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TAMPA (Bay News 9) -- A group of sexual predators living in a mobile home park in Tampa is being allowed to return home, angering nearby residents.
"I'm very mad," resident Carla Bowling said. "I can't believe this. I'm seeing red."
A county attorney said the eight predators living in the rehabilitation park were violating a county ordinance because they were located within 300 feet of a school bus stop.
But according to their attorney, that's not true.
"You can't be loitering when you're sleeping in your own bed," attorney Janine Cohen said.
Cohen said the ordinance states sexual predators are only prohibited from loitering within 300 feet of where children gather.
But said it doesn't say anything about living near them, clearing the way for the predators to stay.
Judy Cornett, a community activist for sexual vicitims, was the first to alert residents about the predators living near them.
"I think it's a matter of time and they'll offend again," Cornett said.
Cornett said she's also disappointed in county officials, and said she wishes they would have monitored the situation a little longer before taking immediate action because then they may have found a more legitimate violation.
Neighbors said they're not giving up.
"The fights not over," resident Elisha Grubb said. "Because we will win; because our children's lives are at stake."
Cohen said the predators are being monitored closely, and said they've been told they're not allowed outside when children are at the bus stop.
County officials are now looking into the matter.
They said the Department of Corrections was notified about the situation and took action on forcing the sexual predators out.
The county attorney said she was under the impression that the sexual predators were loitering near the school bus and said this is still an open investigation.
Friday, March 7, 2008
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Video available at the site.
A registered sex offender says offenders are being unfairly targeted.
He spoke with 17 News on the condition we hid his identity.
“The purpose behind that was public safety, but now it has become public harassment,” he said.
That’s how he describes the Megan’s Law website, which splashes the pictures, names, and addresses of local offenders online.
He wanted to clear up what he calls misconceptions.
“The inner guilt for those people is more guilt than you are placing on them now,” he said. “You are just compounding it daily.”
Residents near the fairgrounds circulated petitions this week.
They want the 31 offenders paroled at the Bakersfield Lodge and another nine living at the El Don Motel out of their neighborhood.
“If you want to make it a city within in a city, fine,” he said. “We'll have our own shopping centers; we'll employ our own people. We'll make our own produce. Whatever, I mean you know you want to go that far.”
He said residency and registration restrictions make it hard for offenders to move on.
“Now if you go to enroll in college, they staple your face up all over college so everybody knows who you are,” he said. “That not only will create a stigma, but mass hysteria.”
He said what the residents may not know is the offenders are often victims, too.
“The sex offender had a childhood that wasn't worth beans,” he explained. “They were abused. So then, they abuse again.”
08 LC 35 0833
House Bill 1287
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
To establish the "Prevention of Online Child Predators Act"; to amend Article 2 of Chapter 1 of Title 42 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board, so as to require registered sex offenders to provide additional information as a part of the required registration information; to require registered sex offenders to provide to an appropriate official any Internet accounts with Internet access providers belonging to such offender and Internet identifiers that such offender uses; to require certain conditions of probation or conditional release for a registered sex offender that relate to Internet use; to provide for criminal penalties for violations of the provisions; to provide for related matters; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF
Article 2 of Chapter 1 of Title 42 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board, is amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
(a) This Code section shall be known and may be cited as the "Prevention of Online Child Predators Act."
(b) For purposes of this Code section, the term:
(1) 'Appropriate official' shall have the same meaning as provided for in Code Section 42-1-12.
(2) 'Authorized Internet entity' means any business, organization, or other entity providing or offering a service over the Internet which permits persons under 18 years of age to access, meet, congregate, or communicate with other users for the purpose of social networking, but shall not include general e-mail services.
