Wednesday, July 9, 2008

WI - Wisconsin law bans sex with dead bodies


This is just sick!

07/09/2008

The ruling comes after 3 men were accused of trying to dig up body for sex

MADISON - Wisconsin law bans sex with dead bodies, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in reinstating charges against three men accused of digging up a corpse so one of them could have sex with it.

The court waded into the grisly case after lower court judges ruled nothing in state law banned necrophilia. Those decisions prompted public outrage and a push by a state lawmaker to make sex with a corpse a crime.

In Wednesday's 5-2 decision, the high court said Wisconsin law makes sex acts with dead people illegal because they are unable to give consent.

The ruling reinstates the attempted sexual assault charges against twin brothers Nicholas and Alexander Grunke and Dustin Radke, all 22. The charges carry a punishment of up to 10 years in prison.

Sex without consent
Justice Patience Roggensack, writing a majority opinion with three other justices, said state law bans sexual intercourse with anyone who does not give consent "whether a victim is dead or alive at the time."

"A reasonably well-informed person would understand the statute to prohibit sexual intercourse with a dead person," she wrote.

Jefren Olsen, an attorney who represented Radke, said the decision was flawed because the law was never intended to punish necrophilia.

"Obviously, the facts are rather notorious and not the easiest to deal with," he said. "I assume that had some impact."

Police say the three men, carrying shovels, a crowbar and a box of condoms, went to a cemetery in southwestern Wisconsin in 2006 to dig up the body of Laura Tennessen, 20, who had been killed the week before in a motorcycle crash.

Nicholas Grunke had seen an obituary photo of her and asked the others for help digging up her corpse so he could have sexual intercourse with it, prosecutors say.

Authorities say the men used shovels to reach her grave but were unable to pry open the vault. They fled when a car drove into the cemetery and were eventually arrested.

Attempted assault charges
The men were charged with attempted third-degree sexual assault and misdemeanor attempted theft charges. The case has been on hold as prosecutors appealed the dismissal of the assault charges.

Suzanne Edwards, a lawyer representing Nicholas Grunke, said she was disappointed in the decision. She said the men will be arraigned on the charges and have a chance to plead not guilty.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, whose office represented prosecutors in the appeal, praised the decision.

"Words matter and the Legislature chose its words carefully to extend the sexual assault law to those heinous circumstances where a dead person is sexually assaulted, whether or not the defendant killed the victim," he said. "Necrophilia is criminal in Wisconsin."

The decision brings Wisconsin into line with more than 20 other states that prohibit necrophilia or the abuse of a corpse, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. California joined the group in 2004 after prosecutors said they couldn't bring charges in some cases without an official ban.

The law in Wisconsin had been murky, and two dissenting justices insisted Wednesday that lawmakers did not mean to ban necrophilia but to allow assault charges when someone was raped and then killed.


CO - Some signature gatherers have criminal records

View the article here

07/09/2008

KUSA – Some people gathering signatures for ballot initiatives who approach Coloradans have criminal records, according to court record searches conducted by 9Wants to Know.

9NEWS found signature gatherers convicted of sexual assault on a child, theft, harassment, trespassing and drug possession. Most signature gatherers are hired by private companies and paid for each signature they receive.

The gatherers we watched were asking for signatures for more than one ballot initiative.

People who sign petitions are required to give their name, signature and their home address.

"It's a little frightening," said House Majority Leader Alice Madden (D-Boulder).

Madden authored a bill, that passed the House and Senate but was vetoed by Gov. Bill Ritter, which would have prohibited convicted felons from being paid signature gatherers.

Ritter (D-Colorado) says he vetoed the bill because it would have only affected paid petition circulators and not volunteer petition circulators. He felt that allowing paid and unpaid gatherers to operate by different sets of standards violated the U.S. Constitution and the Colorado Constitution.

Madden says signature gatherers need some oversight.

"I was walking down 16th Street Mall several years ago, and I saw some young men and women being stopped for their signatures and I was looking at these girls thinking they are giving away their home address and their signature to someone they don't know," said Madden. "It just struck a little fear factor and a chill down my spine."

Court records show signature gatherer Ferrell Griffin was sentenced in 2007 for drug possession. Police had already busted him twice before in 2002 and 1992. He's on parole and gathering signatures for ballot issues in Denver this year.

