Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sean Hannity - I rather be murdered than raped any day, even if my death is a slow painful one. (Wow, so much anger!)

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Any why was this posted by Natasha instead of Hannity himself? Maybe this is her words and not his?

04/06/2009

By Natasha

Chief Justice John Roberts of The Supreme Court has halted the release of dozens of inmates who have completed their sentences imposed by criminal court judges. The inmates being held are sex offenders that were convicted of various sex crimes such as rape, child molestation, and sexual assault. The Sex Offenders were detained because they were deemed “sexually dangerous”.

This is a tough situation. You have inmates who have paid their debt to society by completing their prison sentence, and but then again these are sex offenders. Sex offenders, in today’s society, sex offenders’ rights are limited to none. Many people think that Sex Offenders are unfairly treated, and discriminated against, but I’m definitely not one of those people who pity sex offenders.

Sex Offenders, Rapists, Child Molesters are scum (Just like me). I, personally rather have a convicted murderer re-join society than a sex offender. People who commit murders for the “fun” of it disgust me, but I rather be murdered than raped any day… even if my death is a slow painful one. The rape victims will suffer from mental anguish for the rest of their lives, and the deterioration of sex offenders’ as they re-enter society could never compare the degradation, and suffering imposed on the victims of rape and sexual assault by the sex offenders / rapists. 36% of sexual assault victims required medical attention after being raped / sexually assaulted. 22% suffer from genital trauma, and 40% of them receive STDs. 80% of rape victims will suffer from chronic physical or psychological conditions over time, and they are 13 times more likely to commit suicide.

If it were up to me, Sex Offenders would serve life sentences without the possibility of parole, because I don’t believe a “reformed” sex offender exists. 29% of sex offenders who were released from prison after a jail / prison sentence were rearrested for sexual assault or rape, and keep in mind only one third of rapes are ever reported to the police.
- Well, just because you "believe" something, doesn't mean it's true.  Many sex offender EXPERTS, unlike yourself, will tell you that.  And are you so willing to put kids in prison for life?  You know, they are being labeled sex offenders as well.  Just wait until you or someone in your family, is slapped with the label, then let's see you change your story.  And your recidivism "statistics" are wrong, care to cite your source?  Here, I have a ton of studies, here, which disprove what you said above.  We know, you are just saying all this for more ratings and PR points, aren't you?

The Supreme Court was able to prevent the sex offenders from being released under “The Mental Health Law” which commits people who are deemed mentally unstable to mental hospital, insane asylum or psychiatric ward against their will. But there the sex offenders were never transferred to a mental hospital. The Sex Offenders remained incarcerated in the designated prison / jail. And this does make you question whether or not the Government has the right to do that. I mean who is not to say that this practice won’t expand to instances pertaining drug dealers / drug users, illegal gun possessors, drunk drivers etc. I’m aware these crimes definitely cannot be compared to the seriousness of sex crimes, but still. We live in America… remember the US constitution? One cannot have their constitutional rights trampled on mere bias. In this case I do believe the lawmakers have overstepped their authority. And it truly is scary how The Supreme Court and Justice Department are able to do this.
- Man, you sure do speak a lot of double-talk.  You say one thing, then turn around and say the opposite.  And yeah, remember the Constitution???  It protects everyone, or did, when it meant something.

Please share your opinion on Supreme Court John Roberts halts release of sex offenders on Hannity’s America.com political forum


MO - Missouri Supreme Court rejects challenge from sex offender

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03/18/2009

The Missouri Supreme Court rejected a challenge from a sex offender who incurred a prison sentence when he did not register a change of address notice within 10 days.

The Supreme Court previously ruled that it was unconstitutional to require sex offenders convicted of crimes before Jan. 1, 1995, to register with local law enforcement authorities. Such a move, the court argued, was a retrospective function disallowed allowed under the Missouri Constitution.

A Hannibal resident named William Holden argued that he fell into that category, since the date of his offense was before the law went into effect but the guilty plea came into effect several months after the law became active.

Before he pleaded guilty to committing sodomy on a 5-year-old in March 1995, the state of Missouri enacted a law that, among other things, required individuals registered as sex offenders to notify local sheriff's departments of moving to a new residence within 10 days.

