Sunday, September 27, 2009

MI - Councilman seeks to keep sex offenders away from trick-or-treaters

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Watch and see, more and more fear-mongering stories about Halloween will be coming out, as it approaches. And all this based on one known crime committed on this day! The FEAR-MONGERS will be coming out in full force!

09/26/2009

By SUE SUCHYTA

ALLEN PARK – A bill now being considered in the state Legislature and a City Council member’s concerns soon could lead to a local resolution to enhance children’s safety at Halloween.

Councilman James Flynn became concerned last year when he learned of a registered sex offender in the city whose eye-catching Halloween display seemed destined to attract trick-or-treaters.
- Um, that is usually what Halloween displays are for, right?

Worried that the display would entice children to come into proximity with a registered sex offender, he sought to have the council pass a resolution to keep known sexual offenders away from the city’s youth at Halloween. The proposal’s first and second readings already have been approved unanimously. A third reading must occur before it is voted upon.

Flynn’s resolution is inspired by Michigan House Bill 5321 (2007), which is currently under judicial review. He wants to prevent targeted individuals from passing out candy or enticing kids into their yards with Halloween displays.

Flynn’s proposal would require registered offenders to turn out their outside lights, not hand out candy and avoid contact with trick or treaters during the Halloween time period. He also wants to post a link to the Michigan sexual offenders Web site on the city’s homepage, so parents can easily access the state’s registry.

Riverview Police Chief Donald Ginstet has not heard of anyone in his city pursuing a similar measure, but said he would back up anything the mayor and council approve in that regard.

Wyandotte Police Chief Daniel Grant said his department does not have a specific Halloween-related program, but that his department knows who the registered sexual offenders in the city are and where they reside. He noted that conditions of parole specifically limit a past offender from having access to children.

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"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



PA - General assembly works to close Megan's Law loopholes

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H-1926, H-865, S-827

09/26/2009

By RICK LEE

York County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Chris Moore understands the problem and doesn't have an answer for it.

What to do about convicted sex offenders who cannot find a residence upon their release from prison and therefore cannot comply with the state's Megan's Law requiring sex offenders to register their whereabouts with state police?

"There's the spirit of forgiveness," Moore said. "That they've paid their penalty and they are ready to return to society. But there's also the not-in-my-backyard attitude. And especially with the (public) notification requirements."

"People say, 'I don't want them working for me, I don't want them living next to me."

"It's hard for them to get a job. It's hard for them to find a place to live."

"Not that I feel sorry for them. They're sex offenders. It's my job to prosecute them."
- A typical remark from a prosecutor, who doesn't know what all crimes "sex offender" cover, but should.  Even someone peeing on the backside of a building, or streaking can be labeled a sex offender.

Ruling in separate cases six years apart, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court twice warned the state legislature about the Megan's Law shortcoming that allows homeless sex offenders to avoid the registration requirements.

The current registration policy for Megan's Law offenders is 10 years for sexual offenders and lifetime for sexually violent predators. Sex offenders must register with state police once a year and predators must register with police four times a year.

Offenders also are required to notify police within 48 hours of any change in address or employment.

The law does not outline what to do with homeless offenders upon their release from prison.

- Now look at all the people below, who are using sex offender issues, to further their career and to "look good" to the sheeple!

State Rep. Stan Saylor (Contact), R-Windsor Township said both the House and the Senate have stepped up with proposals to address the homeless sex offender issue.

--- Rep. Garth D. Everett (Contact), R-Lycoming County, completed a draft proposal that would require homeless offenders to register with the state police every 30 days until they obtain a permanent address.

"The Superior Court held recently that the homeless (offenders) were not required to register an address because the legislation did not specifically say how to handle those cases," Everett said. "The court said, 'We cannot enforce what is not law.'"

--- Rep. Rick Taylor (Contact), D-Montgomery County, has sponsored a similar bill requiring homeless sex offenders to register every 30 days and predators to register every seven days. The bill requires homeless offenders to give police specific descriptions of all places they frequent.

--- Rep. H. Scott Conklin (Contact), D-Centre County, is sponsoring a bill that would prohibit releasing Megan's Law offenders from prison until they can establish a permanent residence.
- So if you are in prison, how are you suppose to magically find a place to stay?  Not all people have family and friends on the outside to help, so basically they will stay in prison, which is what (I am guessing) they want in the first place!

That bill also requires the state Department of Corrections and the probation and parole board to "provide reasonable assistance" in procuring housing.

--- Sen. Jane Orie (Contact), R-Allegheny and Butler counties, is sponsoring a bill that would require sexually violent predators, defendants convicted of failing to register with police and anyone convicted of a subsequent sexual offense to wear Global Positioning Satellite devices.
- And GPS is a waste of time, money and resources, and doesn't work. If someone is so dangerous that they need to be monitored 24/7, then maybe they should have been sentenced to a longer prison sentence!

Costs for the electronic monitoring would be paid by the defendant.
- Of course it would, and thus without a home or job, they will be homeless and thus cannot pay it, so back to jail/prison!

State Auditor General Jack Wagner, whose office completed an audit of Megan's Law in 2006, is a proponent of electronic monitoring of released sex offenders.

"It's not about individual rights," Wagner said. "It's about the protection of the public, especially our children."
- So show me the PROOF that anything about these laws "protect" anybody!  They don't!  And ALL PEOPLE have certain unalienable rights, yet the corrupt government, is not upholding their "oath of office" to uphold the constitution and peoples rights, they are doing the opposite!

Wagner said technology allowing for the tracking of autos, cell phones and lap tops has "dramatically advanced in the last two years." He said the same technology could be used to track sex offenders who violate the registration requirement.
- If someone is so dangerous, do you really think that GPS will deter them from committing a crime, if they chose to do so?  No, they will do whatever they want.  Just look at the latest Garrido case in California!

