Monday, July 7, 2008

MO - Settlements reached in clergy abuse lawsuits

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So I guess money solves everything?

07/07/2008

ST. LOUIS - A victims' advocacy group said Monday that $312,500 is being paid to men who claim they were sexually molested by five St. Louis-area Catholic priests as far back as the late 1960s.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said the priests sexually preyed upon six boys between the ages of 8 and 15 at parishes and grade schools from the late '60s to the late 1980s.

SNAP said the settlements were finalized in recent weeks through mediation.

Attorney Bernard Huger confirmed that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis had resolved several cases as a result of effective mediation.

SNAP named the priests in the settlements as Robert Johnston, James Funke, Donald Straub, Joseph Lessard and Michael McGrath. No criminal charges have been filed.

Funke was formally removed from the priesthood in 2006. He was sentenced in 1987 to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to 10 counts related to the molestation of two teenage boys while teaching at DuBourg High School in St. Louis.

Straub, defrocked in 2005, reportedly admitted in 1978 that sexual misconduct allegations by parents the previous two years were true. Despite the confession, Straub remained an active priest through at least 1991. After two years in Kansas, he returned to St. Louis but was barred from performing any duties as a priest, officials have said.

Straub was sent away for counseling and treatment. Church officials have said now they would protect society from an individual diagnosed as a sexual predator.

Lessard, now in his 80s, admitted in a 2002 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article that he abused a dozen boys in three parishes from the late 1960s to the late '70's. Then-St. Louis Archbishop Justin Rigali said at the time that Lessard's assignments "were made according to the common psychological and professional practice of the time, which we now know to have been inadequate and, by current standards, unacceptable."

McGrath was removed from public ministry in 1997 and was defrocked in 2005.

SNAP maintains that McGrath has faced more sex-abuse lawsuits than any other St. Louis cleric.


FL - City's Sex-Offender Rules Questioned

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07/07/2008

DELTONA -- A sex offender ordinance that covers a large portion of a Central Florida city may be too strict and possibly unconstitutional.

Currently, sex offenders in Deltona cannot live 2,500 feet from schools, parks, daycares or school stops. The distance is almost triple the Florida state law requirement of 1,000 feet.

Deltona city commissioners were scheduled to meet Monday night over the laws after being told by judges that their laws may be unconstitutional, Local 6's Jessica Sanchez said.

Vice Mayor Michael Carmolingo (Email) said the city may have to do away with the school bus stop ordinance and take a closer look at how the law affects law abiding citizens.

"I think we need to make adjustments," Vice Mayor Michael Carmolingo said. "We need to have the judges look at them."

Residents said they have worried about sex offenders in their communites.

"I've been here 25 years and all my kids are grown," Deltona resident Alan Chucci said. "I got grandkids now. I worry about it a lot because you don't know who is out here today."

"This is a very moral neighborhood here," business owner Albert Zayas said. "When they drop their kids off at the bus stop in the morning, they want to know that their child is on the bus and there is not somebody waiting for them to snatch them away."

A discussion on the matter is being held at Deltona's city hall Monday night.


NC - Jessica’s law stalls

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07/07/2008

N.C. House says no to Senate version; headed back to committee

RALEIGH - It will take a bit longer for the Jessica Lunsford Act to work its way through the North Carolina legislative maze.

The state House on Monday night decided not to accept the Senate version of the bill, which would require a minimum of 25 years in prison of adults who rape a child younger than 13 years ago.

The Jessica Lunsford Act is named in memory of Jessica Lunsford, a 9-year-old Gaston County native who after moving to Florida, was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a sexual predator in February 2005. John Couey, a registered sex offender, was convicted and sentenced to die for the crimes.

Police lost track of Couey. He was staying with his sister, who lived in the same neighborhood as Jessica.

One of the bill's sponsors, Rep. Julia Howard (Email), R-Davie, said supporters are prepared to work out the kinks in the bill.

"We will work through it tonight and hopefully get everything resolved," Howard said Monday.

The House action means that a conference committee made up of senators and representatives will be appointed to work out a final version of the law. If the committee is able to come up with a final bill agreeable to both the Senate and the House, both chambers will then have an opportunity to approve that final version.

For the bill to become law, the committee will need to come up with the final version and have it voted on soon since most legislative leaders have indicated that the 2008 session of the General Assembly is winding down. If the bill does not pass before the session ends, it will die.

In addition to requiring the prison time, the bill would also require that people convicted of such crimes submit to lifetime GPS monitoring once released from prison. It also forbids sex-offender registrants from going on the premises of places where children normally congregate, such as schools, children's museums and playgrounds.

That provision could create problems for people on the registry who are parents and need to pick their children up at school or for people who need to go to schools and other places that serve as voting precincts.

Howard said that problem can be fixed by having such people on the registry give notice to the school superintendent that they were on the registry and would have a need to be on the school premises for legitimate purposes.

Stricter registration rules would also be in place for when sex offenders change addresses.


GA - Court hears case against sex-offender registry

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07/07/2008

It's unfair to the homeless, lawyer tells Georgia Supreme Court

By BILL RANKIN (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Georgia's sex-offender registry law should be struck down as unconstitutional because it makes being homeless a crime, a lawyer told the state's highest court on Monday.

"The law is fundamentally unfair to homeless sex offenders," public defender Adam Levin argued to the Georgia Supreme Court.

Levin represents William James Santos, a who is charged in Hall County for failing to register a new address in the sex-offender registry. Because this would be his second failure-to-register offense, Santos faces a mandatory life sentence.

