Monday, June 1, 2009
By Ethan Fry
Brookfield law creates child safety zones
BROOKFIELD -- The Board of Selectmen on Monday unanimously approved an ordinance banning registered sex offenders from certain "child safety zones" in town.
Selectmen were poised to act on a proposed law at their meeting last month but questions about its deterrent effect and legality forced a delay.
The board held a public hearing on the proposal 15 minutes before its regular meeting Monday night, during which only one resident spoke. The resident, Howard Lasser, asked if a similar law just struck down as unconstitutional in New Jersey would impact the legality of the one the selectmen approved Monday.
Town Attorney Francis Collins said the facts of the New Jersey case weren't directly analogous to the proposed ordinance, and that legal precedent on such laws doesn't exist in this state yet.
"Right now there are no Connecticut cases on it," Collins said in advising selectmen to approve the ordinance. "This one is similar to ones that other towns have adopted."
At a similar public hearing before last month's selectmen's meeting, Board of Education member Ron Jaffe urged selectmen to delay any action until the school board's legal counsel could review the ordinance.
Jaffe said Monday the school board's lawyers looked over the ordinance and didn't find any problems "based on the language we've seen."
"We never had any objection to the concept" of the ordinance, Jaffe said, but wanted to review any law "when the town is doing something related to the schools."
- You see folks, this is why laws continue to pass, nobody speaks out about them.
Town resident Steve DeVaux, who asked the selectmen to consider such an ordinance at a January meeting, also complained last month that the law as proposed -- which would fine a sex offender $100 if he or she were found in a prohibited zone -- was "toothless."
The selectmen raised the possibility of increasing the fine to $250 -- the maximum allowable under state law -- but Town Attorney Thomas Beecher said a new public hearing would be necessary, which they scheduled prior to Monday's meeting.
Though the proposal was approved unanimously, Selectman Joni Park still cautioned parents that it isn't a panacea.
"I would like to make clear that those child safety zones will be marked, but will not necessarily have a police person there or someone there on a full-time basis," she said.
"I think this does not prevent a new offender from coming into that safety zone. It does not necessarily prevent a sex offender from being in that safety zone."
"I'm glad we're putting this in place," Park said. "I think it's a good idea ... But parents should understand" it's very important for them to keep track of their own children.
Robin Sax, IMO, is just exploiting peoples fears, to make a book and money. She is a prosecutor, so I don't think she is an "expert" in sexual abuse. Call in, express your opinions as well!
By Denny Griffin
The headlines in the newspapers, TV news and cable talk shows, are all too often about incidents of domestic violence or sexual abuse of children that end in murder. How can these tragedies be averted? Are there warning signs that might prevent injury or death if detected? What should we do if we uncover information indicating that a person may be a child sexual predator or a domestic abuser?
We’ll discuss these issues this Wednesday night at 9 pm Eastern on the Juror Thirteen show on Blog Talk Radio (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dennisngriffin). My guests will be Robin Sax and Susan Murphy-Milano.
Robin is a 15-year Los Angeles County prosecutor specializing in prosecuting sex crimes against children. Her newly released book is Predators and Child Molesters. In it Robin answers the 100 most asked questions by parents about how they can protect their children.
Susan is an advocate for victims of domestic violence. Because of her own personal experience she is especially interested in incidents in which the abuser is a police officer. Robin and Susan are co-hosts on the popular BTR show Justice Interrupted.
You’ll be able to ask questions or make comments by calling in or through the show’s chat room.
Another cop, another slap on the wrist, as usual!
The former police chief of New Richmond will serve two years probation for allegations that involve the misuse of property. Today, David Willoughby pleaded guilty obstructing official business and dereliction of duty as part of a deal with prosecutors.
Judge Kenneth Zuk sentenced Willoughby to two years non-reporting probation and ordered him to surrender his Ohio Police Officer's certificate.
Last month, Willoughby resigned as chief of the New Richmond police department after a six month investigation. He'd been on paid leave since September.
Willoughby had faced nearly half a dozen charges -- including menacing by stalking for an incident involving a 15 year old girl. That charge was among those dropped today.
The dereliction charge was leveled because Willoughby failed to arrest a suspect in a sex assault case. He was convicted of obstruction because he told witness not to meet with the state investigators building a case against him.
Now this is a great idea, instead of starting a group for vigilantes. I hope this group works out, and grows. I thought there were survivor groups all over the place, guess I was wrong.
