Ex-offenders in this state need to contact their lawyers now, or the ACLU to get law suits started. This is clearly extortion, and/or unconstitutional.
By Theresa Schmidt
The rules are about to change for Lake Charles sex offenders. The lawsuit challenging the city's controversial registration fee was dismissed after the sex offender who filed it moved to Kentucky.
Now that the sex offender who challenged the ordinance has moved, the wheels are in motion to enforce the ordinance. It increases sex offender registration fees and imposes other prohibitions.
Assistant City Attorney Chris John says soon letters will be mailed putting sex offenders on notice. "It's a process that's going to have to take place and we're still working out the details, but obviously they're going to be sent letters to notify them of the effective date and then they'll be given a reasonable time period for compliance. I would envision about sixty days before this actually goes into effect," said John.
First the fee was to go up to $600, compared to the state fee $60. And the ordinance severely restricted how close sex offenders can get to places with children. As a compromise the fee was reduced to $400 and the other prohibitions made more practical. "You couldn't really drive down any city street without being in violation," admits John, "so the amended ordinance, the one that's in effect now, deals with a residence and not necessarily just physical contact as far as the distance."
- This is nothing but pure extortion! No other criminal is forced, UNDER DURESS, to pay a huge fee which many cannot afford in the first place, due to the very laws being passed. The laws force people out of homes and jobs, and since they do not have a job, how are they going to pay for this? The tax payers wanted the laws, so make them pay for it! Our suggestion is, when anybody goes to re-register, when forking over the extortion fee, put UNDER DURESS next to your signature.
Officials say it costs at least $150,000 a year for LCPD to monitor sex offenders and enforce the laws offenders are to comply with. The city officials ask, "why should the public have to pay?"
- Well, either the public asked for them, or politicians looking to exploit ex-offenders, fear and children to help themselves look better, so those who wanted the laws should pay for them. This is like having all motorists pay a huge fine yearly because a couple people broke the law, which I'm sure would be fought in court, and so should this!
Said Deputy Police Chief Mark Kraus, "To supervise them costs taxpayers of Lake Charles money. Simply put, the people who have committed these sex crimes should pay for those sex crimes-- not the grocer, or the football coach or the school teacher who's already stretched to the limit."
- Come on, you could also say that the job of patrolling the streets to "protect" people from crime and stuff cost money as well, but you aren't forcing the tax payers for pay for all that! This is no different! And how do you expect homeless and jobless ex-offenders to pay for it? In the end, tax payers are going to pay for this, so you are basically increasing what they have to pay. If an ex-offender cannot pay, someone has to. Think about it!
City council member John Ieyoub is the one who originally proposed the ordinance. "So this extra money was to help supplement the cost to all the manpower and all the resources that we use to track the sex offenders in our city and ultimately make it a safer place," said Ieyoub.
- So to be fair, are you also going to force all other ex-felons to fork over some extortion fee to pay for the police salaries as well?