Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another Teen Boy’s Life Ruined over ‘Sexting’



And get (nut job) Bill O'Reilly' Opinion On this article!


CA - Homeless Sex Offenders: Isolation Isn't the Answer

View the article here
See this article as well

05/30/2009

By Shannon Moriarty

Homeless sex offenders who have served their time in prison face heavy restrictions on where they are permitted to live... even those who are out on the streets. Sheltering sex offenders is nearly impossible and financial assistance is not politically popular. Now, it seems that even one's last resort- living outdoors- is enough to put them behind bars.

Clearly, there is a need for laws protecting the public from dangerous predators. But when should the punishment end?

About a dozen sex offenders on parole in Merced, California were ordered to move from their established homeless encampment or face arrest. They relocated about a mile outside of town and set up camp underneath an overpass. They call the area "a dangerous part of town," according to the Merced Sun-Star:

The colony of about a dozen sex offenders was informed last week that they needed to move somewhere else, but were given no options.

The homeless sex offenders were told to find somewhere that complied with their restrictions, which include staying far from schools and parks.

Finding shelter for homeless sex offenders on parole is an unusually tough task, both because of state laws that heavily restrict where they can live and because helping them, especially in lean budget years, isn't politically popular.On Friday, they were told by California Highway Patrol officers and Merced County Sheriff's Department deputies that they need to go somewhere else within 10 days because they were living on private property.

Jesse, who finishes parole in March, said he's not sure where he'll go next. "I'm just tired," he sighed.

The criminal justice system is not the answer to homelessness. Regulating and controlling those who are unhoused is not the answer to homelessness. Both of these tactics are simply costly forms of denial. A comprehensive and coordinated re-entry program (with permanent housing) for parolees is far more humane and fair than isolating these people under a highway overpass.


CANADA - Complete Speech on Sexting, By Peter Cummings

Courtesy of Maine Citizen's For Change

I came across several articles on a speech given on Sexting by Peter Cummings to a conference in Canada. Click here to read an interview he gave (Video). Of course much was being made about what he said and many where overreacting. So I decided to send him an e-mail asking if I could read it and see what was said in context. He responded right away and send me the text version of his speech. This is what he had to say about the speech and what he'd like as conditions of reusing his information. Please respect his wishes.....

Please feel free to share my paper for non-commercial uses with individuals provided you leave the paper complete with my name on it and the context in which the paper was presented. (I may post it on my own Website so that more people can access the full argument directly rather than merely seeing threads of it on the Internet.

As I mentioned, it is a conference paper--an opportunity to test out ideas and encourage discussion and even agreement; it is not a referreed article in which every last fact has been checked and double-checked. Unfortunately, I haven't yet had the chance to develop a full bibliography for the paper from my research notes; however, there are markers in the paper itself for sources of information quoted or borrowed. In fact, my paper was largely about how decisions are being made about "sexting" without reliable research and knowledge. Rather than everyone repeating "20% of Teens are Sexting" from a single, online survey that included 18- and 19-year-olds as "teenagers" (I know that literally they are teens, but under laws, including child pornography laws, they are adults!) and used as its definition of "sexting" the sending of "nude or semi-nude photos via cellphone", we should simply say, "We don't know how many teens are sexting. We don't know exactly of what that sexting consists. We don't know how many private exchanges become public. We don't know what sexting means to teens themselves." Moreover, our obsession with a purported epidemic of teen sexting obscures the fact that "young adults" (20-26) are doing this far more frequently than teens, and we don't have any knowledge whatsoever of what "adult adults" are doing vis-a-vis sexting.

Best,
Peter Cumming

It was nice to hear someone of his stature speak out with a voice of reason. It is so hard to have rational discussions when it comes to these issues especially when it comes to teens and sex.

His speech in full follows.....



BillO (The Nut Job) Speaks!
Like usual BillO takes crap out of context for his own SPIN!
See the actual video here.


Roundtable on Youth, Sexuality, Technology

Joint Session of Association for Research in Cultures of Young People (ARCYP)and Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE)

Congress 2009, Carleton University, Ottawa

May 26, 2009, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Children’s Rights, Children’s Voices, Children’s Technology, Children’s Sexuality

by Peter Cumming

The title of today’s panel, “Youth, Sexuality, Technology,” sounds like a recipe for moral panic. And it is moral panic about a recent phenomenon, a purported epidemic of young people’s “sexting,” I wish to respond to briefly today. In particular, I want to contextualize teen sexting and adult responses to it by highlighting significant gaps in children’s rights discourse, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, in relation to children’s provision rights to healthy sexual exploration and expression and children’s participation rights as determinants of their own sexual being and behavior. Finally, I visit these issues as an embodied human being with his own distant history of childhood and sexuality—even if this occurred considerably before the invention of “digital technology”—though I fear that those of you came to this paper because of the abbreviated abstract’s promise that the author would contrast his own “childhood experiences exploring sexuality in 1950s rural Ontario with those of tweens in 2008” will be sadly disappointed at the few and tame revelations to come (while those of you who didn’t read the abstract and stumbled here because you thought this was a Geography panel may be equally relieved to hear this reassurance).

