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HOLT — Tensions have been high on Sundance Way after one neighbor posted a flyer of another, identifying him as a sexual offender.
A deputy on Saturday responded as tempers flared, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office.
A man said he was at home watching a movie when his friends told him his across-the-street neighbors had posted a sign on their privacy fence.
The sign was an 8 1/2-by-11-inch piece of paper with the man's sexual offender information from the Department of Corrections Web site, a deputy said.
The man claimed the sign was part of an ongoing feud and that "obscenities are regularly exchanged by the two feuding sides," the deputy reported.
Across the street, the neighbors involved refused to speak to the deputy and requested a supervisor. When a sergeant arrived, a woman affirmed printing out her neighbor's sexual offender information and posting it on her fence. She said the man's wife came near it, so she told her not to come on the property to touch the sign or else risk arrest. She said the man then arrived and told her "I don't give a [expletive]," tore down the sign and left.
The wife then said to the neighbor that she had "a good [expletive] mind to go get a shovel and beat the [expletive] [expletive] out of you," according to the report.
Another man at the neighbor's home said the man had been yelling, cussing and "blaring his music of vulgarness" before he tore down the flier.
The case is open and under investigation. The case description is listed as misdemeanor criminal mischief for the tearing down of the flier — valued at 25 cents.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
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Dan Filler at The Faculty Lounge continues to post about sex crime issues with an interesting bit about how the government plays on the fear of pedophiles. Filler was writing in response to this online ad. Here is what he had to say:
Here's the problem with today's fear-of-pedophilia ad: in its effort to trade on popular anxiety - using existing fear to cause readers to pay attention - it also further produces that fear. Every time the government waves the bloody shirt of pedophilia, a few more readers will begin to believe that the nation is in a child sexual assault crisis. And it's simply not clear that this is remotely true. But by generating that anxiety, more and more voters become open to the sorts of aggressive, repressive regulations supposedly needed to suppress this crime. Internet speech bans. Shaming sanctions. And I won't be surprised if, at some future point, states begin to reguate the dating habits of single moms. (The data suggest, at least, that this would be the most productive site of intervention.)
Market research may show that you need to employ this radioactive rhetoric to grab the attention of readers. But it is also true that fear is the tool of authoritarian governments. I've blogged previously about increasingly aggressive governmental surveillance and policing. Today's ad is a small component of this troubling agenda.
Filler leaves out the last part of the process (and perhaps the most worrisome). Once these new policies are applied to sex offenders, it is only a matter of time until they are applied in other areas as well. The War on Drugs has illustrated this pattern pretty well. Modern police investigation techniques warranted by the unusual aspects of the drug war have spilled over into ordinary police practice. One day, registration, residency restrictions, community notification, internet use restrictions, and an array of other measures may be applied to a lot of criminals who aren't sex offenders.
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So the real intention of the sex offender laws in Louisiana comes out, in bold red! Watch the video here. Listen to the audio below. Visit his web page here, and contact him here. I believe this is his motivation for this speech.
…Lastly, our New Louisiana must be a place where our kids can grow up in safe communities – far away from those who wish to do them harm.
As the father of three young children, I cannot overstate the importance of taking every effort to keep our kids safe from violent criminals and sexual predators.
I know some folks think its great that you can go online today and see where these monsters live, block by block – But I look forward to the day when you can go online and see that they all live in one place – In Angola – Far away from our kids.
In this session, we must increase the penalties for sexual predators that prey on our kids.
Today, if someone chooses to molest a child through the internet, they face a minimum of one year in prison.
- Well this is an outright lie. A lie to get people angry so he can pass his draconian laws.
One year for taking the innocence of a child. That is inexcusable and that must be changed. We must double and triple the sentences for those who harm our children – especially for those sex offenders that prey on our kids through the internet.
In this session, we are calling to increase the minimum sentence for computer-aided solicitation of a minor from one year to a five-year minimum when the victim is 13 or older, and to a ten-year minimum when the victim is 12 or younger.
And, once someone is convicted of a sex crime, we should require them to register as a sex offender for the duration of their life – not just 15 years – but their entire life. Victims have to live their entire lives with the memory of what happened to them; perpetrators should not face a lesser sentence.
We must also double the perimeter around our schools and parks to prevent convicted sex offenders from preying on our children yet again.
