Thursday, August 6, 2009

FL - Unintended Consequences: Where Can Sex Offenders Live?

And yet another fear-mongering news story distorting the facts. Not all living under the bridge, that are sex offenders, were not convicted of sex crimes against children! They'd know that if they examined the registry more closely, but hey, that would not make a good fear-mongering story, now would it? This video is full of BS and just statistics from one 2001 study (Folder, Archived), and I have tons of other studies which show recidivism rates as low as 3.5%. Also, why don't they take into account the draconian living conditions, which push some, but not all, to commit new crimes, and not necessarily new sex crimes? Just the typical fear-mongering, false statistics BS, for ratings, IMO!

Video Link



"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 - Romeo & Juliet

Since 2007, 121 Floridians have had their names removed from the states list of sex offenders after the passage of a Romeo and Juliet law. The statute forgives sex between consenting teenagers. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the law sets strict age limits and it did not apply to one couple that just got their life back after a 15-year nightmare.

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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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved


Sex Laws - Unjust and ineffective

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Related Story

08/06/2009

America has pioneered the harsh punishment of sex offenders. Does it work?

ONE day in 1996 the lights went off in a classroom in Georgia so that the students could watch a video. Wendy Whitaker, a 17-year-old pupil at the time, was sitting near the back. The boy next to her suggested that, since it was dark, she could perform oral sex on him without anyone noticing. She obliged. And that single teenage fumble wrecked her life.

Her classmate was three weeks shy of his 16th birthday. That made Ms Whitaker a criminal. She was arrested and charged with sodomy, which in Georgia can refer to oral sex. She met her court-appointed lawyer five minutes before the hearing. He told her to plead guilty. She did not really understand what was going on, so she did as she was told.

She was sentenced to five years on probation. Not being the most organised of people, she failed to meet all the conditions, such as checking in regularly with her probation officer. For a series of technical violations, she was incarcerated for more than a year, in the county jail, the state women’s prison and a boot camp. “I was in there with people who killed people. It’s crazy,” she says.

She finished her probation in 2002. But her ordeal continues. Georgia puts sex offenders on a public registry. Ms Whitaker’s name, photograph and address are easily accessible online, along with the information that she was convicted of “sodomy”. The website does not explain what she actually did. But since it describes itself as a list of people who have “been convicted of a criminal offence against a victim who is a minor or any dangerous sexual offence”, it makes it sound as if she did something terrible to a helpless child. She sees people whispering, and parents pulling their children indoors when she walks by.

Punish first, think later
The registry is a gold mine for lazy journalists. A local television station featured Ms Whitaker in a spot on local sex offenders, broadcasting a helpful map showing where she lives but leaving the specifics of the crime to each viewer’s fearful imagination. “My husband’s family saw me on TV,” she says. “That’s embarrassing.”

What Ms Whitaker did is no longer a crime in Georgia. The state’s sodomy laws, which in 1996 barred oral sex even between willing spouses, were struck down by court rulings in 1998 and 2003. And since 2006, thanks to a “Romeo and Juliet” clause in a sex-crimes law, consensual sex between two teenagers has been a misdemeanour, not a crime, if one partner is underage but no more than four years younger than the other.

The Romeo and Juliet clause was not retroactive, however, so Ms Whitaker is stuck on the register, and subject to extraordinary restrictions. Registered sex offenders in Georgia are barred from living within 1,000 feet of anywhere children may congregate, such as a school, a park, a library, or a swimming pool. They are also banned from working within 1,000 feet of a school or a child-care centre. Since the church at the end of Ms Whitaker’s street houses a child-care centre, she was evicted from her home. Her husband, who worked for the county dog-catching department, moved with her, lost his job and with it their health insurance.

Thanks to a lawsuit filed by the Southern Centre for Human Rights, a group that campaigns against rough justice, Ms Whitaker won an injunction allowing her to return home. But her husband did not get his job back, and now works as a labourer. The two of them are struggling financially. And Ms Whitaker is still fighting to get her name removed from the registry. “When you’re a teenager, you do stuff,” she says. “You don’t think you’ll be paying for it when you’re nearly 30.”

