Thursday, July 16, 2009

UK - Teachers losing jobs by false allegations

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"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


MI - False rape report could mean prison

View the article here

As it should be.  Anybody who files a false report of any kind, should be in jail and/or prison for whatever amount of time the accused could've received.  Then this would probably stop!

07/16/2009

DELTA COUNTY -- A Gladstone woman could face prison time for allegedly making a false rape and kidnapping report to police back in February of 2008.

Wednesday, 27-year-old Amanda Miller-Tryan pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted false report of a felony, which is a two year felony. Four other false report charges were dismissed with the plea agreement.

Miller-Tryan said she and her husband concocted the story about a fake sexual assault and kidnapping after they had a physical altercation, and she felt she needed hospital attention.

"When you say an outside party, what did you report to police? You reported it was a stranger that did this to you?" asked the judge.

"Yes, someone I had met a few days beforehand," stated Miller-Tryan.

"But in any case, there was no stranger that did this to you?" the judge questioned.

"No, no," Miller-Tryan answered.

"Okay," the judge responded.

The amount of restitution has yet to be determined. Sentencing will be within the next six weeks.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


Some interesting statistics about dangers to children

This is the original article by Shirley Lowery.

The laws enacted to monitor and control sex offenders are extraordinary. I think we can all agree to that. The general public believes these extraordinary laws are justified. The faces of murdered children, killed by sexual predators, are flashed on the TV urging us to "consider the children." And who could resist? Who would want to? Surely it is justified to face the threats to our children.

But what are those threats really? Is there a way to know?

Actually, yes...

- U.S. Department of Justice, National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Throwaway Children.

http://www.missingkids.com/en_US/documents/nismart2_overview.pdf

This report states that in 2002 an estimated 1,325,600 kids went missing. 797,500 were reported as missing.

628,900 of these children were identified as runaway/throwaway kids.

Of the other 528,100 children their parents didn't even bother to file a report.

Yet the we hear the constant scream of "if it saves one child". Oh, there are so many more than that who need to be saved so let’s look at where the danger lies.

Out of 1,315,600 missing kids 115 were snatched in the sense that everybody is worried about. And that includes kids that were snatched for ransom, and kids that were snatched by a disturbed or distraught person who wanted a child of their own, so how many are left that were snatched and killed by the sex offenders that are hiding behind every tree? That's what we're really worried about, right? Actually, the report tells us that number is 40 but let’s be generous and use the entire 115 who were snatched out of the 1.3 million who went missing.

You will find that less than 1/100th of 1% were snatched but the number that people care about and are willing to spend our resources on is much lower. To qualify for an outcry there must be a combination of sex, violence and death.

Page 11 of the report states that "…40 missing children who were stereotypicall y kidnapped and killed (an estimated 35) or were still missing (approximately 5) at the time of the study." Yes, that is too many. But are we going to ignore all the others to concentrate on less than 1/200th of 1%?

Now, it is a sad fact that there are more children who die each year than just these 40. Many more. How many more and how are they dying?

Center for Disease Control

http://webapp.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/leadcaus10.html

A quick look at Top Ten deaths in minors in 2002 shows that there were 17,759 kids who died (excluding infant mortality).

Of those:

1296 were shot to death by someone,

145 were stabbed to death,

89 were strangled,

37 were burned alive,

17 were poisoned,

603 shot themselves,

559 hung themselves, and

6132 were killed in traffic accidents.

This tells us that in 2002:

Your child was 1400% more likely to hang themselves than be snatched and killed by a sex offender.

Your child was 1500% more likely to shoot themselves than be snatched and killed by a sex offender

Your child was 3200% more likely to be murdered by firearm by someone besides a sex offender.

Your child was 4000% more likely to be shot, stabbed, strangled, burned alive or poisoned than snatched and killed by a sex offender.

Your child was 15300% more likely to be killed in a car crash than snatched and killed by a sex offender.

We find more information here.

