Sunday, July 31, 2011

KY - Where are the places named after ex-sex offenders murdered by vigilantes?

Christopher 2X
Original Article

What kind of name is Christopher 2X? And where are the places named after ex-sex offenders murdered by vigilantes? Like I've said before, name a law after some child, and no matter what is in the bill, it will pass. I bet Hitler would be jealous.

07/31/2011

By Joseph Gerth

Rosalina Cano released a clutch of nine balloons and listened as those around her sang happy birthday to her son, Cesar “Ivan” Aguilar-Cano, who would have turned nine yesterday had he never crossed paths with [name withheld].

Children climbed on a new set of monkey bars behind her, in a small playground dedicated to Ivan's memory.

The sadness was inescapable at the playground's dedication Sunday behind the South Louisville Community Center, but it was also a chance to recall how a missing five-year old boy brought the community together and touched so many lives.

It's going to be a reminder of what happened … but also know the playground is going to generate a lot of smiles and that too will be part of Cesar's legacy,” said John Asher, a spokesman for Churchill Downs, where Ivan's family members worked and where he sometimes played.

The playground has two spring-mounted rocking horses that are pointed toward the twin spires of Churchill Downs, as well as swings and monkey bars.

It will be called the “Fight Crimes Against Children Playground” and will have a plaque honoring Ivan, said Christopher 2X, a community activist who works with the families of people who are murdered.
- Mr. 2X is an ex-felon himself, see here.

Ivan was abducted on June 29, 2007, while playing with trucks outside his mother's home in the neighborhood surrounding the racetrack. After an eight-day search, his body was found in a garbage can where [name withheld] had stashed it.

[name withheld] would later plead guilty to giving the boy alcohol, sexually abusing him and then killing him.

Rosalina Cano said through an interpreter that “she feels a little bit happy” because of the playground dedication. “If he was with life, she'd be the happiest mom in the world,” said Daisy Davila, who interpreted for her.

Sunday's event brought together the police officer who led the search for Ivan and his killer, the lead prosecutor who was days away from trying [name withheld] when he changed his plea to guilty, people from the community and others in Louisville who have suffered through the death of a child.

Kim Vanderhaar, whose son, Camden McCroskey, was killed in a grocery store on the Outer Loop in 2009, helped organize and spoke at the event. She called [name withheld] a “monster” and told Rosalina Cano she understands the pain she has gone through.

I know the size of the hole in your heart,” she said.

Lt. Barry Wilkerson, commander of the Louisville Metro Police homicide unit, talked about the investigation and how people pulled together to help the police investigation and Ivan's family.

If it wasn't for the community pulling together, this case would have been very difficult to solve,” Wilkerson said.

Jon Heck, a former assistant commonwealth's attorney who prosecuted [name withheld], urged the 70 or so people who attended the event to get involved and report to child protective services if they believe a child is being neglected or abused.

2X said the idea behind Sunday's event was singular in its nature. “Our program is a simple program,” he told the room. “It's about Cesar.”
- Is it really?  For some reason, I doubt it.



PA - Newville mayor plans to veto sex offender restriction

Original Article

07/31/2011

By Joseph Cress

Newville Mayor Becky Barrick plans to veto an ordinance council adopted last week that would restrict where registered sex offenders can live within the borough.

In explaining why, Barrick referred to a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that struck down an Allegheny County ordinance as too restrictive and in violation of state law.

That ordinance prohibited sex offenders registered under Megan's Law from living within 2,500 feet of any location where children tend to gather.

The Newville ordinance prohibits registered offenders from living within 500 feet of any school, church, after-school program facility, child care facility, public park, recreation facility or library.

Five of the six council members voted in favor of adopting the ordinance Tuesday. Council President William Toth was absent from the meeting.

Under the law, Barrick has 10 days from the date of adoption to either sign or veto an ordinance. No action either way means the ordinance automatically becomes law at the expiration of the grace period.

Mapping out opposition

Barrick said Friday she plans to submit a veto message to Borough Manager Fred Potzer explaining her opposition to the ordinance. It would be the first use of her veto power since she became mayor in January 2010.

