Monday, November 18, 2013

Social Media Experiment - Careful what you post!

Video Description:
Using the power of Social Media, I FREAKED PEOPLE OUT by making them think I knew personal information about them!


NJ - Update to N.J. sex offender registry law advanced by Assembly panel

Richard Kanka, center, appears with his wife Maureen Kanka and U.S. Rep. Chris Smith during a 2008 press conference to an International Megan's Law initiative.
Original Article

11/18/2013

By Christopher Baxter

TRENTON - A state Assembly panel today advanced a bill that would require sex offenders to pay part of their monitoring costs under Megan’s Law and toughen penalties for those who violate its provisions.

The bill (A3886), which was approved 10-0 by the lower house's Law and Public Safety Committee, would charge newly convicted sex offenders a $30 monthly fee that would go into a state fund to pay for supervision. The money would also help authorities monitor what offenders do online.

The bill now goes to the full Assembly for consideration. An identical measure passed the Senate in June.

The bill would also:
  • Upgrade penalties for sexual assault if the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated. The crime would be second degree, as opposed to the current third degree, carrying a sentence of 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
  • Increase the penalty for failure to register a new address with authorities from a fourth-degree to a third-degree crime.
  • Clarify that a juvenile caught "sexting" with a cell phone – sending racy pictures of other minors – would not have to register as a sex offender.
  • Include low-level offenders whose conduct has been deemed "repetitive" and "compulsive" in publicly accessible online databases. Currently, mid-level offenders and up can be seen publicly.
  • Provide money from the supervision fund to upgrade computer equipment so authorities can monitor sex offenders’ online activity.
  • Prohibit parole officers from handling more than 40 sex offender cases.


OK - Sex offender takes action against deputy who wrongfully arrested him

To serve and protect?
Original Article

11/18/2013

By Rebecca Schleicher

A man from Hulbert convicted of rape 19 years ago spent nearly two decades on the sex offender registry.

This summer a state Supreme Court ruling got _____ off the list, but now he says he's being harassed by at least one investigator who is disregarding the law.

When _____ was 19 he dated a girl four years younger.

"We had just went out once or twice and wound up sleeping together and that was you know that was basically it," he said.

But that wasn't it. The 15-year-old girl's parents pressed charges for statutory rape and _____ became a sex offender. He registered as one for 19 years.

"It has basically ruined my life," he said.

Since then a lot's changed. He has a girlfriend now, and a family. And this summer the Supreme Court ruling struck down the law that would make him register for life. Instead, he's responsible for just 10 years.

"He registered nine more years than the law required," said _____'s attorney David Slane.

_____ says Cherokee County Investigator James Brown, who keeps up with sex offenders in the county, constantly follows him or has other officers following him whenever he goes into town. And despite the ruling, on November 2, Brown arrested _____.

"He had moved and changed his address he hadn't notified us of the change of address so that's why he was arrested," said Undersheriff Jason Chennault.

_____ says he showed Brown his official court order, proving he was off the registry since early October. He keeps it on him at all times.

"I had it in my back pocket, I pulled it out, handed it to Mr. Brown, he laughed at me, told me it was no good...and also told me he was my God and I would answer to him," _____ said.

Chennault says his investigator can't just take a possible criminal's word at face value.

"He said that, but we hadn't gotten any notification about that, there was nothing in the database about that," Chennault said.

_____'s attorney thinks Brown should lose his job over the wrongful arrest. He's filing an official complaint with CLEET.

"Officers have got to understand that if people have a court order like this they need to stop and they need to use those investigative tools that they've been trained with to see if this is valid," said Slane.

Meanwhile the county maintains it's people did their jobs.

"So as far as you know everything happened the way it was supposed to happen?" asked reporter Rebecca Schleicher.

"Correct," Chennault responded.

_____ says he doesn't care whether or not Brown loses his job, he just wants the unwanted attention to stop.

"I feel I've been cheated...this has been going on for 19 years, I would like the chance to live my life."


VA - Woman (Elizabeth Coast) who falsely accused man of sex crimes says she's sorry

Elizabeth Coast
Original Article

11/18/2013

By Velma Scaife

NEWPORT NEWS - The name Elizabeth Coast made headlines here in Hampton Roads, after a confession that shocked many and came as the relief for a young man sitting in a prison cell.

A year ago in Hampton, Coast recanted a story that sent _____ to prison for more than four years for sex crimes he didn't commit.

In an exclusive interview with 13News Now, Coast said she would like to give Montgomery a face-to- face apology to describe how sorry she is for that lie.

"My heart and my prayers have been for him this whole time. I wish there was more that I could do to help him in this time of his life," she said.


FL - A Guest Editorial from ATSA Executive Director, Maia Christopher

Civil Commitment
Original Article

11/16/2013

Recent media reports have questioned the effectiveness of Florida's sexual offender civil commitment (SOCC) program, which allows for the preventive detention of particularly high risk sexual offenders following completion of their prison terms so that they may complete treatment in a secure facility before returning to the community.

The consequences of sexual offenses can be devastating, and it is understandable that lawmakers, victims and their families, and members of the public seek expedient solutions. In reality, however, preventing sexual abuse is a complex issue. When news media call into question current sexual offender management practices, it is important that members of the community have sufficient information to understand the issues.

The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA, and its Florida chapter FATSA) is an international, multi-disciplinary membership organization dedicated to preventing sexual abuse. Our members are researchers, clinicians, law enforcement professionals, and victim advocates. ATSA members have contributed to the development of treatment and risk management strategies that reduce reoffending. We also work to promote social policies that will increase community safety and ensure that services are available to victims and their families.