The American Journal of Psychiatry

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/162/9/1578

- Among children under age 5 years in the United States who were murdered in the last quarter of the 20th century, 61% were killed by their own parents: 30% were killed by their mothers, and 31% by their fathers

- Compared to other developed nations, the United States has the highest rate of child homicide

61% of murdered children under age 5 were murdered by their own parents. We are not speaking of accidents or carelessness that leads to death. Statistically speaking, parents are, by far, the greatest threat to a child’s life. So much for "protect the children!"

You may have noticed above that car accidents were the leading killer of children. Sadly, many of these are completely avoidable.

The American Journal of Psychiatry

Center for Disease Control

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5304a2.htm

- "Motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children under 1 year old in the united states".

- "One in four crash-related deaths among child passengers aged under 14 years involves alcohol use."

-"…68% were riding with the drinking drivers; the majority of these children were not restrained."

- "The majority of children who died while riding with drinking drivers were not restrained at the time of the crash."

- "The majority of drivers in these crashes survived, suggesting that certain children killed in alcohol-related crashes might have survived had they been restrained properly."

This tells us that car crashes are killing our kids in great numbers. And that 25% of the time it’s because of drunk drivers. Where is the real rage? Where is the extraordinary response to an extraordinary threat?

It gets worse. It turns out those more than 50% of those drunk drivers was a parent of the dead child. Is this acceptable to Americans?

"The majority of drivers in these crashes survived, suggesting that certain children killed in alcohol-related crashes might have survived had they been restrained properly"

Your child is 2600% more likely to be killed by you because you couldn’t be bothered to put their seatbelt on when you felt like driving drunk with your kid in the car. Are these the same parents who scream for tougher laws to protect their children against sex offenders??

These are huge numbers of children being killed in brutal ways - it's like a war zone out there. Or is that an exaggeration?

We, as a nation, are so outraged by our causalities in Iraq. Cindy Sheehan let the world know of her personal outrage and why not? Losing a child is not easy.

The war in Iraq started in March 2003. As of 7/11/2007 we had lost 3610 fine men and women. That is an average of 902.5 lives per year. Let’s do some more comparisons of numbers using the numbers above.

More kids are shot to death each year in American than Soldiers are killed in Iraq. 1296 versus 902

More kids kill themselves each year in America than Soldiers are killed in Iraq. 1162 versus 902

More kids are killed by drunk drivers (usually their parents) than Soldiers are killed in Iraq. 1533 versus 902

Combine just those categories and you get 3991 kids who are either shot to death, kill themselves, or are killed by drunk driver versus 902.5 soldier killed in the Iraq war - that's four times as many.

Considering that one of the main points of contention of the Iraq war is the casualties, you’d think we’d be at least as concerned about our children.

Remember this?

The American Journal of Psychiatry

http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/162/9/1578

- Among children under age 5 years in the United States who were murdered in the last quarter of the 20th century, 61% were killed by their own parents

- Compared to other developed nations, the United States has the highest rate of child homicide

61% of murdered children under age 5 were murdered by their own parents. We are not speaking of accidents or carelessness that leads to death. Statistically speaking, parents are, by far, the greatest threat to a child’s life. So much for "protect the children!"

Some of our children manage to make it to adulthood in spite of the adults in their lives. I kept wondering why a nation would make a mockery of child safety by latching on to the least likely threat. The answer is not so difficult.

Hating sex offenders is easy. Screaming loudly shows your concern about your children. No action is required on the part of the parents except an opinion that is acceptable in society.

Dealing with a runaway or unruly child takes a lot of hard work. A suicidal or addicted child can tear your heart out. A drink now and then saves your sanity. And kids know how to push your buttons and make you mad enough to kill but, of course, you would never do such a thing.

Adults no longer have a vested interest in their children and everyone in the family goes their own direction. Ignoring is much simpler than arguing and disciplining. They are going to do what they want anyway so why bother with a ruckus. Right?

When next you rail against sex offenders ask yourself why you aren’t taking on the big risk issues? The reason, in many cases, is that it would draw negative attention to lifestyles that are counter-productive to a child’s safety. By trying to divert attention elsewhere you expose yourself as a phony and it will come full circle. Count on it.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


FL - Sex Offenders Living In Orlando Woods

View the article here

07/16/2009

ORANGE COUNTY - Sex offenders are required to register their address with the state, but Eyewitness News learned there are many restrictions on where they can live. Some probation officers are telling them to live in the woods.

