Tuesday, March 19, 2013
By SEAN MURPHY
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Convicted sex offenders who fail to register with law enforcement would face a minimum of five years in prison under a bill (SB-933) approved by a House committee on Tuesday over the objections of opponents who say it will only make state prison overcrowding worse.
The House Judiciary Committee voted 10-3 for the bill, which already passed the Senate and now heads to the full House for consideration.
"Most people who have to register should realize that's pretty serious," said Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang, the House sponsor of the bill. "It's not like forgetting to pick up milk on your way home."
Judges currently can sentence offenders to a maximum of five years in prison for failing to register, but Osborn said most receive 90 days and are released with electronic monitoring.
The bill initially would have required a minimum of 10 to 15 years in prison for failing to register, but was amended to include a minimum of five years.
Still, opponents argued the bill takes away the discretion of a judge to be more lenient with low-level sex offenders who have essentially committed a technical infraction.
"What we're doing is wholly unnecessary," said Rep. Cory Williams, D-Stillwater. "We're basically re-prosecuting them for the heinous crime that they were convicted of committing before. Let's not forget they were already punished for that crime."
- Of course it is, but she sees a way to help herself look "tough" on crime, so as usual, she jumps at the opportunity.
An analysis of the bill by House researchers indicates 257 people were convicted of failure to register as a sex offender last fiscal year. Of those, 219 were sentenced to an average of 3.6 years in prison. Based on the 10-year minimum, the projected fiscal impact to the state's prison system was about $3.6 million annually. According to the Department of Corrections, there currently are more than 1,100 delinquent sex offenders who have failed to register with authorities.
Oklahoma had the nation's fifth highest incarceration in 2011, the most recent for which data was available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
David Nichols, the founder and president of Hand Up Ministries that helps convicted sex offenders transition back into society, said the group is relentlessly targeted by lawmakers looking to score political points and tout their "tough-on-crime" credentials. He said convicted sex offenders already are prohibited from living in most urban areas because of restrictions that include churches, daycares, schools, parks and playgrounds.
"They're more than piling on them," said Nichols, who has about 135 sex offenders living at a mobile home park in south Oklahoma City. "They don't want them to have a chance of staying out of prison."
"I'll be honest with you, I trust the politicians a lot less than these guys here."
See the video at the link above.
LITTLE ROCK - A House Panel has rejected a bill creating tighter restrictions for where sex offenders can live.
The bill only makes a slight change to existing law, adding private parks as a place in which a sex offender cannot live within 2000 feet.
The idea comes from Northwest Arkansas Rep. Sue Scott, who says there are at least 17 sex offenders in the state that live near a private park, meaning parks within neighborhood subdivisions that are available only for residents who live there.
Scott believed she would easily pick up 11 votes to move it the House floor, instead it picked up only 10.
"I don't understand it, I would have thought this would have been an easy one," Scott says. "I visited with several of them before I presented it, and I thought it was going to pass."
The committee chairman says there were concerns about property transfer problems, and that the representative can bring the idea back up if some changes are made.
By Stephen Betts
CUSHING - Cushing voters overwhelmingly agreed Monday to restrict where sex offenders can live in town.
A referendum that prohibits convicted sex offenders from living within 750 feet of any municipal-owned property where children are the primary users was approved 152-20.
The properties covered under the town ordinance are schools, athletic fields, playgrounds and recreational areas.
Violation of the ordinance is subject to fines of $500 per day.
Sex offenders who already reside within those limits will be exempt from the ordinance.
The ordinance will be enforced by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
Residents and town officials have worked on the proposed ordinance for nearly a year after they found that a registered sex offender lived in town, near a school.
Selectman Alton Grover said when a group of residents came to the board last summer to voice concerns about that situation, selectmen were surprised to learn there was no state prohibition. They then worked on drafting the ordinance.
Cushing voters also elected Martha Marchut to a seat on the Board of Selectmen. Marchut received 121 votes to Randolph Robbins’ 48. Marchut will succeed Willard Payson, who did not seek re-election.
Incumbent Selectman Alton Grover was re-elected, without opposition, to another selectman seat. Evelyn Kalloch was unopposed for re-election to the board of assessors. John Harrington was elected without opposition to the budget committee.