The law requires sex offenders to provide a route or street address, and it specifically states that an offender cannot use "homeless" as an address. Santos couldn't abide by the law because he could not give an address, Levin said.

In July 2006, Santos was ordered to leave the Good News at Noon homeless shelter in Gainesville. For the next three months, he was homeless until he was arrested in August and charged with the offense.

Hall County Assistant District Attorney Vanessa Sykes urged the state Supreme Court to uphold the law and allow Santos' prosecution to go forward.

"He is not being charged with being homeless," Sykes said. "He is charged with not registering as a sex offender."


IL - Child molester found guilty of failing to register as sex offender

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07/01/2008

Former DuPage correctional officer is first person in Illinois to be convicted under Adam Walsh Act

Daniel Rappe, a former correctional officer in the DuPage County Sheriff's Department who was twice convicted on child molestation charges, had ducked registering as a sex offender for seven years by creating a "tangled web" of false identities, prosecutors say.

Because of a new federal law, however, federal authorities joined the investigation, traced Rappe to a Willowbrook apartment and arrested him in March 2007.

On Tuesday, a federal jury convicted Rappe, making him the first person in Illinois to be convicted under the Adam Walsh Act for failing to register as a sex offender.

"It sends a message to sex offenders that may have previously been able to run and hide under local jurisdictions," said Assistant U.S. Atty. Rachel Cannon, a prosecutor in the case. "That's no longer the case."

Rappe, 47, was convicted in DuPage County of criminal sexual assault in 1986 and aggravated criminal sex abuse in 1989. Victims in both cases were children, Cannon said.

When Rappe was released from prison in 1992, he was required to register as a sex offender with state authorities. But after registering his address in Will County in 1997 and DuPage County in 1999, he notified authorities that he had moved to Wisconsin, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Christopher McFadden, another prosecutor in the case.

Instead, Rappe spent the next seven years flying "under the radar" while remaining in Willowbrook, McFadden said, obtaining driver's licenses in Indiana, giving false addresses and Social Security numbers to employers and changing his name.

Cannon said Rappe's experience in law enforcement gave him the knowledge to exploit inconsistencies in the registration laws of various states.

"I think the fact that he had been a sheriff's officer and had some knowledge of the law, plus the fact he was taking active steps to research the laws and look for loopholes, contributed to his ability to evade authorities for seven years," Cannon said.

The Adam Walsh Act, named for the son of "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh, was signed into law by President Bush in July 2006. Adam Walsh, 6, was abducted from a Florida mall and slain in 1981, a crime that has never been solved.
- Yet he continues to assume a sex offender killed his child, with not evidence. His son was killed, so why would he not go after murderers? They already have stiff sentences, so he came after the next available victim.

One result of the act was to standardize the laws for sex-offender registration across different states, preventing offenders from moving to more lenient areas to avoid registration. The act also authorized federal authorities to help local law-enforcement agencies track offenders such as Rappe, McFadden said.

Agents from the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spent a month tracking Rappe in an investigation that Cannon said would have been difficult for local agencies to complete.

After two hours of deliberations, the jury found Rappe guilty of one count of failure to register as a sex offender and three counts of obstruction of justice.

The obstruction charges stemmed from when Rappe phoned his girlfriend from the DuPage County Jail after his March 2007 arrest and told her to erase the hard drives of three computers in their home.
- Hmm, since I'm sure she did not know much about computers, yet alone how to format them, why did he want to erase them? Sounds like maybe some child porn on it. So why was this not investigated? You cannot get me to believe she did such a good job, they could not recover the data...

Rappe faces up to 10 years in prison for failing to register, prosecutors said. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 2 by U.S. District Judge Blanche Manning.

rmitchum@tribune.com


WI - Not in my backyard? - Mayville mulls sex offender restriction

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07/07/2008 MAYVILLE — Mayville may be the next municipality to join a rush of Wisconsin communities to impose residency limits on sex offenders.

The ordinance that would limit where the most serious sex offenders would live will go before the Mayville Common Council on Tuesday night at its regular meeting at 7 p.m. at City Hall.
- These laws are not just for the "most serious" offenders, but ALL OFFENDERS...

The city currently has no ordinance governing where sex offenders live.

"This ordinance is being adopted by municipalities throughout Wisconsin, so this is nothing new," said Mayville Police Chief Bill Linzenmeyer (Email). "It's going to happen all over the state, and these sex offenders are going to have to live with the idea that if they want to live in a community, they need to comply with the standards that community has set forth for these serious pedophile offenders."
- Screw you!!!! Not all sex offenders are pedophiles. Get that s--t out of your head! Email this scumbag and let him know your opinion. I am sick of jerks like him, he should be fired, IMO.

A domino effect

Since the City of Green Bay enacted its ordinance earlier this year — prohibiting sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school, park, day-care center, church or other area where children congregate — communities up and down the Fox Valley have been scrambling to set similar ordinances in motion. Community leaders fear that the new rule will drive sex offenders into neighboring communities.
- I've heard this BS 10 million times, it's just an excuse.

Linzenmeyer said the proposed ordinance would limit only the most serious sex offenders (those requiring a community notification meeting) from living within 1,200 feet of schools, parks, day-care centers and churches.
- I am willing to bet, this will affect ALL sex offenders, not just the above mentioned, watch and see.

"We're not saying they can't live here. But sex offenders that committed a serious act against a child or an adult, in my opinion, lose their privilege to live wherever they want," Linzenmeyer said. "We're trying to be fair, but we still want to protect the children from these people so they don't become a target."
- What a load of crap.. Nothing about these laws will protect ANYBODY from a SERIOUS PREDATOR who is DETERMINED to commit another crime. Get out of Wonderland!!!!!

If a high-profile offender contests the ordinance, Linzenmeyer says there is an appeal process in place.

"If they have special circumstances, the council will hear them and then make a decision," Linzenmeyer said.

A community's right?

Linzenmeyer said a community has a right to determine where these serious offenders set up housekeeping. However, state Rep. Donald Friske (Email) of Merrill doesn't agree.
- What gives them this right? Show me in the constitution where it says the community has this right?

Friske introduced a bill in the Assembly this spring that would prevent ordinances affecting where sex offenders live — whether the person is being released from prison or moving to a new home in the same city.
- This is someone using their brain!

In testimony before fellow lawmakers, Friske said ordinances like the one enacted in Green Bay will only serve to push sex offenders out of cities and villages into rural areas where they're harder to track and where there isn't as much law enforcement. While Friske's bill has gathered support from lawmakers in other rural areas, the proposed legislation failed to pass during a hearing on March 21.

Fond du Lac Police Major Dennis Fortunato said the city does not have an ordinance overseeing residency requirements of sex offenders.

"We do a case-by-case evaluation when an offender is released before they relocate from their initial stay at an approved temporary residence," Fortunato said.

When doing an evaluation, Fortunato said police consider the offender's history, their victims, the relocation area and the proximity to where children congregate.

"When this evaluation is complete and where appropriate, we do a neighborhood notification," Fortunato said.
- This is how it should be. So why change something that is working, except if you want the money???

Wisconsin law does not require special bulletin notifications for all offenders released from prison. However, the overall purpose of a special community notification is to highlight those cases that may pose a significant risk to the community.

A vigilant watch

Since June 1, 1997, when Wisconsin Act 440 was passed, residents now have the ability to access information about sex offenders online through the state Sex Offender Registry. The registry not only provides a physical description of the offender but also the offender's address and nature of offense.

Waupun Deputy Police Chief Mindy Hendricks said the registry helps parents alert their children to the presence of a sex offender in their neighborhood.

"Parents are more likely to keep tabs on their children if they know one is living in their neighborhood. And as police officers, it helps us to keep an eye on them as well," Hendricks said.

While some people may feel residency restrictions pose a false sense of security, Hendricks said the real risk may be in forcing sex offenders to go underground.
- Hell yeah, you can only force so many draconian restrictions on someone before they have had enough and vanish, then everyone may be in potential danger. STOP THE NONSENSE!!!!

"At least now, we know where they're living," Hendricks said.

Like several law enforcement agencies, Mayville provides a link on its Web site detailing the whereabouts and identity of the eight sex offenders living in the city. So far, the city has not had a high-risk offender move into the community.

"People need to be warned about sex offenders. They're the ones that offended. We're not the ones that should be punished for what their offense was," Linzenmeyer said. "It's true, they've served their time. But the bottom line is that the community still has a right to be a safe community."
- No they don't, show me the law that states they have a right!


NV - Sex offender law controversial Will the change in Nevada sex offenders laws really protect?

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People need to wake up and come out of Wonderland. If you think these laws are EVER going to prevent another crime, you are just pure ignorant!

07/07/2008

If a new Nevada law concerning sex offenders goes into effect, Carson City will go from zero, to an estimated 23, Tier 3 offenders - a term once used to identify an offender who was believed most likely to commit a sexual crime again.

The increase in Tier 3 offenders won't be because those people suddenly moved here.

They've lived here all along, deemed either Tier 2, "moderate risk" or Tier 1, "low risk" under Nevada's former system based on a individual assessment of an offender's risk to the community.

Buckling under the pressure to enact the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act rather than lose out on tens of thousands of dollars in federal funding, Nevada legislators adopted the new system which replaces the individualized risk-based assessments with tier levels dictated by the type of crime committed.
- And this is what it's all about, money.

The law changes the penalties for some crimes against children and aims to have states adopt a uniform criteria to categorize offenders.

No longer will the tier levels indicate whether or not a sex offender is low risk, moderate risk or high risk to the community.

That, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, is dangerous to the community and in violation of a number of rights afforded individuals in the U.S. and Nevada constitutions.

"The new system is totally divorced now from risk to the community," said Lee Rowland, northern coordinator for the ACLU of Nevada. "Now all of a sudden the designation of Tier 3 no longer has any relationship to risk."

ACLU lawyer Maggie McLetchie, on behalf of a dozen unnamed plaintiffs, filed an injunction on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court of Nevada in Las Vegas. On Wednesday, McLetchie filed a restraining order. Both are designed to prevent the law from going into effect. On Monday, Judge Jim Mahan granted the injunction and scheduled a hearing for Aug. 26.

On Thursday, Las Vegas Judge David Wall issued a preliminary injunction in a case filed on behalf of two convicted sex offenders who challenged the constitutionality of Assembly Bill 579.

Wall granted the delay until Aug. 29, when he will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the law passed by the 2007 state Legislature.



For Steve in Lyon County, a man who pleaded to a charge of lewdness with a minor 14 years ago, the lawsuits are a small light at the end of a dark tunnel that engulfed him when he learned of the change in his tier level.

"I feel as though I'm a terminal cancer patient who has just been told that he is in remission," said Steve. "I'm cautiously optimistic."

The 56-year-old factory worker received a letter from the Department of Public Safety stating that as of July 1, he would be deemed a Tier 3 offender.

Since 1994, when Steve pleaded no contest to an allegation that he put his hand on the genitals of the 13-year-old daughter of his estranged girlfriend, the state of Nevada has classified him as a Tier 1, or a low risk to the community.

He was considered to be a low-risk to the community meaning his information was only shared with law enforcement, courts and prosecutors. He was not listed on the state's sex offender registry Web database.

Under the new law, it does not matter that he was evaluated as a low risk or that he's had no such offenses in the years since his conviction.

He will be subjected to community notification and be required to register with law enforcement every 90 days instead of the previous requirement of once a year or when he moves or changes employment.

He must also provide his Social Security number, photograph, e-mail addresses, Internet user names, home address, work address, any professional licenses he holds, a description of the vehicle he drives and his normal travel routes, all of which, it is assumed, will be available to the public on the sex offender registry Web site.

In addition to the increased requirements, Tier 3 offenders will be subjected to lifetime registration and any violation of the requirements can result in a felony arrest. There is also confusion over whether or not another law enacted last summer concerning where Tier 3 offenders on state supervision can live and work, will apply to all Tier 3 offenders now.

The new restrictions are baffling, said Steve, a lifelong Nevada resident who asked that his real name be withheld to protect his identity.

It was his understanding that after 15 years faithfully following the requirements, he could petition the courts to be removed from having to register.

"I've been living for that day, next year, when I could do so. I've followed all the rules, and have gone every year and each time I've moved to re-register," he said.

Under the Adam Walsh Law there is no provision that entitles an offender to petition for a reduction in tier level.

"As each day passes and July 1 draws nearer, I grow more stressed ... this issue is the last thing I think of at night and the first thing when I awake," he said. "It is never far from my consciousness no matter what I'm doing. It is simply eating me alive."

Steve fears community notification will mean that he will be ostracized by his neighbors, singled out by vigilantes, lose his job and be forced to move.

He sees the change as a breach of the contract he signed with the state when he entered into the plea agreement more than a decade ago on the assurance that as a Tier 1 offender, no one need ever know he was convicted of a sex offense.

"When I plead 'no contest' instead of fighting, I sentenced myself to all the crap that goes with being a convicted felon and sex offender," he said. "But now they want to take even my privacy away from me and destroy me and make it a life sentence at that?"
- This is exactly why NOBODY should ACCEPT ANY PLEA DEAL, it will not be a deal!!!



In the injunctions filed by the ACLU and Las Vegas attorney Randall Roske on behalf of an unnamed client, breach of contract is among several arguments made to stop the law from taking effect.

"Nevada state constitution has a contract clause in it, very similar to the federal constitution contract clause, which talks about Congress not making laws that impair contracts. And the state has its own version that says the state of Nevada shall not do that," said Roske. "They've both done that for anybody who has entered into a plea bargain under existing law. It's the same as if you made a deal to have milk delivered to your door and for the state to interfere with that."

Both Roske and the ACLU also point to the law's vagueness as a major problem.

The definition is broad and far-reaching, according to the ACLU. It includes crimes committed as far back as July 1, 1956, and the only sexual conduct that appears to be exempted is consensual sexual conduct if the victim was an adult or at least 13 years of age and the offender was no more than four years older, the ACLU complaint reads.

"The meaning of 'sexual act' or sexual conduct is not defined, nor is any other statutory definition referenced. Under a separate chapter ... "sexual conduct" (is defined) as "acts of masturbation, homosexuality, sexual intercourse with a person's unclothed genitals or pubic area," the complaints states. "While it is unclear whether this definition is applicable for the purpose of defining sexual conduct under (the Adam Walsh Law), it shows how broadly 'sexual conduct' could be interpreted and how many individuals could be subject ..."
- Sexual act or conduct could be anything, even husband and wife having sex.

There is also confusion in the new law over whether or not a child is considered someone under 18 or someone under 14.

"It is unconstitutional because it is so vague," said the ACLU's Rowland.
- Not just that, it's unconstitutional because it violates many aspects of the Constitution, period!



Bob in Reno, also received notification from the state that his tier level was to increase from 1 to 3.

"To put a law into effect for the people who have served their time and have tried to make peace with themselves and learn from these mistakes ... throws everybody into one big pot to be punished for the rest of their lives," said Bob's wife Susan. The couples names have been changed to protect their identities.

"Now with this going into effect, I have to fear my life, my husband's life and my 11-year-old son's because of what this will stir up in my neighborhood. I now fear being in my front yard because of what neighbors might be thinking, not knowing the circumstances of what and who my husband really is. I also fear for my son in grade school and the harm kids will cause him once they find out who his step dad is."



The way in which Nevada enacted the law should be of concern to all Nevadans and Americans, said McLetchie.

"Right now these laws only affect sex offenders. Next time the legislators might be wanting to enact some laws against a bunch of other people," McLetchie said. "This is really about how the state of Nevada can enact laws and how they can't enact laws."
- Like I've said, when they come for you and your rights, don't go screaming, it will be too late.

"In the court of public opinion, some will find me guilty of touching a girl under 14 inappropriately one time. Some will find me guilty of being just plain stupid and gutless for pleading no contest rather than risk prison if I was innocent," said Steve. "I expect no sympathy either way. What I would expect is that reasonable people would ask themselves if it is OK in this country to ruin a man and label him a monster and a predator for the rest of his life when he has played by their rules for the past 14 years."
- That is just it, nobody is rational. They've been brainwashed by the media and idiotic politicians, they are so blind, they cannot even see past the "sex offender" label.



Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.


FL - PBSO to unveil new ComputerCOP program

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07/07/2008

Reported by: Paige Kornblue
Email: pkornblue@wptv.com

WEST PALM BEACH -- The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is expected to unveil a new computer system Monday that will allow local parents to keep an 'electronic eye' on their children.

The new program is called ComputerCOP.
- And of course, instead of making this and giving it to you for free, they sell it, thus to make more money exploiting your fears. If they were really about protecting children, this software would be given a way for free!!! You can find some other online safety tools and software at Google, here.

ComputerCOP will allow parents to monitor their children's computer use.

Law enforcement agencies use the software nationwide.

The ComputerCOP Internet security disk is typically installed in your home computer and parents can then monitor computer sites, photos and conversations their children are having online.

According to the Florida Attorney General's office, one in seven children nationally have been solicited online by a sexual predator.
- I am sick and tired of this bogus statistic. This is another statistic pulled from thin air which everyone constantly uses, as if it is the norm, which it is not. See this article on this "statistic!" It has been shown in various studies, that most children are solicited by other children, friends and rarely adults. But yes, this should be a good tool for parents, but where is the educational info to teach parents and children on how to watch out for people talking to them inappropriately?

Florida ranks fourth in the nation in volume of child pornography.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's office will hold a news conference at 10:30 a.m. Monday to introduce the ComputerCOP program to the community.


FL - Union County gets tougher with sexual predators, offenders

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07/07/2008

Most would be concerned when they hear a sexual predator has taken up residence in your county or community. Citizens in Union County let their elected officials know just how concerned they were when two newly released sexual predators moved into local neighborhoods this year. Both moved out of the county, but county officials have taken steps to make sure that Union county residents are as safe as possible.

Registered sexual predators have stipulations as to where they can reside, such as not within 1,000 feet of a school, park, daycare, or other place where children regularly gather. However, the law also allows communities to impose stronger sanctions.

The Union County Commission had requested the Sheriff’s Office draft a county plan with stricter restrictions for sexual offenders and predators living in the county. At the last meeting, Lt. Doug York presented the amended ordinance prohibiting offenders or predators from residing or traveling within 2,500 feet of school, daycare center, park or playgrounds. The ordinance also prohibits property owners within the restricted areas from renting to sexual predators.

The new ordinance was passed unanimously 5-0.


OK - Tribe to consider loophole closure

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07/07/2008

The Cherokee Nation may tighten monitoring of sex offenders.

The Cherokee Nation is taking action to shore up a blind spot in law enforcement efforts to register and monitor sex offenders.

The Cherokee Nation's tribal council will consider a resolution next week that would implement parts of the Adam Walsh Act. The act, which was signed into law in 2006, requires a sex offender registry, post-conviction supervision and notification to the community about certain sex offenders.

If the Cherokee Nation passes the legislation, it would go into effect 90 days later, giving offenders living on trust or allotment land time to register with the Marshal's Service.

The Adam Walsh Act gave tribes until July 27, 2007, to opt in to participate in an integrated, uniform registry system, and allowed states to register sex offenders living in Indian Country in cases where tribes did not opt in to the system.

Those tribes choosing to comply with the act have until July 2009 to create a sex offender registry that includes offender descriptions, photographs, fingerprints, criminal history and DNA samples, as well as notify the community and create a Web site to make offender information available to the public.

The tribe opted into the system last year, and the act before the general council is the implementation of the Adam Walsh requirements, said Becky Johnson, senior assistant attorney general for the Cherokee Nation.

Before the law, some sex offenders moved to reservations, onto land in trust or allotment land, which is outside of state jurisdiction, to avoid restrictive residency requirements and registration requirements imposed by the individual states, Johnson said.

"It's like a blackout in jurisdiction," Johnson said. "They were able to hide that way and were not registered anywhere. If a sex offender lives on the (trust, allotted or reservation) land now, they're not required to register."

If passed, the law would close those blackout areas within the tribe's jurisdiction, she said.

"The whole purpose was to normalize regulations across jurisdictions," Johnson said.

If the measure passes, the offender information obtained by the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service would also be shared with local, state and federal law enforcement officials, said councilwoman Cara Cowan-Watts, the bill's sponsor.

The full requirements of the Adam Walsh Act are expected to be complete by the 2009 deadline, Cowan-Watts said.

"I believe the Cherokee Nation is making every effort towards working with all other governmental agencies in ensuring the protection of the public from sex offenders no matter where they live," she said.

The tribal council will have the issue before it at its regular meeting on July 14 at the Cherokee Nation tribal complex in Tahlequah.

Two other pieces of legislation pertaining to sex offenders beyond the Adam Walsh Act's requirements, one dealing with post-conviction supervision and mandatory minimum sentencing and another dealing with deferred sentences, are also being studied by a tribal council work group.


FL - Sex Offenders Living Under Bridges In Florida

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Why does everyone ASSUME all sex offenders have harmed children? That is a lie. Shows how uneducated many people are.

Like the person said in the video, when you have nothing to look forward to, are treated like animals, forced BY THE STATE to live under a bridge, what will you do when they start lashing out at society? People can only be pushed so much!

Where are all the so called Christians (nothing but HYPOCRITES pretending to be Christians), civil rights and human rights organizations? Ask yourself this, would Jesus treat HUMAN BEINGS like this? I don't think so!

When an ex-offender is forced to move from his/her home, thus having to sell it, cannot find another home within the law due to the residency "buffer" zones, get fired from their jobs due to being on the registry, cannot find a new job due to being on the registry, their husband/wife lose their jobs due to a significant other being on the registry, their children lose their friends and are harassed and bullied in school due to a family member being on the registry, thus destroying the children's lives, ex-offenders are forced into homelessness and to live under bridges, harassed by police, neighbors and probation/parole officers, have to wear "I'm a sex offender T-shirt" or have a neon green license plate on ALL their cars, have "sex offender" on their drivers license and forced to renew their licenses every year, forced from shelters during tornadoes or hurricanes, cannot give blood at some places due to being discriminated against for being on the sex offender registry, denied housing due to being on the registry, signs placed in their yards inviting harassment and ridicule from the neighbors, forced to move when the neighbors start picketing outside the ex-offenders home, the list is endless.

I THINK THIS IS CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT, BEYOND THE EXTREME!


From this next video, it seems to me like Gangs and terrorists are more of a threat than ANY OTHER criminal. It's a proven FACT that sex offenders are LESS LIKELY than any other criminal, except murderers, to reoffend. I have tons of studies here, which prove I am right.



And this is what occurs when you treat people like HUMAN BEINGS and with respect. Remember, these are hardcore murderers, gang members, drug dealers, etc.


WA - Sex offender describes being beaten with bat

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VT - Vermonters Discuss Sex Offender Law

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07/07/2008

MONTPELLIER -- In the shadow of 12-year-old Brooke Bennett's death, many Vermonters are turning their attention to how the state handles sex offenders.

The young girl was allegedly kidnapped by her uncle, a convicted sex offender. Now some want tougher laws in Vermont for adults accused of sexually abusing children.

However some state leaders aren't sure if tougher laws could have prevented Brooke's death.
- They are finally thinking. Nothing about the residency restrictions, registry or anything else will prevent another crime or death. If a sick person is determined to commit another crime, nothing will prevent it, nothing. That is common sense, which we seem to have very little of these days. This man was on the registry, so how did that prevent a crime? It didn't!

Still, they say it's time for Vermont to take a good look at the way it handles sex offenders.

Lieutenant Gov. Brian Dubie (Contact) is pushing the state to enact it's own version of Jessica's Law -- named after Jessica Lunsford, a nine year old Florida girl who was kidnapped and murdered by a sex offender.

"Now is the appropriate time to ask the question, 'are we doing everything we can in this state to protect children?" said Dubie.

Michael Jakes, Brooke's uncle, was accused of kidnapping the 12-year-old. He is a registered sex offender. According to court papers, he kidnapped and raped an 18-year-old woman in 1993.
- And it's jerks like this who make all other RSO's lives hell. Stop reacting and fix the laws so they are fair and constitutional. No matter what you come up with, it will not prevent something like this from occurring again. Anybody who believes it will, is living in wonderland. The death penalty doesn't deter murder, so why do you think any of these laws will prevent another sex crime? Come up, get out of fantasy land folks!

"What I am calling for and what others are calling for is a comprehensive review of our criminal justice system as it relates to protecting children," said Dubie.
- So tell me DOOBIE, what do you suggest? I don't hear you coming up with solutions. It's all talk...

Jessica's Law requires a mandatory minimum jail term of 25 years for people convicted of sexually abusing children.

"When you sexually abuse a child you can expect a swift and a certain and a terrible punishment," Dubie said.
- You see, these laws are punishment, this man even says so, so therefore, they are unconstitutional.

Vermont's attorney general, William Sorrell (Contact), said he is not so sure about Jessica's Law.

"I think the Jessica's Law thing, we can have that discussion, but it's not a silver-bullet solution to the problems that we face," Sorrell said.

Some prosecutors said a mandatory 25-year sentence would tie their hands since they wouldn't be able to offer plea bargains in cases where the evidence might not be strong enough to risk a jury trial.

"Perhaps our Jessica's Law would be a little different," said Dubie.

The lieutenant governor said Vermont's law could have a clause that would allow prosecutors to pursue a plea bargain when they only have weak evidence.
- This is exactly why nobody being charged with a sex crime should take a plea bargain, it's not a bargain, believe me.... They will try to scare the hell out of you, instead, take it to trial...

"I think that's a great idea and I hope that if the legislature takes up the idea of a Jessica's Law that they would consider such a provision," Dubie said.

But the attorney general said it will take more than a new law to prevent child sexual abuse. He said communities need to be engaged.
- Whay about EDUCATION? Ever heard of that? Make pamplets, pass them out, and teach the kids and families how to identify and look out for the signs of grooming and sexual abuse. That seems to me like the logical way to go about this. And put the laws back to how they were so they are constitutional. They are not working, the last 10 years have proven that...

"What we've got to do more is to prevent it in the first place," said Sorrell.
- Good luck with that one. I'd love to see the MOJO you want to do to achieve this... You are in fantasy land... How long has this world been here? And sexual crimes has been around for just as long... And you think you are going to do some MOJO to prevent this?

"Out of respect for Brooke Bennett, it's my obligation to work to see if there's things that we can do to honor her life -- to protect the future of other Vermont children in our state," said Dubie.
- Come on, you are just using this to your advantage, to get votes and look good to the public, when you know nothing you do will prevent another crime...

The state legislature has debated Jessica's Law twice, but it did not pass.

Any new laws will have to wait for the next legislative session next January. In the mean time, state leaders will begin reviewing the state's sex offender program this week.


LA - Louisiana considers sex offender laws

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I wonder if this is actually going to be treatment, or just another word for prison after prison?

07/07/2008

Health department studies after-prison treatment options

Louisiana is considering joining more than a dozen other states that allow the confinement of sex offenders beyond their prison sentences, by involuntarily placing them in mental-health facilities for treatment.

The laws have proven popular, with supporters saying they help protect the public from violent sex offenders who may commit new crimes when they leave jail and give needed treatment to offenders who likely are not getting it behind bars.
- If they actually get treatment!

Critics say the laws are a backdoor way to keep sex offenders locked up longer, violate their constitutional rights and endanger others seeking psychiatric treatment in facilities where the sex offenders are confined.

In the most recently ended legislative session, lawmakers asked the state health department to study ways to set up a civil commitment system for Louisiana’s violent sex offenders. A study panel will make recommendations to the Legislature within six months.
- Why don't they study the other states who have this, and see how many have entered, and how many have been released? I bet most are still in civil commitment (i.e. Prison)

Health and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine supports the proposed law and pushed for the study, saying involuntary mental-health treatment for violent sex offenders could keep some from becoming repeat offenders.

When they’re in prison, they’re not necessarily receiving any treatment. They serve their time and then they’re released into society, but the underlying condition that caused them to offend doesn’t go away,” Levine said.
- And this is the problem. Why are they not getting treatment inside prison? If they did, then we would not need to waste tax payer dollars to get them treatment after their prison term, and thus punish them again.

At least 16 states have similar laws, the first enacted in Wisconsin in 1989, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The laws tend to require a judge or jury to find someone either “sexually violent” or “sexually dangerous,” terms that are defined in the laws.

Such a proposal in Louisiana is expected to get a warm reception from many lawmakers, who have toughened laws against sex offenders in recent years, and from Gov. Bobby Jindal (Contact), who repeatedly refers to sex offenders as “monsters.” Last month, Jindal signed a new law that allows judges to order chemical castration of sex offenders, a bill that received overwhelming approval from the Legislature.
- Bobby Jindal is an idiot. He is just using the backs of sex offenders and a fear-monger to get votes. It is pretty obvious. This is the idiot who wanted to ship all sex offenders off to Angola, see here.

But some civil rights organizations, mental-health providers and officials who represent crime victims say involuntary mental-health treatment of violent sex offenders is the wrong way to deal with the problem of sex crimes.

In a policy statement, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors said the laws do not represent good policy.
- A corrupt government is not about good policy...

The Virginia-based organization said the laws in many instances provide further punishment, rather than treatment, and can undermine states’ abilities to give mental-health care to people who want treatment by siphoning money to the housing and care of sex offenders.

“It’s kind of a dangerous concept, and it’s a much more straightforward one to have tough sentences on sex offenders,” said Michael Rushford, president of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a nonprofit victims’ rights organization based in Sacramento, Calif.

Rushford said states should set long prison sentences for sex offenders, rather than constructing other “backup” ways to hold onto offenders leaving jail that make sex offenders serve additional sentences without trials.

Supporters of the involuntary confinement laws point to a 1997 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld Kansas’ civil commitment law for violent sex offenders, enacted in 1994. The ruling encouraged other states to create similar statutes.

“While our parole system is a good one, we want all available tools to be at our disposal as we seek to avoid re-offense and protect our children and families,” Louisiana Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc said in a statement.

Levine said Louisiana’s proposal, if approved by lawmakers next year, would target offenders deemed likely to commit another crime. Before they are released from prison, a panel of mental-health experts and corrections officials would review their history and determine whether to ask a judge to force them into mental-health treatment upon release.
- Yeah right, like I believe this. They will just start committing all sex offenders, since everyone has a fear all will reoffend, which are lies.

Where they would be confined, how much it would cost and which sex offenders would be targeted are all the subject of the study, Levine said, though he added that the percentage of sex offenders likely to face further confinement would be small. He said he thinks the confinements should be indefinite in some cases.

“Every time I read about a rape or child molestation, and I see that the person is a repeat offender, it makes me think there’s more we’ve got to be doing,” Levine said. “Protecting society goes beyond locking up criminals. This is designed to make sure people get treatment.”


Even computer 'wipers' leave a mark

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See the videos at the end on how to destroy a hard-drive.

07/06/2008

Evidence Eliminator and similar software can kill out files and perform other tasks. But their use can raise red flags in a legal dispute.

When British software developers came up with a program that could wipe files from computer hard drives, they gave it a hard-core name: Evidence Eliminator.

It gets the point across, but can sure sound bad if a user gets hauled into court and is accused of illegally destroying documents.

That's what happened in the high-stakes trial, now in federal court in Riverside, over who owns the rights to the hugely successful Bratz line of dolls.

Toy giant Mattel Inc. sued the far smaller MGA Entertainment Inc. to get a stake of Bratz because it claims the doll's creator was in its employ when he came up with the concept.

The designer, Carter Bryant, has been accused by Mattel of using Evidence Eliminator on his laptop computer just two days before investigators were due to copy its hard drive.

Carter hasn't denied that the program was run on his computer, but he said it wasn't to destroy evidence. He said he had legitimate reasons to use the software.

Evidence Eliminator and similar programs on the market, such as Window Washer from Webroot Software Inc., perform consumer tasks other than killing content to foil investigators. For example, they can clean out temporary files created during the installation of programs. This can help make the computer run faster and more efficiently.

"They can clean up the computer detritus that builds up over time," said Gary Kessler, a network security consultant and professor who teaches forensic science.

And Evidence Eliminator, as well as other programs including some that are free, can wipe out histories of Internet searches.

The company behind Evidence Eliminator -- Robin Hood Software, based in London -- refused to do an interview. But in an e-mail message, the program's inventor, Andy Churchill -- who referred to himself as "a 10-year veteran of the Internet adult-entertainment market" -- said that if even the judge in the case "heard his own computer was to be investigated in a couple of days' time, he'd be buying Evidence Eliminator."

But it's the software's use to wipe out text files, e-mail and other content that makes Evidence Eliminator, Window Washer and other similar programs -- sometimes called wipers -- occasionally newsworthy.

The program's recent notoriety provides a reminder that normal methods of deleting content from PCs -- such as dragging it to the recycling bin on the desktop -- only get rid of the electronic directory entry that acts as the address to the file.

Take away that address and the computer can't, under normal circumstances, locate the content. It would be like searching for a house on an unfamiliar, unlit street in the dead of night.

"But the content does not actually go away," said Kessler, who teaches at Champlain College in Burlington, Vt. "It becomes unallocated space on the hard drive."

You might not be able to find it, but a skilled computer forensic expert could do so easily, without even having to take much of a break from "Grand Theft Auto."

Unless one of two things happens.

The first is that the unallocated space is filled by new content. In that case, the old stuff is written over and becomes far more difficult to retrieve.

Because many people use only a small fraction of the available space on their hard drives, this overwriting doesn't happen a lot.

The second is with the use of a wiper program. Among the several on the market, Evidence Eliminator is one of the most expensive at $150. Window Washer is $30, but it requires a two-step process in which programs are first trashed in the usual way, then the contents of the trash are wiped out.

"It would take a laboratory far more sophisticated than most of those in use to retrieve a file" killed by a wiper program, Kessler said. Extraordinary means usually are reserved for national security and other matters of major importance.

"There were folks who were able to get data off the melted hard drive in the Challenger space shuttle," he said.

But the wiper programs don't ensure a clean getaway. They leave behind a kind of digital calling card.

"Not only do these programs leave a trace that they were used, they each have a distinctive fingerprint," Kessler said. "Evidence Eliminator leaves one that's different from Window Washer, and so on."

It's the kind of information that can be brought up in court. And if the digital calling card was left by Evidence Eliminator, it could raise some eyebrows, even if the wiper was used for the most innocent of reasons.

"It was a poor choice of names," Kessler said. "I use Window Washer. It doesn't sound as nefarious."

david.colker@latimes.com






NC - DURHAM, NC (WTVD) -- A leader in the Democratic Party in the Triangle is charged in a bizarre sex crime.

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Sounds like more of the "satanic ritual abuse" insanity, see this item for more links and info.

06/27/2008

Sources tell Eyewitness News it was a satanic ritual that got out of hand.

Arrest warrants allege Joy Johnson, a vice chair woman of the Durham County Democratic Party watched as her husband, Joseph Craig, beat and raped a female victim then kidnapped and beat another male victim with a wooden cane and a cable cord.

Craig is charged with second degree rape and kidnapping. Johnson faces felony charges of aiding and abetting the crimes which allegedly happened in the past six months.


FL - Rich man fought the law and he mostly won

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07/07/2008

Two years after a grand jury indicted him on a felony charge of solicitation of prostitution, Jeffrey Epstein finally admitted that he lured a teenage girl to his $8.5 million, 13,000-square-foot Palm Beach mansion for sex. A week ago, the 55-year-old investment banker began serving 18 months in jail.

But that plea deal - guilty of felony solicitation of prostitution and procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution - does not account for all five of the girls, one as young as 14, who alleged that Epstein sexually abused them. And why is Epstein serving his term in the overcrowded Palm Beach County Jail and not a state prison, where inmates are sent if their sentences are longer than one year?

The slow, dissatisfying resolution of the case sends a message to the public that there's a different system of justice for the wealthy who hire high-powered lawyers. Epstein's legal team included West Palm Beach defense attorney Jack Goldberger, Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz, who defended O.J. Simpson against murder charges, and Kenneth Starr, the prosecutor who pursued then-President Bill Clinton for lying about sex with young women.

Palm Beach police spent 11 months investigating Epstein before State Attorney Barry Krischer sent the case to a grand jury, instead of charging Epstein so the man who once boasted of accepting only billionaire clients could face a trial. The police had taken a high school transcript, class schedules and phone messages from Epstein's home that showed he knew the girls were underage. Yet Mr. Krischer was more swayed by Epstein's lawyers, who attempted to impugn the girls' character by showing they had chatted on myspace.com about smoking marijuana and drinking. He should have let a jury decide whether the victims - and Epstein - were credible.

Ultimately, one charge against Epstein finally reflected the age of one victim, and the plea agreement left Epstein labeled a sex offender. With that additional charge, if Epstein had been convicted at a trial, he could have been sentenced to anything from probation to 15 years in prison, Assistant State Attorney Lanna Belohlavek said, adding that the recommended guideline sentence was 21 months.

Epstein also won't have to certify to the court that he is receiving counseling, typically required of sex offenders, because he has a private psychiatrist. But without court supervision, who will ensure Epstein is in fact being treated?

The plea deal also drops a federal investigation of Epstein. If a federal investigation was warranted, how does dropping it before completion benefit the public?

Epstein preyed on girls and denied it. For three years, his wealth and the influence of his lawyers bought him the protection the state attorney owed to the victims.