Saturday, August 2, 2008

PA - Sex offender speaks out

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The police need to start telling the community, he has a right to be there, and they need to leave them alone, or move.  And any harassment, needs to be stopped and the person responsible, needs to be arrested.  See the video below, or at the site above.


Not in my backyard- is the feeling some people in Marietta, Lancaster County have towards sex offenders. Community members are expected to protest outside of a home where three sex offenders have been living for the past month.

CBS 21 News sat down with one of the offenders who says he needs a place to live.

If you give me a release date, don't cry when I get out,” says convicted sex offender Richard Owen, speaking to community members in Marietta, who want him out. “I have a right to be here, I’m allowed to be here and I’m gonna stay.

Owen tells CBS 21 news people are expected to protest outside his home Saturday. He lives in the home, owned by former state legislature Tom Armstrong, with two other convicted sex offenders.

“They're my neighbors. We're not here to harm anyone. We want to be peacemakers,” says Armstrong.

The three offenders were living in a faith-based home in Conestoga, also owned by Armstrong. Many believe community backlash in that town forced them out. But Armstrong claims Marietta is a better location for the men since it’s easier to get to work.

Now, in Marietta, Armstrong has two battles to fight- one against new community members looking to shun the offenders, the second against a town zoning commission, which says it's illegal for four unrelated men to be living together.

A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at the Marietta Community House to discuss the zoning issues.

Convicted Sex Offenders - The Other View

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David is a convicted child molester, a registered sex offender, who has served his time and currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

So what should society do with him now that he's out? Watch him like a hawk? Well, that's already being done via the registry through which he must regularly report his every lifestyle move - where he lives, where he works, what car he drives, where he spends his time.

For many of us the quick answer would be, "Lock him up and throw away the key!" And until I met David I would have joined in that chorus. Once a sex offender always a sex offender - that's been my mantra.

To make a very long story short David's estranged wife accused him of sexually touching their 5 year old daughter during a visitation. Their 7 year old son allegedly saw it happen during a naptime when all three of them had laid down to take a quick snooze. At trial stories changed, physical examinations proved nothing wrong but David was sentenced to six years in prison. He says everything you've heard about life inside for a convicted child molester is true, it's the hardest time you can do. David says he never ever would have done what he was charged with.

Now that he's free his children, who live with his mother-in-law, don't talk to him. His troubled ex-wife died of a methadone overdose while he was serving time.

David is getting on with his life. For the last two years he's been diligently working a job where they don't mind his past, going to church, showing up for his court mandated checks like clockwork and spending time with Alice.

Alice is how I come to know David. She is a remarkable woman who at the age of 79 gently tells me I've had it all wrong about convicted molesters.

The media, Alice politely scolded me, never talks to the convicted innocent or the released offender who truly wants opportunities to live a better life - a job, a place to live, a break from society - none of which comes easy to them.

"It doesn't matter to me what they did," Alice said while stressing the faith she and her late husband, Pastor Don, shared. "My mission is to make sure they don't re-offend."

"We have redefined the word rape in this country," she told me as she detailed what she'd learned in recent classes about the eight levels of sex offenses we punish. Many include the kind of behavior that teenagers often engage in: Removal of an item of clothing, skin-on-skin contact, non-penetrating acts. Alice and I discussed the case of 17 year old honor student Genarlow Wilson of Georgia who got 10 years for engaging in an oral act with a willing 15 year old girl at a New Year's Eve party. His life was ruined.

In her quiet, dignified way Alice says the media fans the flames of ignorance. Reporters stress only the most extreme accounts of perverts who kidnap and kill children. They don't adequately explain flimsy trial evidence or today's rampant zeal to convict at even a hint of inappropriate behavior.

Alice followed in Pastor Don's footsteps, visiting the convicted in prison. Her grown children think she's "losing her marbles" as she meets and becomes involved with more of these convicts, determined to help them when they get out.

"I believe God can change anyone's life," she explained.

Take cross country truck driver Robert, for example. Alice says he had sex with a mature looking 16 year old waitress. He gets out next year after serving 10 years. Inside prison he's been attacked several times and now must walk with a cane.

Jose served 10 years for something he did with a minor when he was 16. When he was released he wanted to go live with his Dad but the courts said no since Dad had a 30 year old felony on his record. Nothing comes easy for these convicts.

And back to David. When he recently showed up for his regular 90 day check-in he was suddenly handcuffed and told there were two warrants for his arrest. Never mind that the spelling of the last name, the date of birth and social security number didn't match David's. He was taken into custody and it was Alice who was there to pick him up when the snafu was finally figured out.

"Alice gives me the benefit of the doubt," David says. "That holds me up to a higher standard and makes me want to life a better life."

Maybe we could all learn a lesson from Alice. She and David have given me a reason to re-think my mantra.

Diane Dimond's official website is She can be reached directly at

FL - Lawsuit Against CNN, Nancy Grace Can Proceed

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More good comments from SmashedFrog


OCALA -- A lawsuit by the family of Trenton Duckett against CNN is moving forward.

The Duckett family is suing CNN and show host Nancy Grace because they said Grace drove Trenton's mother Melinda to suicide with her investigation.

CNN asked a federal judge to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit because it would hurt journalists' coverage of missing persons cases.

However, an Ocala federal judge refused to dismiss the case.

Trenton Duckett has been missing since 2006.

His mother remains investigator's prime suspect. Melinda Duckett killed herself just before Grace's pre-taped interview was aired on CNN.

The Duckett family said Melinda's suicide severely hampered the search for Trenton.