Tuesday, July 17, 2012

WV - One Count Dropped Against Former Wheeling Police Officer Mathew Kotson

Matthew Kotson
Original Article

07/17/2012

By Jamie Ward

WHEELING - Mathew Kotson, a former Wheeling Police Officer, was supposed to stand trial on one count of sexual assault in the second degree Tuesday.

There was no jury in Judge Arthur Recht's courtroom Tuesday morning because the state dropped that charge.

Kotson's pretrial hearing was rescheduled for August 2.

The state dismissed Count 5 against Kotson. He still faces four counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, two counts of sexual assault in the second degree and one count of burglary.

Judge Recht said he is bothered by this case.

Some of the witnesses who had been cooperative initially, have indicated that they no longer will be cooperative. In court he said he wanted an explanation as to why.

They will go to trial on September 4 for two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree.

Judge Recht said they will only be able to get the first two counts tried by the end of the term, which is September 7.


NY - Oneida tables sex offender residency restriction

Shana Rowan
Original Article

07/17/2012

By CAITLIN TRAYNOR

ONEIDA — After a nearly hour long emotional public hearing, the Common Council agreed to hold off action on enacting a residency restriction for sex offenders.

The city’s administration was split on its opinion of the local law that would restrict Level 2 and 3 registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds and child care facilities. Sex offenders currently living within the city wouldn’t be affected by the legislation.

Ward 5 Councilman Jim Chamberlain, who proposed the local law, said it would prohibit sex offenders from living in 901 homes, or 28 percent of the city’s housing stock, that fall within the restriction. That leaves 72 percent of homes still available for residency.

Police Chief David Meeker, who says there are 33 sex offenders currently living in the city, said the local law wouldn’t preclude sex offenders from moving to the city entirely, but would simply restrict where they could live.

Several councilors, former city officials, county officials and members of the public expressed concern over the legality of the proposal. The local law would preempt the state’s Sexual Offender Registration Act, which doesn’t impose any residency restrictions. The constitutionality of similar local laws have been challenged in court and overturned.

Mayor Don Hudson said it’s the city’s responsibility to protect its population of children. Recognizing that there’s a “pretty good chance” that the legislation would be challenged, he said he’d rather have to explain why the administration chose to do something than explain why it didn’t.

By enacting a residency restriction, Oneida Supervisor Lewis Carinci said the city would be pushing sex offenders to less populated areas where they won’t be scrutinized by the watchful eyes of neighbors, a potentially more dangerous action than allowing them to live within the city.

He questioned whether or not the administration had contacted county agencies, like the probation department, that may be burdened or effected by the enforcement of the local law. Madison County Board Chairman John Becker seconded that. While he commended the council for their action to address one of many “social ills,” he urged the city to contact the probation department.

Shana Rowan
Oneida Resident Shana Rowan prepared a visual aid to support her argument against the proposal, using statistics, quotes and maps.

Engaged to a Level 2 sex offender, Rowan challenged the statistics cited in the local law, particularly the double-digit rate of recidivism. She was adamant that a residency restriction could increase recidivism while simply promoting a false sense of security.

By prohibiting sex offenders to live within a community, they are more apt to become homeless or transient, leading to the increased likelihood that agencies responsible for monitoring them will lose contact with them, she said.

While it may be “easy to say who cares, they’re sex offenders,” Rowan said the administration would be failing the city’s children by founding public policy on “myth.”

Oneida Resident Barbara Beaner was in support of the legislation, arguing that the minority of the population shouldn’t be in control of measures needed to protect other residents. She urged the council to look at the “big picture.” As a victim of abuse herself, she said victims live with the abuse they suffered the rest of their lives. Without “too much sympathy” for sex offenders, she said “you made your bed, now lay in it.
- As long as people continue to see themselves as victims instead of survivors, like this woman, then they will always be victims!

Former mayor Peter Hedglon called the local law a “feel good proposal.” While he said there’s no evidence to prove that residency restrictions impact the rate of recidivism, he said the city would surely be sued if it enacts the local law.

If it chooses to pass the proposal, he said it needs data specific to Oneida proving that there is an actual problem that this law would be solving.

Asserting that the local law is aimed at “trying to run sex offenders out of town,” he questioned why the council wouldn’t also target offenders of other crimes that have as much, if not more serious ramifications to victims.

The Constitution protects all of us,” he said, even minorities such as sex offenders.

Public Safety Commissioner Doug Lippert said a balance needs to be struck between the rights of some and the safety of all. He called the proposal an “intelligent form of risk reduction” that may not solve the occurrence of sexual abuse, but would reduce it.

Oneida Resident Brian Karst, who has worked with Chamberlain on the local law, supported the proposal emphatically, saying he would rather have his house burglarized, all of his possessions stolen and his house burned down before even one child is violated.
- Well, when this happens to you, then come back and tell us that!

It isn’t the council’s responsibility to determine who is a sex offender but to protect the city’s children by saying where they can and cannot live, he said.

Ward 2 Councilman David Cimpi said the decision may be above the council’s “pay grade.” Agreeing that the local law may be the right thing to do to protect the city’s children, he questioned whether the scope of the legislation was beyond their jurisdiction.

Ward 3 Councilman Max Smith wasn’t convinced that the residency restriction would have an affect on deterring acts of sexual abuse. The restriction wouldn’t address the likelihood of abuse happening in people’s own homes, just the possibility of sex offenders’ proximities to establishments where children are. Ward 4 Councilwoman Helen Acker agreed, saying sex offenders will still be able to leave their homes and go anywhere in the city without restriction, as imposed by this law.

Ward 1 Councilman Brahim Zogby proposed the council table action on the proposed local law, asking for more time to research the issue and solicit legal advice from the Attorney General’s Office. While he’s not intimidated by the threat of a potential lawsuit, as Acker and Chamberlain agreed, he said he wasn’t comfortable making a decision on the issue at Tuesday’s meeting.

The council is expected to resume action on the proposal at its Aug. 21 meeting.

Related Article:


NE - Trial begins in case over changes to state's sex offender laws

Original Article

07/17/2012

By LORI PILGER

In a federal courtroom in Lincoln, it wasn't an accused sex offender but Nebraska's sex offender laws on trial Monday.

If the state wins, convicted sex offenders would be forced to disclose to law enforcement the online names they use and sites where they've posted comments and to consent to searches of their computers and software.
- Surely this is for those still on probation / parole?  If not, searching someone's computer is illegal without a warrant.

And they would be banned from using social networking sites, instant messaging services and chat rooms that can be used by minors.

In the end of what is expected to be a two-week trial, U.S. Senior District Judge Richard Kopf will decide whether the state's lawmakers went too far when they passed changes in 2009, as some three dozen offenders subjected to the registry alleged in the suit.
- Well, based on this 2010 article, it doesn't look good.

"This is a case that questions the constitutionality of what the state intended as a first-of-its-kind, one-of-a-kind piece of legislation," said Rod Dahlquist, an attorney for the John and Jane Does who sued.

It comes down to this, he said: Can the state take away someone's ability to use social networking, instant messaging and chat room tools based on a prior conviction?

Dahlquist said the law violated sex offenders' First Amendment rights and was punitive and unconstitutionally vague.

Sex offenders, for example, couldn't make anonymous posts on a political website without informing the state of their online name and where and when they posted it, he said.

Kopf asked him what then was the state to do. How could they get at the online places where predators find kids?

"The state has a right to be proactive," the judge said.

Dahlquist said one way is to fund law enforcement so more could pose as teens online.

"I can tell you how not to do it," he said. "And that is banning them from the Internet entirely, which is what they've done."

His expert, David Post, a law professor at Temple University, testified later that the law could be read to apply to nearly all websites and even to sex offenders' ability to make landline and cellphone calls and send text messages.

But, on the other side, Assistant Attorney General Katherine Spohn disputed the contention.

She said it doesn't prevent all use of the Internet. Sex offenders would be free to look at websites, so long as they aren't communicating, she said. They would have to notify law enforcement within a day if they did.

And the sites would have to expressly permit minors to use them in their terms of use, Spohn said.

"Why doesn't the statute say that?" Kopf asked her.

She agreed the statute may be more complicated than it needed to be.

Spohn said the Internet today is the equivalent to a real-world playground, and the state is making efforts to protect children from predators who meet and groom them online over time until they agree to meet in person.

The goal is to protect children, she said.


CA - Simi deleting part of Halloween sex offender law

Original Article

07/17/2012

By Mike Harris

Simi Valley is deleting part of a proposed law that would make the city the first in Ventura County to ban registered sex offenders from having contact with trick-or-treating children on Halloween.

The section would have required the 119 registered sex offenders in the city to post a sign at their homes on Halloween night stating, "No candy or treats at this residence."

Councilman Mike Judge proposed the deletion at the City Council's meeting Monday night, saying, "A lot of comments made to me over the weekend was this whole 'Scarlet Letter'-type of thing."

"Now, I really don't care," said Judge, a Los Angeles police officer. "A sex offender is a sex offender. ... But the spirit of the ordinance would still be there."

Other portions of the proposed ordinance would forbid registered sex offenders from opening their doors to children on the holiday, displaying Halloween decorations or having exterior lighting on their property from 5 p.m. to midnight.

Earlier in the meeting, during public comments, Santa Maria attorney Janice Bellucci (Video), representing a group called California Reform Sex Offender Laws, argued that parts of the proposed ordinance were unconstitutional. But other cities, including Ontario and Orange, have similar measures.

Welling up with emotion, registered sex offender [name withheld], of Pasadena, told the council, "There are some dangerous predators out there, but a lot of them," including himself, don't belong on registered sex offender lists.

The council, which voiced support for the measure when it was introduced July 2, had been expected to adopt it Monday night. At the council's direction, City Attorney Marjorie Baxter will delete the portion on signs and reintroduce the measure at a future council meeting.


SC - Peter McCoy up for re-election so out comes the sex offender (vote getting) issues!

He's up for re-election, so like clockwork, out comes the sure fire way to get elected, exploiting ex-sex offenders!

Posted to his Facebook page

Facebook | Website



NY - Public hearing on sex offender residency restrictions Tuesday at Oneida Common Council meeting

Original Article

How come when politicians who want to "look tough" on crime want to pass more draconian and unconstitutional laws against ex-sex offenders, they call on the public to vote and get their input, but when it's Healthcare forced down our throats, or other insane laws, then they don't care what you think?

07/16/2012

By CAITLIN TRAYNOR

ONEIDA - The Common Council will ask for public input on its proposed residency restrictions for sex offenders at its meeting Tuesday.

A public hearing is designed to get the public’s opinion on a local law that would limit where registered sex offenders can live in the City of Oneida.
- I think since the public has been force fed lies about ex-sex offenders and recidivism, and ex-sex offenders have been demonized by the media and self-serving politicians, it's obvious what the sheeple's opinions will be, they've drank the kool-aid.

Proposed by Ward 5 Councilman Jim Chamberlain, the law would prohibit Level 2 or 3 sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds or daycare centers. The local law would be more stringent than the state’s Sexual Offender Registration Act, which doesn’t set any residency restrictions. Depending on their terms of probation or parole, some sex offenders may be restricted from living within close proximity to certain establishments.

The local law wouldn’t apply to sex offenders currently living within the city. The local legislation “will serve to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community, especially that of children,” the law says. Citing the United States Department of Justice, the local law says the rate of recidivism for sex offenders is between 25-30 percent, nationally.
- Well they are wrong, and this study from the Department of Justice puts the recidivism rate around 5.3%, and you can find many more studies that say about the same thing, here.

Limiting the frequency of contact between registered sex offenders and areas where children congregate reduces the opportunity and temptation and can minimize the risk of repeated acts against minors,” the law says.
- Well the law was made by a person who is not well educated in the real facts, only what helps him get his draconian law passed so he can look good to the sheeple.

The council has offered no opinion on the proposed law; it was introduced for the first time at its last meeting. It is expected to vote on its enactment following the public hearings.


NOTICE: Anonymous are planning on attacking activist sites?

It looks like "Anonymous" are not just going after child porn/pedophilia sites, but all sites who speak out against the draconian and unconstitutional sex offender laws and exorcising their freedom of speech.

They say they stand for freedom, liberty and free speech, yet they are attacking us and others for just that? If we are taking down, which is unlikely, we will be back, you can count on that.

This site has nothing to do with pedophilia or child porn, we post articles about sex offender laws and the unconstitutionality of those laws! We do not condone abuse of any kind, period! Stop believing the BS you hear on the Internet!

Anonymous are not police, and you are just hindering (obstruction of justice) the real police from doing their jobs, but maybe that is your real goal?

Maybe you really want censorship? Because we feel, the more you attack others, and since most of you are from outside the USA, eventually the real Internet police will be blocking you, me, and everyone else. Is that your real goal? Keep it up and that will be the end result!

To see what someone has posted on Pastebin and their so called "targets," click here. We've also saved the page as a PDF, and you can view it here, if you'd prefer?

NOTE: They claim Reform Sex Offender Laws web site was taken down? Well, it was, but not by them, it was down for maintenance by the admins of the site, and it's back up.

This could also be some scare tactic from some of our many haters, but only time will tell.

Freedom is slowly being killed by those who claim they are fighting for it!

Notice their remark at the 1 minute mark?