Monday, December 9, 2013

CA - Ruling may have vast effect on sex-offender registry, attorney says

Off the list
Original Article

11/27/2013

By SCOTT SCHWEBKE

SANTA ANA - A court ruling involving an Orange County case could result in hearings for thousands of California sex offenders seeking to have their names removed from the “Megan’s Law” registry, says an attorney who represents a sex offender.

California’s 4th District Court of Appeal found unconstitutional a state law that allows some sex offenders to have hearings for certificates of rehabilitation while denying that right to others.

The appeals court also ordered Orange County Superior Court Judge Lance Jensen to reconsider _____'s petition for rehabilitation and to be allowed to stop registering as a sex offender.

Our reversal of the order (from Jensen) on appeal merely revives _____’s right to pursue his petition on the merits,” Associate Justice David A. Thompson wrote on behalf of the appeals panel. “If _____ satisfies the specified criteria, then requiring him to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life based on his … offenses would serve no useful purpose.”

The appeals court ruling earlier this month may affect thousands of registered sex offenders, said Robert D. Salisbury, a Santa Ana attorney who represents _____.

It’s going to allow people who qualify to be heard in court to be taken off the sex-offender registry,” he said. “Once they are off the registry … they will also come off of the Megan’s Law website operated by the California Department of Justice.”

Offenders no longer on the Megan’s Law registry have a better chance of finding jobs and are less likely to be harassed by the public, Salisbury said.

Megan's Law is named after 7-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a registered sex offender who had moved across the street from the family without their knowledge. After the slaying, the Kankas sought to have communities warned about sex offenders in the area. All states now have some form of Megan’s Law.

WIDE-RANGING IMPACT

Janice M. Bellucci, president of California Reform Sex Offender Laws and an attorney, said the ruling involving _____ could have a significant impact.

Over the years the categories of those who could apply for certificates of rehabilitation have been narrowed and this case widens those categories,” she said.

A certificate of rehabilitation doesn’t erase a convicted sex offender’s record but is a court order indicating that his or her criminal history is a thing of the past, said Salisbury.

The certificate also frees sex offenders from the requirement to register with the state and serves as an automatic application for a governor’s pardon, he added.

To become eligible for a certificate, an offender must wait 10 years from the time he or she is released from prison and parole, and must also have committed no felonies, Bellucci said.

You have to prove you are a law-abiding citizen, which is what a judge looks at in deciding whether to issue a certificate,” she said.

_____, now 52, of Santa Ana, pleaded guilty in 1998 to six counts of lewd or lascivious conduct with two girls younger than 14. Lewd or lascivious conduct typically involves fondling, according to the state’s penal code.

_____ was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender. He got out of prison after three years and was discharged from parole in 2004. His application was filed in anticipation of his 2014 eligibility.

_____ filed a petition earlier this year for a certificate of rehabilitation and sought removal from California's sex-offender registry.


CT - Bipartisan effort to prevent sex offenders from living near schools

Snake oil salesman
Snake oil salesman
Original Article

12/08/2013

By Amity Observer

WOODBRIDGE - State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114) and State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. (D-17) announced they will introduce legislation in the upcoming legislative session that will restrict sex offenders from living near schools or daycare centers.
- Just because you restrict them from living near these places that doesn't mean they cannot commit another sexual crime at one of these places, if they chose to do so!  Residency laws are only about where someone sleeps at night, nothing more, and doesn't prevent crime or protect anybody from someone who may potentially be dangerous, it's just fodder for politicians to use to exploit fear, children and ex-offenders to help themselves "look tough" on crime while doing nothing!

The policy, which Rep. Klarides originally proposed in 2007, would establish “Child Safety Zones” – a 1,000 foot radius around schools, daycares and other locations where children typically gather – and prohibit any registered sex offender from residing there.

The proposal would also carry more severe penalties and increased fines for crimes committed within the zones. Rep. Klarides has proposed similar legislation in the past, but was met with resistance from majority party legislators who instead voted to dilute the policy.

Why you lurking?
The last thing a parent should have to worry about when they send their child to school is whether a depraved sex offender is lurking around the corner from the jungle gym or classroom,” said Klarides, deputy House Republican leader. “Keeping sex offenders away from kids is a common sense policy that many people assume is already in place, but has been met with inexcusable opposition from other legislative leaders in the past several years.”

I call on my colleagues to do the right thing for our communities and support this legislation when the 2014 Session convenes,” she said.

State statutes require known sex offenders and predators to register their whereabouts for very good reason – to safeguard residents and protect them from any recurrence of previous behavior that prompted registration in the first place,” State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco Jr. said. “This initiative is a straightforward extension of these safeguards and protections and if enacted, will help separate those on the registry from schools and daycare centers where children congregate.”

