Sunday, January 11, 2009

America's Top Ten Sex Scandals - By David Rosen

View the article here
More can be viewed here

Old, but still relevant.  Thinks to SOSEN for making me aware of this article.

08/01/2007

Does the current wave of sex scandals signify something new in American politics or merely the continuation of something as old and established in politics as payoffs, bribes, favors and business-as-usual corruption?

The unfolding sex scandal involving a growing number of Republican worthies has been fun to watch. Two upstanding moralists, David Vitter, Louisiana’s Republican senator, and Randall L. Tobias, former head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), have been exposed as clients of the “DC Madam,” Deborah Jeane Palfrey. They join their fellow civic leaders, disgraced congressmen Mark Fowley (R-FL) and Don Sherwood (R-PA) as well as the defrocked Rev. Ted Haggard, who have been undone by those deeper desires that their simplistic morality could not contain.

To this growing list of politicians recently unmasked for moral hypocrisy if not worse (as in the case of Fowley for possible illegal solicitation of underage males pages), there are the withering carcasses of still other politicos who have been exposed in recent years for there inappropriate sexual excesses. Obviously Bill Clinton trysts with Monica Lewinsky, Jennifer Flowers, Juanita Broaddrick and who knows how many others tops this list. While he is the only president to be impeached for oral sex (and, of course, denying it), he is not the alone for being undone by their desires.

As Newt Gingrich (Cong., R-GA) attempts to cleanup his act for the 2008 presidential beauty pageant, one wonders if a conscientious reporter will remind this Christian conservative stalwart that his former campaign worker, Anne Manning, admitted that she gave him a blow job while he was still married to his first wife.

Similarly, one wonders if any good-old-boy will recall the career of Bob Allen (Sen., R-FL), that upstanding citizen caught soliciting an undercover male police officer inside a Titusville, FL, restroom to perform oral sex for $20? Nor should we forget Dan Burton (Cong., R-IN), who, as a born-again purist, fathered a child with another woman while married.

And what about the mysterious deaths of Lori Klausutis and Chandra Levy who had close relationships with former conservative Congressmen Joe Scarborough (R-FL) and Gary Condit (D-CA)? Then there’s Ken Calvert (Cong, R-CA), a champion of the Christian Coalition, who was caught by the police in a compromising position with a prostitute in a parked car and attempted to flee the scene. And, lastly, there’s Robert Livingston, the Louisiana Republican congressman ousted by none other than Vetter for his moral failing, adultery.

These are but the tip of an iceberg of sexual scandals involving American national political figures going back to the nation’s founding. Adding to this national list the scandals involving state and local politicos (one need only think of  “Arnoid” Schwarzenegger and Rudi Guiliani) and one can appreciate how moral hypocrisy is a defining characteristic of American political life.

In this light, it is helpful to contextualize the legacy of sex scandals involving politicos in term of what can be called “America’s Top 10 Grandest Political Sex Scandals.”

Scandal #10: George W. Bush

While many are aware of Bush’s dubious participation in the National Guard and his alcohol and cocaine problems, little attention has been paid to the alleged sex scandals that took place while he was Texas governor. He has been the subject of two sex scandals that were successfully dismissed as crank complaints, effectively sweeping them under the proverbial rug. The first involved a criminal complaint and lawsuit of rape by Margie Schoedinger that took place in 2000 and who later allegedly committed suicide; the second was an accusation by Tammy Phillips, a former stripper, of having an affair with Bush that ended in 1999 and she later disappeared.

Scandal #9: Helen Chenoweth

Chenoweth, a conservative Republican congresswoman from Idaho, admitted in 1995 to a six-year affair with a married associate; she claimed her case was different from Clinton’s indiscretions in that she was, at the time, single and had received a pardon from a higher authority: "I've asked for God's forgiveness, and I've received it." She’s appears to be the only woman national-political office holder to have been caught-up in a sex scandal. As more women enter official national politics, we can expect an increase in sex scandals involving women.

