|Sen. Dennis Rodriguez|
By Cameron Miculka
A registry aimed at providing Guamanians with a list of repeat family violence offenders is scheduled to launch next week.
Carlina Charfauros, spokeswoman for the Office of the Attorney General, said the registry will be launched Monday.
A press conference about the registry is scheduled for the same day.
According to a 2011 law, the Office of the Attorney General is required to keep a database of those convicted of at least two family violence offenses.
The law was created through a bill introduced by Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, D-Dededo.
The registry has been in the works for close to three years, but stalled several times due to a lack of staffing and resources.
Charfauros said yesterday that the AG's office has been able to divert some resources from within the office to get the registry online.
Rather than hiring staff exclusively to set up the registry, she said, the office was able to use its interns and has "drawn from other divisions to get this registry up and running."
Charfauros said the registry will be retroactive to 2011, the year the bill became law.
That means that anyone who has had two family violence convictions during or after 2011 -- or had one family violence conviction before 2011 and a second one during or after 2011 -- will appear on the registry. In some cases, such as if a crime involves a deadly weapon, a person can be placed on the registry for a first offense.
In cases where one of those convictions is expunged, the offender can be removed from the registry. The law also provides an avenue for those on the list to petition for removal.
Charfauros said the registry was set up without any funding outside of the AG's budget.
She said the only future anticipated costs would be associated with software upgrades.
Charfauros said the registry is something her office hopes is used by the entire island. "We want everybody to utilize it," she said.
Rodriguez said yesterday he was "very thankful for the AG and his people."
The senator said he hopes the registry protects people from abusers by providing them with access to the knowledge of who the repeat offenders are in Guam. "I think it's a step in the right direction," he said.
Both Charfauros and Rodriguez said the registry will be useful for people starting relationships.
"It's targeted for people who might not know who they're getting into a relationship with," said Rodriguez.
The two also said that they don't anticipate the registry to lead to harassment or vigilante action against those who appear on the list.
Rodriguez said that the island's sex offender registry performs a similar role on the island and that he hasn't seen any violence directed at sex offenders on that list. "That's not the intent of this," he said.
- Doesn't mean it won't happen. Vigilantism of those on the sex offender registry is a problem in the USA so I assume it will be in Guam as well since it's a US state. Why don't we have an online registry for all ex-felons?
Charfauros noted that the law expressly forbids the use of the registry to stalk or harass people on it.