Council could vote Aug. 30 on whether to override her veto.

A majority plus one - five of the six council members - would be needed to uphold the ordinance, Potzer said.

Even if council overrides the veto, the ordinance would apply only to sex offenders who move into the borough after the new restrictions take effect. The ordinance would not apply to those already living within the borough, so they would be grandfathered in and not required to move.
- Residency restrictions (where someone sleeps at night) have no affect on when, where or if an ex-offender will re-offend, it only pushes them a way from family, support, and into homelessness, in some cases.  There is no proof what-so-ever that residency laws protect anybody.

At the meeting last week, Barrick insisted borough staff provide her with a map of Newville showing where registered offenders could live in town under the 500-foot restriction.

While the borough ordinance involves a shorter radius than what the high court struck down, all that is relative, considering Newville is so much smaller in area than most Allegheny County communities, Barrick said.

"Our town is so small, it would be difficult to restrict them from a certain distance," she said.

Futile?

Shortly after the high court decision, Newville received a memo from the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs advising its members that any municipality that either has or is contemplating a similar ordinance should consult with its solicitor about rescinding such an ordinance.

At the meeting last week, council Vice President Ed Sinkovitz asked borough solicitor Marcus McKnight III whether adopting this ordinance would be an exercise in futility.

In response, McKnight said that council may want to err on the side of children by adopting an ordinance that sends a clear message to sex offenders.
- Read my statements above.  Hell, you could use the same argument to force them out of the United States.



OH - Ohio sex offender registry a mess

Original Article

07/31/2011

By David Eggert

Four years after Ohio hurried to comply with a federal law by retroactively toughening the reporting and registration requirements for sex offenders, the state could be forgiven for having buyer’s remorse.

Ohio’s law has twice been declared unconstitutional, which opponents had warned would happen.

Thousands of sex offenders have been or will be reclassified — two times.

The funding the state stood to lose if it did not conform — typically hundreds of thousands of dollars a year — has been offset by millions spent complying with the law and defending against thousands of lawsuits.

It was a colossal boondoggle,” said Jay Macke, an assistant state public defender.

And the issue remains unsettled, despite the Ohio Supreme Court striking down more of the law this month in a decision that could have implications across the country.

In 2007, Ohio adopted the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, part of a broader 2006 federal law named for Adam Walsh, a 6-year-old Florida boy who was abducted and killed in 1981.

It won unanimous approval from the legislature partly because there was a price for not going along – a 10 percent reduction in federal law-enforcement assistance grants. The federal government in 2009 applauded Ohio for becoming the first state to “substantially implement” the sex-offender law, which created a national system for the registration of sex offenders.

Ohio offenders were reclassified into three tiers based on the crime, no longer considering their likelihood of reoffending. They had to register for longer periods and report to authorities more often, and some once considered lower-level offenders were added to the registry for life instead of a decade.

The changes were applied retroactively to 26,000 sex offenders who committed their crimes before the law went into effect in 2008, something critics at the time said was blatantly unconstitutional.

It turns out they were right.

While the Ohio Supreme Court initially declined to step in and block the law from taking effect, it struck down portions of the law in 2010, reverting 19,000 offenders back to their status under Ohio’s previous sex-offender statute, Megan’s Law.

Then, about 7,000 offenders benefited from a major ruling this month that said the law could not change their punishment after the fact.

When we name laws after people, it’s usually a mistake,” said Jeff Gamso, former legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio who has fought Ohio’s retroactive sex-offender law. “ They’re driven by immediate passions and not by a whole lot of attention to what makes sense.”

Ohio, he said, has a lot of work ahead in deciding how to handle the fallout from the latest Supreme Court decision.

It is a crime for sex offenders to fail to register and verify their whereabouts. But some still listed on the registry would have come off by now under Megan’s Law, or possibly would not have had to register in the first place.

What if they were jailed for not registering or checking in with authorities under an unconstitutional law?

The years of confusion continue,” Gamso said.