By KATY MOELLER
_____ is a survivor, but she knows she needs help to get her life back on track.
The 17-year-old, who was sexually assaulted earlier this year, has been seeing a licensed professional counselor and a specialist in mental health rehabilitation. Now she's going public to create a support group for herself and others who've experienced similar trauma.
The decision to start her own group happened only after she, her counselor and her family failed to find one in the Boise area after a couple of months of searching. Her family has mixed emotions about her going public.
"I feel protective, and I feel proud," said Sharon Wander, the grandmother _____ has lived with over the past year. "I have some trepidation about it - the public part of it - but I'm really proud of her. I want to be supportive in her efforts to get this going."
_____ said she found the Web site www.AfterSilence.org helpful - to a point.
"I would recommend it to any survivors. There's so much support there," she said. "But online support only goes so far. It's some words on a page."
_____ filed a report with the police on her assault, which she said was committed by an acquaintance. Payette County Deputy Prosecutor Anne-Marie Kelso said the case has been reviewed, and no charges will be filed.
- No charges? I wonder why?
Wander said she tried to help her granddaughter find a support group. She made calls and visited agencies that provide services to those who have suffered sexual assault.
"We started our search back in February, soon after she told us what happened," Wander said.
There are many programs and services for sexual assault survivors in the Treasure Valley, but finding a support group isn't easy. The Idaho Statesman called about a dozen agencies and was unable to find one that's currently meeting.
In the past, support groups have formed at the Women's & Children's Alliance in Boise.
"They tend to come and go. ... The groups tend to form and peter out, based on the needs of the people," said Rebecca Taguma, a spokeswoman for the agency.
The WCA does currently have a support group for domestic violence survivors, and some in the group have suffered sexual assault. But that's not the focus of the group, Taguma said.
Heidi Hart, behavioral health director for Terry Reilly Health Services, said the agency's SANE Solutions program has five groups for adult survivors of sexual abuse age 19 and older that meet in Nampa. But there aren't any in Boise because there hasn't been demand (groups are usually six to eight people).
There are no groups for adolescents for the same reason, Hart said. But the agency would start one if there's enough interest.
Wander said she was frustrated by the hunt for a support group. "We kind of gave up. Several people said, 'Why don't you start your own?' " she said.
_____ began talking with Ben Remer, a psycho-social rehabilitationist she sees twice a week at Aspen Mental Health, about the possibility of starting her own group.
"She took it and ran with it," Remer said.
_____ put an ad on Craigslist and put fliers up in the Treasure Valley.
"I do have concerns," said Lori _____, _____'s mom, who gave her consent for her daughter to speak to the Statesman. "I think she's very brave."
The Statesman, like most newspapers, generally declines to publish the names of rape victims. In this case, _____ made the decision to go public with her story.
Dawn Toth, _____'s counselor, said she sees no problem with _____ telling her story publicly. "For her, it's actually very liberating. It's kind of a way for her to heal herself," Toth said.
Remer, the rehabilitation specialist, said he went through the pros and cons with _____ about talking publicly about starting the group. He raised many concerns, including her privacy and ability to juggle management of the group with taking classes at the College of Western Idaho.
She is determined, he said.
"I think her logic is that she's helping herself by helping other people. She's being more proactive, rather than, 'Woe is me, I'm the victim.' "
_____ had an unstable home life and childhood, living at different times with her mother, step-father and grandmother. She attended several high schools and eventually dropped out.
In January, she got her GED. In February, she began taking two classes at CWI. She says she got A's in her first two college classes, and she's excited about a trip to Europe she's taking this summer with other Treasure Valley teens.
She's got big dreams and goals for her life.
"I'm going to get an AA in nursing because I love helping people," she said.
"Then I'm going to become a veterinarian," said the teen, who has two dogs, two cats and a guinea pig.
And, at some point, she'd like to write a book or two - a horror novel and a memoir.
But right now, she's focused on creating the support group for sexual assault survivors. She said it is for girls and women only - primarily teens and young adults, but women of any age are welcome. She's also hoping, at some point, to start a separate group for men, if enough contact her.
Tentative plans are to have the meetings in a room at Aspen Mental Health.
Toth, the counselor, said she plans to be in the room next door when the meetings are happening, so she can provide any support that may be needed. She said she's provided _____ with some books on facilitating groups.
"Anybody can start a support group," said Toth, who noted she understands that _____ doesn't want it to be facilitated by a therapist. "She doesn't want it to be a therapy group."
_____ is hoping to find at least 10 girls and women to join the first group and says she has one friend who plans to participate.
"This support group is a slap in the face to anyone and everyone who thinks they can treat someone like that," _____ said.
I deleted the original post I had of this, by mistake. So it's posted again. And these are the types of people we have running this country! And this, IMO, is not funny at all. These people span many generations, and we are all idiots! That says A LOT about the education system in this country, not including the fact people are glued to watching American Idol and other nonsense shows instead of the History Channel and other informative shows.
Click the image to enlarge it.
Lisa L. Sample
University of Nebraska at Omaha
University of Nebraska at Omaha
To date, scholars have simply inferred the beliefs underlying sex offender laws from the passage and content of the legislation. Few researchers have directly spoken to legislators to determine their opinions of the sex offender problem. This study seeks to determine the perceptions of sex offenders and sex offending in the 1990s that drove the need for sex offender reform in Illinois and the degree to which these perceptions influenced the content of the laws. The findings suggest that policy makers had very distinct ideas about the nature of the sex offender problem in terms of who was responsible, who was in need of protection, and the degree to which legislative responses would address the issue. There was congruence between these personal perceptions and the content of sex offender laws. The results shed light on the degree to which public officials' personal perceptions influence the passage and content of legislation.
If this were a man, the sentence would be a lot harsher. And so the double standard continues...
By Tommy Witherspoon
A 25-year-old Waco woman was sentenced today in 19th State District Court for having sex with a 16-year-old boy.
Judge Ralph Strother sentenced _____, who works at a phone bank, to eight years deferred probation, a $1,000 fine and 300 hours of community service. She also has to register as a sex offender.
_____ in April pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault of a teenaged boy. She was arrested in March on five charges. According to arrest affidavits, _____ had sexual intercourse and sexual contact with the victim in her apartment Dec. 27 and Jan. 20.
She told police that she just finished a three-year relationship and “just wasn’t thinking right” when she had sexual intercourse with the teenager, whom she described as a family friend.
CANADA - Canada Takes Action to Strengthen the National Sex Offender Registry and the National DNA Data Bank
OTTAWA - The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety, together with the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue, today announced proposed legislative amendments to strengthen the National Sex Offender Registry and the National DNA Data Bank.
"Police services and victims' groups have been clear - the National Sex Offender Registry must be strengthened so that it better protects our children and communities from sexual predators," said Minister Van Loan. "The changes we are proposing today will enhance public safety and make the Registry and the National DNA Data Bank more effective tools for police not only to investigate but also prevent sex crimes."
- So if someone is intent on committing a sexual crime, how will any of this "prevent" them from doing so?
Proposed amendments in the legislation include:
- Automatic inclusion of all convicted sex offenders in the Registry - as opposed to the current scheme where prosecutors must apply and a judge has discretion whether to include a convicted sex offender in the registry.
- Offenders convicted of a designated sexual offence under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act will also now be subject to a mandatory order to provide a DNA sample for the National DNA Databank;
- Police will be empowered to use the Registry to prevent sexual offences, unlike now where they can only use the registry to investigate crimes after they are committed;
- People who are convicted and jailed for sex crimes in another country who return to Canada under the International Transfers of Offenders Act to serve the remainder of their sentence will now be registered in the Sex Offender Registry;
- Canadians convicted abroad of sex crimes and returning to Canada at the end of sentence must report their conviction to police within 7 days of arriving in Canada or face criminal prosecution;
- Police to notify foreign or other Canadian police when high-risk registered sex offenders are travelling to that area; and,
- Amendments to the National Defence Act to ensure that reforms also apply to the military justice system.
In addition, several administrative and operational enhancements are proposed. For example, registered sex offenders must report the name of their employer, the type of employment as well as any volunteer organizations they are associated with. They will also be required to provide notice in advance of absences from their residence of seven days or more.
Correctional authorities would also be permitted to notify the registration centre of the sex offender's address where a registered sex offender is serving the custodial portion of a sentence temporarily in the community for a period of 7 days or more.
"We are fulfilling the commitment we made to strengthen the National Sex Offender Registry and the National DNA Data Bank" added Minister Blackburn. "We will continue to work with the police and our provincial and territorial partners on this important issue as they are partners in the administration and enforcement of the Registry."
The Sex Offender Information Registration Act that established a national sex offender database was proclaimed as law and came into force on December 15, 2004. The database is administered by the RCMP.