First, who are these “children,” including teenagers, adolescents, young people, young adults, about whom I am speaking, and why do I insist on calling them “children” in a panel on “youth”? The Convention on the Rights of the Child defines “children” as human beings under the age of 18: and it is to all these “children” I am referring. For better or worse, people under 18 all live in the confines of children’s rights discourse and child pornography laws. While there may well be significant distinctions to be made between prepubescent children and post pubescent youth, they are not distinctions I want to assume or reinscribe regarding sexuality and technology in relation to sexting: Following Freud, I recognize both children and youth as sexual beings, whatever that means differently to both, and I have no doubt that both children and youth (and adults, for that matter) are using digital technologies as part of their sexual repertoire.

Second, what is this “sexting,” which so neatly brings together the “sexuality” and “technology” dimensions of this panel (and to which, I believe, the third paper on this panel will also speak)? “Sexting,” a 21st-century combination of “texting” and “sex,” has been defined variously as the sending of nude or semi-nude photos or videos and/or sexually suggestive messages via cellphone texting or instant messaging. Although the word “sexting” is only a few years old, a handful of recent incidents in the United States, some misplaced and heavy handed legal overreactions charging children exchanging consensual nude photographs of themselves with the production, dissemination, and possession of child pornography, a single recent American online survey commissioned by the unusual alliance of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl magazine, a media feeding frenzy, and even a May 6, 2009 episode of Law and Order have all served to create the impression that in the past few months there has erupted an epidemic of sexting among youth and that this is a thoroughly bad thing.

Although depicted in the media as a “nationwide” epidemic, in the last year or two there have been major police prosecutions for sexting with a limited number of individuals in at most a dozen U.S. states. There have been no cases of that kind in Canada. (I’ll leave the Australian cases for our colleague from Australia; significantly, I have not found instances from Europe except a single reference surmising that “the practice is not thought to be prevalent in Britain” (Times Online). Thus, the “epidemic” of sexting consists, according to breathless print and online sources, of four Grade 6 and 7 students in Alabama; three Pennsylvania girls (aged 14 and 15) and three male classmates (aged 16 and 17) (Wikipedia); 14-year-old Michael Harmon who received a photo of a classmate which showed her bare breasts (GASP); a 14-year-old Florida boy who sent a photo of his genitalia to a female classmate because he was “bored” (YAWN) (Macleans); a teenage boy in Indiana (Wikipedia); a 15-year-old Ohio high school girl —from the questionably named Licking Valley High School (“Porn Charges for ‘Sexting’); a 17-year-old Ohio girl; “two Ohio teenagers who had nude photos on their cell phones of two 15-year-old classmates” (Wikipedia); “dozens of white-faced 12- and 13-year-olds and pimply 14-year-olds with twitchy legs” in Colorado (“’Sexting’: A Disturbing”); two 16-year-old girls who took side-profile pictures of themselves naked after taking a shower (“’Sexting’: A Disturbing”); a group of 11- to 17-year old boys who traded photos of semi-nude or nude teenage girls (Sexting Girls); a 14-year-old New Jersey girl who posted 30 explicit nude pictures of herself on MySpace.com (Sexting Girls); six 12- to 14-year-olds from Massachusetts (Sexting Girls); a Texas eighth-grader who spent the night in a juvenile detention center after his football coach found a nude picture that a fellow student sent him on his cell phone (“’Sexting’ Shockingly”); a Wisconsin 17-year-old (“Sexting Craze”); a New York 16-year-old (“Sexting Craze”); and 18-year-old Phillip Alpert of Orlando, Florida who received unrequested naked pictures of his 16-year-old girlfriend but who mass-emailed the photos to the girl’s relatives when they broke up.

One of the major problems with public reactions to “sexting” is a complete conflation of nudity with sexuality and pornography. Thus, snapshots of two Pennsylvania 13-year-old girls which showed the teens “in their white bras” resulted in threats from a district attorney of charges of child pornography (Sexting Girls Facing). The photo of a 17-year-old in the same case showed “her just out of the shower, with a towel wrapped around her waist and her breasts exposed” (Sexting Girls). As the American Civil Liberties Union pointed out in its suit against the overly eager District Attorney, “Neither of the two [pictures] depicts sexual activity or reveals anything below the waist” . . . However, according to ACLU, “The district attorney told a group of parents and students … that he has the authority to prosecute girls photographed in underwear . . . or even in a bikini on the beach, because the photos are “provocative” (ACLU). Clearly, these photos do not fit under Pennsylvania’s child pornography law, which defines this felony based on photos “of a minor engaged in sexual activity, ‘lewd exhibition of the genitals,’ or nudity that is meant to titillate” (Sexting Girls).