Attorney General Mike DeWine has another concern — making sure sex offenders affected by the latest ruling still have to sign up for the registry. His office began meeting with lawmakers last week to discuss their status.

DeWine said he is not sure yet whether new legislation will be needed.

The court has told us what we can’t do, which we accept,” he said. “What we need to make sure is if they are still covered under the previous law."
- If you knew the Constitution, which you sworn to uphold, then you would not have passed the unconstitutional law in the first place.

We have a duty to look at this and make sure we get it right.”
- Yes, you do, and you also have a duty to uphold the Constitution of the US and state, and not trample on others rights simply because it makes you look "tough!"

Sex offender [name withheld] of Cincinnati — one of thousands to challenge Ohio’s law — won the latest legal fight in the state’s high court. Now 23, he pleaded guilty to having unlawful sexual conduct with his 14-year-old girlfriend when he was 19.

For critics, [name withheld] is the poster child for what is wrong with the sex-offender registry.

At the time of the crime, he likely would have been labeled a sexually oriented offender and been required to register for 10 years. However, under the Adam Walsh Act provisions, he was subject to 25 years.
- If politicians would stop passing draconian, unconstitutional laws, then he'd not be registered in the first place, for being a kid and doing what kids do, have sex!

[name withheld] was sentenced to two months of jail and three years of community control, similar to probation. He and the victim had a child together, and she and her family wanted him to have contact with the child.

If I have some predator living near me, I’d like to know that. But does this really get it done?” asked Franklin County Common Pleas Judge David E. Cain.
- So judge, what about all the other criminals who have a higher recidivism rate?  Like gang members, drug dealers, thieves, DUI offenders, etc?  Why don't we know where they live as well?  Sex offenders and murderers have the lowest recidivism rate of any other criminal, yet they are punished the most.  Doesn't make much sense to me.

He questioned whether the public is served by a registry with tens of thousands of offenders on it. Tougher reporting requirements and more restrictions on where offenders can live make it more likely they will not comply and leave their whereabouts unknown, he said.

I’m not sure it ever had a chance of doing what (legislators) intended, to make the state safer from sexual offenders,” Cain said. “They have the right intentions, but they don’t always think them out too well.”



MA - Molotov cocktail thrown through window of sex offender's home

Original Article
Earlier Article About Sex Offender Moving In

05/18/2011

Police use K9s, ATVs to search the area

HARWICH - Late Wednesday morning, around 11:30 a.m., an unknown suspect, or suspects, threw a Molotov cocktail through a bedroom window of the home at [address withheld] in Harwich. According to Sgt. Kevin Consodine at the scene, three women, including an elderly, wheelchair-bound woman, were home at the time.

Fortunately, the device did not ignite and none of the residents were injured. One of the residents was in the bedroom when the device was thrown through the closed window.

Harwich police searched the area for hours using K9 dogs and ATVs. According to Sgt. Consodine, there are several dirt bike trails in the area and the suspect(s) may have used the trails to escape. State Police investigators and a representative from the state fire marshal's office also responded to the scene.

Harwich detectives are currently investigating the incident are and looking into possible leads and suspects.



NJ - Teens Face More Consequences from Sexting than Congressmen Do

Original Article

06/13/2011

By Ken Edelstein

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner may not have broken any laws by texting lewd photos of himself to younger women he didn’t know.
- Let's not forget Mark Foley, who did not go to jail or prison, and is out walking the streets, has a radio show, and was thinking of running for some office.

In many states, however, teens who send pictures of themselves to their own girlfriends or boyfriends can be prosecuted for child pornography.

[name withheld] calls that hypocrisy. She should know. She’s spent six years dealing with the consequences of “sexting” one topless image of herself to an ex-boyfriend.

[name withheld] was 15 at the time, and the boy said he’d date her again if she’d send him the photo. But he was playing her. According to [name withheld], he sent the private image to his entire contact list.

For the next three years at Wallkill Valley Regional High School in northern New Jersey, she was bullied and ostracized. Paint cans were thrown in her family’s pool. A tire was rolled down their driveway, smashing a glass door to the house.

