated.

Rodriguez admitted to soliciting sex from the girl but said the two never actually met for sex.

"Rodriguez stated that he was going to keep trying to put off meeting with [the girl] for sex until she was 18 years old," the report stated. The detective "confronted Rodriguez that on several occasions that they arranged to meet for sex, it was [the girl] who had to cancel and Rodriguez did not respond."

The Facebook exchange was discovered because the girl's father saw the messages when she left her social-media profile open on a home computer.

The father did not confront his daughter because he was concerned she would not be cooperative.

When she was interviewed, the girl told officials she had a crush on Rodriguez for years and said when his child was born on July 9, she realized that Rodriguez was trying to take advantage of her.

She said she wanted the sexual conversations to stop but didn't know how to end the relationship.

The Seminole County Sheriff's Office is in the process of firing Rodriguez. He had been a patrol deputy since February 2010.

Rodriguez received a Life Saving Award in May from Eslinger. According to the Sheriff's Office, Rodriguez helped save a man who capsized his kayak.

According to investigators, Rodriguez admitted to the crime and turned himself into the Seminole County jail.

He was released late Thursday on $50,000 bail.

Let the Burden Fit the Crime: Extending Proportionality Review to Sex Offenders

Ball & Chain
Original Article (PDF)


By Erin Miller

Draconian restrictions on the activities and privacy of convicted sex offenders are a new, and troublesome, trend. In 1994 and 2006, following a national dialogue about crimes against children sparked by several high-profile incidents, Congress passed two laws requiring states to register and regulate sex offenders residing within their borders. States and municipalities soon caught on, and deepened restrictions. In the last five years alone, local governments have forbidden sex offenders to live within 2,000 feet of schools; “be” within 500 feet of parks or movie theaters; enter public libraries; drive buses or taxis; photograph or film minors; and use social networking websites like Facebook. Others have required sex offenders to advertise their status on driver’s licenses or social networking profiles; wear GPS bracelets at their own expense; notify local police when present in any county within the state for longer than ten days; provide notice to all new neighbors within a roughly quarter-mile radius when they move; and pay up to $100 annually to maintain sex offender registries. These burdens typically last for a decade or for life, depending on the jurisdiction and the type of crime committed.

FL - Palm Beach County Commissioners To Vote On Sex Offender Ordinance

Sex offender residency zones
Original Article


By Thomas Forester

PALM BEACH COUNTY - There are close to one thousand sex offenders living in Palm Beach County alone.

A major vote Tuesday, could allow registered sex offenders to live closer to schools and parks. Later tonight, Palm Beach County Commissioners will debate the heated issue.

According to State law, sexual offenders and predators cannot live within one thousand feet from specified locations where children gather.

In Palm Beach County, the law is 2500 feet, but the county wants to change it to be the same as the state.

TX - We can do better on sex offender laws

Morning paper an coffee
Original Article


By Steve Blow

Let’s face it, we’re more sympathetic to the plights of some than others.

Lost puppies and sad children rank right up there atop the sympathy scale. And at the bottom.

Well, can you think of a group lower than sex offenders?

It’s a tough sell, but a national conference is meeting this week in Dallas with the goal of making things a little easier for those convicted of sex-related crimes.

Hang on! Don’t stop reading. You may not be brimming with sympathy, but the truth is that the reformers have a point. And this doesn't just affect the sex offenders.

Our laws have become expensive and ineffective. In our zeal to protect against sexual predators, we might even be making things worse.

The national conference of RSOL — Reform Sex Offender Laws — began with a social hour Wednesday night. It gets down to business Thursday through Saturday, meeting at Skillman Church of Christ in East Dallas.

About 125 people are expected. Virtually all of them are like RSOL executive director Brenda Jones. They come because of a personal connection.

I have a family member still serving time,” she said. “One of the things I promised him is that I would make sure he could have a life when he got out.”

The group’s central message is that sex offender registries have become an enormous burden on the individuals required to register, and they yield no safety benefit for the public.

There’s no statistical evidence that it’s doing any good at all,” Jones said. “And there’s growing evidence that it could actually be doing harm.”

Those on sex offender registries often can’t find a job or a place to live. It drives many into hiding. The pressures can make those with sexual addictions more likely to offend, not less.

As with most things, this began with a good idea: Law enforcement should know where convicted child predators live. But in our zeal to protect kids, the movement went overboard.

The list was made public. Registry was required for more and more offenses. The result: Texas has almost 80,000 people on its sex offender registry.

It was sold as a parent having the right to know there’s a predator next door. But the vast majority of the people on that list never touched a child, never had an offense against a child and may not have even had a sexual offense,” Jones said.

Even public urination sometimes ends up as a sex crime requiring registration.

