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More harassment. And I do not think this is about awareness, but some personal vendetta.
BROOKSVILLE - Steve Wyatt's pickup is generally unremarkable, but there's a recent attachment that's earned it the nickname "sex offender mobile."
Not that he's the sex offender.
No, the two blown-up photos on either side of his truck are of his brother, Willard Wyatt. Along with the photos is an exact duplication of the brief information provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about Willard Wyatt's status as a sex offender:
The out-of-state charge is 13-years-old. It was a sex offense with a minor.
Steve Wyatt says his mission is to bring awareness about all sex offenders and predators living in Hernando County. This isn't just about his brother.
But that's how it began.
"The laws aren't stiff enough on these people," he said.
Willard Wyatt doesn't have a listed phone number and couldn't be reached for comment.
Steve Wyatt said he invited his brother to live with him two years ago as a favor. Within days of Willard Wyatt's arrival from Tennessee, he announced he needed to register at the sheriff's office.
"What for?" Wyatt said he asked.
His older brother explained that he was a sex offender in Delaware, but passed the blame onto his wife, whom he called "vindictive." Steve Wyatt bought the story.
"That was a big mistake on my part, a big mistake," Steve Wyatt said in an interview Tuesday.
The brothers had a falling out a month ago over a family issue involving Steve Wyatt's 19-year-old daughter. Steve Wyatt kicked his brother out of the house.
Soon after, he did a simple search on the FDLE Web site for the number of sex offenders living within five miles of his Mondon Hill Road address. The total — 61 — astounded him.
In his opinion, the general public is unaware of the number of sex offenders and predators living around them. On Tuesday afternoon, there were 274 people with that classification in the county, including the jail population.
Steve Wyatt got a giant poster-sized photo of his brother and mounted it using wooden planks on the back of his truck. He passed out fliers in Willard Wyatt's neighborhood on Taft Street.
The truck has drawn stares, questions and one complaint. The latter came from a woman in the parking lot of Wal-Mart who wanted to know how he "dared" to advertise a sex offender.
Steve Wyatt's brother has taken out a restraining order against him since he began driving around the "sex offender mobile."
- What about filing charges for harassment?
He said intends to put a new sex offender's photo on the back of his truck soon. He claims that by not altering the information, he's within his rights.
"I'm not breaking any laws; I'm not stupid," he said.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
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Conestoga solicitor questions zoning for sex-offender halfway house. Over 300 jam meeting.
Residents' outcry over three sex offenders living in a new halfway house in Conestoga reached a boiling point Monday night.
More than 300 people filled Conestoga Volunteer Fire Company, some demanding that the men convicted of aggravated indecent assault, rape and possession of child pornography be forced to leave.
Jim Thomas, Conestoga Township's solicitor, said they may get their wish.
He said former state Rep. Tom Armstrong's Barnabas House, run in an apartment at 3113 Main St., Conestoga, does not comply with the property's village mixed-use zoning and is permitted only by special exception.
"Whether it is a good or bad social program, whether it is a group home for Megan's Law offenders or for students at a local university" doesn't matter, Thomas said.
- So if these offenders must leave, then all occupants musts leave. If it's within legal limits of the law, then they should be allowed to stay there. This MOB mentality has to be stopped. Like I said, if they are legal, then nobody should be able to force them to leave. If that is the case, why can't I force my neighbor who plays loud music at all hours of the night to leave? If I got up a vigilante mob to protest, would that get the person to leave?
Armstrong said today that the township's zoning officer, Jim Hindes, told him a different story in April.
Armstrong said he asked Hindes if a group of ex-convicts could live in an apartment at the property, which is owned by Ben Vonderheide, who also lives at the address.
Hindes said the "best he could read (the zoning ordinance said) that I could have four" people, Armstrong said.
Armstrong said Hindes told him that he wasn't sure if Armstrong could have five people living together because that's when the arrangement would be considered "transitional housing."
Transitional housing is defined in the zoning ordinance as "living arrangements for up to five unrelated individuals that do not meet the definitions of 'family' or 'group home.'"
Armstrong said he then pressed Hindes: What if a probation officer called? Would he tell the officer the living arrangement was allowed? Hindes said he would, Armstrong said.
Thomas says Armstrong's Barnabas House does not meet either the "family" or "group home" definitions, so it shouldn't be allowed anywhere in the township except with a special exception approved by the township's zoning hearing board.
Hindes could not immediately be reached for comment this morning.
Zoning appears to be the only way the sex offenders could be forced to leave, at least in their current living arrangement. They've served their prison sentences and are abiding by probation restrictions.