Secretary of State records show John Bizzell gathered signatures in Pueblo this year too. He's a registered sex offender who is back in prison on drug charges.

John Respondek has a criminal record that dates back to 1996. He's been convicted of theft five times since 1996. His record also includes trespassing and harassment.

9Wants to Know caught up with Respondek while he was gathering signatures in Denver.

When asked if he'd been arrested before, he replied "No," to investigative reporter Jace Larson. He later admitted to his record, but said he sees nothing wrong with his line of work.

"I'm a new person, that was when my life was uncontrollable and I was out of control and it was petty stuff," said Respondek.

He was arrested for shoplifting at a King Soopers by Thornton Police on April 24.

A spokeswoman for Colorado's prison system says it's important to keep in mind that convicted felons have a tough time finding a job once they are out of the criminal system.

The State of Colorado has only about 350 felony-friendly employers, said Katherine Sanguinetti, spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections.

"We don't have enough jobs for all of them," she said.

Sanguinetti believes some jobs are fit for felons.

"I can see where parents are concerned about this, but the children who are going into [a store] probably have a guardian with them and that's where the guardian becomes their guardian," she said. "You have to understand that sex offenders shop [at stores.] They are going to be in those places on a daily basis."

Sanguinetti notes that many offenders turn their lives around while in prison.

"A lot of them come out with very good work ethic and they are motivated to succeed because they do not want to go back to prison," she said.

9NEWS talked to three companies who hire signature gatherers. Each company 9NEWS spoke with said it does not do background checks on employees hired to help get initiatives on Colorado's ballot. State law does not require it.

(Copyright KUSA*TV. All Rights Reserved)


AL - Scott County constable faces child sex charges

View the article here

07/09/2008

HUNTSVILLE (AP) - A Scott County constable who's a former sheriff's deputy has been arrested and charged with raping a 4-year-old child.

According to Scott County Sheriff Anthony Lay, 55-year-old Curtis Crabtree admitted to an investigator that he engaged in sexual acts with the child, and that he also watched pornographic material with the youngster.

Crabtree is being held on $100,000 bond. A judge denied a request to lower the bond at a hearing Wednesday morning.


CO - Former sheriff's deputy takes plea for sex with inmate

View the article here

07/09/2008

Judge modifies restraining order so couple can see each other

STERLING — A former Logan County Detention deputy admitted to having sexual contact with an inmate last fall, pleading guilty in court Tuesday to the lesser of two felony charges under a stipulated agreement of probation and a maximum of 60 days in jail.

Lori P. Strohmeyer, 28, of Sterling, will also be required to register as a sex offender. The inmate in the middle of the scandal, now serving his sentence through community corrections, appeared in court again Tuesday to ask for the restraining order preventing contact between him and Strohmeyer to be modified.

At a hearing in May, the former inmate told Chief District Judge J. Curtis Penny he does not see himself as a victim and that he loves Strohmeyer and wants to continue their relationship.
- She was a guard, and they should not be having sex with inmates, especially while at the facility.

Penny agreed to allow contact between the two, though it appears the former inmate’s community corrections program will still prevent the couple from seeing each other.

Strohmeyer was fired from the Logan County Sheriff’s Office Jan. 22, while another deputy, Kathryn M. Lacombe, 42, of Merino, was placed on administrative leave until Jan. 25, when she was also terminated.

The complaint against Strohmeyer alleges she engaged in sexual contact with the inmate between Nov. 8, 2007, and Jan. 18, 2008. The scandal centered around taped phone conversations between the inmate and Strohmeyer.

The complaint against Lacombe alleges she was involved sexually with an inmate between Nov. 15, 2007, and Jan. 23, 2008. She faces felony charges of unlawful sexual conduct with an inmate and unlawful sexual contact with an inmate.

Lacombe formally entered a not guilty plea in May and has a motions hearing set for later this month with a trial scheduled for the fall.

Strohmeyer’s sentencing hearing is set for Sept. 9. She faces a cap of 60 days in jail and a yet-to-be determined amount of time on probation. A violation of that probation could land her in prison for 18 months.

Stacie Miller: (970) 526-9285; semiller@journal-advocate.com


NY - Ex-NY Prosecutor Gets 2 Years for Having Sex with Boys

View the article here

Oh yeah, we don't have a double standard in punishment. If this were a man who did this to a girl or boy, you can bet they would have got a larger sentence than this. It's due to her being a women and an ex-DA.