Mary Sue Molnar of San Antonio leads the reform effort in Texas. She is founder of Texas Voices, an affiliate of RSOL.

Several years ago, my son made some really bad choices. He was 22. The girl was 16,” Molnar said. “He would be placed on the sex offender registry for the rest of his life. He would never be able to serve his time and move on with his life, like any other offender.”

California has almost 100,000 on its sex offender list. And its oversight board wants to make a change. In a recent policy report, the board said:

Research on sex offender risk and recidivism now has created a body of evidence which offers little justification for continuing the current registration system.”

The California report estimated that local governments spend $24 million a year maintaining the sex offender registry. Yet most people never consult it. And most who do take no action as a result.

Nobody is making excuses here for people who commit crimes of any sort. But if safety is what we’re after, we’re not getting our money’s worth.

Thứ Bảy, 19 tháng 7, 2014

VT - Sex offender registry under fire again

Original Article


By Jennifer Reading

MONTPELIER - It's another black mark for the Vermont Sex Offender Registry.

"There are errors. And they should not have been there," said Doug Hoffer, D-Vt. Auditor.

Hoffer says the system needs work. A performance audit by his office found critical errors in 253 offender records. That's 11 percent of the total registry.

"The Legislature has said very clearly that they wanted information to be available to the general public, as is the case in other states," Hoffer said. "And we all have a right for the information to be accurate. Not only for the people in the community, but for the offenders."

The registry is a tool for law enforcement and the public to keep track of sexual predators living in the community. That's something Chelsea Merrill, 21, couldn't do for a while. Her abuser, _____, was convicted of lewd and lascivious conduct. He targeted her for five years while she was a child. Yet his photo wasn't on the public registry until recently. And she worried he'd find more victims.

"That he will offend again," she said. "That he will get close to another child and feel comfortable with them. And this will happen again."
- So are you saying that if his/her photo is online then they won't re-offend?  The problem is, most do not re-offend in the first place!

An audit conducted in 2010 found the system was rife with errors. Hoffer says four years later, the Legislature tasked his office with a follow-up examination.

His team uncovered:
  • 11 registration errors where offenders were either incorrectly added, omitted or still online after their deaths.
  • 179 errors related to how long an offender should stay on the registry.
  • 71 mistakes regarding which offenders' information should be posted online.

Hoffer says these mistakes undermine the credibility of the registry. It's managed by two people within the Department of Public Safety's Vermont Crime Information Center or VCIC. But the auditor says state courts and corrections also play a role.

"They have not worked together as well as they could," Hoffer said.

"The program is still a work in progress," said Jeffrey Wallin who heads the VCIC.

Wallin says since the audit's conclusion in mid-May, almost all the mistakes have been fixed.

Many of them were a result of human error from manual data entry, a problem the center has been working to streamline. Last February, VCIC unveiled new software called OffenderWatch to help automate data entry. Despite a few technology glitches, Wallin says it's improved the accuracy of the registry.
- It doesn't matter how expensive or nice the program is, as long as you have humans entering data, then there is always potential for human errors.

"Right now the public can be fairly confident in the registry," Wallin said. "We are always looking to improve. Provide better information, better service and better response to the community, but also to the individuals listed."

Moving forward Hoffer has recommended the courts, corrections and VCIC reconvene a working group to hash out their communication breakdown. It's a suggestion the auditor's office also made after the 2010 audit.

"And they did. And then they kind of let it go," Hoffer said. "So they certainly need more coordination between them."

And victims like Merrill say fixing these mistakes should remain a top priority.

"If it was one of their kids, would they want to know if their neighbor was a sex offender or had done such a crime with a child? Would they want their kid walking to school past their neighbor's house every day knowing that they live there?" Merrill said.
- So why don't you walk to the bus stop with your child?  You know, be a parent!

In 2009, Vermont lawmakers approved a measure to post sex offenders' addresses to the online registry. The move was contingent on a favorable audit. Problems discovered in 2010 prevented that from happening. This audit was a second chance. But more errors likely mean the addresses of sexual predators will remain under wraps.

Audit Reports:

CA - Tehachapi removes local sex offender ordinance from the books

Repeal the law
Original Article



Tehachapi's city council on Monday finalized a repeal of a local sex offender ordinance in order to stave off potential lawsuits.

City Attorney Tom Schroeter had recommended the council repeal an ordinance adopted in 2010 that was a stricter version of a California state law that prohibited any registered sex offender from loitering within 300 feet of a public or private school, park, school bus stop or similar facilities.

Two court opinions, including one case against the city of Irvine and Orange County, ruled that such local ordinances could not be enforced, and that it fell to the state to mandate such laws.