Scandal #8: Clarence Thomas

When nominated for the Supreme Court in 1981, a FBI report was leaked concerning Thomas’ alleged sexual harassment of Anita Hill, a former colleague at DOE and EEOC, that nearly sunk his appointment. Before a national TV audience, Senator Orrin Hatch's questions revealed national politics as the soap opera it really is: "[D]id you ever say in words or substance something like there is a pubic hair in my Coke?" and "Did you ever use the term Long Dong Silver in conversation with Professor Hill?" Failing to substantiate Hills’ claims, Thomas was confirmed by the Senate with a 52-48 vote, the closest confirmation vote for a Justice in the 20th century.

Scandal #7: Strom Thurmond

As a lustful lad, Thurmond had sexual liaision with his family’s African-American maid, Carrie Butler. One unanswered question is whether Ms. Butler was a consenting partner or the victim of rape; another is her age at the time of sexual engagement, whether she was 15 or 16 years and, thus, whether the future senator and committed racist was guilty of violating age-of-consent laws and, therefore, a pedophile. This part of Thurmond’s pasts only became public when the daughter of his ill-fated liaison, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, revealed it; further complicating Thurmond’s darker past is the revelation that, genetically, he and the Rev. Al Sharpton share the same family line.

Scandal #6: James Buchanan

Buchanan appears to be America’s only gay president. While homosexuality was a far different phenomenon in the 19th century then it is today, Buchanan lived for many years with William Rufus King, an Alabama Senator. The two men were considered inseparable and were the butt of much mockery. Andrew Jackson dubbed King "Miss Nancy" and Aaron Brown, a prominent Democrat, writing to Mrs. James K. Polk, referred to him as Buchanan's "better half," "his wife" and "Aunt Fancy . . . rigged out in her best clothes." The only question for his contemporaries was whether Buchanan’s infatuation with King rose to the level of a scandal.

Scandal #5: John F. Kennedy

Kennedy’s affairs with Marilyn Monroe and Angie Dickinson; Inga Arvad, a Danish journalist; the stripper, Blaze Starr; Judith Exner Campbell, mistress to mob boss Sam Giancana; and White House secretaries Priscilla Weir and Jill Cowan, who were referred to as “Fiddle” and “Faddle,” have moved from scandal to presidential lore. Like the affairs of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (with Lucy Page Mercer, Marguerite Alice (Missy) LeHand and Crown Princess Marta of Norway) and Dwight D. Eisenhower (with Kay Summersby), Kennedy’s extramarital liasions were effectively surpressed.

Scandal #4: Arthur Brown

Brown was one of Utah's first Senators, elected when the state joined the union. He was shot and killed in Washington, DC, by his mistress for many years, Anna Maddison Bradley, for failing in his promise to leave his wife and marry her. After securing a divorce and making a financial settlement, Brown returned to Utah and, to Bradley’s chagrin, claimed to have made a full reconciliation with is wife. Bradley, three months pregnant with a second child she insisted Brown had fathered, could take no more of his lies.

Scandal #3: Alexander Hamilton

While serving as secretary of the treasury, Hamilton was living in Philadelphia with his wife, Elizabeth, and children. He was approached by a young damsel in distress, Maria Reynolds, and got involved in a two year sexual liaison that turned into a blackmail scheme. Reynolds, in collusion with her husband, James, shook down Hamilton for an estimated $1,000 to continue their affair. However, James Reynolds sought support from some of Hamilton’s political enemies by suggesting that Hamilton was providing him with insider information about government finances. When challenged, Hamilton showed intimate letters with the Reynolds that cleared his name regarding insider trading, but only made his role in the adulterous affair more pathetic.

Scandal #2: Warren G. Harding

Harding is reported to have had an affair for fifteen year with Carrie Fulton Phillips, the wife of a friend, James Phillips. As president, he had a relationship with Nan Britton, thirty years his junior. She insisted that they had sexual liaisons in the White House and later wrote: … [H]e introduced me to one place [in the White House] where, he said, he thought we might share kisses in safety. This was a small closet in the anteroom, evidently a place for hats and coats, but entirely empty most of the times we used it, for we repaired there many times in the course of my visits to the White House. …” She concludes her intimate reflection with remarkable candor, “… and in the darkness of a space not more than five feet square the President of the United States and his adoring sweetheart made love.” Their adulterous affair culminated with the birth of an illegitimate daughter, Elizabeth Ann. When Harding died unexpectedly in 1923 from ptomaine poisoning, rumor circulated widely at the time that his wife, Florence, poisoned him.

Scandal #1: Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson’s relation with Sally Hemings, the African-American slave who was his wife’s half-sister (they had the same father) and with whom he had six children, makes this America’s most scandalous sex scandal. As a bachelor, he was accused of attempting to seduce his close friend John Walker’s wife, Betsy, and, after his wife Martha died, he apparently had an affair in Paris with Mrs. Maria Cosway. However, according to Sally Hemings’ son, Madison, she served Jefferson at Monticello as chambermaid, seamstress, nursemaid-companion and, later, lady’s maid to his daughters; he referred to his mother as “Jefferson’s concubine.” Four of the children that Hemings had with Jefferson survived to adulthood, two females and two males – all appeared to be white in complexion and Jefferson set them all free. Ironically, Hemings was not freed by Jefferson but given “her time” (a form of unofficial freedom so she could live in Virginia) by his daughter, Martha Randolph.

We all have our favorite Top 10 Sex Scandals, but looking back from the vantage point of 21st century morality, one can well appreciate what the fear of public exposure has on politicians. Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, which lead to his impeachment, serves as much as a warning for those challenging Christian conservative hypocrisy as an indicator of the barbarity inherent to partisan politics. And it says as much about the ability of those with powerful political connections, like George Bush, to suppress questionable behavior, whether involving sex, drugs or military service.

At the end, however, politicians from Jefferson to Bush are but all-too-human beings struggling within the deeper crisis of repression, the battle between what Christian propriety demands to maintain patriarchy and the deeper drives of the unconscious to overcome sexual repression. Each politician’s behavior is not unlike that of ordinary Americans caught in the cultural vise that deforms us as civilized people. Their lessons should not be lost as we witness the current crop of political sex scandals.

David Rosen can be reached at drosen@ix.netcom.com.


MA - After rape, another battle

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01/10/2009

By David Riley - Daily News staff

ASHLAND - Sexual assault can mark the start of a different attack for teens - a battle with rumors, vilification and online harassment from peers.

One local mother says after her daughter was raped, she struggled with false gossip about the assault. Behind the anonymity of the Internet, others hurled names and accusations.

"It's the assault after the rape that became the most devastating," said the mother, who spoke with the Daily News on the condition she and her daughter aren't identified.

Teens who are sexually assaulted are too often verbally attacked by peers, said Rachel Singer, a counselor and community prevention educator at Voices Against Violence.

"It's definitely more widespread than I'd like to admit," said Singer. "Part of the reason why the majority of victims don't report sexual assaults is because of all that - because of the response of society in general, but also the personal response of their friends, their peers."

Both women hope to start changing that in a parent forum Monday at 7 p.m. at Ashland Middle School, offering education on dating problems and sex assault.

Singer will be a keynote speaker. The event is organized by the Ashland Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, with whom the mother now volunteers.

An Ashland High student who also plans to speak at the event said she will stress that anyone who has been abused should not be discouraged from seeking help. Parents and others are there to offer support, she said.

"Tell someone," said Lauren Callan, a senior. "If you try to bottle it up inside, it will just eat you up."

The coalition has organized a series of recent forums to raise awareness of dangerous behavior among Ashland youths. Robert Moro, the coalition's director, pointed to responses about dating problems and assault in a 2006 survey of Ashland High students.

Within the preceding year, 13 percent of respondents said they had been hurt by a date, 7 percent said they were forced to have intercourse and 10 percent said they were forced into other sexual acts, Moro said.

Part of the problem, he said, is a lack of understanding of appropriate boundaries, he said.

"The boundaries between what can go on with boys and girls are fuzzy, and not even the boys and girls know what the boundaries are," Moro said last week.

The mother said when her daughter was 14, she was raped by an acquaintance her age. The pair had been "buddies," the mother said, but had never dated.

Hearing about the assault was devastating.

"I had this fear come into me," the woman said. "It came in through my head and just pushed me down. I think I screamed."

She said she wants to talk about what happened to raise awareness, to encourage more parents to get involved in the coalition, and to help educate teens about what is and is not OK.

"My therapy hopefully is preventing it from happening to other kids," she said.

The mother praised police, counselors and a support group for teens who had been through similar experiences in helping her daughter.

But she said the alleged perpetrator told other teens about the incident, not seeming to believe or understand that he had crossed a line.

