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Sex today seems to be everywhere. It's certainly more present in the public square than before. But how big a problem is this? When I was growing up, many people believed that sex must be kept out of sight, because it would corrupt the minds of children and lead to sexually deviant behavior.
Watch the story Friday on "20/20" at 10 p.m. ET
That was why when Lucille Ball, the star of the popular television show "I Love Lucy," got pregnant, the decision to show her expanding belly was considered shocking and a breakthrough, even though the word "pregnant" was never spoken.
'Television Is Going Downhill Fast'
When I was a kid, even the innocent movie "Pillow Talk" was considered shocking because it talked about the bedroom. Reviewers said the movie "sizzles with sex" and "comes close to the forbidden border."
Yet today, PG movies, like "Hairspray," cheerfully feature a flasher and joke about teen pregnancy. And television has traveled miles from "I Love Lucy." Now, even on family television shows, sex is a regular story line, and that bothers a lot of people. "The intention is clearly to bring up this sexual desire, and I don't think that's beneficial for our society," said Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council. Particularly disturbing, said Sprigg, is what children are seeing. "They are being exposed to sex and to talk about sex, before they're even old enough to even think about having sex."
Sprigg added, "Television is going downhill fast, and the programmers sometimes seem to me to be racing each other to see how they can push the envelope in terms of negative sexual content."
The Family Research Council, and similar groups, feel there is a tremendous cost to society from this type of media exposure to sex. "I see the harm in the rise of sexually transmitted diseases," said Sprigg. "I see the harm in the increase in out of wedlock pregnancies and births. We see the harm in the increase in single-parent households. All of these things have significant harm for the country."
'It's Not Dangerous'
"There are groups of people out there who are devoted to scaring the heck out of Americans about sexuality," said sociologist and sex therapist Marty Klein, author of "America's War on Sex." Klein said, "It makes some people feel good because they say, 'Aha, there's the enemy and if only we could do something about that, everything would be better.'"
Klein adds the dire predictions of anti-sex crusaders have not happened, and that despite all the increased sex in America, most of the news is good.
Statistics prove Klein has a point. Over the past decade the rape rate has dropped, as has the birthrate among teen girls. And this happened, as not just the media but as the world around us seemed to be coarser. There's sexy lingerie shown on scantily clad mannequins in store windows. And there's sex all over kids' computers.
Protesters once picketed stores that dared sell Playboy magazine and Penthouse, but now little kids with e-mail accounts get spam offering penis enlargers.
That's why people like Sprigg believe we need tougher regulations on pornography, and we need to protect children from sexual images.
But Marty Klein feels that's easier said than done. "The truth is children think about sex whether we want them to or not, children think about sex. Children don't need our help to think about sex. The issue really is," said Klein, "Is the stuff out there that you and I don't like, is it dangerous? And the good news is that for the most part, the unsavory sexual things that people are exposed to aren't dangerous -- they may be unpleasant, but they're not dangerous."
Thursday, July 17, 2008
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But not when it comes to where a convicted offender can live
A second letter from Nevada’s attorney general today offers to "clarify" that a a letter from yesterday referred only to where an offender lives and not whether the new sex offender laws apply only to future cases.
In response to the American Civil Liberties Union's question of the whether or not SB471 will apply to those already convicted of sex offenses, Deputy Attorney General Binu Palal stated in a letter dated yesterday:
"The position of this office is that the statutes stemming from SB 471 will be applied prospectively."
A second letter received today from Palal by ACLU attorney Margaret McLetchie stated the SB 471"only provide(s) for the prospective application of the newly added requirements concerning residency within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare facility."
“If the AG’s office doesn’t have a clue how to interpret this law or what their position is and keeps changing their mind day to day, then how is the average citizen supposed to understand. The state of Nevada has provided no clarity," said McLetchie from her Las Vegas office this afternoon.
"They don't know what they are doing, how’s anyone else supposed to know what they are doing? They are really falling down on the job."
If applied SB 471 would increase the number of Tier 3 sex offenders — defined as those convicted of the most serious offenses — from about 160 to more than 2,500.
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Woman says she wasn’t notified of Sunbury ordinance
SUNBURY — Teri Jo Hunt wipes tears from her eyes as she talks about her “past coming back to haunt” her.