Every American state keeps a register of sex offenders. California has had one since 1947, but most states started theirs in the 1990s. Many people assume that anyone listed on a sex-offender registry must be a rapist or a child molester. But most states spread the net much more widely. A report by Sarah Tofte of Human Rights Watch, a pressure group, found that at least five states required men to register if they were caught visiting prostitutes. At least 13 required it for urinating in public (in two of which, only if a child was present). No fewer than 29 states required registration for teenagers who had consensual sex with another teenager. And 32 states registered flashers and streakers.

Because so many offences require registration, the number of registered sex offenders in America has exploded. As of December last year, there were 674,000 of them, according to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. If they were all crammed into a single state, it would be more populous than Wyoming, Vermont or North Dakota. As a share of its population, America registers more than four times as many people as Britain, which is unusually harsh on sex offenders. America’s registers keep swelling, not least because in 17 states, registration is for life.

Georgia has more than 17,000 registered sex offenders. Some are highly dangerous. But many are not. And it is fiendishly hard for anyone browsing the registry to tell the one from the other. The Georgia Sex Offender Registration Review Board, an official body, assessed a sample of offenders on the registry last year and concluded that 65% of them posed little threat. Another 30% were potentially threatening, and 5% were clearly dangerous. The board recommended that the first group be allowed to live and work wherever they liked. The second group could reasonably be barred from living or working in certain places, said the board, and the third group should be subject to tight restrictions and a lifetime of monitoring. A very small number “just over 100” are classified as “predators”, which means they have a compulsion to commit sex offences. When not in jail, predators must wear ankle bracelets that track where they are.

Despite the board’s findings, non-violent offenders remain listed and subject to a giant cobweb of controls. One rule, championed by Georgia’s House majority leader, banned them from living within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop. This proved unworkable. Thomas Brown, the sheriff of DeKalb county near Atlanta, mapped the bus stops in his patch and realised that he would have to evict all 490 of the sex offenders living there. Other than the bottom of a lake or the middle of a forest, there was hardly anywhere in Georgia for them to live legally. In the end Georgia’s courts stepped in and suspended the bus-stop rule, along with another barring sex offenders from volunteering in churches. But most other restrictions remain.

Sex-offender registries are popular. Rape and child molestation are terrible crimes that can traumatise their victims for life. All parents want to protect their children from sexual predators, so politicians can nearly always win votes by promising curbs on them. Those who object can be called soft on child-molesters, a label most politicians would rather avoid. This creates a ratchet effect. Every lawmaker who wants to sound tough on sex offenders has to propose a law tougher than the one enacted by the last politician who wanted to sound tough on sex offenders.

A self-defeating pillory
So laws get harsher and harsher. But that does not necessarily mean they get better. If there are thousands of offenders on a registry, it is harder to keep track of the most dangerous ones. Budgets are tight. Georgia’s sheriffs complain that they have been given no extra money or manpower to help them keep the huge and swelling sex-offenders’ registry up to date or to police its confusing mass of rules. Terry Norris of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association cites a man who was convicted of statutory rape two decades ago for having consensual sex with his high-school sweetheart, to whom he is now married. “It doesn’t make it right, but it doesn’t make him a threat to anybody,” says Mr Norris. “We spend the same amount of time on that guy as on someone who’s done something heinous.”

Money spent on evicting sex offenders cannot be spent on treating them. Does this matter? Politicians pushing the get-tough approach sometimes claim that sex offenders are mostly incorrigible: that three-quarters or even nine out of ten of them reoffend. It is not clear where they find such numbers. A study of nearly 10,000 male sex offenders in 15 American states found that 5% were rearrested for a sex crime within three years. A meta-analysis of 29,000 sex offenders in Canada, Britain and America found that 24% had reoffended after 15 years.

That is obviously still too high. Whether or not treatment can help is disputed. A Californian study of sex offenders who underwent “relapse prevention”, counselling of the sort that alcoholics get from Alcoholics Anonymous, found that it was useless. But a meta-analysis of 23 studies by Karl Hanson of Canada’s department of public safety found that psychological therapy was associated with a 43% drop in recidivism. Some offenders—particularly men who rape boys—are extremely hard to treat. Some will never change until they are too old to feel sexual urges. But some types of treatment appear to work for some people and further research could yield more breakthroughs.