That started rumors, which other teens spread, the woman said. Her daughter was ostracized and teens told her they did not believe her side of the story, she said.

Through Facebook, a social networking Web site, others called her a slut and liar.

"There was a lot of harassment in the hallways," she said. "The rumor mill got so bad."

The mother said her "strong-willed and amazing" daughter is in a better place today. She toughed out the social battle, saying those who harassed her would have won if she heeded her mother's urge to change schools.

The teen ultimately chose not to pursue charges against her alleged attacker, feeling unable to go through a trial, but would come forward if he were accused in another assault, the mother said.

The mother said a community effort and in-school education are needed to make both boys and girls understand each other's boundaries, as well as how to treat an alleged victim if word gets out about an assault.

She worries the Internet lets adolescents interact in a more and more impersonal way. While she is hesitant to blame popular music, she is unhappy with how it often portrays women.

"I know it's our job as parents to teach our kids," the mother said. "But our kids are at school a lot, and that's where they do their social networking. The schools have to be involved."

Singer said she hopes Monday's forum, which is for parents only, will offer tools to teach their kids about their responsibility to set and respect boundaries.

"There's not enough clarification around what's right and what's wrong," Singer said. "For us, obviously, it's quite clear. For them, it's not so clear."

Callan said she knows people who have been abused or assaulted and did not seek help, and that took a toll.

"To this day, you can just tell from their personality and their energy level that it's still on the top of their head," she said.

Also speaking at Monday's forum will be Shawn McMaster of Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone's office and Ashland Police Detective Joe Magnani.


PBS - FRONTLINE - Growing up online

This is a very well done video series on how the online world has changed childhood. Here is a direct link to the video series. Below is part 4 - Child Predator Fear!

Click the image to visit the site


Part 4 - Child Predator Fear!


Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse



This article is VERY, VERY long!

07/05/2008

By BloggerT7165

Sexual abuse perpetrated by mothers on their children, and Mother-Daughter sexual abuse, is a subject that many people have not even thought of or want to think of. It flies in the face of everything we believe, or have been taught to believe, about women and mothers. Some people don't want to believe that female perpetrators of sexual abuse exist, and they certainly do not want to believe that a mother could sexually abuse her own children. One site, the Canadian Children's Rights Council, said this about female offenders "The most common offenders are relatives, with mothers topping the list. But it could be anyone baby-sitters, neighbours or teachers." (Note: My next post will discuss Mother-Son Sexual Abuse)

Back in 1997 there was a UK TV Program - Panorama that ran Monday 6th October 1997 called The Sexual Abuse by Women of Children and Teenagers. I will being using some transcripts from that show on here.

One of the victims on that show said something that is often said by many who are abused by their mother. She said:

I couldn't understand how your own mother... You've got no one else to turn to. If it's your dad doing it at least you've got some chance - your mother to try and talk to if she's a good mum. But when you've got your mother doing it as well what chance have you got? No one's going to believe you. There was no escape.

A commentator on the show made this remark:

Those survivors who tell me they have been sexually abused by both a woman and a man always tell me that it was more traumatic to be sexually abused by a woman - they feel more betrayed, they feel very angry, they feel the woman should have cared for them, should have loved them instead of abusing them. For some reason they expected it almost of the man, but never of the woman.

The website Making Daughters Safe Again said this:

Survivors of mother-daughter sexual abuse have an added evil to contend with – the extreme isolation in feeling that they are the only survivors of this form of abuse, and that no one will believe them. These fears are not unfounded. Mother-daughter sexual abuse is a topic that receives little attention from researchers, support services, or the media. Survivors of mother-daughter sexual often report being met with disbelief or shock by friends, family, and even mental health care professionals, and survivors of other forms of sexual abuse. The fact that some mothers sexually abuse their daughters is an ugly, shattering thought. When it is your reality, it is infinitely worse.


TN - Sex offender registry may list juveniles - State faces deadline for predators law

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01/11/2009

By Clay Carey - THE TENNESSEAN

When he was a young boy, he was sexually abused. At age 16, his parents learned, he'd molested a young girl himself.

He was criminally charged and convicted, and because of that, got treatment. But his name was never part of a public registry. Had that happened, his mother said, the boy might have forgone treatment and headed down a much darker path of abuse.
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"This is something that just happens. If you are raised up in that culture, you will act out (sexually)," said the mother, a 52-year-old Williamson County woman. Her name and her son's name are being withheld because The Tennessean does not identify victims of sex crimes.

This year, state legislators will be asked to add juveniles convicted of sex crimes to Tennessee's public sex offender registries. The legislation would represent the last piece of a broad set of sex crime laws ordered up by the federal government to better shield children from sexual and violent crimes.

And if passed by an April deadline — which the state says is unlikely to be met — it would ensure Tennessee continues to get all the federal law enforcement funding coming to it.

A flurry of new Tennessee laws have brought the state closer to compliance to what's known as the Adam Walsh Act, named for a 6-year-old who was murdered in 1981.

No bill submitted yet

A proposal to complete the missing piece, adding offenders under age 18 to Tennessee's sex offender database, would be included in a package of proposals legislators will receive from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation this year.

Even if Tennessee lawmakers receive it warmly, TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said, it is doubtful that the legislature would approve the registry change by the April deadline.

The state has asked for a one-year extension to get the last pieces of the law in place; without it, federal funding for law enforcement could be lost.
- It will cost you more per year to maintain this, than not to implement it!

Though the federal government has pushed for the law, adding young offenders to public criminal databases has been controversial across the U.S.
- I agree.  This is just going to force them to live by the same rules, which means they will be kicked out of school and other places, and be forced to live near other adult sex offenders, and potentially become a victim!

Prosecutors back listing

A state prosecutors group says offenders under age 18 should show up on the registries if they are convicted of sex crimes.

"They are as much of a threat to the people of this state as an adult," said Wally Kirby, director of the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference. "Most of the kids who commit crimes like this … you are talking about kids 16, 17, 18 years old.
- There is also kids as young as 4 years old, labeled sex offenders, simply for hugging their teacher and accidentally touching her breasts.  So, are you ok with a 4 year old, on the public registry?  That is just insane, IMO!

"I think, quite frankly, we've bent over backwards to protect juveniles," he said. "You have got to have some consequences."

Kids may not get help

Others say making young offenders' names public can impair treatment that could keep them from committing more serious crimes as adults, especially when the accused were once victims of abuse themselves.

"I can see why they want that law — everybody wants their child to be safe," said the Williamson County mother, who was herself the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of her ex-husband. She said the criminal charge got her son into a treatment program, and as an adult today he has a healthy family life.

"If that law had been in effect, it would have so stigmatized my son," perhaps to the point where he would have shunned counseling, the woman said.

Once publicly branded as sex offenders, young people may not reach out for help, said Rachel Freeman, vice president of clinical services for the Sexual Assault Center of Nashville.

"We'd hate to see a registry like this get in the way of treatment," Freeman said. "The stigma that can follow these kids, we don't want it to be there if it's not necessary."


PA - Luzerne mulls sex offender ordinance

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01/11/2009

By HEIDI RUCKNO - STAFF WRITER

LUZERNE — Borough council will pass an ordinance prohibiting registered sex offenders from living near churches, schools or public parks, according to an legal notice published in The Citizens’ Voice.

The ordinance is slated for passage at the Jan. 14 meeting. If passed, it would prohibit registered sex offenders from living “within 1,500 feet of any school, child care facility, common open space, community center, public park or recreational facility,” its text said.

Violators will have 45 days to move, and those who have established residence before its passage would not be subject to relocation. Refusal to move could result in a $1,000 fine or 90 days imprisonment.

Currently, there are no registered sex offenders living in Luzerne Borough, according to the Pennsylvania State Police Megan’s Law Web site.

At the time it was proposed in late 2007, there were a few living in town, Luzerne Mayor James Keller said.

“We’re just keeping up to date with things, just so everyone knows what’s happening. We’re protecting the community,” the mayor said.

There are nine schools, bus stops and parks within Luzerne Borough limits, according to an enforcement map borough engineers drafted. If passed, registered sex offenders would only be allowed to live on the outskirts of town, near the borders of Kingston and Courtdale.

Registered sex offenders would be allowed to live on parts of Vaughan, Union and Ely streets, and in the upper end of town on parts of Cottage Avenue and Raub Street, the map indicated.

