Thursday, September 19, 2013

S-1086: Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2013

CA - Orange Sued over Ordinance Requiring Sex Offenders to Post Signs at Homes on Halloween

Halloween Sex Offender Hysteria
Original Article


By Matt Coker

A federal lawsuit was filed today challenging a city of Orange ordinance that requires sex offenders to post signs on the front door of their residences on Halloween, according to a group trying to change such laws in California.

Reform Sex Offenders Law (RSOL) claims in its complaint that the ordinance violates the First Amendment (Wikipedia) of the U.S. Constitution and puts sex offenders and their family members at risk for physical and emotional harm.

The ordinance would also violate the Fourth Amendment (Wikipedia) protecting citizens from unreasonable seizures if sex offenders were jailed for violating it. Those who do not obey the Orange law are subject to fines up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail, according to RSOL.

The Orange City Attorney's office was closed as this post was published, so no comment could be received from those officials.

"The city of Orange is the only city in California that requires registered citizens to post a sign on the front door of their residence," says Janice Bellucci, a Santa Maria attorney and RSOL president, in a statement from the nonprofit. "A similar ordinance in the city of Simi Valley was successfully challenged in federal court last year."

The judge in that case issued a temporary restraining order two days before Halloween last year preventing Simi Valley from enforcing the ordinance on grounds that those required to post signs on their front doors would likely suffer irreparable harm. The case was subsequently settled.

There are about 100 residents in Orange that have been convicted of sex-related crimes--and now have their and their families' constitutional rights jeopardized, according to RSOL.

As for harm to children, Bellucci points to an October 2012 California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation report that found the rate of re-offense by a person convicted of a sex-related crime while on parole is only 1.9 percent.

Her group reminds that the "wide range of offenses" that can have one labeled a sex offender include not just the perverted creeper ones that immediately spring to mind but public urination, sexting and possession of pornography.

See Also

NE - Sex offender restrictions go too far

News paper and coffee
Original Article


The village board of Alexandria got some valuable advice from the ACLU about its proposed ordinance that would establish new restrictions on where sex offenders could live.

The board ought to take heed. Following the ACLU's recommendations could help the board steer clear of legal travails.

The desire to protect children is understandable. But there's a right way and a wrong way to go about it. The legal restrictions the board is considering go too far.

The board last week gave first-round approval to the ordinance. Two more board votes -- scheduled for Oct. 3 and Nov. 13 -- are necessary before the ordinance will take effect.

The proposed law for the south-central Nebraska town with a population of 177 would forbid registered sex offenders from living within 500 feet of schools, village -owned and -maintained parks, licensed child care centers and any school bus that stops on village property. The ordinance would fine landlords who rent to sex offenders $500 per day.

As the ACLU pointed out, “The difficulty with the draft is that it goes beyond what state law permits and has been pre-empted by existing statutes -- and therefore violates several sections of the Nebraska state Constitution and the United States Constitution.”

The ACLU cited three problems with the law. First, the ordinance would restrict sex offenders from living near playgrounds and school bus stops. State law sets restrictions only for schools. Second, the ACLU said, the board must adopt the grandfather clause in state law, not set a new date. Lastly, by setting a penalty for landlords who rent to sex offenders, the ordinance creates a new crime, which is beyond the board's authority.

The board drafted Ordinance 147 at the request of a mother who was concerned about raising her children near registered sex offenders. One offender lives across the alley from her backyard. A second sexual offender with an adjacent backyard moved away after the mother went to the village board.

A few years ago, there was something of a fad among local governments to establish residency restrictions for sex offenders.

Fortunately, the Legislature stepped in to set statewide standards. Otherwise, Nebraska would have ended up with a patchwork of local laws that would have been confusing and unevenly enforced.

For the Alexandria village board to spend more time debating the proposed restrictions would just be wasted effort. If people in Alexandria, or any other town in Nebraska, want tighter restrictions, they need to go to the Legislature. The village board would just be wasting its time.