(3) 'Bureau' means the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
(4) 'Commercial social networking website' means any business, organization, or other entity operating a website that permits persons under 18 years of age to be registered users for the purpose of establishing personal relationships with other users, where such persons under 18 years of age may:
(A) Create web pages or profiles that provide information about themselves where such web pages or profiles are available to the public or to other users;
(B) Engage in direct or real-time communication with other users, such as a chat room or instant messenger; and
(C) Communicate with persons over 18 years of age; provided, however, that, for purposes of this paragraph, a commercial social networking website shall not include a website that permits users to engage in other activities not specifically included in this paragraph.
(5) 'Internet access provider' means any business, organization, or other entity engaged in the business of providing a computer and communications facility through which a customer may obtain access to the Internet, but does not include a business, organization, or other entity to the extent that it provides only telecommunications services.
(6) 'Internet identifiers' means e-mail addresses and designations used for the purposes of chat, instant messaging, social networking, or other similar Internet communication.
(7) 'Registered sex offender' means a person required to register as a sexual offender pursuant to Code Section 42-1-12.
(c) In addition to any other required registration information to be provided by a registered sex offender, a registered sex offender shall also provide to an appropriate official any Internet accounts with Internet access providers belonging to such offender and Internet identifiers that such offender uses. Such information shall be collected, recorded, and maintained in the same manner as other required registration information.
(d) The bureau shall, upon the request of any authorized Internet entity, release to such entity Internet identifiers that would enable the authorized Internet entity to pre-screen or remove registered sex offenders from its services or advise law enforcement or other governmental entities of potential violations of the law or threats to public safety. An authorized Internet entity shall be immune from any liability for making a good faith report of a suspected violation of the law or threats to public safety by a registered sex offender utilizing the entity´s services. Before releasing any information, the bureau shall require an authorized Internet entity that requests information from the registry to submit to the division the name, address, and telephone number of such entity and the specific legal nature and corporate status of such entity. Except for the purposes specified in this Code section, an authorized Internet entity shall not publish or in any way disclose or redisclose any information provided to it by the bureau. The bureau may charge an authorized Internet entity a fee for access to registered Internet identifiers requested by such entity pursuant to this subsection. The bureau shall promulgate rules and regulations relating to procedures for the collection and release of information in the registry, including but not limited to the disclosure and redisclosure of such information and the imposition of any fees.
(e) A registered sex offender shall be required to report and update any change of Internet accounts with Internet access providers belonging to such offender and Internet identifiers that such offender uses in the same manner as the offender shall be required to report and update any change in his or her address in Code Section 42-1-12. A fee not to exceed $10.00 may be charged by the bureau to offset administrative costs for updating a registered sex offender´s change of address or any change of status or information required to update required registration information. Any failure or omission to submit the required fee shall not affect the acceptance by the bureau of the change of address, status, or information.
(f) When imposing a sentence of probation or conditional discharge upon a person who shall be required to register as a registered sex offender under this article, the court shall impose as a condition of probation that such probationer shall be prohibited from using the Internet to access pornographic material, access a commercial social networking website, communicate with other individuals or groups for the purpose of promoting sexual relations with persons under the age of 18, or communicate with a person under the age of 18 who is not his or her minor child. The addition of this condition of probation or conditional discharge shall be in addition to any other conditions imposed by a court or other authorized sentencing authority.
(g) Any registered sex offender who fails to comply with the requirements of this Code section or who provides false information related to the informational reporting requirements of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than five nor more than ten years; provided, however, that upon the conviction for a second or subsequent offense under this Code section, the offender shall be punished by imprisonment for life."
This Act shall become effective on January 1, 2009.
All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.
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STATEN ISLAND—Two Staten Island police officers from the 120th precinct have been indicted on 33 counts for allegedly dumping a black Halloween prankster in a swamp and then imposing their own form of discipline.
Officers Richard Danese and Thomas Elliassen, both 28, had been arrested in early November, charged with misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child and second degree unlawful imprisonment.
The two cops will be arraigned Tuesday on a 33-count indictment handed up Monday, the most serious charge being unlawful imprisonment, a felony which could send both of them to prison for up to four years.