Legal responses to teen sexting in the U.S. have been sledgehammer-like, including production and possession of child pornography, a felony which in some states can result in these children being labeled as registered sex offenders for decades; felony obscenity; being declared an “unruly child”; contributing to the delinquency of a minor; “sexual abuse of children… or open lewdness” (District); possessing and distributing material of a child in a sexual act (Sexting Girls); and disseminating indecent material to a minor and endangering the welfare of a child. The 18-year-old Florida man who sought revenge by emailing nude photos of his 16-year-old girlfriend to her family was convicted of transmission of child pornography, resulting in jail time, a label of “sex offender” until he is 43, which results in his inability to live with his father because his father lives near a school and with him having to attend classes with convicted sex offenders (Commentary, Mike Galanos, CNN). As Lithwick concludes, “the criminal justice system is probably not the best venue for addressing the sexting crisis. . . prosecutors have charged the senders of smutty photos, the recipients of smutty photos, those who save the smutty photos, and the hapless forwarders of smutty photos with the same crime: child pornography. Who is the victim here and who is the perpetrator? Everybody and nobody. (“Textual”).

In fairness, there has been some pushing back against this legal overzealousness. The ACLU was successful in making its case that the teenaged girls in question did not consent to having their pictures distributed, their images were not pornographic, and that the photos were protected under First Amendment speech (Sexting Girls). Several states have recently moved towards aligning their laws more closely with teenagers’ practices in relation to sexuality and technology, Vermont legalizing consensual exchange of graphic images between people 13 to 18 (Wikipedia) and Ohio and Utah reducing sexting from a felony to a first degree misdemeanor. Although one online writer has argued that “case law has not kept up with the impact of digital media on teenage behavior” (“Sexting Craze”), I would argue that this has the order reversed: case law has not kept up with the impact of teenage behavior on digital media. Or, more precisely, as David Oswell argues in “Ethics and Techno-Childhood,” “Childhood is never disclosed in isolation; it is always accompanied by technology. Technology makes childhood visible as a problem. In doing so both technology and childhood, like leaky vessels, leak into each other. I refer to this as techno-childhood: the interrelation between, and the mutual constitution of, technology and childhood” (170). When Toronto criminal lawyer Edward Greenspan quips that “the only way to stop teens from sexting is to take away their cellphones, and teens would sooner give up a lung,” he unwittingly recognizes this tight connection between children and technology, technology being what Nick Lee calls “an extension of childhood.”

What interests me most about the purported dystrophic epidemic of sexting is how these widely publicized legal cases—cautionary tales writ large—and a single online survey about teens, young adults, and sexting have fuelled and shaped a media frenzy resulting in articles with titles such as “The Sexting Scare,” “Sexting Craze Leads to Child Pornography Charges,” “20% Chance Your Child May Be a Sex Offender!,” “Sexting Poses Risk to Teens’ Health,” “Sexting Teens Face Prison and Sexual Predator Status for Nude Photos,” “Want to Stop Sexting, CyberBullying & Digital Disease?,” “Textual Misconduct: What to Do About Teens and their Dumb Naked Photos of Themselves,” and “ Technology Fuelling Sexting Craze.” Not to mention a Website: sextingisstupid.com.

In spite of these headlines, as Macleans magazine rightly notes, “the statistical proof of a sexting epidemic is scant: one lone survey.” Indeed, a much more careful reading of the “Sex and Tech” survey is called for. . . . It was conducted completely online; its commissioners no doubt have vested interests in the results; it is clearly not directly applicable to Canada; its definition of teens as ages 13 to 19 and young adults as 20 to 26 may fit the literal definition of “teenager,” but it also perversely skirts legal definitions of “childhood” including those in relation to child pornography, thus skewing statistics about teen sexting accordingly; most importantly, the very broad category of “nude or semi-nude” photos used in the survey questions recognizes no distinctions between nudity, sexuality, and pornography. However, even if we accept the survey data, there is much more to learn than most media reports suggest. Article after article expresses shock that 20% of teens sext, none recognizing that that implies a more amazing fact—that 80% of teens do not. The survey shows that far more young adults (33%) than teens (20%) are sexting, yet no comparable alarm about young adults has emerged. The survey indicates that twice as many teens and young adults send sexually explicit text messages (39%of teens; 59% of young adults) as send nude photos (20% of teens, 33% of young adults), yet all media attention focuses on visual images. According to the survey, more girls sext than boys: 22% of teen girls vs. 18% of teen boys; 36% of young adult women vs. 31% of young adult men. Although most accounts explain this as boys pressuring girls to sext, more girls in the survey consider sexting “fun and flirtatious.” (51% of teen girls give pressure from a guy as their reason for sending, while 66% of teen girls and 72% of young adult women claim the activity to be “fun & fliratious.”) Children’s and particularly girls’ sexual agency are not generally or comfortably acknowledged in North America, and the findings of this survey call out desperately to be analyzed in terms of girls’ sexual agency in relation to sexting.

