Wednesday, November 18, 2009

OH - The Plight of Homeless Sex Offenders

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By Mark Horvath

Last winter shelter season, my eyes were opened to the horrible plight of sex offenders living on the streets. Our street outreach team was called to find shelter for a man. He was a registered sex offender, so he wasn't allowed to stay at the winter shelter. He had done everything right, reported to the police and the shelter workers. But there was no shelter that would allow him to stay.

No matter what you think of the crimes this man committed, he had served his debt to society and was adhering to the terms of his punishment. Still, finding housing - even emergency shelter - proved nearly impossible.

Up until that time, I had rather a hard stance on this subject. I thought sex offenders were dangerous, a threat to society. Who cares if they have to continue paying for their crime once their jail time is up? But one look into this man's eyes gave me different point of view; he was so filled with hopelessness, so beaten down from trying to survive. It's a difficult memory.

I met Tim in Cleveland, Ohio. He's trying to make something of his life. But as a sex offender, it's nearly impossible for him to find the help he needs.

I don't know what Tim did to become a registered sex offender. But I believe an equally heinous crime might be our own society allowing people like him to suffer on the streets, sex offender or not.

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"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King - United States Constitution | Bill of Rights

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

PA - Former Monroe GOP state committeeman John Curtin granted parole

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Yep, another republican, and another slap on the wrist compared to Joe Q. Public!


Former Monroe County Republican state committeeman John Curtin has been granted parole. Curtin was sentenced in May to six to 18 months in county jail after being found guilty on sexual offense charges.

Curtin served the minimum sentence without incident. He will be taken back to Monroe County Correctional Facility and will be released from there.

Curtin will live in Stroudsburg with his mother and brother.

In 2007, a jury convicted Curtin of sexual assault and contacting or communicating with a minor to commit a sexual offense (both felonies) and indecent assault, providing alcoholic beverages to minors and corrupting minors (misdemeanors).

The charges stem from an August 2005 incident in which Curtin, then 20, sexually molested a minor, then 17, outside the Budget Host Inn in Stroudsburg, according to police.

The incident happened during a drinking party attended by some partygoers who were underage in a hotel room rented by Curtin.

Curtin admitted to renting the room and providing the alcohol, but has denied the sexual offense charges.

Conditions of the parole are that he will stay away from Ramsey School, near where his family lives, and any other school; his Internet use will be monitored; and he will attend sex offender treatment.
- Will he be a sex offender and on the registry?

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King - United States Constitution | Bill of Rights

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

MI - Detroit man accused of marching naked 15-year-old son into lot, killing him over dispute

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What a sick man! Well, I hope he spends the rest of his life in prison. Now his wife lost her son, and possibly her husband!

UPDATE: see the last video below.



HIGHLAND PARK - A 37-year-old father irate over hearing his 15-year-old son had sexual contact with a 3-year-old girl made the teen strip at gunpoint, marched him to a vacant lot and shot him to death despite pleas from the boy and his mother, a relative said.

Michigan authorities filed a first-degree murder charge Wednesday against Jamar Pinkney Sr. in the shooting death Monday of Jamar Pinkney Jr. in the Detroit enclave of Highland Park.

Defense attorney Corbett O'Meara said prosecutors should consider evidence of the father's state of mind over the sex abuse report.

"If something were to happen that would cause a reasonable person to lose control of himself, that is something the prosecution would have to take into account," O'Meara said outside Highland Park District Court.

Tensions were high in the courtroom Wednesday as the handcuffed suspect was led into the room for the arraignment, which lasted less than a minute.

"No, No, No," one female relative cried before a police officer escorted her out.

Judge Brigette Officer entered a not guilty plea for Pinkney, who's also charged with assault, and ordered him jailed without bond until a preliminary examination Dec. 1.

"This is something that's hard to deal with for all the parties concerned, including the police," police Chief Ted Caldwell said afterward. "Highland Park is a small city. These are people who have been members of the community for years."

Caldwell said the sexual misconduct allegation that led to the confrontation wasn't part of the police investigation.

The shooting happened Monday night in a vacant lot in the once-prosperous city of 16,000, where decay, abandonment, fires and demolition have eaten away at many of the sprawling homes. Highland Park recently exited years of state financial oversight.

Visitors built an impromptu memorial at the shooting site. Two votive candles sat amid 10 stuffed animals, including two white teddy bears with red hearts embroidered with, "I love you."

The boy's mother, _____, told the Detroit Free Press that her son told her he had improper sexual contact with the girl.

"I called and told his father. This isn't something you sweep under the rug," she said.

_____ said the elder Pinkney arrived at the home with a gun, ordered his son to strip and marched him outside despite her protests.

"He got on his knees and begged, `No, Daddy, No,' and he pulled the trigger," _____ said.

_____ did not immediately respond to a message Wednesday from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Video Link

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"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King - United States Constitution | Bill of Rights

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

IA - ACLU Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Review Iowa's Sex Offender Residency Restriction

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This is an old law suit, but the highlighted statement shows the intention of these laws, and should be grounds to get the laws ruled unconstitutional, because the intent is punishment, by this ladies own words! You will also notice, this law suit is 4 years old, and we still have the same problems!



DES MOINES -- The Iowa Civil Liberties Union (Contact) announced today that its is asking the Supreme Court to overturn Iowa's unprecedented law that restricts where sex offenders with victims under the age of 18 can reside. The Court will likely decide by the end of the year whether to hear the case.

As the second state in the nation to pass such a law, Iowa restricts nearly every registered sex offender from residing within 2,000 feet of a school, day care facility or registered in-home childcare provider.

"This law is not only a law enforcement nightmare, but it also breaks up families, separating parents from their children, causing homelessness and -- unless changes are made -- will likely cost the taxpayers of this state millions," said ICLU Executive Director Ben Stone. "Our jails and prisons likely are going to be filled with law-abiding citizens who served their sentence years ago, but who will be incarcerated again simply because they cannot find a place to live under this law," he added.

When the law went into effect in July 2002, the ICLU quickly filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all affected sex offenders and succeeded in getting a ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pratt in February 2004 that the law was unconstitutional. This past summer, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals overturned the ruling. The full court of appeals declined to rehear the case by a one-vote margin.

The ICLU maintains that the residency restrictions are ineffective because they do not focus on offenders who are a threat to small children and do not prevent predators from traveling to areas where children could be abducted.

At the same time, the statute amounts to the unconstitutional punishment of "banishment," the ICLU said. Indeed, maps of Des Moines and many Iowa municipalities show there is hardly anywhere for a sex offender to live.

Typically entire cities are blocked off because of the number and size of circles drawn around targeted facilities and homes.

Since September 1 of this year, law enforcement officials have been scrambling to commence enforcement of the law. Most jurisdictions have been sending law enforcement officers to the doors of registered sex offenders telling them they have to move or face arrest.

The ICLU said it is important for people to realize that the law is sweeping in whom it covers, both in scope and time.

"The 2,000-foot rule applies equally to all kinds of people who don't fit the public perception of the typical sex offender," Stone said. "The law covers cases where a 19-year-old had sex with a 15-year-old, as well as persons who pled guilty to exposing themselves at a party. And, perhaps most significantly, the law has no time limit -- middle-aged fathers with wives and children who have had no criminal convictions for decades are being forced to leave their families."

In its petition for appeal, the ICLU urged the Justices to review the statute promptly because towns and cities across the nation are quickly adopting laws and ordinances banning sex offenders from living in their jurisdictions. In fact, it has been reported that the eastern Iowa town of Ely, which did not have a school or day care, passed an ordinance banning sex offenders from residing in nearly the entire town. Similar legislation is being passed or proposed in many states.

For example, in a September 15, 2005 interview with the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Florida State Representative Rep. Susan Goldstein, who recently introduced such a bill in the Florida legislature, said the goal is "to get these people out of our neighborhoods and hopefully out of our state."

The name of the ICLU litigation is Does I, II & III v. Miller, et al. The case was originally filed in the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Case No. 3:03-cv-90067. The lead counsel for the ICLUF is Phil Mears from Iowa City, Iowa.

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King - United States Constitution | Bill of Rights

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

FL - Sex offender's home destroyed

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UPDATE: Two burn Davie mobile home after eviction notice



A suspicious fire burned down the mobile home of a registered sex offender, but Davie police say they don't think the man was targeted.

Davie Fire Rescue responded to the fire at the mobile home in the 400 block of Southwest 132nd Avenue about 7:45 a.m. Monday.

The blaze destroyed the mobile home in Western Hills Estates. No one was inside at the time.

The cause of the fire was under investigation Tuesday, and it is considered suspicious, said police spokesman Greg Gasse.

However, the fact that sex offender _____, 24, lived in the home is not playing a role in the investigation, he said.

"They are aware of his status, but they don't think [the fire] has anything to do with that at this time," Gasse said.

In February 2008, _____ was arrested on two counts of fondling a child between 12 and 16 years old in the Davie house.

Police said a 13-year-old girl told them _____ held her down and assaulted her in a bedroom of the home.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said adjudication in _____'s case was withheld and he registered as a sex offender at the Davie address on Friday. Subscribers can receive e-mail alerts from FDLE that tells them whenever a sex offender moves into their neighborhood.

Richard Fogaros, 38, a parent of two children, 9 and 7, said he received such an e-mail over the weekend while he was out of town. He did not want to comment on what could have caused the fire.

"I wouldn't want to speculate," Fogaros said. "But we are coming to a point where I'm going to have to sacrifice my children's freedom and outside time. Where they [sex offenders] are living is closing in on our area."

Davie requires sex offenders to live at least 2,500 feet from where children gather, such as school bus stops and playgrounds.

Police said that because _____ had just filed his registration as an offender, they had not had a chance to check whether he was complying with the ordinance.

Ten sex offenders are registered within a mile of _____'s address.

Several people lived in the home, Gasse said, but their relationship with _____ was not clear.

The home is registered to _____'s father. Neither he nor _____ could immediately be reached for comment.

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King - United States Constitution | Bill of Rights

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

MA - Sex offender ban sought for homeless shelters

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By David Abel

The most dangerous sex offenders would be barred from staying at homeless shelters under a plan proposed by advocates for the homeless and endorsed by key legislators.

As the state’s steep budget cuts have forced organizations that help the homeless to cut beds, staff, and programs, the advocates for the needy say banning sex offenders would allow shelters to save money on security, open up space for others, and make shelters safer.

The Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (Contact), which represents 90 organizations that provide services to the homeless, has urged state lawmakers to add shelters to an increasingly long list of residential bans for many sex offenders. They are already barred in some communities from living near schools, day-care centers, parks, playgrounds, libraries, or nursing homes.

While those who study sex offender recidivism rates say such residential restrictions are counterproductive, state lawmakers who support the proposed legislation argue that it also would fix a loophole in the law, which for five years has required the most dangerous sex offenders to post their names, addresses, and photos on a public website. They say too many sex offenders bypass the law by listing a homeless shelter as their address when they live elsewhere.
- Your laws are what is making people homeless, due to the residency restrictions, cannot get and keep a job, etc.

"There are some really bad people, and we have to provide protections against them," said Senator James E. Timilty (Email), a Walpole Democrat who co-chairs the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security and sponsored the legislation. "I think we have a superseding need to protect the public. I would suggest it’s not fair to the families who are recently homeless to have them living next to sex offenders."
- I'm sure you have some really bad homeless murderers, gang members, ex-drug dealers, ex-DUI offenders, and others as well, yet they are welcomed with open arms. And it's not fair to trample on ex-sex offenders rights and deny them a warm place to stay either, yet you do it, why?  To look good to the public?  To "look tough on crime", because you do not have the balls to oppose these laws? This is the kind of cruelty and hate you get when they start kicking God out of everything.  One day, your rights will be stomped on as well, mark my words on that!

In a review yesterday of 162 Level 3 sex offenders - those with a high risk of committing sex crimes again - who list addresses in Boston on the state’s online registry, the Globe found that at least 74 percent reported they were living at homeless shelters.
- Maybe it's because the media and politicians have stirred the fear-mongering pot so much, nobody wants to house or hire a sex offender, much less a level 3, so of course they are going to become homeless, because they cannot legally stay any where, nor get or keep a job!  Now you want to kick them out of the only places they can possibly go to get out of the cold!  Wow, the world is very cruel!

The state uses 27 criteria to classify someone as a Level 3 sex offender, including how inmates behaved in prison and whether their victims were children.

"This is the only solution to make our communities safe and allow the registry to work properly," said Joe Finn, executive director of the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance.
- But the community is NOT safe, it's a placebo to make them "feel safe," and nothing about these draconian laws are "working properly!"

