Monday, August 3, 2009

TX - ACLU of Texas Tribute to Ruth Epstein

ACLU of Texas

This was played at the ACLU of Texas Annual Meeting on Aug. 1, 2009, shortly before Ruth Epstein was presented with a lifetime achievement award.

A little more about Ruth:

Ruth is a civil liberties activist based in Austin. Her relationship with the ACLU dates back to 1950, when she first became a card-carrying member.

Mrs. Epsteins first act of activism took place, when she was still in high school. She organized for Penny Milk. At the time, the Department of Agriculture had a policy of dumping surplus milk. When considering the number of people who could not afford milk and the gallons going to waste, Ruth was appalled by the policy, so she marched to have the policy changed.

In 1958, Ruth and her husband moved to Austin. She was an active member of the Travis County Democratic Womens Committee for 20 years, where she served as a watchdog over the city council. When her daughter joined the city council,Ruth resigned from the women's committee and joined the Texas ACLU.

Most Austinites know Ruth as the producer and host of Taking Liberties, a public access television program treating local and national civil liberties related issues. One the show, subjects such as net neutrality, racial profiling and prisoner abuse at Guantanamo are discussed. According to Ruth, Taking Liberties services the community by educating people on the entire constitution. As Mrs. Epstein laments, People just dont know what rights they have. Her show is an attempt to change that sad fact. Ruth can often be seen handing out pocket sized constitutions for the very same reason.

Ruth's activism reaches far beyond the scope of television. Currently, she tracks sex offender legislation for the ACLU of Texas. Her expertise in this field recently earned her the right to testify before members of the Texas Legislature on behalf of the ACLU of Texas. She is also a member of the lege team for the ACLU of Texas and the Vice President of the Central Texas Chapter of the ACLU. As Vice President, she handles public affairs for the group and works with coalition members, such as the NAACP or LULAC, to advance civil liberties at the state capitol.

Ruth's selfless and lifelong dedication to the rights of others has been an inspiration to all who have had the pleasure of knowing her.

Video Link | YouTube Channel

"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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved

CA - California, still playing the sex offender shuffle, after many years!

Video is dated August 3rd, 2009

Video is dated August 19th, 2006

"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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved

The consumption of Internet child pornography and violent and sex offending

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Background: There is an ongoing debate on whether consumers of child pornography pose a risk for hands-on sex offenses. Up until now, there have been very few studies which have analyzed the association between the consumption of child pornography and the subsequent perpetration of hands-on sex offenses. The aim of this study was to examine the recidivism rates for hands-on and hands-off sex offenses in a sample of child pornography users using a 6 year follow-up design.

Methods: The current study population consisted of 231 men, who were subsequently charged with consumption of illegal pornographic material after being detected by a special operation against Internet child pornography, conducted by the Swiss police in 2002. Criminal history, as well as recidivism, was assessed using the criminal records from 2008.

Results: 4.8% (n = 11) of the study sample had a prior conviction for a sexual and/or violent offense, 1% (n = 2) for a hands-on sex offense, involving child sexual abuse, 3.3% (n = 8) for a handsoff sex offense and one for a nonsexual violent offense. When applying a broad definition of recidivism, which included ongoing investigations, charges and convictions, 3% (n = 7) of the study sample recidivated with a violent and/or sex offense, 3.9% (n = 9) with a hands-off sex offense and 0.8% (n = 2) with a hands-on sex offense.

Conclusion: Consuming child pornography alone is not a risk factor for committing hands-on sex offenses – at least not for those subjects who had never committed a hands-on sex offense. The majority of the investigated consumers had no previous convictions for hands-on sex offenses. For those offenders, the prognosis for hands-on sex offenses, as well as for recidivism with child pornography, is favorable.

"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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved

NY - Summer of Pervert Hysteria: 1937

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By David J. Krajicek

It was the summer of 1937, and New York was lousy with sex perverts.

Or so said the press and the politicians.

It all began that March, when the molested body of Einer Sporrer, 9, was found in a burlap bag tossed like trash on a Brooklyn stoop.

Sal Ossido, 26, a neighborhood barber with a thing for little girls, confessed that he had bludgeoned Einer with a hammer, then raped her. The case aroused citizens to "lynch madness," as the Daily News put it.