Wagner's audit and Orie's bill also call for verification of addresses that are given to state police.

Trooper Tom Pinkerton, a state police public information officer, said that addresses are not physically verified unless questions arise.

"There is nothing that precludes us from doing that," Pinkerton said. "But with 10,000 offenders in the data base, it would be arduous for us to check on every one."
- And if they were focusing on the less than 5% who are actually dangerous, then maybe they could better "protect" people!

"But giving us a fictitious address is a felony crime."

--- Also in the general assembly pipeline is a bill that would prohibit more than one sex offender from living in a "single dwelling unit." The bill's primary sponsor is Rep. David S. Hickernell (Contact), R-Dauphin and Lancaster counties.
- And another idiot who knows not what he speaks of.  Sex offenders in groups, police each other, but isolating them, then that puts people at more of a risk of re-offending!

The bill, now before the judiciary committee, came after former state legislator Tom Armstrong moved three sex offenders into his Marietta home. The borough's zoning board ruled that Armstrong had violated a law limiting the number of unrelated people who can live together. According to numerous news outlets, Armstrong said at the time the sex offenders deserved "a second chance."

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--- A House resolution also urges the commonwealth's school boards "to consider, to the best of their abilities," where sex offenders are living in the school districts "when establishing student transportation routes, schedules, loading zones and designated bus stops..." The resolution has been referred to the education committee.

--- York County has started enforcing Act 21, which allows the court to retain custody over sex offenders who have reached age 21 and maxed out of the juvenile justice system if they are proven to have a "'mental abnormality' that renders them unable to control their violent sexual impulses."

Offenders who fall into that category can be committed to a state mental hospital. Cases are reviewed on a yearly basis and offenders can be re-committed a limitless number of times.


"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



FL - INVESTIGATION: Sex offender ordinance not effective?

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09/25/2009

By Alan Cohn

Watch our special investigation at 11pm on ABC Action News.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY - They are the faces you don't want to see at the local park where your kids play. They are the reason Hillsborough County's commissioners created a supposedly tough ordinance that would ban sex offenders and predators from parks and playgrounds.

But in the 12 months since the county's sex offender ordinance has gone into affect, how many arrests has the Sheriff's Department been able to make?

"We've made one," says Captain Alan Hill of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

That was 57-year-old _____, a convicted sex offender, arrested September 9th in a local park.

On the other hand, the ordinance couldn't be applied to convicted sex offender _____ even though, according to a probation report, _____ was hanging out for hours in Lettuce Lake Park earlier this month not far from where children can be found every day at the playground.

Because _____ said he was with someone else, the ordinance may not have applied.

In fact, the only reason _____ was later arrested was because his probation officer had verbally told him to stay away from parks.

"If that wasn't said then that sex offender would not have done anything wrong by being present in the park. That's exactly right," says State Representative Richard Glorioso (Contact).

Glorioso has been trying for years to get a statewide sex offender law passed that would, as he says "keep a circle of safety around our children and keep predators and offenders from loitering near our kids."

Glorioso says the problem with Hillsborough County's ordinance is that it contains so many exceptions, it is operationally ineffective.

For instance, while it bans sex offenders and predators from parks and playgrounds, there are exceptions for dropping off their own child, or a friend or relatives child. Or while traveling to and from religious services, and to and from official business.

Enough exceptions to leave the ordinance open to interpretation.

Captain Alan Hill of the Sheriff's Department's Criminal Investigation Division says sex offenders and predators know exactly what the law says and doesn't say.
- That is a flat out lie!  Most have no clue what the laws say or don't say, neither do the police, lawyers, judges, etc.  They are so convoluted, even lawyers cannot figure them out.

"Criminals are criminals. They are not all stupid and when their crime is acts like this, I'm sure they are going to study up on it and try their best to get around the law," says Hill.
- Wow, what a typical remark, from a cop, who thinks all people are criminals and "up to no good!"

"Right now that person can be in that park sitting on a bench next to your kids and the officer has no authority to tell them to leave." says Glorioso.
- And that is how it should be.  The parent needs to be a parent and be in the park with their kids, besides, in most states, it's illegal to leave a child unattended somewhere.

Which is why Representative Glorioso is now introducing a bill that would create a new, tougher statewide law which would close many of the loopholes in the Hillsborough County ordinance.

"We do two things. First of all if you a sexual offender or predator on conditional release or probation you will not be allowed in a park, period. If you're in the registry we create a circle of safety of 300 feet around the children where you cannot loiter," says Glorioso.
- Why does everyone in Florida always say "sexual offender or predator?"  The term sexual offender covers all of that.  I think they add it for a reason, to further demonize all offenders!

However, even under Glorioso's bill those in the sex offender registry could still visit parks if they stay more than 300 feet away from children.


"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



National sex-offender law stalls

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09/27/2009

By Matt Birkbeck

Allegheny lawmaker's 2007 bill to get Pennsylvania on board still languishes.

Twenty-five years after his 6-year-old son Adam was abducted from a Florida shopping mall and later found murdered, John Walsh watched the fruits of his lobbying turn into law.

Joined by other parents across the country who experienced the same anguish, the host of TV's "America's Most Wanted " had aggressively campaigned for federal standards that all states could adopt, paving the way for a national registry that could track sex offenders across state lines and for sentencing mandates that would result in stiffer penalties across the board.

But three years after the 2006 law was signed amid great fanfare, it remains ineffective. Only one state, Ohio, has complied with the law.
- Not exactly.  They do not have all the required warnings and such on their web site, which was a warning about using the info to harass people.  Vigilantism is on the rise.