Holden was released from prison in 2001. After his release, Holden registered as a sex offender with the Marion County Sheriff's Department and moved into a basement. In August 2007, Holden alerted the Marion County Sheriff's Office that he had been living out of his car and that he needed to re-register as a sex offender by the end of the month.

An official with the sheriff's department told him of the 10-day requirement, and the next day Holden provided a written statement that he had moved residences more than a month before. He was subsequently arrested and eventually sentenced to four years in prison by a trial court.

In a unanimous ruling, the court found that the law did apply to Holden. Writing for the court, Judge William Ray Price Jr. wrote that previous court decisions found the time of the guilty plea -- not the date of purported crime -- triggered the registration requirements.

"In this case, Holden was charged with two counts of sodomy with a child under the age of fourteen years," Price wrote. "When Holden pled guilty to this offense, the registration requirements had been in effect for several months. [The statute] as applied to Holden, is constitutional."

Price also wrote that state did not err in not disclosing a number of Holden's registration forms. The court also rejected arguments that the decision against Holden was prejudiced when his victim's age was relayed in court.

"The victim's age is relevant to prove that Holden was previously convicted of a sexual offense involving a child under the age of fourteen years. ... To the extent that the age is inflammatory, it is the result of defendant's own conduct and does not outweigh its prohibitive effect," Price wrote.

In a concurring opinion, Judge Richard Teitelman wrote that Holden's conviction and sentence "unintentionally may undermine future enforcement efforts."

"Had Mr. Holden realized voluntary re-registration would land him in jail for four years, he would have been faced with a significant incentive to abscond," Teitelman wrote. "If the purpose of the registration requirements is to permit authorities and the public to stay apprise of an offenders' residence, then it may prove unwise to impose harsh punishments on those offenders, like Mr. Holden, who undertake good faith but technically erroneous efforts at compliance." Judge Michael Wolff concurred in Teitelman's opinion.

Irene Karns, the public defender representing Holden, could not be reached for comment. Travis Ford, a spokesman for the attorney general's office, said the effect of the decision is that Holden will remain confined in a Licking, Mo., prison.

The case is State v. Holden, SC89635.


MS - Mississippi bill changes vote for parole

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04/05/2009

By SHELIA BYRD - Associated Press Writer

JACKSON - Convicted sex offenders and murderers will have to meet a higher standard to be paroled in Mississippi under a bill awaiting Gov. Haley Barbour's signature.

The legislation reauthorizing the state Parole Board changes the vote needed to release inmates convicted of murder or a sexual offense. It currently only takes a simple majority on the five-member board. The bill would require a 4-to-1 vote.

The proposed change is a result of the furor that arose after the board voted 3-2 earlier this year to release Douglas Hodgkin from prison.

Hodgkin was convicted in 1987 of capital murder in the death of Jean Elizabeth Gillies, a University of Mississippi graduate student in speech pathology. Hodgkin, of Winchester, Ky., was a junior business major at Ole Miss at the time of the slaying.

A version of the bill that passed the Senate last month addressed parole and pardons. The legislation proposed requiring the governor to contact the district attorney's office where the crime occurred and then schedule the hearing before granting the pardon. It also required a unanimous vote by the board to parole murderers and sex offenders.

Those provisions were eliminated when House and Senate negotiators began work on the conference report, or final version of the bill.

Sen. Alan Nunnelee, a Republican from Tupelo, said he voted against the conference report because he believes there should be a unanimous vote "on the most heinous of crimes" before a prisoner is released.

"That was the law when there were three members of the parole board and when it expanded to five, I think that was the intent," Nunnelee said. "Another reason I voted 'no' on the bill was because I felt for me to vote in favor of the bill would be a vote of rubber-stamping the status quo."

Gov. Barbour's spokesman Dan Turner said the bill is under review and he didn't know if the governor would sign it.

"I am in favor of House Bill 2 and would hope the governor would sign it into law at his earliest opportunity," said Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant.

