Saturday, December 10, 2011

TX - Offender Not convicted yet in school

Sent to us via email, and posted with permission.

By Anonymous:
Last year there was a man arrested and admitted to soliciting sex from a 12 year old. This man lives in our community and has an adopted daughter that attends the local elementary school. This man is up at the school for parties, functions, etc. What rights do other parents have to keep their kids safe at school? What can we do to keep him from going to the school if he hasn't been convicted yet?

Once again, we are not legal experts, and I am not sure why you are asking us this. Have you asked the police or a lawyer? If the man has not been convicted yet, then he has just as much rights to be there as you do, and you have the right to go with your child, if you are paranoid about the situation, and also talk with the principal there.


TX - Residence restriction isn't as good as it sounds

Original Article
Related Story
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Of course they are not good ideas, but it helps the politicians who are not well known, to make a name for themselves by "looking tough" on sex offenders while actually doing nothing.

12/10/2011

By Jon Mark Beilue

At a quick glance, who wouldn’t be in favor of this? It seems logical, so full of common sense. The Amarillo City Commission is considering an ordinance some other cities use that bar registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of public and private schools, state-licensed day cares, and public parks and pools.

Like gasoline and a match, it would seem best to keep a distance between sex offenders and children.

On its face, it would seem to make a lot of sense,” therapist Troy Timmons said. “Let’s require child molesters to live as far away as possible from where kids gather.”

So this ordinance would make children safer in the city?

The short answer is no,” Timmons said. The long answer appears to be no as well. Timmons comes at this issue from a unique perspective. In his 16-year practice, he counsels victims of sexual abuse and sexual offenders.

The motivation for these policies are spot on, but they just don’t deliver,” he said. “When you look closer, and at all the research on this, there is no support that residence restriction are effective for community safety or recidivism.”
- And they do not prevent crime or protect anybody.  If a person is dangerous and intent on committing a crime, they will, regardless of the buffer zones or any other restrictions.  Besides, most sexual crimes occur in the victims own home or close friends, not some stranger at a park, school, bus stop or day care.

The reason for the City Commission to take a bold step — or at least open this with community debate — is commendable, but the measure is flawed. It doesn’t address the heart of the under-reported problem and might even make it worse.

Available data shows nearly all sexual abuse cases in the Texas Panhandle originate from a family member, a boyfriend, a stepfather. Timmons, backed up by April Leming, executive director of the Bridge, a children’s advocacy center, said in 99 percent of local sexual abuse cases, the victim knew the abuser.
- But who cares about facts?  We want only what makes us feel better!

In Amarillo, residency restrictions would seem to be just so much well-intentioned window dressing.

The chances of being molested by a stranger here are just incredibly low, incredibly low,” Timmons said. “The sad, heartbreaking truth of the matter is that many kids are safer with a stranger than with family. Isn’t that sad?

A forced residence move by sexual offenders with this possible ordinance, could have, Timmons said, “unintended consequences.” Moving is often a stressful event, even one within the same city. Add to that housing, financial, and often transportation issues, as well as possible job change, and it’s unwelcome change.

I can hear some now, who gives a rip if they’re inconvenienced? These are registered sex offenders, not war veterans. But most abusers have trigger points, and this could be one especially to children these offenders might see somewhat regularly.
- I am sick and tired of everyone talking about sex offenders in general, then associating them all with child molesters and pedophiles.  Not all are either!  So if you are talking about child molesters or pedophiles, then talk about child molesters or pedophiles, don't generalize and group everyone into one group.

All of those reasons are significant when looking at risk assessment,” Timmons said. “Those are heavily weighed to re-offend again.”

A short time ago Timmons said he was in a counseling session with an offender who is married with children and employed.

He said, ‘People don’t understand. You want us to be stable. Do you want us to be miserable and complicated and life be more complex than it is? No, trust me, you don’t want that.’ It made sense to me,” Timmons said.

Dr. Jill Levenson. a psychology professor at Florida’s Lynn University, wrote this in a forthcoming book: “Research provides no support for the hypothesis that sexual re-offending can be prevented by prohibiting sexual offenders from living within close proximity to places where children congregate.”

In practicality, the ordinance basically means a sex offender can’t sleep or stay in the evening within 1,000 feet of schools and parks at a time when children won’t likely be there anyway. And there won’t be any police blockades keeping offenders away from child-oriented places during the day.

So in theory, a sexual offender could live within 1,001 feet of a Chuck E. Cheese,” Timmons said, “and go there every day to eat.”

Better, Timmons said, to focus on education, awareness and avenues to report a crime that statistics say 85 percent of the time are not reported.

Every city wants children safe, and Amarillo is no different. The commission’s intentions to be proactive should be applauded as well as its decision to move cautiously and keep an open mind.

At least they are stepping up and taking on a tough issue,” Timmons said. “Now they’ve pushed the pause button. That’s wisdom right there. The easy thing to do would be to just pass this because nobody is going to come down hard on someone tough on sex crimes.”

So when pushing the pause button, what then does the residence restriction ordinance really accomplish? When you keep giving it a longer look, not much as it would seem.


AL - Bill would split up sex offenders

Original Article

12/09/2011

By Stephen Dawkins

Sex offenders living together at the same residence in Chilton County could be the catalyst for a statewide law banning such arrangements.

In the past year and a half, 23 people convicted of sex crimes have been released to the same address, [address withheld] off Enterprise Road south of Clanton, according to information provided by C.J. Robinson with District Attorney Randall Houston’s office.

Nine of the registered sex offenders were living at the address as of Thursday morning, according to Chilton County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Erric Price, who is responsible for keeping track of sex offenders.

State Rep. Kurt Wallace said he plans to file a bill that would place a limit on how close such people could live, effectively outlawing them from locating to the same residence unless it were a treatment facility and the sex offenders were under supervised care.
- So, idiotic politicians pass laws restricting where they can live, and when they are forced to cluster together, due to the very laws they passed, they now want to pass laws forcing them out again?  Yep, now I know, politicians have no brains!

I’ve talked with several other representatives, and they said they would sign onto it, too,” Wallace said. “I don’t think [the situation in Chilton County] is a good thing.”
- So you want to force them out, possibly homeless, roaming the streets instead?

Wallace said he plans to pre-file a bill before the state Legislature reconvenes in February 2012.

The owner of the property at [address withheld] declined to comment Friday. The registered sex offenders apparently are housed in campers behind Triumph Church, which is under construction.

Two residents in the area interviewed Thursday expressed concern about the situation but did not want to be quoted for this story.

Convicted sex offenders must notify the state about where they plan to live once they are out of custody.

I began noticing the same address listed for offender after offender,” Robinson said. “This is not a licensed halfway house, nor am I aware of any type of specialized training that someone can give to rehabilitate a sex offender. This is a serious problem facing our community.”

Robinson said he received notice about 23 sex offenders being released to [address withheld] from August 2010 through October 2011.

None of the men were arrested for crimes committed in Chilton County, according to Robinson’s information. The crimes include rape, sodomy, sexual abuse, assault with intent to ravish, aggravated sexual battery, and attempted rape; and the given ages of victims range from 4 to 29.

There is also a listed relationship between the sex offender and the person the offender is being released to. These relationships include clergy, manager, halfway house and friend.

Price said sheriff’s department officers have been called to the residence on at least a couple occasions because of fights between residents of the same address but that no crimes have been reported by neighbors.

We’ve also gotten multiple calls from neighbors about them walking up and down the streets, knocking on doors and looking for work,” Price said.


OK - Sex Offender Testimony Regarding Slane and Associates

This is not an endorsement of this law firm. We are simply posting this video for others in Oklahoma who may be considering getting off the list or hiring a lawyer.

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NC - Thousands Sterilized, a State Weighs Restitution

Original Article

12/10/2011

By KIM SEVERSON

LINWOOD - [name withheld], 62, spreads a cache of vintage government records across his trailer floor. They are the stark facts of his state-ordered sterilization.

The reports begin when he was barely a teenager, fighting at school and masturbating openly. A social worker wrote that he and his parents were of “rather low mentality.” Mr. [name withheld] was sent to a state home for people with mental and emotional problems. In 1968, when he was ready to get out and start life as an adult, the Eugenics Board of North Carolina ruled that he should first have a vasectomy.

A social worker convinced his mother it was for the best.

We especially emphasized that it was a way of protecting [name withheld] in case he were falsely accused of having fathered a child,” the social worker wrote to the board.

Now, along with scores of others selected for state sterilization — among them uneducated young girls who had been raped by older men, poor teenagers from large families, people with epilepsy and those deemed to be too “feeble-minded” to raise children — Mr. [name withheld] is waiting to see what a state that had one of the country’s most aggressive eugenics programs will decide his fertility was worth.

Although North Carolina officially apologized in 2002 and legislators have pressed to compensate victims before, a task force appointed by Gov. Bev Perdue is again wrestling with the state’s obligation to the estimated 7,600 victims of its eugenics program.

The board operated from 1933 to 1977 as an experiment in genetic engineering once considered a legitimate way to keep welfare rolls small, stop poverty and improve the gene pool.