Eyewitness News reporter Vanessa Welch found more than one dozen sex offenders living in the woods off Princeton Street near John Young Parkway (see map).

_____ is a sex offender and his home is a tent hidden in the woods off Princeton Street in Orlando.

"I would rather be sitting in the cell I was in three days ago," _____ said.

_____ can't live with his family because their home is too close to a school. He says his probation officer told him to live in the woods with other sex offenders and predators.

"It doesn't make sense, because if they re-offend they could snatch a kid and bring them back here to these woods and no one would ever know," _____ said.

There are about 50 registered sex offenders who are homeless in Orlando and Orange County. About 20 yards from _____' tent there is a homeless camp with nearly one dozen people living in tents and all of them are homeless sex offenders.

_____' father, _____, is sleeping in the tent next to him to make sure he doesn't get into more trouble.

"They should have some kind of shelter for them, not the woods. This isn't the answer," Bitting said.

The Department of Corrections says officers recommend homeless camps when offenders don't have anywhere else to live, but the department admits offenders are more likely to do it again without a real home.

"For homeless sex offenders, probation officers will typically check on them more than any other offender because we are concerned they could re-offend," a spokesperson from the Department of Corrections said.

_____ says he was charged with a sex crime after he had consensual sex with his 14-year-old girlfriend when he himself was a teen. He never imagined he'd be wearing a GPS monitor and living in a tent in the woods. _____ said his probation officer has been by to check on him twice in two days.

Most sex offenders on probation have a curfew from 10:00pm to 6:00am.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


UK - Man appeals to sue his rape accuser

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07/16/2009

By Robert Verkaik

Women who cry rape face being sued for hundreds of thousands of pounds in damages if the prosecution fails to secure a conviction in court, it was claimed during a landmark legal challenge yesterday.

_____, 69, a former magistate from Dorset, was jailed for rape for four years in 2003 but had his conviction quashed on appeal in 2005. Yesterday he asked the Court of Appeal to allow him to sue his accuser, identified as AB, for damages of £300,000 for what he said amounted to his malicious prosecution. The case could open the floodgates for compensation claims from hundreds of men who have been cleared of rape.
- As it should.  Anybody who files false claims should be punished, to stop innocent people from going to jail and/or prison, and corrupt DA's and lawyers from helping.

Lawyers and women's rights groups said that, if successful, the action could set back the prosecution of rape by decades. Mr Hunt has argued that the woman became the prosecutor by giving a witness statement to police in 2002 and by agreeing to give evidence against him, although the charge was brought by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
- So what?  Women need to stop filing bogus charges against men who are innocent!

Anna Mills, a lawyer at law firm Lovells, who acts for AB on a pro bono basis, said: "The case is unusual because Mr Hunt brought his initial claim against the complainant rather than the prosecuting authorities. This means that our client... is personally having to defend his claim for £300,000 in damages."

Ms Mills added: "Casting AB as the 'prosecutor' in a rape case brought by the proper authorities is oppressive... If the appeal succeeds, it will have serious public policy implications and allow rape complainants... to be sued by their alleged attackers."


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


SWEDEN - Swedish man attacked by tattooed girl gang

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07/16/2009

By David Landes

Police in central Sweden are on the hunt for a gang of tattooed women who sexually molested a 50-year-old man as he was riding by on his bicycle.

The incident took place around 9pm on July 8th as the man was cycling down Vintergatan in central Örebro, the Aftonbladet newspaper reports.

Suddenly, someone grabbed hold of the rack on the back of the man's bike, causing him to fall to the ground.

"The girls ran up to him and pulled the bicycle down so he fell," Örebro police spokesperson Annika Haaster told the newspaper.

As the man was lying defenceless on the ground, the women proceeded to pull off his trousers and underwear and molest him sexually before fleeing the scene.

According to police, the 50-year-old was not otherwise beaten or physically assaulted by the gang of five girls.

