Friday, November 7, 2008

CA - One Person may be Attacking Sex Offenders in Mountain View

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And yet more proof, that the public cannot handle the online registry, and the reason it should be taken offline and used by police only!

11/07/2008

By John Boitnott

Police send letters to all sex offenders after two are attacked

Mountain View police said someone is attacking registered sex offenders in the city and the attacks may be related.

Two crimes against sex offenders have taken place in the past month.

Detectives described the attacks as similar.

The first crime occurred on Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008, at 9:39 a.m., at an apartment complex on the west side of the city, officers said.

A witness saw a man carrying a bat and placing a Molotov cocktail-type device at the front door of a registered sex offender.

When confronted by the witness, the man indicated he was targeting the person living in the apartment due to the fact that he was sex offender.

The suspect took the device and left the scene.

Patrol units were unable to locate the suspect but they did locate evidence of two Molotov cocktails in the area.

The man was described by the witness as being a Hispanic, in his 20’s, approximately 6 feet tall and wearing all dark clothing, including a dark baseball cap.

The second attack occurred at 7:15 a.m. on Nov. 6, 2008, in the northern section of Mountain View.

A man armed with a wooden stick forced his way into the front door of the victim’s home.

The man attacked the victim by hitting him multiple times about the head, causing moderate injuries, officers said.

The man indicated to the victim that he was attacking him due to his status as a sex offender.

The man fled the scene and was not located, officers said.

He was described as white, in his 20’s, approximately 6 feet tall and weighing 170-175 pounds.

The man was wearing all dark clothing including a dark baseball cap.

The victim received several lacerations to his head and was transported to a hospital for treatment.

His injuries are considered non-life threatening.

Detectives are mailing letters of warning to all registered sex offenders in Mountain View.

Sex offenders are encouraged to be vigilant and are urged to call police if they see anyone or anything suspicious.

YouTube Video Link


WI - Sex offender ordinance passed - Residency, loitering limited in move

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11/07/2008

By JOHN SCHULTZ - jschultz@cninow.com

Muskego now has a sex offender residency and loitering ordinance that will limit where some registered sex offenders can live and hang out.

The Common Council passed the ordinance unanimously at its Oct. 28 meeting. It is scheduled to go into effect today, Nov. 6, when it is published in the legal notices on Page 32 of the NOW newspaper.

Under the ordinance, sex offenders who have repeated their crimes, used physical violence or preyed on children are prohibited from living or loitering within 2,000 feet of schools, day care centers, libraries, parks or conservation areas, swimming pools and golf courses.

Those covered under the ordinance also are prohibited from participating in holiday events involving children under 18. They are prohibited from distributing candy at Halloween, wearing a Santa suit or an Easter Bunny costume in a public place. Not everyone on the state’s sex offender registry is included in the city ordinance.

Child safety zones created

The ordinance creates child safety zones showing locations in the city where these prohibitions apply. The map will be displayed in the city clerk’s office.

City Attorney Don Molter said Muskego’s ordinance is based on a similar one in North Prairie with some input from Franklin’s ordinance.

“It may withstand court scrutiny,” Molter said. “Most city attorneys are leery.”

Though Muskego aldermen supported the ordinance and wanted to get something on the books quickly, some aldermen said they might want to make some changes later. Molter told them they could amend the ordinance.

Mayor John Johnson said he would be seeking a state opinion on whether lake access points on the city’s lakes could be included in the child safety zones.

Limits could be amended

There also were some questions about the 2,000-foot limit. It was suggested the limit might be set at 1,500 feet if further study showed 2,000 feet was too restrictive. Johnson worried the 2,000-foot limit might eliminate affordable housing and possibly all potential housing in the city for sex offenders. That would not be defensible in court.

“I believe we have to have a good cross section of different types of housing available,” he said.

Alderwoman Tina Schaefer wanted to see the lakes in Muskego included in the child safety zones.

“A lot of our kids are out on our lakes,” she said. “Our lakes are nothing more than a park.”

But Molter said the state controls access to lakes. Restricting the use of the lakes also might be considered too restrictive.

“The more unreasonable and less rational you make your ordinance, the more subject it is to challenge,” he said.

Schaefer said she understood every area of the city could not be eliminated.

“But that’s where the kids are,” she said of the lakes.

Setting restrictions difficult

Johnson, who used to be police chief for the city, said half of the sexual crimes against children occur in homes. The streets and parks are the next most common areas for those crimes. He found it impractical to limit the lakes and streets in the city.
- 90% or more of all sexual crimes against children, occur in the victims own home, or very close family and friends, so residency restrictions are just placebo's to pacify the public into believing they are protected, when in reality, they are not.

“If we don’t do this right, we can lose the battle,” he said, adding he was in favor of getting an ordinance on the books.

Schaefer said there are a lot of 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds using boats on the city’s lakes.

“I’m willing to take that risk for the children,” she said.

Molter said the ordinance the council passed is not part of the city’s zoning ordinance. Franklin has two ordinances regulating sex offenders. The residency ordinance is part of the zoning ordinance and the loitering ordinance is a simple police powers ordinance.

Molter said including it in the zoning ordinances does not give more enforcement powers.

“You may want to amend it at some time,” he said. “Then it becomes more difficult (if it is included in the zoning code).”

John Schultz can be reached at (262) 446-6611.

FYI

  • Penalties for violating the residency ordinance are $500 to $1,000 for each violation. Each day a person lives at a home in violation of the ordinance is a separate violation.
  • The penalty for loitering in the child safety zones is $1,000 to $2,000 for each violation.


WI - DOJ : Too Many Internet Predators, Not Enough Resources

View the article here
Related article

Just posted this video on YouTube, and it's already at over 100 hits.

11/07/2008

Child predators, online and unaware they are being tracked. The Internet Crime Against Children Task Force released a map that shows more than 22,000 unique IP addresses where images known, or suspected to be child pornography have changed hands since the beginning of this year. "That's a lot of dots. It's very frightening to know this is going on in our community," said Sara Born, an Appleton parent.

The DOJ says the problem is they don't have enough resources to handle the volume of internet sex predator leads they get. "We could use the entire Department of Justice's budget," said Kevin St. John, Special Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice, "And have nothing but special agents and computer forensic analysts and they'd have to work all year around the clock on this and nothing else if we were going to track down every lead in the state of Wisconsin."

Since the Internet Crime Against Children Task Force was launched ten years ago, they have made 540 arrests. But with the problem so rampant, Attorney General has directed 67% increase in the number of special agents assigned to task force.



Another Sex Offender Issues blog - By lawyer Doug Slain

Click the image to visit his blog site

I've also added this as feed 1, on the feeds section on the left!


CA - Calif.'s 'suspected child abusers' list violates due process, 9th Circuit rules

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11/07/2008

By Pamela A. MacLean / Staff reporter

California's use of a list of "suspected child abusers" violates constitutional due process protections because those identified are given no fair opportunity to challenge the claims and get off the list, a federal appeals court held on Wednesday.