While Canadian media responses have generally been more muted to the sexting epidemic, they too easily fall into the trap of assuming that what is true in the United States will necessarily be true here too. And so, the Vancouver Province says that sexting “has Canadian officials on the alert” even though “there have been few [no?] publicized cases in Canada to date.” “Cpl. Annie Linteau, the RCMP B.C.’s spokeswoman, said she hadn’t heard of the trend. “But I’d be surprised if it wasn’t happening here,” (O’Connor). Indeed, there may be critical differences between sexting in Canada and south of the border. It is not a crime in Canada for consenting young people under 18 to exchange nude photos, for example. And in Vancouver, “… local school officials said unlike their American peers, they would be reluctant to report sexting as a crime to police.”

There are a few sane voices in the furor over sexting. JSS writes in an online column “Sexting Hysteria,” “the hysterical and infectious drive to stem sexting among teens and to put it on the level of child pornography has accelerated in just a few weeks. . . . Nothing has actually changed except that the kind of adults who do not engage in sexting, themselves, found out that teen-agers were doing it….Teen-agers fumbling with their sexuality and technology is not something that should scare anyone into legislation, and schools shouldn’t be overreacting either.” (jss, “Sexting Hysteria”). Indeed, one could argue that in some ways virtual sexual activities are safer for teens than actual ones: nobody ever got pregnant or received an STD directly from an online exchange. In “Is ‘Sexting’ Same as Porn?,” Goodman writes, “There is nothing particularly new about young people taking pictures of themselves. It’s as old as the Polaroid.” In fact, I’d argue it’s older than that. Goodman also argues that “The panic not only erases the line between stupid and criminal, it dilutes the real horror of child pornography.” Lithwick raises concerns that girls are being punished disproportionately, being charged with producing while boys were merely charged with possessing pornography. Clearly, a key danger in sexting is not in the initial exchange of nude photos between two partners or potential partners but in the dangers of losing control of those images in the powerful, immediate, omnipotent, eternal, digital world. In a blog, Dann writes, “these kids don’t get the idea that everything you do online becomes a digital tattoo. ….Sexting is a dumb thing to do, not only because it effectively gives your body away to everyone else, but because you have no control over what happens after you hit the send button.” (Dann’s Blog) .

To contextualize youth sexting we should remember our own sexual histories as young people. Apart from digital media’s power to disseminate information quickly and broadly, there may be nothing radically new about sexting. The closest I ever came to being expelled from school was in Grade 2, when I was hauled before the authorities for looking up girls’ dresses. In 1957, in an Ontario village, as the seven-year-old son of a Protestant clergyman, I was trying my best to learn about sex. At 18, as a don at an Ontario University, I tried to make a political parody of a student council election by posing for the student newspaper—they had cameras then, only the cameras needed film and the newspaper needed to be printed—clad only in a jockstrap; although I was thinly disguised by freckles to make me resemble Mad magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman, I had to go underground for several days until the Associate Dean cooled off. These events, notably, were before television, minicomputers, the Internet, and digital photography. However, much as contemporary nostalgia might view this as an “earlier, simpler time,” and much as current moral panics about youth sexuality might consider children’s and youths’ current sexting behaviors as depravities signaling the end of civilization, I would suggest that the “innocence” and “experience” of my ancient childhood might actually not be so far separated from the “experience” and “innocence” of many or most sexting exchanges.

Perhaps, then, adult alarm about technology and youth sexuality is a red herring—except insofar as it relates to cyber-bullying and sexual harassment: one 18-year-old American woman committed suicide when a nude photo she sent to her then boyfriend came back to haunt her. Are there, for example, significant differences between teens learning to kiss while playing “Spin the Bottle” face-to-face and teen “chicks” and “dudes” going online to “Espin.com” to “spin the bottle and start flirting!” with “Over 4 Million Hotties”? Are there differences between youth playing face-to-face versus online “Strip Poker,” or between children investigating each other’s body parts while playing “Doctor” and teens sharing cell phone images of their naked bodies? As one Macleans reader writes, “Young people are showing each other their naked bodies! When did that ever happen before?”