After Danese and Elliassen were told by another police officer that 14-year-old Rayshawn Moreno had been throwing eggs at police cars on Halloween night, they allegedly put the teen in their patrol car, drove him several miles into another precinct, stripped him to his boxer shorts, beat him and left him in a Staten Island swamp.
After the patrol car left, Moreno, a freshman at Port Richmond High School, gathered up his clothes and walked to a nearby mall where he asked a security guard to call his relatives for help.
The officers, both of whom have been with the police department for three years, told their supervisors that they were only trying to scare him and had turned around to find him only minutes after they had left him.
Both officers have been suspended without pay since their arrest and relieved of their guns and badges.
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This new law may make you feel safer where you live, but it's making it harder for sex offenders to even find a place to live.
The law says sex offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of schools or daycares.
"Lets say you live in a house, you've lived there all your life, you're not within 1,000 feet of a daycare or preschool and your next door neighbor now knows you're a sex offender, they can set up a daycare next door and guess what? You have to move and where you're going to move? That's a good question," says Ray Smith, Washington County Public Defender.
Now several local sex offenders are fighting back. Public defenders, Ray Smith and Shawna Landaker are helping sex offenders, they believe the new and stricter law, is unconstitutional.
"They keep asking me, "how can they do this to us? We've already been to court, we've already served our time, we've already done our sentence, we're reporting as required, how can they keep doing this to us?" my answer is, I don't know," says Smith.
- Because we now live in a communist country (USSA)
They want answers, that's why Friday they had reclassification hearings, determining what tier a sex offender falls in. More offenders may fall into the third, and most severe, tier and less in the first.
"The local judges will probably wait to see what the federal courts do with this new law before they come through with any decisions on their own. If they make a decision now, it would be overturned if the feds did something on a higher level," says Deputy Steve Summers, Washington County Sheriff's Department.
Right now, the new law is heading to a federal court in Cleveland. Until then, several local sex offenders will follow old regulations and wait to hear what the federal judge decides for their future.
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MANSFIELD -- The debate over a sex offender ordinance could be rekindled at a City Council meeting Monday because of one neighborhood's frustration at learning that a convicted child molester had moved in.
Officials have scheduled a closed-session briefing for the council about a Walnut Creek Valley neighborhood meeting Tuesday, where about 50 residents complained that they weren't notified about the offender and wanted to know what they could do to protect their children.
City officials wouldn't elaborate on the council briefing, which will precede the regular 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall, 1200 E. Broad St.
But resident Steven Kyle said the neighborhood meeting he organized appears to have had an effect.
"One of the things we wanted to do is raise the level of consciousness on this issue," Kyle said. "It sounds like we've at least made a step in that direction, and we hope it leads to some improved city ordinances."
The sex offender, now 36, was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl and was sentenced in 1995 to 10 years in prison.
No one answered the door at his house. The phone number in public records associated with his address was disconnected.
- This is just harassment! Did you expect the person to welcome you with open arms?
The issue of limiting where sex offenders can live raged in Mansfield until Mayor Barton Scott, who fought for an ordinance, resigned Jan. 24 in the face of a recall election.
Scott wanted to force certain registered sex offenders -- those convicted of molesting children 14 and younger -- to live farther than 2,000 feet from places children normally congregate. Council members and police officials said that state laws are sufficient and that city regulations would not improve protection for children.
Some council members said that while they don't prefer to resurrect the ordinance proposal, they will keep an open mind.
"I'm willing to discuss any adjustment or even an ordinance if the Police Department is of the opinion that we need to do something," Councilman Mike Leyman said.
Residents of the Walnut Creek Valley subdivision in northeast Mansfield learned a few weeks ago that the sex offender had moved into the neighborhood in December.
Because he has completed probation, state law no longer restricts where he can live. The rejected city ordinance would have applied to offenders on probation or parole and those who have completed the process.
The state sends notices to neighbors when registered offenders move nearby, but only for offenders determined to be high-risk, Mansfield police officers said.