AR - Former Officer (Billy Rowe) Accused in Sex Crimes Met Teen in Church

Billy Rowe
Original Article


By Alicia Agent, Aubry Killion and Katie Kormann

A former Fort Smith police officer accused of having sex with a teenager met the girl at a summer church camp, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Billy Rowe, 31, of Bonanza, was a counselor at a church camp in July when he began the relationship with the 16-year-old girl, the affidavit states. The name of the church camp is not revealed in the affidavit.

Rowe did not appear at his arraignment Wednesday (Sept. 18). His attorney, Jered Medlock, waived a formal arraignment and entered a not guilty plea on his behalf in Sebastian County Circuit Court.

Rowe was arrested on five felony counts of first-degree sexual assault Tuesday (Sept. 17). He was released the same day on $25,000 bond, according to the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office.

Rowe had sexual intercourse four times with the teen in Sebastian County outside the Fort Smith city limits, the affidavit states.

On another occasion, Rowe, while on duty, performed a “deviate” sex act on the victim within Fort Smith city limits when she was with him participating in the department’s ride-along program, the affidavit states.

The sexual encounters are believed to have begun in July and ended in August, investigators said.

Rowe was placed on paid administrative leave Sept. 11, according to a news release from the police department. However, he resigned shortly before being taken into custody, Lindsey said.

The investigation began after an anonymous phone call was made to the police department on Sept. 10.

Police Chief Kevin Lindsey held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to address the officer’s arrest.

According to Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue, each count carries a possible penalty of six to 30 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections and a $15,000 fine.

Rowe had been with the Fort Smith Police Department for about eight years and is married, Lindsey said.

Stay with for more on this developing story.

OH - Ex-cop sex offender (Stephen Kendall) charged with impersonating officer

Stephen Kendall
Original Article


A former Boardman police officer who resigned in 2007 after he was convicted of having sex with a 17-year-old girl is now facing charges for impersonating a police officer in Vernon Township.

Stephen Kendall, 41, of Salem, was arrested Sunday on a year-old warrant for impersonating a policeman. He was arraigned Tuesday in Trumbull County Eastern District Court on the charge and released on bond.

Reports say Kendall was pulled over for a traffic violation for failing to stop at a stop sign on May 13, 2012. He told Hartford Township police he was a Boardman police officer and showed the officer a Fraternal Order of Police card, reports say.

Kendall also showed the officer an old and worn Boardman Police Department identification card.

The officer allowed Kendall off with a warning but became suspicious when he realized Kendall should have been able to show him his current badge and identification card.

After a short investigation, the officer found Kendall was fired in 2007 after he pleaded guilty to gross sexual imposition charges for having sex with the girl. Kendall was 34 at the time.

He was sentenced to six months of probation and is a registered sex offender.

AL - Former Dothan police officer (Steven Fredrick Jones) pleads guilty to sex crime

Steven Fredrick Jones
Steven Fredrick Jones
Original Article


By Matt Elofson

A former Dothan police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to sending a nude picture of himself to a teenage girl.

Houston County District Attorney Doug Valeska said Steven Fredrick Jones, 39, of Dothan, pleaded guilty to a felony transmitting obscene material charge in front of Circuit Court Judge Michael Conaway.

He was an ex-Dothan police officer, but I think the important thing to know for our community is the Dothan police made this case,” Valeska said. “We didn’t have to ask an outside agency to come in. They treated him like anybody else. They did an outstanding job.”

Dothan Police investigators arrested Jones in January on the felony charge.

Valeska said Jones pleaded guilty to sending a nude picture of himself to a 15-year-old girl. He also pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges.

Valeska said Jones will now have to register as a convicted sex offender.

Valeska said Jones formerly served as a narcotics officer with the Dothan Police Department.

Police previously arrested Jones in 2005, and charged him with felony first-degree burglary. Records show Jones pleaded guilty in 2008 to a lesser misdemeanor trespassing charge. Jones, who was apparently a police officer at the time of the 2005 offense, later lost his job as a result of that offense.