In Hunt’s case, the past involves a 2002 conviction for child sexual abuse for photographing the breasts of a 15-year-old girl, who then passed the photo to an adult male.
For the felony crime, Hunt spent two years on probation and was placed on the state’s Megan’s Law registry for 10 years.
Now Hunt may be in more legal trouble for allegedly violating an ordinance she says she was unaware was even on the books.
The 38-year-old Sunbury mother of four — who has custody of her boys ranging in ages 3 to 14 — said she has no trouble abiding by the state’s Megan’s Law but wonders when the punishment will cease.
Hunt on July 10 allegedly violated the 2006 Sunbury ordinance that restricts registered sexual offenders from loitering or living within 1,000 feet of areas where children gather when she attended a Sunbury Celebration event at Oppenheimer Pleasure Grounds with three of her children.
“How was I supposed to know I was breaking the law? I didn’t even know there was a city ordinance,” Hunt said, tears filling her eyes. “No one ever notified me.”
She’s apparently broken the law numerous times, even in full view of city police, by taking her children to the park and to sports events. One of her sons plays on a T-ball team with the child of a Sunbury police officer, Hunt said.
By contrast, the state has kept her informed of any changes in the law, including a mailed letter last year explaining that sex offenders must now also register their vehicles with the state police.
Every year since 2003, Hunt said, she’s visited the state police at Stonington to register her address and to be photographed, as required under the law.
“I go out every June,” she said, adding that she always inquires about her rights.
Sunbury Celebration incident
At no time was she ever told she could not be within 1,000 feet of a playground, park or other public place where children congregate in Sunbury.
“I did that (asked about any changes in the law) because I don’t want to put myself in a position” that could cause problems, Hunt said.
A former Head Start bus driver for 10 years, Hunt said she was taught to make sure there were always two adults supervising a child.
She felt at ease taking her boys to the Sunbury Celebration festivities last week because there were numerous adults there.
But the atmosphere was less than comfortable for Hunt, who said she saw one woman pointing at her and whispering to others in the crowd just before a Sunbury police officer showed up.
After checking out that she was no longer on probation, Hunt said, the officer allowed her to return to the park.
She did return for her children’s sake.
“I went back in and stayed for 45 minutes. I could tell I was being watched. It was horrible,” she said, describing how the same woman continued to stare and point at her.
A few days later, Hunt learned for the first time about the city ordinance banning her from areas like the Oppenheimer park after her mother read a media report.
“Even the police didn’t know about the ordinance. How was I supposed to know?” she said.
Nearly one week later, Hunt said, she still hasn’t received official notice of the city’s ordinance.
Faces fine, jail time
Just like the ordinance, she found out from the media that she may be charged with a summary offense, which carries a maximum $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
“I’m devastated. I’m devastated for my kids, that I can’t take them to the park to let them enjoy their life,” she said, breaking out in tears.
Hunt said her two oldest boys are enrolled in cyber school and she’s considering removing her 7-year-old from public school also to protect him “from being picked on.”
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RALEIGH (AP) - The House and Senate are signing off on a measure creating mandatory sentences for people who commit some sex crimes against children.
Both chambers voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to approve the plan known as "Jessica's Law." The bill now heads to Gov. Mike Easley (Contact).
Under the proposal, judges would be required to give violators a minimum 25-year sentence for some child sex offenses, and offenders who are released would be monitored by satellite for life.
The plan also creates new crimes against someone who commits rape or other sexual offenses against a child.
The bill is named for Jessica Lunsford, a former North Carolina resident who was kidnapped, raped and buried alive by a convicted sex offender in Florida in 2005.
If you are a family member of a registered sex offender, please take this survey...
Dear Sir or Madam:
Dr. Jill Levenson of Lynn University in Florida is conducting a research project to better understand the impact that sex offender registration, notification, and residence laws have on families of registered sex offenders (RSO).
If you are the family member or loved one of a registered sex offender in the USA, please click on the link below to complete the survey.
This survey is confidential, secure, and anonymous. All answers will be used only for research purposes, and your identity will not be known. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete.
If you have already completed this survey, please DO NOT do so again. However, please feel free to forward this email to anyone else you know who is a family member or loved one of a RSO and might be interested in taking the survey.