Publicising sex offenders’ addresses makes them vulnerable to vigilantism. In April 2006, for example, a vigilante shot and killed two sex offenders in Maine after finding their addresses on the registry. One of the victims had been convicted of having consensual sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend when he was 19. In Washington state in 2005 a man posed as an FBI agent to enter the home of two sex offenders, warning them that they were on a “hit list” on the internet. Then he killed them.

Murders of sex offenders are rare, but harassment is common. Most of the offenders interviewed for this article said they had experienced it. “Bill”, who spent nine months in jail for having consensual sex with a 15-year-old when he was 27 and is now registered in North Carolina, says someone put up posters with his photograph on them around his district. (In at least four states, each offender’s profile on the online registry comes with a handy “click to print” function.) The local kids promptly stopped playing with Bill’s three children. And someone started leaving chopped-up sausages on his car, a possible reference to castration. Bill and his family moved house.

Jill Levenson, of Lynn University in Florida, says half of registered sex offenders have trouble finding jobs. From 20% to 40% say they have had to move house because a landlord or neighbour realised they were sex offenders. And most report feeling depressed, hopeless or afraid.

Mike” spent a year and a half behind bars for statutory rape after having sex with a girl who said she was 17, but was two years younger. He was 22 at the time. Since his release, he has struggled to hold down a job. Once, he found work as a security guard, but his probation officer told him to quit, since the uniform lent him an air of authority, which would not do.

He is now unemployed, and lives in a flophouse in Atlanta between a jail and a strip club. The area is too desolate to have any schools or parks, so he is allowed to live there. His neighbours are mostly other sex offenders and mentally ill folk who talk to themselves. “It’s Bumville,” sighs Mike. His ambition is to get a job, keep it and move out. Any job will do, he says.

Several studies suggest that making it harder for sex offenders to find a home or a job makes them more likely to reoffend. Gwenda Willis and Randolph Grace of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, for example, found that the lack of a place to live was “significantly related to sexual recidivism”. Candace Kruttschnitt and Christopher Uggen of the University of Minnesota and Kelly Shelton of the Minnesota Department of Corrections tracked 556 sex offenders on probation and found less recidivism among those with a history of stable employment.

Some bosses do not mind hiring sex offenders, if they know the full story and the offender does not seem dangerous. But an accessible online registry makes it all but certain that a colleague or a customer will find out about a sexual conviction. Sex offenders often report being sacked for no apparent reason. Mike had a job at a cake shop. His boss knew about his record. But one day, without warning, he was fired.

Publicly accessible sex-offender registries are intended to keep people safe. But there is little evidence that they do. A study by Kristen Zgoba of the New Jersey Department of Corrections found that the state’s system for registering sex offenders and warning their neighbours cost millions of dollars and had no discernible effect on the number of sex crimes. Restricting where sex offenders can live is supposed to keep them away from potential victims, but it is doubtful that this works. A determined predator can always catch a bus.

Laws that make life hard for sex offenders also affect their families. A survey by Ms Levenson found that 86% of family members felt stressed because of registration and residence rules, and 49% feared for their own safety. “It’s very difficult,” says Bill. “Pretty much all the things that make you a good father are now illegal for me to do.” He cannot take his children to a park, a pool, or a museum. He cannot be at any of their school events. And his children are ostracised. “The parents find out I’m registered and that’s it,” he sighs.

The penalties for sex offenders who break the rules can be severe. In Georgia the first time you fail to provide an accurate address or register annually with the county sheriff to be photographed and fingerprinted, you face ten to 30 years in prison. The second time: life. Yet because living on a public sex-offender registry is so wretched, many abscond.

Some states have decided that harsher sex laws are not always better. Iowa has sharply reduced the number of sex offences for which residency restrictions apply. Previously, all Iowan sex offenders who had abused children were barred from living within 2,000 feet of a school or child-care centre. Since where offenders lived was defined as where they slept, many would spend the day at home with their families and sleep at night in their cars at a highway rest stop. “That made no sense,” says Corwin Ritchie of the Iowa County Attorneys Association. “We don’t try to monitor where possible bank robbers sleep.”

