Saturday, April 5, 2008

MO - Missouri House bill would raise age of consent to 18

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So the net widens, and now more children are going to be caught in the wide nets of draconian sex offender laws.

04/05/2008

Missouri teens could soon be held to a higher standard of sexual responsibility.

House Bill 2095, sponsored by state Rep. Stanley Cox (Email), R-Sedalia, would raise the age of sexual consent to 18; currently it’s 14.

Among other things, the bill creates the crime of sexual misconduct involving a child in the second degree when a person younger than 18 years of age has intercourse or knowingly exposes himself or herself to a person who is at least 14 years of age but younger than 18 years of age and there is 24 months or less age difference between the two parties. Any person guilty of this crime is subject to a fine of up to $200 but will not be required to register on the state’s sexual offender registry.

Cox said the bill would reduce sexually-transmitted diseases and the emotional damage caused by teen intercourse.

He also said that although he knows the bill is a small step, he hopes harsher penalties for sexual misconduct involving minors will make students reconsider for their own health and that of others.

The prevention of STDs was a subject of concern elsewhere in Jefferson City.

House Bill 1504, sponsored by Juanita Head Walton (Email), D-Florissant, would allow for “expedited partner therapy.” Licensed physicians would be able to treat the sexual partners of patients diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea without an exam.

The committee unanimously passed the bill Tuesday.

Though the bill looks to stay a step ahead of sexually-transmitted diseases, expedited partner therapy could only be used in a county health department or district if the local case rate for chlamydia or gonorrhea is at least 20 percent higher than last year’s total or the local rate is 50 percent higher than the latest national statistic.

Physicians will also be granted immunity from resulting civil liability unless they acted recklessly, in bad faith or with malicious purpose.


UK - Sex offender magician disappears

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And the WITCH-HUNT continues... And even more proof the public cannot handle the registries, and more reason why they should be take offline and used by police only!

04/04/2008

A POPULAR children’s entertainer, who was exposed as a sex offender this week, has fled after his Leatherhead home was trashed by vigilantes.

Kevin Hart, whose stage name is Billy Wand, was arrested by Surrey Police last year after pornographic images of children were found on his computer – for which he was punished with just a caution.

This week, locals took the law into their own hands and vandalised the 49-year-old’s Kingston Road home, smashing his windows with rocks and spray-painting the word “Paedo” in red over his front door and on the side of the house.

Mr Hart, who appeared at the TV programme Blue Peter’s 40th birthday celebration and was signed up to help with the Government’s Sure Start scheme for children under five, was nowhere to be seen this week.

In the past he has worked at events across Surrey as a children’s entertainer and magician and even performed his famous Punch and Judy show in front of dozens of children at Wotton Village fete in August last year – just a month before his arrest.

Police officers raided his home and seized his computer in September after tracking him down though his credit card details.

A Surrey Police spokesman said: “A 49-year-old man from Leatherhead was arrested on September 5, 2007, on suspicion of making indecent images of children.

"On Friday, October 12, 2007, he was cautioned and placed on the sex offenders’ register for two years.

“Taking into account his previous record and the number of pictures found, the CPS found it appropriate to give a caution in this case.”

He would not comment on the number or seriousness of the images found.

The police force would not comment directly about the attack on the magician’s home this week but said its Public Protection Risk Management Unit (PPRMU) was looking into the case as a whole.

A spokesman added: “Surrey Police works with the Probation Service, Prison Service and other agencies under Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) to manage the risk posed to the public by sexual and violent offenders who have been rel-eased from prison on licence or are registered sex offenders.

“We cannot discuss the circumstances of individual cases but every person subject to MAPPA receives a full risk assessment, which takes into account the perceived risk to local people and the views of the community."


CT - Alleged victim recounts sexual assault

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04/05/2008

PITTSFIELD — The boy on the brink of adolescence considered the Otis man to be a friend and confidant — someone he looked up to and trusted during a period of his life when his own parents were emotionally inaccessible.

