By Shana Rowan
USA FAIR, Inc. (Families Advocating an Intelligent Registry) today demanded that Laura Ahearn, Executive Director of Parents for Megan's Law, immediately retract a statement she made to "Riverside Local" reporter Denise Civiletti that Shana Rowan, USA FAIR's Executive Director, is a member of the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). The accusation was made in an article published Friday, February 15th regarding the recent $2.7 million sole-sourced contract (PDF) awarded by Suffolk County to Parents For Megan's Law to help monitor the more than 1,000 former sex offenders residing in the county.
When asked to respond to USA FAIR's concerns about the propriety of a private victims’ advocacy group being granted quasi-policing authority and its lack of law enforcement or sex offender management experience, Ahearn responded that Rowan was "part of NAMBLA." When Ahearn was asked for proof, she responded, "Just search her name on the Internet."
"The allegation that I am an advocate for man-boy love would be laughable, if it weren't so slanderous. I have never been part of NAMBLA. I find pedophilia to be repulsive and I have always supported age of consent laws. For Ms. Ahearn to take an accusation made on an anonymous hate-site on the web and repeat it without any independent verification only underscores why USA FAIR believes she is unqualified to administer the Suffolk County contract. Monitoring former offenders requires objectivity and placing a high value on evidence, neither of which Ms. Ahern has demonstrated by her unfounded personal attack," said Rowan.
"Rather than respond to our legitimate concerns about Parents for Megan's Law's qualifications to have been awarded this contract, Ms. Ahearn chose to repeat a lie about me and to tell a half-truth about my fiancé, stating that he "raped a six year old child". Yes, his offense did involve a six year old child, but Ms. Ahearn conveniently left out that he was 12 at the time and also the victim of sexual abuse. To Laura Ahearn, context does not matter if it fails to serve her cause," concluded Rowan.
Rowan became active in sex offender law reform when she became engaged to a longtime friend she first met in high school who is on the registry.