It’s actually made me stronger,” she said in an interview with JJIE, “but there were times when I really was suicidal. If it hadn’t been for my family and one or two friends, I wouldn’t be here today.”

I can’t even tell you what it was like to live with that,” her mother says. “These kids can be so cruel to each other.”

But [name withheld] and her family were afraid to report the situation to police because [name withheld] could have been prosecuted for sending child pornography — of herself.

In an effort to protect children, both Congress and state legislatures have passed tough criminal laws designating the electronic distribution of nude images of teenagers as child pornography and often requiring those convicted of “sexting” to be registered as sex offenders. The problem is that a net thrown by the legal system to catch adults who exploit children is now more effective at ensnaring children.

Most states now require youths who send nude or semi-nude images of minors to be criminally prosecuted. Alabama, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are among those where teenagers as young as 13 have been prosecuted or convicted for sexting.

One of those teens was [name withheld] of Orlando, Fla. At 3:28 in the morning after an argument with his 16-year-old girlfriend, [name withheld], who had just turned 18, sent a semi-nude image of the girlfriend to her contact list. Her parents reported his actions to the police, who descended on his house with a search warrant.

[name withheld] faced 72 charges of various sorts, including the possession and distribution of child pornography. He was kicked out of school and, after pleading guilty, placed on probation for three years.

Most troubling of all, he’ll be listed as a sex offender until he’s 43. In Florida, that means he must tell the state when and where he moves; he can’t live near any schools, parks or playgrounds; and his offender’s status will show up on any Internet search of his name.



IL - Livid wife in Illinois

Sent in via the "Contact" form, and posted with the users permission.

From CT:
I am new to this issue and happy to find your site. My husband has been accused and found guilty of a sex crime, but he is innocent.

Because of a former crime 15 years ago, a spurned woman was able to put him in prison.

He paid his time and years of counseling and even though his therapist testified for him, the judge still found him guilty.

Truth be told, the judge had made up his mind before he ever sat in his chair, and he said as much in his remarks.

I am livid that even though we proved our case, my husband was found guilty due to his prior conviction. Thank you for the chance to have my say.

Are there any groups in or near South Cent. IL that I may contact for information and or support?



FL - Rep. Alcee Hastings investigated for sexual harassment

Rep. Alcee Hastings
Original Article

07/22/2011

By Rachel Rose Hartman

Hours after Rep. Anthony Weiner's resignation became official, a sexual harassment case involving Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) resurfaced.

Gary Fields and Brody Mullins report for the Wall Street Journal that the independent Office of Congressional Ethics is now investigating a claim that Hastings sexually harassed a woman working on his staff.

Fields and Mullins write that the Office investigation was opened after conservative group Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit in March as the legal counsel for Republican staffer Winsome Packer. Packer, who served on the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe--a group headed by the congressman--alleges that Hastings retaliated when Packer attempted to report the harassment, according to the paper. Judicial Watch has targeted Hastings in the past.

Accusations include "unwelcome sexual advances," and "unwelcome touching," according to March reports of the lawsuit. Packer had accused Hastings of offering her invitations to his hotel room, asking inappropriate questions in public including "What kind of underwear are you wearing?" as well as pressuring her to give him gifts and donate to his re-election campaign.

Hastings, a 74-year-old 10-term lawmaker, strongly denies all charges. He stated back in March when reports of the lawsuit became public that he "never sexually harassed anyone."

"That is a certainty: In a race with a lie, the truth always wins. And when the truth comes to light and the personal agendas of my accusers are exposed, I will be vindicated."
- This is not true.  If the truth always won, then these draconian sex offender laws would not be laws.

Democrats this week had hoped that Weiner's resignation, effective Tuesday, would finally end talk of sex scandals concerning their members and shift focus back to legislating, as well as campaign-based efforts to attack Republicans on Medicare and other issues. The Ethics Committee announced prior to Weiner's resignation that it had opened an investigation into Weiner's risque online communications.