The boy admired the former police officer, an authority figure who also taught him about martial arts and skiing — and life, in general. But that admiration and trust was gradually replaced by fear and shame after Alden C. Hewett allegedly began sexually assaulting the boy in the early '90s.

The alleged victim, who claims he was 12 during the first assault, waited for more than a decade to tell his story. What unleashed the flood of memories — very bad memories — was a chance sighting of Hewett years after the alleged abuse, he said. The alleged victim, now a 6-foot-tall man who owns his own business, said he felt compelled to tell his story after spotting Hewett driving in the Berkshires with a young male by his side one day.

"I said, 'That's it. I have to go to the police and confront this problem,' " the 29-year-old man testified yesterday during Hewett's sexual assault trial in Berkshire Superior Court.

Hewett, 55, the general manager of Otis Ridge Ski Area and a member of the Otis Zoning Board of Appeals, is charged with raping the man between September 1991 and September 1994.

Hewett, a former New Hartford, Conn., police officer, is represented by attorney William J. Cintolo, who yesterday urged the jury to be skeptical about allegations that took more than a dozen years to surface.

Speaking loudly with a heavy Boston-area accent, Cintolo reminded jurors that the entire case is based on a single person's allegations — it's the word of the accuser against the accused, he said.

"This is a one-witness case," Cintolo said. "This is a case about credibility."

Berkshire Second Assistant District Attorney Joan M. McMenemy, in her opening statement to the jury, said the victim "felt compelled" to have sex with Hewett, whom he initially viewed as a father figure but eventually grew to fear.

The prosecutor said Hewett readily acknowledges that he was "a big drinker" who was prone to alcohol-related blackouts during the 1990s. McMenemy said that Hewett told police that "anything (was) possible" when he was blacked out.

"(The victim) gave me his formative years," said McMenemy, quoting Hewett's testimony to the authorities.

Cintolo, in a booming voice, implored the jury to disregard McMenemy's remarks.

"Not one word of what she said is evidence in this case," he said. "The government has the burden of proof to prove each and every element of this case beyond a reasonable doubt."

The alleged victim said he first met Hewett at Otis Ridge Ski Area, where he took ski and martial arts lessons from Hewett. The friendship blossomed, with Hewett taking the adolescent under his wing.

In many ways, Hewett was a surrogate parent, according to the man, whose own parents were separated and emotionally detached. As Hewett and the boy spent more time together, according to yesterday's testimony, Hewett became more sexually aggressive, inviting the boy to skinny-dip with him and cajoling him into games in which the loser would have to disrobe.

At first, Hewett did not touch him, the man testified. But that soon changed, he said, as Hewett allegedly progressed to masturbating in front of him.

"It progressed into oral sex and anal sex," he said. "(Hewett) would say, 'I'm going to take it slow so I don't scare you.' "

The alleged victim testified that Hewett "guilt-tripped" him into inappropriate or sexual situations and eventually expected him "to return the same conduct."

He said the main reason he never came forward sooner was the sense of shame he felt. And fear.

"He instilled fear in me," said the man, adding that Hewett grew so angry, he would froth at the mouth "like he had rabies."

The man said that society's general view of homosexuality also cowed him into remaining quiet about the alleged abuse.

"It's embarrassing," he said.

This is not the first time Hewett has faced allegations of sexual assault. According to published reports in the Hartford Courant, Hewett came under suspicion while he was a police officer in New Hartford, where he worked for 18 years.

In 1992, he was fired from the department after an investigation by Connecticut State Police, the Courant reported. Hewett then moved to Otis.

The Connecticut investigation was suspended after state police determined that none of the alleged abuse cases fell within the statute of limitations that were in effect at the time, the Courant reported.

Hewett sued the town of New Hartford for dismissing him from his job, but a federal judge ruled in the town's favor.

The trial is scheduled to resume Monday at 9 a.m. in Berkshire Superior Court.


