Monday, November 4, 2013

IL - Man is no longer on the registry, but police tell him to move because he's breaking the law?

WTF
Original Article

If he is no longer on the registry and doesn't have to register, then he is NOT a registered sex offender! You cannot force someone who is off paperwork and the registry to move because he is "breaking" a law he doesn't have to live by!

10/29/2013

By Charlotte Eriksen

La Grange police last week notified a registered sex offender (American citizen) that he would have to move away from his home in the 200 block of North Waiola Avenue because it is within 500 feet of a school.

_____, 50, pleaded guilty in 1989 to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in DuPage County and was required to register as a sex offender for 10 years, according to Doings La Grange.

While he is no longer a registered offender, _____ is in violation of state law as a resident in a home located across the street from Ogden Avenue School and St. Francis Xavier School because of amendments to the statute, according to the Doings.
- If he doesn't have to register anymore, then how is he in violation of a law?

_____ told police he would make reasonable attempts to find a new residence, police said.
- Why?  I would tell them to stick it where the sun doesn't shine!


NEW ZEALAND - 'Roast Busters' sons of high-profile entertainer, cop

Roast Busters
Roast Busters
Original Article (Video Available)

11/04/2013

By Karen Rutherford

More details about a group of young Auckland boys called the 'Roast Busters', who've been luring girls into underage group sex and boasting about it online, can now be revealed.

One boy being questioned by police is the son of a celebrity with an international profile, while the other is the son of an Auckland police officer.

One girl, who is choosing to remain anonymous, says the Roast Busters stole her soul.

"They don't understand how I feel inside; they don't understand how this has hurt me," she says.

Police say the girl is one of a number of drunk, underage victims they've interviewed about being exploited by the Roast Busters.

The family of former Roast Buster Joseph Levall Parker has told us he left the six-member group mid-year, while several others have also bowed out.

Social media today carried apologies from at least one.

"If I suffer any consequences from my past actions then I guess I deserve it," the Facebook post read. "But I just want people to know I am a good person at heart and I have matured and have taken this as a massive learning experience."

Police have confirmed that one of the boys is the son of a high-profile entertainer, and the other is the son of a police officer.

Police say that's not the reason they've failed to lay charges to date.

"The reason we have not prosecuted anybody is we don't have sufficient evidence at this stage," says Detective Inspector Bruce Scott.

Police have known about the group since 2011, but they say their hands are tied until victims - who in some cases have been suicidal - agree to make a formal statement.

That has angered vigilantes, who today took to Facebook to express their anger.

"We're sick of it, we don't want this happening in our community," one post on the page read. "I'm a father, I have teenage girls and they have to walk in society, I don't like this scum walking in my streets."

Two of the Roast Busters were not walking the streets today; they were being re-interviewed by police.

As a result of publicity around the case, one of the young men who previously declined to co-operate presented himself at a police station early this afternoon. Another young man is also being interviewed by police.

Detective Inspector Bruce Scott says the investigation is making progress, but it is too soon to say if this development will result in any prosecution.

"We're grateful that the publicity around this case has enabled us to make further progress, and we hope to build on the work done by the enquiry team to potentially take us to the stage where we have enough evidence to build a case."

Video from a previous story:


VT - Lenient living restrictions for sex offenders

Sex offender housing
Original Article

10/31/2013

By Bridget Shanahan

Advocates say living restrictions could keep communities safer

COLCHESTER - Sex offender laws do not do enough to protect our families, say advocates for both victims and sex offenders.

Vermont's laws governing convicted sex offenders are more lenient than neighboring states, including New Hampshire and New York.

Offenders can pretty much live wherever they want as long as they're not on probation or parole: that includes next to schools, playgrounds and day cares.
- And that is how it should be!  Residency laws do nothing to prevent crime or protect anybody and study after study has been done to show it does basically nothing except prevent registrants from getting homes, jobs, support, etc, which could put people in potentially more danger from those who are prone to committing new crimes.

They're required to register, but only for a set amount of time, and even then the public doesn't know exactly where they are.