ATSA recognizes that the reoffenses highlighted by the Sun Sentinel were truly tragic, and that discussions about recidivism rates and risk assessment ring hollow in the wake of a heinous crime. Any victim is one too many.

Over the last 30 years, we have learned a lot about the dynamics of sexual assault. Most victims are abused by someone they know and trust. We also know that not all sexual offenders pose the same degree of risk to the community. Civil commitment is designed for those at highest risk.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states with SOCC statutes must adhere to specific criteria, and individuals may be civilly committed only when (1) they can be diagnosed as having a mental disorder predisposing them to sexual violence, and (2) they are "likely to reoffend" according to a psychological risk assessment. The court emphasized that SOCC requires thoughtful consideration of the need to balance public safety with offender civil liberties, and that quality treatment is what distinguishes civil commitment from incarceration.

Since 1999, over 30,000 incarcerated offenders have been assessed for possible civil commitment in Florida, and over 700 are currently detained. A recent independent review of the program found that of the sexual offenders released to the community, 95% have not been rearrested for a new sex crime. The risk assessment procedures used in Florida are grounded in research to ensure the highest degree of accuracy; however, these methods are not foolproof. Nonetheless, evidence based assessment, treatment, and community reintegration strategies for offenders are vital in our efforts to ensure community safety.

As compelling as it may seem, the simple answer of “locking them all up” would be in violation of the Supreme Court’s rulings. Such a practice would also direct crucial resources away sexual abuse prevention efforts, as well as treatment services for victims.

So, what should we do? First, we must ensure that research guides us in identifying those at highest risk to reoffend. Second, we must target resources toward those most likely to reoffend. Third, we must ensure that sexual offenders returning to the community have both accountability and effective treatment services. This requires close collaboration between law enforcement, probation and parole, victim advocates, and sexual offender treatment providers.

ATSA members are committed to making society safer. In addition to sexual offender risk management, we believe that lawmakers must make it a priority to prevent sexual abuse from occurring in the first place, to ensure the availability of effective and compassionate services to victims, to facilitate effective child protection programs, and to provide prevention services to at-risk families. No More Victims is our shared goal.

For additional information sexual offenders and sexual violence prevention, visit www.atsa.com.

Maia Christopher
Executive Director
Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers


Static-99 “norms du jour” get yet another makeover

Crystal Ball
Original Article

11/17/2013

By Karen Franklin, Ph.D.

It would be humorous if the real-world consequences were not so grave.

Every year, at a jam-packed session of the annual conference of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), the developers of the Static-99 family of actuarial risk assessment tools roll out yet a new methodology to replace the old.

This year, they announced that they are scrapping two of three sets of "non-routine" comparison norms that they introduced at an ATSA conference just four years ago. Stay tuned, they told their rapt audience, for further instructions on how to choose between the two remaining sets of norms.

To many, this might sound dry and technical. But in the courtroom trenches, sexually violent predator cases often hinge on an evaluator's choice of a comparison group. Should the offender be compared with the full population of convicted sex offenders? Or a subset labeled "high risk/needs" that offended at a rate more than 3.5 times higher than the more representative group (21 percent versus 6 percent after five years)?

To illustrate, whereas only about 3 percent (4 out of 139) of the men over 70 in the combined Static-99R samples reoffended, invoking the high-risk norms would cause a septuagenarian's risk to skyrocket by 400 percent. It's not hard to see why such an inflated estimate might increase the odds of a judge or jury finding a former offender to be dangerous, and recommending indefinite detention.

The first problem with this method is that the basis for choosing a comparison group is very vague, inviting bias on the part of forensic evaluators. Even more essentially, there is not a shred of empirical evidence that choosing the high-risk norms improves decision-making accuracy in sexually violent predator (SVP) cases.

That should come as no surprise. Not one of the six samples that were cobbled together post-hoc to create the high-risk norms included anyone who was civilly committed -- or considered for commitment -- under modern-day SVP laws, which now exist in 20 U.S. states. (Four samples are Canadian, one is Danish, and the only American one is an exceptionally high-risk, archaic and idiosyncratic sample from an infamous psychiatric facility in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.)

A typical psychological test has a published manual that gives instructions on proper use and clearly describes its norms. In contrast, the Static-99, despite its high-stakes deployment, has no published manual. Its users must rely on a website, periodic conferences and training sessions, and word-of-mouth information.


MD - Sex offender registry provided wrong info

So you are pointing out that the registry had the wrong info but don't seem to care much about a human being being murdered?

The online registry (hit-list) needs to be taken offline and used by police only, so stuff like this doesn't happen, which is a MAJOR problem that the media continues to fail at reporting.... Go figure!


See Also:



WI - Man accused of making 15 bomb threats also registered sex offender

Oh, let's not freak out because he's a psycho with bombs, but oh my, he's a sex offender.... Run for the hills!!!!!!!!!!!!

Video Description:
The man accused of wreaking havoc on her town through bomb threats is also a registered sex offender. He's been a referee at girls softball, basketball and volleyball games in Waupun, Beaver Dam and Mayville.


WI - Sex offender lives in home after city board denial

So why can't he live there? If there is no law saying he cannot, then you cannot tell him he can't!

Video Description:
A recently released sex offender has been living in an east side Green Bay home despite a city committee telling him he couldn't.