The community became aware of the men's presence because Megan's Law requires some sex offenders to report their current addresses to the state, which then posts the information online.
But for Sarah, a Conestoga resident who didn't want to give her last name, that was little help. She moved into Vonderheide's building with her 2-year-old son in October — before he leased Armstrong space for the faith-based halfway house.
Now Sarah says she's scared to go in and out of the house and use the common laundry area in the building's basement. According to Sarah's mother, Darlene, residents are threatening to force the men out.
"Three people have threatened to burn that place down," she said after the two-plus-hour meeting Monday.
Vonderheide said he is willing to let tenants out of leases without financial penalty.
Thomas said Vonderheide was notified May 16 that transitional housing is not permitted on the property.
But Thomas said if Vonderheide appeals or seeks a special exception for that use within 30 days, the process could be lengthy. And while an appeal is sought, the halfway house may continue operating.
Thomas urged people to attend the next township supervisors meeting, at 7 p.m. June 3, as well as upcoming zoning hearing board meetings.
Armstrong said he personally screened the four occupants of the apartment — one ex-convict is not a sexual offender — and determined them to not be a threat to the community.
Armstrong just wanted to start a faith-based halfway house to help with a community problem.
"Over 2,000 people are sitting in prison and can't be released because there are not enough halfway houses," he said. "I'd like for it to grow. A lot of men are looking for an opportunity to better their lives."
Vonderheide today said he hasn't decided yet if he will appeal the zoning officer's decision or apply for a special exception.
"I support Tom's ministry and as a landowner, I'm appalled at the backwoods zoning trick."
One of the sex offenders living at Barnabas House, Richard Owen, spoke at Monday night's meeting.
"Twenty-seven years ago, I made a poor choice in my life, and I paid dearly," he said.
Owen, who is in his early 50s, said that while in prison, he earned associate and bachelor's degrees, immersed himself in Scriptures and got out "a changed man."
"Unfortunately, that (sex offender) label doesn't change," he said. "I came here today to ask you to judge the man, not the label."
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Former Georgetown police sergeant Jimmy Fennell Jr. has pleaded guilty to a October 2007 sexual assault of a woman. The woman claimed she was assaulted by Fennell after she was detained following a disturbance call Fennell was dispatched to.
In a Williamson County courtroom on Tuesday, Fennell pleaded guilty to improper sexual activity with a person and aggravated kidnapping. Charges of official oppression and aggravated sexual assault were waived.
If the plea deal is accepted by the judge at a June 24th sentencing hearing, Fennell will be sentenced to two years in prison. After Fennell serves the full two years, he will be on ten years' probation. However, he will not have to register as a sex offender with the state.
- And why not?
He must also permanently surrender his peace officer's license a condition of the plea deal.
Should Williamson County Judge Burt Carnes change the agreement, Fennell can withdraw his guilty plea.
He resigned from the Georgetown Police Department in January after he was indicted.
In a search warrant affidavit filed after the October incident, the woman claimed she was drunk at the time, and Fennell drove her to a park, asked her to dance for him, and then assaulted her on his police cruiser.
I was wondering about the registries and if any put email addresses online, thus opening up sex offenders for potential harassment, spam and who knows what else.
Well, it seems Kentucky registry has email addresses online. And they can be searched using Google!!!
If I lived in this state, I would contact the sheriff and mention this, and possibly file a law suit. Anybody living in this state who received abusive emails, needs to save ALL EMAILS and submit them to a lawyer.
Click this link to see what I am talking about
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And another cop and another slap on the wrist!
PLATTE CITY (AP) - A former police officer who pleaded guilty to using the Internet to entice a minor for sex could spend about four months in prison, although prosecutors were seeking a six-year sentence.
Timothy W. Leighty, 37, of Lee's Summit, was sentenced Thursday for child enticement and attempted statutory sodomy. He had admitted that he used the Internet to entice someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl and traveling to Platte County to engage in sex.
The "girl" was a detective with the Platte County Sheriff's Department and Leighty was arrested when he went to a site in the county where he expected to meet the "girl."
- And they did it without Perverted-Justice, which proves, the vigilante terrorist group PJ is not needed!
Leighty was sentenced in Platte County Court to three years in prison, but could be released in 120 days if he successfully completes a sexual offender assessment program. He would be on probation for up to five years.
Leighty was an officer with the Warrensburg Police Department and a deputy with the Benton County Sheriff's Department, but resigned from law enforcement several years before the 2005 crime.
Those convicted of child enticement in Missouri face a minimum five-year prison sentence under a law passed in 2005.
"Given this defendant's former role as a police officer, we asked the court to sentence him to six years in prison," Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said. "That's one more year behind bars than most people guilty of child enticement in Platte County have received. Ultimately, though, the court has the power to decide what it believes is a fair sentence."
During the sentencing hearing, Leighty's attorney, John P. O'Connor, compared it with a recent statutory rape case in Jackson County, where a former sheriff's deputy was placed on probation. O'Connor implied that it would be unfair to sentence Leighty to prison when someone who actually had sex with a child received probation.
- Yeah, yeah... But what about the average citizens who get charged with a lot worse? That's not fair either. Police should get a far worse sentence, since they are in a position of authority, yet the law is backwards... They get slapped on the wrist, while the average citizen gets the book thrown at them. Where is the justice? Oh yeah, there isn't any!
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All of this and he gets 3 years?
Micah Horner pleads guilty to statutory rape
A former Haywood County sheriff's deputy pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated statutory rape in Crockett County, according to the Crockett County Circuit Court clerk.
Micah Horner, 32, was sentenced to three years in jail on the statutory rape charge, said his attorney, Cynthia Chandler-Snell. He also must register as a sex offender, according to court clerk Kim Kail.
Horner on Monday remained in the Gibson County Jail. His attorney said she did not know if he would serve his time in Gibson County or be taken to another facility.
Horner previously pleaded guilty to contributing to the unruliness of a minor in a Haywood County case. He also received a sentence on that charge Monday of 11 months and 29 days, according to court records. He had pleaded guilty to the charge on Oct. 15.
In the Crockett County case, Horner also initially faced charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and solicitation to commit a criminal offense.
"Those charges were dismissed at the general sessions level Jan. 10," Chandler-Snell said. "The judge stated that there was a jurisdictional issue."
In the dismissed charges, Horner had been accused of trying to hire people to kill the father of a 16-year old girl with whom Horner was in a sexual relationship, and to kill the father's fiancee, police have said.
Chandler-Snell said, "I think the evidence was insufficient."
District Attorney General Garry Brown could not be reached for comment Monday.
In the Haywood County case, Horner provided a 16-year-old girl with a cell phone to keep in touch with him after her parents asked him not to, according to an affidavit. He also tried to help the teen run away, the affidavit stated.
Horner was fired from the Haywood County Sheriff's Department in 2006 after being charged in that county.
He also worked as a Maxxguard security guard in Jackson. Maxxguard suspended Horner without pay in October following his arrest in Crockett County and then fired him after company officials found out he had pleaded guilty in the Haywood County case.
|Top: Society: Crime: Sex Offenses (274)|
- Society: Crime: Abuse (5)
- Society: Issues: Children, Youth and Family: Child Abuse: Sexual Abuse (42)
- Society: Issues: Violence and Abuse: Sexual Abuse and Assault (49)
- Society: Law: Legal Information: Criminal Law: Sex Offenses (20)
|This category in other languages:|
- Abel Screening - Visual-reaction and biographical test for use by professionals in measuring subjects' sexual interest in children.
- Adolescent Sex Offenders - Typology, characteristics and pathology of adolescent sex offenders, from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- Central Park Attacks - Denounces the sexual attacks that happened during the Puerto Rican Day Parade, 2000. Editorials, interviews, and forums.
- Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Criminal Offenders - National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors position statement on laws providing for the civil commitment of sexually violent criminal offenders.
- Creating Healthy Options In Confronting Exploitive Sexuality - A comprehensive community based treatment program for males and females with sexual behavior problems and disorders or histories of sexual victimization.
- Defending False Allegations of Abuse - Information from Allen Cowling about defense support for the falsely accused.
- Inpsyte - Educational information for clinicians who treat sexual abuse and adult sexual abuse survivors.
- The Lantern Project - A library dealing with childhood sexual abuse, dealing with the consequences and where to get help.
- Megans-Law.net - Details of and links to Megan's Law government sites in each state of the USA.
- Nichols and Molinder Assessments - Authors and publishers of psychosexual test instruments.
- Resources for Victims of Sexual Abuse - Articles, links, legal resources, statutes, and self-helps for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.
- Sex Offenses and Offenders - Incidence and prevalence of violent victimization by sexual assault, the response of the criminal justice system to such crimes, and the characteristics of those who commit sexual assault or rape.
- Sexual Assault Survivors - Information regarding the legal aspects of sexual assault in Canada, from the Toronto law firm, Jellinek, Thomas.