Click to take Survey
Jill Levenson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Human Services
3601 N. Military Trail
Boca Raton , FL 33431
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from the fear!-run!-do-something! dept
Just a week after we were talking about a new research report on media-induced "technopanics" we've got another one. This time, it's coming from the UK. The headline announces: One in ten children have sexually explicit conversations on the internet, study finds. Oh no! And then, each paragraph adds another scare factor: these kids also lie to their parents! Oh no! Sometimes they chat with strangers! Oh no! Some of them go to websites with adult content! Oh no! Some even pretend to do homework while actually (gasp!) chatting with others! It's just awful!
Of course, if you actually look at the details, they don't sound bad at all. In fact, I'm pretty surprised the numbers are as low as they are. The study itself involved a survey of kids from ages 11 to 18 in the UK. That's a huge range. Kids in the 16, 17 and 18 year old range are quite different from your everyday 11 and 12 year old. And the idea that a 17 or 18 year-old might have had a sexually explicit conversation online doesn't seem too surprising. Note that it never says anything about with whom the sexually explicit conversation occurred. Assuming that many of these 17 and 18 year olds have boyfriends or girlfriends, and they probably all use instant messaging, social networking or text messaging -- you have to imagine that many of them will have had somewhat sexually explicit conversations with that boyfriend or girlfriend. That's really not that out of the ordinary. The fact that it's only 11% of kids surveyed sounds incredibly low.
As for lying to parents about what they're doing online, is that a surprise? The fact that a kid would tell his mom he's doing homework while he's really chatting with his girlfriend or his friends? That's to be expected. Note that the study doesn't appear to have said just that people lied about having sexually explicit chats, either. Just that they lied about what they were doing online. As for chatting with strangers... while the article mentions that in passing, it doesn't indicate that the survey actually asked any questions about that at all. And, finally, visiting websites with adult content, I will again point out that we're talking about boys who are going through puberty. The fact that some of them eventually visit an adult website should hardly be news.
But when the press packages it all together in this nice format, it makes it seem like we've got a bunch of deviant kids running around the internet with no supervision from their luddite parents, who need to start standing over the shoulders of their kids as they surf. Either that, or perhaps we can calm down, realize that the stats don't say anything all that surprising, and move on to something that might actually matter.
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Come August, town residents will get to decide whether to make life a little tougher for registered sex offenders in Windsor Locks.
The Town Council recently set Tuesday, Aug. 5, for a town meeting to vote on a proposed sex offender ordinance, which would create "child safety zones" where sex offenders would be banned. The zones would include town parks, playgrounds, recreation centers, beaches, swimming pools, sports fields and other places where children congregate. The meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. at town hall.
Town Attorney Scott Chadwick said the ordinance is similar to one already in place in Danbury. He told the council he consulted with one of the attorneys that created the Danbury ordinance, and he said it is designed to be reasonable and specific enough to withstand court scrutiny and constitutional review. However, he cautioned that no such ordinances have been tested in the Connecticut courts He added that, as far as he knows, Danbury and New Milford are the only Connecticut municipalities that have such laws.
Chadwick explained that under the ordinance the police department would notify those town residents listed on the state Department of Public Safety's Sex Offender Registry about the new restrictions. Sex offenders who move into town are obligated to notify the police of their new address and they would then be told about the restrictions. Any changes to the ordinance would be subject to town meeting approval, he said, such as if the town wanted to add a new park and make it clear it was included in the child safety zones.
Selectman Joseph Calsetta wanted to know if the town hall gymnasium would be considered a child safety zone and would that mean sex offenders would be barred from town hall. First Selectman Steven Wawruck Jr. noted that the gym is separate from the town hall offices, so that it could be designated as a safe zone on its own. He also said the senior center could be considered a safe zone since it's a recreation center, although it's not a place where children normally congregate.
Chadwick said that exceptions to the restrictions could be made for places like town hall or the senior center. He pointed out that the more places included in the safe zones, the greater the risk of crossing the line of constitutional rights. There has to be some reasonable decision for including a place, he said, for instance, sex offenders are entitled to use public sidewalks or roads outside a park, but not the ones in the park.
Earlier this week, a New Jersey state appellate court overturned sex offender residency bans in some towns in that state.
The proposed ordinance would allow police to give a warning for a first violation, followed by a $100 fine for repeat violations. The council decided to develop the restrictions after complaints a year and a half ago about a sex offender hanging around Pesci Park.