Despite the snowstorm, the annual town meeting remained scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the town office.
See the video at the link above.
By Shelby Croft
MILWAUKEE - A notorious sex offender is about to be released from prison, and will move into a Milwaukee neighborhood with another sex offender.
People living near the Van Beck Avenue neighborhood on the city's south side met at St. Veronica Church with city officials about the situation.
[name withheld #1] was convicted in the 1990s of sexually assaulting two women. [name withheld #2] was convicted more than 20 years ago of raping several family members. After finishing their sentences, both were housed in a secure facility, where they received treatment.
Now, they're about to be released from the system, and plan to live together.
"This is a quiet, stable neighborhood, where we hoped to raise a family," said neighbor John Tindall. He has two children, and from their back yard, they can see the home where [name withheld #1] and [name withheld #2] will live.
Milwaukee county district attorney John Chisolm organized Monday's meeting. He says there's nothing authorities can do to stop the men from moving in. But he says the men will be on supervised release, with GPS monitoring and a supervisor with them any time they leave their house.
While neighbors learned what they should do if they suspected the men were violating the conditions of their release, many told 12 News they wish they didn't have to be the eyes and ears for officials.
By Sandra Laville
A police community support officer was jailed for seven years on Tuesday for repeatedly targeting vulnerable women for sex while on duty.
Peter Bunyan was convicted at Taunton crown court on eight counts of misconduct in public office. It emerged after his conviction that Bunyan, 40, had been a police officer for the Hampshire force in the late 1990s but resigned from the force under a cloud in 1996.
He was hired in 2003 as a PCSO by Devon and Cornwall police. The Independent Police Complaints Commission is managing an inquiry by the professional standards department of the Devon and Cornwall force into what was known about his past when he was recruited.
Bunyan was found guilty of neglecting his duties by turning his police radio down on shifts before having sex with women, including once at a police neighbourhood office, as well as encouraging one mentally ill woman to send explicit pictures of herself on email to the police station.
One source close to the case said there were management and supervision issues to answer within Devon and Cornwall police as Bunyan's absences from duty were so frequent alarm bells should have rung.
The offences took place in the Camborne and Redruth areas of west Cornwall over a five-year period. Bunyan admitted having sex with four of the women, but said it was in his own time. All five women said the sex was consensual, although the court heard that some of the witnesses had mental health problems.
Bunyan, who is expected to be sacked on Wednesday, faced 12 counts of alleged misconduct in public office for engaging in sexual relationships with five women; sending sexualised text messages to one woman; accessing the police records of six women and two men; accessing computer records and passing it onto two other individuals, and obtaining a loan of money. Questions still remain over what Devon and Cornwall police knew about his past disciplinary record.
Bunyan was acquitted of four counts.
The trial heard that Bunyan, of Carharrack near Camborne, "was not there when the public needed him".
IPCC commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: "This man completely abused the position of trust he was in and is a disgrace to the police service. These were criminal actions and he has rightly been found guilty. I hope that this sends a message that corrupt officers will be found out and severely punished."
Sick of horribly embarrassing things showing up when potential employers Google your name? Tired of everyone knowing you live in a garden level dungeon apartment? Perhaps you just don't like the fact the internet makes you easy to find. Thankfully, it's not that hard to delete yourself entirely. Here's how to do it.
For mildly famous (or infamous) individuals, disappearing is essentially impossible, but for the average person it's surprisingly easy. It just depends on much info is already out there.
|Click the image to read the article|
The RSOL National Conference provides an opportunity to interact and network with researchers, mental health professionals, criminal justice practitioners and advocates interested in reforming current law, policy, and treatment of former sexual offenders. We are certain that all will benefit from this opportunity to share, learn, and strategize with others from around the country.
We begin accepting proposals on April 15th, 2013 for panels and presenters from professionals and individuals who wish to share their research, knowledge, and experience. Appropriate presentation, panel and workshop topics could include issues related to existing and proposed sexual offense laws and policies; public registry alternatives; sex abuse prevention; and effective advocacy and lobbying strategies. Deadline for submission is June 30th, 2013.