The other 49 states have been given an extension until July 2010 to adopt the legislation or lose 10 percent of the federal Justice Assistance Grant funding targeted for fighting crime. For Pennsylvania, the loss would amount to about $1.7 million.

State Sen. Jane Orie (Contact), R-Allegheny, introduced a bill in 2007 that would require Pennsylvania to implement the law.

"I am grateful that the commonwealth is now working swiftly to [be] one of the first states to step forward and enact the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act ," Orie said in a news release in November 2007.

There has been little movement on the bill since. It landed last February in the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it has languished.

The law, officially known as the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, creates a national database that will allow law enforcement to track sex offenders when they cross state lines.

It also creates a new three-tiered classification system in which the most heinous offenders -- those who kidnap or sexually molest children -- are required to register for life under Megan's Law and placed in a national sex offender registry. The law requires state, local and federal law enforcement agencies to share information and make details about the worst offenders available on the Internet. Each state also must also be linked to the National Sex Offender Public Registry.

But most of the states, which initially were ordered to adopt the law by July 2009, have to yet to move on it.

California lawmakers have said no to the law, even in the wake of shocking headlines surrounding the case of Phillip Garrido, a sex offender who kidnapped 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Duggard in 1991 and held her captive in his Antioch, Calif., home for 18 years.

Critics in California and Pennsylvania say the law takes away local options, particularly for rehabilitation, and may be too harsh for minors as young as 14 who would be registered for life as a sex offender if convicted of serious sex crimes.

States also are concerned about the cost of implementing the law and its emphasis on punitive penalties.

"There are some controversial parts of it," said Rep. Katie True (Contact), R-Lancaster, who has served on the House Children and Youth Committee. "But we need in Pennsylvania to begin having a dialogue about it. It's a priority."

She said one sticking point is in the treatment of juveniles convicted of sex offenses.

Nationwide there are roughly 647,000 people listed on state sex offender registries, but permanently listing children as young as 14 under the Adam Walsh Act has unnerved many.

Beth Swift, the chief juvenile probation officer for Lehigh County, said one of the concerns about the law is that it doesn't allow for the rehabilitation of children.

"Certainly the [law] is debatable," said Swift. "We do an excellent job of containment of sex offenders and believe in keeping them in placement as long as needed and having strong after-care placement."

Swift said there are about 20 juvenile sex offenders in Lehigh County, of which only a handful would meet the most serious "Tier 3" designation.

"Tier 1" and "Tier 2" are for lesser sex crimes.

Robert J. Stanzione, Bucks County's chief of juvenile probation, was part of a county group that reviewed the legislation for potential consequences, particularly where they applied to juveniles.

Under the law, Stanzione said more than 100 of the roughly 140 juvenile sex offenders in Bucks County would be prosecuted as Tier 3 violators and, if convicted, would be registered for life as sex offenders. The majority of the acts committed by juveniles there, said Stanzione, involved sex with another minor at least four years younger, which is a Tier 3 offense under the law.

"Because of that gap, it ends up being a potential lifetime registration as a sex offender, and that's a scary thing," said Stanzione. "Most research shows most of these kids, at least 80 percent, don't commit the same crime again. That's not the case when you're an adult offender, but there's potential to turn around an adolescent."
- That is the case with adult offenders, see the many studies here and here.

Stanzione said there's plenty of support among juvenile professionals, including the state juvenile court judges, to lobby against passage of the law in Pennsylvania unless changes are made.

"The other side of the coin is we have an obligation to protect the community," said Stanzione. "But I won't support [the law] until the lifetime registration for juveniles is re-evaluated."
- And you have an obligation to uphold the "oath of office" you took, which is to uphold the constitution and NOT trample on others rights, regardless of who they are.

Juveniles aside, other law enforcement officials say they would support the law.

Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin said he supports the idea of a national sex offender registry.

"We have a very mobile society these days and sex offenders move from place to place and it would be useful for law enforcement to track them easily through a registry," he said.
- Why do sex offenders move from place to place?  It's because of the draconian laws forcing them out into certain areas, or becoming homeless.  Your laws are causing more problems than solving!

The state District Attorneys Association voted earlier this year to support the law, he said.


"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



IN - Jeffersonville's sex offender law could get update

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09/27/2009

By DAVID A. MANN

JEFFERSONVILLE - The future of Jeffersonville’s sex-offender ordinance is unclear, as the Indiana Supreme Court has decided not to take a case in which the Indiana Court of Appeals sided against the city.

City Councilman Keith Fetz, who introduced the sex-offender measure, said the council is waiting as new versions of the ordinance are being drafted.

The ordinance banning sex offenders from entering city parks was originally passed in January 2007. It allowed for offenders to request an exemption if they could show “good cause” for entering a park.

_____, who was convicted of sexual battery of a 13-year-old girl in 1996, applied for such an exemption so that he could watch his son play Little League baseball.

Initially he was denied but, following a legal challenge, the Court of Appeals ruled in June that Jeffersonville’s ordinance was unconstitutional as it applies to _____ because he served his sentence and completed his requirement to register on the sex offender list before the ordinance was passed.

Larry Wilder — the Jeffersonville attorney who wrote, then later defended, the ordinance — is working on revisions. He said an update that bans only those presently on the sex offender registry is being considered. _____ was not required to register at the time he was trying to enter a park.

Additionally, changes to the exemption process are also being considered, Wilder said.

In the Court of Appeals ruling, Chief Justice John Baker described the exemption process as “extraordinarily burdensome and virtually illusory,” noting that the offender must provide a “legitimate reason” for the exemption and would have to go through the application process each time a new activity arises.