The state's online Sex Offender Registry lists 18 men for Windsor Locks, of whom 16 live in town. The other two work in town. One who gave his home address as Windsor Locks has not confirmed that address since 2006 and is considered not in compliance with the registry. Charges against them range from sexual contact without consent to sexual assault first degree, with six of them convicted of offenses against minors. Four of them have out-of-state convictions (three in Massachusetts and one in New York) and the charges against them are not listed on the Connecticut registry. Convictions dated from more than 20 years ago to as recently as May of this year.
At the Aug. 5 town meeting, voters will also weigh in on a plan to mitigate flood potential in town. The Capitol Region Council of Governments recently did a survey of all the community towns in the Hartford area to update the flood plain maps and develop a Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. The plan requires town meeting approval in order for Windsor Locks to be eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding in the event of a flood such as happened in October, 2005.
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By AARON SANBORN (email@example.com)
DOVER — If a court ruling in New Jersey is any indication, the city's sex offender ordinance could be in danger.
On Tuesday, an appeals court consisting of three judges ruled that two New Jersey townships cannot ban sex offenders from living near schools, parks or other places where children gather. The ruling upheld findings by judges at the Superior Court level who invalidated ordinances in the New Jersey townships of Cherry Hill and Galloway.
The decision in New Jersey comes as the Garrison City gears up to defend its sex offender ordinance from a New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union challenge that calls the ordinance unconstitutional.
While legally what happens in New Jersey has no impact on New Hampshire, the decision could provide New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union Attorney Barbara Keshen with some more ammunition to challenge the city's ordinance, according to University of New Hampshire research professor Charles Putnam.
The city's ordinance, Dover city code 131-20, bans registered sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a school or day care center. It was adopted by the City Council in October 2005.
Keshen and the NHCLU filed a motion in May on behalf of convicted sex offender Richard Jennings, asking the court to both drop the ordinance violation charged against Jennings and to rule the ordinance itself unconstitutional.
The ordinances in the two New Jersey towns are almost identical to the Garrison City's, banning adults convicted of sex offenses against a child from living within 2,500 feet of any school, park, playground, church or day care center.
The three-judge panel in New Jersey ruled that the state's sex offender law, Megan's Law, was "pervasive and comprehensive" and should be the only law governing how sex offenders are treated.
Putnam, who serves as the co-director for Justiceworks at UNH, said whenever an ordinance restricting where someone can live faces a legal challenge, it's often an uphill climb for the municipality defending it.
"These ordinances face tough sledding once in the courts. The burden is on the municipality to show why the ordinance that town or city developed doesn't run afoul with constitutional rights," Putnam said. "My impression is that courts are kind of hostile to this type of zoning."
This stems from the fact that the courts are trying to protect the rights of all citizens and not discriminate against anyone, according to Putnam.
"When a town, city or state talks about where people can live, we're kind of getting into a sensitive area," Putnam said. "Even when people do egregious things, it doesn't usually result in banishment — which these things can look like."
The city will defend its ordinance at Jennings' hearing at Dover District Court. The hearing was initially scheduled for July 21, but was rescheduled Wednesday to Oct. 27 because of scheduling issues at the court.
Jennings, 41, was charged with violating the ordinance in November 2007 for living at 175 Locust St., located about 1,200 feet from My School Kindergarten at 118 Locust St.
Putnam said it's possible the ruling in New Jersey could play a role in the hearing, especially if Keshen brings the rulings to the judge's attention.
"It's something a smart attorney will look at and analyze," Putnam said. "It could have impact because a judge could read that New Jersey decision and say, 'By golly, they have it right.' It can really decide the case for you. Not usually, but sometimes. It's one of the tools that good attorneys use if they work on their cases."
Keshen couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.
Both Keshen and city officials have said they will appeal if they lose their arguments at the lower court, meaning the case will likely go before the state Supreme Court at some point.
Dan Keashen, a spokesman for Cherry Hill, N.J., said the town is considering all of its legal options and is considering an appeal to the state's Supreme Court.
"Research has shown that many of these offenders are repeat offenders and, with that knowledge, we feel this extra layer of protection is critical," Keashen said.
- That is a flat out lie as well. Many recidivism studies show this is a false statement and that sex offenders are LESS LIKELY to reoffend.