The upcoming 2014 legislative session convenes Feb. 5, 2014.

See Also:


CA - Ex-San Diego Mayor Bob Filner faces sentencing Monday for kissing, grabbing women

Bob Filner
Bob Filner
Original Article

He should be in prison and on the registry just like the average citizen who did the same! But as usual, that won't happen because he's a politician!

12/09/2013

By David Simpson

(CNN) - Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner will be sentenced Monday for kissing or grabbing three women at campaign events or City Hall, once with enough force to qualify as a felony.

Filner, 71, will not serve prison time under a deal with prosecutors announced when he pleaded guilty in October.

The plea deal calls for three months of home confinement, three years of probation and mandatory mental health treatment. Fines, court fees and restitution are to be added Monday.

The deal includes a felony false imprisonment charge and two misdemeanor battery charges.

The felony charge said Filner used force to restrain a woman at a fund-raising event March 6. The misdemeanor charges say he kissed a woman on the lips without her consent at City Hall on April 6 and grabbed a woman's buttock after she asked to take to have her picture taken with him at a rally May 25.

Filner was elected mayor in November 2012 after serving in Congress for 20 years.

This year, 19 women accused him of offensive behavior during his tenure as mayor and as a congressman.

After veering between contrition and defiance, he resigned August 30. He offered a "deep apology" but also said he was the victim of the "hysteria of a lynch mob."

Under the deal announced in October, Filner would be prohibited from ever seeking or holding public office again, the attorney general's office said. Filner also would not be able to vote, serve on a jury or own a firearm while on probation.

Filner also will have to give up pension credit for his time in the mayor's office after March 6, the date of the first offense.


DC - Police Officer (Linwood Barnhill) Investigated for "Pimping" Teen Girls

To protect and serve?Original Article

12/06/2013

By Shomari Stone, Mark Segraves and Mila Mimica

A D.C. police officer is being investigated for allegedly “pimping” teenage girls, police sources said, but there's no indication that investigation is connected to another officer who was just arrested on child porn charges.

Linwood Barnhill, 47, was found with a girl who had been reported missing inside his Southeast D.C. apartment Tuesday. Police executed a search warrant on Barnhill's home Wednesday, and seized several cell phones, marijuana and a laptop computer.

Neighbors told News4 they would often see young girls going in and out of his apartment.

Barnhill, who has been with D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department for 24 years, has been on light duty since September 2012. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier declined to comment on why Barnhill has been on light duty, citing medical privacy laws.

In a press conference Friday, Lanier said this investigation is not connected to the Monday arrest of another D.C. police officer on child porn charges.

In that case, officer Marc Washington (See Also), who has been with the department since 2006, went to the home of a 15-year-old girl who had previously been reported missing, ordered her to remove her clothing and took photos of her, all while he was on duty.

The girl's mother notified police, and Washington was arrested within hours.

Lanier acknowledged Friday that the arrests could erode the public's confidence in the police department. "We've come so far. We have people now who feel comfortable telling us about these complaints... It only takes one cop to shake everybody in our community," she said.

During a hearing Thursday, it was revealed Washington, 32, had hundreds of photographs on his digital camera dating back to 2011, many of which depicted women who were victims of domestic violence.

The police department has strict guidelines on what officers can and can't do with photographs they take while on duty. All images are supposed to become property of MPD and officers are not supposed to use their own cameras, Lanier said.

Court documents allege that Washington attempted to delete the pornographic images from his digital camera prior to the arrest.

"I would say to any member of the public... if you ever have an interaction with a police officer you are not comfortable with," call 911 and ask for a supervisor, Lanier said.

A third officer is also under investigation for possibly tipping Washington off about his forthcoming arrest earlier this week, sources said. However, Lanier would not confirm that claim Friday, saying only that is was placed on no-contact status.

Washington did not enter a plea at a hearing Thursday. A U.S. magistrate judge ordered Washington released to home detention pending trial, but a 24-hour stay was granted so prosecutors could appeal the decision.

All three officers work in MPD's Seventh District, law enforcement sources said.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier released the following statement Thursday afternoon, referencing officers Barnhill and Washington.

"The Department is very concerned about the recent allegations of egregious conduct by two officers. We recognize that the actions of individual officers reflect on the entire Department. To uncover any potential malfeasance by officers, the Department regularly conducts audits and investigations of their conduct and behavior, both when on-duty and off-duty. The misguided actions of a few in no way reflect on the professionalism, dedication, and integrity of the Department. As we have seen several times this year with three officers shot in the line of duty, MPD officers put their lives on the line every single day to protect residents and visitors in the District of Columbia. That will not change."