The presiding case was People v. Nguyen, which was ruled on in January in the 4th District Court of Appeal. The California Supreme Court denied an appeal of the case by the Orange County district attorney's office in April.

Tehachapi modeled its ordinance after one that Shafter had on its books at the time. Shafter suspended its law this spring, waiting to see what happens with litigation in other cities. Then it'll decide whether to amend, repeal or keep the law.

Following the court's rulings, a group called California Reform Sex Offender Laws issued letters to several cities, including Tehachapi, saying it would sue if the municipalities did not rescind the ordinances.

"They sent letters to cities in Kern County and around the state and have sued several other cities," Schroeter said.

Schroeter recommended the council revoke the ordinance, as the city would likely lose a lawsuit. It would also be responsible for any of the suing organizations' legal fees, in addition to its own.

"When they win, their legal fees have to be paid, and your fees also have to be paid," Schroeter said.

The city attorney also noted that retired Police Chief Jeff Kermode had stated no one had ever been cited under the Tehachapi ordinance.

"Our particular law is already covered under state law," Schroeter said. "Sex offenders are still well controlled by state law and the ordinance here is not going to change that."

The state law, Jessica's Law (Proposition 83), bars convicted sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of any school or any place where children gather. The law was passed by voters in 2006.

The council voted 5-0 to remove the ordinance from the city municipal code.

"In essence, we thought we were doing the right thing when we passed this ordinance to make things more restrictive," said Mayor Phil Smith. "It's been tried in court that says you can't do that so we'll just back off from our restrictions and go with what the state has on its books, which is fully enforceable."
- So is he admitting the laws are about punishment by making them more restrictive?

MA - Templeton approves sex offender residency restrictions

Morning coffee and paper
Original Article


By George Barnes

TEMPLETON - Voters at a special town meeting Thursday night approved a bylaw establishing sex offender residency restrictions.

The restrictions, proposed by resident Rachael Messina, were overwhelmingly approved after Police Chief Michael Bennett and Selectman Kenn Robinson both spoke in favor of the bylaw.

Chief Bennett said there are many communities across the state that have adopted residency restrictions for sex offenders. Among the communities in Worcester County with restrictions are Leominster, Bolton, Charlton, Dudley, Spencer, Webster and West Boylston.

Templeton has three Level 3 and 13 Level 2 sex offenders in town. The regulations would not affect them unless they change their residence.

The bylaw prohibits a Level 2 or 3 sex offender from establishing a permanent or temporary residence within 1,000 feet of property of public or private schools, parks, elderly housing, an over-55 community, senior citizens center or licensed day care center.

To enforce the bylaw, police may file criminal or noncriminal complaints, but in both cases the fine is $300 for each offense.

Ms. Messina said she filed for the bylaw out of concern that sex offenders posed a risk to residents of the town. It is the second time the town has approved a sex offender residency bylaw. A similar law was approved by the town in May 2013 but disallowed by the state Attorney General's office in October. The reasons given for rejecting the bylaw were it was too vague, did not sufficiently specify prohibited conduct and did not include some terms in the definitions section of the bylaw.

Ms Messina said that in the hope of winning approval this time, she drew up a new bylaw based on similar documents in other communities.

WI - Milwaukee May Restrict Where Sex Offenders Can Live

Morning coffee and paper
Original Article



The city may limit where ex-offenders can live, because many surrounding communities have done so, resulting in a high rate of placement in the city.

When sex offenders leave prison, state law demands that they return to the county where they had lived prior to incarceration. Nearly 90 percent of the sex offenders who came from Milwaukee County, now live in the City of Milwaukee, because of restrictions suburbs enacted.

Ald. Michael Murphy says the city asked the state to intervene, but because it has not, leaders here may also limit the neighborhoods where ex-offenders can live.

You will have 117 locations to consider for your future placement, and in reality it will be more like 15 or less and what that impact will be to your operations,” Murphy says.

Under legislation a Common Council committee advanced Thursday, sex offenders could not live within 2,000 feet of a daycare, school, playground and other places where children congregate.

Murphy says if the full council agrees, there will only be one square mile within city limits where sex offenders could live.

Ald. Bob Bauman says while he has opposed residency limits in the past, they will now get his full support, for one reason.

It increases the perception of Milwaukee as a crime infested second rate place to live and the suburbs are great and look, we can keep out all the undesirable people. And I’m just sick and tired of that paradigm being in place. And the state seems unconcerned because these are Republican suburbs by in large, and heaven forbid those representatives are going to take on these uniform residency rules. So enough is enough the city is going to join the party and it’s your problem now,” Bauman says.