The state rated the sex offender in Walnut Creek Valley as a moderate risk. Mansfield police said the state uses a complex formula to determine risk.
Last fall, the council considered requiring the Police Department to send alerts regardless of risk rating -- one of Scott's suggestions -- but took no action.
Word got out about the sex offender in the neighborhood because someone put fliers in several mailboxes, residents said.
- And more harassment!
Mansfield police said 31 sex offenders are living in the city.
Because of their new neighbor, the atmosphere is tenser in the horseshoe-shaped neighborhood that was once filled with children riding bikes and shooting baskets, residents said.
Parents stay close, and most escort their kids to the school bus or drive them to school.
- Wow, these laws are making people actually due what parents should do in the first place...
"It's sad, because we used to be such a fun neighborhood," said Kyle, who lives two houses away from the offender.
Residents were frustrated to learn from police officials that the offender would not be affected by any restrictions approved now.
Police officials who attended the meeting recommended starting a Neighborhood Crime Watch program, urging the residents to get to know everyone and keep a close eye on their children outdoors.
Some residents suggested placing a photo of the offender near the bus stop and having parents take turns staying at the bus stop with the children.
Resident Pajji Miller urged neighbors to stick together and stay vigilant.
"Let's not let this man make us a prisoner in our own homes," she said.
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NEW PALTZ — By the numbers, the hamlet of Napanoch, population 1,168, ought to have sex offenders on every street corner.
According to the Ulster County Sheriff's Office's new sex offender Web registry, 68 sex offenders live in bucolic Napanoch. They account for more than 40 percent of the sex offender population in the entire county.
It gets worse: The state sex-offender registry — the granddaddy of sex-offender sites in New York — lists 109 offenders in the 12458 ZIP code that encompasses Napanoch.
The reason behind the cluster of offenders is deceptively simple, according to Ulster County Undersheriff Frank Faluotico: "It's the prisons."
Napanoch is synonymous with prisons. There are two — Eastern Correctional Facility and Ulster Correctional Facility. All but one of the 68 offenders on the Ulster sheriff's registry are in one or the other prison in Napanoch. Prisoners boost the offender rolls in other parts of Ulster County as well.
Shawangunk and Wallkill state prisons are listed as the addresses of five offenders. Some offenders are in the Ulster County Jail and list that as their address.
While offenders behind bars pose little threat, Faluotico says, "you still have to let people know their whereabouts," he said. "It's required by law."
But here's another twist. The sex offenders who list prison or jail as their addresses are registered sex offenders who ended up back behind bars for some reason. "First-timers are not put on the registry till they leave prison," said Janine Kava, spokeswoman for the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, which manages the state offender registry.
Confused? There's more. The state offender Web site only lists the worst two levels of sex offenders, Levels 2 and 3. But the public can get information on the Level 1 offenders and those with pending sex offender status via a sex offender hot line (800-262-3257).
Also, the statistics on the state offender Web site cover all levels of offenders county by county. But the numbers on those behind bars are listed separately and by statewide total only.
It makes comparisons difficult. The Ulster County offender Web page lists Level 2 and 3 offenders and those who are incarcerated. But it does not list Level 1 or pending offenders, nor does it list aliases.
Other variations affect the Orange County sheriff's sex offender list, which lists just two offenders — the only ones whom the sheriff's office is responsible for monitoring. Sullivan County does not have a public sex-offender Web page, although, of course, those offenders are on the state site.
None of the counties has to have a public registry or Web page for sex offenders; they can if they want, the state says. "There are problems," said Orange County sheriff's Capt. Dennis Barry, "but it is better than nothing."
Frank Barnwell, 53, is on both Ulster County's and the state sex-offender lists for abusing two girls — ages 9 and 12 — in 1994. No one has ever traced him through a registry, he said. He lives on North Ohioville Road in the Town of New Paltz. Police and school officials alerted neighbors when he moved in. He has to report to local police periodically. He is on the lists for life. It's not fair, Barnwell says. "Why should I be forced to serve (on the list) when I don't want to?"