Wilder said that an ordinance with no exemption process could be an option.

In my personal opinion, I like the [exemption process] being in the ordinance,” Fetz said. “I truly believe that some people do decide to change their lives and get on the right path.”

An ordinance without exemptions has worked for Plainfield, a town just outside of Indianapolis. Its parks ordinance simply bans those who are on the sex offender list, said Plainfield Town Manager Rich Carlucci.

If someone on the list shows up at a park facility, the person is given a warning first, then fines.

Ken Falk, legal director of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union (Contact), not only worked on _____’s challenge, but also on a challenge of the Plainfield ordinance. However, Plainfield’s ban was upheld as constitutional.

The difference, explains Falk, were the type of challenges being made. _____’s was a challenge of the ordinance, specifically as it applied to him. Plainfield’s was a challenge of whether it was unconstitutional on its face to ban sex offenders from parks.

The court didn’t want to go that far,” he said.

Falk said he didn’t believe the Plainfield ruling would make the future bans more restrictive because it doesn’t have an exemption process.

The biggest factor in the _____ case was that it was being enforced retroactively, he said.

In the _____ ruling, the Court of Appeals cites _____ v. State, a Supreme Court ruling that overturned the conviction of _____ for not registering as a sex offender because he completed his probation for child molesting two years prior to the enactment of the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act in 1994.

Wilder said that updates to the Jeffersonville ordinance could be in front of the council by early October.


"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



ND - Cop (Kyle Mackey) charged with sex crime involving a 14 year old girl

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09/21/2009

By Stephanie Goetz

A small town is without police officers....

After its only city officer was arrested, accused of sending sexually explicit text messages and having sex with a fourteen year old girl, while working for the department.

Prosecutors charged 22-year-old Kyle Mackey of Lamoure, with three counts of gross sexual imposition, one count of luring a minor through electronic means, and solicitation of a minor. Court papers say, over a four month time, Mackey had sex with the underage girl three different times.

And, Mackey resigned just seven days before the Bureau of Criminal Investigations arrested him.

Now a city is left, scrambling, to try to find another officer. Reporter Steph Goetz has the story.

Reporter: He came to Lamoure from Bowman, North Dakota, recommended by Bowman's police chief. But just two months into the job here, court papers say the city's only police officer, was now breaking the law

Nats deputy Adam Crobbenhoft/Lamoure county sheriff's department: "for three counts of double-a felony GSI."

Reporter: According to court documents, Mackey had sex with a girl he knew was fourteen, they say he also sent sexually explicit text messages, almost demanding she have sex with him.

Reporter (stand): "Just a week before he was arrested, Kyle Mackey quit, citing in this letter of resignation that the city was too small and he wanted to move to a bigger city."

Reporter: The city's mayor would not comment in if there were any outstanding issues with Mackey before these charges.

Craig Good/Lamoure Mayor: "We didn't have much for issues other than just his, little bit of a job performance."

Reporter: The city has already hired another police officer, this time from Lamoure, but he won't be on the job for another couple months

Good: "We sent him to the police academy and he'll be done with that, I think it's done November 14th."

Reporter: In the meantime, the Lamoure county sheriff's department will step up to protect the city.

Crobbenhoft: "When they're gone we step in and take the phone calls for them."

Reporter: Until another officer is in place.

The gross sexual imposition charges carry a minimum-mandatory sentence of 20 years in prison. Mackey will appear in court on October eighth.

Right now, he is in the Barnes county jail with bond set at 10-thousand dollars.


"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



Polanski arrested on 1970s rape charge

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09/27/2009

(CNN) - Filmmaker Roman Polanksi was arrested on rape charges dating from the 1970s, the Zurich Film Festival announced Sunday.

The Academy Award-winning director pleaded guilty in 1977 to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in the United States.

He has lived in France for decades to avoid being arrested if he enters the U.S. He declined to collect his Academy Award for Best Director in person when he won it for “The Pianist” in 2003.

He was en route to the Zurich Film Festival, which is holding a tribute to him, when he was arrested by Swiss authorities, the festival said.

Polanski was nominated for best director Oscars for “Tess” and “Chinatown,” and for best writing for “Rosemary’s Baby,” which he also directed.

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"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



Sexting - One in five teens has sent nude photo (Again with the magical "1 in 5" number)

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"1 in 5" is one of those goldilock numbers (not to small, not to large), and what is up with kids these days saying "like" after almost every word?

09/26/2009

By ELISABETH MARTIN

Think you remember what it's like to be a teen? Think again. Cell phones and Facebook profiles mean a new world of challenges for the high-school set that their parents never imagined. Meanwhile, perennial struggles like the pressure to be thin or the temptation of alcohol are as pervasive as ever.

Today, the SouthtownStar launches a four-part series examining the issues Southland teens are facing. The teens featured in these stories, who have had their last names omitted and their faces obscured in photos for privacy reasons, will surprise you with their candor.


This is the story of two Kelseys.

Listen: Audio #1, Audio #2 (Wait for icon to show next to these links)

Both girls are 17. Both just started their senior year at Lincoln-Way North High School in Frankfort. And both have been seen naked by most of their classmates.

"Neither one of us know how many people have seen us," one of the girls said. "It's kind of a weird thing to think about. We don't know who; we don't know how many people and we don't know where (the pictures) are now."

Their mistake?

Sending sexy photos through their computers to boys that they liked. Each girl thought the pictures would stop there, but before they knew it, their amateur artwork was popping up on cell phones all over school.

"I was dumb," the other Kelsey said. "I sent him one, thinking I could trust him. I would never have wanted all these random guys to see that, and now they do. And like, people's little sisters know. I just feel bad."

Without knowing it, the girls stumbled into a trend that's alarming parents and law enforcement officials nationwide. It's been dubbed "sexting" by the media, though teens mock the term. But no matter what you call it, it's happening everywhere.

A study of 1,280 teens commissioned this year by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and Cosmogirl.com found that one in five teens has sent a nude or semi-nude photo of themselves to someone else through a phone or computer, while two in five teens have received a photo from someone else.

"I think the universal reaction has been surprise at its prevalence," National Campaign spokesman Bill Albert said. "When I was growing up, people had written diaries, and it wasn't going anywhere. Needless to say, things can now go from private to global in a nanosecond."

And while sending a flirtatious picture or two might seem relatively harmless, the potential consequences aren't. Sending or possessing explicit pictures of teens is illegal, and being caught with the racy shots can result in child pornography charges, even if the person caught is also a minor. Southland school officials are starting to monitor the trend, promising serious discipline for students caught with explicit photos, and Will County has already put several teens through its juvenile diversion program after they were caught sexting.

The photos can also multiply in a flash around the Internet, winding up on pornography sites or in the hands of pedophiles.

"The sad part is, you don't have to have any malicious intent," said Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow, whose office recently launched an education campaign on sexting. "In the hands of a sexual predator, this is poison."

'This is not like me'

It was sophomore year when one of the Kelseys was chatting with her boyfriend one night. The two had fooled around before, she said, so sending him a photo when he asked for it didn't seem like a big deal.

"He had seen it all already," she said. "He just wanted it then, because we couldn't hang out or whatever."

After he sent her some photos, she took a picture of herself naked in front of the mirror, her face clearly visible. She didn't think much of it until junior year, when the racy shot started making the rounds at school.

"We had been broken up for a while, and then we started dating again, and that's when it happened," she said. "He told me he had shown one friend, and I was like, you're an idiot, but then it was fine. But then it was not just one person-- people were waking up with it on their cell phone."

The other Kelsey's saving grace? She shot her full-length nude photo from the neck down before sending it to her lab partner freshman year.

"One day, I was really upset about something-- and he said, 'Hey, give me your number'-- and he was cute, so I was like, 'All right,' " she said. "So he texts me, and he wanted to know the story, and somehow, it just changed to 'What's the biggest you've ever seen?' "

Kelsey's lab partner sent her photos of himself exposed, and then asked for photos of her in return.

"I didn't want to be lame, and not send them," she said. "I was just like, I don't want to do this, but I did it anyway."

The two promised to delete the photos after sending them, but soon enough, Kelsey found out he was showing the picture to all of his friends.

"One of the girls in my class, she had experienced it before (from him) and never told me," she said. "She was like, 'Yeah, I knew when he got your number that's what he was going to do.' "

Looking back, Kelsey said, sending the photo was less about proving something to her lab partner than to herself. As a result, she went further than she ever would have in person, she said.

"He made it clear, this is totally casual, this is not leading to a relationship," she said. "I think it was like, I'm older now, and I can do stuff like this."

The first Kelsey said the photos were a way to please her boyfriend and herself.

"I knew he'd be like, 'Whoa, yeah,' and then I would be like, 'I'm hot,' " she said.

But although those reasons seemed convincing at the time, the girls said, none of them are worth it when your naked body is floating through the halls.

"I just felt so guilty about it afterwards," said the Kelsey who sent photos to her lab partner. "I was just like, this is not like me to degrade myself like this."

Long-term consequences

The humiliation that can come from sexting is the least of Rich Guerry's worries. The former IT and juvenile safety worker now heads the New Jersey-based Institute for Responsible Online and Cell-Phone Communication, traveling to schools nationwide to talk to teens about how to stay safe online.

"Digital technology has bridged our borders, and it's a wonderful thing, but for every positive, there's a negative," Guerry said.

Sexting poses a danger that other teen experimentation, like sneaking a beer or a cigarette, simply can't, Guerry said. Because the Internet is impossible to regulate, once something's out there, it's there forever.

"You can't go to a kid afterwards and say, 'Hey, don't post pictures' in the same way you can yell at them for smoking," Guerry said. "It's like walking down the street holding a sign near the Sears Tower that has your full name, social security number and an unflattering photo, except you can't take the sign down."

That message isn't lost on law enforcement officials in Cook and Will counties, who have both ramped up their efforts to get information out to schools, parents and kids about sexting.

"The parents need someone who can explain the computer geekness to the average citizen, and we also educate kids as to why this silly thing is serious," said Kathleen Muldoon, deputy chief of sex crimes for the Cook County State's Attorney.

And while the Kelseys say it never crossed any of their classmates' minds that sharing photos might land them in jail, Will County's Glasgow is quick to point out that it could. The state's attorney's office tries to be lenient with first-time offenders, he said, but a particularly egregious situation could mean a lifetime sex offender label for a teen.

"That means your economic viability is zero for the rest of your life," Glasgow said. "We're reasonable, but you could do something that wouldn't allow us to be reasonable. The best thing to do is not to do it at all."



By the numbers
  • One in five teens has sent a nude or semi-nude photo of themselves to someone else.
  • Two in five teens have had a nude or semi-nude photo of someone else shared with them.
  • One in five teens has forwarded on a nude or semi-nude photo meant to be private.



What is sexting?

Sexting, a combination of the words "sex" and "texting," is the act of sending nude or semi-nude photos or explicit messages to another person through a cell phone or computer.



Resources:



Tips for teens

Thinking about forwarding a sexy photo? Here are some things to consider before you hit "send."
  • Don't assume anything you send or post will stay private.
  • Don't give into anything that makes you uncomfortable.
  • Consider the recipient's reaction before forwarding a photo.
  • Nothing is really anonymous. Even if you send a photo to someone online who only knows your user name or e-mail address, there's still a chance they could track you down.
  • Know the legal consequences. In Illinois, you can be prosecuted for child pornography for possessing a photo of a minor, even if you're just a teen yourself.



Tips for parents

You may not know Facebook from the phone book, but that doesn't mean you can't help keep your kids safe. Here's a guide for what you need to know.

Talk to your kids about Internet safety. Make sure they know that nothing on their computers or cell phones is truly private or anonymous and that colleges and businesses often check out profiles of their potential students or employees.

Know who your kids are communicating with and what they're posting. Check out their Facebook, Myspace and other public profiles from time to time. Consider limitations on electronic communication.

Set expectations for acceptable and unacceptable online behavior.

Start early. Many parents might think these are issues for high-schoolers, but some kids start sending photos as early as middle school.


"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



Operation: Twisted Traveler

View the article here

09/26/2009

By Ben Tracy

(CBS) This week in Los Angeles, three convicted sex offenders from California were arraigned in federal court - the first Americans arrested in an international law enforcement crackdown called Operation Twisted Traveler. They are accused of traveling to Cambodia to have sex with children.

"Pedophiles are sadly mistaken if they think they can get away with exploiting children in another country in order to satisfy their own perverted desires," said U.S. Attorney Tom O'Brien.

_____, 75, is one of California's most dangerous sexual predators. He served nine years in prison, but in 2008 traveled to Cambodia.

According to the criminal complaint, _____ would drive through poor towns throwing money and candy. He is accused with having sex with three boys, ages 9 to 13.

"The trauma they have endured is unimaginable and will haunt them for the rest of their lives," said Jeffrey Blom with the International Justice Mission.

Tough laws here requiring convicted sex offenders to register are sending them into hiding, to remote spots like Antioch, Calif. where Phillip Garrido hid Jaycee Duggard for 18 years. Some go much farther.

"I think sex offender registries as a whole are generally great in terms of monitoring. However there are unintended consequences," said Robin Sax, author of "Predators and Child Molesters " and a former prosecutor. "By driving people out of cities and into more rural areas we are again losing contact and not knowing where these people are."

Overall, an estimated 2 million children worldwide are exploited in sex industries, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy. Thailand, Cambodia and Costa Rica are popular destinations for sex tourists because laws are weakly enforced and sex is cheap and readily available.

The three men arrested in Operation Twisted Traveler will be tried in November and face 30 years in prison for each of their victims.

Video Link



"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



Sexual Beings, Sexist Feminists and Sex Laws

View the article here

09/26/2009

By Joni Greever

We were born sexual beings. Sexuality is inherent in us. It is part of who and what we are. We were meant to explore, embrace and enjoy our sexual nature. Instead, we are ashamed and embarrassed. Societies we call primitive - where nothing about the human body and its natural functions is hidden from children - are free of rape and other forced, violent sexual offenses. The human body is not hidden from view, so there are no hang-ups about body image. So why does our 'progressive' and 'modern' society insist on making anything sexual obscene? Why is a photo of the human body unclothed considered dirty and is against the law? Why is practically anything sexual against the law nowadays?

Because we're backward. We live by puritanical standards that create and perpetuate 'crimes' that are nothing more than natural sexual expression. Tiny children who put their hands 'down there' are admonished to not touch. Their little minds are confused. Natural urges to explore one's own body is suppressed and childish curiosity about another's can land an eight year old in huge trouble and branded for life on a sex offender registry. Can't anyone in their right mind see this is just plain wrong? We can't even call body parts by their right names. Kids grow up hearing their genitals called anything from a wee-wee to a poot to a cha-chi. It's crazy. Why are the words 'penis' and 'vagina' such taboo?

Like it or not (and many prefer to like it, thank you), we are designed for sex. We have sexual urges that are impossible to ignore, no matter how puritanical and unenlightened a family is. No amount of "No!" is going to make children less curious. Is it any wonder this society has so many messed up people?

Sex was meant to be a joyful expression of our human selves. Whatever is of mutual consent is to be honored, not against the law. Our sexuality shouldn't be hidden from children, but explained honestly and openly, so when they are ready, they'll be able to make mature decisions. Kids are curious and will explore, no matter what. Let's not damage another generation by suppressing their urges they don't understand. We've created all that we're most afraid of by hiding and ignoring what children need and have a right to know.

The powers-that-be have manipulated and educated us down into a race that is perpetually immature. In past generations, we became parents at an earlier age. Why else would we come into sexual maturity at 11, 12 or 13 years of age? I am not advocating sex at such a young age, but merely stating fact. Who among you can honestly say you didn't feel sexual stirrings around this time? You're only lying to yourself if you say you didn't.

Angry, frustrated feminists who have had such a big influence on the politicizing of sex might change their views if they didn't hate men so much and got a little more action. That statement is sure to inflame, but it's true. What other reason do they have for ripping apart so many families with their insane laws that put so many men in prison for 'crimes' that didn't exist a few years ago in the name of victims rights? Who helped (along with the media) incite the fear that made lawmakers too hastily pass laws that make it illegal to innocently hug a young person or for a husband to grab his wife's arm before she can hit him with an ashtray? Who made it possible for 'victims' hearsay to be admissible in SO cases while defendants cannot produce evidence to their innocence? Feminists, that's who. Even though they gave us Playgirl magazine, it was probably in the hope a certain body part would be cut out of the centerfold and used to play "Pin the d*** on the p****".