Let’s send a message loud and clear: if you want to hurt a child, if you want to molest a kid or prey on children through the internet – you should not do it in Louisiana. Here, you will suffer the strictest of consequences – and not just for one year, or two years; but for the rest of your life.
This budget also provides $6.5 million for an additional 50 Louisiana State Police Officers and will increase patrol trooper strength to 657 across the state.
…Yet again, we have an ambitious agenda to tackle.
To take another bold step toward our New Louisiana we know we have to first and foremost dramatically transform our workforce development system. We have jobs – we have workers – we must make them sync up for the good of our economy and the good of our people.
We must work toward a New Louisiana where all Louisianians have access to a great education, affordable health care and safe communities that protect them from the criminals that prey on the weakest among us.
I know as we work together, just as we have before, that we will deliver more incredible victories for the people of our state – we will make Louisiana the best place in the world, and the most attractive place for businesses to invest, and for families to prosper.
…And most importantly…we’ll make sure Louisiana is the best place for our sons and daughters to raise their own sons and daughters.
I thank you again for your hard work thus far and for the spirit we have here.
We are making history. And we are only getting started.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again…Louisiana’s future can change – it must change. It will change.
God Bless You, God Bless America and God Bless the great state of Louisiana.
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BATON ROUGE - Sen. John Smith (Email), D-Leesville, has proposed a law that will regulate video pornography shops and strip clubs throughout the state.
Approached by the Family Forum and other Christian groups about the need to regulate sexually oriented businesses in the state, Smith authored Senate Bill 712 which proposes to regulate location, hours of operation, and the manner in which sexually oriented businesses operate, specifically that no touching would be allowed between patrons and any performers.
“I don't want a porno or video shop next to a church or school,” Smith said, explaining that the same laws already exist for establishments that sell alcohol. “These (sexually oriented businesses) have been out of sight, but they're building, especially in urban areas.”
Now is the time to put laws into effect that would regulate those businesses, he added.
Specifically, the bill provides that no such business can be established “within 1,000 feet of any preexisting primary or secondary school, house of worship, state-licensed day care facility, public library, public park, residence, or other sexually oriented business.”
The new law's requirement concerning location would not apply to any sexually oriented business established before the law goes into effect.
- And why not? Maybe because it would violate ex post facto issues? Funny how when it's not involving sex offenders then this is an issue...
The bill also proposes that anyone who has been convicted of a felony, is a known child predator or child abuser cannot be an employee or be an owner of a sexually oriented business.
Also, all performers or employees who appear in a seminude condition must remain on a fixed stage at least six feet from all patrons and at least 18 inches from the floor in a room of at least 600 square feet.
“He's truly representing the district very well,” said Mike Davis of Smith's work. Davis is the Senate chaplain. “John has done an incredible job. He's represented the people from (his) region with high honor.”
“We've been working on this around the state,” said Gene Mills, of the Family Forum. A number of municipalities have similar laws pending, including Shreveport, Kenner, Ruston, Rayville, and Delhi. Sabine Parish, as well as several other parishes, also have laws pending.
“I think the bill will make it through the process,” Mills continued. “I think Sen. Smith's credibility, and the committee that will be hearing the bill makes success very likely next week.” The bill should be coming up for full senate debate either Tuesday or Wednesday.
In a related matter, Smith welcomed America's Most Wanted's John Walsh to the Louisiana State Capitol Wednesday, April 30, as part of the Teen Summit on Internet Safety and Grassroots Advocacy, according to a press release from the Senate.
The summit, a cooperative effort involving Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana, the Louisiana Attorney General's Office and Cox Communications, brought together high school students and teachers from across the state to learn ways to protect themselves, their families and communities from on-line predators. John Walsh served as the keynote speaker for the summit.
“All of us certainly appreciate Mr. Walsh's commitment to protecting our children and families,” said Smith, who helped secure the necessary state financial support for the summit in this year's budget. “As an advocate for children, as an author and as the host of the nation's number-one crime fighting broadcast, he has provided our students and teachers with a unique perspective of the problem we face with on-line predators. We will not be able to completely stop those who seek to prey on our children, but we can provide our children and families with the tools they need to better protect themselves against such criminals.”