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Five years ago, Bethlehem man found burned in Nisky Hill.
Nearly five years to the day after a man was found on fire in Bethlehem's Nisky Hill Cemetery, the Lehigh County coroner's office has ruled his death a suicide.
A man walking his dog in the historic North Side cemetery the afternoon of March 11, 2003, saw a drift of smoke that he thought was a pile of leaves on fire and called police.
Instead, police and firefighters found a trembling man in a wooded area near the cemetery with severe burns on 98 percent of his body.
David Burkhardt, 58, was still conscious and told police he was jumped by three men who had set him on fire. He died eight hours later at Lehigh Valley Hospital's burn center.
On Thursday, Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim ruled Burkhardt's manner of death as suicide.
He said Burkhardt did not leave a suicide note, but some of his clothes were found neatly folded near a gravestone, an act unlikely to have been done by an attacker.
Grim said police also tracked down three people thought to be linked to Burkhardt's death, but determined they were not connected.
Burkhardt's brother, Thomas R. Burkhardt Jr. of Bethlehem, said Thursday he believed for years his brother had been attacked and killed while walking in the cemetery.
He said he was unsure what to think about the coroner's ruling.
''If that's what [Grim] said, I guess that's the way it is,'' Burkhardt said.
Burkhardt's death came about a year after police charged him with exposing himself and performing a sex act while standing in front of the window of his Center Street house dressed in a woman's wig and feather boa. A utility crew was working outside and reported the incident to police the following day, claiming Burkhardt's actions caused them ''severe distress.''
Police obtained a search warrant for the house, where they found several women's wigs, a white boa neck garment, several women's robes and Burkhardt hiding under the bed.
Police said that over the years, they had received similar complaints from delivery people and workers in the area, but no one was willing to testify against Burkhardt.
He agreed to plead guilty to indecent exposure and prosecutors dropped open lewdness and disorderly conduct charges. He was put on 23 months probation and ordered to attend sex offender counseling.
Family members were unsure what led Burkhardt to the incident at his living room window, but his life fell apart after the charges, said Joe Delaney, who is married to Tammy Delaney, Burkhardt's niece. She declined to comment.
''To us, it's like the system killed him,'' Joe Delaney of Bethlehem said. ''He had to sell everything, he lost his job, he was never the same. We never understood why he did that in the window.''
He said Burkhardt was a talented artist, cleaned houses and worked various home health care jobs. He said relatives were torn between believing Burkhardt had killed himself or someone had targeted him.
''Who would want to die like that?'' Delaney said. ''It's just awful.''
Nearly five years later, Delaney said there are still burn marks on a tree in the wooded area where Burkhardt was found.
''To us, he was the best person in the world that would do anything for you,'' Delaney said. ''We're proud to say we all stood by him and were there for him.''
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A former Bay County sheriff's deputy has received his punishment in a Saginaw court on charges he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in his care.
Dale P. Van Wert learned Thursday he will spend the next three years on probation.
Van Wert, 49, pleaded no contest to one count of attempted sexual assault.
Investigators said he sexually assaulted the teen at his Garfield Township home between Dec. 6, 2006, and Jan. 7, 2007.
Van Wert and his wife operated a foster care home for children from their home near Linwood.
As part of the probation, Saginaw County Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson ordered Van Wert to register as a sex offender, to undergo sexual abuse treatment, to not appear within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, arcades, playgrounds or anywhere else children gather, and not have contact with anyone younger than 17 unless an adult is present to supervise the visit.
Jackson handled the case because Bay County judges recused themselves. The crimes occurred in Bay County.
Jackson also ordered Van Wert to pay $840 in fees and fines and work a job at least 30 hours a week. He gave the former law man credit for the 413 days he already served in jail.