The town finalized its ordinance in November 2005 and the court battle over it began a year later when two sex offenders sued after being charged under the ordinance, Keashen said.
He added there are more than 100 municipalities in the state with similar ordinances that haven't been challenged.
Dover Police Chief Anthony Colarusso said he was aware of the New Jersey rulings but not overly concerned about them.
"Whether or not it has an impact in New Hampshire, I can't say for sure," he said. "Some state courts rule things differently than other states."
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SPRING HILL - A detective searching for a sexual predator missing since Monday found his target dead by suicide Wednesday afternoon, authorities say.
Charles Heritage, 60, who goes by "Rick," took a bus to Pasco County upon his release from prison Monday for crimes he committed against small children in 2004. There he purchased "suspicious" items, authorities say.
That same day, he rented a room at the Quality Inn Hotel at U.S. 19 and Cortez Boulevard and checked out on Tuesday. He never fulfilled a scheduled appointment with his probation officer, authorities say.
Over the course of his investigation into Heritage's whereabouts, Detective Tommy Breedlove followed up on past residences of the suspect. He was led to a burned down house on Ostrom Way where Heritage once lived.
Breedlove found Heritage had hung himself in the woods behind the house, said Sgt. Donna Black, sheriff's spokeswoman.
- When was the house burned down? I wonder if this was actually suicide or someone knew he was coming home, and when he did, burned down his home and killed him?
Prison records show Heritage served three years and five months of a five-year sentence for two counts of providing obscene material to children, two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and one count of lewd and lascivious exhibition.
Additionally, Heritage served prison time about 30 years ago in Indiana for sodomizing a teenager, according to a Tampa Tribune report.
The latest charges from Pasco County were a result of a sleepover at Heritage's house in 2004. Five neighborhood children, all 16 or younger, were at Heritage's house when he reportedly showed them child pornography and asked the youngsters "if they liked what they saw."
Heritage reportedly molested one of the children later that night and tried to coerce another one to perform a sex act.
Reporter Kyle Martin can be reached at 352-544-5271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
OH - Background Checks for Houseguests - Ohioans might be at risk of losing their kids if they don't know a visitor's criminal history
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A friend from another state spends a few nights in your home. One morning before he leaves, a social worker shows up on your doorstep with a cop telling you that she's there to remove your children pending an investigation of an anonymous allegation of negligence.
If convicted of child endangerment, you could lose custody of your children. Permanently.
Sound like a bad made-for-TV-movie? It's a real-life scenario that will play out all over Ohio if House Bill 111, already passed by the Ohio House, moves out of a Senate committee and is voted into law by legislators.
The brief summary provided by the bill's author, State Rep. Thom Collier (Email) (R-Mount Vernon), states that the law will in part "expand the definition of neglected child to include a child whose parent, guardian or custodian knowingly allows certain sexually oriented offenders or child-victim offenders to reside in the same residence as that child."
If you're not aware of a house guest's conviction on a sex-related crime, your children could be defined as "neglected." Can't prove you didn't "knowingly" allow this to happen? You're going to be in deep, because anyone could make an anonymous call to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services (JFS) and start an investigation.
One of the many problems with this law -- beyond unnecessary trauma for children who aren't at risk and debates over wrongful convictions -- is that it's redundant. JFS already has the power to launch investigations of parents; all they need is a suggestion of abuse, according to Jackie Sparling, administrative assistant for the Sex Offender Support and Education Network.
Sparling is a child-victim of molestation at the hands of a family member. She passionately believes that former offenders have the right to a second chance.
Sparling says that most individuals on the Ohio electronic sex offender registry are male and many have children. She says HB111 all but guarantees that former sex offenders will be prohibited from living with and therefore parenting their own children.
"Case workers are human beings," she says. "Human beings come with their own set of prejudices. ... They're going to go in (to home investigations) with a preconceived notion ... and I fear happy, healthy, well-adjusted children are going to be taken out of perfectly fine and wonderful homes ... and put into foster care."
The potential for false accusations and botched investigations is something Tracy Golden, president of the Ohio chapter of Women Against Sexual Predators, avoids addressing. When asked to comment about the potential harm done to children and families when false accusations of abuse are made, she doesn't respond. She does point out problems within the agencies as proof this law is necessary.