The Iowan politicians who relaxed the law gave themselves cover by adding a new rule against “loitering” near schools. Mr Ritchie thinks the new rules are better, but he would rather get rid of the residency restrictions entirely and let probation officers make recommendations for each individual offender.

No quarter
Nationwide, the trend is to keep getting stricter. In 1994 Congress ordered all states that had not yet done so to set up sex-offender registries or lose some funding. Two years later it ordered them to register the most serious offenders for life. In 2006 it passed the Adam Walsh Act, named for a six-year-old boy who was kidnapped and beheaded, broadening the categories of offence for which registration is required and obliging all states to upload their registries to a national database. States had until this summer to comply with that provision. Some objected. In May they were given another year’s breathing space.

Other countries now seem to be following America’s lead. Hottest on its heels is Britain, where the sex-offenders’ registry includes children as young as 11. The British list is not open to the public, but in some areas parents may ask for a check on anyone who has unsupervised access to their child. France, too, now has a closed national directory of sex-offenders, as does Austria, which brought in some American-style movement restrictions on sex offenders earlier this year. After the disappearance in Portugal in 2007 of Madeleine McCann, a British toddler, some European politicians have called for a pan-European registry.

Human Rights Watch urges America to scale back its sex-offender registries. Those convicted of minor, non-violent offences should not be required to register, says Ms Tofte. Nor should juveniles. Sex offenders should be individually assessed, and only those judged likely to rape someone or abuse a child should be registered. Such decisions should be regularly reviewed and offenders who are rehabilitated (or who grow too old to reoffend) should be removed from the registry. The information on sex-offender registries should be held by the police, not published online, says Ms Tofte, and released “on a need-to-know basis”. Blanket bans on all sex offenders living and working in certain areas should be abolished. Instead, it makes sense for the most dangerous offenders sometimes to face tailored restrictions as a condition of parole.

That package of reforms would bring America in line with the strictest laws in other rich countries. But few politicians would have the courage to back it. “Jane”, the mother of a sex offender in Georgia, says she sent a letter to her senator, Saxby Chambliss, urging such reforms. “They didn’t even read it,” she says. “They just sent me a form letter assuring me that they were in favour of every sex offender law, and that [Senator Chambliss] has grandchildren he wants to protect.”


"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


MI - Hysteria over parolees threatens rehab efforts

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08/06/2009

By JEFF GERRITT

Recidivism and crime rates have fallen in the last two years, as parole rates have gone up. You wouldn't know it, though, by listening to Warren Mayor James Fouts, or Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, or many other politicians and pundits across the state who suggest that hordes of newly released felons are putting us all at risk. Fearmongering and hysteria threaten to take Michigan back to the failed lock-'em-up-'till-they-drop prison policies of the last three decades.

The latest battleground is Warren, where Fouts has accused the state of turning his city into a dumping ground for sex offenders and drug addicts. He wants the Self-Help Addiction Rehabilitation (SHAR) center on Chicago Road to move, charging that he was not properly notified that the residential treatment center would take ex-prisoners after opening in June. Not so, say SHAR administrators, who showed me a July 1 letter, signed by Fouts, welcoming SHAR to Warren.

In any case, this beef has generated more heat than light. "Warren is not a penal colony," proclaimed a sign across from SHAR on Saturday. When I spoke to protesters, they objected to prisoners getting "early releases" and feared Michigan would become a dumping ground for California convicts.

In truth, the state has granted no early releases. All released prisoners, including those at SHAR, have served at least a minimum sentence. As for California, even if Michigan takes some of its inmates, it would send them back before they're paroled.

Michigan has increased parole rates, including those for sex offenders, who make up 20% of Michigan's 47,500 prisoners. But state prisons still hold more than 11,000 inmates who have served their sentences and are eligible for parole. It's worth noting, too, that most sex offenders are not pedophiles. A 17-year-old boy convicted of having sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend, for example, would be classified as a sex offender and placed on the state's sex offender registry.

Fouts objects to SHAR's location across from a private volleyball club. But where should SHAR go? So far, the Warren center has two dozen clients, mostly parolees who come from the Macomb area. About half are sex offenders. No one wants them around, and state law restricts them from living within 1,000 feet of a school, park, day care center or playground. So urban settings are largely off-limits. Ann Arbor, for example, has 134 parks.