Van Wert's attorney, Matthew L. Reyes of Bay City, said his client was going to live with a brother in Bay County.
Van Wert didn't speak during the sentencing hearing.
''I'd like to know why you did this,'' the mother of the victim asked Van Wert in court. ''I need to know the reason. I don't understand why you threw your life away.''
The woman said Van Wert's actions left her angry and confused.
Although she said she's having a difficult time coping with the ordeal and she's certain he committed the crime, the woman said she has forgiven Van Wert.
Bay County Sheriff John Miller fired Van Wert in September 2006 amid allegations he used the Law Enforcement Information Network for his personal process-serving business while on duty for the sheriff's department.
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PEORIA - A Peoria County grand jury indicted a former police officer on weapons charges and for trying to pick up an undercover agent posing as a prostitute.
Henry Cherry, 32, originally had the misdemeanor charge of solicitation of a sex act against him dismissed. But the charge was reinstated Tuesday along with a single count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, a felony offense.
Prosecutors were able to change their mind because the solicitation charge was dismissed "without prejudice."
Investigators allege that on Oct. 4, Cherry, who resigned from the department in July 2005 after an investigation uncovered he was friends with a known drug dealer, solicited sex from an undercover female police officer posing as a prostitute.
During his arrest, Cherry was cooperative and told police he was in possession of a gun, an unloaded .32-caliber automatic pistol in his car's unlocked glove box, according to police reports. Gun magazines and a live bullet were found in a black bag behind the front seat.
Illinois gun law states in order to possess or carry a firearm, a gun has to be broken down in a nonfunctioning state and not immediately accessible. The apparent violation appears to stem from the fact that Cherry's glove box was unlocked.
View the article here
See the video at the end to see Mike Gipson in action! Seems like this place is a circus!
This is just insane! They are LEGALLY living there, and once again, people bitch and moan and run them out of town (i.e. WITCH HUNT). So were the hell do you expect them to live? No body in the entire history of this planet has been treated like you people are treating people who are obeying the law and doing everything required of them, and yet it's not enough..... WHERE IS THE LAWYERS WITH BALLS TO STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT? WHERE?
About three dozen protesters carrying signs reading "Kids First" marched outside a Carson hotel Thursday, demanding that state officials remove registered sex offenders housed there.
The protest followed Monday's disclosure in the Daily Breeze that state officials have been housing as many as 30 paroled sex offenders at the 60-unit Carson Plaza Hotel because it meets "Jessica's Law" requirements that they live at least 2,000 feet from parks, residences and schools.
The Megan's Law Web site on Thursday listed 30 names at the hotel's address at Main and Albertoni streets, although sheriff's deputies said 13 are living there.
"The community was not aware of it," said Carson resident Tony Thomas, 45. "How did we go about getting 30 sex offenders at one location?"
Short of removing the parolees, Carson City Councilwoman Lula Davis-Holmes (Email) asked the hotel general manager if he would post a sign alerting patrons that sex offenders are staying there.
"The answer is an emphatic yes," Hitesh Patel said.
State parole officials began sending parolees there a few months ago because the site is alongside the 91 Freeway and in an industrial area.
Despite the hotel's location, residents said it is still too close to their homes and schools.
"I have eight grandkids, and now I got to change my whole family lifestyle," said Thomas, who lives near Avalon and Gardena boulevards.
"I'm beyond the distance, but at the same token that doesn't stop them from traveling."
By chance, Carson sheriff's deputies conducted a checkup on the residents about an hour before the protest began. None of the 23 men was in violation of any laws, including drug or pornography possession. No arrests were made. Capt. Todd Rogers said he was unaware that a demonstration was about to occur.
"We are going to do everything in our power to make it safe," Rogers told the crowd.
Watching closely was Rickey Freeman, a 48-year-old registered sex offender who served 11 years for rape in concert, and a parole violation for a drug offense. He said the rape occurred during a robbery.