NY - State Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer speaks on Sex Offenders

View S3318 here | Janele Hyer-Spencer (Email)


UT - Parents fear kids will be on sex list

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You see, when it hits home, that is when people start screaming! When you wind up on the registry, then I guarantee you will be seeing things differently.

04/05/2008

Trading of nude photos raises questions about state's offender registry

A day after the Utah Supreme Court heard oral arguments on a key case challenging the constitutionality of the state's sex offender registry, prosecutors are being inundated with calls and notes from parents.

The parents are concerned their children will be prosecuted and forced to register as sex offenders for taking indecent pictures with their cell phones.

Prosecutors are saying a scenario posed by a Utah Supreme Court justice during oral arguments Wednesday just isn't realistic.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of a convicted sex offender who is challenging the constitutionality of the requirement to register as a sex offender. The man, who served time for sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl, claims the sex offender registry stigmatizes him as a sexual predator and that he has a due process right to prove to a court that he is not a danger to the community. Currently the sex offender requirement is handled by Utah Department of Corrections policy.

During oral arguments in the case Wednesday, Chief Justice Christine Durham alluded to the prosecution of minors taking indecent pictures with their cell phones and sending them to friends as a possible offense that could result in kids being registered as sex offenders.

Assistant Utah Attorney General Laura Dupaix, who argued on behalf of the state in the case, said that is just not realistic.

"There are no juveniles in the sex offender registry" currently, Dupaix said. According to state juvenile law, a juvenile offender has to be ordered held in secure confinement until they are 21 in order to require them to be a registered sex offender. Taking dirty pictures with a cell phone hardly seems like an offense deserving such a punishment, Dupaix said.

"We all know that is not a serious offense," she said. However, she said prosecutors also need to send a message that such behavior is also not socially acceptable.

The Supreme Court's discussion about cell phone pictures stems from the Davis County attorney's prosecution of about 28 junior high students accused of trading nude and sexually explicit pictures over cell phones. Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said he intended to send a message to teens that this sort of behavior is not acceptable, but he never intended to charge them with a crime that would land them on the sex offender registry.

Rawlings said since the supreme court's hearing Wednesday, he has been inundated with calls by concerned parents who are worried that children are being put on the sex offender registry.

"None of these kids are going to be registered sex offenders," Rawlings said Friday.

He said he hopes to get the word out to parents that while trading in indecent pictures will get juveniles in trouble, being on the registry is not a realistic option.

Dupaix said she has filed a letter to the Supreme Court, clarifying Utah's laws regarding such behavior.

E-mail: gfattah@desnews.com


UT - Convicted Sex Offender Challenges Utah’s Sex Offender Registry

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04/05/2008

A man who went to prison for a sexual abusing a 9-year-old girl is now challenging Utah’s sex offender registry. This is the first time that a convicted sex offender has challenged the registry in the state.

Steven Briggs served 15 years in prison for his crime and currently, he is on the Utah sex offenders list.

Before being released, Briggs was asked to sign a sex offender registration form. He refused to do so and was later send back to jail for another 2 years.

Briggs argues that he has done his time and that before having to register as a sex offender, he should be given the opportunity to prove that he is no longer dangerous.

Laura Dupaix from the Attorney General’s Office says that courts already gave Briggs a chance to prove that he’s not dangerous. She also added that many convicted sex offenders do abuse children again.

“The legislature has essentially decided, we don’t know who is going to re-offend, and who isn’t,” says Dupaix.

Dupaix says there is no proof that Briggs will offend again, but either way, parents need to know where convicted sex offenders live.

“Maybe we need to err on the side of caution in terms of protecting our children and our communities,” says Dupaix. “The reality is; we don’t know who of these offenders might re-offend and harm children again.”

2News attempted to contact Steven Briggs for an interview, but he could not be reached. Briggs’ attorney was contacted, but declined to comment.


