Thứ Tư, 30 tháng 4, 2014

CA - California bill targets websites engaged in 'mug shot racket'

Extortion
Original Article

04/28/2014

SACRAMENTO (Reuters) - California lawmakers took steps on Monday to bar so-called extortion websites from posting mug shots of people who have been arrested and then demanding payment to remove the photographs, even from people who are never charged with a crime.

A bill to make it unlawful to solicit or accept payment to remove, correct or modify mug shots online was unanimously passed by the California state senate on Monday, in the latest effort by more than a dozen U.S. states to stop such practices.

The California measure was inspired by the case of Bob DeBrino, who was arrested but never charged for driving under the influence while on prescription medication for an impending surgery, according to the bill's author, state senator Jerry Hill.

DeBrino's booking photo was posted online, and the film producer said he lost business as a result, Hill said in a news release. The websites that posted the picture are demanding thousands of dollars from DeBrino to remove the image, said Hill, a Democrat who represents the San Francisco suburb of San Mateo.

In what legislative researchers for the senate called an unintended consequence of laws making mug shots and other arrest information available to the public, a growing industry has developed that publishes mug shots on a website and then charges those depicted in the photos to remove their images.

"This practice is part of a growing niche industry, 'the mug-shot racket,'" senate researchers wrote in their analysis of the bill.

The bill, which goes next to the state assembly, would impose fines on violators of $1,000 or force them to pay damages and attorneys fees for victims.

If it passes, California would become the sixth state to make it illegal to charge people to remove mug shots from websites, after Georgia, Illinois, Oregon, Texas and Utah, Hill's office said. Another 14 states are considering such legislation, his office said.

CA - California courts strike down local sex-offender ordinances

Lawsuit
Original Article

04/24/2014

By Sam Stanton

The California Supreme Court has left intact a lower-court ruling that invalidates local ordinances aimed at restricting the movements of registered sex offenders in dozens of cities statewide.

The court’s decision Wednesday not to hear a case involving a Southern California sex offender means city and county ordinances banning such offenders from public parks and other public areas no longer may be enforced, attorneys say. Instead, a state law governing where sex offenders on parole may live now stands as the main restriction.

If I read the tea leaves correctly, it’s probably dead everywhere in California,” Susan Kang Schroeder, chief of staff to Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said Thursday.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office had led the effort to tighten restrictions on sex offenders and advised communities in that area on how to enact such ordinances.

We still believe that we were right on the law and we respectfully disagree,” Schroeder said. “We don’t regret the choices that we made in trying to keep sex offenders out of parks and keep children safe.”

The state Supreme Court’s action stemmed in part from an Orange County case in which a registered sex offender in Irvine went to a tennis court at a public park in violation of a local ordinance.

The offender pleaded guilty, but a public defender appealed the case and won a ruling that state law trumps such local ordinances, Schroeder said. Her office appealed that to the 4th District Court of Appeal, which agreed with the appellate decision, so the Orange County District Attorney’s Office asked the state Supreme Court to hear the matter.

That court declined to do so Wednesday. It also declined to hear a second, similar case involving an offender who was cited after going to a picnic at a county park.

The move effectively invalidates such local ordinances, Schroeder said, and leaves Jessica’s Law, passed by voters in 2006, as the main enforcement tool over paroled sex offenders. That measure, which also has faced court challenges, prevents sex offenders on parole from living within 2,000 feet of schools and parks.

Santa Maria attorney Janice Bellucci, president of a group called “California Reform Sex Offender Laws,” said the Supreme Court’s move is a “major victory” for efforts to provide more rights for individuals who must register on California’s Megan’s Law list of people with sex offenses in their pasts.

It means that our people on the registry – and we have over 105,000 now – can now go to public and private places that they could not go to before,” she said.

Bellucci has been waging a legal battle against such ordinances throughout the state and last month filed suit in U.S. District Court in Sacramento seeking to overturn a South Lake Tahoe measure.

The South Lake Tahoe ordinance prohibits sex offenders from being in or within 300 feet of public or private schools, parks, video arcades, swimming pools or other areas where children might congregate. The ordinance allows for single trips traveling past such spots.

Bellucci said 70 cities and five counties in California have enacted such measures, and she has used a client, _____ of San Luis Obispo, a registered sex offender, as the face of her lawsuits against such ordinances.

A previous suit against El Dorado County led to a countywide ordinance being rescinded.

The ordinances have became popular statewide in recent years in light of high-profile cases involving sex offenders.

In El Dorado County, for instance, such restrictions were put in place in the wake of the notorious case of Phillip Garrido, who abducted 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard from a South Lake Tahoe street in 1991 and held her as a sex slave and hostage for 18 years.

Garrido was arrested in August 2009 and jailed in Placerville until his guilty plea in 2011 resulted in a 431 years-to-life sentence.

Cases like his and others in California resulted in a wave of new ordinances that severely restricted where registered sex offenders could go, even if they were years removed from being on parole or probation.

Bellucci said she views the matter as a “civil rights issue” that ultimately should be addressed by legislators to differentiate between people who made a mistake in their past – such as urinating in public or a young adult having consensual sex with a 17-year-old girlfriend, for example – from predators such as Garrido.

_____’s lawsuit against the South Lake Tahoe ordinance was filed March 31 and stated that he is a “law-abiding citizen in good standing within his community.” The Megan’s Law registry lists the 61-year-old plumber as having a 1979 conviction for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14.

_____ has written a book about his life as a registered sex offender. Bellucci said she would not discuss his past.

But _____’s lawsuit said the restrictions could stop a sex offender from visiting doctor’s offices, hospitals or even businesses they might own that are adjacent to places barred to offenders.

South Lake Tahoe City Attorney Thomas Watson said the ordinance is not currently being enforced because of the legal challenges and that the city has been in talks with Bellucci. The action by the state Supreme Court could mean the council may have to rescind the ordinance, and the topic will be addressed at the next council meeting, he said.

El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson said Thursday that the Legislature has failed to address the need for balanced restrictions, something that may lead to new initiative drives.

This is more than anything else due to the Legislature’s inability to craft appropriate legislation to control the behavior and conduct of sex offenders that are out,” Pierson said.

He added that the county had crafted policies he thought were appropriate and similar to those in Orange County, allowing an offender to get written permission from the sheriff to be in certain public places around children.

I think there’s this misimpression that we want to ban sex offenders from going anywhere and doing anything,” Pierson said. “What we’re attempting to do is deal with the unusual situations where they’re predatory. If they go to an ice skating rink because they want to look at the young children, that’s who we’re trying to prevent from being in that kind of situation.”

Conversely, Pierson said, there is no intent to bar registered sex offenders from being able to drop off their own child at school.

It’s trying to balance the competing rights here in an appropriate way that safeguards the children,” Pierson said.

Any further efforts to change sex offender laws now must be made by legislators, Schroeder said, adding that her office still feels such local limits are appropriate.

We felt like, for what it’s worth, I think it’s good for sex offenders not to be around children,” she said.