Four months later, Paula Magagna, 8, was murdered and raped in a Brooklyn basement by another degenerate, Lawrence Marks, 49, a hospital orderly with two child sex convictions.

When a third girl was molested and murdered that August, the city fell into a full-blown pervert panic.

"This is a shocking situation," said state Sen. John McNaboe, a Manhattan Tammany Democrat who had made a career opposing Commies, reefer and deviants. "The third little girl to be murdered in a few months - a fine record and example of law enforcement for the rest of the nation."

Police Commissioner Lewis Valentine cautioned against hysteria, but it was too late.

Full-blown parental panic

At a meeting of 1,000 riled parents in Ridgewood, Queens, mothers were advised against putting their daughters outside in sunsuits, to deter molesters who might be inspired to act by the sight of bare skin.

One expert suggested parents should "train children to keep away from lonely places and refuse candy and other gratuities from strangers."

Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia weighed in against revolving-door justice for degenerates.

"There are many legal loopholes through which these offenders can now escape full punishment for their crimes," he said. "But God help the judge who turns one of these men loose if anything happens afterward."

Time magazine used the opportunity to introduce America to a fancy word for the latest "prevalent type of lunatic." "Pedophilia," the magazine explained to its readers, is "the lust of mature men for prepubescent children."

The third victim that summer was Joan Kuleba, just 4. She disappeared from South Beach, S.I., on Aug. 12.

Joan lived with her parents on E. 38th St. in Manhattan but was staying near South Beach with her aunt Grace Lesandi because her mother was ill.

The child went to the boardwalk that morning with older cousins but drifted off on her own. Lesandi went to police when the girl didn't return home for lunch.

Cops found her shoes and socks under the boardwalk. They guessed that she had wandered into the water, and officers began the grim duty of tossing grappling hooks into the surf.

But the next day, Simon Elmore, 57, a Stapleton, S.I., house painter, rushed up to police and said he had found the girl's body in the cellar of a derelict beach shack.

Detectives found her nude body beneath a 50-pound chunk of bricks and mortar. She had been strangled with her swimsuit straps and sexually molested.

Elmore explained that he and a fisherman, William Hann, were walking past the shack when they glanced through the cellar door and spotted the body.

But Hann told police he wasn't at the shack. He said he was fishing when Elmore approached and told him he had found the missing girl.

Detective R.J. Hanlon sat Elmore down for a talk to try to discern why he would lie about the circumstances of finding the body.

In the meantime, witnesses stepped up to say that they had seen Elmore, slightly built but described as "hard and sullen-looking," walking on the beach with a young girl with blond curls, just like little Joan.

Lured by a grasshopper

A throng of scribes and piqued Staten Islanders gathered at the St. George precinct stationhouse as word leaked that Elmore had gone from witness to suspect.

Finally, Hanlon emerged to report that Elmore had confessed after "24 hours of ceaseless questioning."

Elmore lured the girl to her death with the simplest of enticements: a grasshopper in a milk bottle.

"She was a pretty little thing," the pervert painter said of the innocent 4-year-old, according to Hanlon.

Elmore had had been locked up plenty of times over the previous 20 years, mostly for drunken brawling and wife beating. A year before the murder, he was put under psychiatric care after he flashed his own adolescent daughter.

He was tried and condemned twice for killing Joan Kuleba. An appellate court threw out his first conviction because the judge suggested that jurors could all but ignore his alibi that he spent the day of the murder with his wife.

Hours before Elmore's scheduled execution on Jan. 13, 1939, Gov. Herbert Lehman commuted his sentence to life in prison, citing errors in both trials.

Sen. McNaboe screeched, editorials writers squawked, and the rank-and-file Sweeneys of New York grumbled.

But the city was appeased by the fact that although Elmore was spared, both Sal Ossido and Lawrence Marks had been executed for the other two pervert murders of 1937.

Led by the NYPD, police departments across the country redoubled their efforts against deviants, and many formed specialized sex-crime units.

Experts began pressing authorities to consider the social causes and mental conditions of sexual psychopaths. In New York, Police Commissioner Valentine vowed that a team of officers would be assigned to keep tabs on the city's sexual deviants.

Of course, no new political or police initiative solved the degenerate problem.