LA - State sex offender legislation gains Senate panel backing

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04/05/2008

A Senate panel Tuesday quickly endorsed Jindal administration-backed legislation targeting convicted sex offenders, particularly those who prey on children.
- Here they mention "particularly those who prey on children", which you would assume it's not for all sex offenders, but only those who harmed children.

The Senate Committee on Judiciary approved bills that, among other things, would increase criminal penalties, require lifetime registration of convicted sex offenders and keep them farther away from places where children congregate.
- But here, they mention it's for "convicted sex offenders", which includes ALL sex offenders. So this is misleading. These laws are for ALL sex offenders, not just child sex offenders.

“It’s a sickness. They don’t know if it can be cured. The recidivism rate is so high we have to do something to make it a lot rougher,” said state Sen. Jody Amedee (Email), D-Gonzales, committee chairman and sponsor of the bills.
- Well this person is ignorant, so I'll email him the facts. Just like alcoholics, it cannot be cured, but you can give them the tools to change their ways so they do not reoffend. And the recidivism is NOT HIGH, it's LOW, I have MANY studies on my blog, that prove this.

The package of bills is part of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s regular legislative session agenda. No one testified against the bills.

Senate Bill 513 generated the most debate among panelists. Under the bill, a convicted sex offender whose offense involved a minor child would be prohibited from being closer than 2,000 feet from a school, day care facility, playground or other such place. Today, it’s 1,000 feet away. The penalty for violation would double to a $2,000 fine and not more than a year in jail under the proposal.

Senators said some provision needed to be made so that offenders would have time to move if the law change puts their residence within the 2,000-foot boundary. In addition, state Sen. A.G. Crowe (Email), R-Pearl River, said how the distance is computed also needed to be better spelled out. Amedee said he would work on changes to address the concerns.

Other bills approved by the panel include:

  • SB510 that would increase the jail time for computer-aided solicitation of a minor. If the victim is under age 13, the offender would face 10 to 20 years in prison. If the victim is between age 13 and 17, the offender would face five to 10 years in prison. Today, those convicted for solicitation of a minor can be imprisoned from two to 10 years.
  • SB512 would include as criminal conduct the use of electronic text communication to establish another form of communication for the purpose of solicitation of a minor for sexual misconduct.
  • SB514 would increase the penalty for molestation of a juvenile. If a victim is over age 13 and under age 18, the minimum punishment would increase from one to five years. If the offender is in control or supervision of the minor, the minimum punishment would be not less than five years.

If the victim is under age 13, the minimum punishment would increase from 10 to 20 years. When the offender is in control or supervision of the victim, the minimum is fixed at a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 20 years.

  • SB517 would require sex offender registration for life. Today, there is a 15-year limit.

Besides the sex offender package, the panel agreed to another Jindal-sponsored bill that would increase from 60 days to 120 days the time a defendant could be held in custody for a felony arrest without an indictment or bill of information being issued.

SB515 won the support of Attorney General Buddy Caldwell (Contact) as well as the Louisiana District Attorneys’ Association.
- This bill says (as below), so it basically means, they can arrest you and hold you in jail without even being actually charged with anything. At least that is how I read it.
"Increases the time a defendant may be held in custody without being charged with a felony."

“What this does is they will be staying in jail and not going to be intimidating witnesses,” said Caldwell.

The legislation expands a law state Sen. Steve Scalise (Email), R-Jefferson, pushed last year that allowed the 120-day hold only for felonies punishable by death or life in prison.


OH - Lorain woman files lawsuit against Marrero, Lorain

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Instead of "To Serve and Protect" it should be "To Rape and Molest!"

04/05/2008

LORAIN — A Lorain woman filed a $15 million federal lawsuit Thursday against the city, Police Chief Cel Rivera and suspended police Officer Stanley Marrero, claiming the city and Rivera stood by and ignored her complaints that Marrero was forcing her to engage in sexual relations with him.

The lawsuit is the latest legal blow to Marrero, who is awaiting trial on theft in office, menacing by stalking, intimidation of a crime victim and public indecency charges.