The state Department of Corrections had a representative on hand at Thursday’s hearing, Melissa Roberts. She says if the map for placements changes, authorities could lose track of sex offenders. Right now, many do reside in the city, and police know where.

The intent of the sex offender registry is to know where sex offenders live and to be able to provide that information to the general public and to law enforcement. Where there are registry restrictions in place and sex offenders don’t have a place to live we obviously have increased homelessness. So we do not know where they live and cannot follow them,” Roberts says.

Roberts says sex offenders are more of a danger to the public when they’re off the grid versus being monitored. When it comes to complaints about the high concentration of sex offenders placed in Milwaukee, Roberts says the majority are from the city.

The issue will come before the full board on July 22.

Thứ Sáu, 11 tháng 7, 2014

NE - Is registering as a sex offender inconvenient?

Question mark
Original Article (Video available)


By Dave Roberts

OMAHA - Local law officials said sex offenders are ducking the system because they want Douglas County to make registering more convenient, but the county said it's not going to cater to convicts.

Authorities said there are not many wealthy registered sex offenders in Douglas County. In fact, the exact opposite can be said for most. Most convicted criminals are living on fixed incomes and some are without a home; most are unable to buy a car.

When it takes a 13-mile cab ride to register as a sex offender, some choose to break the law and disappear, putting everyone else at risk.

There are nearly 755 sex offenders in Douglas County living nowhere near the place to register.

It's way too far out there. The buses don't go out there. I don't even know whose idea it was. It’s just a stupid place to put the registry to begin with,” said _____, a registered sex offender.

_____ admitted he made a bad mistake when he was 19.

I told a 14-year-old girl that if she did not come with me, I was going to rape her,” he said.

Now, for the rest of his life, _____ must register every three months as a sex offender. In order to do that, he must take a cab from downtown out west to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office on 156th Street and West Maple Road.

It cost me $40 round-trip,” said _____.

_____ said he didn’t show up to register one time because he had no money or way to get there.

County Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson is pushing for a downtown registration location.

It made sense that we would have a location that was accessible that our sex offenders would be able to go and register,” said Borgeson, who represents District 6.

State law requires the Douglas County sheriff to monitor the whereabouts of sex offenders. Right now, the only place sex offenders can register is at the Sheriff's Office, even though more than 75 percent of them live near downtown Omaha.

"We'd like to staff the second location downtown for the sex offender registration program, but we are not funded to do so,” said Chief Deputy Tom Wheeler.

Wheeler said it is certainly possible people are not registering because they can't make it to 156th Street and West Maple Road.

We have a handful each year that don't complete their verification process,” said Wheeler.

Wheeler said the department is working on a pilot program where one day a week sex offenders could register downtown, likely at the courthouse. It will either happen in person with a deputy or using a video conference system.

We are in the beginning planning phases of those two, and we are working through them now,” he said.

_____ said one day a week at the courthouse or the jail would be helpful.

It would help out a lot for the offenders that don't have the money to go out there. It's a major inconvenience for offenders that can't do it financially,” said _____.

For Borgeson, and nearly everyone else, it's not about catering to sex offenders.

This isn't about making it easy for them. This isn't about accommodating sex offenders. It’s about having a safe community and knowing where sex offenders are located,” she said.

Wheeler said he hopes the downtown registration pilot program can start this fall. If more sex offenders chose to register downtown, the Sheriff's Office said it will consider some permanent changes.

Any sex offender in Nebraska who fails to register will be charged with a felony.

NEW ZEALAND - Fresh calls for a public registry of sex offenders

Derryn Hinch
Derryn Hinch
Original Article (Video available)


An advocate for a public registry of sex offenders is in New Zealand to campaign for changing the country's name suppression laws.

New Zealand-born Australian broadcaster Derryn Hinch (2011 Video) will speak to the Sensible Sentencing Trust this weekend with the aim of getting a public registry of convicted sex offenders in New Zealand.

Speaking to TVNZ's Breakfast programme this morning, Mr Hinch says he believes it's "common sense" to have a registry for sex offenders and that the public has a right to know who and where sex offenders are.

"You should know that someone's out there in the community," he told the programme. "You have a right to know as a parent."
- So where is the online shaming hit-list for all other ex-criminals?

Mr Hinch is an outspoken advocate for a sex offender registry in Australia and New Zealand and has been convicted and imprisoned multiple times for contempt of court for breaching suppression orders by revealing details of offenders.

He believes naming sex offenders won't necessarily identify the victims of abuse and says in some cases the victims want to be named so their attackers can be convicted.

"I'd do anything to protect a victim's identity. They've been through hell so they should be protected," he says.

The media personality says the current system of suppressing sex offenders names is not working and is letting the public down.

Mr Hinch says nearly 150,000 people have signed a petition calling for changes.