The California Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) reports suspected abuse and severe neglect collected from police reports and child welfare investigations. State law requires the results of inquiries be reported to the state if reports are substantiated or "inconclusive," as well as those determined to be "unfounded" reports.

The state then includes the substantiated and "inconclusive" reports on the list of suspected child abusers, according to Judge Jay Bybee, writing for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Humphries v. County of Los Angeles, No. 05-56467.

The reports are then available to state agencies and law enforcement for investigations and for employment checks, and to out-of-state agencies checking on prospective foster care or adoptive parents and other job issues.

Bybee said the list became a nightmare for Craig and Wendy Humphries, who were accused of abuse by a rebellious 15-year-old daughter, were arrested and had other children taken away. A doctor confirmed the charges were false; the state dismissed the criminal case, and a court found them "factually innocent" of the charges. Their records were sealed and destroyed, but they were still identified on the CACI list as suspected abusers, and the charges were listed as "substantiated."

CACI has no procedure for challenging a listing, according to Bybee. It will also only remove "inconclusive" findings after 10 years, if no new reports are made.

The court held that the state created both a stigma and a tangible burden on individuals' ability to obtain their rights and burdened their liberty interests.

The burden cannot be placed on a liberty interest without providing due process protection for getting off the list, the court concluded.


GA - Repeat sex offender

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The title is misleading, this has nothing to do with "repeat offenders!"

11/07/2008

ONCE AGAIN, the Georgia Supreme Court has struck down another portion of the state’s sex-offender law regarding allowable place of residence.

Even though the General Assembly has tinkered with repairs in the past, one wonders how long it will take for it to realize that a total overhaul is needed that it must be based on reality more than the stated desire, by some in leadership roles, to force all released convicted sex offenders to leave the state.

This time, the justices voided the portion regarding reporting by the homeless on the grounds it was unconstitutionally vague as to how they would be expected to comply. It’s really only specific about two things: They can’t use post-office boxes nor is being homeless and sleeping in a different place very night an excuse for not reporting where they are to authorities every time they find a new bridge to be under.

One other state with similar requirements is now permitting the homeless to list their domicile as a specific bench in a public park.

It’s getting to the point where valid challenges to this law appear endless. Why should it constantly be rewritten one word or clause at a time when a total rewrite by rational, rather than sex-crazed minds, is plainly in order? Why should Georgia be a repeat sex-law offender?
- Not sure what that last statement means?

THE HIGH COURT has already knocked down the notion of forcing homeowners who are sex offenders from moving on the basis that this violated their property rights. Currently elsewhere in the judicial system and under attack are sending those who fail to report their whereabouts twice back to prison for life, banning them from volunteer work at churches, or living near a church or school-bus stop (of which Georgia has about 150,000 that constantly get moved around).

There is, of course, nothing fundamentally wrong with keeping a close and constant eye on those sex offenders who prey on children in particular. However, as constantly noted here in the past, these persons have “paid their debt” to society and if the state really believes they remain such a perpetual danger why isn’t it holding them in a mental-health facility until professionals deem them safe to re-enter polite society?

Of course, in Georgia’s case (or rather, in the case of its legislators), the core problem is far broader.

In this state, every past sex offender must be on a registry for life and report their whereabouts. Comparatively few of these are pedophiles. Their number includes the 17-year-old caught receiving oral sex from the 14-year-old now his wife and who has children that, unless he abandons the family, can’t live within walking distance of a school-bus stop ... or church, or park.

SIMPLY REDEFINING the meaning of “lifetime sex offender” to limit it to pedophiles and rapists would go a long way toward repairing the worst of this law. So would including (and paying for) involuntary mental-health treatment for the high-risk offenders who have served their time.

That’s unlikely, of course, as the current state government rarely seems to put its wallet where its mouth is.

Most Georgians probably don’t know it but, under Gov. Sonny Perdue’s recently ordered budget cuts, the Georgia Sex Offender Registry staff has been cut from seven to two. Those are the people who check with the state’s 159 counties to get information on where the sex offenders are and then post the information on the Internet so all citizens can keep tabs of who’s in their neighborhood.

Might one suggest that the state has probably spent far more in legal fees associated with trying to explain away its unconstitutional provisions than it has on maintaining the registry (budgeted at $218,765 a year before the cuts).

Some national commentators have begun to compare the excessive zeal with which convicted sex offenders (of whom there are currently 550,000 no longer behind bars) are being hounded in Georgia and other states as comparable to the Holocaust’s persecution of Jews and Gypsies.

That’s not the same, of course, but there are similarities.

INDEED, ONE suspects there are quite a few legislators, and citizens, who would support a candidate for higher office who says the following:

The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”

Frankly, it should be viewed as alarming that only the courts now appear to stand in the way of Adolf Hitler being elected governor.


Sexy prof strips for students

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Courtesy to Interested Participant

What gets me, is there is a ton of teachers standing around, and none did anything!

10/30/2008

FURIOUS parents have called for a saucy teacher to be sacked after she put on a saucy strip show for her 15-year-old pupils.

The German minx was supposed to be supervising a start of term party.

But things got out of hand as the pretty teacher put on her own sextracurricular activities for the teen pupils.

She seductively stripped down to her underwear – to the joy of her howling students.

And she only stopped her X-rated High School musical when another teacher forced her to cover up.

But one goggle-eyed pupil filmed the show on his mobile phone.

The teacher is seen peeling off her top to reveal her bra and then starts to undo the zip of her trousers before another lecturer covers her in a tablecloth.

"It is disgusting. What kind of teacher acts that way in front of her pupils. She should be in a lap dancing bar, not a school," said one angry parent.

"The children were playing truth or dare and making bigger and bigger dares for each other and she decided to join in."

"When they dared her to do some pole dancing she just started taking off her clothes. She's a pretty woman in her 20s and the children couldn't believe their luck."

"The worst thing is that teachers weren't even supposed to be taking part in the party - they were supposed to be supervising it," they added.

But the school's headmaster in Zalaegerszeg, western Hungary, has refused to sack the unnamed mistress despite pressure from parents and other teachers.

"I was forced to give the German teacher a warning, but I will not dismiss her because she is a valuable teacher for our institution," said head Sandor Rozman.

He claimed she had shown no more flesh "than you would see on a beach."


NE - Woman, 19, suspected of statutory rape

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Courtesy to Interested Participant

08/06/2007

A 19-year-old Lincoln woman has been arrested for statutory rape for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old boy in her car.

According to court records, on July 22 the alleged victim and two other boys were riding around with Tiffany K. King, in her purple 1997 Plymouth Neon.

When King stopped the car so the alleged victim could get a bag he had left behind, she allegedly told the other boys, “I’ll rape him if he doesn’t have sex with me,” according to the arrest affidavit.

Around 9:50 p.m. they allegedly drove to a park in Air Park, where the two other boys allegedly got out of the car to go skateboarding and King allegedly had sex with the 14-year-old boy. One of the other boys allegedly saw them having sex.

King and the boy allegedly had sex again the next day around 11 p.m. in the Arnold Elementary School parking lot.