Enough is enough. Ill-conceived sex offender laws have gone way, way too far. What is meant to be a beautiful expression of love has been vilified and criminalized. This is NOT meant to say sex between an adult and child is okay, but experimentation between 2 post-pubescent young people should not be criminal acts. Some will agree with this, but many will be outraged. Get over it. We are what we are. Don't shove your sexual hang-ups down everyone else's throats.


"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



FL - Ex-Deputy Who Had Sex With Teen Cries At Sentencing

View the article here

09/26/2009

MULBERRY -- The former deputy chief of a Polk County police department has been sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison for having sex with a 16-year-old girl.

Jody Beaudry, 41, began to cry after hearing the judge announce the sentence.

Beaudry, who worked for the Mulberry Police, was also ordered to 9 1/2 years of sex offender probation.

He was arrested in April 2008, after an FDLE investigation concluded he had sex with a 16-year-old girl at a gym in fall.

Beaudry pleaded guilty in August.

The girl testified at the hearing, saying she understood Beaudry doesn't want to be separated from his children, but she still feels he should be punished.


"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



TX - Exonerated man sues his attorney

View the article here

09/26/2009

By JEFF CARLTON

DALLAS — A Texas man exonerated by DNA evidence who expects to receive nearly $4.1 million for his quarter-century in prison has sued his attorney, who will take a $1 million cut after working to get more compensation for people who have been wrongly convicted.

_____, who filed the lawsuit last week, said Wednesday that attorney Kevin Glasheen deserves credit for lobbying Texas legislators to boost the state’s settlement offers. But Glasheen never performed any legal work on his behalf, said _____, who was cleared in 2007 after spending nearly 25 years in prison for a 1982 sexual assault and burglary.

It boils down to a simple thing: In my case, a million bucks is just unfair,” _____ said.

Glasheen, a Lubbock attorney, represents about a dozen wrongly convicted men now eligible for compensation from the state of Texas, which has the most DNA exonerations in the nation.

One of them was _____, whose contract with the attorney was identical to the others. Glasheen would receive 40 percent of any court settlement, or 25 percent of any compensation from the state. Texas law prohibited those who accepted compensation from then suing for more money.

Glasheen filed federal civil rights lawsuits on behalf of several of those exonerated, but not _____. He then advised them to drop the suits while he led the effort to increase the state compensation, which had been $50,000 for each year a wrongly convicted person spent behind bars.

The exonerees and Glasheen were in Austin frequently during this year’s session, eventually winning passage of a bill that made Texas the nation’s most generous in compensating those who had been wrongly convicted. Exonerees will get $80,000 for each year they spent behind bars plus lifetime annuity payments that for most are worth at least $40,000 a year and often much more.

Damien Brockmann, the legislative director for state Rep. Rafael Anchia, who sponsored the bill, said Glasheen was “fundamental in getting it passed.”

Glasheen said the bill was all he worked on from November until May, that he was in Austin weekly and that he had another lawyer and some support staff working on compensation issues full time.

We put a tremendous amount of time, money, effort and risk into this entire project,” Glasheen said. “We have earned our fee and expect to collect it. I believe I did an outstanding job for these clients, and Steven’s compensation more than tripled.”

Under the old law, _____ would have collected about $1.2 million. According to the new law, _____ will eventually receive nearly $4.1 million. Glasheen said under the contact, he is entitled to $1 million.

Randy Turner, _____’ new lawyer, called that “outrageous.”

He wasn’t hired to be a lobbyist. He was hired to do legal work,” Turner said. “I think it’s pretty audacious for a lawyer to go down to Austin to lobby for a bill that will make him a lot of money and then try to claim the lobbying work was legal work.”

Glasheen said he plans to file a countersuit accusing Turner and two other people of interfering with his legal contract with _____.

_____’ case is more convoluted than most. DNA testing cleared him of a sexual assault and robbery, but he had pleaded guilty to nine similar sex crimes. He said he feared life sentences if he did not plead guilty to the other charges.

Based on DNA testing last year, authorities now believe Sidney Alvin Goodyear, who died in prison in 1998, committed all 11 crimes that sent _____ to prison.

_____ now works for a Christian publishing company in Dallas and is a part-time student at the University of Texas at Arlington. He’s taking a criminal justice class on wrongful convictions in which students study old cases in an effort to free the innocent.

Every case is different, and I don’t pretend to speak for the other guys,” _____ said. “But in my case, there was no actual representation.”


"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved



FL - SOSEN Press Release re: Broward Commissioners 2500 ft.

Posted with permission.

9/23/2009

Broward County Commissioners reject expert views in preference of a hardliner approach to sex offenders.

Broward Commissioners enacted an ordinance that bans sexual offenders and predators from living within 2,500 feet of parks, playgrounds, schools, bus stops, and daycare centers. Similar ordinances are in place in the majority of Broward County cities. A large number of sexual predators/offenders were moving into unincorporated communities such as Broadview Park - where no residency restrictions were in place.”

In researching this subject, the Broward County Commission empowered a task force. The “PURPOSE: TO REVIEW, RESEARCH, AND MAKE RECOMMENDATION S TO THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS REGARDING THE ISSUES INVOLVED WITH THE RESIDENCE RESTRICTIONS OF SEXUAL OFFENDERS AND PREDATORS CONVICTED OF CERTAIN SEX OFFENSES.”

What did this task force review and what did they find?

“We reviewed available research about the effectiveness of residence restrictions and found no empirical evidence to indicate that these laws achieve their intended goals of preventing abuse, protecting children, or reducing reoffending. For instance, officials in Iowa examined the impact of their statewide 2,000 foot residential restriction law which went into effect in August 2005 (and was modified by the legislature in 2009). Researchers compared the number of charges filed for sex offenses with minor victims in the 12 months prior to the enforcement of the law with the number of charges filed within 24 months after implementation . No reduction in sex crime rates was detected; in fact, the number of charges steadily increased each year. The authors concluded that Iowa’s residence law “does not seem to have led to fewer charges or convictions, indicating that there probably have not been fewer child victims” (Blood, Watson, & Stageberg, 2008, p. 10).

Nor were we able to find evidence suggesting that larger buffer zones are more effective in protecting children than the state's 1,000-foot restriction. Researchers in Florida compared the number of recidivists who lived within 1,000, 1,500, or 2,500 feet of schools or daycare centers. Sex offenders who lived closer to schools and daycares were not more likely to reoffend, and living farther from schools and daycares did not diminish the probability of sexual reoffending. When the distances to schools and daycares were considered along with other risk factors (prior arrests, age, marital status, predator status), proximity was not a significant predictor of recidivism (Zandbergen, Levenson, & Hart, 2009).

An analysis of 224 recidivistic sex offenses in Minnesota concluded that residence restriction laws would not have prevented repeat sex crimes (Duwe, Donnay, & Tewksbury, 2008). Sex offenses against children were most frequently perpetrated not by strangers lurking in schoolyards but by offenders who were well known to their victims, such as parents, caretakers, paramours of the mother, babysitters, or friends of the family. In less than 4% of the cases was the sex offender a neighbor of the victim. Initial contact with victims was usually established more than one mile from the offender’s home, and predatory assaults that occurred within a mile of the offender’s residence typically involved adult victims. Though relationships with minor victims were sometimes cultivated within 2,500 feet of the offender’s home, none took place in or near a school, daycare center, or park. The authors determined that an offender’s social relationship with a child victim is much more likely to facilitate sexual abuse than residential proximity.

In addition to the lack of research supporting the effectiveness of these laws in preventing abuse, there is mounting evidence that these laws diminish housing availability and increase transience, homelessness and instability for offenders. Studies in at least three states, including Florida, have shown that most citizens live within 2,500 feet of a school, park, daycare, or bus stop, and therefore as distance buffers grow, compliant housing becomes harder to find. In Broward County, data provided by the Planning & Redevelopment Division illustrated that cities with larger buffer zones had significantly lower numbers of compliant dwellings. This raises concerns because if sex offenders cannot find housing, they may be forced to register as "transient," making them more difficult to track and supervise or less likely to register with authorities. Data from the Broward Public Defender's Office indicates that in 2004, they handled 16 failure to register cases, 50 cases in 2005, and 70 cases in 2009. Thus, since local residence restrictions were first enacted in 2005, the number of failure to register cases has increased more than four-fold. It should be noted that the Public Defender's Office represents only indigent offenders. It is also possible that the current economic crisis might contribute to housing instability.

Residence restrictions and their resulting transience create burdens for law enforcement officials as well. The BSO representative noted that these laws require officers to identify subjects affected by the ordinance, monitor their leases, identify violators and complete investigative packets for prosecution. The DOC representative reported that probation officers spend time assisting offenders with housing problems and often check dozens of addresses for compliance for a single offender.

We found that many victim advocates remain unconvinced that residential restrictions achieve improved protection from sexual abuse. The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV), the umbrella organization of rape crisis centers throughout the United States, issued a public position opposing residence restrictions, stating that "sex offenders who continually move or become homeless as a result of residency restrictions are more difficult to supervise and monitor, thereby increasing the risk of re-offense."

After reading this portion of the official report we at SOSEN would like to ask. Why did the Commission enact the 2500 foot residency restrictions? Or perhaps a better question would be. If the commission was going to ignore the facts and research, why did they spend the money and time to set up this Task Force?

What is most interesting about this is that when confronted with facts and research, inelegant people will alter their thinking to come in line with such facts and research. Not so when it comes to sex offender issues. When the word sex offender is used, sound judgment is thrown to the wind. This is expected from the general populace, since most people know little of the facts regarding sex offender issues. But the Broward County Task Force dug into the facts and heard expert testimony on the subject and yet the Broward County Commission opted for the hard line approach and not a decision based on the facts.

What would cause men of power to ignore what is best for the constituencies they represent? Could it be votes? Could it be that appearing to be hard on sex offenders is better than taking the proper lead on a difficult subject?

Every person should fear the answer to this, for if the answer is either of those mentioned, then the system of government we now have is letting all of us down. People need leaders who make the best decisions for all the people and not just the most popular decisions.

The evidence provided to the Commission was clear: residency restrictions are in effective and counterproductive to the goal of protecting children. Residence restrictions create homelessness and impede former offenders from becoming productive, safe citizens.

Until leaders are willing to take a stand on the side of proven facts, our country will continue to spiral out of control in a mire of ill-conceived and counterproductive laws that cost billions of tax dollars, coddle special interest groups, while protecting no one. Worse yet, ordinances such as these create a false security among the public.

As the Task Force found, Sex offenses against children were most frequently perpetrated not by strangers lurking in schoolyards but by offenders who were well known to their victims, such as parents, caretakers, paramours of the mother, babysitters, or friends of the family.

Residency restrictions do NOTHING to stop these kinds of crimes, but they do distract parents away from the true danger to their children: someone already known to the child.

Are there any answers besides residency restrictions and the registry? We at SOSEN believe that there are several answers to sex offender issues that could help to reduce the incidence of both new sex crimes and re-offenses; all of which are based on studies, facts and the guidance of experts in the field. Experts who have spoken openly about the flaws in the system and yet their educated words have fallen on the deaf ears of elected officials who are more concerned about votes than making fact based decisions regarding former sex offenders.

SOSEN Communications Department
(877) 594-2228


"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved