Thursday, June 19, 2008

NH - N.H. Court Finds Sex Offender Registry Fee Legal

View the article here

Legal extortion is what this is... Here is the actual ruling on this case.

06/19/2008

CONCORD (AP) ― New Hampshire's Supreme Court says it's legal to force sex offenders to pay for the state sex offender registry.

The court ruled Thursday that such payments are a legitimate user fee, not an unfair tax.

The ruling came in the case of Philip Horner, who was convicted in 2000 of five counts of sexual assault. Horner argued that because the registry serves the general public, it was unfair to charge offenders $34 a year to maintain it.

In a unanimous decision, the high court disagreed, saying the fee is applied directly to a service that would not be necessary if there were no sex offenders.


AR - Court rules misdemeanor sexual indecency merits sex offender registration

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This is why laws need to be clearly defined, and not et everyone GUESS as to what makes someone have to register. When you leave it for people to guess, there is always going to be problems.

06/19/2008

LITTLE ROCK - A Saline County man's name should go on Arkansas' sex offender registry even though his crime, misdemeanor public sexual indecency, is not listed in the definitions chapter of the state sex offender registration statute, the state Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
- So why aren't prostitutes and Johns on the registry? That is a sex crime, and it's not defined!

The appeals court rejected Ronald Fountain's argument that the circuit judge who heard his case exceeded his authority in ordering Fountain to register as a sex offender.

Fountain's attorney said he would ask the state Supreme Court to review Wednesday's decision.

Saying the case was precedent setting, Jones said the legal question "needs to be dealt with because a lot of courts all over the state are making decisions about whether people should register and that's a national issue."

Last year, Fountain pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge in Saline County Circuit Court. He was sentenced Sept. 12 to 12 months in jail and Circuit Judge Grisham Phillips also ordered Fountain to register as a sex offender.

In his appeal, Fountain argued that the circuit judge did not have the authority to order him to register because misdemeanor public sexual indecency had been in the state criminal code since 1975 and the Legislature did not include the offense in the definitions section when it adopted the Sex Offender Registration statute in 1997.

"If the Legislature had wanted to make (public sexual indecency) a sex offense, they certainly could have listed it along with everything they did list," Jones, his attorney, said Wednesday. "This pretty much gives carte blanche to the trial court to say anything is a sexual offense."

However, in its ruling Wednesday, the appeals court noted Arkansas Code 12-12-901 specifies the definition of sex offense "is not limited to" offenses listed in the statute.

Also, misdemeanor public sexual indecency is listed in Act 1389 of 2003, which updated sex offenses for background checks for teacher license applicants, the court said.

The law "clearly states that our sex-offender registration requirements apply to persons 'adjudicated guilty on or after Aug. 1, 1997, of a sex offense,' and, although not included among the sexual offenses enumerated (in the section), the crime of public sexual indecency is classified as a sexual offense" in the 2003 law, Judge Sam Bird wrote.

Jones said Wednesday all of the state's trial courts should be on the same page on the issue.

"That's what the Supreme Court is supposed to do, make sure that the administration of justice is equal all over the state."


AZ - Shelter to end policy of accepting sex offenders

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I am so sick and tired is stupid reporters using the term sex offender and sexual predator as if all sex offenders are predators, that is a flat out lie and they are helping with the hysteria that has already been spread on lies and myths.

06/19/2008

PHOENIX — The only homeless shelter in Phoenix that did not turn away sex offenders is making a change.

Central Arizona Shelter Services, the state's largest shelter, says it now plans to stop providing services to convicted sexual predators. The nonprofit group plans to make the cuts gradually, allowing sex offenders fewer and fewer beds this year and finally cutting off service in June 2009.
- Notice the two words above in blue? They are helping spread the lie that sex offenders are all predators, which is an outright lie... This applies to ALL sex offenders, not just predators.

CEO Mark Holleran said the move isn't meant to punish sex offenders. He simply needs to change his services after the city, county and state cut about $250,000 from his budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
- This is total BS, it's all about punishing sex offenders, by denying them a place to live. Notice the excuse? Blaming it on the government because of budget cuts, typical...

To make up for the drop in government spending, "I can raise money for single adult women with children. I can raise money for veterans. I can raise money for the elderly and for the disabled," Holleran said.

"I cannot raise money in the private sector for sex offenders," he said.

The change will allow the shelter to use its resources to help other needy residents, but city officials say it will also create new problems.

The shelter provides those offenders a bed and an address, which officials can use to track them in the state's sex-offender database.

Councilman Claude Mattox, chairman of the Phoenix City Council's public safety subcommittee, said he is going to direct the city's staff to look at the possibility of identifying a location for housing convicted sex offenders.

Mattox said it's in the community's best interest to know where registered sex offenders are living and he believes a permanent address is better than "under the Seventh Avenue Bridge."

A combination of factors limits where sex offenders can live once they have completed their sentences.

A 2005 state law, promoted by Phoenix officials, law enforcement and residents, prohibits apartment owners from renting more than 10 percent of their units to sex offenders on probation. Of that 10 percent, only one of those renters can be a Level 3 sex offender, the classification for those most likely to re-offend.

The Phoenix Police Department's Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program discourages landlords from renting to felons. The program has 1,400 registered properties, amounting to 149,800 rental units.

Many offenders can't go home after they're released, sometimes because their probation bars them from being near children, sometimes because their families won't take them back.

Therese Wagner, who oversees the sex-offender program for adult probation for Maricopa County, said the many restrictions leave few places for offenders to turn. "You can imagine what that does to people's choices," Wagner said.

Central Arizona Shelter Services was the only shelter in Phoenix that accepted registered sex offenders, she said, adding the shelter has been a good partner.

"What we work for always is a permanent residence," Wagner said. "When they are stable, their risk goes down."

Central Arizona Shelter Services runs a 400-bed shelter and several outdoor overnight housing areas.

An estimated 100 registered sex offenders are clients there; 56 occupy beds there.

The state law prohibiting clusters of sex offenders doesn't apply to shelters.


NC - Myspace sex offender ban possible

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06/19/2008

RALEIGH - Convicted sex offenders who use MySpace would be committing a felony under a plan unanimously supported by the House.
- Why does this idiotic reporter mention only MySpace above, but then says "social networks" below? It's not just MySpace but all social networks. And, the law should be clear and not leave people guessing. Which social networks???

The proposal makes it a low-grade felony for such offenders to use social-networking Web sites that are accessible to children. It was approved Wednesday on a 117-0 vote.

The law would also prohibit sex offenders from changing their names to avoid showing up on the state's registered sex offender list.

Attorney General Roy Cooper praised the House vote. He said the plan will give law enforcement officers better tools to fight criminals who want to hurt children.
- How will banishing sex offenders from social networking sites give law enforcement better tools to fight criminals? More BS propaganda!

The vote sends the proposal back to the Senate, where members approved a similar plan last year.


KY - 24 police officers cited in e-mail, net porn investigation

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06/13/2008

Two dozen Louisville Metro Police officers have been reprimanded or disciplined after an investigation into inappropriate use of department computers.

Chief Robert White said the investigation began after the metro government technology department flagged some computer activity as suspect. The department then launched an internal investigation.

“This is a problem that faces all of us in the workplace,” White said today. “But clearly this should not take place in the police department.”

White said the discipline stemmed from several different incidents, some of which are connected.

In all 28 officers were investigated, though four were found not to have committed any violations of department policy.

While most of the officers were issued a written reprimand, two officers were given more serious discipline because they were found to have accessed Internet Web sites that White described as “lewd, obscene and unacceptable.”

Dwayne Reed, who serves in the 7th Division, was demoted from lieutenant to sergeant based on 118 counts of using the computer improperly.

The letter demoting Reed says that “on numerous occasions and for substantial amounts of time, you accessed pornographic materials through the department’s Internet system. You also downloaded pornographic videos and pictures to your departmental computer.”

Officer Scott Barto, who works in the training division, received a five-day suspension for 12 counts of improperly using the Internet.

Both Barto and Reed have the right to appeal their discipline to the Police Merit Board.

Twenty-one officers received written reprimands because of the investigation.
Eleven officers were reprimanded for sending “offensive, indecent and obscene materials” through the department’s e-mail system, according to letters sent to the officers. They were: Detective Steve Boughey, Detective Mark Final, Officer Kimberly Lankford, Officer Todd Roadhouse, Detective Derek Brooks, Detective Joshua Hasch, Officer Sean Jones, Detective Kenneth Nauert, Detective Kevin Wood, Detective Jay Scott and Detective Robbin Owens.

Nine sergeants and lieutenants were reprimanded because they failed to report the e-mail violations. They were: Sgt. Kevin Thompson, Sgt. Chris Thomas, Sgt. Rick Polin, Sgt. Chad Kessinger, Sgt. Joe O’Toole, Sgt. David Burns, Lt. Jeffrey Wardrip, Sgt. Todd Kessinger and Lt. Jesse Duncan.

And one sergeant, Lawrence Frank, was disciplined for both failing to report the violations and sending inappropriate e-mail.

Homicide Detective Timothy Hightower was given a written reprimand in May for sending pornographic materials through the department’s e-mail system. That was part of the same investigation.

While White said some officers need access to some inappropriate sites for investigative purposes, the officers reprimanded and disciplined were not using the material as part of their jobs.

He said he and his command staff are reviewing whether some department computers will have more filters and restrictions placed on them to prevent such incidents in the future.


FL - Email received from a friend who sent an email to Senator Dave Aronberg in Florida



On April 2nd, the day I read an article in a Florida Newspaper about this Senator creating legislation that would turn Florida's residency restrictions on it's ear and make it more humane and fair across the board, I sent this senator an email commending him for his courage.

Here is that email:
Dear Senator Aronberg:

I won't take up too much of your time, but I just had to write and commend you on this new legislation which will take Florida to the pinacle of states willing to re-look at legislation that is doing more harm than good.

Your bill, changing residency restrictions from 2,500 ft. from anywhere children congregate to a much more reasonable figure of 1,500 ft., will greatly relieve the homeless situation for registered sex offenders. This will give them many more choices and opportunities for housing and employment as well.

Thank you, Senator Aronberg, for standing against the tide of hysteria that is gripping our country, and taking the sex offender legislation in your state back towards fairness for all.

Sincerely,

Jackie Sparling

Last evening I finally received a response from him:

Thank you, Jackie! I really appreciate your nice words. How did you hear about the bill? Dave

I quickly wrote him a response:

Dave, I'm currently the assistant to SOSEN's CEO. SOSEN stands for Sex Offender Support and Education Network.

Previously I worked as the Chief Operations Officer for Soclear Media Productions, an activist group working towards reforming sex offender laws to legislation that is not only more humane and fair across the board, but that also WORKS in keeping our citizens, especially our children, safe.

I was instrumental in organizing an educational forum on the statehouse lawn in my capital city of Columbus, OH this past December, bringing attention to the serious rammifications former offenders in my state were going to be facing on January 1, due to the passage of the AWA here in OH.

I keep abreast of the changing legislation in states across the nation, to the very best of my ability. Florida having former offenders living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway concerned me greatly, and I can't tell you how pleased I am to find a lawmaker in Florida who sees what the residency restrictions are causing there.

The facts are these:


1. Not every Sex Offender touched or hurt a child in anyway. Pedophiles, thank the good Lord are quite rare. Of the 600,000+ names on the registry, approximately 5% are predatorial, i.e., the John Couey's, Joseph Duncan's, etc.

2. According to the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Sex Offenders have the LOWEST recidivism rate of any criminal category, next to murder. The majority of offenders made a poor decision, they acted on a poor decision, were influenced by drugs, etc. They are ashamed of that behavior and just want to put it behind them and get on with their lives, being productive, contributing members of society. http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/

3. Approximately 95% of all newly reported sex crimes are committed by people who's names you will not find on the sex offender registry. Indicative of the low recidivism rate.

4. 92% of all children who are sexually abused are molested by people they know, love, and trust. Stranger danger is practically a myth. While the public is busy looking for the boogeyman on the registry, Uncle Joe is messing with their child in the back bedroom. The area our children face the most danger of this happening to them is in their OWN homes.

Unless and until we can face this. Until we can look that danger zone in the face and deal with it, our children will continue to be sexually accosted.

Bottom line where the registry and living restrictions are concerned is this...the public can't have it both ways. They say they want to know where these former offenders live so they can keep their children clear of them. They also want them restricted from living in houses that are too close to parks, schools, etc. As Florida quickly learned that created a serious homeless problem. YOU CAN'T TRACK A VAGRANT. If you want them tracked and you want to know where they are, then you are going to have to allow them housing to live in.

Along with working with SOSEN, www.sosen.us, I am the ministry leader for Forgiven Offenders Ministry, through http://www.a3ceesaffirmed.org/. The leading Christ Based Counseling organization in the country. Through the ministry, counseling is offered, of course, but other support services as well.

My career was in Corrections. I know what former offenders need to be successful upon release from prison, if our goal is to have them REMAIN free, law abiding citizens. What we are doing to the released sex offender is what we would do if we WANTED them to re-offend. Stress is one of the strongest triggers for a sex offender (I worked with this population) which can cause them to act out inappropriately. Just stop and think for one minute the kind of stress these people are under once they are released from prison. That's why our ministry reaches nationwide. We are currently building an 800 hotline service where former offenders who need assistance, whatever it may be, can call in 24/7 for help.

I saw an article in a Florida newspaper about you and what you are attempting to do. I had to let you know how refreshing it was to see a politician going against the tide in this area. Never second guess yourself where this is concerned, Dave. YOU are doing the right thing. YOU, are on the right track. I commend you. Now...if only your sanity were catching...

To which he replied:

Your words motivate me to work even harder, Jackie. Thank you for your insightful e-mail. I encourage you to try to convince State Rep. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, who has been on the other side of this issue. He will be in the Senate next year and still needs to be convinced of the merits of my legislation. His contact info can be found at www.myfloridahouse.gov. Let's be sure to stay in touch, Dave

Everyone who feels so inclined, should help this Senator out by writing to State Rep. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach. If Aronberg's legislation passes, it will ease the residency restrictions and make it easier for the former offender there to get housing, and even work.

The daunting mountain of issues we now face as former offenders and family members and friends of such didn't pop up over night. We have to be willing to be patient enough to be willing to take our "pick axes" and whittle it away with every opportunity we are given.

Jackie


WA - Woman beats 7-foot-3 sex offender with baseball bat

View the article here | Other Fishy Stories Here

I hope this lady spends a long time in prison for this. But, I am willing to bet she won't. This story seems very fishy to me. They sent out fliers, she went to the house where he apparently lived, since she got the info from the flier, and they arrested him because he was "AT" some house that he did not register. It could've been a friends home, does he have to register ever place he visits? Also, the flier told her where he lived and she went to his door, so apparently he was where he said he was. This is just so fishy......

06/18/2008

On the day that fliers announced a registered sex offender had moved into a Puyallup neighborhood, a woman welcomed him with an aluminum baseball bat.
- I don't understand this... If a flier was sent out that he has moved into the neighborhood, then why was he arrested for failure to register? Or did the cops just want to arrest a sex offender?

The 7-foot-3 man was beaten so badly, medics transported him to a hospital.

"I kept swingin' and swingin' and swingin," court documents say Tammy Gibson told police, who arrested her in Cottonwood Mobile Home Park.
- Sounds to me like attempted murder!!!

Gibson has been charged with second-degree assault and felony harassment.

Gibson went to the home where the man, William Baldwin, is living, knocked on the door and asked for him. Then she accused him of molesting her children and beat him with the bat, according to court documents.
- You see... She went to the house that was mentioned on the flier, knocked, he was there, then she beat the crap out of him with a metal baseball bat... So why are they saying he was not where he should've been? Seems to me like he was exactly where he was suppose to be...

Gibson has a criminal history dating back more than a decade.
- Sounds like she needs to be in prison for a long time. She reoffended, he did not....

Baldwin moved to the 1800 block of River Road earlier this month to live with his uncle. Fliers were posted in the neighborhood on Monday.
- So once again, he moved, fliers sent out, so apparently he registered, or else, how'd she know where he lived?

The fliers detailed his conviction for first-degree child molestation in 1998. According to police, Baldwin was on parole for forcing his 5-year-old neighbor to touch him sexually when he lured another 5-year-old into a backyard doghouse, where he sexually assaulted her.

He is considered a high risk to re-offend.

When police confronted Gibson, she admitted hitting him with a bat but denied that he ever molested her children, court documents say. She is being held on $15,000 bond.
- So she beat the hell out of him and lied about it... She does live in a trailer park, so maybe she was drunk and on crack or something and wanted someone to beat up...

Baldwin, 24, participated in a sex offender treatment program as a juvenile. He is not currently under supervision by the State Department of Corrections.

He is also being treated for a broken arm.
- I hope she has to pay for it, and hopefully he will sue her and take everything she owns...

UPDATE: Baldwin was arrested Wednesday for failing to register as a sex offender. The house where he was arrested was not the location he gave authorities after updating his address.
- I don't believe this for a second. A flier was sent out, which is how this lady found him, so did he register a friends house, since he maybe stays there all the time, and he lived somewhere else? It doesn't sound like that to me, from this article.


NV - Bill wants sex offenders to pay registration fees

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06/18/2008

Convicted sex offenders, sexual predators and other convicted felons in Nye County who are required by law to register with local law enforcement agencies upon release from incarceration may have to pay a fee to register in the future.
- Extortion! If they don't pay the fee? A fee is usually something you pay for something you want, not something you don't. This is nothing but extortion. Pay me money to stay out of jail!!!

Nye County commissioners will hold a public hearing to discuss amending Nye County Code Title 9, which addresses public peace, morals and welfare, to include the registration fees.

In addition, under Nevada law, convicted sex offenders are classified into four tiers numbered from 0 to 3 based on their assessed likelihood of recidivism and threat to the community.

Although Tier 0 and 1 sex offenders are required to register with law enforcement agencies, they are not required to notify community organizations of their address and other information.

Tier 2 and 3 offenders, however, are required to register with the local law enforcement agencies and notify schools, religious and youth organizations, and prosecutors and courts of their status.

Should the offenders change their addresses, they are required to register.

In addition, the information given to law enforcement is validated by personal visits from deputies four times a year.

A convicted offender has 48 hours upon release from a penal institution to register.

Failure by a convicted sex offender to register, re-register or provide valid information is a felony offense.

The information given when sex offenders register includes name, any aliases, year of birth, a physical description, residential and work addresses, the name convicted under, a description of their conviction including the state, county, city or township of conviction, where they served hospital or penal time for the conviction and a photograph if available.

Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo proposed the fees in response to the classification requirements for sex offenders being changed by the Nevada Legislature.

As a result of the changes, offenders formerly classified as Tier 1 and 2 offenders will be re-classified as Tier 3 offenders, increasing the number of registrations that need to be processed.

DeMeo explained that each registration takes approximately half an hour of paid staff time. In addition, the deputies are using gas and additional time to validate addresses. The sheriff also pointed out the software used by the sheriff's office to log, update and track registration information costs $7,000 a year alone.

Under the proposition, convicted offenders would be asked to pay a $75 dollar fee for their initial registration.

Re-registration will cost $35, an address or information change will cost $15, and validations will cost $25 upon completion.

Although the fees proposed by DeMeo won't offset the anticipated increase in costs, the sheriff said they could potentially help.

"If they don't have the money, we're still going to process them," DeMeo explained. "We're not going to refuse to register. And we're going to look at a person's indigence."

DeMeo said if an offender doesn't have the cash on hand to pay the fee, the sheriff's office would put him on a payment plan.

The fee otherwise would be due at the time of registration.

DeMeo said Nye County is the first jurisdiction to propose the imposition of fees.