IL - Ex-Illinois lawmaker (Keith Farnham) charged with child porn possession, in graphic federal complaint

Keith Farnham
Keith Farnham
Original Article

04/29/2014

An Illinois state lawmaker who resigned his House seat in March was charged Monday with possession of child pornography, in a federal complaint that detailed graphic online chats.

Former Rep. Keith Farnham, a 66-year-old Democrat, was accused of having two child porn videos on a computer seized from his state office.

The complaint described alleged online chats between an email address linked to Farnham and others in which they discussed their child porn preferences.

"12 is about as old as i can handle. i love them at 6 7 8," read one message, allegedly from the address associated with Farnham, in a chat from November.

The same user, in a chat later that month, also allegedly recalled sexually molesting a 6-year-old girl.

The complaint contains graphic details about pornographic images and videos allegedly traded and sought by Farnham; some of the images were of children under 10 years old and at least one is an infant, the filing said.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Farnham twice co-sponsored bills that would toughen penalties for child porn offenses.

The lawmaker has not been arrested but is scheduled to make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Chicago on Wednesday. Farnham has not responded to requests for comment.

Several computers and electronic storage devices with child pornography were discovered in searches on March 13 at Farham's office and home in Elgin, just west of Chicago.

Farnham, who was first elected in 2008, resigned his seat on March 19 -- days after the search warrants were executed. He said at the time that he had to attend to "battling serious health issues."

Suspicion fell on Farnham after authorities linked an email used to trade child pornography online to the then-legislator, the complaint said.

A conviction on a single count of possession of child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

See Also:

CA - North State Psychotherapist wants changes to Megan's Law

Dawn Horwitz-Person
Dawn Horwitz-Person
Original Article

04/25/2014

Dawn Horwitz-Person is a Sex Offender Treatment Specialist in Chico. She deals with some of the most violent and dangerous convicted sex offenders in the north state. She has also been featured on "Oprah," and "Anderson Cooper 360." Oprah Winfrey flew to Chico in 2010 to meet with Horwitz-Person and four of her patients, who openly discussed how and why they chose their victims.

Horwitz-Person is one of many California Phycho-therapists hoping for changes to the California Department of Justice's sex offender registry Megan's Law, because she says it is misleading. Says Horwitz-Person, "If 90 percent of the people are offended by someone they know and love and trust, how is knowing where somebody lives going to keep your child safe?" She describes what she calls three fundamental problems with Megan's Law. She says it gives people a false sense of security, because they look at the dots on the sex offender map, determine they don't live close to any offenders, and feel safe. She says, "Ok, nobody lives by me. This is safe, and they forget that most offenders offend because they're family. People they know and love and trust. They're people they allow into their homes." Horwitz-Person adds that the registry makes people think about the stranger in the van down the street, instead of focusing on those who are allowed in the home, and given access to their kids. She says, "If it's focused on keeping that stranger danger myth alive, how are we really protecting our kids if they're not getting accurate information? We need to have conversations with our children about 'OK touch' and 'Not Ok touch.' Ninety percent of the current sex crimes are committed by people who have never been arrested, before we know who they are law enforcement knows who they are." Horwitz-Person says many predators are able to plea bargain off the registry, even though they are at high risk to re-offend. She says, "Something that may start out as felony rape will be plea bargained to somebody accepting a felony sexual battery. Felony sexual battery doesn't have to register. That person could be a really dangerous person, and they're not on Megan's Law." She cites one former patient who lives in Chico with multiple sexual battery offenses, who was able to stay off the list. She says, "I'm talking somebody who has crossed all barriers, with children, adults, men, women, animals, you name it. And this person, nobody knows about, and he's not on the registry." She says the final problem with Megan's Law is that it lumps in all offenders together, without taking into consideration the type or date of offense, and the risk assessment. She says it's a waste of money and resources to monitor some offenders, while others who are considered high-risk are not monitored once they're off probation.

The California Sex Offender Management Board has asked Governor Jerry Brown to create a risk-tier system, so that the most dangerous offenders can be more closely monitored. To watch Horwitz-Person's appearance on Oprah, click here.

Thứ Bảy, 26 tháng 4, 2014

What is the opportunity?

Letter
The following was sent to us via the "Tell Us Your Story" form and posted with the users permission.

By James:
While their is good and bad in everything I have to question these internet sting operations. Most all sting operations I know of are done in public with something tangible, such as a bait car, underage alcohol purchasing, speeding, prostitution rings, murder for hire. etc.

I cannot think of any occasion that a sting operation is not done in the physical since.

None of these internet sting operations wouldn't happen in public and that's a fact.

Using an internet were one cannot see who's really on the other end of the screen doesn't give any advantage and to me that would seem to go against the police code of ethics.

If you really think about this one has to put all the pieces of the puzzle together and look at all this with common sense.

What is the opportunity?

Is this a real teenage gal or a fictitious gal posing as horny person in an adult chat room?

What's a teenage gal doing in an adult chat room?

Who entices who?

Who suggests meeting? Was it her or you or did you ask if she would like to meet you. Their is a difference.

These internet sting operations are cunning and the so called fictitious teenager will use everything to try to bring you down to her level.

Now suppose you suggested if she would like to meet you, I would image she would be soliciting herself if she said yes.

Now suppose you said that you had a condition before meeting that their was to be no sex.......... I would think the whole opportunity for the chat was for the purpose of having sex but since you can't have sex with a six foot officer than it has to be attempt.

I am just wondering what kind of ruse the police are doing all in the name of safety on an adult chat site when yahoo states one has to be 18 to participate.

I am not quite sure about other chat sites about age but from what yahoo states one has to be 18 and has to register which is a form of a contract stating the person's age.

I don't know about the rate of internet sting operations verses actual crimes involving real teens or kids but I do know that these sting operations are a cottage industry for police and they are making a lot of money with these so called cat and mouse games.

If anyone out there reads this could you please enlighten me on all this as I would love to know how the american citizen is getting duped by all this.Contact me at magic357@comcast.net

I have wrote letters to my congressman and am getting ready to write the judge in my case as we all need to stand up and not let this go on deaf ears.

Stand up for your rights! Two things I think all people hate are liars and thief's........... and they are thief's when they take your rights away.

Housing

Letter
The following was sent to us via the "Tell Us Your Story" form and posted with the users permission.

By Kim:
I am engaged to a sex offender. We have been together for almost 4 years. He was 18 when he had consensual oral sex with a 14 year old. He served 10 months in the county jail and was placed on probation. In the last few months of probation, before we started dating, he and a friend crossed state lines without permission of his probation officer. After we started dating and on the day before his probation was to end his probation officer had him turn himself in and violated him for his trip across state lines. He is now at the end of his sentence and at the end of his treatment program in the state program for sex offenders. The program has actually been a blessing in disguise.

The real issue is trying to find a place for us to live when he gets out on parole. Besides the fact that he has a felony conviction on his record and that most landlords do not want to rent to someone with that type of record he also has to be on the state sex offender registry. When looking for an apartment to rent that needs to be affordable I need to ask if they will allow a sex offender to live there. There is no sense in my asking to be approved and moving in only to find out that in a few months when my fiancé gets out he won't be allowed to live with me and therefore I will need to move again. The state has done away with residency restrictions and I have called the local police stations to make sure that we can move to the local towns. When speaking with the landlords I have found that I may pass all the requirements and all other areas but as soon as I mention anything in regards to my fiance's record and having to be on the registry the landlord tells me that suddenly someone else qualifies more for the apartment, or finds some reason that I don't fit the requirements. I am not able to pin them on discrimination completely as I haven't put my fiance's name on the application, but they know my intention.

I am not ashamed of my fiancé. He is a wonderful, loving, supportive, protective man. He is so much more than the label the government has put on him and I love him with all my heart and soul. But because of the registry I am now forced to omit him from my life in order to find a place for he and I to live and have a future. How can anyone think that this is a good thing, helpful to a return to society? What if he was in this alone and didn't have me or his family to support and encourage him? It boggles my mind at how the judgment eminates from the phone through a simple call for information on a home. I used to have all the bias about if you are convicted then you must be guilty. I have certainly learned my lesson in life. I need to help make sure everyone else learns theirs now...

Thứ Năm, 24 tháng 4, 2014

SC - Ruling in favor of registered sex offender raises questions

Off the sex offender registry
Original Article (Video available)

04/23/2014

By Greg Suskin

Marjorie Carroll believes that once someone is on the sex offender register, that person should be listed there for life.

They're not going to change," Carroll said. "You have to protect the children."
- You need to stop believing everything you read. Not all ex-offenders have harmed children and anybody can change, if they want to.

However, a South Carolina sex offender won a major court battle Wednesday that will remove his name and picture from the life-long public registry. The state Supreme Court ruled in favor of _____ of Florence, who argued the registry wasn't equitable.

The decision raises questions for many about the online sex offender registry, who should be listed there, and for how long.

There are 235 names and pictures on the registry in Rock Hill alone. On Wednesday, Channel 9 spoke to a Rock Hill man, who's on that list and didn't want to be identified.

"Everyone wants to be forgiven," he said. "No one wants to be reminded of their past all your life."

He spent 10 years in prison for having sex with a minor. He told Channel 9 he's not that person anymore, and shouldn't be listed as a sex offender now.

"I believe God is a God of second chances, and I believe everybody else should have a second chance," he said.

Currently, anyone on the registry is there for life, unless their conviction is overturned, or if they are pardoned.

Many offenders are listed, even though they are not considered sexual predators. Some are there for having sex with minors, when they were teens themselves. Other cases involve people charged with indecent exposure.

16th circuit solicitor Kevin Brackett said for some of those cases, a change could make sense.

"I don't know that there shouldn't be some mechanism for people that have been sort of caught in the web of the registry, that are not truly sexual predators," Brackett said.

However, he also said the registry is an important tool for public safety.

"Clearly I think the public interest is very strong in alerting the public to individuals who are repeat or sexually violent predators," he said.

Shirley James of York said she feels like some of the people listed on the registry don't belong there.

"That happened to a friend of mine, even though the case wasn't right, and it ruined his life," she said.

A spokesman for the South Carolina Attorney General's office said they are reviewing the Supreme Court's ruling, and have 10 days to appeal it.

AL - New law could force sex offenders to move from Chilton County church facility

Sex offender housing
Original Article

04/22/2014

By Mike Cason

MONTGOMERY - A small church property in Chilton County where dozens of sex offenders have lived over the last four years will apparently no longer be able to house them.

Gov. Robert Bentley has signed into law HB 556, pertaining only to Chilton County, that prohibits registered sex offenders from living on the same property within 300 feet of each other unless they are related.

Rep. Kurt Wallace, R-Maplesville, sponsored the bill because of the multiple sex offenders living behind Triumph Church, which is on a two-lane highway just outside Clanton. There are camper trailers behind the church for the men.

Ricky Martin, who operates the facility, declined to talk to AL.com for this article.

The law gives the district attorney's office the authority to file a civil complaint against someone owning or leasing property where more than one unrelated sex offender lives. The law takes effect July 1.

C.J. Robinson, chief assistant district attorney for the 19th Judicial Circuit, who helped write the bill, said notice would be given before a complaint is filed. He said the law gives judges the authority to issue fines of up to $5,000 per violation.

It’s one of those things where we’re not going way overboard with the punishment,” Robinson said.

Under Alabama’s sex offender laws, offenders are required to notify authorities when they move into a county, and authorities notify nearby residents.

Robinson said he received notices for 51 sex offenders moving to the address from August 2010 through October 2013.

Many have come and gone. Robinson said he’s not aware of any moving there this year.

Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis said last week there were 10 offenders living at the address and one had filed his paperwork to move.

Davis said he’s not aware of any problems caused by the men.

Brandy Morrison, 26, has lived next door to the church for four years. She said she worries sometimes but that the men have never bothered anybody. She said one of the men helps her father with work around the yard.

Morrison says the family takes precautions when nieces and nephews visit and play outside.

We always make sure they stay real close because you never know,” Morrison said.

Wallace worked on the bill for several years and at one point had a statewide version that would have required facilities with multiple sex offenders to have a live-in monitor and obtain a license from the county sheriff.

He said he thought the bill that passed, more simple and applying only to Chilton County, would achieve the purpose.

"The guys who are there now are going to have to find somewhere else to go," Wallace said.

Wallace and Robinson said one objection they have had to the facility is that most of the men are from outside the county.

Robinson said only two of the 51 men committed their crimes in Chilton County. One of those was a misdemeanor, he said.

These are not folks from Chilton County who committed a crime and are coming back home,” Robinson said.

LA - Police officer (Bradley Wax) charged with 38 counts of possessing child porn

Bradley Wax
Bradley Wax
Original Article

04/23/2014

By Amber Stegall

MANDEVILLE (WAFB) - According to the Louisiana Attorney General's Office, a New Orleans Police officer has been arrested for possessing child pornography.

Reports say 54-year-old Bradley Wax, of Mandeville, has been charged with 38 counts of pornography involving juveniles.

An online undercover operation led investigators to execute a search warrant on Wax's residence in January. After forensic analysis was conducted on computers and other electronic devices seized during the warrant, investigators determined Wax was in possession of child pornography, according to the report.

Wax was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail. If convicted, he faces 20 years in prison on each count of child pornography.

OH - Officer (John Daniel Kamphaus) tried to lure minor online

John Daniel Kamphaus
John Kamphaus
Original Article

04/23/2014

By Jennifer Edwards Baker

A Hamilton County corrections officer is locked up at the Kenton County jail on a charge of using a computer to lure a minor.

John Daniel Kamphaus, 40, was arrested at 1:30 a.m. when he traveled to Mills Road Park in Independence.

That's where he arranged to meet a 15-year-old girl he had been chatting with online for sex, said Kenton County Police Chief Brian Capps.

"He believed he was chatting with a 15-year-old Independence teenager when, in fact, it was one of our officers," the police chief said.

Kamphaus was booked into the jail about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday on a charge of prohibited use of a electronic communication system to procure a minor in reference to a sex offense, jail records show.

He briefly appeared Wednesday morning before a Kenton County judge, who set his bond at $2,500.

Kamphaus has been employed at the Hamilton County Sherif's Office nearly 20 years, since January 1996, said Michael Robison, agency spokesman.

"Per our policies, effective immediately Officer Kamphaus is placed on unpaid administrative leave pending an investigation by internal affairs," Robison said. "The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is fully cooperating with the Kenton County Police Department."

Kamphaus' personnel file will not be released to the Enquirer for review until next week.

"... .pursuant to their standing labor contract, we are required to notify him five days prior to releasing his file," Robison said.

CA - Santa Maria attorney files sex offender lawsuit against Lompoc

Lawsuit
Original Article

04/23/2014

A Santa Maria attorney has filed a complaint in federal district court on behalf of a Grover Beach resident against the city of Lompoc over a sex offender ordinance the city adopted, claiming it violates both the federal and state constitutions.

Attorney Janice Bellucci, who also serves as president of the California chapter of the nonprofit organization Reform Sex Offender Laws, filed the complaint on behalf of registered sex offender _____, 61, who serves as a board member for the chapter.

In 1979, _____ was convicted of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, according to the State of California Department of Justice, Megan’s Law sex offender database. He has no other subsequent felonies within the state of California, according to the database.

We filed the lawsuit because we are protecting the Constitution. That is what’s important to us,” Bellucci said.

Lompoc Mayor John Linn said the city’s ordinance, titled “Registered Sex Offender Residency Prohibitions,” was put in place in an effort to “strike a balance between letting registered sex offenders live their lives while still protecting the women and children in our community.”

According to Linn, the Lompoc Police Department and the City’s Attorney’s office worked together to devise an ordinance to best fit the city.

State law allowed us to put the ordinance in place,” Linn said.

In her complaint, Bellucci argues the ordinance bans sex offender registrants from residing in “vast parts of the city of Lompoc by virtue of 2,000-foot ‘residential exclusion zones’ surrounding the perimeter of certain locations.”

The complaint alleges that the ordinance also significantly restricts registrants’ access to public facilities and bans them from loitering near any privately owned business with the “child safety zones” around certain establishments and facilities.

Registrants are prohibited from loitering anywhere on the grounds or within 300 feet of schools, parks, day care centers, public libraries, school bus stops, playgrounds and any location that holds classes or group activities for children.

Sex offenders who violate the ordinance are subject to punishment including incarceration up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000 for each day of violation, according to Bellucci.

The Lompoc ordinance violates the First Amendment, the Fifth Amendment and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution,” she said.

In the complaint, the attorney has asked that the ordinance be declared null and void as “unconstitutionally vague” and request the Central District court allow _____ to recover all reasonable attorney’s fees, cost and litigation expenses from the city of Lompoc.

This is a civil rights issue. Our hope is that the city of Lompoc will do the right thing and repeal their ordinance,” Bellucci said.

Linn said he and the Lompoc City Council will address the merits of the complaint once they are served with the lawsuit and they have had the opportunity to review it.

Apparently, we are not alone. Other cities have been sued from what I understand,” Linn said.

Bellucci has sent out warning letters to more than 70 cities within California to let them know they could be sued if they did not repeal their ordinances. El Centro and Costa Mesa have repealed their ordinances, while cities including Anaheim, Grand Terrace and South Pasadena agreed not to enforce their ordinances at this time. Pomona, South Lake Tahoe, National City and Carson have been sued.

Thứ Ba, 22 tháng 4, 2014

NCMEC - Hope Is Why We're Here (Misleading Video)

Truth
This video is misleading. This organization DOES NOT make children any safer from criminals, they only come in after the fact to help find the person dead or alive. That is a big difference!

They say they help prevent and solve crimes. How is that exactly?

If someone is intent on sexually abusing, kidnapping or even murdering someone, nothing they do will prevent that.

They say the FBI reports that 500,000 reports are made of missing children each year. Sounds like one of those magical Goldilock numbers to us, but we could be wrong.

Then they show the case of Jacon Wetterling, who was kidnapped, but a crime they did not solve.

Also they show the Adam Walsh act, which is another crime they did not prevent, and it was never proven Adam was sexually abused or who murdered him, but that didn't stop John Walsh from pushing the Adam Walsh act to put ex-sex offenders on a public list, which also doesn't prevent crime. And what about the fact that he dated Reve when she was underage? If they had sex then, then John Walsh committed a sexual crime.

They should be putting out educational material, online and in schools, that is what may prevent a crime, but hey, who are we?

MO - Sex offenders have to make a living, too

Newspaper jobs sectionOriginal Article

04/19/2014

As president of a national organization that advocates for the families of sex offender registrants, I take exception to the following insensitive statement made by Rep. Genise Montecillo in the article: "Most people view this building as a safe building, and sometimes folks let their guard down," Montecillo said during the hearing. "I think people should at least be aware that there is one in the building."

Rep. Montecillo implied that the Capitol was not "safe" because "there is one in the building." How absurd. Montecillo owes every family member of a registrant in Missouri an apology. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as of December 2013 there were 13,587 registrants in Missouri, which equates to approximately 30,000 family members who are made to feel like a subclass of citizens because they believe that, once adjudicated and debt paid, they should be allowed a life. Our families are doing one of the three things researchers and therapists say are essential for successful reintegration: a job, housing and a positive support system. Maybe the House members would rather Bena and the other 13,586 registrants be homeless and jobless?


Vicki Henry, president
711 Huber St., Festus

Chủ Nhật, 20 tháng 4, 2014

WA - Fake kidnapping of young boy stirs anger in Sequim

Fake kidnapping
Original Article

04/15/2014

SEQUIM - Terror turned to outrage at a local park when parents realized a child kidnapping that played out before their eyes was actually faked -- just to make a video.

On any given day, parents and their kids are often found enjoying Carrie Blake Park in Sequim. However, last Saturday treated visitors to a very different scene, as families watched a man in a ski mask appear to kidnap a little boy.

"I saw this guy, he's wearing a mask, just two-handed grabs this kid and jumps into the van and takes off," said Rebekah Asin, a parent who was at the park Saturday.

The abduction looked so real, Tiffany Barnett jumped up and gave chase.

"I was trying to run after them, trying to get their license plate number," Barnett said.

Two cousins, Jason and Jesse Holden were the abductors in the video. They told ABC News that they regret nearly everything about the staged kidnapping.

"I'll be the first one to admit that the way we went about it wasn't the best way. We could have definitely done it another way," Jason Holden said.

Parents realized it was all a ruse when the masked man returned to the park a short time later to say everyone was safe. He also admitted the "crime" was staged to make an educational video on "kidnapping awareness."

The cousins are revaluating their tactics and responsibility after scathing reaction online.

"There's a line to draw where we can do some of our ideas that we do. There's a line that should be drawn and not go over that line," Jason said.