Mike Duff, the 47-year-old woman’s attorney, said his client was one of Marrero’s victims in the criminal case, and he also represents another victim in that case who is planning to sue Marrero and the city.

According to the lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, Marrero first began harassing the woman in April 2001 and the behavior continued through May 2007.

During the time the woman accuses Marrero of stalking her, he allegedly fondled her breasts at her home and in a city police substation, made numerous harassing phone calls to her and held her against her front door while fondling her breasts and masturbating, according to the lawsuit.

Marrero also allegedly pulled the woman over while she was driving, even though she had done nothing illegal, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit stated that the woman had filed complaints against Marrero with the department, but nothing was done.

Because her complaints were ignored, the lawsuit stated, the city and Rivera created “a culture and environment in which police officers are led to believe that such behavior is not only tolerated but authorized as policy.”

The end result, the lawsuit stated, was to put the public “at substantial risk of being the victims of violent or sexually motivated behavior” from Lorain police officers.

Rivera declined to comment Thursday.

Another suspended Lorain police officer, Jesus Sanchez, also is facing criminal charges and has agreed to testify about the sexual behavior of his fellow officers in another federal lawsuit filed against Lorain police by another woman.

Having sex with Lorain residents was a “perk of the badge,” Duff said, adding that Marrero made it clear to the woman to stop complaining.

Robert Phillips, Marrero’s attorney, said the woman appears to be targeting the deep pockets of the city by exaggerating her claims.

“Stan Marrero probably has done a thing or two he should not have, but it doesn’t rise to the level he’s been vilified for,” Phillips said.

Marrero was investigated by Lorain police last year, including for allegedly failing to separate two women with whom he was romantically linked who were fighting over him.

Lorain Mayor Tony Krasienko said the Police Department has been reviewing its ethics codes and standards, but that didn’t specifically relate to any one officer.

“Obviously, we don’t tolerate any misconduct and anything that comes to our attention we’ll deal with appropriately, but in regards to the lawsuit I has to say ‘no comment’ because it’s pending litigation,” Krasienko said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.


SC - Female prison guard charged with sexual misconduct

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04/03/2008

COLUMBIA - A former female prison guard has been charged with two counts of second degree sexual misconduct with a male inmate.

Authorities say 24-year-old Lori Clawson Johnson was released from a Spartanburg County jail Thursday.

A man who identified himself as Johnson's stepfather would not talk about the charges. He also said he didn't know if the Johnson has an attorney.

The State Law Enforcement Division and the state Department of Corrections investigated the case.


AZ - Was School Strip-Search Legal?

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U.S. Supreme Court will hear strip-search appeal

03/28/2008

Case Pits Students' Privacy Rights vs. Need to Keep Drugs, Weapons Out of Schools

A student strip-searched for drugs when she was in eighth grade took her case to a federal appeals court on Wednesday, arguing through a lawyer that school officials had violated her constitutional rights by overzealously enforcing a strict policy against alcohol, narcotics – and, in her case, Ibuprofen.

Savana Redding says she was "confused" and "ashamed" after the officials in Safford, Ariz., suspected her in 2003 of giving other students prescription Ibuprofen pills and ordered her to expose her breasts and pelvic area during a search in the school nurse's office. She denied having any pills, and none were found. Her mother later filed on her behalf a federal lawsuit claiming the search was unreasonable and therefore illegal.

"A strip search, particularly of an adolescent, is a grave invasion of privacy and should be reserved for emergency situations," Andrew Petersen, one of Redding's lawyers, said in a written statement. "The misguided actions of these school officials must not become the status quo in our nation's schools."

But a lawyer for the school district insisted that there were ample grounds for the search.

"When it comes to drugs and weapons," Matthew Wright said, "school districts just can't take the chance of not going forward and being sure."

The case is one of dozens that have recently challenged public schools on where to draw the line between the privacy rights of students and the need to keep drugs and violence out of the classroom. Courts have generally upheld school strip searches only when they were necessary to avoid a severe health or safety threat. But laws banning or strictly limiting such searches exist in seven states: California, Iowa, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Wednesday's argument was the third round in a legal fight that has been going on since 2004. On March 15, 2005, a U.S. district judge ruled in favor of the school district without a trial. Last year, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld that ruling by a vote of 2-1. In January, the full court of appeals agreed to review the case, and it heard oral arguments Wednesday. A decision is not expected for at least several months.

According to court documents, the dispute started in October 2003, when a student at Safford Middle School in Safford, Ariz., told the vice principal that Redding, then 13, and her friends were bringing drugs to school. A week later, the student showed the vice principal a pill that he said was from Redding's friend. The pill turned out to be prescription-strength Ibuprofen.

A recently adopted school policy prohibited all drugs on school grounds, including any "prescription or over-the-counter drug" like Ibuprofen, except when specifically permitted by the school. The vice principal asked Redding's friend about the pill, and she said Redding had given it to her.

The vice principal then hauled Redding out of class for questioning. After she denied knowing anything about the pills, he asked if she would agree to be searched, and she said she would. The vice principal looked in her backpack, found nothing and then sent her to the nurse's office.

"I was just like, did I do something wrong?" Redding recalls. "I was thinking, if I don't do this [go to the nurse's office], they're going to think that I did do something wrong, and I'll get into more trouble."

While the nurse watched, a female secretary had Redding strip to her underwear, pull her bra to the side and her panties out at the crotch and expose her breasts and pelvic area. After no pills appeared, Redding got dressed.

Redding says she didn't return to class but sat in the vice principal's office and called her mother to pick her up. She was afraid to tell her mom on the phone what had happened, she recalls, because "the secretary was listening" and "I was like really ashamed, like it was my fault." A friend later spilled the beans about the search, and Redding says her mom "was more mad than I was. I felt really stupid."

The incident was so humiliating that Redding says she couldn't return to school for months. "Everyone knew what had happened, and they were talking about me," she recalls. "I got really nervous, developed ulcers and started puking."

Eventually, Redding transferred to another school, and today, at age 17, she is still trying to make up for lost time at what she describes as an alternative high school.

"I remember how much I enjoyed school," she says. "I won all kinds of certificates, I was on the honor roll, I was doing pretty good. And I had never been in trouble before."

"I would have felt better if they had called my mom" before doing the strip search, she says.

Wright, the lawyer for the school district, says the school's strict drug policy is still in effect. He is not aware of any specific rules on strip searches but stresses the duty of schools "to closely supervise students and provide a safe environment." As for the strip search of Redding, he says it was based on "reasonable grounds."

"Remember," he says, "this was prescription strength Ibuprofen."


GA - Sex offender work, residency restrictions pass legislature

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04/05/2008

By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
sarah@newnan.com

The Georgia General Assembly has passed legislation reinstating residency and work restrictions on registered sex offenders.

The restrictions were voted on Friday without going through the typical Senate committee process, and without hearings on the Senate side.

Early on the 40th day of the General Assembly, the Senate voted to agree to the House substitute to Senate Bill 1.

SB 1, which passed the Senate in 2007, initially prohibited registered sex offenders from taking photographs of minors without the permission of their parents.

In mid-March, the House Judiciary Committee amended the bill to add back in the residency and work restrictions on sex offenders. That language was lifted verbatim from House Bill 908. HB 908 passed early in the session, but had sat in the Senate judiciary committee, without any action, ever since.

Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson (Email), R-Savannah, made the motion to agree with the House substitute.

Johnson stated that the bill addressed the Georgia Supreme Court's concerns about property rights. However, the bill only exempts sex offenders who own their own homes. In that case, the sex offenders can remain in their homes if a day-care center, church, park, or other forbidden area locates within 1,000 feet of the home.

Tenancy is a property right, by law, said Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta. He is concerned that the bill does not provide protection for renters.

"There could be further legal challenges," Johnson said. He added that the sponsor of the bill in the House, Rep. David Ralston (Email), R-Blue Ridge, would "accept no further amendments."
- Oh you can count on further legal challenges. They are wasting tons of tax payer dollars on all the legal battles on this, instead of fixing it so it's constitutional.

"We can continue to address some things in the future," Johnson said. But, "if we do not adopt this bill today, there are no restrictions on where they can live and work. It is critical that we now adopt 908, which is now in SB 1."

Sen. Seth Harp (Email), R-Midland, asked about the inclusion of the year 2006 in the bill. The bill states that people who had a job in 2006 could keep that same job if a prohibited area located near their job. Johnson said he felt that the date strengthens the bill.

"I have to disagree," said Harp, who is chairman of the subcommittee that was to have heard HB 908. Harp held a brief hearing on the bill on Monday.

"On its face, it's unconstitutional," said Sen. Nan Orrock (Email), D-Atlanta. "There is different treatment of homeowners and those who rent. We're already in murky constitutional ground."

Then, there are the unintended consequences, she said.

"With sexual offenders who have served their time and who are back in the community, our highest priority is that they not re-offend and prey on another victim," Orrock said.

But putting in the residency restrictions "set in motion this moving around of former sex offenders."

Studies show, clearly, she said, that sex offenders who have to move from a stable home or job are more likely to re-offend."

"I have no personal knowledge of the living habits of sex offenders," Johnson said. "That's why we have attorneys and why we have courts."

The Senate had added one amendment to the bill. As it was written, it could be construed that taking a picture of a minor without parental permission would be a felony carrying 10 to 20 years. The Senate amendment states that it would be a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

The bill passed 42 to 8 in the Senate. The House later voted to approve the Senate's amendment.

The restrictions are exactly the same as the ones implemented in 2006. In almost every case, all registered sex offenders are treated equally, regardless of whether they were convicted of child rape or public urination.

No sex offender may live within 1,000 feet of a child care facility, church, school, or "area where minors congregate." Those areas are defined as: parks, recreation facilities, playgrounds, skating rinks, neighborhood centers, gymnasiums, school bus stops, public libraries and public and community swimming pools. Adding libraries is the only change to that definition.

Work restrictions aren't quite so severe.

The average sex offender can't work or volunteer at a child care facility, school or church, or at any business that is within 1,000 feet of a child care facility, school, or church.

Those classified as sexually dangerous predators further can't work or volunteer within 1,000 feet of an area where minors congregate.

Additionally, a registered sex offender can't loiter at a child care facility, school, or area where minors congregate.

Loitering means just that — being at a place without an apparent purpose. The law doesn't prevent sex offenders from going to church, watching their children play sports, or visiting a park for normal purposes.

The bill also sates that a sex offender who owned property, or had established employment prior to July 1, 2006, is not in violation of the law, even if it is within 1,000 feet of a prohibited location.


CT - Danbury alters sex offender ordinance

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04/04/2008

DANBURY - The Common Council is closing loopholes in a local law banning registered sex offenders from city-owned properties where children might gather.

Acting on a report from an ad hoc committee, the Common Council voted Tuesday to change the language in the city's sex offender ordinance so schools are included in "child safety zones" that are off limits to registered sex offenders.

The revised law has to be put out for a public hearing. That should happen within the next two months.

The original sex offender ordinance, adopted in 2006, mentioned parks and playgrounds and "any of the buildings or land included in the property" but did not specifically mention schools.

The locations of the child safety zones will also be listed on the city's Web site, along with a map outlining the areas.

Finally, the Common Council eliminated so-called "zone hopping."

The original law was worded in a way that would allow a sex offender to travel to separate child safety zones and, if caught, get a written warning for each location - instead of a $250 fine.


ID - Local sex offender registries not always accurate

View the article here

Another news article, which goes along with the blog item I just recently posted. These registries are not always 100% accurate, so what good are they? And no, it's not always the offenders fault. The people at the sheriff's offices enter the data incorrectly. So is the offender going to be hauled off to jail or prison for something that was NOT their mistake? How would an offender disprove this, when most sheriff offices do NOT give you any paperwork to PROVE you gave them the correct information? This reporter is making the assumption that the offenders are not providing the correct info all the time. Well, that may be true most of the time, but there is instances where the correct info is given to the sheriff's, but they enter the data wrong, I know, I've been there about 3 or 4 times in the last couple years! Video is available at the site.

04/04/2008

BOISE - There are nearly 500 registered sex offenders living in Boise.

Online registries track their home addresses, but they're not always accurate.

Sex offenders are suppose to register at the sheriff's office once a year and in between registration. They're sent forms to verify their address - but not all of them cooperate.

A check of the Idaho State Police website shows more than a dozen non-compliant sex offenders in Boise including 36-year-old John Michael Brennan.

He's charged with sexual battery of a minor under the age of sixteen.

"(I feel) very uncomfortable, very uncomfortable," said Aundrea Cheney, a mother who lives two doors down from the home Brennan listed as his residence. "I think they need to make much tighter laws."

Cheney says he moved away 10 months ago. And she says she's upset that he's unaccounted for.

"It really bothers me that maybe they weren't on them in the first place you know checking to make sure and keeping up on him, that's the problem," she said.

If sex offenders move, they have two days to give notice to the county they're registered in. The county then has three days to forward that information to Idaho State Police.

But over the last few months, ISP says it has been dealing with a staff shortage and say they haven't kept up with the registry as much as they'd like.

"It would be two days normally that we strive to do, but as I said, we haven't been meeting that goal lately," said Dawn Peck, criminal identification manager.

Peck says offenders move around a lot and address changes between registrations account for some discrepancy.

"I'm not gonna tell you that it isn't possible for someone to slip through the cracks if they moved from another state and there wasn't proper notification there - that could happen," Peck said.

Last month, ISP had to verify more than 1,000 addresses and also registered nearly 70 new offenders.

"They need to keep it updated so the rest of us know who's in the neighborhood and who's out of the neighborhood," Cheney said.


Registries with the wrong info and/or exploiting sex offenders for a quick buck!!!

* * * REGISTRY ERRORS * * *

The following is some sex offender and/or criminal history web sites I have come across, which do not contain up to date info, and I feel like are exploiting the fear and hysteria to earn a quick buck.

If you know of or come across another web site you see has the wrong info, please let me know and provide me with the link so I can verify it and add it to this list.

I have come across others, but have not documented them, yet, and did not save the links, but I know for a fact there is a lot more which contain wrong or bogus info.

Check them out for yourself to see if they have other info wrong, and call them.

If someone is going to provide this service, which I don't think ANYBODY should be able to do this, except the STATE, then at least make sure the damn data is correct!!!

NOTE: I wonder if these sites can be held responsible if they provide wrong info and someone gets killed or harassed due to their incorrect info?
  1. SavannahNow.com - I checked this web site, and the info they have is wrong. I contacted them, and they said they get their info from the GBI web site. Well, I checked the GBI web site, and their info is right, and this site is wrong, so they are lying or something. The GBI web site can be viewed here.


  2. CriminalRegistry.org - This web site is not up to date either, and when you click on a persons name, they want money before you can get the info, so I feel like they are exploiting sex offenders to make a quick buck. Why pay for this info when it's free elsewhere? I have emailed them asking where they get their data from and why they charge for sex offender data when someone can get it free elsewhere. Will add their reply here, if and when they reply.

  3. Here is another National Alert registry, which charges a one time $10.00 fee, and also $4.95 a month. I just checked the state GBI registry, and there is a total of 17 sex offenders listed, 6 are incarcerated, and none are predators or absconders. So this registry has outdated info. So this site is wrong, there is 17 - 6 = 11 sex offenders in the area, so this is FEAR-FACTOR to scare people into purchasing their service, when it is available elsewhere for free!

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    Click the image to enlarge it