- STD's and Child Sexual Abuse - This guide is designed to present additional investigative techniques, utilizing the presence of a sexually transmitted disease, which will assist in identifying or eliminating suspects in sexual abuse cases.
- Stop Sex Offenders - Child and family safety information; free child ID system and national sex offender registry.
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SOMERSET — The full Taser gun package for the Police Department and strict limits on the movements of sexual offenders were approved at last night’s Annual Town Meeting.
The sex offender bylaw, which will banish Level 2 and 3 sexual offenders from about half the town, was approved unanimously.
Voters also unanimously OK’d — with no discussion and no debate, which was highly unusual — a $21.9 million municipal budget and a $25.7 million School Department budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year.
The municipal budget is 3.9 percent higher than the current allotment, said Board of Selectmen chairman William Meehan. “There are no frills in this, I assure you.”
The schools budget reflects a 3.3 percent increase, much of which will be used to update English and mathematics textbooks, said School Committee member Elizabeth White.
About 217 voters attended the 2 1/2-hour meeting at the high school auditorium, although there were fewer than 100 present by the end of the session, when the sexual-offender bylaw was considered.
Also approved with little or no debate last night were appropriations of:
•$60,000 for two new police cruisers that will be purchased once the two most decrepit vehicles in the fleet are retired.
•$21,951 for six mobile laptop computers and $8,265 for five new in-house computers for the Police Department.
•$150,000 for a new Highway Department dump truck with a plow and catch basin cleaner.
•$280,000 in extra funds for a new ladder-pumper truck for the Fire Department. The appropriation is on top of funds appropriated for a truck last year.
Voters also approved a digitized zoning map to replace one whose ambiguities have led to controversy in town, and endorsed the appointment of a principal assessor, a move expected to result in the promotion of assistant assessor Pamela Lee, giving her a raise of $18 a week.
Meehan said that as a result of last night’s votes, the average residential property tax bill in town will increase by just $24.80.
The proposal that produced the longest presentation and, ultimately, no controversy, called for spending $41,476 for 32 Tasers — one for each full-time officer in a department that now has none.
Chief Joseph Ferreira said although there has been talk of ordering fewer units, the savings would not be dramatic because the costs of holster units, cartridges and training for each member of the department would be the same. The individual units cost $800.
With Tasers, “officer injuries go down. Suspect injuries go down,” said the chief. “It avoids a countless amount of injuries,” along with the lawsuits and the workers compensation claims that go along with them.
None of the 100 voters who remained until the end of the meeting for the sexual-offender proposal spoke against it.
The restrictions on Level 2 and 3 offenders will not take effect until are approved by the attorney general, who is expected to give his blessing because other Bay State communities have adopted some similar provisions.
However the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts has questioned their wisdom and constitutionality of such laws.
Once the new Somerset provisions take effect, sexual offenders would be banned from all town parks, beaches, schools, libraries, day care centers, and facilities for the elderly or mentally impaired unless they have written permission from the official in charge of the facility to be present, or the offender must be on the property to vote in an election.
Offenders would be effectively banned from future town meetings because they are held at the high school.
The bylaw also prohibits those offenders from spending more than 15 minutes within 500 feet of such facilities.
Because the Board of Selectmen and various boards and commission meet in the town offices between the library and the Council on Aging offices, offenders would need special permission to attend those meetings for more than 15 minutes.
- I do not think 15 minutes defines "loitering!" Maybe you should read what the definition of loitering is. It's basically being somewhere without a purpose!
In addition, offenders will have to move if they now take up residence within 500 feet of those areas.
The only real debate on the matter came when resident Christopher Murphy tried to amend to double the no-loitering zone to 1,000 feet.
“Five hundred feet is nothing more than a speed bump,” Murphy said.
Selectman Lorne Lawless, who sponsored the proposal, said the 500-foot zone seemed large enough because it would keep offenders away from about half the town.
- Never mind the fact that 90% or more of all sexual crimes occur in the victims own family or close friends, so this law does nothing to protect people, it's just a "feel good" placebo!
Town Moderator Lucia Casey blocked Murphy’s amendment because, she said, it would dramatically alter the proposal beyond what was advertised to voters.
Lawless said similar proposal have passed Constitutional muster in other cities and towns.
- I see, so you are "following the bandwagon!" If all other states approved torture, I guess you'd "follow the bandwagon," like usual!
Somerset has 16 Level 2 and two Level 3 sex offenders, according to the Web site of the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board.