Bryant said violence touched his family in 1981, when his aunt, Shirley Roberts, was killed at a convenience store. He said if the man convicted of killing his aunt, Willie Albert Smith, were to be released he would "feel angry and sad for my cousins who still feel the loss of their mother each day."

Hodgkin was to be paroled last month after serving more than 20 years, but another new law delayed his release.

The measure requires felons convicted of capital murder to register as a sex offender if the crime accompanying the murder is a sexual offense.

Hodgkin is still waiting for a new home to be approved for him in Kentucky. It has to comply with Kentucky's home inspection laws for a released felon.


Vince (The Sham Wow guy) Beats a Hooker for biting his tongue




SC - Woman charged with photographing underage girls having sex

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04/03/2009

By Jody Barr

Horry County Police and the South Carolina Department of Social Services continue to investigate a Myrtle Beach woman who police said photographed a 14 and 15 year old girl having sex.

Investigators said 35-year-old Christina Lynn Player took the pictures, then posted them to a MySpace account.

A school resource officer at St. James High school contacted authorities after someone else downloaded the pictures and notified authorities, according to a release from the Horry County Police Department.

The crimes happened on March 29, 2009 at Player’s Capulet Circle home in Myrtle Beach, according to arrest warrants.

Player knew the girls were minors and confessed to the crimes when investigators interrogated her late Thursday, according to court documents.

Investigators said Player identified at least one of the pictures as one she took of the girls, according to the arrest warrant.

At a bond hearing Friday at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center, Player told the judge, “I’m pleading not guilty to that,” as the charges against her were read.

The parents of the 15 year old victim spoke at Player’s bond hearing and described the pictures police said Player took as, “sick.”

The judge imposed a no-contact order against Player from contacting either victim in the case until she’s tried on the charges.

Player told the court she lives with her niece, her son, and her son’s grandmother at the Capulet Circle address.

Player also said she plans to move out of the home.

The judge set Player’s bond at $50,000 Friday.


NH - Huge waiting list for NH sex offender program

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04/05/2009

CONCORD (AP) - Some of the 865 male sex offenders in the New Hampshire state prison sex are being held past their parole dates because there are just 90 spots in the treatment program most of them must take.

One man told the Concord Monitor that he wasn't allowed to apply for the 18-month program until a year after he became eligible for parole. Keeping an inmate in prison one year past his parole date costs about $30,000, versus $800 for a year of parole.

Prison officials acknowledge the backlog but say some prisoners cause the delay themselves. Sex offenders can't begin the program until they admit to their offense and those who misbehave while enrolled can get kicked out of the program.
- So what about those who may be innocent?  You are basically wanting them to admit to something they did not do, and if they do not do that, then they cannot get the treatment that is required of them.


ID - Double standard? Society has treated women differently than men when accused of molesting teens. In some ways that's changing.

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04/05/2009

By KRISTIN RODINE

From a Boise psychology teacher accused of having sex with a teen student to a Caldwell guardian who bore her ward's child, the Treasure Valley has seen a flurry of sex-abuse cases with female defendants.

Canyon County is prosecuting two women charged with molesting minors, and a third was sent to prison in February. In Ada County, two women have been charged with sexually abusing youths since December, the same month two others were convicted of similar crimes.

In the past year, a dozen women have been in Valley courtrooms on charges of sexually abusing minors. They range in age from 20 to 40; their victims from 12 to 17. Each woman was at least five years older than the boy or girl.

Local prosecutors and counselors aren't sure what to make of the apparent increase, but they see interesting differences between male and female offenders - in the nature of the cases, in the severity of punishment and, especially, in the way the abusers and their victims are viewed by the people around them.

"There's an enormous public perception problem," said Jean Fisher, who prosecutes sex abuse cases for Ada County. "If the boy's under 14, people might say 'poor little fellow,' but with a 16- or 17-year-old boy, you're more likely to hear, 'Oh, man, he got lucky!'

"They don't see it as a problem. But I do. I think it's a huge problem."

Erica Kallin, a deputy prosecutor in Canyon County's Special Victims Unit, says the attitudes reflect a popular culture that tends to portray women as seductresses where men would be cast as predators.

"It's the whole 'American Pie' thing - younger guy, older mom," Kallin said. "You see it in music videos, too. It's just been ingrained in people's heads.

"And it has an adverse effect on those of us in the real world trying to protect underage victims."

Those attitudes also harm women's victims, counselor Mydell Yeager of Boise said.

"If the people around are reacting, 'You're lucky,' it makes it harder for them to come forward," Yeager said. "And it makes it harder in treatment."

Preconceptions about women also can make it less likely for people to suspect the offender and protect the victim, Yeager said: "We still have difficulty believing that it's possible."

That difficulty persists despite notorious national cases such as Mary Kay Letourneau, the Seattle-area teacher who had sex with a 13-year-old student, bore two of his children - one conceived in violation of a protective order after she was briefly released for good behavior - and married him after she got out of prison and he turned 21.

"I think the publicity on that was probably a good public service announcement for all of us," Caldwell counselor Wanda Newton said.

DISPARITY IN SENTENCING

Local experts generally agree the judicial system has tended to treat women offenders more gently than men, but Newton said the system is much more equitable than in the past.

"In my first experience with a female offender, in the early 1990s, she was allowed to be prosecuted by her maiden name and not the name she was known by," she said. "What the system was saying to itself was that it was protecting this woman's kids. But some of the male offenders had kids, too, and no one was protecting them from people knowing about their dad."

"I ended up refusing to do treatment with her," Newton said, adding that it seemed unfair to other offenders and impossible to effectively treat the woman "if she was able to hide."

Now, she said, prosecutors and judges are more zealous in pursuing female offenders and holding them accountable.

"I do think we have tried to close that gap considerably," Fisher said. "I'm not really convinced there's a huge disparity going on."
- Well, you need to read the news more often then!

But some female abusers do get lighter sentences, she said, in part because they tend to exhibit serious emotional and psychological disorders. Bipolar disorder, which causes hypersexuality and difficulty forging relationships with age-appropriate men, is particularly common among female sex offenders, Fisher said.

Newton said she's not sure women who molest suffer from such conditions more often than their male counterparts, but she agrees it is brought up more.

"Men make other excuses for themselves," she said. "They don't like to point out their mental and emotional issues."

Another factor in sentencing, Kallin said, is that "a lot of the women who are offending have been victims themselves. I think judges like to take that into consideration."
- Same with men who commit sex crimes.  Do some homework and you will see that is true in some, but not all cases.

Female molesters generally end up on probation, she said.

"Psycho-sexual evaluations (required before sentencing) tend to show they're more amenable to treatment and at a low risk to reoffend," Kallin said.

Of the six Ada and Canyon county women convicted in the past year of sexual behavior with minors, all are either on probation or being evaluated in a prison "rider" program that could win them the relative freedom of probation after four to six months.

And all but one had their original charges reduced to felony injury to a child, which does not require registering as a sex offender.

Newton said such deals, whether for men or for women, are unfair to the victims because failing to label the abuser as a sex offender tells the victim what happened "wasn't bad enough."
- You see, it's about punishment, which the courts continually say it's not punitive. What a joke!

Bryan Taylor, Canyon County deputy prosecutor in charge of the new Special Victims Unit, said he plans to reverse that trend, so that "most everyone pleading guilty will keep a registerable offense."

It is likely, however, that the next guilty plea in a Canyon County woman's sex-crime prosecution will be for felony injury to a child. Esmeralda Ahumada, a 20-year-old who admitted having sex with her roommate's 12-year-old son last fall, was scheduled to make that plea March 24, but details are still being worked out, attorneys for both sides said.

Kallin said prosecutors agreed to move toward the lesser charge because of the defendant's serious emotional and mental issues, and although Ahumada wouldn't have to register as a sex offender under the plea deal, she would be required to undergo sex-offender treatment

"We're trying as much as we can to treat female offenders the same as male offenders," she said.
- Well, not hard enough.  Why don't you ignore the male/female issue, and just punish the crime committed?

NURTURING AND MANIPULATION

Boys who are abused by women suffer the same long-term effects as girls molested by men, Newton said, but there is often additional confusion "because the abuse is made as a relationship."

Women tend to forge a close, nurturing bond with their victims before it becomes overtly sexual, she said.

"Many truly believe they are in love, and the sexual contact is a giving act within the relationship," she said. "They're trying to convince themselves and their victims that it's OK.

"It's also manipulative. Victims are less likely to tell if it's in the context of a relationship, and the offender knows that."

That creates "big, big loyalty issues," Yeager said, noting that a similar pattern happens with teen girls and adult men, but it seems less prevalent.

In such cases the arrest of the abuser can be devastating to the victim, as demonstrated in the Canyon County case of Laura Louise Hester, a Nampa 34-year-old who admitted having sex with her daughter's 16-year-old ex-boyfriend.

Hester's actions "tore our family apart completely," the boy's mother said at the February sentencing hearing.

"My son's been suicidal over this. He was in love with Laura and believed that she loved him, too," the mother testified. "He hated my guts" for reporting her to police.

Girls who are abused by women also face an additional issue, Newton said: They are much more likely to question their own sexual orientation than are boys who are molested by men.

Since 2007, at least four Ada County women and one Canyon County woman have been charged with molesting underage girls.

NUMBERS STILL SMALL, BUT GROWING

Local experts agree it's hard to accurately compare female abusers' cases with their male counterparts, whose numbers are relatively vast and varied.

"It's a very, very small portion relative to the vast amount of males that we have," Taylor said.

That portion is less than 5 percent, judging by the more than 500 sexual abuse cases that have been investigated by the Canyon County Prosecutor's Office since January 2006, Kallin said. Many of the cases were not prosecuted, she said, but of those 500, 22 reported female offenders.

"We certainly have had a spike in them this year, but I don't know if that's a trend," said Fisher. "Every year I get a couple."

In 2008, her office prosecuted six women on sex charges. In 2007, that number was three. So far this year, one Ada County woman has been charged with lewd conduct with a 14-year-old boy.

Boise counselor Pennie McKay, who has treated more than a dozen female sex offenders in the past half-dozen years, agrees the numbers are growing. So does Yeager, who has worked with victims of sexual abuse for 30 years.

"I see 100 kids a year, and probably five" have been molested by women, said Yeager. "But years ago, I would have one a year or fewer.

"I definitely am seeing more who are being molested by females," she said.

"I think the increase is due to increased reporting. I don't think the number of incidents has really gone up," said Newton, who works with victims of sexual abuse and with offenders. "I also think the system itself is doing a better job of accepting the reality that women do offend."


From Predator to Person, Then Back to Jail Again

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04/04/2009

Fear came so easily when I first heard about you, a child convicted of sexual assault, a child who would soon join my daughter’s homeroom class. I felt fear, based on the approximately seven sentences of information I knew about you from a closed meeting and a website. I wanted to warn my daughter that you might be a possible danger. I wanted to warn my friend that you had moved in with a family just three doors down from her house.

But I had a position that demanded, by its very name, confidentiality and balance and care. I was a member of the school board, with the title of Trustee. And if I couldn’t be trusted to stay calm and rational now, when the stakes were so high, how could I be trusted with anything?

I didn’t feel like I could even tell anyone anonymously. I did not want to expose you to hatred or possible danger based on fear and seven sentences.

So I kept my silence, and five days after that first meeting, my silence didn’t matter anymore. Parents began calling me as rumors spread and they learned of you through the sex offender website.

Parents wanted more information, and I referred all questions to the administrator, exactly as I was supposed to do. People seemed mostly understanding about my reticence, with the exception of the friend who lived just a short walk away from your new home.

“I just want you to answer one question,” she said. “When did you know?”

“I found out five days ago,” I said. “I was told I couldn’t legally discuss it with anyone. I’m truly sorry.”

She hung up. I never have found out whether she was angry about the five-day silence, or perhaps suspected I had known for even longer. She has been friendly since then, but never again a friend.

Otherwise, people in our community shocked me with their calm, careful response to your arrival. I expected a large group of parents at the next board meeting, and crazy, enraged public comments; believe me, previous meetings had set the precedent. But parents instead scheduled quiet, private appointments with the administrators to ask what we were doing to keep their children safe. At least two parents threatened to withdraw their child because of you, but in the end, no one did.



I saw you on your first day of school. I came to the office to deliver my daughter’s forgotten lunch, and you were there with your backpack, waiting for your schedule. I recognized you from your photograph, a picture that now dissolved into a tall, awkward, long-legged boy wearing absurdly-large, black Converse tennis shoes. Normally, parents or relatives at our school wait with their children until they get their schedule straightened out. Normally, they embarrass them with hugs or goodbyes. You were on your own, and fidgety; you rocked on your feet and rubbed and squeezed the padded straps of your backpack.

The secretary handed you your schedule, then her phone rang, three calls at once. She put her hand over the receiver and whispered, “Would you mind walking Andrew to his class?”

So we walked down the hall together, and I talked too much. “You’re going to be in my daughter’s homeroom,” I told you, a stupid comment; how could I know what homeroom you were in without looking at your schedule? “This is it,” I said when we arrived at the door. “Have a good first day, Andrew.”

You flushed. Your skin is very pale, and your cheeks and neck turned red as you looked down at the floor and mumbled a single word: “Andy.”

I never did have to warn my daughter about you. You did that work for me in your second week of school. My daughter plopped into the car one afternoon and announced, “We’ve got this new kid? This Andy kid? He’s kind of perverted. I dropped a book, and I bent to pick it up, and he said, ‘You know, I could totally see all the way down your shirt right now. I could see everything if I wanted to.’”

So far, you were not doing a very good job accommodating my need to feel safe about you attending our school.

Your first days were not smooth: you spent at least a month on the margins. Other students spoke to you, and you had somewhere to sit at lunch. But I kept hearing worrisome details from parents, teachers, and my daughter. “Andy says he used to be in jail because he raped some kid,” she told me one day, but you had not said this directly to her. Supposedly you said it to Lyssa, who told it to Jennifer, who passed it to my daughter. Maybe you had said such a thing. Or maybe it was a third-hand rumor based on a comment a kid heard from a parent.

You definitely opened new topics of conversation in our school and community. A group of parents arranged for a counselor from a nearby Children’s Advocacy Center to talk about sexual abuse. The topic turned – carefully, theoretically – to you. “Children who engage in sexual activity at a young age have usually been abused themselves,” the counselor said. “A certain amount of experimenting between boys of similar ages is fairly common. There is a wide spectrum of ‘normal.’”

“What if the kid was convicted of sexual assault?” one mother said. “Surely that’s not normal.”

“Consider that the child may not have had a good lawyer,” the counselor replied. “The DA’s office in my city doesn’t usually pursue these cases as a criminal offense. They usually come to us to get help for the child and the victim and the family. Sexual abuse is often a problem passed from generation to generation. The entire family needs help for that cycle to be broken.”



Months passed. Our weather turned to its familiar, bipolar spring pattern: sweaters one day, shorts the next. I asked my daughter about you sometimes, inquiring whether you were still making rude comments. “I guess,” she said. “Not any more than some of the other guys, really. Especially Kevin. He’s such a jerk. So immature.” I knew and liked Kevin and his family. If Kevin’s outdoing you in rudeness, I thought, you are definitely making some progress.

You joined the track team. You were the tallest from our school; not the fastest, but you could clear hurdles like a gazelle. At our last home track meet of the year, I stood near the fence with another track mom, watching you run in the finals of the 300 meter hurdles. You started in last place, and then you began to surge ahead, running, leaping, just behind the top runners. My friend and I began jumping and yelling for our school and for you. “Andy! Go! You’ve got this!”

You came in second place. I remember this, and how you looked so focused as you ran. Not blank, like your website picture. Focused. You ran your hardest all the way through the finish line, ending strong, just like the coaches taught you to do. I watched your teammates give you high fives. I watched you sit on the field with the other boys, waiting until the scores were announced, saw your face turn a bit red when the coach walked over and handed you your silver medal.

I know about one more event that happened during your time with us. You attended a worship service for teenagers at one of our neighborhood churches. I am not a fan of this church. They are Bible literalists, they enthusiastically proselytize, and one of their deacons had once sent me an e-mail explaining my duty as a Christian to vote for George Bush over Al Gore. So I was not, of course, there for this service, and neither was my daughter.

But my daughter’s carpool friend told me about the service: how at the end, you had walked forward during the altar call. “Pastor James asked him if he wanted to say anything, and Andy shook his head,” the girl said. “He just stood there, and then he started crying all of a sudden, and James hugged him, and a bunch of us came forward and hugged him too, and everybody was crying.”

I have never known what to think of this story, and thought this young girl might perhaps be exaggerating. But if you were crying, were your tears from shame, or the pain of a desperately hard two years? Were you manipulating people somehow? Did you suddenly accept God into your life? Or were you crying because you had friends who suddenly seemed to have accepted you?

What did I know about you? Snapshots and conversations. You came to us with a record. You were terribly nervous your first day. You never seemed to have stopped making provocative comments to your classmates. You were often in trouble with teachers because of your rude remarks, and because you never stayed still, never. You ran track. You won second place in a race. You once cried during a church altar call. Seven pieces of information. Not enough to know you. But enough to strip away a label. Enough to change you from predator to person.

And then, one day in May, my daughter came home and told me you would soon be going back to juvenile jail. “Andy has to wear this ankle thingy now,” she said. She did not know much more. I learned during one final, closed meeting that your relatives had taken you across the state line to visit a family member, violating your probation.

“How can that be fair?” I asked. “He didn’t go across state lines on his own; his relatives took him there. How can they send him back to jail for that?”

No answers; only speculation. I had fought against you coming to our school. I now surprised myself by being sorry to see you leave.



POSTSCRIPT I

In June, the administration called a special closed meeting of the board to tell us that a twelve-year-old had been sexually assaulted at our school during the last track meet of the year. The victim was cornered under the bleachers, pushed, slapped, and sodomized through his clothes with a practice relay baton while two boys stood and watched.

The story made the newspaper: “Twelve Year Old Brutally Attacked at Junior High Track Meet.” My phone began to ring. This time, parents conveyed all the rage and fear and hysteria I expected when you first arrived. Some parents demanded names: Who did this? Who watched? Some made a connection to you, and demanded to know, Was it that sex offender kid, what was his name, Andrew?

Legally, once again, I could say nothing. The case was in the hands of police investigators, who told us very firmly that anything we said could hurt an eventual case against Kevin. Kevin, the child who my daughter said was ruder than you, and “such a jerk… so immature.” I had not listened carefully enough to her comments because I knew Kevin, and his mother, a kind and quiet woman who had helped me organize the PTA bake sale that fall.

I could not reveal Kevin’s name. But I had no ethical hesitation at all in revealing who the abuser was not. “It wasn’t Andrew,” I said firmly. “He was running hurdles. I watched him race. He won second place. I watched him on the field when he got his medal. I watched him the whole time.”

The danger had been the boy we knew, the boy we weren’t watching.



POSTSCRIPT II

I thought of you this week because you contacted my daughter and her friend through MySpace. “His page is kind of weird,” she told me. “Lots of Emo stuff. He’s wearing all black clothes. He’s holding up his middle finger in one picture, and he has on black nail polish. He told us, ‘I hate my new school and I hate these F-in people.’ He said he wished he could come back to our school.”

Then she asked, “Do you even know who I’m talking about? The kid who went to jail? You remember Andy, right Mom?”

I came home and wrote down what I could recollect to see if I could come to any peace about you. I was not trying to suggest sex offender policy; I don’t know enough for that. In fact, the theme of my life these past three years seems to be learning how little I do know, or can know, about anything or anyone.

I wonder about you, and what will become of you when you turn eighteen, and your record is wiped clean, and you remake your life as a free adult. I wonder about the child you abused three years ago, and think how everyone seems to be a victim here.

I was halfway through this story before I even realized I was writing it as a letter. I have thought of you often, and hope your time with us brought some small hope and acceptance into your life, some meager point of grace that might help you focus, run toward something good, finish strong.

I do remember you.


OK - Oklahoma sex offenders decry classification system

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04/05/2009

By JAY F. MARKS

The number of Oklahoma sex offenders saddled with lifetime registration has doubled since 2007, when state officials implemented a classification system to come into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act.

The law, named for the murdered son of "America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh, increased the federal government’s role in dealing with convicted sex offenders.

Some local attorneys say it has resulted in harsher treatment of such offenders.

"These people are living just in absolute terror,” attorney Mark Bailey said. "The rules have been changed on them.”
- And changing the rules, after the fact, violates the Constitutions ex post facto clause, which is strictly forbidden by this document.

Bailey said he has been approached by a number of people with sex-related convictions in their distant past who recently have been notified they must register with authorities, most for the rest of their lives.

He said the stigma of being branded sex offenders keeps people from speaking out about the recently enacted registration requirements.
- And they need to get over the fear, and speak out, otherwise, more and more laws will be passed, violating their rights.

William Farmer isn’t so shy. He condemned the restrictions that have hampered one of his relatives for a decade, since he was convicted of indecent exposure in 1999.

Farmer said the man was drunk when he urinated on the side of his truck in the view of two women, but that shouldn’t brand him a sex offender.
- And many people out there, do not believe you can be labeled for the above.  Well, you can!

"He is not a danger to society,” he said.

The Choctaw resident complained the state is not doing enough to differentiate between dangerous sex offenders and people who made a stupid mistake.

"They’re lumping them all in the same basket,” he said.

Lifetime registration
The law that went into effect in November 2007 requires authorities to evaluate everyone convicted of a sex offense since 1989, assigning each one a tier in the new classification system.

Tier 1 offenders must register for 15 years; tier 2 for 25 years and tier 3 for life.

Most of the state’s 6,000-plus convicted sex offenders fall into the latter category, state Corrections Department officials said.
- Yes, it is my opinion, that they always take the easy way out, and automatically put everyone into Tier 3.  How many people in this state, have actually went before some board and been classified?

Sex offenders considered aggravated or habitual were subject to lifetime registration before the tier system was enacted, said Jim Rabon, who oversees the sex offender registration program. Those offenders used to make up about 40 percent, he said.

Now more than 80 percent are subject to lifetime registration.

Prosecutor Gayland Geiger, who heads the sex crimes unit in the Oklahoma County district attorney’s office, said the classification system is good in theory, but he doesn’t know if it is being used properly. Geiger said he has not seen any requests from offenders to have a judge review their status.
- Any registered sex offender (RSO) in this state, who has been designated some tier, and they do not agree with it, they need to take it back to court, and get it reviewed.  Otherwise, they will continue!  This is the problem, many do not detest or speak out due to shame, etc.  Well, you need to get over that, and protest!

Bailey said there should be more tiers to encompass the range of people who committed crimes classified as sex offenses. Many are not sexually dangerous, he insists, but guilty only of bad behavior.

Bailey said the assessment is based on the charge of conviction, not the circumstances that led to it. It doesn’t consider how likely someone is to commit further sex crimes.
- And that is the problem.  They do not look at a persons history, or anything.  They just simply see their crime, and if it falls into some predetermined set of rules, then they are a tier 3, regardless of their dangerousness.  And that harms the public, and offenders, because the public doesn't know who truly is a danger.  They assume all are, which is incorrect!

"That’s not the way it’s supposed to be,” he said.

Oklahoma’s classification guidelines were created by a committee that included prosecutors, counselors and victim advocates.
- So what about sex offender experts, civil and human rights advocates?  You see, this is a biased system!  Do you really think a prosecutor or victims advocate are going to say someone is not dangerous?  Of course not, they will put them ALL into Tier 3.

Tulsa counselor Randy Lopp said the state’s assessment tool meets the requirements of the Walsh Act, but he acknowledged it is not the best way to classify sex offenders.

Lopp, who is head of the Oklahoma Coalition for Sex Offender Management, said offenders should be classified according to their risk level rather than their offense of record.

"This belief is based on accepted research in the field that indicates (75) percent of sexual offenders are not re-arrested over a 15-year period,” he wrote in an e-mail to The Oklahoman.

Richard Kishur, an Oklahoma City counselor who specializes in treating sex offenders, said ideally sex offenders should be evaluated before they are sentenced, to determine if they are a risk to re-offend.