The Chittenden Unit for Special Investigation is out in Essex, hunting down addresses and knocking on doors, for their yearly sex offender registry checks.

Their stops take them past schools, parks and other areas specially designed for children.
- But not all registrants have harmed a child, so the one-size-fits-all law is unconstitutional, in our opinion.

A sex offender should stay away from areas where there are children if he's attracted to children. They should stay away,” Pastor Pete Fiske said.
- Registrants who are attracted to children (pedophilia) are rare, not the norm!

Fiske runs the church at prison and a religious treatment and reintegration program for all types of convicted criminals, sex offenders included.

He's working with recently released sex offender _____ -- imprisoned for handcuffing and sexually assaulting a young boy he met on the banks of a river in Southern Vermont.

After public outcry in Vermont, _____ tried to live in California, but the move sparked outrage from the mayor of San Francisco.

In a letter to Gov. Peter Shumlin, Mayor Edwin Lee says he's writing about a matter of "deep concern" and accuses the Vermont Department of Corrections of not notifying authorities of _____'s move, something Shumlin disputes.

Now _____ is back in Vermont, living in Hyde Park, just a mile or two from local schools.

I think that if there are ways that we can help make the community aware, and if we can help protect the community, that we should take any steps possible,” Hope Works Executive Director Cathleen Wilson said.

Wilson works with sexual assault victims and agrees with Fiske, restricted living on a case-by-case basis, particularly when the crimes involve children.

I think that would make a lot of sense. I think that would be a good step, quite honestly,” Wilson said.

It's something the city of Rutland already has: sex offender dwelling restrictions but only for those with crimes against children.

Despite those recommendations, Vermont Corrections Commissioner Andy Pallito still says enforcing zoning limits isn't the right move for sex offenders, arguing they'd be pushed out into rural areas without any treatment programs or law enforcement.

When you start to enact sex offender zoning regulations, you start to drive people who have high risk out into areas where you really can't keep an eye on them,” Pallito said.

Rutland Mayor Chris Louras says that's not the case.

He says the guidelines help make his community safer and that sex offenders don't have a problem finding a home.

It's a similar system to the one Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon tried to put in place in his city, too, but the measure was stopped by a judge.

As we sit here talking today, there are extremely high-risk offenders who have simply served their time and maxed. So they're no longer required to have treatment and they're no longer supervised by the Department of Corrections, and in those cases, I do think it's important to place restrictions, if you're on the registry,” Lauzen said.

The state of Vermont has considered creating statewide restrictions, but in the end, Sen. Dick Sears (D-Bennington) and other lawmakers decided against housing guidelines in favor of creating tougher penalties and the possibility of lifetime probation for sex offenders.

We made a lot of steps to try to keep, particularly, kids safe, but Vermonters in general, safer from sex offenders, and I think as we worked on the bill it was general agreement based on what other states had experienced with residency requirements, that that would not help,” Sears said.

Right now there are only four sex offenders who will be monitored for life. They were initially sentenced to a maximum of life in prison and were released.

As for those sentenced to probation for life, the Department of Corrections doesn't track that information, but the director of field services said he believes there are likely "not many" on that list.


TX - Court invalidates Texas law on sexual communication with minors

Online sexual solicitation
Original Article

10/30/2013

By Chuck Lindell

Texas’ highest criminal court Wednesday invalidated a state law that banned sexually explicit Internet communication between an adult and a minor, ruling the 2005 statute violates free speech protections.

A companion law criminalizing the sexual solicitation of minors was upheld by the state Court of Criminal Appeals.

Lawyers for the state had argued that without the ban on sexually explicit communication, “perverts will be free to bombard our children with salacious emails and text messages, and parents and law enforcement would be unable to stop it,” the unanimous ruling noted.

But the court said Texas children are protected by other laws that have passed constitutional scrutiny, including statutes banning solicitation, obscenity, harassment and the distribution of harmful materials to minors.

The now-invalidated state law prohibited adults from engaging in sexually explicit online communication with a minor with the intent of sexual gratification.