In Miami, local laws have virtually forced sex offenders to live under a bridge linking Miami to Miami Beach -- and now they're getting booted out of there. Such restrictions force parolees into homelessness and make it nearly impossible for police to track them.

The risks are far smaller at SHAR, where parole officers and police will have on-site offices. Most offenders wear electronic tethers and get treated for addictions and other problems. SHAR has had no problems with residents, said chief executive officer Dwight Vaughter. Nor has the Detroit-based nonprofit had any serious breaches in working with corrections clients for more than 20 years.

Warren isn't the only spot hyperventilating. Prosecutor Cooper is suing the state for a list of felons scheduled for release. Television crews have camped outside hotels in Grand Rapids where some sex offenders stay. Some YMCAs are expelling registered sex offenders. This isn't public safety; it's a 21st Century witch hunt.

Nearly all prisoners will get out after serving their sentences. The state can either release them into supervised treatment, or cast them aside like lepers and push them into more crime.

Fear and hysteria will drag Michigan down. Spending $2 billion a year on prisons -- more than the state spends on higher education -- has failed to make Michigan citizens any safer than states with far fewer prisons.

Lowering the state's bloated prison population by 3,500 this year is the only bold step Gov. Jennifer Granholm has taken, but so far her critics have dominated the debate. It's time Granholm grabbed the mike and told the people not to believe the hype.


"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


Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Concert


Les Misérables, colloquially known as Les Mis or Les Miz, is a musical composed in 1980 by the French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg with a libretto by Alain Boublil, and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Sung through, it is one of the most performed musicals worldwide. On October 8, 2006, the show celebrated its 21st anniversary on London's West End and became the longest-running West End musical in history the following performance. It is still running (though it has changed venues).[1]

Among the most famous songs of this Tony Award-winning musical are "Castle On A Cloud", "I Dreamed a Dream", "One Day More", "A Heart Full of Love", "Stars", "Bring Him Home", "Do You Hear the People Sing?", "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables", "Master of the House", "Red and Black", "A Little Fall of Rain", and "On My Own".

The musical is based on the 1862 novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. Set in early 19th-century France, it follows the intertwining stories of a cast of characters as they struggle for redemption and revolution. The characters include a paroled convict named Jean Valjean who, after failing to find work as an honest man, breaks his parole and conceals his identity; the police inspector Javert who becomes obsessed with finding Valjean; Fantine, the single mother who is forced to become a prostitute to support her daughter Cosette; Cosette, who, after her mother's death, becomes Jean Valjean's adopted daughter and who eventually falls in love with a revolutionary student named Marius Pontmercy; the Thénardiers, the unscrupulous innkeepers who initially foster Cosette, and who thrive on cheating and stealing; Eponine, their young daughter who is hopelessly in love with Marius; Gavroche, a young beggar boy and the young son of the Thénardiers; and a student leader Enjolras who plans the revolt to free the oppressed lower classes of France. The main characters are joined by an ensemble that includes prostitutes, student revolutionaries, factory workers, and others.




"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


Born again American!

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Lyrics:
Just a workin’ man without a job
It got shipped off to China via Washington, D.C.
And I know I’m nothin’ special, there are plenty more like me
Just the same
I thought I knew the rules of the game

I stood up for this country that I love
I came back from the desert to a wife and kids to feed
I’m not sayin’ Uncle Sam should give me what I need
My offer stands
I’ll pull my weight you give me half a chance

I went up to a congressman and said to him “you know
Our government is letting people down”
He said he’d need a lot of help to buck the status-quo
I said there was a bunch of us around

I’m a Born Again American, conceived in Liberty
My Bible and the Bill of Rights, my creed’s equality
I’m a Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream from sea to shining sea

My brother’s welding chassis at the plant
He’s earning what our granddad did in 1948
While CEOs count bonuses behind the castle gates
How can they see
When all they care about’s the do re mi

It’s getting where there’s nowhere left to turn
Not since the crash of twenty-nine have things been so unfair
So many of our citizens are living in despair
The time has come
To reaffirm that hope’s not just for some

The promise of America’s surrendering to greed
The rule is just look out for number one
But brace yourself ‘cause some of us have sown a different seed
A harvest of the spirit has begun

I’m a Born Again American conceived in liberty
My Bible and The Bill Of Rights
My creed’s equality
A Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream from sea to shining sea

It’s clear my country’s soul is on the line
She’s hungering for something that she lost along the way
The principle the framers called upon us to obey
That in this land
The people’s will must have the upper hand

I felt the calling once before and took a sacred vow
And faithful to that vow I have remained
I hear the calling once again, my country needs me now
And to her cause I have been re-ordained

I’m a Born Again American conceived in liberty
My Bible and the Bill Of Rights, all people living free
A Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream
From sea to shining sea
And everyone who shares the dream
From sea to shining sea
A M E R I C A



"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


UK - Aussie Sought in New Madeleine McCann Twist

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08/06/2009

By ANTONELLA LAZZERI

AN Australian woman believed to hold vital clues to Madeleine McCann's abduction will today become the target of a worldwide hunt.

Private detectives investigating the tot's disappearance for parents Kate and Gerry say the woman spoke to a Brit outside a bar in Barcelona, Spain, three days after Maddie went missing.

Details of the conversation - which only came to light when the witness came forward in recent weeks - have not been revealed.

But a source close to the investigation said: "What this Australian is reported to have said is of enough significant interest to launch a hunt for her."

"We don't know where she is."

"She could still be in Spain, back in Australia, or anywhere else."

"But we need to find her quickly."

Former police chief Dave Edgar, leading the McCanns' investigation team, will unveil an e-fit image of the woman at a press conference in London and appeal for anyone who knows her to come forward.

He will also identify the Barcelona bar.

The British witness, who was on holiday, says he spoke to the woman during the night of May 6, 2007.

The source said: "He only came forward recently and there are reasons for that."

"He has been checked out and seems a credible source."

"The conversation took place three days after Maddie went missing, when few details about her abduction had been reported."

Maddie, who would now be six, was snatched from her bed at a holiday resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3.

There have been several reported sightings of Maddie in Australia.

Kate and Gerry, both 41, of Rothley, Leics, are aware of the new development.


"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


MA - Lew Evangelidis on Sex Offender Laws

State Representative Lew Evangelidis (Email) (R-Holden) debates legislation to make our sex offender laws tougher.




"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 - Skynyrd drummer trial set

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08/06/2009

By RICHARD PRIOR

Whether Thomas Delmer Pyle stays free or spends the next several years in prison may hinge on whether a judge and jury decide he had to register as a sex offender in Florida, even if he lived in another state.

The former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer, who performed as Artimus Pyle, has been charged with failing to properly register as a sex offender and committing unlawful acts in relation to a driver's license.

He was arrested Nov. 19, 2007, and held for a day in the St. Johns County jail before he was released on $10,000 bond.

His attorneys, Craig Williams and Tom Cushman, argued Tuesday that Pyle had broken no law and the charges should be dismissed. St. Johns County Circuit Judge Wendy W. Berger denied the motion to dismiss and set Wednesday for a docket call, the last hearing before trial.

The trial is scheduled for Aug. 24 if an acceptable deal isn't worked out between the defense and prosecutors.

Pyle pleaded guilty in Duval County in 1993 to attempted capital sexual battery on a child younger than 12 and being a principal to lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 16 years old.

"He was very, very reluctant to do that," co-counsel Craig Williams said Tuesday. "But he decided he didn't want to have (the alleged victims) forced to testify."

He was sentenced to eight years probation and designated a sex offender.

After Pyle completed his probation requirements, he and his family moved from St. Johns County to Asheville, N.C., in October 2002, said co-counsel Tom Cushman.

Pyle notified the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office that he was changing addresses, Cushman said.

"When Pyle and his family relocated ... he was no longer required by law to register as a sex offender with the State of Florida," Cushman wrote in a motion to dismiss the new charge.

While living in Asheville, Pyle got a notice in 2007 to reinstate his Florida driver's license, which had been suspended in a dispute over child support payments, said Cushman.

"In fact, his obligation to pay child support in Jacksonville no longer existed because the children had become adults," according to Cushman's motion. "Pyle was eventually able to get that mistake corrected."

The error had actually been corrected, Cushman said, before the Duval County Clerk's Office mailed the license renewal notice to Pyle in North Carolina.

His client "truthfully answered the question regarding whether he had been designated a sex offender" when he filled out the paperwork for a new license in St. Augustine, said Cushman.

What Pyle didn't correct before returning to North Carolina was his former Crescent Beach address on his new driver's license.

The Department of Motor Vehicles notified the Sheriff's Office that a license had been reissued to a sex offender. A detective went to the Crescent Beach address and learned that Pyle didn't live there.

The officer left a business card; Pyle called him and said he was planning on coming back to Florida.

The defendant was arrested for failing to properly register when he returned to St. Johns County a month later.

Cushman argued Tuesday that Pyle didn't have to register until he actually changed homes.

"Pyle did not indicate in any of his conversations (with the detective) that he had already established a residence in Florida, but rather that at some unspecified time in the future he was planning on doing so," Cushman argued.

Assistant State Attorney Adam Warren said, to prove the main charge, all the state has to show Pyle is a sex offender who went to the DMV to renew his license and used an inaccurate address on the application.

The state statute does not limit the registration of sex offenders to Florida residents, he argued.

Cushman suggested that the state may be putting itself in the position of requiring all sex offenders nationwide to register in 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)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues, All Rights Reserved


FL - Gov. Charlie Crist seems to want it both ways, and showing his hypocrisy as well.

On the Governor's web site is this statement:

Civil Rights

Governor Crist believes that once a prisoner serves his or her debt to society, the state should automatically restore his or her civil rights so that the ex-offender may vote and become gainfully employed.

Over the years, Governor Crist has been a leader in the civil rights movement. In the 2003 Legislative Session, one of the Governor’s top priorities was passage of the Dr. Marvin Davies Florida Civil Rights Act which enabled the Attorney General to bring a civil rights action against those who engage in a pattern or practice of discrimination or for issues of great public interest.

Maybe they should change the Constitution to read (Thanks to Triedbyconscience):

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, (except for sex offenders), establish justice (unless injustice furthers your career), insure domestic tranquility (unless you can scare the bejeezus out of people and get them to vote for you) provide for the common defense (common means 'your own defense'), promote the general welfare (by making sure you get paid and can lie enough), and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity (except for anyone different from your current beliefs), do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America (and my political career).


"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 - 28 page list of all NY local RSO residency laws

View the PDF article here | Archived PDF

NYS Sex Offender Residency Restriction Laws

July 15, 2009

DCJS - Office of Sex Offender Management 4 Tower Place Albany, NY 12203

The New York State Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) does not restrict where a registered sex offender may live or travel. However, some local laws (county, city, town or village) restrict where a registered sex offender may live or travel.

PLEASE NOTE: These local laws, charted below, are made available for informational purposes only. The Office of Sex Offender Management (OSOM) attempts to ensure that the information is accurate and complete but cannot guarantee the accuracy of the laws presented as this information is obtained from outside sources. Therefore, this chart should not be relied upon as a complete record of all residency restrictions in New York State nor as a substitute for the law itself.

In the event that errors are found, kindly contact OSOM.


"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


ARC RADIO - ***Special Guest*** Ellen Friedrich

Hosted by: RealityUSA

Title: ***Special Guest*** Ellen Friedrich

Time: 08/05/2009 09:30 PM EDT

Episode Notes: Please join us August 5, as we hear at Americans Reality Check (ARC) welcomes Ellen Friedrich, a educator of Human Sexuality at a Brooklyn College, to the show. Recently, Dr. Friedrich wrote a article titled, 15 shocking sex laws which are screwing the American people. From her article, she states, Here are fifteen recent examples highlighting the fact the land of the free, the freedom to express your sexuality can still be pretty limited. The 15 shocking tales list some high profile cases which in some instances have drawn the public and medias attention, which caused these archaic laws to be repealed. Not only being a Educator at a college and author of several pieces and blogs, Dr. Friedrich runs the GLBT Teens for about.com and writes lessons for the Southern Poverty Law Center, teaching tolerance programs. Friedrich, also has, written on gurl.com on sex education and you can view her stories here: www.sexedvice.com We are honored to have Ellen Friedrich join us on ARC as we discuss her work, her writings and thoughts on sex education and human sexuality.