The Office of Congressional Ethics is not the House Ethics Committee-- which investigates House members and metes out punishments (as it did for New York Democrat Charlie Rangel last winter). The Office was established by then- Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2008 to better connect the House Ethics Committee with the public and to process public complaints. The Office's investigation is a precursor to a formal Ethics Committee investigation, which would proceed largely on the recommendation of the Office.

The Wall Street Journal notes that even if the Office passes on recommending an Committee investigation, "its findings must be made public."

The House Ethics process has drawn heavy criticism for what detractors say is a persistent failure to effectively punish and police its members.



Living with the rules of SORA and descrimination as a LGBT individual

The following was sent to use via the Contact form, and is posted with their permission.

From K:
I am writing this because I too have experienced the repercussions of being put on the PSOR. I have been denied jobs even though I am very much qualified, been fired from jobs due to them not wanting their company name "slandered" by having me working there. Just recently had an officer coming to my door saying that he received a call of some people on the tracks across the street from our house. Said it was called in to the station that a bald man and someone else ran into the vacinity of our house, so me and my lover need to keep our personal lives to ourselves and not out in the public. Needless to say, it wasnt myself of my lover that was on the tracks, but because we are sex offenders, we were warned and cops came to our house first. There are many instances that I can tell you about in this regard. On a different note, I am a gay male and while in prison, because of my lifestyle and the type of case I had, endured much descrimination as well. I am considering writing a short story of my life in and ourside prison as a gay sex offender. If interested in this, please get ahold of me.



CA - Homeless Ex Marine Story

The following was sent to use via the Contact form, and is posted with their permission.

I am the person in the video talking about how I was forced to move from the home that I had just moved into due to Jessica's Law. Well I have been writing letters to everyone I could think of from the lawmakers out here in California to Nathan Fletcher to the president the US DOJ. I received a letter from the California DOJ and it said:

Pursuant to California Penal Code section 290, et seq you are no longer required to register as a sex offender in the state of California for your 1995 conviction in the state of Nevada for open and gross lewdness. The DOJ has updated its records and a notification concerning this action has been sent to the law enforcement agency with which you last registered it is recommended that you retain this letter as evidence that you are no longer required to register please be aware that you may be required to register if you are convicted of another sex offense.

I guess someone read all of those letters I was writing. But I will say this, the fight will not be over for me, I will continue to fight and do WHATEVER I can to help put a end to these laws. There is HOPE!!!!!



CA - Jessica's Law boosts number of sexual predators considered for mental hospitals

Original Article

07/12/2011

The number of convicts referred to mental health officials for possible confinement in a state hospital as sexually violent predators has skyrocketed since California voters passed Jessica’s Law, a state audit said Tuesday.

The audit said part of the increase is attributable to prison officials not complying with requirements for thoroughly screening offenders before they are referred to the Department of Mental Health.

That has resulted in the state performing "unnecessary work’’ and has created a burden for the department, which conducts the evaluations, the audit found.

Despite the increased number of referrals, the department did not significantly increase the number of sex offenders it recommended to prosecutors for commitment to a mental facility.

The audit indicated that the department’s screening of sex offenders leaving prison appears to have been effective.

Of the 13,512 sex offenders released since 2005 which screening determined did not require further confinement, 59% later violated their parole, but only one person was convicted of a sexually violent offense.

"Although higher numbers of offenders were subsequently convicted of felonies that were not sexually violent offenses, even those numbers were relatively low,’’ the audit found. It said 134 of the offenders, about 1%, committed new felonies that were not sexually violent offenses.

The audit looked at a state program created in 1996 that evaluates sex offenders who complete their prison sentences and allows the courts to commit them for at least two years to a mental facility if they are found by the Department of Mental Health to be a continuing danger to the public as a sexually violent predator.

The audit said voter passage of Jessica’s Law (Proposition 83 PDF) in 2006 added more crimes to the list of sexually violent offenses and reduced the number of victims required for a sexually violent predator designation. The number of sex offenders referred by prison officials to a mental health evaluation went from 1,850 in 2006 to 8,871 a year later, the audit said.