The 1,500-foot distance also encroaches into parts of Swoyersville and Pringle, according to the map.

There are two registered sex offenders in Swoyersville and one in Pringle, the Megan’s Law Web site said.

Similar legislation has been passed in Swoyersville, and laws have been proposed in various other municipalities. The West Side boroughs of Kingston and Edwardsville also have laws on the books, although the Kingston law is not a residency restriction.

In Kingston, registered sex offenders are prohibited from going within 200 feet of any school, park or community center.

The Luzerne ordinance defines a sex offender as a person over the age of 18 who has been convicted of certain crimes against a minor, including but not limited to kidnapping, luring a child into a motor vehicle, sexual assault, sexual abuse, or unlawful contact with minors, among other offenses.

Enforcement responsibilities lie on the police, but Luzerne Borough has no police force. Council contracts with Swoyersville for police protection.


AUSTRALIA - Queensland vigilante luring pedophiles on YouTube

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01/11/2009

A VIGILANTE is posing as a 13-year-old child on the internet site YouTube in a one-man campaign designed to expose Queensland pedophiles.

The man has set ambushes on YouTube, trying to trap perverts with the offer of sex.

He has posted the men's faces, nude pictures, registration plates and mobile phone numbers on the site as well as their conversations.

On the YouTube site, the vigilante said he believed in meting out justice to the "pedophile scum that manipulate and prey on vulnerable kids and teenagers".

But his actions prompted warnings from child protection groups and authorities that he could hamper police investigations and prosecutions.

They also warned the website could force the suspected pedophiles to go underground to avoid further detection.

Queensland police Taskforce Argos is investigating the claims made on the website and the individuals featured.

"We strongly discourage this approach and urge anyone who has information about pedophiles to contact police," a police officer said.

Hetty Johnston from child protection group Bravehearts said: "While his motivations most likely are genuine, his actions are unlikely to get an appropriate result."


FL - Clusters Of Shame - Laws force some sex offenders into motels, onto streets

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01/11/2009

By LYDA LONGA -Staff Writer

Dozens of sex offenders in Volusia County are clustered in low-rent motels and rooming houses along major highways, a colony shunned by society for their crimes.

But more surprising, state officials say, is that a handful of these men -- convicted of raping, molesting or exposing themselves to their victims -- are homeless, staying in woods behind shopping centers, or sleeping in their vehicles on side streets or the parking lots of businesses.

It is not illegal, officials with the state's Department of Corrections say, to be homeless and a convicted sex offender or predator in Florida.

"For some offenders, it's very hard to find a place to live," says Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger. "Many of them have no money, or there are strict restrictions on where they can live."

Are people safe from convicted sex offenders who are crashing in the woods behind a grocery store or fast-food restaurant?

"No," says Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood, who has often expressed disappointment that some transients in his city are registered sex offenders.

Cpl. Gina Baker, a detective with Holly Hill police, is not as blunt, but she does warn residents to be watchful.

"People should not feel unsafe," Baker said. "But they should be aware of their surroundings."

A Daytona Beach News-Journal query Tuesday showed there were 748 sex offenders registered in Volusia County and 82 in Flagler, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records. Because of residency restrictions and other factors, the number of registered offenders can change daily anywhere in the state, FDLE spokeswoman Heather Smith said.

The state says sex offenders cannot live within 1,000 feet of any place where children congregate. That includes churches, parks, schools and playgrounds. It also imposed a curfew that prohibits sex offenders from going near these places between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- Makes no sense whatsoever!  These restrictions are only where they sleep, not what they do during the day, and why limit them between these hours?  Most children are, or should be, in the house, asleep.  So what is the big deal during these hours?  It's all about punishment, government corruption by abusing it's power, eradication of rights, and making a new breed of second class citizens!  I personally think this is a crime against humanity!

Some cities, such as Deltona and Daytona Beach Shores, have enacted stiffer ordinances that have stretched that restriction to 2,500 feet. Counties and municipalities may also impose their own curfews.
- These very laws, are making people homeless, and when people are down and out, with nothing to lose, and forced to live like lepers, then that puts more people in potential danger.  When you have nothing to lose, then it's only a matter of time before another crime is committed!  It's just politicians using sex offenders as their scapegoat to get votes and to look like they are actually doing something.  Nothing about the registry, notifications, or restrictions, do anything to protect people.  They are just knee-jerk, feel good reactions to a couple high profile cases.  Punish the masses for the sins of a few!!!

That's why many of these men -- the state's offender registry shows only five women registered in Volusia County as of Tuesday -- make their homes in no-frills motels along Ridgewood Avenue, or the claptrap rooming houses on the side streets off the main drag.

According to maps provided by the FDLE, more than 250 of the offenders registered in Volusia reside along or near Ridgewood Avenue from the southern border of Ormond Beach to Port Orange. That's about one-third of local registered sex offenders in a 10-mile stretch.

In New Smyrna Beach, for example, a handful of sex offenders have set up home at the Motel 44 off State Road 44, just west of downtown. Some learned of the locale from their probation officers.

The motels are practical for offenders because they're cheap and most are not near areas off-limits by law. They're also acceptable to both the FDLE and Department of Corrections officials who monitor offenders on probation. Those who are released from Department of Corrections supervision are checked on by local police monthly or quarterly.

"A hotel or a motel is a reportable address," said Smith of the FDLE.

But so are the woods behind the Publix supermarket on S.R. 44 in New Smyrna Beach, where sex offender _____ -- who is on probation and under state supervision -- says he lives. Records show _____ was convicted of sexual assault in Michigan, and he is not considered a predator.

The state's sex offender registry shows at least 24 offenders are homeless in Volusia County, and at least eight of those are unaccounted for or have absconded.
- What do you expect?  When you make it almost impossible to find any place to live, maintain a job, or find a new job, this is only an obvious reaction.  People will vanish!  When you have nothing to lose, people would rather take their chances.  And that is exactly what is occurring.

Plessinger says transient sex offenders must provide some kind of an address -- if only an intersection, "Like 10th and Main" -- to comply with the state's registry requirements.

_____, 39, who has been spotted panhandling on Daytona Beach's streets, is one of the unaccounted for, records show. He is also a predator who was convicted of raping an incapacitated minor in Seminole County.

In addition, at least two other offenders who are on the state's registry and who provided a more official address, are actually homeless, records show. The men, _____, 30, and _____, 38, of Daytona Beach, list the Homeless Assistance Center on North Street, and the Daytona Outreach Center on Ridgewood, as their residences, respectively.

Officials at both locations said neither man should be using these addresses.

"We've told him (_____) to stop using our address," said Kassy Guy-Reed, who runs the center at 340 North St. "We have children coming here."

Jacksonville attorney Mark Gelman is outraged that state law allows sex offenders to be homeless. Gelman represents Mark Lunsford, whose 9-year-old daughter, Jessie, was raped and murdered in 2005 by repeat sex offender John Couey in Citrus County.

"If a sex offender says he's homeless, then his address should become the Volusia County Branch Jail," Gelman said. "Unless you watch them like a hawk, they should not be out there."
- Give me a break jerk!  And you call yourself a lawyer?  These very laws MAKE people homeless!  Also, why don't you look into the child porn Mark had on his computer when Jessica went missing?  And would you say the same about Joshua Lunsford (Mark's son) who also molested a 14 year old, got 10 days in jail, and is NOT on the registry?  Why is he not punished the same as everyone else?  What if he was made homeless due to these laws?  Well, if he had to obey the same laws, he probably would be right now!

According to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office -- whose Career Criminal Unit alerts local police agencies anytime an offender moves into their jurisdictions -- 50 percent of all sex offenders repeat their crimes.
- What a crock of s--t!!!!!  Show me the study that says that?  That is just an easy round number almost everyone uses.  Come on, show me the study?  I have a ton of them, here, if you care to stop the BS fear-mongering and get the REAL facts, which I doubt you want to know!

Those odds are even higher when they're homeless, Plessinger said.
- Well that is obvious!  Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out!

"We find that when they (offenders) have a home, it's easier for them to get a job. When they have a job, they're less prone to re-offend," she said. "The ones who are transient are more prone to re-offend because they have nothing to lose."
- Correct, and yet the very laws that are suppose to protect the children, don't do that.  They just make sex offenders lives hell, and force them into joblessness and homelessness.  So, to solve the problem, repeal and fix the laws, and stop the grandstanding and fear-mongering!