She was arrested Thursday on suspicion of first-degree sexual assault.


OH - Loveland Woman Sentenced On Teen Sex Conviction

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Courtesy to Interested Participant

11/05/2008

LEBANON -- A Loveland woman was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender on a teen sex conviction.

Authorities said 26-year-old Carolyn Hatcher became pregnant as the result of her relationship with a boy in a foster care facility where she worked as a teacher and house mother.

Prosecutors said Hatcher and her husband had a half-dozen foster children under their care, and they said the woman seduced the 16-year-old when she began having marital trouble.

The boy was placed in Hatcher’s care at Midwestern Children’s Home following abuse by his birth family, prosecutors said.

“Ms. Hatcher was put in a position to protect a young man that had been abused, and rather than protect him she took advantage of him,” said Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel.

Hatcher pleaded guilty in September to three counts of sexual battery and was sentenced to one year in prison for each conviction.

In addition to registering as a sex offender, Hatcher must also spend five years under community control.

Officials said Hatcher was fired before the children’s home knew of the sexual abuse.


OH - Woman Convicted Of Having Sex With A 12-Year-Old Boy

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Courtesy to Interested Participant

And another woman, no photo!

11/07/2008

A woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday for having sexual relations with a 12-year-old boy.

Timi Robertson, 36, was scheduled for a bench trial in Richland County Common Pleas Court before Judge James DeWeese, but instead pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual battery.

In exchange for her plea, prosecutors dismissed three counts of rape against Robertson. Robertson was declared a Tier III sex offender, which requires her to register with the sheriff's office every three months wherever she maintains a residence. Robertson originally faced a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
- You see, they scare you with long sentences, etc, just to get a conviction and a plea.

The incidents occurred between July 2007 and January of this year. Prosecutors said the victim was a family friend.
- As it usually is.  The "stranger danger," is a myth!  It does happen, but less than 5% of the time.

The relationship was discovered when the victim's mother found explicit text messages on his cell phone.


MD - Woman Charged With Abusing Minor

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And here, we have another news article, about a woman abusing a child, and no picture, and a short article. I am starting to see a trend here. Most women are not pictured, but when it's a man, there is a photo. Isn't that sexual discrimination?

11/06/2008

BALTIMORE -- Federal prosecutors said a Fort Meade day care operator has been indicted for sexually abusing a minor.

Authorities said 31-year-old Sarah Ellison is the first woman to be charged under Maryland's Project Safe Childhood Program. The indictment was returned Thursday.

Prosecutors said Ellison was charged with two counts of sexual abuse with a 12- to 16-year-old boy from November 2005 to June 2006. The boy and Ellison allegedly touched one another sexually 10 to 20 times.

Authorities learned the boy was staying at Ellison's home where she operated a day care because the boy was friends with her stepchildren.


OH - A group of families is fighting against a proposed sex offender law in Waterville

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11/07/2008

A group of families is fighting against a proposed sex offender law in Waterville. If passed, registered sex offenders would be barred from living in almost the entire village. The Waterville residents against the legislation live in the small area in the middle of the village where registered sex offenders would be allowed to live.

Tonight they packed the public safety committee meeting with dozens of their neighbors. The committee members explained that state law already prohibits registered sex offenders from living near schools. But at the request of the mayor, the village council is considering legislation that would expand that. If approved, registered sex offenders would also be prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of licensed day care centers and parks.

All in all, registered sex offenders would be restricted from residing in about 80 percent of the village. In the future sex offenders could only reside in that small area in the middle.

The committee members say when they put their support behind the proposal months ago they never saw a map and thought the entire village would be covered.

The Public Safety Committee sent the ordinance back to the village council with a vote to not recommend approval and to stick with the state law that's already in place. The next council meeting is Monday at 7:30.


NH - Porcupine killing raises prickly legal issue

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11/07/2008

By Karen Dandurant - kdandurant@seacoastonline.com

'Deadly weapon' conviction is overturned

NEWMARKET — Unless the Legislature changes the law, felons prohibited from possessing other weapons are allowed to have bows and arrows.

The N.H. Supreme Court on Thursday threw out a Newmarket man's 2003 conviction for being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon. The charge was brought after he used a bow and arrow to kill a porcupine that was on his property.

Dennis Pratte, 51, is a registered sex offender who was convicted in 1995 of the sexual assault of a child under the age of 13.

Pratte, a former police officer, was arrested again after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her in 2003, when she was a minor. The weapons charge came when arresting officers found the bow and arrows in his home. He has not been convicted of the sexual assault charge.

In September 2006, Pratte was arrested after allegedly accompanying Newmarket students on a field trip to Portsmouth after he had been court-ordered to stay away from children. He had not registered as a sex offender.

After the verdict, police said finding a felon with a weapon is not unusual, and their possession of potentially dangerous implements is not always considered a crime by the courts.

State law has two standards for defining the term "deadly weapon" and works from a list of known deadly weapons. Since a bow and arrow set is not on that list, the case was tried under the part of the statute that vaguely classifies deadly weapons as objects that, in the manner they are used, are known to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury.

Pratte's attorney, Harry Starbranch of Portsmouth, argued that the state was required to prove not only that the defendant possessed the bow and arrow, but that the way he used it was capable of harm or death to a human being.

Four of the five Supreme Court judges decided the bow and arrow did not qualify as a deadly weapon using that standard.

Judge Linda Dalianis disagreed, and in her written opinion said a mouse trap is not a deadly weapon even if used to kill a mouse, but a person could be killed in the same manner as the porcupine was by the bow and arrow.
- Yeah, but he did not try to kill a human being, now did he?  Hell, anything could be considered a deadly weapon.

Assistant Attorney General Francesca Stabile argued the case for the state.

"If the item is not listed in the statute, you go to the manner it was used," Stabile said. "You look at if he intended to cause harm. It was used in a hunting manner, to kill an animal. It can be a deadly weapon, and the state's case was (that) it was used as a deadly weapon."

Starbranch said the Legislature could add bow and arrow to the statute in the future.

"It's within the their province," he said. "I think the Supreme Court did the right thing by not doing it themselves."

Starbranch said, unless it's spelled out, many things can be considered deadly weapons.

"What about rat poison?" Starbranch said. "That can be used to kill a person. What if he has rats? My understanding is he killed the porcupine to protect his dog. Items that are always deadly are identified in the statute. Brass knuckles can be used to hammer nails, but if you're a felon, it doesn't matter because they are on the list. Ordinary items can be used to kill people. How about a spear gun?"

Corey MacDonald, prosecutor for the Portsmouth Police Department, said there have been cases at the district court level in which police arrest felons in possession of weapons and the judges throw out the possession charge.

"Officers make an arrest, like there was a man breaking into a car and armed with a knife," MacDonald said. "When we check his history, we find he is a felon. We fought that battle and lost in district court. The judge said, even if they are in possession during the commission of a crime, unless he is using the knife or threatening to, it was not a crime You kind of hope there is a common sense test to this, but apparently not."
- Common sense?  Common sense died a long time ago, that should be obvious!  When they arrest and label a 4 year old child for accidentally touching their teachers breast, that should tell you about common sense!