"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 - Sex Offender Calls Rejected Ordinance Too Broad

View the article here

See the video at the site above, or the YouTube Video.

08/05/2009

_____ Successfully Fought Dover Residency Restrictions

ROCHESTER - A convicted sex offender who took his case against the city of Dover's residency restrictions and won said Wednesday that he fought the law because the ordinance painted sex offenders with the same broad brush.

_____ successfully fought Dover's ordinance that prohibited convicted sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a school or day care. This week, a judge agreed the ordinance violated _____' rights and threw it out.

"There are a lot of decent men and women out there who are registered sex offenders," he said. "Very decent people that have just made some really poor decisions in their lives."

The ordinance meant that _____ couldn't live in a Locust Street apartment with his then-fiancee because it was too close to a kindergarten.

"This ordinance blanketed all sex offenders," _____ said. "And to me, there's so many levels of sex offenses."

Ten years ago, _____ admitted, he had sex with a teenager when he was 32. He said that he has owned up to his past. During an interview with News 9, he was quick to correct his wife when she tried to defend what he did as "a simple mistake."

"No, it wasn't a mistake, not a mistake," he said. "It was a poor decision. There's no such thing as a mistake on something like this. There's just not."

But _____ said Dover's ordinance wouldn't let him move on after serving his sentence. He and his wife now live in Rochester.

_____ maintains he is not violent. But he and his wife said they did consider the ramifications of sex offenders of all kinds now being able to live anywhere they want in Dover.

"Well yeah, we both did," said his wife, Janice _____. "At one point, he almost wanted to drop the whole case because of that."

"The ordinance has basically portrayed to the public that all sex offenders are dangerous -- watch out," Richard _____ said. "And I think that's really ethically wrong."

City officials have a different take on this. On Tuesday, Dover's police chief said the ordinance was a tool to help protect children, and now it's one less tool police have. He said the city hasn't yet decided whether to appeal the judge's ruling.

There are at least five other communities in the state with similar ordinances that restrict where sex offenders live, including Franklin, Northfield, Tilton, Holderness and Boscawen. Officials in those towns said they are closely monitoring what Dover officials decide to do.


"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


IN - New Castle detective resigns over child porn charges

View the article here

08/05/2009

By Jeremy Brilliant

Henry County - A New Castle Police detective is facing child pornography charges. Ross Frame resigned from the force Wednesday morning after nearly 20 years of service.

The complaint was filed early Tuesday morning with New Castle Police. A mother came to police headquarters with her 17-year-old daughter claiming Detective Ross Frame had taken nude photographs of the teen and the files were on his computer.

"We had evidence presented to us that we knew that at least we had probable cause that a crime had occurred," said Chief Jim Nicholson, New Castle Police Department.

According to the Department of Justice complaint, Frame is accused of videotaping sex acts between himself and the girl, who was 16 at the time. Frame was a member of the New Castle Police Department during that time.

The department acted swiftly, first notifying the Henry County Sheriff's Department and US Attorney's office. Within hours, Chief Jim Nicholson took one of his own officers into custody.

"We in law enforcement can't look the other way. These crimes have been alleged to have occurred and he made a very bad mistake and he violated the public's trust," said Chief Nicholson.

Frame was with the department 19 and a half years working his way up from patrolman to sergeant. He was most recently a detective without any serious disciplinary issues that entire time. His arrest has come as a shock to co-workers.

New Castle Mayor Jim Small confirmed Frame's resignation was accepted.

"Since it is an ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate for me to say anything more at this time," said Mayor Small.

A department of just 32 officers is now one less.

"You go from wanting to wake up - you know, it's a bad dream, to justice will be served and we're not above the law," said Chief Nicholson.

Frame was married but separated and had custody of his two children.

The complaint also says that officers found "numerous high quality duplications of United States $20 bills and a high quality duplication of an Indiana driver's license" among Frame's belongings.

Frame faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison on each production count, and maximum of ten years on the single possession count, and a $250,000 fine.

Anyone with information that may be relevant to the investigation should call the ICE Tip Line at 1-866-347-2423.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.

DOJ reminder: A complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.




"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