Multiple witnesses called 911. Sequim Police Chief Bill Dickinson said people had good reason to be upset.

"People are angry when they are taken advantage of," Dickinson said. "When they are the butt of the joke, it's never funny."

"The parents were furious and the kids were scared," Asin said.

The cousins have other segments posted on Youtube showing a variety of pranks, including a staged robbery. Many believe this kidnapping project could have easily gotten someone hurt or killed.

"They're lucky that there wasn't an off-duty police officer or somebody carrying a concealed weapon that could have shot them," Barnett said.

Despite all that, nobody has been arrested because apparently no obvious crime was committed. Still, frightened children stood calling their parents, fearful they'd be snatched-up next.

"My daughter is still terrified," Barnett said. "She'll tell you right now, 'What if they take me? what if they take me?'"

Investigators are still looking to see if criminal charges are appropriate, or if the participants violated zoning and licensing rules.

Thứ Năm, 17 tháng 4, 2014

CO - Former Longmont officer (Christopher Martinchick) sentenced

Christopher Martinchick
Christopher Martinchick
Original Article

04/15/2014

FORT COLLINS - A former Longmont police officer who admitted to the attempted sexual assault of a woman in Loveland was sentenced Tuesday to eight years of sex offender intensive supervised probation.

Christopher Martinchick, 43, also must register as a sex offender and was ordered to serve six months in jail on work release.

Martinchick pleaded guilty in 8th Judicial District Court in November 2013 to attempted sexual assault, a class 5 felony, and invasion of privacy for sexual gratification, a misdemeanor.

Martinchick was arrested last July following a Larimer County Sheriff's Office investigation into a reported sexual assault that occurred in Loveland. The adult female victim told police that on two separate occasions, Martinchick engaged in sexual activity with her while she was sleeping and under the influence of a prescribed muscle relaxant.

Sexual images taken without the woman's consent while she was sleeping were found on computers and a cellphone that the sheriff's office searched as part of the investigation.

Conditions of the sex offender intensive supervised probation include that Martinchick must comply with any counseling or substance abuse treatment as recommended, have no contact with anyone under the age of 18 other than his own children, register as a sex offender and have no contact with the victim.

Martinchick must report for work release within 14 days. He will also serve two years supervised probation concurrent with the sex offender intensive supervised probation.

Thứ Tư, 16 tháng 4, 2014

KY - LMPD detective (Carl Payne) charged over dirty texts, soliciting sex

Carl Payne
Carl Payne
Original Article

04/15/2014

By Mark Boxley

Louisville Metro Police Detective Carl Payne was charged with three counts of first-degree official misconduct Monday over allegations he propositioned three women for sex after arresting them in exchange for assisting them with their court cases, according to a Jefferson County criminal summons.

Carl Payne, 38, of Elizabethtown, was placed under investigation by the department’s Public Integrity Unit in February, the Courier-Journal previously reported.

The charges filed against him Monday allege that from March 20, 2013 to Jan. 2, 2014 Payne — a member of the department’s Violent Incident Prevention, Enforcement and Response (VIPER) Unit — contacted three women after arresting them and “propositioned each of them for sex and encouraged sexually explicit text messages and photographs from the victims in return for assisting them with court cases,” the summons said.

Payne has been on administrative reassignment since Feb. 7, LMPD spokesman Dwight Mitchell said.

Lt. Kit Steimle, who led the VIPER Unit, is also under investigation and has been on administrative reassignment since Feb. 24, Mitchell said.

Police have not said if the two investigations are related.

This is not the first time Payne has been under investigation with the department, according to his personnel file. On June 20, 2013, an investigation was opened after he was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence in Hardin County on June 19, according to a document in his personnel file.

He was suspended without pay for 20 days from the police department. His charges became effective Oct. 3 and he was restored to police powers on November 25, 2013.

He was also reprimanded for missing four court appearances in 2007.

According to the summons, Payne arrested the first victim on March 27, 2013, and soon after contacted the woman by phone, sending her “numerous sexually explicit text messages.” During one conversation, Payne asked the woman to meet him at his office late at night, saying “if she helped him out, he could help her out,” referring to her court case, it said.

The second incident started on Dec. 11, 2013, when Payne arrested a woman and her boyfriend, according to the summons. While the boyfriend was in the front seat of Payne’s police car, he was in the back with the woman typing her messages on his phone for her to read, it said. One told her she was attractive, asked why she was with her boyfriend. Another message asked for her phone number, according to the summons.

Payne is also accused of putting his phone number in the second woman’s purse and told her to call him “so that he could help her with her court case,” the summons said. When she was released from jail she contacted him thinking he could help her, but he started sending her “explicit text messages,” the summons said.

Payne appeared in court on the woman’s case and had it continued on Dec. 15, 2013, which is when she told her attorney about his communications, it said.

Payne arrested the third woman and her boyfriend on April 25, 2013, the summons said. He started contacting her on Dec. 18, 2013, allegedly sending her explicit text messages and photos of his genitalia, it said. He also asked her to meet with him in exchange for helping her and her boyfriend with their court cases and offered to have gun and drug charges against her dismissed, the summons said.

Additional information was not immediately available from LMPD on any departmental actions against Payne stemming from Monday’s charges.

FL - Law enforcement still hiding public records on sex busts

Investigator
Original Article

04/15/2014

By Noah Pransky

PINELLAS COUNTY - Following another major bust of suspects accused of seeking sex with underage children, 10 Investigates renewed its public records requests into how law enforcement operates its stings. But again, multiple agencies are refusing to turn over documents, casting doubt over whether they're playing by the rules.

In January, 10 Investigates revealed that officers and deputies may not have followed federal guidelines in trying to lure sexual predators during a sting. Numerous agencies refused to turn over public records.

But it's not just the lack of transparency casting doubt over the January sting, which resulted in 35 arrests. Attorneys tell 10 Investigates they believe the majority of the men have yet to even be charged, three months after their arrests.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Pasco County Sheriff's Office, Clearwater Police Department, and FDLE have all cited various public record exemptions in their refusals to turn over records from the January sting, while the Manatee Co. Sheriff's Office has refused to turn over records from similar stings.

10 Investigates will continue to fight for access to public records.

CA - When sex-offender laws promote more crimes

Crime scene tapeOriginal Article

04/15/2014

National City has become the latest California city to face a lawsuit from a registered San Luis Obispo County sex offender over its sex-offender regulations. Frank Lindsay, 61, of Grover Beach, contends such local ordinances are superseded by Jessica’s Law, the 2006 measure adopted by California voters.

Among the provisions of Jessica’s Law is a prohibition on registered sex offenders living within 2,000 feet of any school or park. It was named for Jessica Lunsford, a Florida girl who was raped and murdered by a previously convicted sex offender.

Many communities, including National City, have adopted even more restrictive laws of their own. With the assistance of attorney Janice Bellucci — who says society must accept that sex offenders still have civil liberties — Lindsay has been making headway in going after these laws. In January, a state appellate court struck down separate measures adopted by Irvine and Orange County that required sex offenders to gain formal government permission before entering city or county parks. “The state intended to fully occupy the field of regulating registered sex offenders,” the appeals court ruled.

But instead of fighting Lindsay’s lawsuit, National City and other local cities that face similar challenges need a moment of clarity: What do they hope to achieve with sex-offender regulations?

Is the goal making sex offenders’ lives as miserable as possible? Or is it to reduce the likelihood that they will commit new sex crimes?

If it is the former, then fighting for Megan’s Law and even stricter local ordinances makes sense. If the goal is the latter, then these laws make no sense at all.

Setting up residency restrictions that make it difficult and in some cases impossible for sex offenders to stay with their families and to find work “contradicts decades of criminological research identifying factors associated with successful offender reintegration” into society, according to University of Louisville professor Richard Tewksbury and other authorities on sex-offender rehabilitation.

The released sex offender with a job, stable housing and supportive people in his life is far less a threat to the community than a sex offender who is a jobless transient kept from his family.

We understand where National City Mayor Ron Morrison is coming from when he told a U-T reporter that he hoped his city’s ordinance stayed in place: “If you are a registered predatory sex offender on children, I am sorry, you don’t get all your rights.”

We suspect the vast majority of the public shares this sentiment, which is why Jessica’s Law passed in a landslide. We also understand why folks would bristle at Bellucci’s characterization of this issue as being about civil liberties.

But if the goal is to avoid more tragedies like Jessica Lunsford’s, Californians need to think clearly and get past the bluster and demagoguery sometimes seen on public-safety issues. If existing laws make sex crimes more likely, they should be changed.

TX - Dublin passes its first sex offender ordinance

Police Chief Shawn Fullagar
Police Chief Shawn Fullagar
Original Article

04/15/2014

By JESSIE HORTON

Residents of Dublin have lived for years without a sex offender ordinance, but not anymore. On Monday the Dublin City Council heard from residents and Police Chief Shawn Fullagar on the issue.

Fullagar said when he discovered the city was without a sex offender ordinance, he began researching other cities with sex offender ordinances and policies in place. Armed with the information, Fullagar drew up an ordinance he and City Administrator Nancy Wooldridge presented to the council.

"When I discovered the city did not have an ordinance involving these situations I set about doing some research and working one up to present because your city administrator and I believed we needed one," Fullagar said. "I looked at ordinances in Coppell, Alpine, Stephenville, Keller and Carrollton. I wanted to make sure we got everything we needed covered, covered, without going too far."

The ordinance is similar to Stephenville's, restricting a sex offender's ability to live or own property within 500 feet of a school, public park, daycare center or other place where children gather.

The ordinance does not require sex offenders already living or owning property within those limitations to sell the property or move. Fullagar said of the nine to 11 sex offenders living within the Dublin city limits, none are currently living within 500 feet of those locations.

The ordinance restricts where sex offenders can be, and who they can communicate with. For example, the ordinance Fullagar recommended prohibits sex offenders from being within 500 feet of any event, meeting, celebration or gathering where minors are present.

"Another component of the ordinance will make it unlawful for a sex offender to approach a minor on the sidewalk, street, in any public area including local businesses and public buildings like the library," he said. "All of these components apply to all children or minors except those minors who are the offender's own children. The goal of this ordinance is to protect the children of Dublin, not to restrict people from being good parents to their children."

One resident, _____, spoke in regards to the ordinance. He admitted that at 19 he made a mistake. _____ said his life is different now and asked the council to consider an ordinance that allows him to continue being a part of his eight-year-old son's life.

"I know I made a mistake and I'm not trying to get around that," _____ told the council. "All I'm asking is that you make sure there is a way I can continue to be a part of my children's lives, that I can continue to support them as they grow and participate in local events."

Fullagar assured council members the ordinance would not limit parents like _____ from attending their children's events. He did say when at those events, any offender there to support their child cannot make contact with other minors.

"The maximum consequence for a city ordinance violation is a citation for $500," he said. "However, if the subject warrants contact from an officer in these situations, it could escalate into something more. But this ordinance would only be a citation."

After the discussion, council member Mac McMullen said he had reservations about voting for an ordinance that was "trying to regulate morality."

"I just have a problem voting in favor of an ordinance that would be, in effect, regulating the morality of others," McMullen said.

Fullagar said he didn't see it that way.

"I see it more like there are people in our community who have committed crimes involving minors," he said. "I see this as keeping those minors in our community away from someone who has committed such a crime."

Following a lengthy discussion, the council passed the measure 4-2 with McMullen and John Johnson voting against it.

OK - Third Circuit Upholds SORNA Against Nondelegation Challenge

Lawsuit
Original Article

04/15/2014

On April 10, the Third Circuit upheld the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) against an interesting nondelegation challenge - in U.S. v. Cooper. SORNA applies retroactively to sex offenders convicted before the enactment of the statute (the possible ex post facto issue was not part of this new case), and delegates to the Attorney General full discretion to create registration procedures for pre-enactment offenders). The court explains:

The statute defines “sex offender” to include individuals who were convicted of sex offenses prior to the enactment of SORNA. 42 U.S.C. § 16911(1) (defining “sex offender” as “an individual who was convicted of a sex offense”); see also Reynolds, 132 S.Ct. at 978 (noting that SORNA “defines the term ‘sex offender’ as including these pre-Act offenders”). However, SORNA does not set forth the registration procedures for pre-SORNA sex offenders. Instead, in 42 U.S.C. § 16913(d), Congress delegated to the United States Attorney General the authority to determine whether SORNA's registration requirements would apply retroactively to pre-SORNA sex offenders.

Only two Circuits (Ninth and Tenth) have not yet addressed this issue, and the Third Circuit notes that there seems to be a consensus forming on the point, rather than a split, though the Supreme Court has repeatedly denied cert in this cases:

Each of our sister circuits to have considered the issue has concluded that SORNA does not violate the nondelegation doctrine. See, e.g., United States v. Goodwin, 717 F.3d 511, 516–17 (7th Cir.2013), cert. denied, ––– U.S. ––––, 134 S.Ct. 334, 187 L.Ed.2d 234 (2013); United States v. Kuehl, 706 F.3d 917, 919–20 (8th Cir.2013); United States v. Parks, 698 F.3d 1, 7–8 (1st Cir.2012), cert. denied, ––– U.S. ––––, 133 S.Ct. 2021, 185 L.Ed.2d 889 (2013); United States v. Rogers, 468 F. App'x 359, 362 (4th Cir.2012) (not precedential), cert. denied, ––– U.S. ––––, 133 S.Ct. 157, 184 L.Ed.2d 78 (2012); United States v. Felts, 674 F.3d 599, 606 (6th Cir.2012); United States v. Guzman, 591 F.3d 83, 92–93 (2d Cir.2010), cert. denied, 130 S.Ct. 3487 (2010); United States v. Whaley, 577 F.3d 254, 263–64 (5th Cir.2009); United States v. Ambert, 561 F.3d 1202, 1213–14 (11th Cir.2009).