The victim told police that the girl who actually pulled down the bicycle was about 175 centimetres (5 feet, 7 inches) tall and had tattoos on her forearms.

Authorities are hoping that tips from the public can help them apprehend the suspects responsible for the bizarre attack.

"It's downright unusual for five girls [to do something like this]. Perhaps there are others who've had the same thing happen to them," Haaster told Aftonbladet.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


MI - $100 million ends prisoner sex-abuse suit

View the article here

And hopefully, all police involved, will be named and put on the sex offender registry for life, but, I doubt it will happen, besides, they don't live by the same laws are the rest of society!

07/16/2009

The State of Michigan has agreed to pay $100 million to settle a class-action by more than 500 female prisoners who said they were sexually assaulted by prison guards.

The deal, reached Wednesday in Washtenaw County Circuit Court, ends a legal battle that has raged since 1996.

As part of the settlement, the state has agreed to drop its appeal of two earlier verdicts for 18 of the women totaling nearly $24 million. Those women will be paid from Wednesday's settlement.

The Free Press chronicled the alleged abuse in January in a series that focused on Toni Bunton, who was awarded $3.45 million in damages.

"This is a good deal for the state," said Deborah LaBelle, the women's lawyer. "If we tried all of these, the cost to the state would have been a billion dollars."

The payments will be made over five years.

In February 2008, 10 prisoners, including Bunton, were awarded $15.5 million for abuse by guards at Scott Correctional Facility in Wayne County.

In November, a second jury awarded eight women $8.4 million for abuse at Crane Correctional Facility in Coldwater. After interest and attorney fees were estimated, the two verdicts could have cost Michigan taxpayers more than $50 million. Prison officials had repeatedly said taxpayers would not end up paying any money.

SPECIAL REPORT: Read the full Hostages to Justice series

Sex abuse settlement yields closure

Bunton, who says she was groped and raped repeatedly by prison guards at Scott Correctional Facility in the 1990s, stood in a courtroom Wednesday afternoon and signed a $100-million settlement agreement on behalf of more than 500 prisoners, ending a class-action against the state Department of Corrections.

Bunton, whose sentence was commuted almost 10 months ago, smiled broadly and pumped her fist.

"I think it's very fair, yes," Bunton told the court.

Judge Timothy Connors gave preliminary approval of the deal in the Washtenaw County Courthouse. "I think it is in the best interest of everyone in this state to have this resolved," Connors said from the bench.
- And I think it's in the best interest of everyone to have all those involved, named, and on the sex offender registry for life.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


FL - Julia Tuttle Causeway - Miami's Shame - Bridge to nowhere!

If I was forced to live under this bridge, by the state, I'd be up on the bridge every day, protesting with a sign "ALMOST 100 SEX OFFENDERS, FORCED TO LIVE UNDER THIS BRIDGE, BY THE STATE. THINK ABOUT HOW THAT AFFECTS THE ECONOMY AND WHAT VACATIONERS MAY THINK ABOUT MIAMI, ALL THANKS TO THE STATE OF FLORIDA!"






"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


AK - Police officer charged with sexual assault

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07/15/2009

By KYLE HOPKINS and MEGAN HOLLAND

SIX WOMEN: Ten counts include alleged attacks over three years; support agency first alerted police.

A decorated Anchorage Police Department officer has been charged with sexually assaulting six women over the past three years, police chief Rob Heun announced at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Officer Anthony Rollins, a 13-year veteran of the department, faces 10 charges of sexual assault. He's accused of raping or forcing various sex acts on women he encountered while on patrol.

One of the victims said in an interview after the press conference that she was assaulted in the Mountain View police substation.

Police are still investigating, and there may be more victims, Heun said.

An Anchorage grand jury indicted Rollins on Wednesday, and police took him into custody Wednesday morning. His bail is set at $100,000 cash, and he's expected to appear in court Friday.

Anchorage's Standing Together Against Rape, a local agency that helps sexual assault victims, first approached the police department in April about an allegation that Rollins raped a woman. That led to a three-month investigation by Anchorage police, with help from the FBI, that found five more women who said they too were sexually assaulted by the officer.

The assaults date back to March 2006. The most recent occurred April 16.

Heun called Rollins' alleged actions "aberrant and detestable."

"I'm personally proud to wear this uniform," an obviously angry Heun said, pinching his dark-blue, department-issue tie. "I'm appalled that this officer might have dishonored it."

A woman who identified herself as one of the victims said in a telephone interview that Rollins picked her up in Mountain View on a cold December night and offered her a ride home. But instead of taking her to her home, he took her to the police substation and assaulted her.

She said she only told her brother about it and wanted to put it behind her. She said she was 20 at the time. Investigators contacted her in April.

"When I heard that he was in jail, I don't know, I felt like crying, but I felt like smiling really hard, I don't know," she said. "I had a lot of mixed feelings."

As a matter of policy, the Daily News does not identify victims of sex crimes, unless they request it.

As a patrolman, Rollins wasn't assigned to a particular part of the city and worked without a partner, police said.

"No policy or procedure is going to preclude anybody who wants to break it to do just that," Heun said when asked how Rollins could have assaulted five women before the investigation began.

"This is a matter of behavior -- just like no law will preclude anyone from breaking the law," said the chief.
- And the same can be said about the draconian unconstitutional sex offender laws, they won't prevent any crime, nor do they protect anybody, they are just a false sense of security.

There's no statute of limitations for sexual assault charges, he said, meaning Rollins could still be charged with additional crimes if police find more victims.

Rollins is married to Anchorage police Sgt. Denise Rollins, supervisor of the School Resource Officer program. He is a former police spokesman who sometimes played other high-profile roles in the department.

He represented police at a Muldoon job fair, for example, and as a member of the APD Honor Guard at a memorial honoring fallen policemen.

In December, the department awarded him a medal of valor for rescuing a man from a burning building. In 2004, he received a Meritorious Conduct award for assisting in anti-bullying programs in Anchorage schools. He also made presentations in classrooms on topics including personal safety, like "stranger danger," the school district said.

He faces four counts of first-degree sexual assault, six counts of second-degree sexual assault, four counts of criminal use of a computer and six counts of official misconduct. Authorities would not detail the charges further on Wednesday.

The department put Rollins on paid leave as soon as he was accused of sexual assault in April. That was changed to unpaid suspension when he was charged with a crime.

"The fact that these allegations may reflect directly on the police force is not fair to the police force and not fair to this community," Heun told reporters gathered at department headquarters. "People in the police department are angry regarding these allegations but will continue to investigate crimes, and I think that the fact that we've done so in this case addresses the concern regarding how we will continue to go about doing our jobs in the most professional manner."
- And because some insane person like John Couey committed a heinous crime, others should not be punished for what someone else did, exactly like you said, but it happens.

It's unclear if any of Rollins' potential victims ever reported or told authorities about the assaults before Standing Together Against Rape called police in April. Anchorage District Attorney Adrienne Bachman said no such reports were made to the police department.

Efforts over the past several weeks to reach Rollins to comment on the investigation were unsuccessful.

Police are asking anyone with information about the case to call the department's special victims unit at 786-8905.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


FL - Miami Tries Shutting Down Sex Offender Encampment

View the article here

07/15/2009

By Natalia Zea

MIAMI (CBS) - On most early evenings, E. Albert Pallot Park in Miami is teeming with families. But just off in the distance underneath the Julia Tuttle Causeway lies a tent city, full of convicted sex offenders on probation, many trying to rebuild their lives.

Mother, Sonia Hedditch wishes they would do so elsewhere.

"I'd prefer for them not be here," she said.
- And I think they'd prefer to not be there as well.

Miami City officials say the sex offenders are violating its ordinance, requiring them to stay more than 2,500 feet away from a park. City leaders say the State disagrees because the State doesn't consider this a park.

The City has been trying to shut down the tent encampment. Tuesday, code enforcement officers put up a sign in the middle of the makeshift community, warning those who live there that if they don't clean up their trash and waste, and tear down illegally-built homes, they'll face fines and ultimately eviction.
- Sorry, but you cannot evict them, the city doesn't own the land, the state does.  Those living under the bridge, need to read this blog article, and file complaints, NOW!!!

But they're not squatters. The Department of Corrections actually places them here while they're on probation, and their ID's list the "Julia Tuttle Causeway" as their address.

"I cannot think of a less well thought out plan than placing sex offenders under a bridge; it is an abysmal practice of the state," said Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff. "It flies in the face of any civilized society."

But convicted sex offender, and tent city resident Homer Barkley says they have no choice.

"Well according to the ordinance, there's nowhere in Miami where you can find a place to live, a proper place to live."

Barkley hopes the tent city will be shut down only if the local ordinance is overturned. That ordinance forbids him from living at his parent's house because it's within 2,500 feet of a school.

"I want to go home, I want to go live with my family, I want my life back," he said.

But parents like Hedditch believe the ordinance should be tough. "Well they shouldn't have been an offender and then they could live freely where they want to," she said.
- And the state/city needs to stop passing unconstitutional ex post facto laws and this would not be an issue, now would it!

By Wednesday night the code enforcement sign had disappeared and it's not clear whether a resident or a city official took it down. Either way, the lawsuits filed by the City of Miami, and the American Civil Liberties Union (Email) over the tent city will lead to it either being closed down or made unequivocally, 100-percent legal.




"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


IA - Sex offender classification under way

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07/16/2009

By Russ Mitchell

Technology specialists are reviewing the profiles of about 5,000 Iowans on the state's sex offender registry as part of a new law that attempts to more closely monitor the most dangerous offenders.

James Saunders, assistant director for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said work is well under way and could be completed in about a month. Beginning July 1, people with a sexual offense in their history were to be classified into three tiers.

Tier 3 designation is reserved for the most serious offenses. Offenders who are convicted of sex abuse in the first degree, sex abuse in the second degree or sex abuse in the third degree still must comply with the residency requirements under previous Iowa laws.

The previous "2,000-foot rule" excluded all sex offenders from living in family-sensitive areas. Critics of the policy said it drove some Iowans with convictions to lie about their whereabouts instead of complying with the law. New laws focus on where convicted offenders frequent, instead of where they sleep.

"We'll let them know if this offender would be bound by the 2,000-foot rule and exclusionary zones that are part of the new law," Saunders said. "What we always tell people, with respect to the sex offender registry Web site, is: It's a tool for them to make informed decisions about the safety and welfare of their families."

Tier 3 offenders have to avoid additional exclusionary zones that prevent loitering in areas where children are present. Arcades, libraries and public swimming pools are a few examples.

"Offenders are not going to loiter in those areas," Saunders said. "What that means, is if they are deemed to be loitering -- which is defined by the code as engaging in activity that would lead a reasonable person to believe that they're trying to identify locations or actually identify potential victims -- then they're loitering. That's going to be a problem. They're won't be able to be within 300 feet of those areas."

Offenders could still go to the state park, a little league game or a family reunion where children are present as long as they have a legitimate purpose to be there. They need permission from school principals to enter school property and to attend specific events.

Anyone age 14 and older who is convicted of sexual abuse would warrant tier 3 classification. The new law allows what's called a "Romeo and Juliet" exception, which lessens restrictions in situations where an 18-year-old had consensual sex with a 16-year-old.

"They won't be bound by that 2,000-foot rule," Saunders said.

Murder, manslaughter, burglaries, attempted burglaries and assaults with the intent to commit sexual abuse also warrant tier 3 status.

A conviction for criminal transmission of HIV is tier 3. Anyone with a tier 2 conviction who commits a second tier 2 offense would be elevated to tier 3. They must report to a sheriff, in person, every three months.

Crimes that warrant a more moderate tier 2 designation include lascivious acts with a child or an in-person attempt to lure a minor into sexual contact. False imprisonment or the transport of a minor by a non-parent for sexual activity also falls into tier 2.

People convicted of incest or creating child pornography will be placed in tier 2. So would counselors, therapists or school employees who have sexual contact with children 13 and under.

Offenders with tier 2 designation must check in with the relevant county sheriffs every six months. A person who has a tier 1 conviction, then re-offends, would be moved up a classification.

Under the new regulations, tier 1 offenders would update information with their county sheriff or sheriffs annually.

It is designated for the least serious sex offenses. Examples include indecent exposure and making pornography available to minors. Anyone who used their computer to mislead a minor for sexual conduct with a false identity would also fall into tier 1.

Some sexually-motivated forms of stalking or harassment could also warrant tier 1 registry status.

Minors age 13 and under who are convicted of second-degree or third-degree sexual assault would also receive tier 1 designation.

"It's pretty specific in the code as to what tiers an offender would fall in based on what they are convicted of," Saunders said. "What we're doing currently is going through all of those records -- roughly 5,000 offenders -- and we're in the process of putting them in their appropriate tiers."

Under another change, an offender has five days to report and register in the county of jurisdiction if they are working in a county that's different than where they reside.

Likewise, offenders who live in Clay County, but go to school outside of the county, would also have to register in both counties.

"If you have an offender who is registered in Clay County, but they've got a job up in Dickinson County, they're now going to have to also register with the Dickinson County Sheriff's Office because they are now employed in Dickinson County," Saunders said.

Sex offenders would be prohibited from specific kinds of employment if the victim was a minor including jobs at fairs, schools, arcades, or carnivals. No volunteer activities involving youth would be allowed.

If the sheriff's office feels an offender should report more frequently, the law allows the sheriff's office to require that offender to report more frequently, Saunders said, of another change.

"We're working through that process now," Saunders said. "We're getting all of the offenders in their appropriate tiers and then we'll make notification to those offenders, with respect to what their requirements are. Worst case scenario, those that are in the tier 3 category -- they won't be required to do their first quarterly report until September. But we're hoping to get that done in the next 30 days, and then let them know."


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


FL - SEX OFFENDERS LIVING UNDER JULIA TUTTLE CAUSEWAY


In 2005, the Miami-Dade County Commission passed an ordinance prohibiting convicted sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet from schools, parks, bus stops, or anywhere else where children routinely congregate.

As a result, it has become virtually impossible for these individuals to find affordable housing in Miami-Dade County that meets the 2,500 foot requirement. Fast forward to today and there are nearly eighty convicted sex offenders living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. We are all interested in the safely and well-being of our children and community as a whole, and it is clear that the ordinance has created a public health and safety crisis.

Press Releases

ACLU Challenges Miami-Dade County's 2,500-Foot Sex Offender Residency Restriction

Homeless Sex Offenders Under Julia Tuttle Bridge Continue to Be Targeted by State, Local Law Enforcement

ACLU and Sexual Assault Prevention Groups Urge Gov. Crist to Address Safety and Housing Crises Stemming From Sex Offender Residence Restrictions

Photo Gallery (Additional photos can be viewed on Flickr)






"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


FL - ACLU Asks City of Miami Police to Stop arresting or threatening homeless sex offenders

View the article here
More info here

02/02/2009

John F. Timoney
Chief of Police
Miami, FL

Dear Chief Timoney:

It has come to the attention of the Greater Miami Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida that within the past week or so City of Miami police officers have repeatedly threatened to arrest homeless persons around the western bridge area of the Julia Tuttle Causeway for trespass upon public property. Specifically, homeless persons who are sleeping in the grassy areas on either side of the overpass have been warned by City of Miami police officers that, unless they move their bedding, tents and other personal belongings off the grass and underneath the overpass, they will be arrested for trespass to public property and their possessions will be destroyed.

This harassment of homeless individuals residing around the causeway overpass contravenes the letter, as well as the spirit, of the Settlement Agreement, to which the City of Miami was a signatory, in Pottinger, et. al, v. City of Miami, Case No. 88-2406-CIV-Atkins, a copy of which is attached for your convenience.

That Agreement concluded litigation against the City of Miami for violating the rights of homeless individuals by arresting them under various city ordinances and state statutes for engaging in "life sustaining conduct" on public property where there was no available shelter in which they could live. The Agreement defines "life sustaining conduct" as, inter alia, "eating, sleeping, sitting, congregating, or walking in public."

Para. VII (14)(C)(1). The Agreement defines "Homeless Person" as one who "lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate night time residence and has a primary night-time residency that is: . . .(c) a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings." Para. VII(10). "Public Property" is defined to include "all property owned by any governmental entity (federal, state, or local)," Para. VII (12), unless exempt pursuant to Para VII(12a).

Under the Agreement, City of Miami police officers may not warn, let alone arrest, a homeless person for sleeping on public property unless there is "available shelter," the officer has advised the person of and offered the "available shelter," and the homeless person has refused to accept it. Para. VII (14)(C)(2). Specifically, the homeless person to whom available shelter has not been offered may not be arrested, or threatened with arrest, for trespass by sleeping on public property, or for other misdemeanors conceivably associated with life sustaining conduct, such as sleeping in vehicles, littering, camping, erecting temporary structures in parks, etc. Para. VII(14)(C)(3)(a)-(k). Furthermore, the City is enjoined to "respect the personal property of all homeless people," even where arrest is permitted. VII(14)(F)(1). "In no event shall any city official or worker destroy any personal property known to belong to a homeless person, or readily recognizable" as such. Id.

As you are no doubt aware, the people residing under and around the western bridge area of the Julia Tuttle Causeway are homeless sex offenders. They are homeless because municipal and county residency restrictions have created vast exclusionary zones which have rendered virtually all affordable housing off-limits to them. They are engaging in life-sustaining conduct on public property that is not exempt under Para. VII(12a). Furthermore, because they are sex offenders, the homeless shelters in the City of Miami will not take them in. There is therefore no available shelter for this group of people. The Settlement Agreement is clear and unambiguous on this point: where a person is homeless, is engaging in life-sustaining conduct on non-exempt public property, and there is no available shelter for him, City of Miami police officers are prohibited from arresting or threatening to arrest him for trespass, and are prohibited from destroying, or threatening to destroy, his personal belongings.

Nor is there any basis under the Agreement for forcing the homeless persons residing around the causeway overpass, under threat of arrest or confiscation of personal property, to move their belongings under the overpass. The City of Miami has no right to require that its homeless population make itself invisible. The City of Miami is precluded by the Agreement from resorting to arrest and threats of arrest to achieve such a goal. The homeless population around the causeway will continue, inevitably, to grow -- as the exclusionary zones spread, with each additional bus stop, school and day care center, and as the number of sex offenders who have completed their sentences and are therefore released from prison increases as well. Just as the Pottinger Settlement established that the City of Miami may not "solve" its general homeless problem by sweeping it into jail, the City may not "solve" this particular homeless problem by sweeping it under a bridge.

We ask, therefore, that City of Miami police officers immediately be directed to cease and desist from arresting or threatening to arrest homeless sex offenders residing around the causeway overpass for trespass, and from destroying, or threatening to destroy, their personal belongings. We ask further that you notify us in writing forthwith (addressed to Ms. Sawyer at the address below) that this direction has been given so that we may inform the homeless offenders residing around the causeway overpass that they need no longer live in fear that they will lose their liberty or their property in contravention of the Pottinger Settlement Agreement.

Absent the receipt of such notification, we will invoke the "Enforcement/Mediation" provision in Paragraph 25a of the Agreement. Pursuant to that provision, we propose a meeting to either resolve this matter or to agree upon a mediator. If we do not receive requested notification within 48 hours, we will be in touch with your office to plan a time and place for the meeting.

Sincerely,

Carlene Sawyer
President, Miami Chapter of the ACLU of Florida
915 Palermo Avenue #105
Coral Gables, Florida 33134
Phone: (305) 299-4202
Fax: (305) 572-9922
Email: sawyerandfriends@aol.com

Jeanne Baker, Esq.
Cooperating Attorney, Miami Chapter of the ACLU of Florida

cc:
Julie Bru
City of Miami Attorney
City Attorney’s Office
444 S.W. 2nd Ave., Suite 945
Miami, FL 33130

Pedro G. Hernandez
City Manager
City of Miami City Hall
3500 Pan American Drive
Miami, FL 33133

2009 Press Releases


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)