Child pornography laws arise out of human rights legislation, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, children’s rights advocates have been more preoccupied with “protection” and “prevention” than with “provision” and “participation” rights in relation to children and their sexuality. The CRC explicitly advocates protection of children from sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, coerced sexual activity, unlawful sexual practices including child prostitution, and being used in pornography. Guiding principles of the CRC include “the best interests of the child,” the centrality of children’s participation rights, and the “full and harmonious development” of the child’s personality. Yet where in the CRC are children’s provision rights to healthy sexual being and participation rights in exploring and expressing that sexual being? Article 12’s right of the child to express his or her views freely? Article 13’s “freedom of expression . . . freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice”?; Article 16’s right to privacy – “No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy . . . or correspondence”: as online writer DillthePill writes, “what the heck were the teachers doing looking through the students phones?”; Article 24’s “the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health”? Article 28 and 29’s rights to education?; Article 31’s right to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child ?

Is nudity pornography? Not necessarily. Are consensual exchanges of naked photos between young people child pornography? Not in the first instance. Should child pornography charges be leveled against young people sharing naked photos of themselves? Definitely not. Can young people get into trouble by sharing sexually suggestive digital text, images, or video? Yes. Can this have real world consequences? Absolutely. However, teenagers have no monopoly on foolish choices and devastating consequences. Think, for example, of the infamous, intercepted cellphone conversation between the future King of England and his paramour in which he fantasizes about being a tampon so he can “live in her trousers”: no doubt that would have been sexting had the technology existed. When, we must ask, in Western culture, did nudity become pornography, youth sexuality perverse, digital technologies the tail wagging the dog, and when and how and why have we forgotten children’s participatory rights as sexual beings?


TX - On the predator list? It’s even harder to find a job

View the article here

I get sick and tired of people inserting "predator" or "pedophile" into a news article title. The registry is about sex offenders, and by inserting "predator" into the title, makes it appear all sex offenders are predators. Stop spreading disinformation and lies! I am emailing this reporter to mention this to her.

05/29/2009

By RENÉE C. LEE

New details on employers could hurt sex offenders’ hiring chances even more

In today’s economy, finding a job is tough for most people. But imagine what it would be like if you had the equivalent of a scarlet letter attached to your job applications.

A Rosenberg man who has been out of work for several months says that since the state recently added new information to its revamped online sex offender registry, it’s been more difficult for him to get a job.
- IMO, it doesn't matter on what information is there, just the fact your name is on the online registry is all it takes for someone to deny you a job.  It's been done, and continues to be done.  And that is why the online registry IS PUNISHMENT, and I do not care what some legislature, court or lawyer says, that is exactly what it is.  You like with the restrictions, your name on a registry, etc, then tell me it's not punishment!

Employers, who might have been willing to give the 25-year-old registered sex offender a chance, now refuse to hire him because they don’t want their business name and address listed on the registry, said _____, who asked that his last name not be used to protect his privacy.

The Texas Department of Public Safety added employment, school and occupational license information to offenders’ profiles about six months ago as part of a $1.2 million redesign of the online registry, which includes a new e-mail notification feature. DPS officials said states are required to post such information under federal law.
- And $1.2 million?  Come on!  Someone (tax payers) are being scammed.  There is no reason adding more information to the registry, or even adding new enhancements to the registry should cost that much.

Making the information available to the public has struck a chord with registered sex offenders and their advocates who say it’s unnecessary and poses another hardship for offenders who want to be productive citizens. Crime victim advocates, however, argue the information is an another tool to protect the community.
- Yeah, you might as well just line them up, on the evening news, and shoot everyone of them, because these restrictions are cruel and unusual, draconian, and unconstitutional.  Are you sure this is the USA and not the USSA?

The more information, the more empowered the community is to enhance the safety of their families and children,” said Andy Kahan, the director of Houston Mayor Bill White’s Crime Victims Assistance office. “As long as the public uses the information prudently and not take any negative action, then the information will be helpful.”
- Oh but they are using the information in a criminal way, just see here.  Also, why not empower the people more, and put ALL CRIMINALS with ANY record on an online registry?  I'm sure they'd like to also know if a murderer, serial killer, gang member, drug dealer/user, DUI offender, terrorist or any other criminal lives around them!

Mary Sue Molnar, a founder of Texas Voices, a sex offender advocacy group, said more information means less safety if sex offenders can’t find work or lose their jobs. She said she gets e-mails daily from offenders and their loved ones asking for help.

This is not keeping the public any safer,” said Molnar, whose son is a convicted sex offender. “It’s a feel-good law. It’s a tremendous problem. We want them to reintegrate into society and lead productive lives, and they can’t do that when they don’t have jobs.”
- Yeah, but it's not about safety, it's about punishment, that is obvious!  But they like to spin it and make it appear as if it's "for safety" and "for the children!"  It also gets them votes, so they "look good" to the sheeple of this country!