CANADA - RCMP Insp. Ronald Patrick Makar and Constance Haduik charged with sex offences

Ronald Patrick Makar
Ronald Patrick Makar
Original Article

You will notice on all the articles on the Internet, they post his photo but not hers. Why is that? This happened many years ago. How would they actually prove they are guilty or innocent now? It's basically her word against theirs. Make sure you don't anger someone you knew as a child!

04/15/2014

Ronald Patrick Makar, an Alberta RCMP inspector, has been charged with two sex offences dating back to 1982.

The complainant, a woman from Saskatchewan, would have been 12 years old at the time of the alleged offences.

Makar, 54, has been charged with having sexual intercourse with a female person without her consent and having sexual intercourse with a female person who was under the age of 14.

Constance Haduik, 57, of Kyle, Sask., has also been charged with a sex offence involving the same person. RCMP say she was in a relationship with Makar in 1982 and that they were known to the alleged victim.

Haduik was arrested April 10 and charged with indecent assault of a female person.

Makar was arrested Tuesday at his workplace in Fort McMurray, where he has been in charge of the Wood Buffalo detachment.
- You could have waited until he came home instead of further embarrassing him in front of his co-workers!

He and Haduik are scheduled to appear in court in Carlyle, Sask., on June 4.

The charges were disclosed in Regina Tuesday by RCMP Supt. Alfredo Bangloy, who commended the alleged victim for her bravery in coming forward, but also noted it wasn't easy for him to speak to the media under such circumstances.

"It is very difficult to be here today," Bangloy said.

The investigation began last year after the woman told police that when she was 12, she had been sexually assaulted by a woman and a serving member of the RCMP.
- And she is now over 40 years old!

Makar has been suspended from his duties with pay pending the outcome of the charges against him.

The 34-year RCMP veteran spent most of his career working in Saskatchewan, serving in Carlyle, Fond du Lac, Milestone and Regina.

At the time of the alleged offence, Makar was in his first year as an RCMP constable, stationed at Carlyle, which is in southeast Saskatchewan.

Thứ Ba, 15 tháng 4, 2014

LA - Drunk lawyer (Jennifer Gaubert) tries to seduce a cab driver

Jennifer Gaubert
Jennifer Gaubert
Original Article

04/15/2014

She tried, pleaded and used every trick in her book — but ultimately left frustrated after failing to seduce a cabbie, who rebuffed her multiple attempts, saying he was loyal to his girlfriend.

Now video of that 2012 incident has been released to the public after the encounter sparked a dramatic legal battle.

Initially after the incident, the woman, Jennifer Gaubert, 33, contacted the New Orleans Police Department alleging cabbie _____, 39, attempted to blackmail her after secretly recording her in compromising sexual positions.

The 39-year-old driver was arrested, though later released and never charged. In September 2013, Gaubert was charged with making false statements to investigators, according to WDSU-TV.

However, after viewing the video at a trial last week, a judge convicted the 33-year-old lawyer of simple battery, the Times-Picayune reported. She is appealing.
- That's all?  What if a man was doing this to a woman?

Now, the man is suing the police, contending he was falsely imprisoned and suffered emotional distress because officers didn’t verify Gaubert’s claims before detaining him. According to the Times-Picayune, _____’s lawsuit claims he was victim of a false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and kidnapping. The cabbie lost his job and his mugshot appeared on several news outlets connecting him to the incident.

According to the lawsuit, Gaubert aggressively attempted to seduce him and refused his orders to leave the cab.

The video starts after the two both concede they kissed. It shows Gaubert in the front seat with her legs open and dress lifted up.

Please,” she asks, tugging on her underwear as she begs _____ to “come here.”

The taxi driver, however, refuses saying he is loyal and dedicated to his girlfriend.

Can you chill out for two seconds? You’re hot. You’re a f***in hot guy. I’m a girl. It happens,” Gaubert is heard saying in the video.

No, I’m a faithful man,” _____ counters.

Eventually, the 39-year-old is able to convince the promiscuous lawyer that he is not interested. He later drops her off at her house.

Your girlfriend is a lucky girl,” Gaubert quips as she exists the taxi.

OR - Ex-Oregon Deputy (Kenneth Turkle) Charged With Abusing 17-Year-Old

Kenneth Turkle
Kenneth Turkle
Original Article

04/14/2014

PORTLAND (AP) - A 42-year-old former Lake County sheriff's deputy has been accused of sexually abusing a 17-year-old Lakeview girl reported missing late last week.

The Oregon State Police say the girl got in touch with authorities Sunday afternoon and was returned to her family.

Earlier this month, as an investigation began, Kenneth Turkle resigned from the sheriff's department.

On Friday, the girl was reported missing. She was last seen staying with a friend in Grants Pass and leaving with a man believed to be Turkle.

He surrendered Sunday morning in Lake County on charges of sexual abuse and contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor.

The police said he made bail, and that evening he was re-arrested and jailed on new charges of custodial interference and tampering with a witness.

MN - Reform on sex offenders stalls in Minnesota Legislature

Lucinda Jesson
Lucinda Jesson
Original Article

04/14/2014

By ABBY SIMONS

Judge has ordered state program overhauled, but doing so means huge political risks for legislators.

The pressure to overhaul a state sex offender treatment program that has been called “clearly broken” by a federal judge is mounting daily, but the Legislature may not act in time to prevent court intervention.

With just weeks to go in the session, Gov. Mark Dayton and legislators are blaming one another for failing to address the problems identified by Judge Donovan Frank. In February, Frank called on state lawmakers to take immediate action or face a court-ordered remedy.

But little has happened since then.

Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, whose department oversees the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP), said recently that she had hoped for a different outcome this session. “I’m disappointed,” she said. “I’m concerned about the lack of progress toward overall system reform.”

Leaving the program as it is heightens the possibility that the federal courts could, at some point, declare it unconstitutional and order the release of hundreds of the state’s most violent sex offenders. There is precedent for such dramatic intervention: In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California’s overcrowded prisons amounted to cruel and unusual punishment and ordered the state to reduce its inmate population by 30,000.

Dayton said he asked the Legislature to approve $3 million for professional evaluation of sex offenders — a specific requirement to meet Frank’s order — and said he still expects lawmakers to approve it. “I hope we will get that money,” the governor said. “I don’t know why anyone would object to up-to-date psychological evaluations so we know what we’re dealing with.”
- Why do you need $3 million to evaluate something?  There are a ton of studies out there that have already been done on the subject of sex offenders and civil commitment, if you'd look and stop trying to waste more money and delay the process.

Minnesota’s program holds nearly 700 sex offenders — more per capita than any comparable program in other states. With costs far higher than prison costs, its outlays also have exploded. The state has been criticized in the past for doing too little to prove that those in its care are receiving an actual course of treatment rather than just being held indefinitely after serving their prison sentences.

Critics of the sex offender program say they are not surprised by legislative foot-dragging. Addressing the civil rights of serial rapists and child molesters in an election year, they say, is tantamount to political suicide.
- Not all sex offenders are serial rapists and child molesters!