Auditors also said that prison and parole officials referred all offenders convicted of sexually violent offenses "without assessing whether those offenses or any others committed by the offender were predatory in nature’’ and without considering other information required by law to be part of the evaluation.

Officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation indicated they agree that improvements can be made in streamlining the referral process.

The department, wrote corrections Undersecretary Scott Kernan, "is committed to adhering to the statutory law governing this program and will always err on the side of caution in regards to public safety when making sex offender referrals to the Department of Mental Health.’’



KS - Kansas new Adam Walsh Act

Sent in via the "Contact" form, and posted with the users permission.

From Anonymous:

Hi,

My husband would have to register for a life time now thanks to the Adam Walsh Act that went through July 1st, 2011 in Kansas.

The weird thing is, I cant find anyone here in this state that is at least trying to sue this retro act.

Anyone out here in Kansas want to take this to Supreme Court level?

We only had one more year left to register as a sex offender, now he will have to register for life.

Is there anyone that can tell us if there is anything we can do.



GERMANY - Justice minster rejects outing sex offenders as post-jail regime still unclear

Original Article

07/20/2011

Germany will not name and shame sex criminals by putting their details on the internet, Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has stated, knocking back a suggestion made by a police union leader.

Politicians are due to meet next month to discuss a set of suggestions of how to deal with criminals who have served their prison sentences but are considered to pose a continuing threat to the public, after Germany's high court ruled that so-called preventive detention was unconstitutional.

The idea is to replace the ‘pure’ version of preventive detention with a therapy-based ‘treatment detention’.

In a serious split between the German Police Union (DPolG) and the ministry, the union’s chairman Rainer Wendt criticised Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger personally, for going on holiday rather than staying at work to solve the preventive detention problem.

The Constitutional Court ruled in May that the practice of keeping dangerous criminals in prison after their original sentences are served could not be continued, backing a previous ruling from the European Court of Human Rights which said in January that the German system breached the European Convention on Human Rights.

Politicians have been given until the end of May 2013 to set up a new system, while those criminals held under current rules must be released unless there is a very high risk they will commit serious violent or sexual crimes.

Wendt told the Passauer Neue Presse that the minister responsible was going on holiday while released criminals were able to attack children.
- Yep, just the usual Ad Hominem attack.  I thought we were talking about all dangerous criminals here, not just those who have harmed children.  Not all who commit sex crimes, have harmed children.

Things are being endlessly debated and argued and the victims are left with nothing. I have no understanding for the blockade of the FDP,” he said, referring to Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger’s Free Democratic Party.
- If the person who committed the crime has been convicted and sentenced, then justice was done!

Police forces are under enormous pressure to protect the public from the violent and sexual criminals being released – often setting four or five officers to follow them at close quarters around the clock. This practice is also controversial, with critics saying it effectively identifies the criminals, who have served their sentences, and quashes any realistic chance they may have of rehabilitating.

Wendt said this cost enormous amounts of police manpower and that it was up to politicians to solve the problem. He repeated his demand for sex criminals and their location to be identified online.
- It's all about vengeance, and exploitation to "look tough" on crime, that is all this is.

Parents must be able to protect their children,” he said, while dismissing any fears of vigilante justice.
- Yes, they need to be parents, and the government needs to get out of people's lives.  And you cannot dismiss vigilantism, it happens all the time, at least in the USA, UK and I'm sure elsewhere.  See here and here.

But Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said there was no way such a scheme would be adopted in Germany. “Public pillories are not compatible with the rule of law,” she said.

It does not help to prevent violence if neighbours raise a group against a released prisoner.” She said this would only create even more work for the police.

She said the government and the federal states would work quickly to agree new regulations for dangerous criminals, suggesting that the two-year window set by the constitutional court would be more than enough time.

The other police union, the Union of Police (GdP), has taken a more measured tone, but also warned that released criminals could leave the country for elsewhere in Europe, where German police would no longer be able to shadow them.

Bernhard Witthaut, head of the GdP said the idea of using electronic tags as suggested by several federal states was an instrument rather than a solution.
- Not to mention it costs a ton of money, and GPS is prone to false alarms.  If someone is so dangerous they need a GPS monitoring bracelet, maybe you should have sentenced them to longer in prison!

They do not prevent a single crime,” he said, suggesting that the monitoring centre where signals from the tags are overseen, do not have information about who is attached to the tags. He said the data can only be given to the police after a crime has been committed.



NC - State Probation Officer (Allen Speller) On Desk Duty After Arrest For Sexual Battery And Assault On A Female?

Original Article

The man is innocent until proven guilty.

07/21/2011

A state probation/parole officer is on desk duty after his arrest last month.

Allen Speller was arrested in Bertie County on June 9th for misdemeanor sexual battery and misdemeanor assault on a female. He posted a $1,000 unsecured bond.

Records show Speller's first court date on July 7th was continued until August 4th.

The Department of Correction says Speller is on office duty while they investigate his arrest. That means the probation/parole officer is not supervising offenders.

Speller has been a probation/parole officer in Beaufort and Bertie counties since 1991.



Help

The following was sent to use via the Contact form, and is posted with their permission.

From A:
We are seeking help with issues we are having due to my husband being a registered sex offender. A little over five years ago, he had downloaded child pornography and was placed on probation for 10 years. In that time he has done everything that has been required or asked of him. His only goal is to make amends for what he has done, and rebuild his life.

Probation is now telling him that he has to take required counseling, which he has been doing. The issue now is that since he lost his job and I am not working we can not afford the fees. We tried to explain this to probation and was told either come up with the money and show up or go to jail.

Basically, we are in need of some legal help and are not sure of where to turn. Legal aid would not help us, so is there anyone else out there?



H.R. 578: No Parole for Sex Offenders Act

Please click the "OPPOSE" button if you oppose this bill. This is a bill from February of this year, but it's the first I've seen it. You can also read more here.

Click the image to view the bill, or view the PDF



ME - After release from prison, Maine sex offenders rarely commit another sex crime, study reports

Original Article

Of course recidivism is low, we have been saying that for years, and so have the real studies about sex offenders, and not the idiots in the media, politicians, and "child advocates," who don't like facts.

07/31/2011

By JASON SINGER

PORTLAND -- Contrary to popular belief, freed sex offenders in Maine commit additional sex crimes at a much lower rate than other former inmates carry out non-sex crimes, according to a new statewide study.

Less than 4 percent of sex offenders released between 2004 and 2006 were re-imprisoned for a sex crime in the three years after their release, according to the Maine analysis.

By contrast, about 21 percent of perpetrators of other crimes released during the same time period were re-imprisoned in the three years after their release.

Although these findings are similar to other studies around the country that have found relatively low recidivism rates for sex offenders, they still fly in the face of public perception, which suggests sex offenders go on to commit more sex crimes at stunningly high rates.

Mark Rubin, the study's co-author, said the findings didn't surprise him.

"There's a perception that sex offenders recidivate at a higher rate than other criminals, but there's really no data to support that theory," said Rubin, a research associate at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service.

"I've read and seen data that sex offenders across the country have very low recidivism rates."

The Maine study, conducted by the Muskie School with the help of the Maine Department of Corrections, is the first of its kind in the state.

It followed 18,295 prisoners released from prison between 2004 and 2008. About 900 of those, or slightly less than 5 percent, were sex offenders.

Dr. Joe Fitzpatrick, the clinical director for the Corrections Department, attributed the low recidivism rates for sex offenders to the department's proactive approach.

The department provides intense individual and group therapy programs for sex offenders during their incarceration, and then strict supervision and rules after they're sent home.

"Specialized probation officers are also partnering with family members, community members and employers, who can all lend a hand when it comes to supervising," Fitzpatrick said.

"Monitoring where offenders live, where they work and where they spend their time are all part of a wrap-around approach to ensuring no more victims."

The 4 percent recidivism rate found in Maine doesn't significantly differ from other state and national studies. The U.S. Department of Justice followed convicts released in 1994, and found that 5.4 percent of sex offenders were re-imprisoned for sex crimes in the three years after their release.

But that hasn't deterred the public from believing that sex offenders re-offend much more than other criminals.

One 2009 survey in Florida found that 68 percent of people believe sex criminals "re-offend at much higher rates" than other convicts.
- It's because they are continually bombarded with lies by people like John Walsh, Nancy Disgrace, Mark Lunsford, Marc Klass, news media, politicians, and others, who have not investigated the real facts, only what helps with their own agenda.

And the public believes about 65 to 80 percent of sex offenders go on to commit more sex crimes, according to several other studies. The Maine study didn't analyze public perceptions.

Numerous factors contribute to these misconceptions, experts said. Part of it may be media portrayals of sex offenders. Part of it is mixed evidence about whether treatment for sex criminals is effective, or extreme fear of heinous sex crimes.

"It's completely understandable," Fitzpatrick said. "Sex offenders cause so much harm, the effect on the community and the risk to the community is always significant, even with a single offense."
- This is another generalized statement.  Not all those who wear the "sex offender" label have committed sex crimes, or harmed people in some horrible way.

But some experts said to take the new study's findings with a grain of salt. Sexual assaults are extremely underreported compared with other crimes, so some sex offenders may be committing new crimes without being detected, said Elizabeth Ward Saxl, the executive director of the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
- This may be true, just like with any other criminal, but it's also people like this who continually ignore the real facts and only pick "facts" to suit them, who are doing harm.

"While that recidivism data tells us something, it doesn't give us a clear picture of what's going on," Saxl said.
- Sure it does.  Those who are caught committing a sexual crime, usually don't go on to commit more sex crimes.  And I wonder if she can give us a "clear picture" of what is going on?  I doubt it, I'm sure it will be biased and slanted toward her own personal beliefs.

It's also important to acknowledge the variety of sex offenders when looking at any data, Saxl said. Sex offenders can be child molesters, or someone who urinated in public, or a 19-year-old who had sex with a 16-year-old. Depending on what category of sex offender one studies, the recidivism rates could drastically differ.
- Sure, they could differ, but many studies don't show that.  I'm sure people who urinate in public, moon someone, etc, have a low recidivism rate, and studies have also shown that child molesters have a low recidivism rate as well as others.  It's the same as doing a studies about all races, nationalities, etc, I'm sure things will differ there as well, it's common sense.

Fitzpatrick said Maine acknowledges these differences, and provides different therapies and probation rules for different types of sex offenders.

"Some sex offenders may only commit one sex crime their entire life; others may commit hundreds of sex crimes," Saxl said. "You can't put them all into one box."
- And yet we continually put them all into one box, and some of your statements above do just that.

The Muskie School decided to study sex offenders because at the time research began, many Maine communities were deciding how to deal with sex offenders, Rubin said.

Under the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, all sex offenders must register their location at least once a year. But some cities and town have taken it a step further, by passing legislation that make it nearly impossible for sex offenders to live within their jurisdictions.

Some experts say the strict rules actually make sex offenders more dangerous. Because of the public ostracism, it becomes more difficult for sex offenders to get a job, find a place to live and re-assimilate into society after leaving prison.

This instability and alienation can make them more likely to commit another sex crime, Fitzpatrick and others said.

Rubin said he'd like to track these same convicts' recidivism rates five and 10 years after their release from prison. He'd also like to collect data on whether the often severe restrictions against sex offenders help or hurt recidivism rates.
- It depends on how you define recidivism.  If you define it as a new sex crime, then I'm sure it probably has no affect, but if you take into account technicalities, then I'm sure it will be higher.

"It's an emerging field of study," Rubin said. "The problem is dealing with public policy right now when there's not always enough data to make an informed decision."
- Sex offender laws have been around for 20 or more years, so I don't think it's an "emerging" field.  People need to just stop ignoring facts, listen to the real experts who treat sex offenders, and stop listening to the media, idiotic DA's or ex-DA's, and other people who see everyone as a criminal.