Knives are on the statute list.

MacDonald said police once stopped a driver who had a butcher knife wedged in the seat of his car. He was not convicted on the argument that it was a kitchen utensil.

"It's up to the Legislature to change the law, to add some things or clarify what they intended," MacDonald said. "I had a case the other day, a sex offender baby-sitting kids. I dismissed the possession charge. He had a knife, but he wasn't using it in his crime."

There have been convictions made on a completely innocuous items. Starbranch said he remembers a case in which a person was convicted over a foot in a shoe.

"Someone was accused of kicking another person in the head with his boot, a heavy boot with steel toes," he said. "He was convicted, under two alternate theories. The first was willful and wanton disregard for human life and the other was assault with a deadly weapon."

Rye Police Chief Kevin Walsh said the ruling only sets a standard police look at to follow.

"It doesn't mean we wouldn't charge someone," Walsh said. "We look at the each case individually, the circumstances of how it's used or how they said they'd use it."


CO - Sex charge worries streaker


View the article here
And what about these folks in California, mooning trains?

11/07/2008

By Julie Poppen, Rocky Mountain News (Contact)

Now that the general election's over, let's get on to more important matters: Justice for the Pumpkin 12.

Recent University of Colorado graduate Eric Rasmussen, 23, is among the 12 runners ticketed Halloween night for indecent exposure after running naked with a wobbly orange squash on their heads along the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder.

If convicted, he and 11 others could be required to register as sex offenders. Like many of the Pumpkin 12, he is finding a lawyer.

Rasmussen said it was his first time streaking. He had a great time - until he saw 12 police awaiting him and 150 other naked people at the courthouse.

The officers gave Rasmussen, who hails from suburban Chicago, time to get dressed before recording his vitals.

"I was thinking a minor fine or community service or something," Rasmussen said Wednesday. "I was not thinking of sex offender."

Now, he's scared. You can hear it in his voice.

"I was under the assumption there would be safety in numbers - it didn't occur to me that it would be OK for the police just to take 12 people and disregard the other couple hundred."

Rasmussen, who wants to pursue a career in public relations, is hopeful the charge won't stick, since he doesn't believe anybody was offended by his nudity - except perhaps, the police, who signed his citation as witnesses.

"The lawyers I've spoken to have tried to convince me it won't go that far," he said. "They don't think a judge would want to have 12 people hurt for the rest of their lives because of this act when nobody was really offended."
- You see, people know these sex offender laws are life ruiners, thus the highlighted statement above.

He and nine others go to Boulder County Court on Dec. 17; two others will appear Jan. 12.

Those cited include Oleg Abramov, 30; Carly Howett, 29; Erika Barth, 32; Ty Tuff, 28; Natalie Ziemba, 20; Scott Wisdom, 21; David Packert, 23; Robert Mohr, 28; Matthew Bruce, 27; Kevin Maddaford, 28; Sabrina Collins, 44.

In Boulder, the 10th annual Naked Pumpkin Run is a hot issue. The core question: Should these 12 face punishment?
- No, but if they are not punished, then the people currently on the registry for public urination, streaking, etc, should be set free as well.  You cannot punish some, and not others, that is not justice.

Denver legal analyst and trial lawyer Scott Robinson said people should think twice before disrobing in public. A pumpkin can't save you, although a prosecutor just might.

"(Prosecutors) generally view a streaker as somewhat different than the individual who exposes himself to another for sexual gratification," Robinson said. "But there is good reason not to take off your clothes and put a pumpkin on your head. You may as well wear a sign on your head that says, 'Arrest me.' "


Is "Babysitting While White" reasonable suspicion for police questioning?

Over at Grits for Breakfast, the author had this horror story to tell. He was stopped and questioned, due to someone calling 911 to report a suspicious white man, walking along with a black baby.

Click the image to visit the blog item


CO - Phone Call Alarms Sheriff's Office

View the article here

She might also want to say there is a VIGILANTE on your block as well! All someone has to do is press *57 to put a trace on the call, then contact the local police to find out the lady who is doing this, then arrest her. And again with this news channel, they mention NEWSCHANNEL 13 a ton of times.

11/07/2008

By Tak Landrock - t.landrock@krdo.com

EL PASO COUNTY - The call sounds official, "This is Terry Wagner with the El Paso County Sheriff's Department, and here as a courtesy call to remind you that there is a sex offender on your block from Nevada." The only problem - the Sheriff's Office is not making the calls and there is no sex offender in the neighborhood.

"It's crazy, I mean I can't quite recognize the voice," says Mike Lamendola, the alleged sex offender referred to in the call. "I don't like that at all and if I find out who's doing it I will take them to court for defamation." We checked his criminal record and he's doesn't have a sex crime record.

Lamendola heard the message for the first time when NEWSCHANNEL 13 played it for him. "It's not fair to me, I just moved here and labeled as a sex offender or something like that, it's just not fair," says Lamendola.

He thinks it's one of his neighbors making the calls. "I think a few bad eggs in the neighborhood are trying to get me in trouble and get me kicked out of the neighborhood."

Lamendola has been in a neighborhood dispute over a shed he's built in his backyard.

"My first reaction is ‘Holy Cow' he seems like such a nice guy," says neighbor Nevin Markel. He is one person who got the message. "Listening to it first I thought it was legitimate, but when I say it was from a pay phone, a little bell went off and it might not be real," says Markel.

NEWSCHANNEL 13 traced the call back to a payphone at a Load n' Jug off Astrozon and Chelton.

Markel is now curious why this caller is trying to ruin his neighborhood. "Why did you do this? It causes discord in the neighborhood and if nobody researches it and somebody took it as factual it could cause a lot of problems."

NEWSCHANNEL 13 contacted the Sheriff's Office when we were tipped off to the bogus call."It's not official," says Lt. Lari Sevene with the Sheriff's Office. "It sounds really strange, it sounds like it's from a phone bank," says Sevene. She says the first tip off is that the caller says, "department" when it's officially the Sheriff's "Office"

She now is asking anyone who got a call like this to call the Sheriff's Office at 719-390-5555.


MA - Sex Offender Tracking Program Provides 'False Security'

View the article here

Exactly what I've said for years now!& They are nothing but placebo's.  Neither GPS, online registry, or residency restrictions will prevent another crime.  Just like the death penalty doesn't stop murders.


11/06/2008

Team 5 Investigates Exposes Failures In State Program

BOSTON -- Team 5 Investigates uncovered serious problems in a state program that's supposed to be keeping track of some of the most dangerous sex offenders in Massachusetts.

NewsCenter 5's Sean Kelly reported Thursday that failures in the state's GPS electronic monitoring program have cost taxpayers millions and have raised serious doubts as to whether the program is making the public any safer.

Michael Bizanowicz is a convicted rapist. The state of Massachusetts lost track of him in 2004 and he went on to murder a mother and her daughter.
- Ok, so use the worse case scenario.  Most sex offenders do not go off and kill someone.  And ask yourself this question, if they are truly a danger, then why are they out of prison?  GPS is a waste of tax payer money!  Besides, if they have been sentenced, and done their time, then they should be left alone.  If they commit another crime, convict and punish them accordingly, period!  Why not just keep everyone who goes to prison, in prison for life?  Who knows if they get out, if they will murder someone, or something else?  You cannot predict the future!

"When God finally calls, I hope he rots in hell," said the victim's father the day of Bizanowicz's sentencing hearing.

His case sparked fears among lawmakers who eventually signed off on mandatory GPS monitoring, without any hesitation or research. Now every single sex offender on probation or parole must wear one of the devices.

"No person in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should have to suffer at the hands of an already indentified sex offender," said State Rep. David Nangle (Email), D-17th Middlesex, who drafted the 2006 law.

"Do we know if these save or are stopping any crimes?" Nangle said. "No, but I'd like to think they are."
- Well, thinking and doing are totally different.  In the mean time, you are "thinking" they are working, when they are not, they are just sucking millions of dollars from the tax payers pockets!

Team 5 Investigates reported that taxpayers have shelled out more than $6 million for this program and lawmakers can't prove that it works. The majority of the state's most dangerous sex offenders are still not wearing GPS devices and when they do, the system fails every day.
- If a person is so dangerous they need 24/7 monitoring, why are they not in prison or getting treatment somewhere else? If they are out and off parole or probation, then they should be left alone.  If they commit another crime, then punish them accordingly!

"This is my second bracelet and this is my third or fourth phone in less than a year," said a level-two sex offender who agreed to talk to Team 5 Investigates on the condition of anonymity.

"They've called me at work on the work phone and they asked me where I am and I'm like, 'You called me at work,' " said the offender. He says this happens once and sometimes twice a work shift.

On the other hand, child rapists like Robert Sicari roam free because the state's equipment is so outdated it won't work without a landline phone.

Some sex offenders like Ryan Lovell just cut their bracelets off. And even when pedophiles like Raymond Guimond wear their GPS devices, it still doesn't stop them. Guimond, a level-three sex offender walked right into a Chuck-E-Cheese in Leominster, MA and started taking pictures of kids.

"It isn't a situation where as soon as someone steps out of a particular zone an alarm goes off, 911 is called and police officers swoop down on an individual," said Boston University professor Tom Nolan. "That simply doesn't happen."

Nolan is a former Boston Police lieutenant. "It's not going to prevent someone from offending if they are intent on doing so," Nolan said.

Dr. Carol Ball agrees. She treats hundreds of sex offenders and isn't aware of any scientific evidence that proves GPS monitoring works.
- It doesn't work, it's just a waste of money, and this country needs all the money it can get!

"Have you ever heard of a GPS monitoring system stopping a crime?" asked Kelly.

"From what we're seeing there's no evidence to suggest that it is deterring anyone from sex offenses," said Ball.

In fact, Team 5 Investigates found, in the last there years, almost 60 percent of all criminals on GPS violated their probation while they were being monitored.
- Ok, but was that due to committing another sex crime, or some technical violation?  This doesn't account for recidivism, only if they commit another sex crime.

And consider this: Only 3 percent (359 out of 10,591) of the state's registered sex offenders are actually being tracked. But they're not alone. Almost 250 people accused of a sex crime are forced to wear the device without even being convicted.

Attorney Beth Eisenberg at Committee For Public Counsel Services said she has a big problem with that. "I think as the law stands right now, it's unconstitutional," Eisenberg said.

Eisenberg is appealing to the Supreme Judicial Court to use "common sense" and strike this law from the books. "The law is unfair and it doesn't work," Eisenberg said. "It's a significant drain on the public fisc, the apparatus malfunctions and it's applied to people who don't need to be monitored."

Probation officials at the state agency in charge of the program won't talk to Team 5 Investigates about these problems.
- Because they don't want to look like they are "soft on crime," or "pro-sex offender!"  They know, deep down, these laws are a joke, but they do not speak up, because they might lose their jobs!  Fear is a real motivator!

"We respectfully decline to go on camera for an interview, however, if you submit your questions in writing, we'll be happy to answer them," said Coria Holland, communications director for the Office of the Commissioner of Probation.
- So they have time to cover their a$$e$, and hide the facts!

Team 5 did submit those questions to probation officials, but after four months, the communications director never responded to the majority of our questions.

Despite the problems Team 5 showed Rep. Nangle, he still says the program is worth the money being spent. But he conceded his law may have gone too far.
- So if it's not proven it works, why spend the money on something?  That is just pure insanity!

"I didn't think it was for anybody but the level-three sex offenders," Nangle said. "That was my understanding. Now you may be correct, I don't know. Maybe it's something we have to step back and take a look at."
- Even if it was for level 3 offenders, do you really think they are going to obey the laws?  GPS is a joke, when it comes to "monitoring" someone.  It won't work, period!

One of the few answers Probation officials did give Team 5 is they're changing the company that provides the GPS devices. But don't count on that improving the situation. The company chosen by Massachusetts was dumped by the state of New Jersey for problems with its technology.
- Just because you change companies, doesn't mean anything!


FL - FISCAL, POLICY, AND LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING STATE COMPLIANCE WITH THE ADAM WALSH ACT

View the PDF document

See the comments at the end from Alisa Klein of ATSA.

Statement of the Issue
Florida is approaching a crossroad regarding its laws on sex offender registration and notification. Legislators will need to determine whether Florida should substantially implement the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), which is Title I of the Adam Walsh Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (AWA), or not substantially implement SORNA, which would result in Florida incurring a 10 percent reduction in Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) funding (the penalty Congress has provided for non-compliance with SORNA requirements).

Discussion
This brief focuses on fiscal, policy, and legal considerations that may be relevant to legislators in determining whether to substantially implement SORNA. To the extent information is available, the potential fiscal impact of substantially implementing SORNA will be compared to the impact of non-compliance. This brief will also focus on three SORNA requirements that Florida has not adopted and that appear most likely to generate discussion and debate: the registration of employment information and public listing of the address of the employer of a registered sex offender; the registration of school information and public listing of the address of a secondary school of a registered juvenile sex offender; and the retroactive application of SORNA requirements.

Background

The AWA, of which SORNA is a part, is the latest in a long line of federal legislation affecting states' registration/notification laws, and attempts to make all of these states' laws uniform with respect to requirements (or “minimum” standards) that Congress has judged to be necessary to be included in states' laws. It appears that the AWA has generated significant debate and controversy. Illustrative of this controversy, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has described the AWA as an “unfunded mandate,” a “one-size-fits-all approach to classifying, registering and, in some circumstances, sentencing sex offenders,” and legislation that was “crafted without state input or consideration of state practices.”

In 2007, the Florida Legislature enacted legislation to revise Florida's laws to comply with SORNA (SB 16044 and some provisions of SB 1004, the Cybercrimes Against Children Act of 20075). SB 1604 adopted many, but not all, of the requirements of SORNA, including perhaps the most debated requirement of SORNA: the registration of some juveniles adjudicated delinquent of certain sex offenses. In the 2008 Legislative Session, bills were filed but not passed in both chambers (SB 1698 and HB 1333) to adopt additional requirements of SORNA. HB 1333 contained the latest revisions, and therefore, is discussed in this brief. This legislation will need to be re-written if the Legislature intends to substantially implement SORNA, since it was drafted prior to release of the final SORNA guidelines (“guidelines”) by the U.S. Attorney General.

If legislators decide not to substantially implement SORNA then Florida's registration/notification laws can be shaped by legislators without the need to consider whether those laws will substantially implement SORNA and ensure full JAG funding. The JAG funding penalty to ensure SORNA compliance is only federal leverage if a state determines that it must have full JAG funding. Legislators would be free to determine which, if any, SORNA requirements to adopt, and could even reconsider and remove SORNA requirements previously adopted, depending on their determination of the state's best interests. It is uncertain if non-compliance with SORNA could be used as state leverage for Congress to reconsider at least those requirements that have generated the most debate or controversy, but it seems intuitive that Florida's decision not to comply with SORNA would be of significant concern and importance to Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART), which administers the SORNA standards. Florida has one of the largest pools of registered sex offenders in the country, so Florida's non-compliance with SORNA might call into question whether the AWA can, in fact, establish “a comprehensive national system for the registration” of sex offenders (SORNA § 102), one of its declared purposes.

Fiscal Impact of SORNA Compliance While states are free to choose not to substantially implement SORNA, non-compliance will result in a 10 percent reduction in Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) funding. All states are currently under time constraints to comply with SORNA. The implementation deadline is July 27, 2009, but the U.S. Attorney General has the authority to grant up to two 1-year extensions of the implementation deadline. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has indicated it intends to file for a one-year extension as it is unclear at this time whether the Legislature intends to substantially implement SORNA.

States are beginning to look at whether they can afford to comply with SORNA. However, it is impossible to definitively state what it would cost Florida to comply with SORNA and what Florida stands to lose based on the reduction of 10 percent JAG funding for not complying with SORNA. This is because of uncertainty about future JAG funding, how the JAG funding penalty would be applied, and the availability and duration of grant funding for SORNA implementation; difficulties in determining state and local fiscal impact of SORNA compliance; unanswered questions regarding SORNA implementation; and other possible impacts that may result from SORNA compliance.

It has been reported that JAG funding has declined 83.5 percent over the last decade. NCSL staff stated that recent federal legislation that Congress passed (S. 231/H.R. 3546) “continued the existence of the Byrne/JAG program with an authorization (maximum potential funding) of $1.095 billion, the same authorization from FY 2006. However, the actual FY 2009 appropriations will still be at the discretion of the appropriations committees. While Byrne/JAG could potentially receive $1.095 billion, it is unlikely the program will actually see those [kinds] of numbers. Since 2003, the largest amount appropriated to Byrne/JAG was $659 million in 2004. In FY 2006, the actual appropriation of Byrne/JAG was $416.5 million and $192 million for Byrne discretionary grants. In FY 2007 the appropriated funding for Byrne/JAG increased to $520 million, only to be unexpectedly slashed to $170 million in FY 2008.”

The Bureau of Justice Assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice “awards Byrne Program funds through two types of grant programs: discretionary and formula.” FDLE is the State Administering Agency (SAA), which means that it administers Florida's Byrne program. The discretionary grant program does not appear to be affected by non-compliance with SORNA, so it is not discussed further in this brief. The total JAG allocation to Florida in FY08 was $10,054,495, which is a 65 percent decrease ($12,272,118) from the FY07 JAG allocation. Forty percent of the $10,054,495 ($4,021,798) is direct awards to units of local government: $3,363,673 for direct awards of $10,000 or more and $658,125 for direct awards of less than $10,000 (administered by the state). Sixty percent of the $10,054,495 ($6,032,697) consists of the “JAG block award.” A percentage of the JAG block award is “passed through” (subgrants) to local agencies and the remainder funds state agencies (subject to legislative appropriations).

FDLE has attempted to project what Florida might receive based on the FY09 federal appropriations legislation. Based on the House bill, the total funding award to Florida for FY09 may be $21,670,000. Based on the Senate bill, the total funding award for FY09 may be $22,852,000. Florida may lose $2,167,000 (House bill) or $2,852,000 (Senate bill) in JAG funding based on the application of the 10 percent JAG funding reduction penalty to the projected FY09 JAG allocation to Florida, if information received by FDLE staff from SMART office staff is correct that the 10 percent JAG funding reduction penalty only affects the JAG block award (60% of Florida's total JAG allocation) and the local direct awards of less than $10,000 (a portion of the remaining 40% of Florida's total JAG allocation).

The estimated fiscal impact for FY09-10 on FDLE, the Department of Corrections (DOC), and the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) of implementing SORNA requirements based on prior and proposed implementation legislation would be approximately $3,226,487. Therefore, if Florida fully implemented SORNA in FY09, the projected impact on these agencies would be greater than the amount Florida would receive from full JAG funding (as projected by FDLE). However, because much of this impact on the agencies consists of non-recurring costs, this impact would appear to decrease in subsequent fiscal years, so JAG funding in subsequent fiscal years might offset or exceed projected implementation costs to those agencies. It is important to note that this number is based on the agencies' estimated fiscal impact, not on what the Legislature might actually appropriate. It is also important to note that the projected fiscal impact does not reflect all of the agencies' projected costs; does not include previous appropriations to implement SB 1604, SB 1004, and requirements of the Jessica Lunsford Act that implemented some SORNA requirements; and relies on some assumptions.

The total fiscal impact of SORNA compliance cannot be measured solely on the basis of projected costs on state agencies, as there is likely to be a fiscal impact on local law enforcement agencies and others in complying with SORNA. However, these impacts cannot be calculated. Only one sheriff's office, the Putnam County Sheriff's office, was willing to speculate what that fiscal impact might be: one new detective position at a cost of approximately $55,000 to $60,000. It appears that sheriffs may not be able to categorize actual costs because responsibilities relating to the sex offender registration process may be shared by several people. Further, these people may have other responsibilities in addition to registration responsibilities.

Policy Considerations

Registration of Employment/Volunteer Information and Posting Employers’ Addresses on the Internet

SORNA § 114 requires a sex offender to provide “the name and address of any place where the sex offender is an employee or will be an employee.” “SORNA § 111(12) explains that, employee' includes, an individual who is self-employed or works for any other entity, whether compensated or not.' As the definitional provisions indicate, the information required under this heading is not limited to information relating to compensated work or a regular occupation, but includes as well name and address information for any place where the registrant works as a volunteer or otherwise works without remuneration.” Transient employment situations will have to be addressed based on what guidance is provided in the guidelines and the state's best judgment in accordance with its policies. Florida law does require registration of employment information.

SORNA § 114 also requires the listing of the address, not name, of an employer of a sex offender on a public website. Florida law does not specify what information must be listed on the public sex offender registry website. Section 943.043, F.S., authorizes FDLE to notify the public through the Internet of any information regarding sexual predators and sexual offenders which is not confidential and exempt from public disclosure under s. 119.07(1), F.S., and s. 24(a), Article I of the State Constitution. Currently, the address of a sex offender's employer is not listed on the public website.

The guidelines assert that the listing of an employer's address rather than name “reflect[s] an accommodation of competing interests. On the one hand, requiring website posting of employer name could tar an employer based on the association with the sex offender and deter employers from hiring sex offenders. On the other hand, disclosing no employment-related information or only limited employment-related information could leave the public unaware concerning sex offenders' presence in places where they actually spend much of their time (e.g., 40 hours a week for a sex offender with a full-time job).” However, in an age in which businesses can be found based on address searches of electronic phone directories or free Internet search engines, this assertion is questionable. Further, the implied linkage between hours that sex offenders spend at the workplace and public contact is questionable. The employed sex offender may have little or no contact with the public, and presumably is under some form of supervision in most employment situations. In contrast, some sex offenders may have more unsupervised contact with the public for greater periods of time at shopping malls, public parks, beaches and other public venues than at the workplace. This contact may or may not allow for opportunities to reoffend.

Some employers do have concerns about the public listing of employers' addresses and DJJ has concerns about the registration of volunteer information. This brief notes the responses of six business/trade associations to a legislative request for information regarding their views about this requirement. The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) stated that the “majority of the companies that responded stated that they do extensive background checks on employees before they are hired and have policies in place so that sex offenders and others with past criminal records cannot be offered employment.” However, these respondents did not think that publicly listing an employer's name and address was a good idea. It is unclear how they viewed the listing of an employer's address without the listing of an employer's name.

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) had concerns about the potential burden of the employer address requirement on the restaurant and lodging industry. Many of its members cannot afford to conduct background checks and the only other means of determining if a job applicant or employee is a registered sex offender (unless self-reported) is to check all applicants and employees on FDLE's sex offender registry website. If an employer's address information is reported, there may be public backlash against the employer and disruption of the employer's business. Members are already dealing with challenging economic conditions, and the restaurant industry has a high employee turnover rate. Further, many of these employees do not work in positions or areas in which they come into contact with the public or with children.

The Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida, Inc. (ABC), the Florida Association of Electrical Contractors (FAEC), the Florida Wall and Ceiling Contractors Association (FWCCA), and the Florida Surety Association (FSA) urged the state to “maintain its current exemption from disclosure of employers and the employer's names and business addresses.” These associations stated that they “believe that Florida's exemption is sound and should be continued. The purpose of posting sexual offenders information online is to alert neighbors that a former sexual predator is living in the neighborhood.” They also stated that “[s]tate law does not require employers to perform criminal background checks on its employees unless the [employee] will work on school grounds when children are present. Current requirements under the Jessica Lunsford Act address those requirements. If the convicted sexual predator has served his sentence and is attempting to re-enter society with gainful employment, a disclosure of his employer's name and address will have a chilling effect on the hiring of such individuals.

DJJ stated that the reporting of addresses where volunteer work is performed “will have a serious impact on juvenile sex offenders who are court ordered to complete community service work hours. Each circuit develops agreements with various local organizations, which allow juveniles to complete required community service hours under supervision at the program and provide documentation back to the Juvenile Probation Officer. Youth are provided a list of authorized work sites to select from. The community services hours are done a few hours at a time, usually after school.” DJJ “currently only capture[s] in JJIS [Juvenile Justice Information System ] the completion of the required hours, and anticipate[s] that the reporting of the addresses of these work sites will impact the number of sites which will be available to youth and the work load of JPOs [juvenile probation officers] attempting to capture this information in advance, since the hours are usually done in one or two hour increments.” DJJ does not “believe that attempting to capture such extraneous volunteer hours (as opposed to ongoing regular volunteer information) will significantly impact public safety.”

Registration of School Information and Posting School Addresses on the Internet

SORNA § 114 requires a sex offender to provide “the name and address of any place where the sex offender is a student or will be a student.” The sex offender must report when he or she commences school attendance and changes schools or the place of school attendance. The guidelines state that this requirement applies only to schools the sex offender physically attends, not, e.g., correspondence schools or virtual schools. Secondary schools and private schools are included. The guidelines do not mention any interest or concern that necessitated this requirement. It is presumed that this requirement was necessitated by a concern similar to that noted in the guidelines for requiring the public listing of employers' addresses, i.e., not publically listing school addresses could leave students and their parents unaware concerning sex offenders' presence in schools where they would be spending a significant amount of time. Currently, Florida law only requires a sexual predator or sexual offender to report enrollment at an institution of higher education, including name and address of this institution.

Since the sex offender, rather than school records, is the source of school address information, the school address listing requirement does not appear to conflict with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. However, other concerns have been expressed about the public listing of secondary school addresses. The Florida Association of School Administrators (FASA) stated that it “is concerned when any individual student's school information is posted online. While we understand the good intent of this law, it seems that section 118 of SORNA (42 U.S.C. 16918) may create a situation … [in which] these juveniles could be put at risk.” Further, staff of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS) noted two practical concerns or problems regarding the listing of secondary school addresses. First, “if a parent comes to school with the information, the school is not at liberty to discuss student information. So, school officials are put in a difficult situation with a parent demanding information that a school official may not be able to provide, nor should provide.” Second, there does not appear to be a “statutory basis for the exclusion of a juvenile sex offender … [who] has paid his or her debt to society from the student's zoned school. Moreover, such information could be a threat to the safety of the student and other students and a threat to the orderly administration of the school. Parents learning of the presence of a juvenile sex offender at a school where their child was assigned to attend or was attending would no doubt assume they had the right to have the offender transferred or to have their child transferred, neither of which is true. This puts school officials in a difficult, if not impossible situation.”

Retroactive Application of Registration and Notification Requirements

SORNA's requirements must be retroactively applied. Retroactive application appears to include persons required to register as sex offenders under SORNA based on an adjudication of delinquency for certain sexual offenses. The guidelines state that “SORNA applies to all sex offenders, including those convicted of their registration offenses prior to the enactment of SORNA or prior to particular jurisdictions' incorporation of the SORNA requirements into their programs. Jurisdictions are specifically required to register such sex offenders if they remain in the system as prisoners, supervisees, or registrants, or if they later reenter the system because of conviction for some other crime (whether or not the new crime is a sex offense).” The reasons advanced for this requirement are that “the effects of SORNA's registration and notification requirements on sex offenders are much the same regardless of whether their sex offense convictions occurred before or after SORNA's enactment or its implementation in a particular jurisdiction. Likewise, the public safety concerns presented by sex offenders are much the same, regardless of when they were convicted. The SORNA standards reflect a legislative judgment that SORNA's registration and notification requirements, even if disagreeable from the standpoint of sex offenders who are subject to them, are justified by the resulting benefits in promoting public safety.”

Florida's registration/notification laws limit how far the state may reach back to require registration. Sexual predators must have been convicted of a current, qualifying sexual offense that was committed on or after October 1, 1993, and sexual offenders must have been released from the sanction for a conviction for a qualifying sexual offense on or after October 1, 1997. However, for juveniles required to register as sexual offenders based on an adjudication of delinquency for certain sexual offenses, the adjudication must occur on or after July 1, 2007. Although the Legislature does not indicate why these dates were chosen, it appears that the 1993 and 1997 dates were based on the effective dates of implementing legislation and may have been chosen because of concerns at the time about legal challenges based on reaching back farther than those dates. The 2007 date was based on the effective date of legislation and appears to have been chosen because court findings required regarding some lewd offenses would not be available before the Legislature required those findings. Whatever the reason for the dates, there are several reasons that could be advanced for their continuing existence, including budgetary concerns, concerns about the availability and reliability of older criminal records, implementation concerns, and the possibility that sex offenders with older sex convictions who have not committed a new sex offense over a significant period of time might not pose the “high risk” that the Legislature concluded sex offenders “often” pose.

The guidelines dismiss the argument that retroactive application of SORNA's requirements would be … unfair to sex offenders who could not have anticipated the resulting applicability of SORNA's requirements at the time of their entry of a guilty plea to the predicate sex offense.” The guidelines assert that “fairness does not require that an offender, at the time he acknowledges his commission of the crime and pleads guilty, be able to anticipate all future regulatory measures that may be adopted in relation to persons like him for public safety purposes.”  This is a legal argument, which does not preclude discussion of fairness as a policy consideration.

Legal Considerations

In Smith v. Doe, the United States Supreme Court rejected an ex post facto challenge to retroactive application of Alaska's registration and notification requirements. In Connecticut Department of Public Safety v. Doe, the Court rejected a due process challenge to Connecticut's registration and notification requirements. In Milks v. State, the Florida Supreme Court cited Connecticut Department of Public Safety as support for its conclusion that the Florida Sexual Predator Act (s. 775.21, F.S.) did not violate state and federal procedural due process. The Florida Supreme Court has not addressed challenges to the sex offender registration/notification laws under state and federal constitutional provisions that do not involve due process. However, district courts of appeal have rejected some of these challenges and their decisions appear to be controlling law at this time.

A district court of appeal's decision that the registration/notification laws, provisions of those laws, or application of those laws is unconstitutional, could create confusion about SORNA compliance. If the “highest court” of a state holds that a SORNA requirement conflicts with the state's constitution, the U.S. Attorney General may determine the state to be in compliance if the problem cannot be overcome and the state has implemented, or is in the process of implementing, reasonable alternative measures that are consistent with the purposes of SORNA. The Florida Supreme Court is the highest court of this state, but a district court of appeal's decision may be controlling law throughout the state. State and local officials cannot ignore this decision. Further, this SORNA exception does not address a situation in which a state court rules that a SORNA requirement violates the U.S. Constitution.



Hello,

Thank you to Dr. Jill Levenson who sent out information about the document from Florida, "Fiscal, Policy, and Legal Considerations Regarding State Compliance with the Adam Walsh Act." The document seems to be a a thorough and honest effort by the State of Florida to grapple with questions regarding, and the potential ramifications of, the implementation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) -- Title I of the Adam Walsh Act -- in the state. It's interesting that FL was one of the first states to pass a SORNA compliance law, and that it is just now that the State Senate has issued this attempt to examine SORNA's potential impacts on the state -- it's a bit like closing the barn door after the horse has run away. Nonetheless, the document may be useful for other state legislators and policymakers where a SORNA compliance law has not yet been passed, and in states that are seriously considering NOT passing a compliance bill.

Please consider sending the link below or a hard copy of the document to folks in your state legislatures, State Attorney Generals' offices, and to the other state offices that have been assigned to examine possible passage of a SORNA bill in your state.

Alisa
Alisa Klein, MAIPS
Public Policy Consultant
Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers
18 Chestnut Avenue
Leeds, MA 01053
(413)586-9123


WI - 22,304 unique IP addresses identified in Wisconsin as downloading child pornography

View the article here
Another related article

I wonder if this is actually true, or just more fear-mongering to get more money from the sheeple? If it's true, then this is very scary. This is one state! Imaging the entire country, or world! If they are "identified," then why are they not being arrested? And if they are, then the 630,000 will go up to over 830,000.  Keep in mind, this could also be zombie computers, which have been compromised by a hacker or virus.  I wonder, if maybe some vigilante geek, could have created a virus, and spread it, to hype up the issue, to get more money, ratings, etc?  See the video below.


11/06/2008

Madison (WKOW) -- from WI Dept. of Justice: This year marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Wisconsin Department of Justice Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

"While great success has been achieved in this area of law enforcement, there is much work that still needs to be done," said Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.

The map to the left represents all IP addresses seen in Wisconsin from January 1, 2008 to October 19, 2008 that were identified as download candidates for images known, or suspected to be, that of child pornography.

Each red square on the map represents at least one IP address seen at least one time.

A single dot, however, can represent multiple IP addresses due to overlap.

During this time frame there were 22,304 unique IP addresses that were identified as attempting to download child pornography.
- And how often do IP addresses change?  Most people, every single time they log into the Internet, they get a new IP address.  So this sounds like a bunch of hyped up BS to me. Why don't you see how many unique MAC addresses their are?  Each network card, has it's own unique address.  IP addresses are VAST!  And if these were "identified," then how come there has not been 22,304 arrests made?

This is believed to be a conservative estimate that only shows the minimum size of the problem.

For example, the map does not include IP addresses that were identified but could not be mapped. It is possible that some IP addresses may come back to the same offender.

"In the past decade, Wisconsin's ICAC Task Force and Affiliate Agencies have arrested 540 suspects, executed 647 search warrants, and rescued countless numbers of children throughout the state," said Van Hollen.
- Ok, so how many were convicted?

Van Hollen has placed a priority on law enforcement's proactive response to the growing problem of internet crimes against children.

To that end, Van Hollen has directed a 67% increase in the number of special agents assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force within the Division of Criminal Investigation.
- Which is going to require TONS of money!

Van Hollen's 2009-11 budget request for the Department of Justice includes a request for additional special agents and criminal analysts to protect our children from sex predators who utilize the Internet to prey on children.

In addition to expanding investigative capacity internally, Van Hollen and the Department of Justice have continued to add additional local affiliates to the Wisconsin ICAC Task Force.

The number of local law enforcement partners to the Department of Justice's ICAC Task Force has more than doubled to 62 in the past year.


CA - Probation worker pleads no contest to sex charges

View the article here

Have you noticed, a majority of the time, when the offender is a female, no photo is published, yet when it's a man, it's all over the place.  Wonder why that is?

11/06/2008

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A woman who worked for the Los Angeles County probation department has pleaded no contest to having sexual relations with boys at a juvenile detention facility.

Kimberly Hald entered her plea Thursday to five sex charges involving three male detainees at the Eastlake Juvenile Detention Facility.

The 36-year-old Hald is expected to be sentenced Jan. 15 to four years in state prison. Hald also is expected to be ordered to register as a sex offender.