If they fix [the MSOP], I can tell you in November they’re the ones that are going to be accused of endangering all the women in Minnesota, and they know it’s gonna be ugly,” said Chuck Samuelson, executive director of the ACLU of Minnesota, which has advocated for the confined in the lawsuit before Frank.

‘Need bipartisan support’

Last spring, the state Senate passed a bill to reform the program by modeling it after programs in New York and Wisconsin, but a companion bill faltered in the House. A similar Senate measure drafted this year also stalled.

Dayton said that he does not expect lawmakers to approve a wholesale makeover this year.

I’ve always thought realistically it’s going to have to wait until the 2015 legislative session,” he said, “and I hope we have enough courage to deal with it ourselves.”

Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, said that Dayton should be providing a specific blueprint for lawmakers and leading the efforts for change.

I’ve been around here long enough to know that when governors want something, they get it 90 percent of the time,” Hann said. “And this governor has not made this a priority. This is his administration administering the program, and if anyone should know what direction to take, he should be the one.”

House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, has said that House Republicans must cooperate with DFLers to forge a sturdy plan for overhauling the existing arrangement.

For something that’s as important as this, we do need bipartisan support,” Thissen said. “It’s an issue of fundamental public safety.”

Political reality

In addition to public safety, both sides need the other to join them in any proposed solution in order to limit finger-pointing. But House Minority Leader Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said there are legitimate differences on approaches to reform that pose a barrier to legislative change.

My impression is that the Democrats right now have their mind wrapped around some kind of less-restrictive alternative for the current population, and I think this would be incredibly unpopular,” Daudt said. “The public doesn’t support it because the public understands this is a dangerous population and they don’t want these people living next door to them.”

Warren Maas, executive director of Project Pathfinder, which works with sex offenders to prevent recidivism, fully understands the political realities. Maas was there, shortly after Frank’s order, when the Minnesota chapter of the Association for the Treatment of Sex Abusers held an informational session for all 201 legislators, offering assistance in the event of MSOP reform.

Six lawmakers showed up.

I think for most of them it wasn’t a priority,” Maas said. “But for some of them it was whatever the opposite of priority is. Some of the legislators are pretty adamant that they’re not going to lift a finger. They’re going to let the court system take the hit on the issue of release from MSOP.”

Maas said he wasn’t surprised: The public’s revulsion to sex offenders becomes “low-hanging fruit for negative political messaging.”

Maas said the lawmakers who did show up were engaged, attentive and interested, but their numbers were too few to make a difference.

It’s a huge disservice not just to offenders but to the community at large,” he said. “We’re wasting a lot of time demonizing a group of people who have the second-lowest recidivism rate among criminals, and nobody wants to hear that.”

OK - House of Representatives votes to ban habitual or aggravated sex offenders in parks

Josh Cockroft
Josh Cockroft
Original Article

As long as there are politicians they will exploit people and situations for their own gain while trampling on the civil / human rights of others.

Most sexual crimes occur by the victims own family, not some stranger in a park, but hey, that doesn't get brownie points from the people now does it?


04/14/2014

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma House of Representatives has voted to prohibit habitual or aggravated sex offenders from entering a neighborhood, town, county or state park.

The House voted 93-1 Monday for the bill that bans individuals who have committed a crime against a child or individuals who have committed more than one sex crime from entering the parks. Republican Rep. Josh Cockroft of Wanette said the bill stems from uncertainty over whether or not state parks are included in a current ban.

Cockroft said he believes sex offender laws need to be continually updated to make sure there are no loopholes allowing sex offenders access to public places frequented by children.
- That would be pretty much everywhere!

The bill now returns to the Senate for consideration of House amendments.

See Also:

MO - Springfield 'sex offender house' gets 2-month reprieve

Lawsuit
Original Article

04/14/2014

By Jess Rollins

Thirty days ago, the City of Springfield gave residents of 1809 E. Crestview St. exactly 30 days to clear out.

Today, the residents of the home — some sex offenders, some parolees, some drug addicts — are staying put.

An appeal filed today by Recovery Chapel, which operates the so-called group home, has delayed action against the house for at least two more months.

Last month city staffers investigated the halfway house at the urging of neighbors. Many seemed most concerned about the number of residents who appeared on the Greene County sex offender registry.

At the time, there were five. Today, there are two.

During city staffers' investigation of the home, they determined the home did not meet the zoning requirements of a group home.

The director of building development services wrote that the house acts more as a "community corrections facility" than a group home because of the high number of residents on probation and parole.
- Maybe the city needs to open a dictionary and read what a Halfway House is?

The city gave the residents 30 days to move or disband.

But today, a St. Louis-based attorney filed a formal appeal with the city on behalf of Recovery Chapel.

That means enforcement of the 30-day notice will be delayed until the case is heard by the city's Board of Adjustment, a five-member board made of members nominated by the City Manager and appointed by City Council.

The appeal is scheduled to go before the board June 3.

Chaplain Farris Robertson, who has fought the city's action against the Crestview house, confirmed the home continues to operate as usual.

See Also:

CA - Do Ex-Sex Offenders Have Civil Rights?

Statue of Liberty weeping
Original Article

04/14/2014

By Dennis Romero

They are the most loathed convicts on the planet. Even other criminals hate them. Cities in recent years have targeted them with laws that limit where and when they can be certain places, particularly on Halloween, when children are out.

But ex-sex offenders do have rights. At least that's the contention of a group called California Reform Sex Offender Laws.

It's at it again, taking the SoCal city of Carson to federal court.

The group says rules adopted by Carson in 2008 violate the constitutional rights of convicts who have paid their debts to society by serving sentences.

The organization has been suing municipalities (Carson is fourth city to sued in four weeks) that it says violate the rights of sex offenders.

Carson's law, like that of other towns, prohibits such convicts of coming within 300 feet of schools, parks, libraries, swimming pools, and bus stops.

California Reform Sex Offender Laws states:

The Carson ordinance is based upon two myths: (1) that registered citizens have a high rate of re-offense and (2) that strangers commit sexual assaults. The true rates of re-offense, according to state and federal government reports, are 1.9 percent for registrants on parole and 5.3 percent for registrants overall. More than 90 percent of sexual assaults upon children are committed not by strangers but by family members, teachers, coaches and clergy.

The group won similar cases at the California Court of Appeals level and has warned 70 cities in the state that their local ordinances limiting the movement of sex offenders are illegal under the precedents sent by the appeals panels.

Group attorney Chance Oberstein:

The presence restrictions within the Carson ordinance are inconsistent with recent decisions of the California Court of Appeals which invalidated two ordinances - one by the City of Irvine and the other by the County of Orange - as being preempted by existing state law.

Some cities reversed their laws and others agreed to put them on hold, the organization says, but Carson, after negotiations with California Reform Sex Offender Laws, stuck to its guns. The group's president, Janice Bellucci, says:

Future legal challenges by sex offenders can be expected of cities that have failed to either repeal their sex offender ordinances or agree in writing to stay enforcement of those ordinances.