- I am very familiar with this lady, been harassed by her and her "associates" as well. Here is some audio which shows the damage these laws do to children and families. You can also check out the WronlyAccused section and the Child Sex Offenders sections. This lady is part of an online cyber-vigilante group.
"As everyone already knows, child welfare agencies consistently are poorly run," Golden says. "Every time I hear from a family who is having problems getting their child's sexual abuser prosecuted (it's) due to the lack of help and actual hindrance from Family Services. Unless there is DNA left in the child, many times they refuse to prosecute because they refuse to take the words of a child as true.
- This is total lies. Anytime anyone is accused of sexual abuse, they are automatically guilty, and the child is almost always believed, even without evidence. This is just more ignorant statements from someone who thinks they are an expert on the issue.
"This law will make children safer because it will do what some parents lack to do, which is use common sense. You do not place your children in a home with a convicted felon who has a propensity to sexually abuse. We all know the staggering statistic that the over 90 percent of victims know their attacker. It would be foolish to assume that this is not occurring in their home."
Golden says children won't be taken from a safe home environment as a result of HB111.
- She needs to read this bill again.
"They will not be wrongly separated from their families," she says. "They will be separated for their own protection until the sexual offender is removed from the home. You do not leave the fox in the chicken coop and hope that he leaves. First you protect the chickens, then remove the fox."
- She did not even listen to what Jackie said. A false allegation is all it takes to get someone in prison on sexual abuse charges, and yes, the potential for the kids to be taken is obvious.
Aside from providing no evidence to support her claims about JFS obstructing investigations, Golden's logic is flawed. She assumes that any person convicted of any sex crime is a risk to a child.
- We need more articles like this. Glad to see someone else thinks this lady is an idiot! So does many of her "associates" as well. Here is one of her "associates" who happens to be a LUNAtic. And here is the law suit about these threats and harassment, which Petra admits to on video.
The nature of the mental health issues that cause people to act out sexually aren't all the same (see "Postcards from the Edge," issue of Jan. 12, 2005). Portraying people convicted of any sex crime as out to molest children and a guaranteed repeat offender isn't helping children or anyone else, according to Sparling.
"There are about 600,000 people in the national registry," she says. "According to the Department of Justice, only about 5.3 percent are people you'd really want to know if they were your neighbor -- they are of the predator caliber. The rest of them are paying for that 5.3 percent.
"Ninety five percent of all new sex crimes are committed by people who are not on that registry. So tell me, what good is it? It's a public gallows. It's a shaming tool. We should know from past history that it does not work."
One of the things that concerns Katherine Blacksmith (not her real name) of Northern Ohio is the "false sense of security" laws like HB111 give the general public. She believes the money spent on registries and enforcing laws that prohibit former offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school perpetuate a "lie" that children are safe from sexual abuse if these laws are enforced.
After working with former offenders for five years, Blacksmith says that most people still aren't aware that most offenders know their victims.
"It's a false sense of security because ... it's normally someone that's close to the victim," she says. " 'Stranger danger,' are there those icky pedophiles out there? Yes. But they make up such a minute part of the population and yet everybody is being classified as being that dangerous."
Now married to a former sex offender who committed his crime more than 25 years ago, Blacksmith says the stigma is an added punishment but the laws on top of that make it difficult to move on.
"We have the worst of the worst case here with my husband," she says. "What I find very disturbing is that he spent over 19 years in prison. He received treatment. He got a very good job since he got out. He's getting on with his life. He has remorse. He doesn't blame anyone else for what he did, and yet he's going to be persecuted for life."
Unwilling to subject his victim to potential publicity participating in an interview could bring, Blacksmith and her husband decided to remain anonymous. They want to live their life together with their daughter, who's a toddler, and that's what they're trying to do despite his requirement to register for life as a sex offender.
"My husband is a lot of things: He's a husband, a father, a Viet Nam veteran," Blacksmith says. "He had a great naval career, he's a hard worker, he's a friend. He's somebody's uncle, cousin. But sex offender still remains. ... Does that ever go away?"
HB111 additionally mandates that former sex offenders can't change their name or they'll face fraud charges. It also contains outdated language -- the passage of Senate Bill 10 last year changes all of the offender categories -- and includes an exception for an offender who's a juvenile in order to allow families to deal with problems related to incest when the offender is under age and a blood relative.