Before long, girls in New York were back in their sunsuits. Simon Elmore rotted in prison, and the summer of perverts was all but forgotten.

"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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved

NH - Court shoots down Dover sex offender ordinance

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By Aaron Sanborn

DOVER — A registered sex offender has won his battle against the city's sex offender ordinance after a district court judge ruled it unconstitutional.

District Court Judge Mark Weaver issued a ruling Friday that stated Dover City Code, 131-20, which prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a school or day care center, is unconstitutional because it violates _____' equal protection rights.

The ordinance came under challenge last year by the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, which filed a motion to dismiss the ordinance on behalf of _____.

As a result of the decision, the city will no longer enforce the ordinance, Police Chief Anthony Colarusso said this afternoon.

"We're disappointed in the ruling and at this point we're weighing our options on whether or not it should be appealed to the Supreme Court," he said.

The city has 30 days to decide whether or not it will appeal the decision. In that time, Colarusso said he would be consulting with City Attorney Allan Krans, City Manager Mike Joyal and the state Attorney General's Office.

"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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved

OK - Sexual Predator Insanity

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By Paul Elam

At sixteen, Ricky Blackman was fairly typical of teen-age boys. He loved sports, especially basketball and football, and played them well enough to have realistic hopes for a scholarship. He liked socializing and hanging out with his friends. And girls—of course there were always the girls.

His Middle American upbringing produced unsurprising ambitions. He dreamed of serving his country in the Navy after school, and ultimately of a career in law enforcement. He was, by all accounts, a healthy and well adjusted young man.

Skip ahead three years, and you’ll find Ricky and his life have changed radically. He takes private instruction in web design because he isn’t welcome on a campus. He no longer trusts the law he once wanted to serve, and, when in the presence of young women, he panics and withdraws. In fact, his life, once so full of promise and hope, is now little more than a daily struggle to survive, and a challenge to even find reasons for doing so.

While Ricky’s view of the world has changed since his younger days, it is nothing compared to the way the world’s view of Ricky has changed. He has become the ultimate pariah and outcast. He is, at least in the eyes of most, pernicious persona non grata; human refuse hardly worthy of life itself.

It all started before his seventeenth birthday. Ricky was at a local hang out for teens and met a girl there. Amanda was from his area, said she was fifteen years old and they seemed to have much in common. They began seeing each other, and eventually had sex on two occasions.

The encounters would undo the rest of his life.

Like many young people trying to impress someone they like, Amanda lied to Ricky about her age. She later told Ricky’s mother, Mary Duval, that she was only fourteen, and pled with her not to let Ricky know. Mary promptly told her son of the confession, and he cut off the romance immediately. They found out later that she still wasn’t being entirely honest.

Later Amanda, a runaway, became involved with the police, who discovered her prior ties with Ricky. She admitted the sexual relationship to the police during questioning. She also admitted that she had lied to Ricky about her age. After evaluating the situation, Amanda’s parents weren’t interested in pressing charges and the police weren’t interested in making an arrest. Until, that is, the Dallas County (Iowa) District Attorney’s office got wind of the case.

Shortly after Ricky turned seventeen, he was questioned by the police. His mother was present, and it was her instinct to remove Ricky from the interview. But she had just undergone surgery on her eyes and was disoriented due to the post-operative medications she was taking, so she allowed Ricky’s then-stepfather to handle things. Unfortunately, the stepfather wanted the matter quickly resolved, and signed a waiver for the police to question him without legal counsel.

The police had something they wanted Ricky to sign as well.

It was a simple statement that he had, in fact, had sexual relations with Amanda. Ricky was apprehensive, but he signed. It was, after all, the truth. And in Ricky’s world, the truth served an honest person well.

Sorry to tell you,” the police officer told Ricky after he had signed the statement. “Amanda admitted she lied to you about her real age, but she was only thirteen.”

It probably wasn’t the tactics Ricky envisioned, when he thought of becoming a police officer: Get a kid to sign a confession, and then tell him what he just confessed to. Ricky’s naivet√© took a hard blow. But it was only the first of many times that the real world would land on him like a Mack Truck.

The officer told him that the case would be sent back to the D.A., and that it might come to nothing since Amanda had confessed to lying about her age. He also advised him, in a rare moment of clarity and honesty from the system, that it could go either way.

