Thứ Bảy, 31 tháng 5, 2014

IL - UNITED STATES v. SIEGEL

Original Article

Excerpt:
Defendant Siegel was convicted of child sexual abuse, and the conditions of supervised release imposed on him—all for the entirety of his life remaining upon completion of his prison sentence—include a ban on the possession of legal or illegal material that “contains nudity” and the use any mood-altering substance, and a requirement that he undergo a sexual-offender treatment program. Defendant Norfleet was convicted of distributing illegal drugs. The conditions of supervised release imposed on him (for an eight-year period commencing with his release from prison) include a ban on the use of mood-altering substances and on excessive use of alcohol, and a requirement that he undergo substance-abuse treatment and cognitive behavioral therapy. These are only a few of the discretionary conditions of supervised release imposed on the two defendants.

CA - Sex Offender Board Calls For Registry Overhaul

Nancy O'Malley
Nancy O'Malley
Original Article

05/30/2014

California is one of four states that require lifetime registration of all sex offenders. The current registry holds close to 100,000, a number the California Sex Offender Management Board says is too large to handle. The board is recommending an overhaul of the system that would change the criteria for lifetime registration, taking into account the severity of the crime and the likely risk posed by the offender.


Host: Dave Iverson

Guests:
  • Marc Klaas, president of the Klaas Kids Foundation
  • Tom Tobin, vice-chair of the California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) and a licensed clinical psychologist

More info:

Thứ Sáu, 30 tháng 5, 2014

TX - Council member proposes new ordinance to place signs at sex offenders homes

Signs in offenders yards
Original Article (Video available)

05/27/2014

By Daniela Fierro

LAREDO (KGNS) - A city leader is proposing an idea to put signs in the yards of local sex offenders, to identify where they live.

Enter your county on the state sex offenders registry and it'll show you the names and addresses of all the people on that list.

But according to Councilman for District 1, Mike Garza, it's not enough and local families need more protection.

He also hopes a new ordinance will provide that.

Arturo Calabaza is a father of two, he is concerned about the possibility of a sex offender living in his neighborhood.

That could be a reality with a new proposal made by Councilman Garza.

He wants to place signs on the sex offender's property, but there are some legal issues.

Currently sex offenders have to register either with the county of Laredo Police Department.

Webb County probation officer Robbie Adams has to keep track of 60 local sex offenders.

But not all the cases have the same requirements.

The Department of Public Safety Registry shows 198 registered sex offenders in Webb county alone.

And with this new plan, Councilman Garza is hoping more people will be aware.

Garza says he got the idea from a community in Florida.

But for Arturo, the proposal hits close to home, and hopes it becomes a reality.

IL - Chicago police fail to register sex offenders 601 times in just three months

Registrants waiting in line
Original Article (Audio available)

05/28/2014

By Rob Wildeboer

On February 13 of this year, _____ went to the Chicago Police Department Headquarters to register as a sex offender. He was one of 22 people who were turned away that day because the office was simply too busy. That’s according to police records. A month later, on March 21, _____ was approached by Chicago police officers on the West Side of Chicago.

According to an arrest report, _____ wasn’t doing anything illegal but was “loitering in an area known for narcotic activity.” Officers ran _____’s name and found he had failed to register. _____ told the officers he had tried to register on February 13 but had been turned away. He was arrested anyway and is now in the Cook County Jail, where it costs taxpayers $52,000 a year to house him.

I first heard about sex offenders being prevented from registering a few months ago. I spent several days waiting in line with offenders outside the criminal registration office at Chicago police headquarters. I couldn't believe it when officers came out of the office and told dozens of men who had been waiting for hours that they might as well go home because the office was too busy to register them all. Then the officers warned the men that they could be arrested for failing to register even though they’d just waited for hours in line to do just that.

I went back several times and saw the same scenario play out.

'Setting people up to be violated'
It’s like they’re purposely setting people up to be violated to go back to jail. You can’t conclude nothing else but that,” said _____ as he tried to help his brother register back in February.

Another frustrated man who just gave his name as Terry said, “We’re the guys that are trying to do the right thing. We’re showing up here, we’re trying to do the right thing; we’re trying to follow the law to the letter of what’s on that piece of paper and they turn us away and say, sorry, but you can still be arrested. Yeah, well, how are we supposed to feel?

Police records detail the failure
As officers turned offenders away, they wrote down the names of the offenders who had shown up. Using the Freedom of Information Act, WBEZ got copies of those lists. The lists have fields for name, date, time, several other things and then one space for “reason for being turned away.” In the first three months of this year the office turned people away 601 times, and in that space for the reason it put “capacity.”

In the first three months of this year the office turned people away 601 times and in that space for the reason it said, “capacity.” On some days, like January 14th for example, no one was turned away. But on February 14, 31 people were turned away because the office was at “capacity.” On March 4, 34 people were turned away; on the 5th, 27 people; on the 6th, 26 people.

A semi-reluctant advocate
These registrants try and follow the law. They try and report and register and fulfill their duties but the police department doesn’t let them and the police department isn’t fulfilling their responsibility to the public,” said attorney Patrick Morrissey in a recent interview in the lobby of the Cook County criminal court building at 26th and California. He had just come from a hearing where he was representing a sex offender who is currently in the Cook County Jail for failing to register.

A year and a half ago Morrissey was in his law office when he got a call from a sex offender who was having trouble registering with the Chicago Police Department. Morrissey was outraged, though his boss, who happens to also be his dad, was not too interested in getting involved in the issue. Morrissey pushed ahead anyway.

By the City of Chicago refusing to register people and causing them to walk the streets unregistered subject to arrest, is unconscionable,” said Morrissey. “You know it doesn’t only harm these people who have to register and who are subject to arrest, but it harms the public because it detracts from what this law is about, about keeping track of people.”

It’s also costly, not for the police department, but for the taxpayers who have to fund the county jail where it costs $52,000 a year to house inmates. Morrissey has a client who went to the Chicago police registration office and was turned away and then later arrested for failing to register.

He was in the Cook County Jail from about July of 2011 until April of 2014,” said Morrissey. “I think there’s a lot of people who are currently in the Cook County Jail on a failure to register charge.”

Morrissey is right. According to the Cook County Sheriff’s office, on April 25 of this year, there were 190 people in the jail on failure to register charges.

One of them was _____, the guy I mentioned at the top of the story, who wasn’t doing anything illegal but was approached by police, and when they ran his name they found he had failed to register even though he’d tried to register.

In another example of penny wise but pound foolish, on January 22, police records show that _____, a homeless man, was turned away from the registration office because, not surprisingly, he didn’t have the hundred dollar fee sex offenders have to pay once a year. He was arrested less than two weeks later, February 3, for failure to register and is in the county jail, where he’s costing taxpayers $143 a day.

Or take _____. He went to police headquarters March 4, 5, 6 and 7. The records show that each time the Chicago police refused to register him because they were too busy. Finally on March 10 he made it into the office and he was arrested because something called an investigative alert had been issued for him. The Chicago police had been looking for this guy and for a week he’d been standing in a line outside CPD headquarters.

Just one more example: On March 4 _____ went to register and was turned away. He returned on the 5th but police failed to register him again. The note on the police sign in log says he was turned away because he needed a sign language interpreter. So he wasn’t registered. He’s since been arrested and is now in jail for failure to register.

Little information and some misinformation from Chicago Police
For several months WBEZ has repeatedly requested an interview with Police Supt. Garry McCarthy to have a substantive and thoughtful discussion about this complicated issue and for several months, he has refused, and he continues to refuse. Instead of insightful conversations we’ve gotten dismissive emails. We’ve also gotten written statements containing misleading information that minimizes the extent of the problem.

For example, in February, department spokesman Adam Collins sent us a 14-sentence statement saying the police department proactively sends the names of registrants who were turned away to the “Illinois State Police so they know the individual came in to register and he or she should not be subject to arrest.”

According to Tracie Newton with the Illinois State Police, which maintains the sex offender registration, that list from CPD is absolutely useless. Newton says CPD just started sending lists over one day without any discussion or explanation and there’s nothing in the statutes that allows the state police to do anything with the lists.

This past week, Collins sent another email statement saying the department is expanding the registration office and construction should be done by August. Collins provided no details about how much the project will cost or whether there will be additional officers detailed to that section. He also provided no explanation for the hundreds of men that have been turned away from the registration office and have been arrested or are subject to arrest.

Thứ Sáu, 23 tháng 5, 2014

NH - State's sex-offender registry overreaches

Morning paper and coffee
Original Article

05/20/2014

The N.H. Supreme Court is pondering the fate of a man convicted, several decades ago, of sexually assaulting his teenage stepdaughter. The man has served out his prison sentence, undergone years of counseling and been deemed “rehabilitated” by the court. Now in his 60s, he is disabled.

None of which would be fodder for the state’s highest court, except that since he was released from prison in 1990, the state has repeatedly enacted laws calling for those convicted of sexual assault against children to register with the police, so a legal — and public — eye can be kept on them. And yes, such laws include those who were sentenced long before the new laws were enacted.

The man now before the Supreme Court seeking relief from these laws has been dubbed John Doe to protect his anonymity. It’s ironic that Mr. Doe can hide his identity from the public in court, because the reason he’s there is that he can’t hide it anywhere else. Thanks to these laws — both state and federal — John Doe and others must allow not only the police to know where they are, they must let everyone know, by keeping their current address in a database accessible to anyone online.

And in many cases, they must do so for life. There is no mechanism for getting off the list, and failure to keep the information updated carries harsh penalties in itself.

If all this seems over the line of reasonable punishment, in many cases we agree. However, the state has argued inclusion on this public online registry is not a punishment, but a regulatory matter.

We think that reasoning is absurd. Clearly, it is a punishment, tantamount to those on the list being forced to wear a large letter “P” pinned to their chests in public.

And while belling the cat may be a good idea for those whose crimes indicate they will continue to pose a threat, there are some crimes designated as sexual in nature that may not, such as public urination.

This is not to ignore the real danger posed by sick minds — the hardcore predators who will never be rehabilitated. Given the recidivism rates involved in sexual assault cases, especially those victimizing children, there’s a lot to be said for keeping the public informed of legitimate threats. There does need to be some way for the public to be informed.
- What recidivism rate?  You mean that sex offenders have one of the lowest recidivism rates of any other ex-felon?

Hearing the arguments of the John Doe case earlier this month, the justices seemed taken aback by the logic of the laws. One argued a paraplegic on the registry who now poses no threat to anyone could himself become a victim of vigilantes who look up his address online. If that seems far-fetched, consider the case of Stephen Marshall, who in 2006 killed two men whose names and addresses he’d looked up on Maine’s sex-offender registry.

We, too, worry that inclusion on a public registry could make a target of people who have otherwise served their sentence for crimes committed. We hope the court’s review will result in a close look at the state’s sex-offender registry, including how long someone who has been deemed rehabilitated by the courts should be on it and whether the list of crimes for which one qualifies needs to be culled.
- It also puts the lives of family members (innocent people) in danger as well, not just the ex-offenders!

DC - International Megan's Law passed by U.S. House of Representatives

Congressman Chris Smith
Congressman Chris Smith
Original Article

05/20/2014

By Brendan McGrath

A local congressman is pushing a bill that would bring Megan’s Law, which has led to the creation of registries for child sex offenders across the country, onto the world stage.
- Not everybody on the online sex offender registries (hit-lists) are child sex offenders!

The International Megan’s Law, sponsored by Congressman Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.), was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives today.

The bill is named after Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old from Hamilton who was killed by a repeat sex offender living nearby her house 20 years ago.

Sex offenders around the world are now able to cross borders and oceans easily to carry out their horrible designs against children under the cloak of anonymity and then disappear before a child is able or willing to reveal the crime,” Smith said today.

Smith has introduced versions of this bill multiple times over the past few years, including in 2010 when it passed the House, but it has never made it through the Senate.

This bill, H.R. 4573, was introduced two weeks ago and was passed unanimously by the House Foreign Affairs Committee before being passed by the House today.

The legislation is not just intended to prevent U.S. offenders from hurting children overseas, Smith said, but also to establish a reciprocal relationship.

The International Megan’s Law would establish the model needed for the U.S. to persuade other countries to take action to stop both child sex tourism within their borders and protect children in the United States and elsewhere,” Smith said today.

Megan Kanka’s parents, Richard and Maureen, called the proposed law a “step in the right direction.”

We must not only show the world that we will not tolerate these perverted acts in the United States but internationally also,” the Kankas said in a statement.

If the bill is passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Barack Obama, it would provide a legal framework for the Angel Watch Center, which is currently a one-person operation in the federal Immigration and Citizenship Enforcement agency that notifies destination countries of intended travel by offenders with a serious registered sex offense against a child, Smith’s release said.

The stories of the victims are tragic — ruined childhoods, devastated families, lifetimes of memories of assaults and sometimes worse,” Smith said.

The bill also would work to establish better lines of communication to effectively share information about the travel of child sex offenders between federal agencies, the release said.

The Government Accountability Office issued a report in 2010 that said that in fiscal year 2008 at least 4,500 passports were issued to registered sex offenders by the U.S., the release said.

Thứ Ba, 20 tháng 5, 2014

I could have been an RSO...

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

By Notanso:
In 1980, I owned a small convenience store in a small Florida town.

A 17 year old, local boy, asked me for a part time job. The priority to him, was not the pay, but to get away from his abusive alcoholic mother.

He was a good worker at stocking the shelves in the store. One day, I received 2 complimentary tickets to a one day off shore cruise. Knowing it would be full of kids, I invited the boy to go with me.

Since I had been working daily in the store, I eagerly closed it for the one day.

I stayed on the top deck and slept the majority of the time.

The boy had one great time meeting so many other kids on the cruise. At the end of the day, driving home, the boy could not stop talking about how great it was to do something he never had the chance or money to do. It was a great day for him and a relaxing day for me.

As we drove back to his home, the police were waiting. They took the boy aside and me a short distance away.

I was questioned by the police as to what my relationship was with the boy. I explained innocently that we went on a free cruise sponsored by one of the store vendors. Throughout the questioning, it never dawned on me that I had done anything wrong until the mother started yelling – “your 24 – going after my 17 year old boy.”

I corrected her – no – I am not 24 – I am 38! It still never dawned on me that I did anything inappropriately.

Then I heard the boy yelling at this mother. “Every time someone wants to do something nice for me – you interfere. You drunken whore. You never want me to have anything good in my life. I hate you.”

Then the police said that is all and left.

This was 30 years ago – long before I ever knew anything about what a sex offender is.

It is only recently that I realized – I too could have been a sex offender – if it had not been for this teen-age boy to stand up to his mother and tell the truth.

You never know who is going to accuse an innocent person.

I could have been falsely accused.

Tomorrow – it could be you.

Is there truth about Justice or is justice like our constitution

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

By James:
I have voiced my story about my sex offense on here in months past and consider you all good understanding people. While all our offenses may be different we are all under the sex registry.

My offense may seem to be the bottom of the list as compared to some on here but ever trail every person goes thru they learn something... This is an article I wrote and a part of my true story, but at the same time its also an article about truth and justice.

I hope you all read this as I am gonna try to get it published in the newspaper or get a friend to do this for me..... it is time to let the public know that sex offenders are all not what Government portrays us as:

Is there truth about Justice or is justice like our constitution a thing of the past.

Can people get justice today with a watered down plea deal?

While plea deals are generic today do they really get at justice or are they just one sided in favor of the state? The answer to this question would be the latter, they are one sided affairs and the truth is only half truth so when one is taking the oath to tell the truth what God are they swearing to, the God of Man or the God of Creation.

While plea bargains or plea deals are a mean's to spare the justice system time and speed up and reduce caseloads in hearing one's case, it does not do justice for the person that is falsely accused in serious matters. State's evidence is one thing but blind justice is another.

There are two sides to every coin and two sides to every event and circumstance surrounding a criminal case.

Take for instance a simple internet sex sting operation thats done thru the computer in the efforts to ensnare "would be predators" that pray on children.

While internet chatting has been a social experience since its acceptance back in the 80's there are a lot of men and women that go to adult chat rooms to relax, unwind, have a spicy or romantic chat, make new friends, etc , but there is a dark side to the internet that some take advantage of for their material gain.

The old addage of children should be seen and not heard has taken on a new meaning with the use of the internet. Yes, there are teen chat rooms, kids chat rooms , and at the same time their are adult chatrooms all in their respective order.

There are even safety rules in place on adult chatrooms, one site I know of has guidelines that one has to be 18 to be on its site and its even states that in their rules and sign up procedures. Yes, it is a safety rule as kids have no business on adult chat site's.

Now enter the police officer on an adult chat site's possing as teenager and using everything in their book of tricks to get an adult to chat with them.

The first question that comes to mind is what is a kid doing in an adult chat room? And when asked why they can't find someone there own age to chat with will use a ruse and lie to get one to talk to them, some people will feel sorry for them and get caught up in this game that they play. A lot of adults are dupable believe it or not.

Now common sense would be that the adult was actually looking for an adult to chat with that is why they were in an an adult chat room to start with.

So the other obvious question would be: why is this kid on here soliciting or looking to chat in an adult chatroom?

Why isn't the teenager in a teenage chat room where they should be?

You know. as I said, people can be dupable and one has to question others on the internet especially when a teenager is in an adult chat room which is totally out of character to start with.

Now adult's go to adult chat sites to have adult fun to have conversations of an adult nature, to relax, and talk and meet others but when a person con's someone, when you ask why they cannot find some there own age to talk to and makes up stories and lies' for their own gain than its a different story and yes people are guliable.

Yes I am talking about the police that are suppose to protect and serve but are creating situations to entrap otherwise law abiding citizens. In other words their breaking the law to enforce the law, there creating a situation by duping others in there game of cat and mouse.

With today's schools that talk about social chatting on the internet and safety precausions that one has to use it would appear that kids would use common sense. Believe it or not in this day and age kids are smart about internet usage.

Now police do not use common sense but will ensnare someone because of his or her agenda to snag a "would be predator."

If someone uses a ruse to make you think there home alone and uses that again one would have to wonder about that and question that? Yes, that teenage person will wear one down and do everything to get them off guard to get them under their control. Even if one ask to back out they will still do their best to control you.

Now the main goal of all these operations is for the person to ask for sex from this so called teenage/cop teaser.

While we all make wrong judgements and even the court systems make wrong judgements, and yes court systems are human like everyone else or seem to be. They seem to have a higher God that protects them and I think that higher God is the supreme court, but they fail to understand human suffering, bibical teachings, and go against everything that the police code of ethic's stands for, or what real truth is all about. Going under cover is one thing but lying is another and lying has no place in the court room or law and order.

Now all this is covered up in the name of safety, which most modern day schools teach internet kid's safety at schools.

Since they have taken prayer out of schools, internet safety should be the biggy on the list.

Last but not least we all grow up and are taught not to tell a lie but when you become a police officer you have all authority to lie even God gives you authority to lie and bear false wittness or so it seems.

Thứ Hai, 19 tháng 5, 2014

AZ - Jury awards $3.4M to victims of sex-offender websites

Extortion
Original Article (Video available)

05/16/2014

By Robert Anglen

Victims targeted for harassment on sex-offender websites pleaded with a Maricopa County jury to financially punish the owner and take away his ability to continue operating.

On Wednesday, the jury listened.

In a unanimous verdict, jurors hit Valley businessman Charles "Chuck" Rodrick with a $3.4 million judgment on behalf of three people profiled on websites such as Offendex.com, SORArchives and SexOffenderrecord.com.

Rodrick is accused of running an Internet extortion racket that used public records maintained by law enforcement to demand money from sex offenders, harassing those who complained.

The jury awarded victims almost $500,000 in actual damages and $2.9 million in punitive damages, agreeing Rodrick defamed them, invaded their privacy, put them in a false light and abused the court system by filing lawsuits against them as a form of retaliation.

The decision came after the court last week declared Rodrick the defendant in defamation lawsuits he filed more than a year ago against those who publicly decried the websites, including his ex-wife, her boyfriend, a convicted sex offender from Washington and the offender's mother.

Superior Court Judge Douglas Gerlach also allowed several of the victims' counterclaims against Rodrick to go forward, reversing the roles of the defendants and making them plaintiffs. The move effectively put Rodrick in the position of defending himself in his own case.

Rodrick, 52, of Cave Creek, appeared unperturbed by the separate verdicts. The court clerk had barely finished reading the judgments when Rodrick leaned sideways in his chair and called out to the opposing parties with a promise to appeal.

"Well, gentlemen, you know the drill," he said in a loud, mirthful voice.

Rodrick, who for more than a year has refused to discuss his websites, declined comment after court Wednesday.

His victims said they were elated by the decision.

"I am super glad justice has been served," Phoenix resident David Ellis said following the trial. "I did ask (the jury) to make their verdict significant enough to keep him from ever climbing out of his hole, and they did."

Ellis said he was targeted after he began dating Rodrick's ex-wife while the couple were going through an acrimonious divorce. Court records show Rodrick posted information on several websites suggesting Ellis, a decorated combat veteran with no criminal record, was a child molester.

Ellis, who is co-owner of an airplane-parts manufacturing company in Phoenix called American Aerospace Technical Castings, said Rodrick posted false information accusing his company of making shoddy equipment. Ellis said Rodrick also accused him of workplace sexual harassment.

"It's kind of a shame. I fought for people's civil rights," Ellis said. "Then this guy, he used the First Amendment to attack me."

Rodrick's ex-wife, Lois Flynn of Chandler, said she felt vindicated. Rodrick's websites accused her of having an adulterous relationship, being an alcoholic and working with child molesters who sought to discredit the websites.

Flynn said the Internet postings damaged her reputation and affected her relationships at church, where she once worked with kids.

"In church Sunday, if anyone looks at me sideways, I can hold up the judgment and say I have been judged the right way," she said.

The jury awarded Ellis almost $2.2 million. It awarded Flynn $780,000. It also gave $467,000 to Susan Galvez, the mother of a convicted sex offender in Washington sued by Rodrick after her son launched an Internet campaign challenging Rodrick's websites.

In court, Galvez called Rodrick a "bad man." Her son, pleaded guilty to child molestation in 1996. The jury did not award him any damages, dismissing his claims against Rodrick.

_____ said he considered his mother's win a victory for the family. He said he felt vindicated the moment the judge declared him a plaintiff and he no longer faced the threat of Rodrick's lawsuit.

"I had nothing to lose," he said. "The jury did what was right. If they had gotten the time to get to know who I am, they probably would have ruled differently."

Galvez said he was putting his life back together in 2012 when he discovered his profile on Offendex.com. When Galvez refused to pay to have his name removed and began complaining publicly, he said, operators retaliated against him.

Galvez said he launched his own site, Offendextortion.com, as a way to fight back. He said Rodrick sued his mother as a way to get at him.

Galvez said two jurors told him after the trial that his conviction and background made it hard for them to award him damages. But he said they both wished him well.

None of the eight jurors on Wednesday commented on the case.

A Call 12 for Action investigation in 2013 found Rodrick's sites mined data compiled by law-enforcement agencies across the country and used it to collect money from sex offenders. Operators did not always take down profiles after payments were made, and they launched online harassment campaigns against those who balked at financial demands or filed complaints.

The investigation found the websites listed individuals as sex offenders who no longer were required to register or whose names had been removed from sex-offender databases. The sites included names and personal information of people who had never been arrested or convicted of a sex crime.

The Internet-savvy operators ensured anyone in their databases could be found easily on a Google search. They prominently profiled specific individuals, published their home and e-mail addresses, posted photographs of their relatives and copied their Facebook friends onto the offender websites.

In court filings, Rodrick repeatedly denied owning the websites.

In March, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge found Rodrick controlled the websites, owned the domain names and was the only person capable of posting and removing information on the sites.

The judge sanctioned Rodrick for violating court orders and for failing to take down posts about Ellis, Flynn and the Galvezes.

The judge also sanctioned Rodrick's girlfriend Traci Heisig, a court reporter and owner of Desert Hills Reporting in Phoenix. The judge said Heisig, who joined Rodrick in defamation lawsuits, willfully refused to comply with court orders.

After she and Rodrick were declared defendants, Heisig was dismissed from the case.

Rodrick's former partner, Brent Oesterblad, testified that he helped disguise Rodrick's ownership interest by opening bank accounts and filing corporation papers for him. He said Rodrick further hid his role by registering website domain names in foreign countries and running them through proxy servers. His claims were backed by court and financial records.

Rodrick and Oesterblad, both of whom were convicted on fraud-related charges in the early 1990s, were at the center of state and federal lawsuits. Sex offenders and others named on the websites have accused them of running an extortion racket. Rodrick and Oesterblad are also accused of posting inaccurate or old information and using the threat of exposure as leverage in their operation.

Lawyers for Ellis, Flynn and the Galvezes credited Oesterblad with coming forward and providing crucial financial and operational data about the websites. They described his testimony as articulate and truthful. Claims filed against him in the Maricopa County case were dropped.

Rodrick, who represented himself in court, painted himself as a victim.

"It's not easy to be a defendant when you were the plaintiff," he said in a rambling closing argument Wednesday in which he denied ownership of the websites, argued about the amount of money they generated and complained about various court rulings.

See Also:

Thứ Sáu, 16 tháng 5, 2014

CA - Wasco sued over sex offender ordinance

Lawsuit
Original Article

05/16/2014

By Jose Gaspar

WASCO (KBAK/KBFX) - A lawsuit filed Thursday in federal district court in Los Angeles by a group called California Reform Sex Offender Laws challenges a Wasco ordinance that restricts sex offenders.

"We allege that the Wasco sex offender ordinance violates both the federal and state constitutions," said Santa Barbara attorney Janice Bellucci, president of the nonprofit legal group.

Wasco approved the ordinance in 2007. It prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of any "children's facility."

But, it also bans registrants from being within 300 feet of a wide range of public and private locations, such as libraries, day care centers, parks and other places.

Bellucci said registrants have a right to access a library.

"There's a constitutional right to access to information. That's part of the 1st Amendment to the U.S. constitution, and that is being abridged by this city ordinance," said Bellucci.

She said the goal is to get rid of "presence restrictions" in every county in California in 2014.

Wasco city officials defend the ordinance, saying it was adopted with the intent of protecting residents and most of all, children.

"My intent is to protect the welfare and the safety of our children in our community," said Wasco Mayor Tilo Cortez.

According to Megan's Law website, Wasco has 15 registered sex offenders living within the city limits.

"Whenever you have registered sex offenders around small children, it's a concern for any parent," said Cortez.

The lawsuit is asking the federal court that it strike down the city's ordinance as null and void, and that Wasco pay all attorney fees and costs associated with the suit.

Five other cities in Kern County have similar sex offender ordinances in place: California City, Delano, Shafter, Taft and Tehachapi.

Just two weeks ago, the city of Shafter agreed to stop enforcing its ordinance after being informed by California Reform Sex Offender Laws that it, too, could be sued.

Cortez said he could not comment on the suit as the city has not yet been served.

"Obviously, we're just finding out about this, but we'll see where the law takes us," said Cortez.

DC - Pentagon punished nearly 500 for sexual harassment

Pentagon
Original Article

05/15/2014

By LOLITA C. BALDOR

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. military fired or disciplined nearly 500 workers for sexual harassment in a 12-month period, and nearly 13 percent of the complaints filed involved repeat offenders, according to new data.

The Pentagon on Thursday released its first formal report on sexual harassment amid months of criticism from Congress over how the department handles sexual assaults and related crimes.

According to the report, there were 1,366 reports of sexual harassment filed in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, involving 496 offenders across the services and National Guard. Officials acknowledged that much like sexual assault complaints, incidents of sexual harassment are vastly underreported, and they said there will be a concerted effort to increase reporting.

Sexual harassment involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is tied to a person's ongoing employment or interferes with the person's work.

The report reveals that in the vast majority of the cases the victim was a young, lower-ranking woman and the offender a senior enlisted male service member, often in the same unit. The most frequent location of the harassment was a military base.

More than half of the complaints involved crude or offensive behavior, and another 40 percent were described as unwanted sexual attention. Most involved verbal behavior.

Nearly 60 percent of the complaints were substantiated and the punishments ranged from court martial and firing to pay cuts, rank demotions, letters of reprimand, and other administrative actions.

The report noted the link between sexual harassment and sexual assaults, saying that surveys have indicated that up to 30 percent of the women and 19 percent of the men who said they had been assaulted reported that the offenders had sexually harassed them before and/or after the attacks took place.

The report also said that the military services are aware of the large number of repeat offenders and "are taking appropriate action."

Officials said they hope to use the data to begin to resolve any problems with department policy or programs.

See Also:

NY - Registry won't make us all safer

Placebo
Placebo
Original Article

05/15/2014

The problem with feel-good public safety initiatives like the proposed Violent Offenders Registry is that they lull us into a false sense that we're doing something legitimate to protect ourselves from harm.

The state Legislature, once again borrowing from a tragedy involving a child, has proposed setting up a list of people who've served time for violent crimes. The bill, dubbed "Brittany's Law," is similar in design and purpose to the sex offender registries that became popular two decades ago.

Like the state’s 18-year-old sex offender registry, this bill would require violent felons to register with the state. Those subject to registration would be anyone convicted under the "violent offender" section of state Penal Law -- which covers such crimes as murders, assaults, kidnappings, terrorism and gang violence.

The information available to the public from the registry could include the person's name, address, photo and information about the crime he or she committed. How much information that would be available on each subject would be determined by ranking, again similar to sex offender registries, based on a subjective determination of the felon's propensity to commit more violent crimes, with Level 1 being the lowest and Level 3 the highest.

The crime upon which this bill is based is the 2009 murder of 12 year-old Brittany Passalacqua and her mother, Helen Buchel. Their killer, John Edward Brown, was on early release from prison after serving most of a 3-year sentence for violently assaulting his infant daughter.

Supporters of the registry claim Brittany's Law could have prevented their deaths by alerting the victims to the presence of a killer living among them.

It's true, it would be nice to know when a violent felon, like a sex offender, is living in the neighborhood. But in reality, how many of us regularly check the lists to find out? The new registry wouldn’t take into consideration the fact that many violent crimes are committed by people under duress, or influenced by alcohol and other circumstances that might be precipitated by a single incident. In other words, a lot of violent people in your neighborhood, just like people with a propensity to abuse children or commit sexual assaults, wouldn't necessarily appear on this list unless they’d been caught and convicted. The registry also doesn't take into consideration the fact that most victims of sexual or domestic violence already know their assailants. So how extra-safe would this list really make the rest of us?

Several studies conducted over the years have questioned the effectiveness of such registries in preventing sex crimes, while other studies have challenged the validity of the recidivism rankings in assessing individuals’ propensity to repeat their crimes. Some studies have found that registries compel offenders to get treatment and behave themselves, while others have shown being on the list stresses out some offenders, drives them into hiding, discourages them from getting treatment and/or compels them to commit more crimes.

The registries do often allow police to keep better tabs on individuals with criminal backgrounds, which could lead to quicker identification of suspects in new crimes. But knowing someone's address doesn't mean their whereabouts is known 24 hours a day, to police or potential victims.

There's also the question of whether a person should be subject to registration after they've served their sentence. Even when a person is off the list, either by timing out or having their conviction overturned, the Internet would make their listing a permanent one.

For police and certain victims of violence, having a registry of violent offenders could provide a useful tool. So it's probably not a bad thing for the Legislature to set up.

But for most of us, it might make us feel like we're a little safer. But actually, we're all still just as safe ... and all still just as vulnerable.

NY - Bill would tighten sex offender rules

Morning paper and coffeeOriginal Article

05/10/2014

Legislation introduced by state Sen. Patrick Gallivan concerning sex offenders makes sense and should be approved by lawmakers. The bill would require the state to notify local municipalities and schools when a sex offender is transferred from a state facility to a community residence or program. The commissioner of the Office of People With Developmental Disabilities would be required to make the notifications no later than 10 days before the transfer takes place.

The relocation of dangerous individuals to a residential neighborhood is always cause for concern. Local officials have a right to know about the transfer of sex offenders into a community program or residence in their community, so that they have time to properly address public concerns and security issues,” Sen. Gallivan said in a news release.

The bill, S7064, is co-sponsored by state Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, and has been referred to the committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.

Such notification would go a long way toward easing concerns such as were raised when several developmentally disabled sex offenders were placed in group homes after the state facility where they had been staying was closed. People living near the state-owned group homes, in West Seneca and Scottsville, were caught off guard.

Notification is important. People do need to know when a convicted sex offender is living in their neighborhood. They also need to assess the level of danger that sex offender poses. Each convicted sex offender is evaluated and assigned a level. Factors taken into consideration include use of force, weapons, alcohol or drugs, the victim’s age, number of victims, assault or injury of the victim and relationship to the victim. Then a judgment is made according to how likely the offender is to repeat the behavior. Those at low risk of repeating the offense are assigned to Level 1; Level 2 is for those with moderate risk; Level 3 are those at high risk of re-offending and who present a threat to public safety.

Knowledge goes a long way toward easing fears and helping people deal appropriately with the situation. A Level 1 offender in the neighborhood is reason for caution, not panic. Sen. Gallivan’s bill would make sure people get the knowledge they need to keep everyone safe.

People should remember, however, that not every sex offender has been caught and conveniently labeled. Children need to be protected from known offenders, but they also need to be protected from offenders who aren’t yet known. In the end, there is no substitute for good parenting and precaution.

ME - Former Howland police chief (Carl Smith) charged with sexual assault

Carl Smith
Carl Smith
Original Article (Video available)

05/14/2014

By Kaitlyn Chana

BANGOR (NEWS CENTER) - A former Howland police chief made his first court appearance today, on charges that he sexually assaulted two 5-year-old girls. 72-year-old, Carl Smith of Eddington made his first appearance via video conference in court this afternoon. Smith didn't want the courtroom to hear his complaints and charges, so his court-appointed attorney asked the judge to not talk about the sex charges.

The judge explained that this is an open courtroom. He didn't go into specifics but did read the four sex charges. Two are for gross sexual assault and the other two are for unlawful sexual contact.

On Saturday, the Wells Police Department arrested Smith and authorities say he molested twin 5-year-old girls. The alleged assaults happened in Eddington at the end of April. Prosecutors think Smith was babysitting the children. They say he used to work at Ironwood, a residential facility for troubled teens, but then after reports of the alleged assaults he quit his job and left the state. He recently came back to Maine and was arrested. In terms of the alleged victims, law enforcement said the girls told administration at their school about what they say happened. Penobscot County District Attorney, Christopher Almy said he's admitted to some of these sexual actions.

"I don't know if he is going to take responsibility or if he is going to fight it. At this point, we do know he did make some admissions about his role and that's significant."

The judge said the severity of this crime makes him a flight risk.The bail is set at $100,000 dollars cash and he can't have contact with the alleged victims, or with any children under the ages of 18. Smith served as Howland police chief up until he retired in 1988. He has no prior charges.

Thứ Tư, 14 tháng 5, 2014

Virtual Sex Offender

LetterThe following was sent via the "Tell Us Your Story" form and posted with the users permission.

By Ron:
I am a "virtual sex offender". What is that?

That's when you are treated as a sex offender even though I've never been tried, convicted or even spoken to by the police.

Examples. When I move anywhere, the residents are warned about me. I moved in with a friend and a park was nearby and the police spoke to him about me. Try to keep friends and family when any event with children causes the police to speak with the participants.

I am followed and harassed almost wherever I go by, I presume, the nonprofits and community groups that the police keep commending for keeping down crime.

I repeat: I have never been convicted of anything. I'm what I call a virtual sex offender. Welcome to the new reality.

The only thing I can conclude is that they ran out of real sex offenders for their quota.

MI - Buying Sex Could Land You 25 Years on the Sex Offender Registry

ProstitutionOriginal Article

Maybe we can then put all the politicians, celebrities and police officers on the online registry so they can see first hand what it's like?

05/12/2014

A move is underway in the Michigan Legislature to crack down harder on those who hire prostitutes.

Supporters of the effort say too often, prostitutes are arrested and those who hire them are not.

The effort is part of a move to fight the growing problem of human trafficking in Michigan.

A key bill in the package defines soliciting for prostitution as a tier II registrable offense, which would put the offender's name on a registry for 25 years.

Other parts of the package include creation of a registration system for sex industry workers, to help prevent the movement of workers from strip clubs to prostitution.

Hearings began last week in Lansing in the Senate Families, Seniors and Human Services Committee. More will be scheduled in the future.

OK - Thousands come off sex offender list months after new law

Off the list
Original Article

05/13/2014

By La'Tasha Givens

A new law took thousands off the sex offender registry.

Exposing yourself near a playground, urinating in public or peeping in a bathroom stall are just some of the actions that have landed thousands of people on the sex offender registry.

Now many of those names are disappearing from the list.

If you were to slap a woman on the behind, that would be sexual battery and you would have to register for 15 years and that has nothing to do with children on the playground,” said attorney David Slane. “People who urinated in public or fall under what we call the Romeo and Juliet situation, where the young man may have been just a little bit older than the girl or vice versa. They’re the ones typically being removed.”

Slane said he’s taken on over 400 sex offender cases, more than anyone else in the state.

In many situations the offenders were on the list way past their punishment because the laws kept changing.

They’ve had a number of changes or revisions of sex offender registration act over the last ten or 15 years and the court said those later laws could not apply retroactively,” said Jerry Massey spokesperson for the Department of Corrections (DOC).

Out of the 2,400 now off the list, Slane said most are level one or level two offenders which does not include those who committed violent and heinous sex crimes.

He also said under the new law a judge is able to decide a punishment on a case by case basis and not paint all offenders with a wide brush.

Slane said, “The more serious cases are the one we should spend our resources on, not someone who urinated in public.”

DOC officials say they still have another 2,700 cases to review to see if there are more offenders who are eligible to come off the list based on the new law.

Labeling sex offender misleading

Dear AbbyOriginal Article

05/12/2014

DEAR ABBY: As a licensed psychotherapist who has worked with both victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse over the past 25 years, I would like to respond to "Stunned in the City," who found her co-worker's name on a website for registered sex offenders.

Registered sex offenders have been convicted and incarcerated for their crimes as well as serving a probationary period upon release. However, unlike other criminal offenses, they never finish "serving their time" — both in the areas of where they can live and how they can live (employment). They continue to serve a sentence that can never be completed and are stigmatized for the rest of their lives.

The reason for this is because of a "one-size-fits-all" approach to punishment, be it a onetime offender or a serial rapist. Most sexual abusers are either members of the family or a close family friend, and most are never reported. Only a small percentage of registered offenders pose a danger and should be under surveillance.

If "Stunned" reports her co-worker to her employer, she will jeopardize his livelihood, which he needs to redeem his life.

— Already Paid His Debt

DEAR A.P.H.D.: I received mail from mental health professionals, employers, parents and people who are on the sex offenders' list regarding "Stunned's" letter. All of them stated that the range of crimes that can add someone to the list is very broad. The list is no more than a starting point for people to begin their own research into public records before telling an employer or another person. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: For more than 20 years I have employed a man who is a convicted sex offender. He paid his debt to society for having sex with a minor when he was in his 20s. It will haunt him for the rest of his life.

The pictures you see online are recent because the authorities require updated photos yearly.

There is no demarcation between being dumb and being truly criminal, so everyone is labeled the same. Stay aware of those labeled sexual predators, but approach the sexual offenders case-by-case.

— Justice For All

DEAR ABBY: Inclusion on the registry can be the result of something that would not pose a danger to anyone — urinating in public, or having sex with a younger girlfriend when you yourself are a minor.

If you see a neighbor or co-worker on such a list, no one should jump to conclusions before doing more research about the actual offense. It may be nothing to worry about at all, or it might be something to react to. But you won't know until you find out more than a simple listing.

— Rebecca in San Diego

DEAR ABBY: After breakfast on Saturdays, my husband and I settle in, listen to music and read the newspaper. It's our Saturday morning ritual.

As part of it, when I get to your column, I read it out loud to my husband. We enjoy the letters and your advice.

When I finish, my husband almost invariably says, "You know, those letters are made up."

Abby, I think they are real, albeit edited, but genuine. He thinks they're fake. Who's right?

— True Believer in Michigan

DEAR TRUE BELIEVER: You are. I could never make up anything as interesting as the mail that arrives from my readers day after day.

Thứ Ba, 13 tháng 5, 2014

TX - Mart May Pass First-Ever Sex Offender Ordinance

Sex offender residency zones
Original Article (Video available)

05/11/2014

By Matt Howerton

City Council members in Mart will be voting on a new sex offender ordinance Monday night. The town has never adopted a sex offender ordinance before and if passed, this would be the city’s first ever.

The proposed law comes on the heels of a sex offender registration in town. In April residents’ living near the city’s elementary and high schools were notified via postcard that a registered sex offender was residing in the area.

Since Mart currently has no sex offender ordinance whatsoever, the offender only has to comply with state law, which states that a sex offender can’t live within 500 feet of places where children commonly gather only if he or she is on parole or probation.

Offenders can live wherever they want if they aren’t on parole or probation and there is no city ordinance in place.

Since April, council members have been under the gun to adopt a sex offender ordinance.

I was bombarded with emails and phone calls and that's what made me realize we needed to do something about this pretty quickly," Mart Mayor Pro-tem Henry Witt said.

I was just as appalled as some of the other members of the city council.”

Witt and other city council members have since drafted a sex offender ordinance for Mart that states registered sex offenders with violations against children 16 and under cannot live within 1000 feet of where children commonly gather.

If passed however, current sex offenders living near child safety zones like schools or parks would be grandfathered into the ordinance and wouldn’t be forced to relocate.

But new offenders coming into the city could be fined each day they live in a prohibited child safety zone.

Mart’s city council meeting starts at 6:30 pm Monday night.

PA - Should young sex offenders be identified that way for life?

Juvenile sex offenders
Original Article

05/12/2014

By LAURA BENSHOFF

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court is hearing arguments on whether teens found guilty of certain types of sexual offenses must be registered on public sex offender lists.

In some cases, that label can last for a lifetime. Pennsylvania adopted the federal Adam Walsh Act in 2012, which means that juveniles between 14 and 17 convicted of certain categories of sex crimes must register as sex offenders.

The challenge to the current registratrion requirements has brought more attention to the issue of juvenlie sex offenders — some of them are as young as 10 — and it raises tough questions: Where do kids learn to act that way? And how do judges and therapists currently treat sex offenders who are also children?

Natalie Dallard is a therapist at the Joseph J. Peters Institute in Philadelphia, an organization that provides treatment for survivors and perpetrators of sexual abuse. A variety of factors influence kids' behavior, she said.

"Probably nine out of 10 of the girls that I've worked with have been victims," said Dallard. "With boys, not as much as people think. Generally with boys there's a lot of other anger issues, and a lot of exposure to pornography, poor boundaries, and association with older peers, negative peers."

If kids are charged with a sexual assault, disclosing their own sexual trauma or family environment may actually backfire, said Megan Perez, a supervisor with the Public Defenders Association of Philadelphia. She said that if her clients have themselves been abused, she would not share that information in the courtroom.

"A lot of people assume that people who have been perpetrated against are more likely to be a perpetrator themselves," said Perez. "I think our Family Court judges in Philadelphia would look at a factor like that as more indicative of guilt than of innocence."

Consequences to fit the crime
There is a lot of evidence that kids' brains work differently than those of adults, especially when it comes to understanding consequences and controlling behavior.

"Impulse control develops as you get older," said Dallard. "You have a greater ability to manage some of these feelings. And young kids are also a lot more susceptible to outside influences, and they don't have that critical thinking to think out outcomes."

Dallard believes that sexual offenses elicit such an emotional response in people that it clouds their understanding of who the offender is.

"People are always asking me how I do what I do, but, at the end of the day, I'm helping children. Sex crimes are so stigmatized that people fail to see that these are children," said Dallard.

She recommends teaching boundaries and reducing access to pornography as keys to reducing assaults by young people.

In Pennsylvania, juvenile sex offenders who are found guilty are typically ordered to receive treatment — the minimum is six months of individual and group therapy. Depending on their own history of trauma, treatment could continue for two years.

Juveniles commit around 30 percent of sexual assaults against victims 18 and younger. Statistically, sex offenders – particularly young ones – are not likely to reoffend.

AUSTRALIA - Sex abuse fears driving men from teaching

Fearful man peeking out the windowOriginal Article

05/12/2014

Fear of false child-sex abuse accusations is driving Australian men away from a career in teaching, according to high-profile education officials.

Australian Education Union members have reported that young men are showing an increasing reluctance to become teachers, said the president of the union's South Australian branch, David Smith.

"Quite frankly, there are concerns about (men's) safety regarding vexatious accusations," Smith told the Advertiser.

Smith said that the Debelle royal commission, which released a report in 2013 that was highly critical of the response to a child sex abuse case at an Adelaide school in 2010, has only made men more hesitant about becoming teachers.

"The recent publicity following the Debelle inquiry has led to a negative atmosphere," Smith said.

SA Primary Principals Association state president Pam Kent agreed, saying male teachers have become "more vulnerable to the possibility of unfair or vexatious allegations" when they are alone with students.

In South Australia, more than 50 schools did not have a single male teacher in 2013.

Those figures are reflected across the nation: The Australian Bureau of Statistics' Schools Australia 2012 report indicated that the number of male teachers had declined in the previous decade.

The NSW Department of Education and Communities said the percentage of male primary school teachers slipped from 20.1 to 18.9 from 2009 to 2013, while male secondary school teachers fell from 45.3 to 43.

International Megan's Law moves through Congress

Richard and Maureen Kanka
Richard and Maureen Kanka
Original Article

05/11/2014

By Cristina Rojas

The International Megan’s Law cleared a major hurdle Friday when the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed it.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.) has worked to pass the bill, which would expand the system of registering and tracking sex offenders to the international community, since 2008, when he first introduced the legislation. It was previously approved by the House in 2010.

It bears the name of Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old from Hamilton who, in 1994, was kidnapped, raped and killed by a repeat sex offender living nearby.

Under the bill, the United States would notify countries where registered sex offenders were seeking to travel. Those countries, in turn, would be asked to inform the U.S. when sex offenders travel to the U.S.

The goals of this legislation do not stop at protecting children overseas from U.S. predators,” Smith said in a statement. “Sex offenders around the world are now able to cross borders and oceans to carry out their nefarious activity under the cloak of anonymity and disappear before a child is able or willing to reveal the crime.”

The International Megan’s Law would establish the model needed for the U.S. to persuade other countries to take action to stop child sex tourism originating within their borders and threatening children in the United States and elsewhere,” Smith continued. “The goal is reciprocal notice.”

Smith said the International Megan’s Law would work in conjunction with anti-human trafficking laws, which Smith wrote and steered through Congress in 2000.

The bill is expected to be brought before the full House in the near future.

Chủ Nhật, 11 tháng 5, 2014

AUSTRALIA - Fears the sex offender register is not the solution to keeping kids safe

Man freaking out
Original Article

05/09/2014

By Sally Whyte and Elizabeth McKenzie

Community fears have been heightened with reports a known sex offender has been seen loitering near children in Melbourne.

In a separate incident, police are investigating reports that a man approached a boy at a Daylesford school on Thursday afternoon. The boy notified a teacher, who passed the information to police.

Former head of Victoria Police's child protection squad Chris O'Connor, said the community is understandably alarmed at such cases.

Mr O'Connor said he is comforted that in 2014 the community is positively responsive to this kind of activity.

Mr O'Conner said there are thousands of people on the sex offender registry, and 24 hour police surveillance would be impossible.

'There are thousands of people on the registry we clearly and very quickly come to the realisation that we would never have enough police to be able to satisfy totally the community as to their level of protection against these people.'

Mr O'Connor says parents have a responsibility to protect children, but warns against the public taking the law into their own hands.

'Vigilantism is often the result of a couple of things, victimisation or ignorance or a total lack of understanding of the circumstance. It is irrational behaviour.'

Mr O'Connor said children should be educated about how to respond in the unlikely event they come into contact with sex offenders.

'Teach them basic crime prevention, be aware of who is around, remove yourself or call out to somebody. If somebody approaches you, you yell the living daylights out.'

ME - South Portland may curb where sex offenders can live

Sex offender buffer zones
Original Article

05/08/2014

By Kate Irish Collins

SOUTH PORTLAND - South Portland Police Chief Ed Googins said he never wants to ask the question of whether his department could have done more to protect the city’s children. That’s why he is pushing for a new ordinance that would limit where a certain class of sex offender could live within city limits.

At its meeting on Monday, the City Council gave unanimous initial approval to the new residency rules, which would prohibit sex offenders convicted of “serious crimes” – defined as a class A, B or C felony against children under 14 – from living within 750 feet of a school, park, athletic field or recreational facility.

The Greenbelt Walkway, which runs the length of the city, however, would be specially exempted. A public hearing and second reading on the ordinance will be held at 7 p.m. on May 19.

In introducing the sex offender residency restrictions, Googins called them “reasonable and balanced” and said the goal of the new rules is to protect children.

He said South Portland has 26 registered sex offenders who live, work or attend school in the city. Of that group, 10 offenders reside in the city and six are now living in areas that would fall within the proposed sex offender restriction zones.

Googins said any sex offender who has had a prior continuous residence within the areas designated as off limits would be grandfathered if the new rules take effect.

In a memo sent to City Manager Jim Gailey outlining the new residency restrictions, Googins said, “There are significant residential areas of the city, which would not be affected and therefore (this ordinance) balances the interests and needs of sex offenders by allowing ample housing.”

In the memo Googins also said, “I fully understand the impact such an ordinance has, and I strongly believe that these further protective measures (are) necessary to safeguard places where children congregate and (are) a positive step toward improving the safety of our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.”

Once the new rules are in place, a sex offender violating the residency restrictions could face fines of up to $500 a day.

In his comments Monday, Gailey told the City Council that the Maine Legislature passed a bill in 2009 specifically allowing municipalities to put residency restrictions on a certain class of sex offender. Creating and implementing such an ordinance for South Portland, he said, is a top priority of the police department.

Specifically, the new ordinance would prohibit a sex offender from living within “a distance of 750 feet surrounding the real property comprising a public or private elementary, middle or secondary school or up to a maximum distance of 750 feet surrounding the real property comprising a municipally owned or state-owned property that is leased to a nonprofit organization for purposes of a park, athletic field or recreational facility that is open to the public where children are the primary users.”

In the findings and purposes section of the new ordinance it states: “The city promotes and strives to create a safe environment for its citizens to live and raise families and considers the promotion of the safety and welfare of children to be of paramount importance. The city recognizes that sex offenders who prey upon children may have a high rate of recidivism (Studies don't show this)  … (and) the city finds that further protective measures are necessary and warranted to safeguard places where children congregate.

No one spoke against the new residency restrictions during Monday’s meeting, although Councilor Tom Blake did ask Gailey if the city had heard anything from the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine in opposition to the ordinance. Gailey said that as of Monday his office had received no communication from the civil liberties union in regard to the sex offender residency restrictions being proposed.

Prior to the council’s initial vote on the new ordinance, Councilor Melissa Linscott said she’s pleased to see the restrictions come forward and said they were important to have in place.

Mayor Gerard Jalbert agreed and said, “We need tools in place to keep children safe.”

Council favors zoning proposals
In other action Monday, the City Council gave initial approval to a controversial new commercial zone in the Thornton Heights neighborhood, which could pave the way for a new Dunkin’ Donuts store to go up on what is now an undeveloped, city-owned lot at the corner of Main and Westbrook streets.

The vote on the Thornton Heights Commercial zone was 5-2, with councilors Blake and Patti Smith opposed.

The vote followed another lengthy public comment period, during which most of the speakers urged the council not to move the new zone forward.

And, similar to the workshop held on the new Thornton Heights zone last week, members of the Congregation Bet Ha’am synagogue on Westbrook Street were outspoken about the plan.

However, before the vote on first reading, Jalbert said the council is still keeping an open mind about how to best use the city-owned lot, which is adjacent to the synagogue. And he said within the next two weeks there is still time to come up with a compromise solution.

Following the 5-2 vote on the new Thornton Heights zone, the council unanimously approved new zoning for the west end of Main Street that it hopes will lead to reinvestment and new development in that area of the city.

The new Main Street zone specifically prohibits drive-through restaurants, and the council has said it would make the new rules retroactive in an attempt to save the historic St. John the Evangelist Church, located on the corner of Thirlmere Avenue and Main Street, from being torn down by Cafua Management, the Massachusetts-based developer that wants to build a 24-hour Dunkin’ Donuts on the west side of the city.

A public hearing and final vote on the new Thornton Heights Commercial zone and the new Main Street Community Commercial zone is scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 19.

Also on Monday, the council unanimously approved new rules that would allow restaurants, in certain areas of the city, to provide outdoor seating for their patrons under specific guidelines, including requiring the business to get a license from the city and to provide adequate insurance.

Thứ Bảy, 10 tháng 5, 2014

OR - Cannot Register Because No Money

Below is just one video of Tom's, you can see all of them from his registry attempts and other issues at his YouTube profile.

Video Description:
County has limited money to provide access to sex offenders trying to fulfill their legal obligations to register with law enforcement. Who is to blame for a Failure-To-Register-As-A-Sex-Offender crime? The government or the registrant? Should a "failure to register" crime be one that punishes registrants with prison sentences?

Thứ Năm, 8 tháng 5, 2014

I am a Registered Sex Offender, Subculture presentation

Video Description:
For my Social Problems class (sociology class) the assignment was to write a paper about a subculture you are a part of, I chose to do mine about registered sex offenders. Because this is a unique and misunderstood subculture I asked to do a presentation and this is it. The presentation portion is only 6:00 minutes followed by some Q & A. afterward.

MO - My Son, the Sex Offender: One Mother's Mission to Fight the Law

Sharie Keil
Sharie Keil
Original Article

By TONY DOKOUPIL

In the run up to Halloween one year, Sharie Keil saw something that really made her jump: Missouri governor Jay Nixon, then the attorney general.

He was on television to announce that registered sex offenders were hereby banned from participating in her favorite holiday. On threat of a year in jail, they had to stay inside and display a sign saying they had no candy. The goal was “to protect our children,” as Nixon put it, but Keil heard only a peal of political hysteria.
- If they really wanted to protect children, then they'd also do the same for DUI offenders, people driving cars, and many other things, but, it's about making themselves "look tough" on crime!  Many children are hit, and possibly killed on Halloween, not from a known sex offender but people driving drunk or a child running in front of a car.  It's pure hysteria, like she said!

She is not a sex offender nor, at 63, a new-age apologist for pedophiles or predators. She is a mother, however, and in 1998 her 17-year-old son had sex with a pre-teen girl at a party. He was convicted of aggravated sexual abuse, which got him six months in county jail and a lifetime of mandatory registration as a sex offender. Ten years later, after the Halloween law, Keil felt shocked into action.

As my husband says, I decided to go on the war path,” she remembers.

Today, she’s at the forefront of a growing fight against sex offender registries, a shame-free alliance of offenders and their families, supported by researchers and some advocates who helped pass stringent anti-abuse laws in the first place. They’re organized (albeit loosely) under Reform Sex Offender Laws, a five-year-old lobby that claims 38 state affiliates and a steady patter of legal and legislative victories.

Most of their progress, however, has been limited to a slice of the registry: juvenile offenders. That would remove Keil’s son, but this former soccer mom and chapter head of the League of Women Voters wants to abolish the public registry altogether. She funds a powerful RSOL affiliate, Missouri Citizens for Reform, which has helped push sweeping changes through the Missouri House four years in a row, only to see the effort smothered in the Senate or, last summer, stabbed by a governor’s veto.

Changing the registry would provide relief for tens of thousands of Missourians,” Keil says. “Since there are nearly 800,000 people on the registry nationally, millions of lives would change for the better.”