The next annual Reform Sex Offender Laws (RSOL) Conference is scheduled this year for August 29 - September 1 (Labor Day weekend) in Los Angeles, CA. This conference is hosted by the California RSOL team headed by Janice Bellucci.
Here is a link where you can sign up for updates: http://rsolconference.org
Surely this will be thrown out? So I guess he must purchase all the homes in the neighborhood where he lives? Come on, this is just insane!
By HELEN POW
The family of a young girl sexually abused by a neighbor two years ago is trying to make her attacker buy their home, in a groundbreaking lawsuit.
The couple, from Upper Milford Township in Pennsylvania, want to get away from [name withheld] but they claim his presence in the neighborhood has made their property impossible to sell.
In the first suit of its kind, the unnamed couple are asking a judge to force the 65-year-old, his wife and his mother to buy their residence, at a cost of $235,000, and pay for them to move.
In addition, the family is going after damages for the child's pain and suffering caused by the 2011 molestation.
[name withheld] was sentenced to almost two years in jail after he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting the child. Investigators said he lured the victim into his basement by telling her he wanted to show her a bear's head mounted on the wall. After telling the girl to feel the bear, he made her take off her clothes then assaulted her.
The child's father found out and called police. The family allege [name withheld] assaulted their daughter, who he used to take on drives, play games and give candy and sweets to, multiple times between 2009 and 2011.
After [name withheld] was released from prison, he resumed his old address, but the victim's family claim in the lawsuit that they're 'under duress' to move house now he's back living in the neighborhood.
Legal experts say this is the first time a lawsuit has attempted to force a defendant to buy a home, and many believe a judge wouldn't even have the power grant such a request.
By Nick McCrea
BANGOR - Calling it a “feel-good,” paper-tiger ordinance, Bangor City Councilors 27 months ago rejected an ordinance that would have restricted where sex offenders could live in the city in a lopsided 8-1 vote. Now, they’ll tackle the proposal again.
This year’s council, at least initially, isn’t nearly as united in its opposition of such an ordinance.
Councilor Charlie Longo, who was among the eight in 2010, argued that Bangor is a drastically different community than it was two years ago, and that this ordinance would “send a message.”
Councilors James Gallant and Ben Sprague, who argued that the burden of proof should be on why such an ordinance shouldn’t exist, also expressed their tentative support.
The city’s Government Operations Committee voted during its Monday evening meeting to send the ordinance back to council for a first reading, and then onto a committee or workshop to iron out details.
The 2010 ordinance applied to people convicted of Class A, B or C sex offenses perpetrated against a person younger than 14. Offenders in that category would have been restricted to living outside a 750-foot radius around any elementary or middle school or any publicly-owned property where children are the primary users, like certain parks or a playground.
After receiving requests from several newer city councilors about what the city’s options are regarding restrictions on sex offenders, City Solicitor Norm Heitmann said state statute allows municipalities to restrict how close convicted sex offenders may live to public places frequented by children. He pulled out a copy of the 2-year-old failed ordinance, which the council, committees and city staff had deliberated, researched and debated for about six months.
Council Chairman Nelson Durgin said Monday that the ordinance targeted an “emotional issue” but that research conducted by then-Police Chief Ron Gastia found that such efforts were “totally ineffective in other states and had nothing but symbolic meaning.”
He also disagreed with Longo’s assessment that Bangor has changed dramatically in the past two years.
Councilor Patricia Blanchette also argued that the ordinance wouldn’t accomplish anything significant. She said the courts and probation officers already do a good job policing sex offenders.
Councilors Patricia Blanchette, Nelson Durgin, Charlie Longo, Susan Hawes and David Nealley were on the 2010 council. Nealley was the only councilor to support the ordinance in 2010.
City Manager Cathy Conlow said the city could use geographic information system data to map out the zones in which registered sex offenders wouldn’t be allowed to live and assess its effects.
Also on Monday night, the city council rejected [name withheld]’s appeal of the city’s decision to not renew his taxicab license. The city has the right to deny a license based on certain criminal convictions.
During a background check in February, police found that [name withheld] had a 2009 conviction for possession of Schedule W drugs, which lead to the denial of his request.
[name withheld] appealed, but didn’t show up at Monday’s special council meeting to explain himself. Because he wasn’t there, councilors quickly rejected his appeal.