The Arrest Made the Papers

Ten days later, Ricky was handcuffed in front of his friends and taken to jail. He was charged as an adult with two counts of third degree sexual abuse, a felony. In an almost artistic manipulation of timing and the system, police and prosecutors used laws applying only to juveniles to garner evidence and a confession, and then used it all to charge him criminally as an adult.

He was threatened with twenty years in prison (more time than he’d yet been alive), but that was only the beginning of a two-pronged assault on his life. When the arrest made the papers, complete with Ricky’s full name, address, and the nature of the charges against him, the community in which he had lived and thrived turned on him in an instant.

When Ricky and Mary went food shopping, cashiers in one line at a local grocery store refused to check them out, forcing them to go to another line while other customers glared. His younger brother, who was nine at the time, was badgered and humiliated at school.

Duval read the writing on the wall, and immediately made plans to take Ricky and his brother to Oklahoma in hopes that they could put the matter behind them. Unfortunately, the move would have to wait until the Dallas County Prosecutor’s Office was done with him.

That process began with a rare, upbeat moment that seemed to promise a partial reprieve. The prosecution offered a deal with Ricky that almost seemed reasonable, given the circumstances. He would plead guilty to one count of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, a class D felony, which would be expunged from the records if he satisfied the terms of his two-year probation. He would not have to state a felony on job applications, and, because of the adjudication, he would not be placed on a sex offenders’ registry.

It seemed like the best offer possible, all things considered, and Ricky agreed to the plea.

Ricky and his mother took their seats in the courtroom. Then, just minutes before the hearing was scheduled to begin, the state appointed attorney advised them that there had been a recent change in Iowa law.

Any plea arrangement Ricky made would be contingent on being placed on a sex abuser registry for ten years. Both Ricky and his mother erupted in tears at the news, causing a commotion in the courtroom. It took some time for them to compose themselves.

The “recent” change in the statute had happened, they would discover, nearly a year earlier, but right now, Ricky had just moments to decide whether or not to take the deal.

He didn’t want to be placed on the registry. He didn’t think it was right. But to fight it was risking two decades behind bars; a place where young men, especially those not hardened by criminal life, were sure to find out what real sexual deviance and assault are all about.

It was a double blow for Duval, who had lost her eyesight entirely, just five weeks before the hearing. Now she could lose her son.

Ricky took the deal, but almost ran into another snag with the court. The prosecution wanted Ricky to state on the record that he had lured the girl to his home for the purpose of having sex. The request was clear. In essence they wanted Ricky to commit perjury, a real crime, so they could have on the record a phony allocution to something he never did. Blackman, with courage almost unimaginable for his age and the circumstances, refused. He told the court that the sex was what they both wanted, and he wouldn‘t make a statement to the contrary.

They entered his statement into the record and closed the case. Ricky had received the adjudication, and they were now free to move away from Iowa.

It was something Ricky couldn’t wait to do. The promise of getting away and making a fresh start almost made the situation bearable.

A Fresh Start

The state of Oklahoma, and some of its citizens, had other plans.

They’d had no idea when they moved, but Oklahoma law required Ricky to register as a sexual offender for life. And because of the age difference between him and Amanda, he would be listed as a Level Three Offender, which labels him as violent and dangerous, and his crime as “aggravated.” He was placed on the sexual offender registry, and, as a result, Ricky’s life has been affected in ways that most of us cannot imagine.

Since moving to Oklahoma he has been kicked out of school, ousted from public parks, and verbally abused by neighbors and strangers. One neighbor shouted obscenities and videotaped him whenever he stepped outside his door. The same man came to their home and told Mary Duval he would not quit bothering them till she took her “child rapist” away. He was not interested in the facts surrounding Ricky’s case. He had seen everything he needed to know about Ricky Blackman on the “Offender Registry.”

Ricky cannot live or go within 2,000 feet of schools, parks or any other establishments where children are known to be present, and this forces him to live as far from town as possible. It also means he cannot attend his younger brother’s football games, or go almost anywhere where he could make and maintain friendships. He cannot even attend church unless he informs the clergy there that he is a sex offender and gets their permission.

Now that Ricky is off probation, his younger brother can have his friends in the home while Ricky is there. But most parents don’t want their children in a home with a registered sex offender. And the reality is that children around Ricky do present a dangerous vulnerability… for Ricky. Any allegation against him, even the most patently false, could have disastrous results.

His probation officer had him dismissed from the school system, saying, according to Duval, “He is a liability to them.” He was denied G.E.D classes because they were offered on a school campus, and the State Board of Education denied him online classes because he was on the registry.

Ricky was eventually allowed to take G.E.D. classes, at a local police station.

He now lives his life in near solitude, helping to take care of his mother and trying to sort out how he is going to make something of the rest of his life. He had a job in a fabrication plant, but was “laid off” when his employers discovered his history. Effectively in prison, Ricky will remain that way for the rest of his life unless something changes.

Ricky and his mother are both involved in trying to effect those changes. They have both taken the story public, and Duval has an on-line radio program to raise awareness of what the registry actually does. She has managed to get the story covered by some television stations and newspapers. She also has an internet petition demanding changes in the laws. Primary among those demands is that the states recognize the difference between sexual predation and consensual sex between teens.

In many places, including Oklahoma, the law sees no such difference, and consequently makes no legal distinction between someone who lures a child into a car and rapes them and someone like Ricky Blackman.

The Court Knew Better

It was a difference, however, that the prosecution in his case was apparently able to see, even as they held twenty years in prison over the young man’s head in order to coerce a guilty plea. It was the prosecution that recommended to the court that Blackman receive two years probation with deferred adjudication. In that recommendation, they advised the court that this course of action would be sufficient to rehabilitate the defendant.

One only need consult a mental health professional with experience dealing with sexual offenders to learn that the nearly universal perception is that recidivism for sexual offenders is high. In my considerable time in the field, it was the general consensus of clinicians that predators were untreatable, and that incarceration was the best option. (There is research that disputes all this, but in Blackman’s case, it was always perceptions that guided events, not reality.)

That being said, prosecutors are generally less generous than psychotherapists. With their recommendation to the court, the prosecution openly acceded to what everyone else in that courtroom already knew.

Ricky Blackman was not a sexual predator.

Ricky Blackman was just a kid that had sex with a girlfriend he thought was a year younger than him.

Ricky Blackman had no business being there in the first place.

At this point, though, it was too late. Blackman was caught up in a system largely devised by politicians clamoring to quell public fears about the safety of children. Fanning the flames of public outrage, and sometimes lighting them, lawmakers run for office against each other on platforms largely consisting of “tough on crime” one-upmanship. One ever more draconian measure after another is offered up as a sales pitch to a panic-ridden, woefully ignorant public that will sign on to whatever sounds the most extreme.

The result is laws that not only fail to protect our children, but in the case of Blackman and others, have actually started destroying them. Elected politicians, like prosecutors and judges, fearful of being seen as soft on crime, force people like Ricky through the legal gauntlet without compunction. They have become robotic assassins, creating unthinkable collateral damage in a war that is supposedly being waged in the public’s best interest.

Meanwhile, children are no safer on the streets than they have ever been.

His Whole Life in Front of Him

It is perhaps fitting to point to the silver linings in this story. Duval, the loss of her sight notwithstanding, has emerged as a dogged and tireless advocate for her son, and for bringing problems with the sexual offenders registry to the public’s attention.

Ricky has found some focus for the future as well, though it took some hits and misses. He wanted to get a law degree and work to change the system for the better, but he won’t be allowed to practice law anywhere, because of the registry. Now he takes private lessons in web design, a profession suited for someone who has little reason to leave the house. He also wants to reach out to young people and caution them about the hazards and consequences of teen sex. The jury remains out on whether that can ever happen.

These are thin consolations, lending neither redemption nor solace. Even if Mary Duval had not lost her eyesight, she would never again see the Ricky she knew before all this happened. Her life is, and will be, consumed with trying to find justice for her son. She openly admits this may never happen.

Ricky, at nineteen, is supposed to have his whole life in front of him. When he should be looking forward to the time he will marry and have children of his own, his path looks to be marked by a single set of footprints. His ideas on women are not what they used to be.

I don’t trust them,” he says. “When I see one looking at me I just walk away.”

Still, he is a young man with a message, albeit forged in the fires of adversity. It is a message that assaults the complacency in which we all too often and too easily find comfort.

Anybody who looks at the registry should not judge people just for being there,” he says, “There are lots of people that don’t belong. People like me. There are even people that had to pee so bad they went outside and the next thing you know someone takes a picture with a cell phone and they end up on the registry too.”

Right alongside the child rapists.

Little at this point would ameliorate the damage done to this family. The Kafkaesque tempest that overtook them three years ago still darkens every horizon and pummels the simplicity out of life that they used to take for granted. It rattles their doors and windows, as though trying to shake loose the last of their dignity. And it has swept away hope for the future, leaving behind only the solemn, desperate need for peace.

We love to think that justice is blind. But we also pray that those who administer that justice are people of vision. When systems become so twisted that the letter of the law strangles its spirit, then justice cannot exist. It will die as surely as the dreams of a teen-age boy when the world caves in around him.

Mary Duval has an online petition in Ricky’s behalf. Petition

Paul Elam is the editor of A Voice for Men

"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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved

FL - Sex offender builds real estate empire

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Registered sex offender _____ is building a small real estate empire thanks to laws restricting where registered sex offenders may live.

Registered himself, _____ owns seven Central Florida properties and manages two dozen more that he rents to offenders. His enterprise is known as "Habitat for Sex Offenders."

"When I first got out and tried to find a place to live, it was very difficult," _____ said, describing his properties as safe havens. "The first day you get out is scary. You don't know what's going to happen to you."

Florida law requires a 1,000-foot buffer between registered sex offenders and schools, day-care centers, parks, churches or libraries. Finding that kind of location -- as well as a willing landlord -- can be tricky.

A report by FLORIDA TODAY last year found that sex offenders in the county tend to live in clusters because of the difficulty in finding housing.

_____, convicted of molesting a teen boy in 2003 in Volusia County, could not move in with his mother because her home was close to a church. He said he even was rejected by what he called the "crack" hotels of Orlando's Orange Blossom Trail. Then he found a trailer in the middle of nowhere.

While attending therapy session for sex offenders, _____ made friends with several other men who had experienced similar problems. Some were staying at a hotel, but they were forced to move because a day care center was opening nearby.

"I let them move into my trailer," he said. "They were good tenants."

One thing led to another, and _____ found himself in a growing business. He lives in his only Brevard property, another trailer in Cocoa, with roommate offenders.

He said he's pursuing more property in Brevard.

"I get calls from all over for help," he said. "Landlords call me, people in foreclosure call me and parents of children getting out of prison call me for help."

Clusters useful

Child safety advocate Kevin Gillick publishes a newspaper devoted to the whereabouts of sexual offenders in the county. He said registered offenders living close together may not be a bad thing.

"I think generally it's probably easier to better supervise them when they live in one place," he said.

But Gillick also said no one should feel sorry because offenders have it tough.

"I wonder if their victims have housing," he said. "I wonder if the victims have a higher rate of homelessness than they do."

Lt. Tod Goodyear, who heads the Brevard County Sheriff's Office Sex Crimes unit, said it's not uncommon for offenders to cluster. But he said he doesn't like what _____ is doing.

"He brings in people from out of the county that normally would not be settling in Brevard," Goodyear said. "I also don't like that he's making money off of this because he knows the system as a sex offender."

Group support

_____ said he turns a profit, but isn't getting rich.

He said it's most important for him to be a good neighbor, and his rules are strict: no drinking; no children on the property, even for visitation rights; no smokings; shirts required when leaving the house.

"Some guys hate me because of the rules," he said. "But sex offenders do much better in group situations. They can share their feeling and new experiences and help each other much like Alcoholics Anonymous."

Big buffer zones

In recent years, some municipalities have made it tougher for offenders. In South Florida, for example, some cities and at least two counties have raised the buffer-zone requirements from 1,000 feet to 2,500 feet.

This, according to Lynn University Assistant Professor Jill Levenson, has created a transient and homeless population of sex offenders. The college is in Boca Raton.

On his Web site,, _____ boasts being able to find living conditions for offenders anywhere in the state.

"Our friendly and exceptional service sets us apart from others offering roach-infested, run-down motels and overcrowded, roach-infested mobile homes," it states. "Other companies cannot meet our extensive resources and long-standing relationships with the community."

"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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved