Wednesday, July 6, 2011

AUSTRALIA - Bid to name sex offenders

Original Article

07/07/2011

FAMILIES could learn the names of child-sex offenders living in their suburb under a law proposed by a group of Pascoe Vale students.

The team of six Pascoe Vale Girls Secondary College students will debate its Naming Child-Sex Offenders Bill at this month’s YMCA Victoria Youth Parliament.

If passed, the Bill will be handed to the State Government for consideration.

More than 25 Youth Parliament Bills, including replacing glass with plastic in King St nightclubs and over-the-counter availability of the morning-after pill, have gone on to become Victorian legislation, according to 2011 Youth Governor Keiran Ryan.

Pascoe Vale Girls’ student Maria Cananzi, 16, hopes hers will be next.

The Bill proposes a register of convicted child-sex offenders that lists their name, date of birth, crime committed and suburb of residence.

It would be electronically available at police stations and government departments related to children’s services.

Maria’s team will go head to head with a group from Wangaratta inside the chambers of Parliament, where more than 20 teams of 16 to 25-year-olds will spend three days debating 20 Bills.

She predicted fierce debate.

The team refuting us will be bringing up their offenders’ rights to privacy and the prospect of vigilantes and that’s something we’re going to have to counter,” Maria said.

I think both sides of the argument definitely do have really valid points.”

But Maria was confident her Bill had struck the right balance between offenders’ right to privacy and families’ right to safety.

Someone is always going to have a negative outcome with this Bill, but we are trying to counter that,” she said.

Names don’t go into the register unless they’re convicted, and people are given a 28-day grace period to appeal after their trials,” she said.

Also, offenders’ names won’t be put on the register until they are set to be released from prison."

People have the right to know whether there is a significant risk in the community of a child-sex offender living near them.”
- Not true, but, if you are going to do this, why not do it for ALL criminals?

Maria, from Campbellfield, is also this year’s Youth Premier.

I’ve been part of Youth Parliament for the last few years and I think it’s a really good way for young people to have an outlet to get their voices heard in the chambers of Parliament and in the presence of some really important state ministers."

To have that opportunity to debate in Parliament, to speak on issues that youth are really concerned about, is something that’s really rare and really valuable.”

We do have people who vote against their own Bill and I think that’s one of the great features of the program, because you’re really getting the voice of youth.”

This year marks the 25th Youth Parliament in Victoria.

The Youth Parliament will run from Sunday until July 15.


OK - Oklahoma Lawmaker Calls For Study On New Sex Offender Law

Original Article

07/05/2011

By Adrianna Iwasinski

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma lawmaker is asking for a study on a law regarding Registered Sex Offenders.

A review of Tulsa registered Sex Offenders found 40% are listed as unemployed, disabled or retired. According to the review, a majority find it difficult to even find a job, a place to live, or to pay for counseling.

"We'll bring in experts from around the state and we will look at what other states are doing have a meeting where everyone can voice their opinions to see if there are ways to improve the way we treat and register sex offenders in Oklahoma," said State Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, (D) District 78-Tulsa.

Hand Up Ministries in Oklahoma City has a gate and sign to keep women and children out and cameras to monitor who comes and goes.

But a new law just passed is going to cause Hand Up to move its ministries, possibly impacting its ability to help many registered sex offenders.

"It is incredibly difficult for these men to find employment, but they find it," said Chris Hollrah, who helps sex offenders. "There are people who will hire them."

Handup Ministries has until July of next year to comply with the law to either build a new single unit apartments for their registered sex offenders or to find a new place for their residential program.

Meanwhile, McDaniels should know next week if that study has been approved or denied by House Speaker Chris Steele.


OR - Former Albany cop (Rick Hawley) goes on trial

Rick Hawley
Original Article

07/05/2011

By Cathy Ingalls

Former Albany police officer Rick Hawley’s trial on charges of first-degree sexual abuse and hindering prosecution is expected to begin this morning in Linn County Circuit Court.

The trial is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 3 before Senior Judge Richard Rambo of Klamath County.

Hawley has requested a bench trial, which means the judge, not a jury, will hear the case. The trial is expected to last two days.

Erik Hasselman of the Lane County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting. Last month, Hasselman won a conviction involving a Springfield woman accused of running over and critically injuring Tami Spencer of Albany, the former registration supervisor at Samaritan Albany General Hospital. The driver was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

A Linn County grand jury indicted Hawley on Sept. 8, 2010. The felony charges stem from an incident in which it was alleged that Hawley committed a sex crime against an adult man at a party while off duty.

After his arrest, Hawley posted a $5,000 security bond.

The Corvallis Police Department conducted the investigation along with a special prosecutor from the Lane County DA’s office.

When Hawley was charged last September, Albany police said the department had been contacted in April 2010 by someone who thought Hawley might have committed a sexual offense a few months earlier.

The department dismissed Hawley in November 2010. He had been with the department for six years.

Chief Ed Boyd said at the time, “The employment investigation uncovered facts that do not reflect the high standards of ethical conduct expected of law enforcement professionals in general, and specifically of the Albany Police Department.”

He went on to say “the employment investigation uncovered facts not considered or included in the criminal investigation.”

Hawley insists he did not do what is alleged and has called his dismissal and his prosecution “unjust and unwarranted."