High risk, low risk

She said state and federal laws should distinguish between dangerous and non-dangerous sex offenders. She said many sex offenders pose no risk to the community. Some are low-risk offenders who were in consensual relationships and the offender didn’t know the victim was under age. In some cases, they are married to the victim and they have children. Having their employer and school information online can be devastating to their families, she said.
- But they want to demonize all offenders, and heighten the fear factor, so they get support for the laws to help them get brownie points and more money from the tax payers, and so they can punish someone for society's ills (a scapegoat)

_____, who is listed as a moderate risk on the state’s registry, agrees with Molnar. He is serving eight years of probation after accepting a plea deal on aggravated sexual assault of a child charges in 2004. He said he had a consensual relationship with a teenager who said she was 19. He believes only dangerous sex offenders should have employer and school information posted on the registry.
- I don't agree with an online registry period.  It should all be offline and used by police only.  The public has proven they cannot handle the information in an adult and rational manner, just see the link I provided above for proof!  Even if someone is such a "threat" to society, putting all this information on the registry does nothing to protect society, but it does punish the offender, to the extreme, and that is their point!

_____, who lives with his parents, said he is up front with employers about his criminal history and has had other jobs since his conviction. He said he follows all the requirements of his probation, including sex offender treatment. All he needs now is a job.

It’s been very hard,” he said. “That’s the only thing holding me back.”
- So go down and sign up for unemployment and disability!  Let the tax payers who are voting for these draconian unconstitutional laws, pay for your support.  If you cannot support yourself, maybe the people wanting these laws should be supporting you financially, then something may change!

The information posted on the registry is required under the Adam Walsh Act signed by President George W. Bush in 2006. The act established a national sex offender registry and states were given three years to implement the law. The state attorney general has the authority to issue guidelines in interpreting and implementing the law.
- No it doesn't, this is more disinformation.  The AWA sets a minimum standard, the additional information is not required by the AWA, it's just the state wanting to further punish offenders!

In addition to finding a sex offenders’ personal and criminal information, the public also can now sign up for an e-mail service. The service will notify them when changes are made to a specific offender’s record or when a change is made to the record of an offender who resides in a certain ZIP code.

DPS spokeswoman Tela Mange said state officials thought it would be a good tool for people who want to track of sex offenders in their neighborhoods.

Kahan said he likes the instant notification because sex offenders tend to be transient and change residence frequently.
- And why are they transient and change residence frequently?  Because of these laws!

Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle


VA - Council questions sex offender ordinance

View the article here

05/30/2009

By Jim McNally

During their Thursday pre-agenda meeting, Statesville City Council members asked for some clarification regarding an ordinance that, if passed, would place harsher restrictions on registered sex offenders in the city.

Councilwoman Paula Steele asked if all sex offenders would be painted with the same legal brush.

"If you're 24, let's say, and you have sex with your 17-year-old-girlfriend, is this different from from someone convicted of raping a 3-year-old child?" Steele asked.
- Bad example, you should've said something like "If a 15 year old male has received oral sex from a 12 year old girl, or if a 15 year old female has sex with a 12 year old boy, would that be considered the same as a 30 year old male or female having sex with a 13 year old boy/girl?"

City Attorney Eddie Gaines fielded the question by saying that including those kinds of distinctions in a city ordinance is "a dangerous trap to get into."

Gaines continued, "People convicted of sex offenses are registered as sex offenders, regardless of whether it was violent or not or whether there where any other circumstances involved."

State law regarding the requirements for registering as a sex offender includes more than 20 different offenses and covers everything from "secret peeping" to first-degree rape.
- What about streaking, mooning or urinating in public?

Nine of those offenses specifically deal with crimes against minors.

But while the example Steele mentioned is not one of them, North Carolina law requires that a person accused of "Statutory rape of a person who is 13, 14, or 15 years old (and) where the defendant is at least six years older (than the victim)," must register.

There are also four different offender classifications in North Carolina: offender; sexually violent predator; recidivist; and aggravated offender. Two other classifications — non-resident student and non-resident worker — involve people who will be in the state on a temporary basis.

State law already bans registered sex offenders from being within 300 feet of any place "intended primarily for the use, care, or supervision of minors."

But the law does not specifically note parks and walking trails as restricted areas.

The proposed Statesville ordinance — which is based on those used by other North Carolina municipalities — does.

Police Chief Tom Anderson said the prototype for Statesville's ordinance has passed the test of legal scrutiny.

But some at Thursday's meeting questioned whether it was necessary to have the law on the books in Statesville.

Anderson said the added restrictions would be a "helpful tool" for him to have at his disposal.
- So how would this "helpful tool" or more restrictions help you?  Care to elaborate?

"But is it a tool we'll have to use often?" Anderson asked rhetorically. "Probably not," he answered.

The city council will vote on a first reading of the ordinance at Monday's regular meeting.


CA - Woman who had sex with 14-year-old gets 180 days in jail

View the article here

Once again, if this were a man having sex with a 14 year old female, the sentence would be a lot harsher. Another judge allowing the double standard to continue.

05/30/2009

By Jim Schultz (Contact)

A 22-year-old Marysville woman convicted in April of having sex with a 14-year-old Redding boy was sentenced Friday to 180 days in jail and must register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

_____ must report by Monday to sheriff's officials to determine where and how she will be serving her jail sentence.

She is "truly remorseful" for her actions and has been thoroughly humiliated, _____ told Superior Court Judge Bradley Boeckman.

But she stopped short of admitting that she had sex with the boy, who is now 15.

"I have truly learned my lesson and I am sorry," she said, wiping tears from her eyes with a tissue.

The young boy's father also choked back tears as he read a statement in court.

He said he wasn't buying any of it, calling _____ a pedophile who has "robbed" his son of his childhood and who has harmed the boy's relationship with his family.

"It's pretty clear that something's wrong with her and (she) needs help," he said.

Boeckman, stressing that _____ must be treated the same as a man convicted of the same offenses, noted that _____ has a solid "support base" of family and friends and no prior criminal history in weighing her sentence and the nature and circumstances of the crimes.

And, he said, he was troubled by her apparent lack of remorse and unwillingness to accept responsibility for her conduct.

He also said that had the boy been only a few months younger when the crimes occurred, _____ would be looking at substantial prison time for felony child molestation.

"We would have an entirely different situation here," he said.

A jury convicted _____ of unlawful sex with a minor under the age of 16, a felony, as well as annoying a child and furnishing alcohol to a minor, both misdemeanors.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Hemker, who prosecuted _____, has said that the crimes occurred in 2007, when _____ was 21 and the boy was a 14-year-old eighth-grade student.

_____ met the boy at go-kart racing events in Red Bluff and Chico, he said, and they developed a friendship on MySpace. Hemker said that many of their Internet communications revolved around sex.

After months of communicating on MySpace, they came up with a plan to meet at a home that belonged to the family of one of the boy's friends, he said.

While the family was away for Christmas, _____ and the boy met there and _____ gave him alcohol.

They had sex twice there and had also previously had sex at one of the go-kart race tracks in Red Bluff, Hemker said.

The prosecutor said that copies of the sexual communications from MySpace helped secure the convictions.

_____ was ordered to be on three years' felony probation and faces up to four years in prison should she violate its terms, Hemker said. As a condition of her probation, _____ is prohibited from having private Internet accounts, such as Facebook, and her probation officer must have access to any of her public Internet accounts.

Shasta County Deputy Public Defender Michael Horan, who defended _____ and lost a bid to have her felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor, said he remains convinced that she's innocent and the case will be appealed.

"I feel bad about this one," he said as he left the courthouse.


Etan Patz - The story which started all this nonsense!

Wikipedia
20/20 Article

All 6 videos are available on the main 20/20 page.

Etan Kalil Patz (October 9, 1972 – unknown; legally dead 2001) was a six-year-old child who disappeared in lower Manhattan on May 25, 1979. At the time, news coverage of Patz's disappearance was made into a media circus in the New York area. He is arguably the most famous missing child of New York City. His disappearance helped spark the missing children's movement, including new legislation, new awareness, and various methods for tracking down missing children, such as the milk carton campaigns of the mid eighties.

Disappearance

On the morning of Friday, May 25, 1979, six-year-old Etan put on his prized blue captain's hat and left his SoHo apartment by himself—for the very first time—to walk the two blocks to catch the school bus. He did not reach the bus stop.

When he did not return home from school at 3:30 that afternoon, his mother reported him missing. An intense search, using nearly 100 police officers and a team of bloodhounds, began that evening and would continue for weeks. Various circumstances surrounding this case, such as it being Etan's first time outside alone, made it into a greatly media-driven incident.

Suspect

In 1991, jailhouse informants claimed that Jose Antonio Ramos, a convicted child sexual abuser imprisoned in Pennsylvania, admitted to his murder. Ramos had been a friend of Etan's one-time babysitter. He promised that no body would be found, saying "It's too horrible. No one would ever represent me". In a special feature on missing children, the New York Post reported on October 23, 1999 that Ramos was the prime suspect in Etan's disappearance.

His parents, Stanley and Julie Patz, pursued a civil case against Ramos, who was found liable for Patz's wrongful death in May 2004. They were awarded a sum of $2 million, which they have never collected, as Ramos is serving a prison term for molesting boys in Pennsylvania. Though he has served his full sentence of 12 to 15 years, he has not been released on parole because he has yet to complete mandatory counseling. Without evidence, a body, or a crime scene, some New York investigators do not believe they will ever be able to convict Ramos for Patz's death.

Each year, on the anniversary of Etan's birthday and his disappearance, Stan Patz sends Ramos a copy of his son's MISSING poster. On the back he types the same message: "What did you do to my little boy?".

National Missing Children's Day

The day of Etan Patz's disappearance, May 25, is now designated National Missing Children's Day.

In popular culture

In the 1983 movie Without a Trace, starring Kate Nelligan and Judd Hirsch, a six year old boy disappears while walking to school in Manhattan. The Stanley Jaffe film was loosely based on the Patz case. While in production, this movie was titled Still Missing, based on the Beth Gutcheon novel of the same name. It was retitled when someone realized that audiences might mistake this film for a sequel to the unrelated movie Missing.

Six Videos - Click play and watch all six


PA - senator's staffer accused of soliciting teen for sex

View the article here

I am not saying this man is guilty or not, but you can see, from this article, the mere accusations is a career ender. So, I'm not surprised we do not see more in the government being accused of such, and losing their jobs. You tick off someone, they slam you with bogus accusations, and you're gone, no questions asked. You are guilty automatically, instead of being innocent until proven guilty, as in this case, where he was suspended before even going to court and being found guilty!

05/29/2009

By Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG -- A state Senate staffer was arrested on accusations he sexually propositioned a 15-year-old boy over the Internet.

In a series of instant messages and online chats, Alan David Berlin, 40, of Carlisle, Cumberland County discussed dressing up in animal costumes and engaging in various sex acts with the boy, the state attorney general's office said today.

According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Berlin proposed traveling to the boy's home in Harrisburg, 20 miles from Carlisle, and having sex in the backyard as the boy's parents slept.

He also allegedly requested nude photos of the boy and offered to arrange a meeting in a hotel room so Mr. Berlin could take photos of the boy and another adult having sex.

Mr. Berlin has worked for the state Senate since 1993, most recently as an aide to state Sen. Jane Orie (Email), R-McCandless, who has been the force behind efforts to strengthen the the state's sexual predator laws. One proposal called for offenders who had already completed sentences to wear devices that would track their whereabouts.
- If they've completed their sentence, then any additional restrictions is ex post facto punishment and violates the constitution against such laws.

Ms. Orie became aware of the allegations against Mr. Berlin yesterday and immediately suspended him without pay or benefits, said Mike Sarfert, the senator's chief counsel.
- Wow, suspended him already.  So much for innocent until proven guilty!

Mr. Berlin didn't work on criminal legislation, but dealt with grants and budgetary issues, Mr. Sarfert said.

He said investigators confiscated a hard drive from the Capitol office but didn't know whether they found any evidence on it.

Mr. Berlin is charged with unlawful contact with a minor related to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

He was arraigned yesterday before Harrisburg Magisterial District Justice George A. Zozos and placed in Dauphin County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.


LA - Parents should face community service for kids' crimes, lawmakers say

View the article here

This, IMO, is just some legislature trying to make a name for himself.  A judge can already do this, if he thinks it's beneficial.  Why make it a law?  Stop taking all the power a way from judges, and you'd not need this insane law!

05/29/2009

By Ed Anderson

BATON ROUGE -- Parents of delinquent children should be held responsible for their offspring's actions and have to perform community service work when ordered by a judge, the House said today.

Lawmakers voted 76-22 for House Bill 383 by Rep. Walker Hines (Email), D-New Orleans, sending it to the Senate for debate.

Hines said the bill is designed to give judges the option of ordering parents to perform community service work if their kids are picked up for skipping school, vandalizing property or violating curfews.

"This does not affect the sentence or punishment given the child," Hines said. "This is (for) the worst, most egregious parents. It will not impact a parent's ability to work. ... We want to make sure parents are more engaged in their children's lives."

"Hopefully, this will keep parents from letting their kids run the streets and break the law."

Hines said that judges now have the authority to order a parent and a delinquent child to counseling and his bill gives the judge another option. If a parent is not involved in the child's life, the bill says a guardian or caretaker could be held responsible and sentenced to the community service work.

Although the bill does not provide a minimum or maximum for community service for a parent or guardian, Hines said that he would not expect a judge to order a parent to more than three to five hours of work.

Rep. Barbara Norton (Email), D-Shreveport, said that the bill would take a parent away from a paying job to do the community service, hurting the income of a household.

"This takes the parent away from the family process," Rep. Greg Cromer (Email), R-Slidell, said. "This is not going to be beneficial to the child. ... Do you really think this is needed instead of pushing family counseling?"

Hines said that the bill is an option to family counseling, especially if the parent or guardian does not take more responsibility after those sessions.

"It is up to the discretion of the judge," Hines said.