I thought this was over a done with a long time ago. Guess not! Animals! We might as well go back to the stone age and start killing each other, as if we are not doing that already!
In a remote village in Ecuador an old woman and her young daughter are forcibly taken from their home accused of "witchcraft" and lynched by an enraged mob. No arrests were made despite a camera crew capturing everything on film.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
I thought this was over a done with a long time ago. Guess not! Animals! We might as well go back to the stone age and start killing each other, as if we are not doing that already!
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More BS from the God Walsh! The title is again, misleading. They are basically calling all sex offenders child molesters, thus fueling the fire. NOT ALL SEX OFFENDERS ARE CHILD MOLESTERS YOU A$$!
BECK: You would think our nuclear power plants are safe from terror. Think again. A computer hacker took full control of an entire nuclear facility right here on American soil. Details in just a minute.
But first, the Internet is an amazing thing. It is -- it is something that is free. It is open. It allows you to connect with all kinds of people. The trouble is, if you're a sexual predator, the Internet is free. It's open and provides access to all kinds of people, including our children. Fortunately, this is a problem that's getting more and more attention.
- And if you visit this study by experts, they say this is all blown out of proportion by people like you!
Today, New York police announced a major crackdown on the Internet pedophiles, and they hauled in 21 men accused of trying to solicit sex from teenagers.
Even television news shows are getting into the action. The NBC series "To Catch a Predator" has proved that exposing low lives and the catch gets high ratings. But now many people have serious questions about the methods of that show.
One man who has been on the front lines to keep our children safe is the host of acclaimed "America's Most Wanted", John Walsh.
JOHN WALSH, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": Glenn, nice to see you.
BECK: You know, I was having a conversation with somebody yesterday, and we were talking about the guy in New York at Times Square that lured a 20- -- a 20-year-old in. He was wanted in two different states for touching 12-year-olds. He killed her, put her underneath the bed here in New York City over the weekend.
Now you've got these 21 guys that have just been busted. What is it going to take to keep these guys behind bars?
WALSH: Well, I think this awareness, you and I talking about it, and all this attention to pedophiles, particularly pedophiles and the Internet, has woken up legislators. It's woken up judges. It's woken up cops. And things are changing. You know, last year, President Bush signed the Adam Walsh Child Protection Law.
- And the president mentions that this law will PREVENT these crimes. That is a lie. No law will PREVENT these crimes. They may help some, but it is not going to prevent anything.
BECK: Is it being -- is it being implemented?
WALSH: Unfortunately, it's, first of all, the Justice Department said there are 690,000 convicted sex offenders in the United States. Those are the convicted ones; 100,000 of them are in noncompliance.
- What are you talking about John? Were is this study? Go here and try to find it yourself.
The marshals are out there arresting these guys. The FBI is out there helping to look for them, but Congress hasn't funded them yet.
- If they are not funded, why are they even working on it? That doesn't make sense.
I would assume when I stood in the Rose Garden next to members of both sides of the parties, Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate, that the Adam Walsh Child Protection Law would be funded, that we would be saddling up to go out and get these 100,000 guys.
- Including his perverted buddy Mark Foley, who hasn't had ANY charges files against him yet!
So it hasn't been funded, and -- but I think the laws are changing. Most of these laws need to be implemented on a state -- on a state level. People are becoming aware. I don't think they still have figured out how big the problem is.
- The problem is not BIG. Show me the stats which shows this is a BIG problem. Predators amount to 10% or less of these crimes, which is who you are using to cite bogus statistics. Show me the study? People are always saying "studies show" but never point people to that study! Why? I think it's because you are pulling numbers out of your a$$ personally!
Ten thousand pedophile priests. You and I talked about it one time. Ten thousand pedophile priests. I was raised in the Catholic Church. I went to Catholic boys' school, and now the final report comes out. The Los Angeles diocese almost went broke last month. "Los Angeles Times" (sic) settled $660 million worth of suits and payoff money and 25 pedophile priests in that -- in that diocese alone.
- I think they are doing that to just get it out of their a$$es and to move on. If they were to pursue this, I'm willing to bet the problem is a lot smaller than you might think. Yes, I don't have proof of that, but I'm willing to bet on it.
At least people are starting to say these creeps are out there; we need to keep them in jail longer.
BECK: There's -- I don't -- I don't know of a soul that says that this isn't a problem. Not a soul.
- So I guess all those faced with unconstitutional laws are soulless? Is that what you are saying? Because you keep feeding this fear hysteria instead of providing TRUE facts. So sure, when you fear-monger long enough, people will start to believe it, like they are now. Show me the damn facts? I don't believe any of the BS you say unless I see facts, which seem to be coming from thin air.
BECK: And yet, you touch a 12-year-old, you'll go to jail for three years. What are we doing? What about one strike, you're out? Forget about everything else. One strike, you're out.
WALSH: I'm on the same side that you are. I can't be objective. I'm the father of a murdered child. A 6-year-old boy that was murdered.
- And yet it was never proven he was murdered by a sex offender. It's thought he was killed by Otis Toole, who is a sick serial killer. Your wife left the child in a department store all by himself, so she is to blame to the death of the child. If she would've had the child with her at all times, guess what, Adam would still be here today! Harsh I know, but it's the truth and you know it!
We're not talking about the guy that urinated at Mardi Gras. We're not talking about the 17-year-old boy that had consensual sex with the 14- year-old girl and they know each other.
- Yeah, go back on your words now. But the Adam Walsh law does NOT make these distinctions, it captures ALL people convicted of a sex crime in the nets, children as young as 4 years old, 4 YEARS OLD, are being placed on the sex offender registry.
We're talking about the serious, level 3 sex offender, like the guy we caught last week. Richard Goldberg was a molester for whole -- his whole life. The guy they will put on the FBI's ten most wanted tomorrow. Molested a child, got out of prison and molested again.
- And what about the vast majority that did NOT commit further crimes? Like the 97% based on the DOJ?
Those are the guys that need to be in jail for a long time. I think people have got to wake up and say I'm fed up with it, I'm sick of it, but I want to see the laws change.
- I agree, the people who are TRULY a danger should be made to obey these laws, yet, you are not doing that. These laws go after 100% of the sex offenders, not just the 10% or less who are the real danger, so you are wasting tons of money and time for 100% when you should be after 10%.
BECK: And I think we are -- are saying that. But it's getting -- it's only getting more complicated. This guy in California, Jack McClellan, what do you do with him?
WALSH: I think that we know who he is now. You know, I've talked to literally thousands of victims of Catholic priests, when we never used to talk about it, Glenn. When they used to transfer them from parish to parish and move them around from state to state.
At least with this open dialog, with the mandate that there be a sex offender registry in every state and that they exchange information with the FBI and getting the funding that needs to be there for the Adam Walsh Child Protection Law, at least we can track creeps like this. At least we're aware of them.