Laws limiting the First Amendment right to free speech based on the content of that speech — like the Texas statute on online sexually explicit communication — are presumed to be constitutionally invalid unless they serve a compelling state interest and are narrowly drawn to limit their impact, the appeals court said.

The opinion by Judge Cathy Cochran acknowledged that the state has a well-established interest in protecting children from child predators.

But the Texas law was not narrowly written, she wrote, instead covering “a whole cornucopia of ‘titillating talk’ or ‘dirty talk,’” including sexually explicit literature such as “Lolita,” “50 Shades of Grey,” “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” and Shakespeare’s “Troilus and Cressida.”

Cochran listed other “sexually explicit television shows, movies, and performances” improperly covered by the law, including Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl and Miley Cyrus’s “twerking” during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

In sum, everything (the law) prohibits and punishes is speech and is either already prohibited by other statutes — such as obscenity, distributing harmful material to minors, solicitation of a minor, or child pornography — or is constitutionally protected,” Cochran wrote.

In its ruling, the court dismissed a pending indictment against _____ of Harris County, whose trial had been delayed while he challenged the law’s constitutionality. _____ had been charged with communicating in a sexually explicit manner with somebody he believed was a minor, a third-degree felony.


CANADA - Trouble with registries

Sex Offender RegistryOriginal Article

11/01/2013

By Emile Therien

On Sept. 16, Prime Minister Harper promised Canadians a national, online database accessible to the public listing the names of high-risk child sex-offenders to replace a patchwork of existing databases. Another proposed change announced by him would have such offenders planning to travel outside the country alert Canadian authorities before they leave, and who, in turn, may warn destination countries.

The prime minister said this registry will come into effect in this session of Parliament.

The problem with sex registries! Not only are these registries notoriously incomplete but they are also misguided and misdirected laws that cast far too wide a net, in the process preventing authorities from dealing with the really big problem at hand, that is, sexual abuse against children. Concerns have also been expressed that these laws focus on a relatively small number of high-risk offenders, in the process excluding the many "medium-risk" offenders who also pose a significant risk to children.

These laws are not evidence based policy, but rather reactions to high-profile crimes against children. Underlying these laws is the belief that notifying the public of the presence of sex offenders in their community allows citizens to take protective measures against potentially dangerous sex offenders who live nearby.

A study published in 2009 sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Justice, found there has been little detailed monitoring and evaluation to ascertain the effectiveness of these registries.

The study also found that most states have very little evidence of the actual impact of community notification on their jurisdiction. Also, there is little empirical evaluation to support any assumptions that exist about impacts on offender recidivism.

In addition, by focusing on a small number of offenders, these laws may detract attention from more common crimes such as intra-familial abuse, leaving parents and children more vulnerable to abuse from people known to them; there is also evidence that victims of intra-familial abuse may be deterred from reporting crimes because of fears related to community notification. The law of unintended consequences! The study also found there is very little monitoring of vigilantism against offenders, and although there have been few known incidents of harassment, it is likely that these crimes are under-reported and under-recorded.

The question must be asked - are these laws, with all their limitations, worth the costs of their very expensive monitoring and cumbersome enforcement requirements? A disturbing number of crimes that go unreported are sexual crimes against children. More than 95 per cent of sexual crimes against children are by family members (intrafamilial abuse) or at the hands of people they know. A statistically insignificant number of these attacks are ever reported, with the result that the number of charges and subsequent convictions resulting from these crimes, albeit very important, are few and far between.

More often than not, many laws are driven by hype, emotion and political expediency rather than sound empirical evidence. Sex-registry laws which are certainly not evidence-based may very well fit into this category.

They are a classic case of "feel good legislation" which makes people feel safer without delivering tangible safety benefits. Protecting children from all forms of abuse must become a greater societal priority. Child protection laws must be promoted, given adequate resources, both from a financial and human resources point of view, and enforced.

It is scary and unthinkable to consider the consequences of failing to deal with child abuse when this, in the grand scheme of things, continues to be a low national priority. This challenge resides with the prime minister. Is he up to it?