Tuesday, March 25, 2014

TN - Sex offender bill to be heard this week

Rep. Billy Spivey
Rep. Billy Spivey
Original Article


By Billy Spivey

HB1860 (Video), the “community notification of sexual offenders” bill, will be heard this week before the Calendar and Rules Committee. If all goes well there, it will be scheduled for a vote on the House floor.

This important bit of legislation will allow for local communities to choose, if they desire, to adopt a notification program for residents with regard to the arrival or presence of certain sexual offenders. The bill gives full authority to the locals to decide whether or not they want to pursue a notification program, so it is not forcing anything on anyone while allowing for communities who are concerned about the safety of residents (and particularly children) to do this sort of thing if it is what they deem best. Please call your Representatives and Senators and urge them to NOT support HB1860 in the House, and SB2398 in the Senate.

Sheriff Blackwelder and Sandra Metcalf of Lincoln County have been incredibly helpful throughout the process of crafting and advancing this bill. There are also a great many good folks in Lincoln County who have been absolutely critical in getting this proposal “off the launchpad”, so to speak.

HB1860 is an excellent example of local participation and activity at the grassroots level being pursued to the point of making a real difference on a state level. Folks throughout the 92nd District have been very supportive of HB1860, but it has been the passionate participation of Lincoln County residents in particular that has been most responsible for getting HB1860 to where it is now. I am so thankful and honored to serve the people of Lincoln County and have the opportunity to champion this cause alongside them.

NJ - State Senate to vote Thursday on Jessica Lunsford Act

DiAnne Gove
DiAnne Gove
Original Article



GALLOWAY – A state Senate vote on the Jessica Lunsford Act has been scheduled for Thursday, March 27, according to the District 9 delegation, which has cosponsored the legislation in both state houses.

The vote is the final legislative hurdle for the bill to be sent to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk for approval. It was passed 77-0 Thursday, March 20, by the state Assembly.

That same day it was passed by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, clearing it for this week’s floor vote.

Galloway resident Anna Jezycki said she is hopeful for the act to become law.

This has been going on for so many years,” Jezycki said. “It would be one of the best things that ever happened for New Jersey.”

For the past dozen or so years, Jezycki has been the leader of CUFFS, Community United for Family Safety, which she started with some neighbors when they learned of a sex offender living near a school bus stop.

This is long overdue,” Jezycki said. “It’s been a long time coming and will be well accepted by the people.”

She said she expects that if Gov. Christie considers whether to sign the bill, the governor will remember receiving thousands of letters from CUFFS a few years ago during a previous attempt at sex-offender legislation.

The District 9 senator and Assembly members who represent Galloway and Port Republic in Atlantic County and coastal communities to the north have been pushing for the legislation for a while based – in part – on input from Galloway residents.

For nearly a decade, our delegation has cosponsored and consistently advocated in favor of enacting the Jessica Lunsford Act, here in New Jersey, just as at least 25 other states have done,” Sen. Christopher J. Connors told The Current Monday, March 24. “Mandatory sentencing would serve the interest of public safety, as sexual predators who prey upon children would be incarcerated for longer periods of time as opposed to being released onto the streets.”

The act, which is named after a Florida girl who was sexually assaulted and murdered by a convicted sex offender, requires mandatory terms for persons convicted of aggravated sexual assault against a child under the age of 13. Sentences would range between 25 years and life imprisonment, with 25 years having to be served before parole eligibility.

Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf said victims’ interests would be better served.

The courts would be enabled under the law to mandate that sexual predators serve sentences befitting of the heinous nature of their crimes,” Rumpf said. “For these and other compelling reasons, there is tremendous support for the Jessica Lunsford Act among concerned parents, grandparents, community groups and local public officials, including in our legislative district, who remain actively engaged in the effort to strengthen the state’s sexual offender laws.”

Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove cited strong support from two major forces.

It is extremely important to note that this legislation is supported by Mark Lunsford (Video, Child Porn), Jessica’s father, who has worked tireless for Jessica’s Law to be enacted by every state so that a conviction of a sexual assault committed against a child in the first degree carries with it a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 25 years,” Gove said. “Critical to the continued advancement of this legislation is that both the Senate and Assembly versions of the Jessica Lunsford Act have strong bipartisan support from representatives across the state.”

The Assembly Judiciary Committee passed its version of the act, A-892 (PDF), Feb. 24. The Judiciary Committee was the only committee to hear A-892 before it moved to its unanimous Assembly approval March 20.

In the Senate, it required approval from two committees to reach this week’s vote. The Law and Public Safety Committee approved S-215 (PDF) Jan. 30 and the Budget and Appropriations Committee OK’d it March 13.

The 9th District delegation has established an online petition drive in support of the Jessica Lunsford Act as well as other sex offender legislation that residents can sign.

Connors, Rumpf and Gove are also prime sponsors of legislation that would require a sexual offender to be tiered – rated on the risk for re-offense – prior to his release from prison.

Currently, the ability of an offender to obtain housing following release is a determined by his tiering level.

AUSTRALIA - We don’t want consensual sex teens listed

Bill Byrne
Bill Byrne
Original Article


Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne said at this stage a public register was only theoretical, and he would reserve his judgment until he had the opportunity to review all information.

"I have seen commentary that's been put out by the LNP cabinet ministers and they seem to be equally divided, as I imagine the rest of the community would be, about such a matter," he said.

"There are reasonable concerns that the notion of vigilantism would rear its head; there have been examples of that in Queensland."
- Oh it will!  All you have to do is look at these examples.

"While I'm not defending the histories of those that are targeted, it does give me concern that the prospect of vigilantism exists."

He also raised concerns about people who were not a danger to the community being placed on a public registry.

One example of this could be underage teenagers having consensual sex, which is technically illegal.

"We don't want to have two 15-year-olds that have had what I consider to be a consensual relationship to end up on the sex offender register," he said.

"It could be a catch-all legislation that has ramifications well beyond the intention of the legislation."

"The bikie legislation was meant to target the criminal element of motorcycle gangs, and it has had a much broader effect than what was the intention of the legislation."

He maintained that the idea behind the justice system was to hold people accountable for their actions, but to also offer them a chance of rehabilitation.

IL - Commission recommends removing juvenile offenders from sex registries, bolstering treatment

Juvenile sex offenders
Original Article



SPRINGFIELD - Requiring juveniles to register as sex offenders impairs rehabilitation efforts for a crime that very few of them ever commit again, a study released Tuesday says.
- The same applies to adults as well, if you look at the facts!

The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission's report recommends ending the practice of making offenders younger than 17 add their names to sex-offender registries, which can negatively affect an offender for years. Every juvenile convicted of a sex crime must register, and 70 percent of the 2,553 currently registered must do so for life, the report said.

The 150-page review of laws and treatment practices regarding juvenile sex crimes calls for the state to abolish the categorical requirement for young offenders' registration. The report, which the General Assembly requested in 2012, says sex crimes committed in youth are seldom repeated in adulthood and that individualized, community-based treatment plans are highly effective and more productive than incarceration.

"Automatic, categorical registries do not protect public safety," commission chairman George Timberlake, a retired chief circuit judge from Mount Vernon, told The Associated Press. "There's no evidentiary basis that says they do and more importantly, they have very negative consequences in the effects they have on the offenders' life, and perhaps the victim's life."

Timberlake said the victim, often a family member, loses confidentiality through offender registration and can also suffer from not being able to resume a familial relationship with an offender who is required to register. He added that a registry might be appropriate based on risk. Many states offer courts flexibility.

The report recommends developing statewide standards and training for courts and law enforcement professionals for intervening with young sex offenders and victims. It also calls for a consistent assessment tool for evaluating risks an individual juvenile poses. Also, the report says, offenders whenever possible should be kept in treatment programs in their homes that involve parents as opposed to locking them up.

There were 232 juveniles arrested for sex crimes in Illinois in 2010, down from 434 in 2004. Timberlake said only a few dozen of those were incarcerated for their crimes. He said locking the juveniles up should be a last resort for reasons including the state Juvenile Justice Department not having enough money to provide proper treatment.

More than half of juvenile sex offenders are younger than 14, he said.

"They're very young," Timberlake said. "Most of this conduct can be explained by a lack of maturity, literally, developmental disabilities, a lack of social skills, or that they were abused themselves."
- And by today's mass hysteria.  Many of these "crimes," in the old days, would not be considered a crime!

WI - Former police lieutenant (Dennis P. Jenks) pleads guilty to sex assault charge against a child

Dennis P. Jenks
Dennis P. Jenks
Original Article



A former Mount Horeb police lieutenant pleaded guilty Monday to repeated sexual assault of a child, for his months-long sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy who moved into his Madison apartment.

Under a plea agreement, prosecutors will ask for no more than 15 years in prison for Dennis P. Jenks, 45, who was arrested on Feb. 13, 2013, after his relationship with the boy was discovered during the investigation of another sex assault case also involving the boy.

The plea agreement also called for the dismissal of 32 other felonies, including sexual exploitation and possession of child pornography, but Dane County Circuit Judge Ellen Berz can take those charges into consideration when she sentences Jenks on April 21.

Jenks still faces a federal charge of sexual exploitation of a child. But his lawyer, Nicholas Rifelj, told Berz that under an agreement with federal prosecutors, the federal charge would be dismissed if Jenks receives at least 15 years in prison in the state case.

A 15-year sentence is the mandatory minimum for the federal exploitation charge, but because both the state and federal charges arise from the same actions, Jenks could only be given overlapping sentences, not consecutive state and federal sentences.

Jenks resigned from his job with Mount Horeb police after he was charged with sexual assault.

According to a criminal complaint, the boy, a runaway, moved into Jenks’ apartment in October 2012 after meeting on an Internet chat website.

In the meantime, neighbors of _____, a former church music director, complained to police about parties at _____’s home in Middleton. During their investigation, police learned that the 14-year-old boy had been having sex with _____, and that the boy was living with Jenks at the time.

That information led to Jenks’ arrest.

In October, _____ was sentenced to 15 years of probation, with one year in jail as part of his probation. He is still serving the jail portion of his sentence.

Jenks could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison with 15 years of extended supervision for the repeated sexual assault of a child conviction.