- Track him for what? He's never committed a crime! Yeah, it's sick what he does, and admits to, but the thought police need to leave him alone. When he commits a crime, then you can convict him. Right now, you are punishing someone already homeless for thoughts alone. INSANE!!! What about your sex addiction Mr. Walsh? You said you got treatment and it worked. So if it worked for you, it works for other people, unless you are still a sex addict and it didn't work, and if that is true, then you should be on the sex offender registry as well.
BECK: But I don't want to get into -- look, did you see the movie "Minority Report" with Tom Cruise?
WALSH: No, I didn't.
BECK: OK. Well, it's future crimes, and it's in the future and they can just sense that, you know, you're going to commit this crime.
- Exactly, you are punishing this man for something he MIGHT do. True thought police in action for you. We might as well arrest everyone who has every THOUGHT about killing someone, or committing a crime.
We pretty much know the intent of Jack McClellan, and I don't want to get into future crime stuff and thought police, but there's got to be a way to pull this guy off the street. There's got -- isn't there anything that you can do to even say -- do you even say you can't -- we can't scream fire in a crowded movie theater. Why can we say, "There are the hot kids over there"?
- Glen are you saying kids are hot? It's called freedom of speech my friend. If he has not committed a crime, then how can you charge him for thoughts? Sorry, until he's committed a crime, he should be able to do whatever he likes.
WALSH: Yes, well, you and I both live in a country where we have freedom of press, where we have freedom of religion. And I don't believe you take the law into your own hands, and I don't believe that you arrest somebody because of what they say.
- Yet that is exactly what you are doing. Hypocrite!!
But I do know one thing: that pedophiles are incurable. The psychiatric community says that. Not, they haven't figured out a way we should be studying them.
- HUH? Are these facts he is pulling out of his ass? Where exactly is his "psychiatric community?" Besides, most sex offenders have not been diagnosed as pedophiles! I think you've been talking to therapists who further your agenda. Most I've heard from say otherwise.
And I say this guy is probably a ticking time bomb. If he hasn't molested already, or he's been lucky enough to not be caught, like the vast majority of them.
When they do pedophile studies, the guys will say -- you know, they tracked 500 pedophiles in Georgia, at Emory University. Those guys admitted to about -- I forget exactly the figure, 35,000 molestations over their life. But they said they haven't been caught for 90 percent of them.
- SO HE SPOUTS FIGURES HE "FORGET EXACTLY WHAT THEY WHERE" Why doesn't he add this caveat to all his propaganda lies?
BECK: It is...
WALSH: This guy is a ticking time bomb. I think people -- I think it's a good thing we're talking about him, and people -- and he's dumb enough to love the publicity. Somebody is going to get him someday.
- Why are you talking down to him calling him dumb? Does that make you feel holier than thou? You are profiting from exploiting your own sons death and making millions. The best business you ever had...
BECK: John, as always, a pleasure, sir.
WALSH: Thank you, Glenn.
BECK: New season of "America's Most Wanted" starts this Saturday.
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A woman falsely accused of date-raping a wealthy businessman has told for the first time how the ordeal ruined her life.
Tanya Hutchison, a 42-year-old mother of five, was cleared of sexual assault but said the nightmarish police investigation had left her permanently scarred.
"My life is in ruins, all because of a claim that was totally ridiculous and should never have been taken seriously," she said.
When six police officers arrived at her home to arrest her in front of her seven-year-old son, she told them that the man's allegation that she had spiked his drinks with a date-rape drug before forcing him into sex was ludicrous.
But despite her insistence that they had shared an afternoon of consensual sex, she was held in a police cell for four hours.
Then she had to describe every explicit detail of the encounter in a two-hour interview with five officers - four of them men - who she claims treated her as if she were guilty.
"I was stunned and terrified," she said. "I felt as if it was me who had been raped.
"I had to tell the officers every aspect of what I'd done with the man, which was deeply humiliating.
"They ransacked my home and took away my bedsheets, phone and, worst of all, my underwear to carry out forensic tests.
"I was questioned in a manner I felt was unnecessarily aggressive.
"I couldn't understand why I was being made to feel like a criminal over a claim that was so unbelievable.
"How could a small woman date-rape a powerfully built, 6ft tall man?
"I've been taking anti-depressants since it happened and I've lost more than two and a half stone because of the stress.
"I feel petrified when I hear police sirens and my confidence in the legal process is badly shaken."
Ms Hutchison, a part-time carer for the elderly, was cleared when the man, a married building company owner who cannot be named for legal reasons, dropped the allegations.
Yet she has received no apology or explanation from him about why, when their brief affair turned sour, he chose to take such a devastating course of action.
The pair first met three years ago when Ms Hutchison's then husband was working for the man's company.
Her marriage ended almost two years ago but she kept in touch with her husband's former employer.
When he called to invite her to meet for a coffee, she agreed.
"I was lonely, living in a tiny onebedroom house with my son, so I was delighted that he seemed interested in me," she said. "The coffee we had led to a few dates in pubs.
"I knew he was married but I thought he was separated from his wife.
"He told me that he thought ours would be a special, long-lasting relationship and he spoke of taking me on a trip to Portugal.
I began to believe we had a future together."
The man suggested meeting at Ms Hutchison's home in Worthing, West Sussex, and turned up at 11am on a Thursday in June with two bottles of wine.
"I was taken aback because the wine made it very clear he was there for sex," she said.
"But I liked him and thought he was serious about me so I didn't object. We each drank about a bottle of wine, talking and laughing together in a sweet and romantic way, and then he suggested we head to my bedroom.
"We had sex and it was entirely consensual."
"Afterwards, as we lay on the bed, he started talking about how much he loved his wife and how he would never leave her.
"His whole manner changed and he seemed very cold.
"He got dressed, walked into the kitchen and threw £60 on the table, saying, 'Buy something for the kids.' I was horrified that he seemed to be treating me like a prostitute.
"I was angry and felt used and cheap.
"In the heat of the moment, I threatened to tell his wife about us.
"He left in his grey 4x4 and, although I was badly shaken by what had happened, I never expected to hear any more about it."
But the man went to the police and told them she had spiked his drinks and had sexual intercourse with him without his consent.
The next morning, two police cars arrived at her home at 8am as she was getting her son ready for school.
Six officers piled into her tiny living room and, as her son clutched her legs in fear, she was told she was being arrested on suspicion of sexual assault after administering a date-rape drug.
The boy was taken to the home of Ms Hutchison's 22-year-old daughter, Leah, and Ms Hutchison was taken to Worthing police station while forensic-experts scoured her flat.
"I was in total disbelief when they told me why they were there," she said.
"I was terrified. I didn't get a chance to reassure my son, who was in tears, and they didn't explain the situation to him or his sister. I'm still very angry about that.
"I dread to think what effect it has had on him."
At the police station, Ms Hutchison says she was searched and kept in a cell without a toilet for four hours.
"I was shaking with nerves and felt sick but there was nowhere to be sick. Then the questioning began and it seemed to last for ever, although I think it was two hours.
"Five officers made me tell them intimate details such as what positions we'd used while having intercourse.