Walsh, whose son was abducted and later found murdered in the summer of 1981, has turned his personal grief into a commitment to helping children and families across the nation. He led the effort to pass the Missing Children Act of 1982 and the Missing Children's Assistance Act of 1984, which led to the establishment of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. In 2006, he helped pass the Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act, which created a National Sex Offender Registry.
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So instead of putting this money into hiring staff to help with online exploitation of children or other services, they hire more lawyers. What a waste of money! Sounds like they don't want to help children, but to get more convictions to help overflow the prison system, which when this occurs, I'm sure the tax payers will be forced to pull more money out of their pockets.
WASHINGTON (UPI) -- Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Justice Department program, received a $5 million boost in its battle against sexual exploitation of children on the Internet.
The money will be used to fund 43 new assistant U.S. attorney positions nationwide to prosecute offenders, the department said in a news release Wednesday.
"Anyone who uses the Internet to prey on children will become the primary target of law enforcement. These additional resources back up this commitment," said Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip.
Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative of the Justice Department developed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.
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A question to reporters. How come when a policeman is busted with sex of inmates or other sexual crime, you usually do a small article about them, yet when it's someone from the general public or some famous celebrity or politicians that can bring you ratings, you make a book out of it? Why do you do this? Why do you protect some people, but others you do not? Maybe you should check the ethics of journalism again.
PITTSFIELD - A former guard at the Berkshire County jail has pleaded guilty to having sex with two female inmates.
Raymond Dunham Jr. was sentenced on Wednesday by Berkshire Superior Court Judge John Agostini to a maximum of one year and one day behind bars.
The 43-year-old Dunham pleaded guilty a day after his trial started.
Dunham admitted to engaging in sexual activity with two female inmates on four occasions at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction between Sept. 24 and Oct. 8, 2006.
The sex allegedly was consensual, but a 1999 state law makes sex between correction officers and inmates a felony.
Dunham resigned from the sheriff's office in December 2006 after 17 years.
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The "scare" factor is growing when it comes to sex offenders living in communities across the Alleghenies. So, what if you live down the street from a convicted offender? What are your rights and what are theirs?
Councilman Tries To Track Predators
Bill Latchford, a Tyrone Borough councilman and dad, has worked with police in catching online predators in Blair County. But he said he's not just looking for sex offenders online.
"I'm trying to notify citizens of the town. I want them to understand there's a way to find out if a predator lives close to you," said Latchford.
"Jonathan" And "Tony" Tell Their Stories
Jonathan, who's name has been changed to protect his identity, is a Clearfield County man and convicted sex offender. He said he's fed up with people using blanket terms, search as "sexual predator" or "pedophile." They have different legal definitions and social implications.
"There are a lot of sex offenders out there who need to be locked up, but the bottom line is, we are not all like that. And it's making it very difficult for us to rejoin society, even though that's the one thing we want to do," said Jonathan.
Jonathan was convicted of statutory sexual assault. He was 26 years old when he had sex with a 14-year-old girl. He said he didn't know she wasn't 18. Jonathan served six months in prison. He did not have to register under Megan's Law, but his court case was in the media, and he's been harassed.
"They might as well have had a parade down Market Street with me as the grand marshal," said Jonathan.
Tony, who's name has also been changed, said, "When people go to the Web site, they see me as the lowest form of human they can imagine. People have driven past my house yelling 'baby raper' and they throw stuff at my house."
Tony, who is also from Clearfield County, had to register under Megan's Law. He said he's been badgered, despite the Megan's Law Web site prohibiting use of information in order to harass offenders. The Web site lists Tony's conviction as "sexual abuse of a child" with no further explanation. He served two years in prison.
There are more than 850 people, branded as sex offenders, living across the Alleghenies. The majority live in Cambria, Somerset and Centre counties.
No Hysteria Because Of Numbers
Bill Allenbaugh, a psychologist and certified sex offender counselor, said the data should not cause hysteria.
"If you make everybody one label, all sex offenders, you're missing the essence of risk. Some of the individuals are of no threat, or very minimal if any, towards children," said Allenbaugh.
That's because of the stigma of the charges don't always match the crime. Tony was convicted of sexual abuse of a child, but that phrase probably doesn't mean the same to an average person as it does to the courts. Tony did not touch anyone. Pictures of girls younger than the age 18 were found on his computer. An offender, yes, but he does not consider himself a predator.