Freeman said 30 men were staying at the hotel when Monday's Daily Breeze article was published, drawing a flood of television reporters to the hotel. More than half fled to unknown locations, he said. The claim could not immediately be substantiated.
- So now they will go underground, and everyone will be in danger because nobody will know where they are. This society is twisted and pure evil.
Freeman said he had bothered no one during his 90 days at the hotel.
The state is paying $80 a day for his room, cutting a check that he cashes to pay the rent. Freeman said he spends his days looking for work.
The parolee said he cannot return to his North Hills home because it sits too close to a school.
"I can't go no place else," he said. "They won't allow me to go no place else."
Freeman said the Carson hotel is in an ideal spot.
"Show me a little kid walking down the street," he said. "Ain't no kids here."
Freeman said he is compliant with registration, but if he is forced to leave he will have no place to live.
"Leave me alone," he said in an interview. "Let me live my life. These are miserable people."
Thomas questioned why any hotel owner would accept sex offenders if he has female employees. Patel told the demonstrators he had no choice but to rent rooms to people who show up at his counter. He cannot discriminate.
- This is exactly why I say EVERY sex offender should FLOOD the legal system with law suits, until they give. When billions of tax payer dollars are flushed down the toilet, maybe they will listen then. What do people expect from sex offenders? What would make you happy?
The answer was not good enough for Councilman Mike Gipson (Email), who said he wants every sex offender to leave. Carson should not bear the brunt for other cities and accept a hotel full of criminals.
- Who the hell are you? They are living there legally! You just want some brownie points... You took an oath to uphold the constitution, which you apparently lied just to get into office. Have you even read the constitution? Apparently not...
"They won't do this in Beverly Hills. It won't happen in Simi Valley," Gipson said. "We don't want them in our city."
Thomas said the protest served notice to the offenders at the hotel that residents will keep an eye on them.
- Ok, so keep an eye on them, but leave them the hell alone..........
"My intent is not to cause any bodily harm or anything stupid," he said.
"But this is unacceptable to have 30 in one location."
View the article here | Related Article
Palm River – Pack up and move out!
Sex offenders at a mobile home in Palm River are being evicted. They have 24 hours, until Friday at midnight to get out.
And, parents across the street are celebrating. For now.
“I'm so thrilled. I just can't be more excited,” Carla Bowling said, as she smiled ear to ear and hugged a friend.
That friend, Elisha Grubb, chimed in with the same enthusiasm.
“I'm excited, I can't believe it. I think it's wonderful. I'm glad that people listened,” Elisha said.
Elisha and Carla live across the street from the mobile home park, where the Florida Justice Transitions program has set up shop for sex offenders. It's a rehab of sorts, where the men live among one another.
This eviction begs a bigger and possibly more dangerous question: Where will the men go now? Back on the street? For some, it may be the only choice.
Even parents who were elated with the news had a sobering moment when they thought about the outcome of banning offenders from the neighborhood.
“The only thing now is, where are they going to go,” Carla asked. “How are we going to know where they're at?”
The simple answer, parents may not know where the men are. Many will be homeless. Some will stay with relatives. Most of the men from the mobile home park are planning to meet with their probation officers first thing Friday morning at 7:00 to come up with alternative living arrangements.
One convicted sex offender, Jim Broderick, spoke firsthand with our news crew about the situation. He lives at a similar mobile home park called Pinellas Palace.
Jim says, “The men who live here that are labeled predators will most likely end up under a bridge, probably end up being rearrested, going back to jail, and the cycle begins all over again.”
Authorities say, the men broke the rules by violating an ordinance. It's a safety measure that says sex offenders can not be within 300 feet of a bus stop. The men are near children every day.
The manager who runs the mobile home park and wants to help these men get their lives back on track claims, the offenders want to be better people, and this eviction isn't helping.
Nancy Morais is disappointed by the decision. “Our goal is to stop them from hurting children, not to put them in a situation where other children will be hurt.”