"I was mortified and felt dirty and ashamed. I couldn't understand why they were treating the man's claim seriously.
"I felt as if I was trapped in a bad dream.
"I can only think that he believed I was going to tell his wife and wanted to get in first with an excuse to cover up our affair.
"It's pathetic. Because of his weakness I've had to suffer in a way no innocent person should."
Ms Hutchison was released on bail.
A few days later, police called at her home to tell her that the man had admitted she was telling the truth.
She has struggled to recover from her ordeal and says she has lost faith in a system that has allowed her accuser to go unpunished for his lies.
She said: "It makes me very angry that he has got off scot-free for making up something so evil about me.
"He was not even cautioned for wasting police time and nobody has apologised to me.
"All I wanted was to trust a man again but I can't imagine myself trusting anyone for a long time."
A Sussex police spokesman said: 'We investigated an allegation of sexual assault against Tanya Hutchison but we can confirm there will be no further action taken."
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Why are they so angry?
After months of reading comments that lash out at women who support women candidates, or accuse the media, the courts and/or the government of an anti-male agenda, I put this question to the men who write them, especially online: What's your problem?
I was wondering why white men, the demographic group that still controls the White House and most of the high offices and better-paying jobs, are casting themselves as the ones being discriminated against. And, when Iowa has never elected a woman to a national office, why are women who support Hillary Clinton labeled "Feminazis?"
Who or what do these angry men think has done them wrong?
I got an earful.
Dozens of people responded directly, and 130 posts were logged under the column online. I got stories, theories, put-downs, rants and some earnest attempts to communicate grievances.
Along with the angry men were a few angry women who agreed with them, plus a number of men who disagreed.
More than 30 years after the modern women's movement was launched, there's clearly a backlash. It's not just against the growing rights of women but also against the liberalization of society in general. Some men say they've been hurt by relaxed divorce laws, child-custody presumptions or child-support rulings, or workplace attempts to diversify.
Later columns will explore whether the facts support those claims. The goal of this piece is to first identify the sources of their discontent.
This is a different type of piece than I usually write (and a more difficult one). I'm mostly keeping my own views out to give other an airing - because I asked, and people were cooperative enough to answer. The hope is that this will be the start of a public conversation on issues we can't usually seem to disagree on civilly, but which are increasingly polarizing our world. It will work best if you, the readers, weigh in and make this a community-wide discussion.
Here are some of the things men say they are angry at: The court system. The Des Moines Register (and me in particular). Ex-wives. Affirmative action. The move to normalize gay life - or, in the words of some, the move against traditional or religious values. The criminal-justice system and what are viewed as unfair prosecutions of men.
"The pendulum has swung so far, the rights of men are being trampled without consequence when we consider false rape cases, husband-murderers walking free, and my ever-favorite - women winning single custody 93 percent of the time," Ken Richards of Des Moines wrote from Uganda, where he's working under contract to the State Department. "There is a backlash..."
His figure is challenged by advocates for mothers who were denied custody, who claim men get custody most of the time they seek it. (More on that in an upcoming column.)
Brian Iehl of Waterloo, who with Richards leads IowaFathers.com, a group for noncustodial fathers, faults the media for using terms like "Deadbeat Dad" and "Angry Men" to sway opinion. Both accuse some feminists of going beyond the drive for equality.
"I believe arch-feminists want traditional marriage destroyed at almost all costs since they despise men," wrote Richards. The opposite is not true for those in the father's movement as we seek equal relationships during marriage."
Trying to uphold 'traditional' values
The idea that traditional values are under attack by feminism and diversity movements came up in several letters, including one from Brad Friest of Roland, who wrote: "I believe that this country was founded on the premise of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit... In today's society, most of these beliefs are under attack... Many people that stand opposed to my beliefs have suggested or implied that I should put up with different points of view for the sake of 'diversity.'
"For me to accept homosexuality, I would be going against what I believe is God's will."
Only a Scripture-based argument could change his mind, he said.
So he thinks it is unfair to require an organization like the Boy Scouts to include gay leaders. And he resents being told by groups such as PETA that it's wrong to eat meat. "If diversity were really the end goal, wouldn't they celebrate that I can eat meat while they are vegetarian?" he asked.
Women's gains at men's expense?
Roger Olson, writing from Waco, Texas, said that while he supports equality, some advances for women are coming at the expense of men. Among his claims:
- That medical research and media health campaigns are skewed to women's health.
- That men face an educational crisis, with only 73 young men graduating from college for every 100 young women who do, while educators focus on girls' needs.
- That men are not presented as admirable role models in the entertainment media, but rather as stupid or sinister, whereas women appear strong and competent: "All kinds of stereotypes about men are perpetuated publicly, but the same cannot be done with regard to women."
- That men are hitting a glass ceiling at work as women are being promoted over more qualified men.
Perceptions of feminist hypocrisy
Most of Des Moines resident Dan Frommelt's anger centers on his perception of feminist hypocrisy. Such as, in his view:
- Wanting to be judged on her merits but depending on her spouse to draw crowds.
- Expecting motherhood to be a job consideration but only to their advantage.
- Wanting equal job opportunities but expecting unequal requirements to qualify.
- And this: "A woman dresses like a hooker and then reacts with disgust when she gets gawked at."
Frommelt also believes feminism encourages women to pursue "meaningless" careers at their children's expense. Robert J. Schneider of Urbandale explained white-male rage in the context of the charges of rape against Duke lacrosse players, which were later dropped.
"What irritates the 'angry white man,' " he wrote, "is the prism through which the media and the professors chose to view the accuser's story. It is a liberal prism and one that assumes we live in a racist, sexist society controlled by white men who will force their will (in this case, quite literally, according to the accuser) on the poor and nonwhite."
Seeing laws tilted to favor women
Jim Peterson of www.veteransabroad.com wrote from Finland to decry what he termed "victim-feminism."
He claims both the Republican and Democratic parties are feminist-dominated and blames President Bush and Karl Rove for adopting "the man-hating ideology of radical feminists."
Referring to several federal laws, including the Violence Against Women Act, Peterson charged that Bush's advisers have promoted the "feminist" idea that "every man is a sex offender waiting for an opportunity."
Jeff Mallory of Stuart wrote, "I do not agree with how fathers are treated by the courts. I do not agree that people raping and murdering should be let out of prison, ever. They should be executed. I don't think that if a woman is fighting with a man, and the police come, they should take the guy to jail. They should not. Print that."
Maja Rater of Casey, who has been in the forefront of Iowa efforts to get the state to enforce child-support obligations, wrote that men do sometimes get mistreated by the system along with women. One man she mentioned is caring for his child but his wages are still being garnisheed, and the state hasn't helped him.
Rater said her former husband is "an angry white man" who opposes welfare programs because if they didn't exist, she couldn't have afforded to leave the marriage.
Some men write to criticize men
At the other end of the spectrum are men like Giles Fowler of Ames, who attributed the roots of male rage to sexual anxieties. Such men, he wrote, "fear for - or secretly doubt - their maleness." Kevin J. Pokorny of Des Moines, who supports female candidates but noted that some women don't, asks, "Why are we still struggling with this issue in 2007, when our society is more diverse now than ever before?"
One reader offered an analogy from George Lakoff's book, "Don't Think of an Elephant," which theorizes that a conservative's view of society is an extension of a family model in which a strict father is the leader and women are not considered equal. The idea is that the world is dangerous, amoral and full of evil and only a man can be trusted to lead the country and the household.
"It is not just feminism that draws their anger," wrote another man, John E. Barker of Des Moines. "Environmentalism, racial equality, social programs, the progressive income tax, in fact any and all interests that can in any way be equated with a liberal mind-set bring out an intense anger in some people."
Feminism should liberate men, too
So, what to conclude?
For one thing, the gulf in basic assumptions about what constitutes equality is huge and seems to be growing, leading people to demonize one another based on half-truths.
Though statistics would show men still have more of the better jobs, there will be that man who doesn't get promoted because, all things being equal, an employer wants to put a woman in a position in which there are too few. Though the larger intent is equality, it may not feel very fair to that man who doesn't get the job. Feminism is about liberating both from sex roles. But the reality is, when you're trying to equalize an unequal situation, it can be messy in the short run.
If men are being neglected in school or in medical studies, that has to be fixed.
But as the arc of rights is extended to groups that didn't have them, it's bound to bump against some people's beliefs, reopening the debate over what principles - religious or secular - America was founded on.
Some of what critics identify as systemic bias boils down to competing viewpoints that are now being heard but once weren't - for example, from vegetarians or gays.
A group like PETA may have no actual power over a meat-eater, but the fact that it can now hold a rally and get a hearing contributes to the meat-eater's sense of being under attack.
That said, if efforts to be more inclusive don't equally draw in those who were there first, they might be left feeling undervalued, which isn't to anyone's benefit.
More choices for women should also mean more choices for men, including the choice to stay home and raise kids. As women make more money, that becomes more of an option. But it also might leave men feeling more dispensable.
Most feminists would agree that women in the military should do the same things as men. I don't want the draft, but if there were one, it should be applied equally to both sexes.
But not everything is or can be equal. Men can't have equal reproductive rights because, fortunately or unfortunately, women have the wombs.
With dialogue, there can be hope
The heartening thing to come out of this is hearing from people on all sides who are willing to put their grievances to constructive use. Ultimately, we need a lot more discussion on where feminism has succeeded, where it hasn't and where perceptions don't match reality. But dialogue becomes impossible when some people resort to harassment to silence others.
Barker, for example, stopped writing letters to the editor of the Register after some, published in 2000, resulted in anonymous "insulting and bullying" mail sent to his home. One was overtly threatening.
A woman blogger from Ohio who came across my column wrote to tell me about female - and in particular feminist - bloggers being harassed and demeaned to the point where they stopped blogging.
Anger is sometimes necessary and appropriate when constructively channeled, but not when it degenerates into incivility or gets aimed at the wrong targets. And we're all too well aware, as we approach a painful anniversary this week, that anger that isn't addressed can turn ugly and destructive.
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Was he lashing out due to these draconian laws? I think he was, but I cannot prove that.
When Fargo Police found Joshua S. Fox, a 26-year-old Moorhead resident, at the site of a Main Avenue car accident Saturday, he told officers he had rammed into the Cass County Jail minutes before causing that accident.
Fox suffered more than 20 percent burns after a car turning at a green light onto Fargo’s 25th Street South hit his red GMC pickup, which witnesses said was speeding eastbound on Main Avenue at about 1 a.m. After the collision, the pickup hit a traffic light stand and caught fire.
Officers at the scene discovered Fox outside his vehicle, said Sgt. Glen Hanson. “He admitted running into the jail, which we didn’t know at the time of the accident,” Hanson said.
Minutes before the Main Avenue accident, Sheriff Paul Laney said, Fox drove through the parking ramp into the Cass County Jail employee parking lot.
“He started doing doughnuts, spinning around in circles on the lawn,” Laney said.
Then, Laney said, Fox, a registered sex offender, drove into the jail’s front entrance, sending the center beam flying across the lobby. An initial rough estimate placed the damage amount at $5,000.
Laney said his department would forward the case to the state attorney. He expects a charge of criminal mischief.
“It’s intentional criminal damage,” Laney said. “We’ll aggressively pursue the charges.”
Fox was taken to Fargo’s MeritCare Hospital and later flown to a Minneapolis burn unit for treatment. Fargo Police has charged him with a DUI.
Four young women were traveling in the car that collided with the truck.
“They were shaken up emotionally,” Hanson said, “but none of them were bleeding or cut or reported any injuries.”
The heat from the burning truck melted the 25th Street sign at the intersection before police extinguished it.
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Regional laws restricting residency for paroled sex offenders can be counterproductive, some officials say.
Kent, a convicted sex offender, did the right thing when he reported his new address to authorities.
In May, his building in Troy was condemned. He found another apartment on Sixth Avenue and went to the police with the address.
What Kent said he didn't realize, and Sgt. Daniel Dewolf pointed out, was that the new address was within 2,000 feet of a day care center. That's a violation of a Rensselaer County law, one of several in the region, that restricts where convicted sex offenders can live.
Kent now faces homelessness in a city, with its density of day care centers and schools, that is essentially off limits to convicted sex offenders.
Many community leaders contend the laws help manage offenders. Many police and parole officers and municipal officials, however, are wrestling with whether restrictions may be unenforceable and could send offenders underground or make them homeless.
- This is now occurring all over the country. Wake the hell up and smell the coffee!
Rensselaer County joins Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties with new laws -- some more restrictive than others -- barring convicted sex offenders from living near schools, day care centers, playgrounds, public pools and any area where children gather.
"Residency laws make it very difficult to plan, and sometimes send people underground where they are more difficult to supervise," said Denise O'Donnell, commissioner of the state Division of Criminal Justice Services. She said the laws should be accompanied by a plan on where offenders can live and be properly supervised.
Neil Kelleher, chairman of the Rensselaer County Legislature, supports his county's law, which applies to Level 2 and Level 3 offenders, who are deemed more likely to be repeat offenders.
Kelleher said county officials heard from a group of parents, "some with children who had been attacked ... looking for something, and they weren't getting any satisfaction from the state. So the counties, quite frankly, were left to their own devices, and we drafted what we thought was a good law."
Kent, 48, a Troy native and father of three grown children, is a Level 2 sex offender, defined as a moderate risk for repeat offenses.
He still is looking for a new home and bitter about being branded forever.
- Amen! And people are always saying "well you did the crime, so do the time!" This is a load of crap. Many of these laws were NOT on the books when people were sentenced, so they are violating the Constitution of the United States ex post facto laws (punishment after the fact). You cannot legally punish someone again for the same crime, which is EXACTLY what these laws are doing. How would you like that old DUI or other offense to now require you to be on a public registry, which people use to deny you jobs, years after your conviction and you've not committed another crime? You'd not like it either. Plus, how'd you like it if they kept changing the rules on you?
"I don't mind doing the time, and I don't mind doing the parole, but the sentence never ends," Kent said. "A murderer is convicted, and when they get out, they're free to go. I copped a plea. I did the time and I'm marked for life."
- This is why, if sex offenders must be on a registry, we need just one CRIMINAL registry which has ALL criminals on it, so they can be faced with not being able to find a home, job, become homeless, etc. I bet they'd get repealed real quick then....
Kent was convicted in 1999 of molesting a 5-year-old girl and served two years in prison and three years on parole. He is one of 25,500 New Yorkers on the Sex Offender Registry.
The state's Sex Offender Registry Act does not restrict where an offender may live. Under certain circumstances, a judge may order conditions.
The state's new civil confinement law aims to put away those considered the most dangerous sex offenders even after they complete prison terms.
Melanie Trimble, executive director of the Capital Region Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union, is wary of the civil confinement law. "We're fairly sure that it's going to be challenged," she said.
"I'd like to think that by the 21st century, we have figured out a way to keep adults from taking advantage of kids, but that's not the case," Rensselaer County's Kelleher said. "We don't want to push them into towns. The intent was simple -- to keep them away from kids. If down the road we find out we did strike too short of a distance and are pushing people out in the towns, I wouldn't be shy about taking another look at it."
- You should've done this beforehand. You are playing with peoples lives and this is not right. If it were you in this situation, you would be ticked off as well.
In December, Rensselaer County Sheriff Jack Mahar fed sex offender restriction data into new crime mapping software and discovered the entire city of Troy was off-limits.
Many offenders are just out of prison, with no car and dependent on buses to get to mandated therapy sessions, work and rooms, often in suburban motels.
Parole officers understand the obstacles, but they have to work within the laws. "We think these laws are counterproductive to the rehabilitation of sex offenders and can put communities at risk by, in some cases, driving sex offenders underground," said Mark Johnson, spokesman for the state Division of Parole.
- I have heard of police, parole and probation officers and expert therapists saying these laws need to be repealed, they do not like them either, and yet politicians do not listen. Why? What is their real objective here? It's not to protect children, because these go against that, so what is it? Money maybe?
Ray Crandall, 28, a Level 3 sex offender, lives in a motel in rural Castleton but would prefer to be in an urban area. He depends on the bus, but it doesn't run frequently to Castleton.
Crandall was convicted two years ago of sexual misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor, involving contact with a 13-year-old girl. He said he was on crack and alcohol at the time as well as serving probation for burglary. His probation was violated and he went to prison.
"Things are really rough," he said. A divorced father of two, he is not allowed to see his kids until he is off parole. Despite pleading guilty to a misdemeanor, "They charged me with a Level 3. They make me look like an animal, and I'm not an animal, and I'm not a predator."
Colonie Police Chief Steven Heider believes in the registry but says it is "not the do-all and end-all to protect our children."
That's a role for parents, he said, especially those with children from 11 to 15 "who are given certain freedoms by their parents, who are on the cusp of adolescence, who feel they can handle themselves in situations. They trust the people they're with, and parents have a tendency to give more freedom, and that's what's so dangerous."
- Lets just remove all freedom from everyone and lets all live in constant fear! People need to protect their own children, be smart, think... If we knew every criminal that lived around us, we'd all live in constant fear!
Heider advises parents to have hard conversations with their children about what to watch out for before they start taking private lessons in sports or the arts.
- Yes parents. Stop letting the government dictate what you should and shouldn't do. Society has become robots who let the government decide everything they do. Wake up, protect yourself. Buy a gun if it will make you feel safe, you have a right to do so, IF YOU ARE NOT A CRIMINAL YOURSELF!
Last week, County District Attorney David Soares announced the results of a county-wide sweep of sex offenders. Eight registered offenders were charged with misdemeanors after authorities said they ignored warnings to move from homes too close to schools and day care centers. Albany County's law calls for a 1,000-foot buffer.
In Schenectady, Susan Savage, chairwoman of the County Legislature said, "We would love there to be a comprehensive state policy guiding where sex offenders can live and a lot of state oversight into the management of sex offenders. That makes a lot of sense."
But in the absence of a state law, Schenectady County found it "necessary to put restrictions in place so that our county does not become a dumping ground," Savage said. Parolees were being housed in the county because of an abundance of low-cost rental properties, she said.
- If every county and state doesn't want to be a dumping ground and they pass larger buffers to not have sex offenders coming around, eventually they will be forced out of the country. So if that is the goal, why don't you buy everyone a passport, money for a plane ticket and room and board and I'm willing to bet 100% would leave right this second. There is even an article on my blog, about a former holocaust survivor who says he's seen what is happening to this country before and he's going back to Germany. So that should tell you something folks!
Supervisors in Schenectady County towns fear the 2,000-foot restriction will push sex offenders into their communities, and they are prepared to fight the measure.
- We are wasting time. If the goal is to not have them in the country, then just make all states off limits and be done with it (Which would violate the Constitution, as if it's not already!). At least they can leave the country now instead of being punished over and over and over again.
Albany County Legislator Christine Benedict takes it a step further: "It's going to end up not just cities against towns but counties against counties."
- It's already like this, where have you been?
Benedict has been in the vanguard of efforts to manage where sex offenders live. "I don't know what the answer is, but it lies in the hands of state government and they need to do something."
In her Colonie district, the Skylane Motel on Central Avenue houses convicted sex offenders. The county Department of Social Services pays the motel a rate of $45 a day.
Repeated calls to Alex Patel, Skylane owner, were not returned.
Motels and trailer parks along the Central Avenue strip are around the corner from neighborhoods with children, and homeowners banded together to form an association and a neighborhood watch.
- Children live and congregate EVERYWHERE. So where is a person to live where kids are not present? No where. So again, that makes it cruel and unusual punishment! Every single hotel/motel I guarantee has a child living in it.
The nearby St. Clare's Catholic Church Mass urges parents at Mass not to let children use its restrooms alone.
"The church doors are open most of the time, and people are wandering around in the building and trying to get into the building," said Mary Anne Kowalski, president of the Reber Street and Melissa Court neighborhood association.
"I can't say if they came from the motel," Kowalski said. "Do we think that's where they came from? Absolutely."
Some backyards on Melissa Court are right behind the Skylane Motel, which is disconcerting, Reber Street resident Joyce Bard said.
"We always have our eye out for all of our children," said Bard. She worked with Kowalski to get school buses to drop off high school students in the neighborhood instead of near the motels.
Benedict, the legislature's Republican minority leader, and Democratic Majority Leader Frank Commisso are working to develop a county master plan for housing sex offenders.
- It won't work. As soon as you do, the lynch mob will come out of the wood work and start screaming "NOT IN MY BACKYARD!" A sex offender cannot live anywhere without the lynch mobs coming out to wine and moan.
Work groups discuss "what would be the model, what would be the right approach for us to be looking at in relation to housing for sex offenders," Albany County Social Services Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin said.
"Our agency, like many agencies, is struggling with the issues surrounding sex offenders," Berlin said.
- None of this was a problem 5 or so years ago, so why is it now? Because the media, politicians and folks like John Walsh and Mark Lunsford instill fear into everyone, and everyone is freaking out over a minor problem.
There apparently are no legal challenges to residency laws in the 14 counties statewide. However, Trimble, of the NYCLU, sees constitutional issues.
"If it can be shown in court that ex-sex offenders don't pose a threat, are really no danger and therefore are absolutely no risk to public safety, the constitutional argument can be made and probably won," she said.
"You can't prohibit someone from living in a town or county because of a crime they've already paid for," she said. "We don't banish people in the 21st century."
- The "thought" police in action folks! Does Minority report sound familiar? And oh yes, we can banish people in the 21st century, that is exactly what they are doing.
OH - Groups favor scrutiny of repeat sex offenders, want to protect identities of juvenile offenders
View the article here
Several groups favor stronger scrutiny of repeat sex offenders and predators, including such juvenile criminals.
But the same groups say that such juveniles are usually not repeat offenders and shouldn't have their lives ruined by being publicly identified.
- So you admit here, that these laws RUIN peoples lives, and yet they keep passing more and more laws. Insane! This is cruel & unusual punishment, period.
"Sex offenders are a group who do all weird things together," said Donna Hamparian, a former president of Ohio Juvenile Justice Coalition who has worked in Northeast Ohio. "But they have very, very low juvenile recidivism rate, much lower than a burglar, robber or thief.
- What does the "do all weird things together" mean? That is a load of crap! Do you see bands of sex offenders out planning mass molestations, or the like? No, so what the hell is this statement about?
"The offenders are all lumped together. The real difference is how you count. We will be getting a very large number of kids who will be charged or get a label, and that may become a very large overcount.
- Young children as early as 4 years old are being placed on the registries. If you search this blog and look through the YoungOffenders label, you will see plenty of examples of young childrens lives being ruined forever.
"If an offender gets out of jail and is labeled, he could be attacked and has done nothing. This isn't the sorting that needs to be done. Also, I have studied violent juvenile delinquents. The sex offender is a very, very small percentage of that group."
- Many sex offenders, young and old are being attacked, beaten, having their homes set on fire, due to vigilantes. Just view some examples using the Death, Suicide or Vigilante labels. Also groups like Perverted Justice are out harassing a lot of offenders as well.
Sharon Weitzenhof, the coalition director, shared some of those opinions. But she added one stronger thought.
"Juvenile sex offenders have to be registered, but not on a public registry," Weitzenhof said.
- All offenders should NOT be on the public registry, except those who are HIGH risk, like predators. This is how it was before all this hysteria, and it was working. No offenders were going underground and they were obeying the laws. Now these laws are back firing.
Risk of 're-offense'?
The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence is closely watching action in all states. Some of its Web page comments:
- "Over-inclusive public notification can actually be harmful to public safety by diluting the ability to identify the most dangerous offenders and by disrupting the stability of low-risk offenders in ways that may increase their risk of re-offense."
- Sex offender issues have "become greatly skewed toward efforts to increase penalties for offenders and create more restrictive offender management programs in lieu of addressing the underlying issues which lead to sex offending behavior."
- "It is critical that these issues do not replace or diminish efforts to provide victims with rights and services and to prevent future victimization."
- "NAESV recommends that advocates consider the importance of appropriate evaluation of offenders by expert treatment providers, complete pre-sentence investigations that include input from the victim and training for prosecutors and judges on the evidence-based management of sex offenders."
Law goes 'too far'?
Voices for Ohio's Children claims the strict federal law makes youth sex offenders "unable" to turn their lives around, and that Ohio Senate Bill 10 "goes too far."
Ohio already has a juvenile sex offender registration law, the child safety and juvenile justice group wrote.
"But SB 10 mandates expanding both kinds of youth included in the registry and the number of years - in many cases for life - that the registration is required."
The group does like a public registry of "Tier III" youths ages 14 to 18 for rape, sexual battery, gross sexual imposition or aggravated murder, murder or kidnapping with sexual motivation.
"Their names, pictures, home addresses, school and employer names and other information will be posted on the Internet," the group wrote.
- And this is insane. Why don't you just give the serious predators a list of all these young offenders so they can pick out their next victims? These children should NOT be on a public registry, period.
"These children will remain on the public registry for life."
View the article here
Ross Wollschlager — does the name sound familiar? Sept. 2, The Star reported that the recently released sexually violent predator lives in a state-provided tent in a riverbed in Ventura County.
We have a big problem in California with sex offenders and, more particularly, where to house them. Most people would suggest that prison is the best place. Despite efforts by the Legislature, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Department of Mental Health, local law enforcement and, most recently, the voters' resounding approval of "Jessica's Law" (Proposition 83), we simply won't be able to just lock them up and throw away the key, no matter how badly some might want this.
The real problem, the one everyone has been tiptoeing around, is that we don't know where to put these guys once they've done their time, and adding to the angst is the fact that most communities simply don't want them and won't tolerate them.
With the introduction of Megan's Law — an Internet-accessible database of registered sex offenders — it's pretty easy to find out if your neighbor is on the list. What you can do about it varies, depending on whether you are a homeowner, tenant, live near a park, school or daycare center, but it usually takes the form of loud and rankled protest along the lines of, "Hell No! Not In My Back Yard!" Interestingly, apartment owners (where most sex offenders end up living) can't do a thing about it, even though a high-risk sex offender shares a common wall with an innocent, unsuspecting child next door.
What Megan's Law, and all the media attention on the issue and especially Proposition 83 have wrought is a growing awareness of the extent of this problem — well over 65,000 registered sex offenders, concentrated in the state's 10 largest counties, mostly in the big cities. And this interest, at least on the part of John and Jane Q. Public, isn't impartial or clinical; it's worried, angry and determined to keep places where kids live, play and go to school safe.
While Jessica's Law will now keep offenders at least 2,000 feet away from schools, parks and daycare centers, which expands kids' safety zones, it will also push sex offenders into the hinterlands, shrinking their options for where they can live. Local governments throughout the state are starting to pass ordinances restricting where paroled or freed sex offenders can live and it isn't there. This is just the beginning of the new NIMBY movement, and like earlier debates over affordable housing and development in general, all the NIMBY folks accomplish is to push the problem somewhere else, anywhere but their back yard.
In fairness, there is a huge difference between NIMBY protests over plans to construct a new development in an established community and releasing paroled sex offenders — many of whom have a high risk of reoffending — into the neighborhood. It's about safety, about the odds not being in kids' favor, about adults doing their best to protect their families, not their property.
The California Apartment Association sees this problem and where it's headed. Rather than ignore it, parse it or tap-dance around it, we are committed to taking the challenge head on, not just because rental housing bears the greatest brunt of sex-offender placements, but also because it's the right and smart thing to do.
The governor has created a High Risk Sex Offender Task Force, and we're appreciative to have had an opportunity to get our 2 cents in during its proceedings earlier this year. But, as far as we're concerned, we've barely just begun on the matter of finding "appropriate and equitable housing solutions for placement of high-risk sexual offenders," and we heartily agree that the task force should continue to convene to address these critical issues.
The first step in the process of truly understanding how large the problem might be is to redefine who should be placed on the Megan's Law Web Site.
The California Apartment Association position would be to list only the high-risk sex offenders, and not those individuals who might have been convicted of less-harmful offensives such as nude sunbathing or urinating in public. By reducing the list to only high-risk sexual offenders, we can better understand the magnitude of the problem and begin to create long-term solutions.
We recognize that there are complex layers to this problem and don't take the challenge lightly. This is a time as never before to truly think outside the box, to not let the burden of the state's bureaucracy nor the Legislature's always-humming political calculator frame the solutions.
This is a call to both the public and private sector, to the state's apartment owners, builders, local government officials, mental-health experts and corrections officials to untangle and simplify the maze of laws governing this issue, overcome our differences, find common ground and build the solution.
View the PDF here | View the Bill Text here
I just saw an interview on CNN with John Walsh and he said this bill is not about young offenders (15 &17 year olds). Well, that is a lie! Ohio is now placing ALL offenders on the registry, young and old to COMPLY with this bill. So you see, he's lying. He also mentioned a study done by Emory in Atlanta about pedophiles committing over 36,000 crimes, yet I cannot find this "study", so once again, it appears he is lying through his teeth. Check here.
Below is text from the PDF document and my notes below. Notice in the text below, and in the bill text link above, no where does it say "Romeo & Juliet" cases or young offenders will not be on the registries. It says "SEX OFFENDERS" which means ALL sex offenders.
Also, this bill is always saying "he" for sex offender. Women commit these crimes as well, so the bill should be non-gender specific. This is probably why women, when convicted, get a major slap on the wrist. Just look at most of the teachers being convicted of these crimes.
This legislation was proposed as a comprehensive effort to counter the pervasive problem of violent and sexual crimes against children. Recently, public attention has been focused on several tragic attacks in which young children have been murdered, kidnapped, and sexually assaulted by sex offenders and career criminals. The Act recognizes, by name, some of those children, as their stories helped provide the impetus for this powerful legislation. Among those children recognized in the bill are: Jacob Wetterling, an 11-year-old boy who was abducted at gunpoint while riding his bike with friends and never seen again; Megan Nicole Kanka, a 7-year old girl who was sexually assaulted and murdered by her neighbor, a twice-convicted sex offender; Jessica Lunsford, a 9-year-old girl who was abducted, raped, and killed by a convicted sex offender; Jetseta Gage, a 10-year-old girl who was abducted and murdered by a registered sex offender; and Dylan and Shasta Groene—9 and 8 years old, respectively—who were kidnapped from their bedroom and sexually molested by a convicted sex offender on release from a pending molestation criminal case (Dylan Groene was murdered). The bill is named for Adam Walsh, a 6-year-old Florida boy who, in 1981, was abducted from a mall during a shopping trip with his mother and later found murdered.
These widely publicized, tragic examples serve only as a small sampling of the epidemic of sexual exploitation and violence against children. Statistics show that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys are sexually exploited before they reach adulthood, yet less than 35 percent of these assaults are reported to authorities. Additionally, data from 12 states during the period of 1991 to 1996 show that 67 percent of all victims of sexual assault were juveniles, and 34 percent were under the age of 12. One of every seven victims of sexual assault was under the age of 6.
- And "epidemic" is something that is affecting a large number of people. This is misleading as well. These cases with children being killed account for about 10% or less of all known sex crimes, so I would not call that an epidemic. Children being killed, and stranger danger is RARE!
Recidivism rates for sex offenders often exceed those of other criminals. The
Department of Justice has found that released child molesters were more likely to be rearrested for a sex crime than released non-sex offenders. Released sex offenders were four times more likely to be rearrested for a sex crime than released non-sex offenders.
- This "more likely" is a lie. If you look at the Bureau of Justice, they show otherwise. Below is the statistics from the link above. The comments above are not in full context, so they are misleading.
NOTE: These statistics are for ALL crimes, not just recidivism of another sex crime but ANY crime, so they are skewed. If it were just sex crimes, they'd be even lower.
- Of the 272,111 persons released from prisons in 15 States in 1994, an estimated 67.5% were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years, 46.9% were reconvicted, and 25.4% resentenced to prison for a new crime.
- The 272,111 offenders discharged in 1994 accounted for nearly 4,877,000 arrest charges over their recorded careers.
- Within 3 years of release, 2.5% of released rapists were rearrested for another rape, and 1.2% of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for a new homicide.
- Sex offenders were less likely than non-sex offenders to be rearrested for any offense –– 43 percent of sex offenders versus 68 percent of non-sex offenders.
- Sex offenders were about four times more likely than non-sex offenders to be arrested for another sex crime after their discharge from prison –– 5.3 percent of sex offenders versus 1.3 percent of non-sex offenders.
- On a given day in 1994 there were approximately 234,000 offenders convicted of rape or sexual assault under the care, custody, or control of corrections agencies; nearly 60% of these sex offenders are under conditional supervision in the community.
- The median age of the victims of imprisoned sexual assaulters was less than 13 years old; the median age of rape victims was about 22 years.
- An estimated 24% of those serving time for rape and 19% of those serving time for sexual assault had been on probation or parole at the time of the offense for which they were in State prison in 1991.
- Of the 9,691 male sex offenders released from prisons in 15 States in 1994, 5.3% were rearrested for a new sex crime within 3 years of release.
- Of released sex offenders who allegedly committed another sex crime, 40% perpetrated the new offense within a year or less from their prison discharge.
- Approximately 4,300 child molesters were released from prisons in 15 States in 1994. An estimated 3.3% of these 4,300 were rearrested for another sex crime against a child within 3 years of release from prison.
- Among child molesters released from prison in 1994, 60% had been in prison for molesting a child 13 years old or younger.
- Offenders who had victimized a child were on average 5 years older than the violent offenders who had committed their crimes against adults. Nearly 25% of child victimizers were age 40 or older, but about 10% of the inmates with adult victims fell in that age range.
Currently, there are more than 550,000 registered sex offenders in the United States and at least 100,000 are missing from the system. While all 50 states have sex offender registries, the information contained in those registries is not always shared. A national registry will give law enforcement at all levels access to information that will allow them to more effectively track sex offenders.
- And the number of missing is increasing due to the draconian nature of these laws. These very laws make it impossible to keep a job, find a new job, keep a home, find a new home, offenders become homeless, forced to continually move due to the "buffer zones" and tons of other stuff. So this number will continue to increase, because people with nothing to lose, what do you expect? They take their chances so they can have somewhat a normal life, for some time anyway. So who is this protecting? It's putting MORE people in danger.
In the state of Georgia, there is just over 14,000 sex offenders, and when you download their CSV of all the offender data, and filter the predators, there is a total of 30 predators. So these laws are wasting valuable time and money going after all 14,000 offenders, when 30 are the dangerous ones who should be monitored.
Title I: Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act
Title I establishes the National Sex Offender Registry. The national registry will include the following information for each sex offender: name, address, employment, vehicle identification information, fingerprints, a DNA sample, complete criminal history, a recent photo, in addition to other information. The public will not have access to the detailed National Sex Offender Registry; instead, a national public website will be available that will include relevant information about sex offenders. The public website will permit retrieval of information by a single query for any given zip code or geographic radius. In addition to a central national public website, each individual jurisdiction is required to establish its own Internet registry, which shall be accessible to the public.Title II: Federal Criminal Law Enhancements Needed to Protect Children
- Notice the above says "for each sex offender?" It doesn't say "Romeo & Juliet" or young offenders are excluded, it says "sex offender" which means ANYBODY with the label.
The Act mandates that a sex offender shall register and keep the registration current in each jurisdiction where he resides, is an employee, and is a student. Initial registration shall be completed in the jurisdiction of conviction, and any subsequent in-person update shall be completed in the offender’s jurisdiction of residence.
Under the Act, sex offenders are required to register prior to their release from prison, or within three days of being sentenced if there is no term of imprisonment. Thereafter, sex offenders must verify their information in person at regular intervals, depending on the severity of the sex offense they committed. This severity is determined by the sex offender’s placement in a three-tier system. The least serious offenders are placed in Tier I, are required to appear in person once a year, and remain on the registry for 15 years. Tier II offenders must appear in person every six months and remain on the registry for 25 years. The most serious offenders, placed in Tier III, remain on the registry for life and are required to appear in person every three months to verify their information. Pursuant to this Act, any sex offender who knowingly fails to register or update his information faces up to ten years in prison. If an unregistered sex offender commits a crime of violence, he will receive a five-year mandatory prison sentence, in addition to any other sentence imposed.
The Act requires the Department of Justice to create and distribute software to jurisdictions to establish and operate uniform registries and Internet sites. The software will allow for immediate information-sharing among jurisdictions, Internet access by the public, and communication to certain community notification participants who choose to opt-in to receiving notice.
from Sexual Attacks and Other Violent Crimes
The Act creates a number of increased penalties for federal sex offenses and violent crimes against children. Offenses for which penalties are increased include: sexual abuse, child sex-trafficking, and coercion or enticement to engage in criminal sexual activity or cause child prostitution. Additionally, the Act creates new penalties for the sale of date-rape drugs via the Internet. Increased penalties for existing offenses include: 30 years to life—and in some cases death—for the murder of a child, a 30-year mandatory minimum for raping a child, and a 10-year mandatory minimum for child sex trafficking or prostitution. Title II also suspends the statute of limitations for all federal felony offenses of sexual abuse, sex trafficking, or child pornography.
The Act also extends several of the guarantees of the 2004 Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA) to federal habeas corpus review of state criminal convictions. Because such cases involve federal courts (but state prosecutors), this extension is limited to those provisions of CVRA that are enforced by a court (Congress cannot compel state prosecutors to enforce a federal statute). The victims’ rights extended by this Act to federal habeas proceedings are: the right to be present at proceedings; the right to be heard at proceedings involving release, plea, sentencing, or parole; the right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay; and the right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim’s dignity and privacy.
Title III: Civil Commitment of Dangerous Sex Offenders
The Act provides for civil commitment (defined in the bill, and involves secure civil confinement with appropriate care and treatment) procedures for sex offenders who, while incarcerated, show that they cannot conform their behavior once released. This title authorizes grants to states to operate civil commitment programs for sexually dangerous persons. Additionally, it authorizes civil commitment of certain sex offenders who are dangerous to others due to serious mental illness, abnormality, or disorder.
Title IV: Immigration Law Reforms to Prevent Sex Offenders from Abusing
This title provides that any alien convicted of the federal crime of failing to register as a sex offender is deportable. Additionally, the Act provides that a citizen convicted of a specified offense against a minor is not eligible to petition for a family-based visa. That bar, however, may be waived if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that the citizen poses no risk to the alien with respect to whom the petition is filed.
Title V: Child Pornography Prevention
This title strengthens existing pornography record-keeping and labeling requirements for persons who produce materials containing simulated sexual conduct. the purpose of these provisions is to ensure universal age verification and record-keeping in order to protect children and teenagers from being exploited by pornographers. Under the Act, these records may be inspected on demand by the Department of Justice.
Title VI: Grants, Studies, and Programs for Children and Community Safety
The Act provides for a number of pilot programs, grants, and studies to address child and community safety issues. Such programs include: a pilot program for the electronic monitoring of sex offenders; funding for Big Brothers and Big Sisters; and grants to allow parents to obtain fingerprint records for their children.
The Act also instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to create a national registry of persons who have been found to have abused or neglected a child. The information will be gathered from state databases of child abuse or neglect. It will be made available to state child-protective-services and law-enforcement agencies “for purposes of carrying out their responsibilities under the law to protect children from abuse and neglect.” The national database will allow states to track the past history of parents and guardians who are suspected of abusing their children. When child-abusing parents come to the attention of authorities (for example, when teachers begin to ask about bruises), these parents often will move to a different jurisdiction. A national database will give the state to which these parents move the ability to know the parents’ history. It will let a child-protective-services worker know, for example, whether he should prioritize investigation of a particular case because the parent has been found to have committed substantiated cases of abuse in the past in other states. Such a database also will allow a state that is evaluating a prospective foster parent or adoptive parent to learn about past incidents of child abuse that the person has committed in other states.
- Why isn't this child abuse registry available to the public? So people who hire baby sitters can make sure they are not an abusive person?
Title VII: Internet Safety Act
This title creates new penalties for child-exploitation enterprises—defined as a violation of at least one in a list of enumerated sex crimes against children as part of a series of felony violations constituting three or more separate incidents and more than one victim, and committed in concert with three or more other persons—providing a mandatory-minimum of 20 years imprisonment for that offense. The title also adds a mandatory 10-year enhancement for registered sex offenders who commit one in a list of federal felonies involving a minor. Additionally, this title creates a new crime for embedding words or digital images into the source code of a website with the intent to deceive a person into viewing obscenity.
The Internet safety provisions also enhance federal prosecution resources needed for the investigation and prosecution of child sex offenses. Those enhancements include funding the hiring of at least 200 additional Assistant United States Attorneys, the addition of at least 10 Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces, and the addition of 45 forensic examiners within the Regional Computer Forensic Laboratories and Cyber Crimes Center. Additionally, the Internet Safety provisions expand the civil remedy available to children who have been sexually abused or exploited.