However, when you look at the percentage of offenders found to be "sexual violent predators," it's very low. In fact, 1 percent of sex offenders across the Alleghenies are considered sexually violent predators, which means they've been convicted of a sexual offense and due to a mental abnormality or personality disorder, they're likely to offend again.
The sex offenders, their counselor, even the man who's helped catch online predators, want more to be done with Web sites, such as Megan's Law and Family Watchdog. They want the Web sites to provide more details on the crimes committed, which they believe will keep area residents from worrying about their kids and from harassing the offenders.
"It doesn't differentiate the tiers and levels of sex offenders there are. It just defines them as black and white. They need to re-examine the legislation and rewrite it to include the gray area that includes people like me," said Jonathan.
"When they're put on the Web site, people only get basic information. They may ridicule, censor or demean them for no other reason than a label," said counselor Allenbaugh.
So what rights do you have as someone who potentially shares a community with sex offenders?
You are legally allowed to call state police to find out the details of the crime, go to the county courthouse to see the public records, or go into an Internet-based court records search for more information. You can not harass the sex offenders. If you do, you could face charges.
Latchford said he's thought about approaching a convicted sex offender who just moved to Tyrone.
"When it comes to children we just need more information, so you're not creating a hysteria in your community," said Latchford.
Jonathan said, "You need to look at the person, not the crime."
Latchford said he won't stop working with local police to try to catch online predators.
"I'd hate to jump off the deep end, but with kids, you can't be too safe," said Latchford.
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MONTGOMERY (AP) -- The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee wants his panel to study the issue of where in Alabama convicted sex offenders can legally live.
Rep. Marcel Black of Tuscumbia made the comment Wednesday after his committee approved a Senate-passed bill that would prohibit convicted sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a college or university. The bill now goes to the full House for debate.
The committee removed language from the Senate bill that would have prohibited sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a bus stop.
Black and several committee members said lawmakers need to figure out where it is legal for convicted sex offenders to live.
Rep. Yusuf Salaam, a Selma attorney, said some sex offenders' convictions could be reversed if there is not a legal place for sex offenders to live when released from prison.
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A Clark County Family Court Judge and a Clark Count Deputy Public Defender say that a law extending sex offender registration to 14-year-olds violates constitutional due process guarantees.
Clark County Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Vanboskerck disagrees and has filed a notice of appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court. He filed the notice after Clark County Family Court Judge William Voy's recent decision against part of the law passed by the 2007 Legislature.
Deputy Clark County Public Defender Susan Roske said she's cross-appealing even though Voy's decision was one she sought. Roske said part of her argument on the constitutionality of the law was rejected, and her cross-appeal preserves that argument for future litigation if necessary.
Voy held that a law section dealing with sex offender registration for juvenile offenders violates constitutional due process guarantees because it lacks a rational basis for extending the requirement to 14-year-olds but not to someone who may be younger but more dangerous.
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WALTHAM - A proposed ordinance that aims to push registered sex offenders away from places frequented by children could be ready to present to the City Council following some fine tuning by the Law Department.
The ordinance is still in draft form, but as written now it would bar registered Level 3 sex offenders from living within 500 feet of schools, day care centers, parks, recreational buildings, or facilities for the elderly or mentally retarded.
- So what if the offender themselves is elderly and must find a place to stay, or is mentally retarded? What then?
Those sex offenders would also not be allowed to "loiter" within 300 feet of those types of locations. Level 3 sex offenders are considered by law enforcement as the most dangerous and to have the highest risk to reoffend.
Ward 2 Councilor Ed Tarallo, chairman of the Ordinances and Rules committee, said the Law Department was asked by his committee to determine whether libraries could be added to the list of locations that would have a buffer zone from sex offenders.
Tarallo said once that's decided, the committee could vote to send the proposed ordinance to the council for a first reading.
Ward 9 Councilor Robert Logan submitted a resolution in February asking that the city craft an ordinance. He said yesterday it's important the city have something on its books that protects children, but at the same time doesn't serve as a "law of unintended consequences."
Logan said that some cities and towns have put together ordinances that really serve as a "de facto ban" on sex offenders living anywhere in the community.
"The fact of the matter is, they don't really all go away," Logan said.
Instead, Logan said too restrictive an ordinance could push sex offenders underground, causing them to not register in a community and making it more difficult for police to track them.
Last year, the city of Marlborough passed a controversial ordinance that prohibited some classes of sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, playground, school bus stop or day care center and bars them from stepping foot into places where children normally congregate, such as the Solomon Pond Mall there.
Logan said he is satisfied with the 500 foot residency requirement that's proposed in the draft of Waltham's ordinance.
"Five hundred (feet) is still a pretty good distance," Logan said. "It's a couple of city blocks."
Tarallo said the ordinance could require passage on three readings by the City Council.
Tarallo said the distances in Waltham's draft ordinance would leave the city on good "legal footing" so that the law's constitutionality would be less likely to be questioned.
Logan said he would like to see libraries added as one of the protected locations under Waltham's ordinance. Logan said his effort to get an ordinance in place for Waltham was heightened following an incident on Jan. 30 in New Bedford where a 6-year-old boy was raped in a public library.
Richard Conn can be contacted at 781-398-8004 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Village Board still needs to approve ordinance
ASHWAUBENON — A committee recommended on Tuesday the Village Board enact a law making it illegal for sex offenders still under state supervision to hang out near parks, schools and other places children might gather.
The Public Works and Protection Committee quietly endorsed a provision forbidding sex offenders under court ordered supervision by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections from loitering within 200 feet of restricted zones. The ordinance, which requires final approval by the full Village Board, mirrors a Hobart law.
The Village Board last month considered a loitering ordinance for all sex offenders. But an audience member suggested such a rule could be unconstitutional, and the board, which intended to copy Hobart's ordinance, sent it back to committee.
- Why does the public have to tell these idiots in office what is constitutional and what is not? Isn't that why they are in office? Seems like they should go back to school.
The board at that earlier meeting did, however, vote unanimously to bar certain sex offenders from living in most of the village.
Enacting a residency restriction similar to Green Bay's, leaders agreed certain sex offenders cannot live within 1,500 feet of a school, day-care center, park or other place children might gather.
The public works committee, in other action, heard a report by Public Safety Director Eric Dunning indicating his department cannot afford to lose more personnel.
The department recently lost several people because of retirement, a job transfer and a workman's compensation injury, he said. Dunning estimates he'll spend more than $110,000 in overtime expenses this year. Public safety officers can retire when they're 50 with a penalty, he said, and he had seven people in his department who are 50 or older. And several officers are approaching 50, he said.
"The main goal is to maintain the staffing that we have," Dunning told the committee. "I'm not asking for more."
The village has seen tremendous growth in the last 20 years, he said. And while the village intends to close Tax Incremental Financing District II and open a third TIF to spur more development, that growth requires more public safety services, he said. So while the village has a population of about 18,000, it serves about 50,000 during the day.
In 1998, there were 897 adult arrests in the village, he said, compared with 1,615 in 2007 — a 45 percent jump. Total arrests increased 37 percent in that time, from 1,443 to 2,349.
Last year, 20 percent of all calls for service were generated from the entertainment/shopping district, Dunning said.
"As we keep bringing people in, the numbers keep going up," he said. "People fall down, people have heart attacks … they run into each other in cars."
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See video at the site above.
Some people in the East County say their town has become a dumping ground for sex offenders. Two were arrested Sunday.
- So some town has to be a "dumping ground" for sex offenders, where the hell do you expect them to live?
Sheriff’s deputies say 52-year-old Heraldo Sanchez Rofaro was arrested for exposing himself in Santee. 42-year-old Brian Wallace, a homeless convicted sex offender, was arrested for trying to drag a nine year old boy into a riverbed at Cactus Park in Lakeside.
The riverbed is known to attract the homeless. It was cleaned Monday by MTS workers who also told the transients to move on. Still, they continue to return.
“I’m angry. I’m appalled,” says Alysen Brooks a Lakeside mother of six. Brooks says a homeless registered sex offender attempted to grab her daughter a few years back. “We can’t let our children play,” she explains. “We have to keep them in the backyard.”
- I'd like to know what the hell has occurred in this country? 10 or more years ago, this was not a problem, why now?
The Lakeside area has nearly three times the number of offenders compared with some other parts of the county. Brooks says she’s tired of it.
“There’s an overwhelming population,” she says.
Detective Joe Passalacqua is part of the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Task for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. He is in charge of monitoring convicted sex offenders across the county.
“We’ll do audits periodically to make sure they’re living where they say they’re living,” says Detective Passalacqua. “If we get citizen complaints, we’ll follow up on the citizen complaints regarding sex offenders.”
He says it’s very difficult to monitor transient offenders. Det. Passalacqua says many offenders head to the Lakeside area because it’s more affordable. Also, offenders can’t live within 2000 feet of a school.
- And it's this "buffer zone" which is causing the homeless problem in the first place. Before we had these "buffer zones," this was not a problem now was it?
“In the county portion of San Diego, there’s not as many schools so it’s easier for them to find housing,” he says. When they can’t, they become transient.
As for Alysen Brooks, she says she wants more money to go to local law enforcement to add patrols and monitoring. Detective Passalacqua adds there are an estimated 4000 registered sex offenders in the county and it’s difficult for officers to be everywhere all the time.
“We do have several officers out there, but we do need more,” he says. “It goes back to the more eyes we have out there, the safer our neighborhood are going to be.”
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Hell, when they make this law, people will still raise hell about a center opening, so once again the Merry Go Round goes round and round, where it stops, nobody knows.
SHAWNEE — A proposed city ordinance that would regulate where counseling centers for sex offenders can locate would be more stringent than state law, city officials said.
City commissioners were given copies of the ordinance at their meeting Monday. It was drafted in response to a controversy over the proposed opening of a sex offender treatment center in a Shawnee neighborhood.
The ordinance will be discussed at 1:30 p.m. today at a special city planning commission meeting. The issue will return May 19 to the city commission for consideration, City Manager Jim Collard said.
The proposed ordinance limits treatment centers for sex offenders to commercial and industrial zones, and requires a city commission-approved special permit to open.
The ordinance also is more stringent than state law, which requires centers to be at least 300 feet from schools, playgrounds, day care centers and churches.
The Shawnee ordinance would push the distance to a minimum of 1,000 feet.
The proposed ordinance comes on the heels of business woman Holly Chandler, of Chandler and Associates, trying to open a treatment center for sex offenders at 1401 Highland. When neighbors discovered what she was planning to do, they circulated a petition and lobbied city officials to keep it out of their area.
After receiving death threats, Chandler decided not to open the center, she said. The building is up for sale.
- So did someone trace the call and arrest the person making the death threats? Last time I checked, that is a crime, and these people should be in jail.
Commissioner Linda Peterson said there was no law that would have kept Chandler from opening the treatment center, if her building was remodeled up to city code. She said the problem "hit home” with her when an angry resident at a recent meeting shouted "how dare you vote to OK this in my neighborhood.”
Peterson said even though commissioners didn't vote on the issue, she realized they've been required to vote on zoning issues with a lot less impact — like single-operator beauty shops opening in residential neighborhoods.
Collard said the new ordinance will give commissioners the legal discretion in the future to determine where treatment centers for sex offenders will open.
"It's the right thing to do,” Collard said.
State Rep. Chris Steele, R-Shawnee, said he is working to amend state law this legislative session that would keep treatment centers for sex offenders from opening within 1,000 feet of schools, day care centers and playgrounds.
- So where is the ordinance to keep day cares from opening within 1000 feet of sex offenders?
The ordinance will be discussed at 1:30 p.m. today at a special city planning commission meeting.
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FONDA — Lawmakers in Montgomery County are considering an agreement for new software targeting convicted sex offenders and their use of the Internet.
The county’s Probation Department is looking to enter an agreement with Internet Probation and Parole Inc., a software company that would provide 24-hour monitoring of online activity for all convicted sex offenders on probation.
“Whatever they’re seeing, we’re going to see,” Montgomery County Probation Director Lucille Sitterly said.
Software would be installed on the personal computer in the sex offender’s residence. That software would link to a server in Pennsylvania which would contact the Probation Department via e-mail when inappropriate Internet usage is detected, Sitterly said.
The county Board of Supervisors’ public safety committee approved the concept and sent it onto the full board’s meeting later this month.
The idea came from a demonstration by Federal Probation in Albany, Sitterly said.
“They get a lot of Internet sex offenders and they use it on a regular basis,” Sitterly said.
If implemented now, it would affect about 20 sex offenders currently on probation in Montgomery County.
Internet Probation and Parole Inc. would charge $25 monthly for use of the software, and that cost could be passed on to the convicted sex offender through the sentencing judge, eliminating any county cost, Sitterly said.
The software doesn’t identify exactly who is using the computer, so in the case of a family home computer, the convicted sex offender would have to take responsibility for its use, Sitterly said.
Acceptable Internet use could be spelled out as one of the terms of probation, so a convicted sex offender could be guilty of violating his probation if he looks at pornography or joins children’s chat groups.
Sitterly said some convicted sex offenders depend on having Internet access on their home computers whether for their children’s school or for their own work activities.
“It’s almost impossible to tell someone you can’t have a computer anymore,” Sitterly said.
Using the software could help prevent repeat offenses on the part of convicted sex offenders, said Amsterdam Town Supervisor Thomas DiMezza, a detective in the Amsterdam Police Department.
- Yeah, while they are on probation, but what about when they get off probation?
DiMezza said recidivism rates among sex offenders is a constant issue in law enforcement, and he said using computers to fight Internet-based crime sounds logical.
- No it's not, why don't you look up the many studies which prove you are wrong, or do you have a hidden agenda of making money off the software?
“I think it’s a great idea,” DiMezza said.
Florida Supervisor William Strevy said the idea sounds plausible, but he said it’s possible that the convicted sex offenders might not be able to pay for the software so it could ultimately lead to some cost for the county.
- Tell me, what other criminal has to pay constant fees for something they don't want to use anyway? Sex offenders usually have to pay a yearly "registration" fee of somewhere around $200.00, and also any other time they register it's usually around $50.00 or less, and for predators who have to register quarterly, that is $200.00 a year ($50 every 3 months), then another $200.00 at the end of the year, so that is $400.00 the offender has to pay for something that is basically extortion in the first place.
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Hell, why don't you make the buffer zone 100,000 feet? It still would not prevent another crime from someone intent on committing another crime.
POMONA - It's now difficult, if not impossible, for registered sex offenders to move here.
City Council members have unanimously approved an urgency ordinance that essentially prevents additional registered sex offenders from moving into the city.
Under the new regulation, just about every part of the city would be excluded.
The city has about 260 registered sex offenders living inside it, Assistant City Attorney Andrew Jared said.
Mayor Norma Torres (Contact) said Tuesday she's happy to see the ordinance approved even though it meant repealing one she pushed to have enacted in 2005.
"We've got a much stricter ordinance now," she said.
The ordinance, fashioned after one adopted in February in Long Beach, takes advantage of wording in Proposition 83, also referred to as Jessica's Law, that allows cities to adopt ordinances that add residency restrictions for registered sex offenders beyond what's in state regulations, according to a city staff report.
Jessica's Law bars registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools and parks where children gather.
Before the adoption of Jessica's Law, registered sex offenders were prohibited from living within 1,320 feet of such facilities.
Pomona's new ordinance, approved by the City Council on Monday, bars registered sex offenders from living within 2,640 feet of "sensitive uses," which include child-care centers, community centers, museums, sports centers, tutoring or learning centers, youth centers and rail stations or bus stops.
The ordinance also makes it illegal for a sex offender to loiter within 300 feet of such places, with some exceptions.
The ordinance also contains provisions penalizing those who knowingly rent housing to more than one offender unless they are legally related, the report said.
As part of the new ordinance, the sex-offender ordinance adopted in November 2005 was repealed. It limited the housing of sex offenders through zoning.
Torres said she wanted to see limits on the number of sex offenders living at one site, which the November 2005 ordinance did.
In the new ordinance, Jared said, the number of offenders living on a parcel is limited to one.
Council members held off on approving a portion of the ordinance calling for its retroactive application - in other words, using it against convicted sex offenders already living in Pomona.
"If it applied retroactively, all those sex offenders would have to leave," Jared said Tuesday.
The city will wait to see how the courts handle the retroactivity issue before deciding what to do next, he said.
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But politicians say these laws are not punishment... What a load of BS! That is easy to say when they do not have to live with the laws they create.
In New York state, sex offenders are required to register with authorities. Violent felons may have to do the same if a proposal introduced in Albany becomes law.
- Why not one registry for ALL felons? That is only fair! Why are you singling out certain groups of people?
State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo (Email), R-Rome, has advanced legislation that would require A-1 violent felony offenders to register with the state Department of Criminal Justice Services after being paroled or released from a correction facility, hospital or institution.
The idea is for the state agency to inform the public and law enforcement agencies about the offender. Annual registration requirements and other guidelines would let law enforcement and the state know the location of violent felons. In theory, this would help communities better monitor the criminals in their midst.
- Lets just turn the fear factor all the way up and do this for ALL CRIMINALS!!!
But there is a danger in stigmatizing convicted felons after they have served their prison time. Are they not entitled to live unencumbered by additional regulations after they have served their sentence?
- Yes, but when everyone is blind and hell bent on punishing people for their own gratification and TV ratings, anything goes, apparently. The Constitution is not worth the paper it's written on.
It is doubtful that knowledge of a convicted felon's location will prevent a crime from happening.
Once an offender has paid the debt to society for a crime, should they not have the chance to live in society without being stigmatized? Or should the laws be tougher and keep violent felons in jail longer?
Keeping tabs on former offenders increases the work load on local law enforcement as well.
Branding someone for a crime that they once committed and have served time for adds yet another sentence. People should be able to go forward with their lives once they have answered for their offense and are released.
They should not have to keep paying for their crime after they have left prison and re-entered society.
If the laws for felony offenses are too lenient, make them stricter. But once people are free, give them a chance to live in peace.
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The title says "sex offender" and the reporter calls them all molesters, and in their video it shows "pedophile!" When are people going to learn these all mean something different and are not the same.. Where the hell do you expect sex offenders to live? They have to live somewhere. Video is available at the site.
Fresno (KFSN) -- A Fresno County neighborhood filled with children will not be home to convicted child molesters.
- I think you mean "sex offenders!" Big difference lady! Bust open a dictionary some time...
County Supervisors took emergency action Tuesday that would change plans for at least one of two proposed treatment homes for addicted convicts. The one most parents are worried about is on McCall, near Barstow, north of Clovis.
Maribel Slocum has been keeping an even closer eye on her little ones since families in this part of Fresno County discovered plans to turn this neighbor's house into a home for registered sex offenders and other convicts. It's one of two so-called sober living homes in the area being planned by a Houston company called Dunamis.
Slocum said: "Everybody's worried about it. Every time we drive by we just look at the house to see if there's somebody living in there." With one sexual predatos already dropped off at the McCall Home by mistake, and more strangers showing up and leaving abruptly a few nights ago, neighbors asked County Supervisors to pass an emergency ordinance. Concerned Neighbor Barbara Paschal said: "It's an immediate, immediate problem." The supervisors agreed, approving a tougher county law that would keep convicted sex offenders at an even greater distance than state law requires, 3-thousand feet, not 2-thousand feet away from schools and playgrounds.
Supervisor Bob Waterston said: "We're talking about sexual predators, that's what we're trying to prevent from getting closer to these folks. That's all we're trying to do. I think it is an emergency. It's dealing with their children and their lives as we speak." Changes to the existing ordinance also expands safe zones to include childcare centers, libraries and bus stops. A big relief to parents near the proposed McCall halfway house where seven different buses pick up kids everyday.
- This is about "SEX OFFENDERS" not predators. A sex offender does not equal child molester, pedophile and predator, in most cases. So stop using these terms as if they mean the same... You are only making the problem worse. Besides, all sex offenders have to live somewhere, where the hell do you expect them to live? Mars??
Parent and attorney Tim Logoluso says call this the first step toward closing a loophole in state law that has allowed the Dunamis plans to get this far. Logolus said: "It was a facility where they could place up to six registered sex offenders at one time which appeared to be a violation of state law, but there was an exception. So we're addressing that issue." As for the future of this home, the CEO of Dunamis told me on the phone he doesn't want to comment just yet. But he did say his company has not yet tried to move any parolees into this neighborhood.
- Yeah, 6 registered sex offenders who you knew where they were at, and are they actually child molesters, pedophiles or predators? Without showing their record, people reading this would assume they are all predators. A real reporter would show ALL THE FACTS instead of hiding them to further their own feelings or boost ratings. If a person is such a danger, why are they out of prison in the first place? If they are out of prison, they have to live somewhere. It's a neverending shuffle game... You can live here, sorry, people don't want you here, so move somewhere else, then the cycle continues...