"Even in the best of times, we don’t have the capacity to deal with these issues, but the recent cuts exacerbate the problem and make it difficult for shelters to raise money when their work is getting undermined because of the perception that we’re somehow harboring or attracting sexual offenders to our communities," he said. But those who treat sex offenders and monitor recidivism rates say such residential restrictions make it more likely they will commit future crimes.
- So you are creating homeless people, and possibly creating more crime, to keep the prison money making complex running!

Tracy Velazquez, executive director of the Washington-based Justice Policy Institute (Email) and author of a report, "The Pursuit of Safety: Sex Offender Policy in the United States," said Massachusetts would be one of the few states to pass such a restriction. Florida also bans sex offenders from homeless and hurricane shelters.
- Just because another state does it, doesn't make it morally and ethically right!  Florida is forcing offenders to live under bridges, and at one time, over 100 were under the Julia Tuttle Causeway, yep, sounds ethical and moral to me... NOT!

She said if the bill becomes law, Massachusetts would join other states in making it more likely that a sex offender ends up on the street. In 2000, she said only five states had residential restrictions limiting the proximity of an offender to a school, park, or nursing home; now 30 states have such restrictions, forcing many into homelessness.

"If the purpose of this ban is to continue to punish and effectively banish people after they’ve done their time and paid their debt to society, then it’s a pretty effective policy," she said. "If it’s to increase public safety, then banning registered sex offenders from shelters is counterproductive. It will make it harder for law enforcement to keep track of their whereabouts, and harder for them to meet their basic human needs, which in turn makes it harder for them to live successfully in the community." She and others said research shows there’s no link between where sex offenders live and whether they commit new crimes.

Jill Levenson, a professor of human services who researches sex crime policy at Lynn University in Florida, said a study she completed last year of 330 sex offenders who live near schools and day-care centers in Florida found that they were no more likely to re-offend than other former convicts.

"The risk that sex offenders might pose in shelters for women and children may make sense, but to ban them from any shelter would have to be balanced with the need to provide social services to sex offenders," she said. "If someone is homeless, despondent, and desperate, they’re more likely to resume a life of crime."

Others questioned the constitutionality of banning sex offenders from shelters, which are often obligated by state contracts to accept just about anyone they have room for who presents themselves as homeless.

Officials at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (Email), which has opposed similar residential restrictions from Barnstable to Lynn, argue that they impose additional punishment after convicts have served their time.

"Just as a matter of public policy, these restrictions make no sense," said John Reinstein, legal director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. "Do we want to cut them loose entirely, so we don’t know where they are? What does someone do with no place to live, and they can’t go to a homeless shelter? And what are the implications for public safety and the sex offender law, which requires them to register where they live?"
- It is my belief, that they want them all in jail or prison, to keep the prison business running, and not out on the street, so they make laws so draconian that they force people to become homeless, and thus back into jail or prison.  And so they can look "tough on crime," and appease the sheeple!

Shelter officials say they were stung this month when the state cut $2.7 million from homeless shelters.

The ban on sex offenders in shelters is being offered as an amendment to the crime bill, which is expected to see Senate action today.

Shelter officials said they shouldn’t be stuck with a problem that stems from inadequate state services for sex offenders.

"This bill is necessary because emergency shelters aren’t really equipped to handle sex offenders," said Peter Duda, executive of the Lowell Transitional Living Center (Contact), noting they often end up as long-term residents because it’s difficult to find housing and jobs. "We’re not funded to provide the appropriate supervision. These people should be appropriately tracked, and it shouldn’t fall on the shelters to do that."
- So maybe you should spend the money training them on how to deal with ex-sex offenders who are simply trying to survive?

Officials at other shelters said recent crimes allegedly involving homeless sex offenders - including an assault last month at Massachusetts General Hospital and a break-in last spring at a woman’s apartment in Quincy - have given their shelters a bad name.
- Why?  Did you shelter have anything to do with it?  No, the states draconian laws is the problem!

Mark Alston-Follansbee, executive director of the Somerville Homeless Coalition (Contact), said he worries that a sex offense at his shelter, which is in a church, would result in the program’s closure.

"All it takes would be one offense for our program to be run out of the church, and out of the town," he said. "We’re trying to push back to the state, saying they have to figure this out. It’s their responsibility, and they’re asking us to do something that shelters were never intended to do."
- They don't want to figure it out, that is obvious.  They want to keep people living in fear, and the prison business running to bring in money.

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved