Thursday, July 31, 2008

OH - New Strike Against Unregistered Sex Offenders

View the article here



Here they go with the word "punishment" again. But I thought these laws were not punishment, but regulatory? Well, that is a smoke screen, they know these laws are punishment, and so does the media.


07/29/2008





DAYTON - A United States District Court Judge in Dayton has upheld the constitutionality of the 2006 federal law used to punish sex offenders who fail to register.



Gregory Lockhart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and James Wahlrab, United States Marshall, annouced the ruling handed down by Judge Walter Rice July 24th.



Congress passed the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act as part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act in 2006. The law requires anyone convicted of sex crimes under federal law, or anyone convicted in state court and traveling in interstate commerce, to register with law enforcement agencies where they live, work, or are a student.



Any person required to register and fails, is subject to a fine up up to $250,000 and up to ten years in prison.

- Talk about the punishment not fitting the crime, this is a direct violation of the constitution, IMO!



Judge Rice's ruling is in response to a motion filed by Roger Dale Trent. A federal grand jury indicted Trent in December of 2007, charging him with failing to register as a sex offender, when he moved from Indiana to Darke County. Trent was convicted of a sex crime in Indiana in May of 2007.



Trent asked the court to dismiss the indictment, claiming that the law violated the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. He also said that the law should not apply to him since he hadn't been notified of it, and the crime occurred before Ohio passed a sex offender notification law.



Judge Rice rejected all of Trent's arguments saying that SORNA is "a valid regulation of the uses of the channels of interstate commerce." Judge Rice also ruled that the federal guidelines governing the application of SORNA allow for the law to be applied even in states which have not yet approved their own registration programs.

- So basically, if some state doesn't have this law, you punish sex offenders any way, as if there magically was some law?  THAT IS INSANE!  These judges are just stupid.  Punishing someone again, after the fact, is a direct violation of the ex post facto portion of the Constitution, I could care less how they want to skew it and call it regulatory instead of punishment.  IT IS PUNISHMENT!!  Why don't you live with these "regulatory" laws and then tell me it's not punishment?



"The ruling adds to the growing number of court decisions that SORNA is a legal and useful way to protect communities from sexual criminals who travel from place to place without notifying those communities of their presence," Lockhart said. "We will continue to work closely with the Marshals Service and local law enforcment agencies to bring to justice any who violate the law."

- But that is just it, you idiots, who fail to listen to the EXPERTS.  I guess you think you are all wise and all knowing?  Nothing about these laws are "protecting" children, you are living in some fantasy world!  Did these laws protect Brooke Bennet in Vermont?  Nope, and the person who did that, was a KNOWN SEX OFFENDER and the parent knew about his past.  So no matter how many laws you make and pass, thus corrupting the already corrupted government, it will not protect people.  Crimes will still occur, always have, always will.  You could pass 10 million laws, or kill everyone who commits a crime, and more will always follow.  Now I know why in the Bible it says evil will prevail in the end...  That is exactly what is occurring in this day and age.


AZ - New Sex Offender Law Causing Controversy

View the article here



So much for protecting children!  We are instead making them criminals, pariahs for life.



07/31/2008





PHOENIX -- A new Arizona law that allows some juvenile sex offenders convicted in adult court to wipe their records clean is causing controversy.



Supporters of this new law include defense attorney Jason Lamm.



"Without this kind of mechanism in place, juveniles can be prosecuted as adults," Lamm said. "Kids 13 and 14 years old can get convictions on their records that they're going to carry with them for the rest of their lives like a scarlet letter."



Nevertheless, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office opposed the change in the law.



"If you've committed a sex offense, you are a sex offender," said prosecutor Barbara Marshall.

- So you are saying children playing doctor and experimenting with sex are sex offenders and should be for life?  You are an idiot, and need to be fired, IMO.



Children under the age of 18 who commit sex offenses are much less likely to re-offend than adult sex offenders, studies have shown. Nevertheless, therapist Scott Naegele said these juveniles can still get into trouble.

- So where is the links to these "studies?"



"That same group of people tends to commit new kinds of offenses at a higher rate than they commit new sex offenses," he said.



The case of Angel Briones is an example. He pleaded guilty to attempted sexual conduct with a child when he was 16 years old. He was sentenced to probation, completed therapy and was removed from the sex offender notification registry.



Still, he ended up back in jail for probation violations.



Thus far, only a few people have had their records completely cleared, and 5 Investigates has not found any cases where a "cleared" sex offender committed a new sex crime.


PA - AG Corbett Announces Court Order Requiring MySpace to Release Records of Nearly 200 PA-Sex Offenders with Accounts

View the article here



Show me any law in Pennsylvania which says a sex offender cannot use MySpace? I've searched and have not found one, so what law are they basing this on? They are just assuming that any sex offender using this site is looking for children to molest, which is nothing but BS and fear-mongering.


So what about blocking all those KKK, Nazi and other hate groups, Porn, drugs and other web sites?  Do you really want to protect children?  Or just further punish sex offenders?  Big Brother will be monitoring everyone on the Internet soon, and saying where you can and cannot go, and the public just sits there.


07/31/2008



HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett (Contact) recently announced that authorities are in the process of reviewing the records of nearly 200 registered Pennsylvania sex-offenders who have opened accounts on the popular social networking website.



"Social networking sites like MySpace are supposed to be safe places for teens and young adults to connect with friends, share their thoughts and meet new people," Corbett said. "Convicted sex offenders have no business in that kind of an environment."

- Well, there is no law saying they cannot be there, and you are assuming all sex offenders are out looking for children to molest.  I know, you need to "look good" to the public, I understand.



Corbett noted that records of registered sex-offenders were obtained from MySpace as the result of a June 2008 order issued by the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas.

- Also, if there is indeed a law, do you notify the sex offenders in this state that they cannot be on or join MySpace?  And what about all the other social networking web sites?



In complying with that court order, MySpace recently submitted information related to 353 individuals whose accounts had been blocked or removed because they were believed to be registered sex-offenders. After eliminating duplicates, agents from the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit identified 185 MySpace accounts that appear to match registered sex-offenders from Pennsylvania.

- So MySpace is just blocking people because they ASSUME they are a sex offender and simply because they have a sex offender label.  That is just absurd.  You are all assuming that all sex offenders are out looking for kids to molest, and that is a flat out lie and nothing but fear-mongering.  Many sex offenders committed crimes that had NOTHING to do with children at all.



Corbett said the records are being reviewed to determine if any convicted sex-offender in Pennsylvania has violated the terms of their release through their use of MySpace. Information about these identified sex-offenders is being forwarded to state and local probation and parole offices to allow those agencies to search for possible violations.

- Where is the law in Pennsylvania that says a sex offender cannot use MySpace?  And again, what about the 100 or more other social networking sites?  Why are you picking on MySpace only?  Yes, they are the most popular, but kids are on other social networking sites as well.



Corbett explained that this is the second time that the Office of Attorney General has obtained a court order compelling MySpace to provide information about registered sex-offenders from Pennsylvania who had established accounts on that website. In 2007, MySpace provided information about 110 individuals believed to have been active on the social networking site.

- So how many were actually sex offenders, and how many were arrested?  And where is the law that says they cannot be on MySpace?



In January 2008, Attorney General Corbett joined with Attorneys General from 49 other states and the District of Columbia to announce that MySpace agreed to significant steps to better protect children on the social networking site, including: improved efforts to identify and remove inappropriate photos or links to pornographic websites; quicker response to complaints about inappropriate content and enhanced privacy and protection for young users.

- I can understand having inappropriate photos, but isn't having links to porn sites free speech?  Just having a link should not be wrong.  Having naked photos of men, women or children, that is a different story, but links?  Come on!  HEIL HITLER!!!  Pretty soon the whole Internet will have the Gestapo running around censoring everything you see, hear or do...  This is just their test bed.  Use sex offenders to test the waters so to speak.



Corbett said the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit was created in January 2005 to conduct proactive undercover investigations in order to identify and arrest Internet predators before they can harm children. To date, the unit has arrested 150 predators from throughout Pennsylvania and from several other states, and has a 100% conviction rate.

- Where have I heard that 100% conviction rate before?  Which is a known lie by the way!



Corbett encouraged parents to discuss Internet safety with their children, including the danger of meeting strangers who approach them online. Additionally, he urged parents to report predators who use the Internet to sexually solicit children or send sexually graphic photos and videos.



Internet predators can be reported to the Child Predator Unit by calling 1-800-385-1044, or by filing an online complaint. Detailed information about Internet safety is also available in the "Operation Safe Surf" and "Just 4 Kids" sections of the Attorney General's Web site.


MN - Citizens attend sex offender info meeting to learn first hand what is working, what needs fixing

View the article here



07/31/2008



Chisago City Council members, residents, state lawmakers, area law enforcement filled the community room at Chisago Lakes Area Library last week to update everybody on sex offender laws, and brainstrom ideas to help make the community safer. The meeting included a representative from the governor's office, another from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, plus Dept. of Corrections representatives, a state crime victim advocate supervisor and the Chisago County Attorney.

- So what about civil and human rights experts and sex offender therapists?  Why were these people not present as well?  Why are you not involving these people and listening to what they say?



The purpose in calling the meeting was public education, and to hear ideas and concerns that could become laws to address issues.



While one sex offender living in Chisago City is basically motivating this citizen activist energy, those attending the meeting heard a lot about sex offenders in general from people whose careers involve sex offenders and their victims.

- So did these people involve any of the ones I mentioned above, or just police who deal with sex offenders?



In a nutshell, Chisago County looks like this:



  • There are 94 registered criminal sex offenders who have Chisago County for a home address filed with the courts system.

  • Of all the recent criminal sexual conduct cases in this county 87 percent of the crimes were perpetrated by someone the victim personally knew.

  • Of the 94 county sex offenders 82 don't have a "level" assigned them.



The level designation is what legally triggers public notice of an offender's whereabouts. The offender's level needs to be #3 in order to air information about this offender in public format, through a legally required notification. (There is one level 3 offender in the 94-- he lives in North Branch.)



Levels 2 and 1 still get tracked and information is shared by law enforcement but they have a certain amount of ability to make their way in the world anonymously.



  • Levels are assigned to any offender who has spent time in lock-up. There are so many in Chisago County who don't have a level designation because they didn't actually serve time. They do have to register though. The audience was told plea agreements don't affect the need to register. As long as the final disposition of a case is stemming from an original criminal sexual conduct violation, the offender must register.

  • The one thing in common with all 94 offenders in Chisago County is that local law enforcement and state agency personnel know who they are and where they live.

  • In Chisago County compliance with registration is 95 percent. And, the few who have violated the rules of their release are known to not be physically residing here.



The state Department of Corrections (DOC) official told the audience the last thing society wants to do is drive offenders "underground" by placing such restrictions on where offenders can live that they start to lie or shirk their probation/parole conditions.



William Donnay showed statistics and charts depicting how since 1992-- when intensive supervision and registration began-- the incidence of recidivism declined from 20 percent to 4 percent. He opined, "I attribute much of that to the protective wall we've been building." The 'wall' being treatment, civil commitment procedures, monitoring, enhanced sentencing guidelines, DNA collection, etc.

- I am not sure I believe all of this, I believe it's due to therapy and the willingness to change their lives for the better.  All the restrictions these laws have, just make it harder to live a normal life, and increases recidivism.



Randy Tenge, a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent officed in Center City, said his guys are out 24 hours a day visiting or surveilling known sex offender residences and routes. He said, "Sex offender monitoring and behaviour management is a system of layers."

- I would call that harassment, IMO. How would you like to be stalked all the time by someone?



Tenge said from what he's seen this county benefits from excellent work being done with sex offenders, adding he has no worries about living and raising his kids in this area. He added, "Minnesota is years ahead" of other states in managing and monitoring sex offenders.



Lakes Area Police Chief Kevin Stenson told the approximately 40 citizens at a meeting last week that the ages-old idea that "...criminals do their time and pay their debt to society" has been turned inside-out with the advent of sex offenders.

- Amen!  They are the only people who cannot get on with their lives.  So if we are going to discriminate and single out one group of criminals, why not make all criminals do the same and be under the same kind of rules?  It's only fair!  But, we do not have a fair and just legal system anymore, that is obvious!



The public isn't satisfied with sex offenders doing time and being released. The audience at the meeting reinforced that sentiment. They suggested more measures lawmakers must consider, hoping to keep their kids safe and sex offenders from re-offending. Ideas like Big Brother ankle bracelet monitoring were discussed.

- The public will never be satisfied, as long as people spread lies and increase the fear factor.  The public needs to be told the TRUTH about sex offenders, that the recidivism rates are LOWER than any other criminal, except murderers (for the obvious reason).  But the media use sex offender issues to get viewers, ratings and more money, and the politicians use them to get "brownie points" and to "look good" to the public, which in turn gets them the votes they need.  They are made into scapegoats from those with hidden agendas.  This hysteria has gotten the public in a state of fear and blinded due to false statistics always being thrown out there, instead of the facts.  Which doesn't help anything.



Sex offenders shouldn't be allowed to live where they can even view children or where children might see them engaging in indecent conduct.

- This is one of the problems.  You are assuming that all sex offenders are out spying on kids and looking for their next victim, and are always doing something indecent.  THAT IS A MYTH!!!  Not all sex offenders are like what you seem to believe they are.



There needs to be a national system tracking offenders on an equal, consistent basis, not left up to each state.

- I agree, but the registry needs to be OFFLINE and used by police only, like it was when it was working, and if someone is needing to be tracked 24/7, then they apparently are a danger to society.  The public has PROVEN they cannot handle the registry info in a civilized manner without resulting in vigilante actions.  They are harassing, beating and killing sex offenders on a regular basis, and it's getting worse.  Just read the news and check here. If a person has been sentenced and done everything required of them at the time of sentencing, then this should NOT be allowed, it is just prison outside of prison, and the US Supreme court needs to do it's damn job and knock these laws down as unconstitutional, which they are.  No other criminal gets monitored 24/7, not even murderers who are released.



Any offender moving into Minnesota must be required to be evaluated and assigned a level.



Offenders should be locked up forever.

- Nope, sorry, you are an idiot! Even if they were, more sexual crimes would still occur.  So your knee-jerk response will not work.  90% or more of sex crimes committed, are committed by someone NOT on the registry and NOT a known sex offender.



Rep. Kalin and Sen. Olseen said they'd take what they heard and look into laws that might be applicable on some issues. Offender tracking, psychological assessments and lock-up cost money and require manpower, however.



Donnay said it's like a newly-invented highway guardrail system that acts like a net and traps and holds vehicles that cross the median, saving lives. But it costs $1 million per mile to install. The legislators weigh the cost, risk and benefits of all tax dollar expenditures.

- Bad analogy, IMO.



On a personal level: children must be taught skills to know when a situation feels wrong and how to respond or avoid an offender.

- In other words, PARENTS MUST DO THEIR JOBS!  When they had sex and gave birth to a child, that is a responsibility that comes along with it.  You do the deed, you pay the price.  BE A PARENT!  No matter where you live in this world, you are never safe, it's a false sense of security.  There is danger in the world no matter where you go.  I wonder, if some animal, say lions, started killing kids left and right, would we just round up all lions across this country and kill them or thrown them in zoos?  No, so why are we doing that with sex offenders?



Donnay reminded the audience in 2004 there were 585 sex offenders convicted in the state, and 527 of them had no priors. "It's the ones who are outside the wall" or the unidentified sex offender who poses the biggest threat.

- Thus proving the point I've said over and over for years now.  It's you, your wife or husband, child, uncle or aunt who is the problem.  What is crazy, is everyone is wanting strict laws, but statistically, they are more likely to molest a child than some stranger or someone who has before, so when you get caught in the net, don't go screaming the laws are unfair.  You wanted them, so live with them!



Lydia Newlin, victim advocacy unit state supervisor, stressed safety tools need to be taught at all developmental stages in a child's life. The most-often victimized age group is 11-17.

- You need to also teach them about them touching or doing inappropriate things to others, not just from a victims point of view.  Teach them the same techniques you teach sex offenders to PREVENT them from acting out in the first place, do it young, then eventually the crimes will hopefully drop.  We need to teach kids morals, and how to TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WANT TO BE TREATED!  Remember the Bible?  It's that book God wrote, we need to be teaching that in schools, IMO.  But, that will never happen!



Identify five healthy adults in your child's life they can go to. Many children who are violated won't talk with parents, but will with another trusted adult.

- And it's statistically also shown, that these five "healty adults" might be the ones who molest your child.  So even then, they are not protected.



Have a code phrase for phone use, if kids want to get away from a situation and maybe can't talk openly on the phone...like, I left the iron on.



Stop by the house of a friend of your child's unannounced.


TX - At Least 370 Texas CPS Workers Have Criminal Histories

View the article here



They always call themselves the "toughest on crime" state, but it appears they have two sets of rules, one for the general public, and another for those who work for the government. Part of the "Good Ole' Boys" club!


07/31/2008



Assault, burglary, driving while intoxicated, theft, domestic violence, indecent exposure and prostitution, possession of cocaine and marijuana, selling alcohol to minors -- what do all of these crimes have in common?


They are just some of the crimes committed by people who work for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (Contact), the agency in charge of protecting the state’s children.



KEYE Investigates found at least 370 employees have a criminal background, and some have direct contact with foster children.



Romanus Ike was one of Ashley Gallardo’s caseworkers when she and her brothers were in foster care. Yet her brothers requested a different caseworker soon after Ike’s assignment.



“He was really uncomfortable to be around, really, he always wanted to be a little too close,” she said.



That was about a year after Ike was arrested and charged with indecent exposure. He was caught performing a sex act on himself in a public park. He later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct and paid a $500 fine.



Gallardo said such conduct should rule out anyone from being able to decide what is best for vulnerable children.



"At that time, I'm a young girl, going to school, and what he did was disgusting,” she said. “It's really just perverted, and it's disgusting. That's all I can say. Like how could anyone let him be around kids? That's just gross."



She first learned about his arrest when she decided to do some research at the courthouse. Gallardo said she was shocked to find a couple of her former caseworkers also had criminal histories.



"God, this guy was in my life,” she said. “He was in charge of me and my brothers. He made decisions for us."



It was no secret that at the time of his arrest Gallardo worked for Child Protective Services. It was written on his bail bond in 1998, and he's still working as a caseworker. A conviction of disorderly conduct would not bar someone from employment.



Richard Landon was arrested for indecent exposure in 1997, and in 1994 he was arrested for prostitution after soliciting an undercover cop. He works for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services as a systems analyst.



Cordelia Jones works for Statewide Intake, the 24 hour abuse/neglect hotline. She is currently probation for a drug possession charge out of Williamson County She is on probation for a drug possession charge in Williamson County.



CPS investigator Cynthia Crayton has numerous criminal cases in her background, mostly thefts by check. She still owes $193 in fines for driving with an invalid license.



David Mendoza pleaded guilty to assault with bodily injury to a family member and violation of a protective order. He is a CPS supervisor in El Paso.



The number of employees with criminal histories is small compared to the total number of those employed by the Department of Family and Protective Services. Most offenses were misdemeanors.



The most common offenses were thefts by check and DWI.



KEYE’s search revealed some financial crimes such as forgery, fraud, credit-debit card abuse, larceny and shoplifting. In addition to DWI, there were cases of marijuana, cocaine and controlled substance possessions. Some employees were charged with failure to identify a fugitive from justice, interference with the duties of a public servant, interference of an emergency call, evading arrest, and hindering apprehension or prosecution. Several cases were burglary related. There were also violent offenses such as assault, assault with bodily injury and assault of a family member.



The findings caught the attention of State Rep. Patrick Rose, who said “it's unacceptable."



Rose is in a position to push for change. He chairs the House Health and Human Services Committee, which oversees the agency.



"I think there are several solutions,” he said. “The first is to make sure we get all background checks across all states and any convictions. We can do that by requiring FBI fingerprint background check on the front end upon employment. And as we move forward, we have to have annual background checks here to make sure all current employees that have direct access to kids don't have these convictions.”



The department conducts criminal background checks in the state when someone is hired. Employees are then required to report their arrests or convictions. Annual background checks are conducted on approximately 250 employees whose jobs are to approve foster homes for the placement of children.



Rose said he would like to see better coordination between the justice system and CPS. One idea would be to require local jurisdictions to immediately notify the department when an employee is arrested, charged or convicted of a crime. The department could decide if any immediate action should be taken.



Gallardo said she thinks that is a good idea. She added that it’s important for those who have contact with foster children or are responsible for making life-changing decisions on their behalf be closely screened and monitored.



"We trust these people,” Gallardo said. “They are all we have in the end, because we're just taken away from out families, and that's all we have."



Copyright 2008, Four Points Media Group LLC. All Rights Reserved.