07/09/2008

NEW CITY -- A former prosecutor was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison for having sex with underage boys after her daughter alleged that her 15-year-old boyfriend was among the woman's victims, seduced into a sex act in the bathroom of the family home.

Beth Modica, 44, wept as her daughter Danielle said in court that she was banging on the bathroom door one day last year as her mother and her boyfriend were engaging in oral sex.

"We were competing for the same 15-year-old boy,'' Danielle Modica said. "I was betrayed by both of them.''

Modica told her children to lie to their father, the Spring Valley police chief, about the marijuana and alcohol she gave to them and their friends. They were changed forever by their mother's "constant lying and the things she did around me and my brothers,'' she said.

She urged Rockland County Judge Catherine Bartlett to send her mother to state prison.

Her brother, 17-year-old Joseph Modica, wrote in a letter read by prosecutor Dominic Crispino that he knew his mother was having sex with his friend in her bedroom although "she lied to my face'' and claimed the boy was sick. Addressing his mother, he said, "I am truly embarrassed and disgusted with you.''

Modica's 12-year-old son, Nicholas, also wrote to request prison time for his mother, saying, "I need to know when she gets out of jail it will be safe for me to be around her.''

Leslie Brown, mother of one of the boys who had sex with Modica, told the judge that Modica was "a sly and manipulative sexual predator.''

Modica, in an orange prison jumpsuit, her hands shackled to her waist, apologized through sobs to her family and her victims, saying she knows she has destroyed her family and devastated others. "I will be eternally remorseful,'' she said.

Her attorney, Gerard Damiani, asked for a shorter sentence or just probation, saying the outlaw behavior was an aberration and noting that Modica, a former prosecutor in Queens and Rockland, had already lost her law license and custody of the children. She is estranged from her husband. Damiani said she is benefiting from psychiatric treatment.

But the judge told Modica, who lived in Sloatsburg, she was "a disgusting monster.''

"At some point in your life you decided to become a manipulator, a conniver and a sexual predator,'' she said. "You had unprotected sex with children. You gave them drugs and alcohol. ... Some of these acts took place in your home with your children present.''

At one point the judge said, "Your daughter's boyfriend? That's disgusting.''

Besides two years in state prison for Modica's guilty plea to statutory rape and criminal sex act, Bartlett imposed 10 years probation, sex offender registration and 10-year orders of protection for the two boys she had sex with.


WA - Inmate free after 20 years on death row, thanks to DNA test

View the article here

This just angers me. If the man was exonerated by DNA, then why must he be under house arrest and on the sex offender registry until he dies? That is just prison outside of prison, and they are not letting him go free. Wow, people can be so cruel!!!

07/02/2008

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A 46-year old inmate who languished on death row for more than 20 years was freed Wednesday after DNA tests called into question his murder conviction.

Paul Gregory House was sentenced to death in 1986 for the rape and murder of Carolyne Muncey, a housewife and mother in the southern state of Tennessee.

DNA testing was not available at the time of the crime, but genetic tests performed since his conviction failed to determine conclusively that House was the perpetrator of the crime.

Based on those inconclusive DNA tests, the US Supreme Court in 2006 ruled that a jury could find "reasonable doubt" in the case -- a burden of proof lower than the legal standard to establish guilt in a murder case.

News reports said there also have been claims of doctored evidence and witness tampering, which further cast doubt about House's conviction.

A US district court ordered prosecutors either retry or release House, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and uses a wheel chair to get around.

Prosecutors in Tennessee said they no longer wish to retry the case or seek the death penalty against House, citing his current medical condition.

But authorities have now confined House to house arrest after requiring him to register as a sex offender.


ME - Panel to study sex registry changes

View the article here
Maine Senate YouTube Page

Sounds like Maine is starting to think now before having more knee-jerk reactions.

07/09/2008

AUGUSTA - The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will take up the controversial state sex offender registry again next week, with an eye toward trying to categorize or create tiers of offenders so the public can judge their safety risk.

“We need to make it more efficient and more reliable for the public to use,” said Sen. Bill Diamond (Email), D-Cumberland, Senate chairman of the committee.

To do that he would like to create two and possibly three tiers on the registry, which currently lists an estimated 3,000 names. Those deemed to be the lowest risk could be put on a registry that’s not available to the public, but would be to law enforcement.

The committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday starting at 10 a.m., in Room 437 at the State House.

The committee this past session tried to amend the sex offender registry law to take some names off all together of those whose crimes dated back to the decade between 1982 to 1992. That look-back period was added by the Legislature in 2005 and its constitutionality is currently being challenged in court.

While the full Legislature approved removing some of the names, Gov. John Baldacci (Contact) refused to sign the bill.

Diamond said his committee wouldn’t take up that fight again. Instead, the group will tackle how sex offenses are categorized in Maine, so the risk from the convicted offender is more apparent. It also hopes to develop a system that ranks a person’s risk to re-offend.

Diamond used the charge of gross sexual assault as an example, saying it can cover a range of actions.

“I think we need to be more concise,” he said, and create a registry where it’s clear what people have done, “So everyone won’t have to be fearful of everybody whose name is on there.”


MI- Flint cops crack down on sagging pants

Courtesy of "Sex Offender Research & News"

Click the image to read the entire article



GA - Info on Homeless Case and Volunteering at Churches

View the article here

Friends,

We are writing today to share a few pieces of information:

Santos V. The State – Homeless Sex Offender Challenge

Below this message are a couple articles about the case that was argued in the Georgia Supreme Court this past Monday, Santos V. The State. This case is challenging the provision in the Georgia Sex Offender Law that says it is illegal to be on the registry and homeless, with a penalty of 10-30 years for a first offense, and a mandatory Life Sentence for a second offense. SCHR submitted an Amicus Brief in support of this challenge.

Questions about Volunteering at Churches or other Places of Worship

As you may already know, on June 24, 2008, SCHR filed a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction to halt the implementation of the portion of SB 1 that criminalizes religious activities by prohibiting people on the registry from volunteering at places of religious worship. Activities such as singing in an adult church choir, looking up passages for a pastor in Bible study, preparing for revivals and prayer vigils, or cooking meals in a church kitchen will now be considered criminal activity punishable by 10-30 years in prison. The new law poses an additional complication: pastors, reverends and other spiritual leaders could be charged with accessory to a crime for encouraging people on the registry to actively participate in the life of the church.

Since SB 1 did not define the term “volunteer,” we do not know how individual law enforcement agencies will be enforcing this provision. For that and other reasons, we have challenged the provision that prevents registered sex offenders from volunteering at churches.

Until we have a ruling from the court, we simply will not have a set definition of volunteering. People on the registry should be aware that while attendance at a church, synagogue, mosque etc. is permitted under the law, any activity that might be construed as “volunteering” may risk prosecution.

Current Status of the Whitaker case

We have posted an updated Case Overview on our website, but in short, Whitaker is still pending before Judge Cooper in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The State had asked the Court to put the case on hold until the end of the 2008 legislative term (which ended in April, 2008). We have asked the Court to move the case forward so that it can be resolved as expeditiously as possible. At this point, we do not know when/if the case will go to trial.

We will keep you posted with any further updates.

All the best,

Sara, Sarah, Mica, Gerry, and James



http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/article/6940/

High court contemplates Hall sex offender case

Attorneys argue registration law unfair to homeless

By Stephen Gurr
sgurr@gainesvilletimes.com

POSTED July 9, 2008 12:18 a.m.

Three-time sex offender William James Santos couldn’t register his home with local authorities because he had no home, his lawyers told Georgia’s highest court this week.

Attorneys for the state countered there was no evidence Santos looked for a new place to live, and if he was truly homeless, he could still check in daily with Hall County sheriff’s officials.

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments in the case of Santos, 53, who faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of failing to register as a sex offender for a second time.

Attorneys with the Hall County Public Defender’s Office want Georgia’s sex offender law thrown out because, they say, it violates a person’s right to due process and punishes poor people who can’t find a place to live.

According to a summary of the case provided by the Georgia Supreme Court, Santos was convicted of sex offenses in three separate cases. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Web site shows Santos was convicted of sexual assault in Michigan in 1995.

Santos pleaded guilty in 2005 to failing to register as a sex offender. In 2006, he gave Hall County Sheriff’s officials the address for Good News at Noon, a Gainesville shelter located on Davis Street.

According to the summary, Santos was kicked out of the shelter in July 2006 and never registered another address with officials. The following October, he was arrested and indicted on three counts of failing to register as a sex offender.

Between the time of his first conviction for failure to register and his second arrest, the Georgia legislature increased the penalty of a second conviction to a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Attorneys asked the presiding superior court judge in the case to throw out the indictment. When the judge denied their motion, they appealed to the supreme court, which agreed to hear the case.

Attorneys Adam Levin and Brett Willis, the public defenders representing Santos, argued in briefs filed with the court that imprisoning homeless sex offenders who are "unavoidably homeless" violates the U.S. and state constitutions as cruel and unusual punishment. It also violates a state prohibition against legislation that regards a citizen’s social status, Santos’ attorneys argued.

Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh and Assistant District Attorney Vanessa Sykes argued in the state’s brief that Santos could be entitled to an acquittal in a trial if evidence shows he made an effort to find a new home and failed. Prosecutors say there is no evidence any effort was made.

The state also argued that the law does not address situations where a sex offender has no permanent house. A homeless person could list a street or park, prosecutors argued, or comply with the law by checking in with sheriff’s officials daily.

The court will rule on the case at a later date.

The justices must decide:

  • Whether the current sex offender registry law constitutes a denial of due process by criminalizing an "impossible act" for a person who is homeless.
  • Whether punishing someone like Santos for a maximum of life in prison or a minimum of ten years constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
  • Whether the law is void because of vagueness.
  • Whether the law violates Georgia’s constitutional prohibition against making a person’s social status the subject of legislation by singling out homeless people as the only individuals who have no means of full compliance.



Appeal: Sex offender law criminalizes homelessness

By GREG BLUESTEIN – 1 day ago

ATLANTA (AP) — A strict new Georgia law is designed to keep sex offenders away from children by monitoring how close they live to schools, parks and other spots where kids gather — and threatens them with strict penalties if they fail to register.

But what about the offenders who don't have an address?

Georgia's Supreme Court on Monday considered whether the law unfairly subjects homeless offenders to a life sentence if they fail register a home address.

The case involves William James Santos, a homeless man and convicted sex offender who was kicked out of a Gainesville homeless shelter in July 2006 and was arrested three months later on charges he failed to register with Georgia's sex offender list.

His lawyers say the law creates a guessing game for Santos and other homeless offenders because it bars them from giving a post office box or simply saying they are homeless.

They also argue that homeless offenders will become a prime target for the measure's tough criminal penalties, which call for a mandatory life in prison sentence for offenders who fail to register their address for a second time.

"These sex offenders, unfortunate enough to have no street address, are subject to life in prison," said Adam Levin, an attorney for Santos. "This gives Mr. Santos and every other sex offender with no address no other right but to fail to comply with the law."

Prosecutors warn that allowing offenders to mark themselves as homeless risks defeating the purpose of the measure. It could "invite sex offenders to not enter a lease, not purchase a property, to declare themselves homeless," said assistant district attorney Vanessa Sykes.

Sykes also contended the law can be interpreted to give the homeless some leeway to mark down a temporary address, such as a shelter.

But that can lead to a cumbersome process. The homeless offenders who move from spot to spot every night would have to notify the local sheriff's department each time, she said.

"I guess, practically, sex offenders who are homeless should find places that are near sheriff's offices," offered Justice Carol Hunstein.

"Yes, and I'm sure sheriff's officers would appreciate that," Sykes responded.

The Santos challenge is among a growing number of cases targeting Georgia's sex offender law, which sponsors declared one of the toughest in the nation when it was adopted in 2006.

It bans sex offenders from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of just about anywhere children gather. That includes schools, churches, parks, gyms, swimming pools or one of the state's 150,000 school bus stops.

Since it was adopted, though, it has been under attack.

The Georgia Supreme Court last week heard arguments targeting the section that mandates a life prison sentence for sex offenders who twice fail to register. A federal lawsuit filed last month claims that a provision banning sex offenders from volunteering at churches is illegal. And federal courts are already considering challenges to provisions that would evict offenders who live near churches and school bus stops.

Santos' attorneys asked the court to declare the law illegal because it amounts to "cruel and unusual punishment." But they told the justices they hope the court's decision will at least give the homeless a "safety valve" to put down a general location, such as a street or a park.

"We're not asking for specific special treatment for the homeless," said Brett Willis, another Santos attorney. "We're just looking for a way to comply."




Sara J. Totonchi
Public Policy Director
Law Offices of the Southern Center for Human Rights
83 Poplar Street, N.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404/688-1202 voice
404/688-9440 fax
stotonchi@schr.org


UT- Girl, 13, charged as sex offender and victim

Courtesy of eAdvocate

I have also placed the PDF here

Click the image to read the article




NH - Sex-offender registry update signed into law

View the article here

Finally some common sense and fairness.

07/09/2008

CONCORDGov. John Lynch (Contact) signed into law an update of the Sex Offender Registry law that would let the state suspend the driver's license of someone who fails to register.

The measure divides convicted sex offenders into three tiers based on their conduct to comply with the principles but not all requirements of the federal Adam Walsh Act.

For the first time, it would let those convicted of less serious crimes after a period of good behavior to ask a judge to have their names removed from the registry list available to the public.

It further compels those convicted of a number of criminal felonies to supply a DNA sample.

Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (Contact) sought the DNA mandate to apply to all felonies, but legislative negotiators scaled back the number of crimes it would cover.

State Rep. Cynthia Dokmo (Email), R-Amherst, authored the bill (HB 1640). All its changes go into place Jan. 1.


MA - Wrongly convicted man seeks compensation

View the article here

This and the Mike Nifong case is why we need to make DA's and judges accountable for their actions, then they'd be less likely to convict someone unless they had real proof instead of word of mouth and hearsay evidence. The way the injustice system should work in the first place.

07/09/2008

A Hyde Park man who was wrongly convicted of molesting a 6-year-old girl has filed a lawsuit against the state, seeking compensation for the 10 years he spent behind bars.
- He should sue everyone involved, the judge, DA's, lawyers, etc.

Guy Randolph, 50, who was convicted of indecent assault and battery on the girl in 1991, spent seven years as a registered sex offender after his release from prison in 2001. This status, his lawyer said, branded him an outcast and may have prevented him and his mother from being approved for public housing.

"I feel as though Guy deserves" compensation, said his 74-year-old mother, Ruth Johns, who lives with her son and takes care of him. "It's owed to him. There are a lot of things he missed out on."

In May, a Suffolk Superior Court judge exonerated him after the district attorney's office acknowledged that he had been wrongly convicted. His name was taken off the state Sex Offender Registry and the picture of him that had hung for years in a Boston police station was removed.

Randolph, who cannot work because he has schizophrenia and is prone to seizures, wants financial compensation under a state law passed in 2004 that provides a maximum of $500,000 for erroneous convictions.

Randolph was cleared after prosecutors agreed that the case against him was weak from the beginning. There was no physical evidence tying him to the crime, and the victim initially had said he was not her attacker. During the grand jury investigation, she described her attacker in ways that did not match Randolph.
- Most people who are accused of sexual abuse have weak cases, that is why the DA's, lawyers and judges try so much for plea bargains. Just see this video for some examples.

Randolph was indicted and pleaded guilty under the Alford plea, which allows a defendant to assert innocence while acknowledging that the state has enough evidence for a conviction.

Randolph's lawyer, Sejal Patel, said that he has a good chance of being compensated because prosecutors in Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley's office agree that he should never have been charged in the first place.
- So why was he? Sounds like a MAJOR failure in the system of ravenous wolves who will do and say anything for a conviction...

"There is no district attorney worth their salt . . . who would have let this case get indicted," Patel said.

Conley's spokesman, Jake Wark, declined to say whether prosecutors would back Randolph in his complaint. "We will confine our comments to the legal proceedings," Wark said.

Since the law was passed, 25 people have filed for compensation with the state attorney general's office. Between $5.2 million and $5.7 million has been distributed to 12 former prisoners. Eleven cases are pending. One case was dismissed by a Plymouth Superior Court judge, and another resulted in a mistrial, with a retrial scheduled for 2009.

John Swomley, a Boston defense lawyer, said the attorney general will resist paying prisoners who were wrongly convicted, unless there is DNA evidence proving their innocence.

"They're going to try and fight and argue that while he's technically not guilty, he's not necessarily innocent," Swomley said. "Honestly, I don't think they really care whether it's justly awarded or not. It's a function of economics. They don't want to have to pay out that kind of money."
- So don't convict someone who is innocent!

Attorney General Martha Coakley (Contact) said the decisions to settle are driven by evidence that the person asserting wrongful conviction is innocent. She said several cases have been settled in which there was no DNA evidence that cleared the complainant.

"The DNA makes it quicker and easier, but it's not like if there is no DNA we're not going to do this," she said. "There has to be a standard by which there is a determination made as to who is entitled to [compensation]. The burden is for the plaintiff seeking the compensation to prove they are actually innocent."

Patel said she hopes any compensation will help Randolph obtain counseling and medical attention.

After Randolph was released, he became withdrawn, depressed by how he was treated in his neighborhood, where some would call him "molester," Johns said.

Since his exoneration, Randolph has become more confident, Johns said. He has made friends and rides his bicycle through Hyde Park, where people now congratulate him on being cleared.

"He feels accepted," Johns said. "He always knew that I love him. He knows I always will, but now he feels the world loves him and accepts him."

Maria Cramer can be reached at mcramer@globe.com.


IN - Balancing computers will be balancing act

View the article here | View HB-1329 here

07/09/2008

Sex crimes are horrific. Sex offenders must be monitored. But once an offender serves time and is listed on the state’s registry, should the offender’s family members be subject to ongoing searches?
- Ask yourself this. If they need to be monitored, which I assume they are talking about GPS here, why are they out of jail/prison in the first place? Besides, GPS will not prevent anything? It's a waste of tax payer dollars, and if someone is intent on committing another crime, no residency restriction, registry or GPS will prevent them from doing so.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana thinks they have a right not to be subject to search. The court struck down a provision of a state law that would have required searches of offenders’ homes.
- Good. If they have a reason to search, get a warrant like you are suppose to in the first place.

The decision came a few days before the new law, authored by Rep. Scott Reske (Email), D-Pendleton, was to go into effect July 1.
- Here is his idiotic response. He's got to get a news article out, to look good to the sheeple!! It's also below, in case he deletes it. He seems to think all sex offenders are predators and are out using the Internet to solicit children. This is typical of ignorant people.

Reske supported the bill as a way to monitor sexual predators who use the Internet to prey upon youth.
- No, he wanted the law, so he could look like he has accomplished something, sex offenders are an easy scapegoat for everyone who cannot be elected any other way. Not all sex offenders have used the internet to "prey" on children either, so a blanket law like this is, like the court said, unconstitutional. Any idiot who knows the constitution would've known that, but like I said, he does this for brownie points.

Under the bill, sex offenders would have been required to submit to a search, at any time, of their personal computers as a condition of probation or parole. They would have been required to purchase hardware or software so their Internet usage could be monitored.

In a class-action lawsuit, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana challenged the law as a violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibiting unreasonable searches and requiring a probable cause for issuance of a warrant.

The ACLU cited two examples:

  • A person has been released from prison, is not on probation, parole or any supervised release and is listed on either the sex or violent offender registry. The offender now owns a business and works from home. The offender doesn’t want anyone outside his home to have access to bank records.
  • Another offender in a similar circumstance is married. His wife doesn’t want her banking information in the hands of investigators.

As much as we hate sexual or violent crimes, offenders who have served their time should be allowed to return to society while adhering to court-ordered monitoring. On the other hand, these offenders have already lost some rights due to the nature of their crime; for one, they must be listed on the state’s registry of sexual or violent offenders, available through the Internet.

Reske has asked the Indiana attorney general to seek an appeal. And we believe him when he says he wants a better understanding of what language can be used in next year’s General Assembly for another attempt at the law.

Writing the law will be a tricky balancing act. The safety of children should be of utmost importance in these debates.

– The Herald Bulletin, Anderson



Rep. Scott Reske Statement (Click to enlarge):



IN - Crothersville Limits Sex Offenders

View the article here

07/09/2008

Passage of ordinances controlling sex offenders on public property and re-establishing a parks and recreation board were passed with the Crothersville town council met last Tuesday.

Both ordinances passed unanimously.

The sex offender ordinance contains two parts. The first creates residential restrictions for registered sex offenders. A second part pertains to town-owned parks.

Convicted sex offenders cannot live within 500 feet of a school, daycare or park.

According to the ordinance, the sole intent is not to impose a criminal penalty but to serve the town’s “compelling interest to promote, protect and improve the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Crothersville.”

If a person violates the residential prohibition ordinance, he or she can receive a fine of up to $500.

Sex offenders cannot enter certain property owned by the town of Crothersville, with the exception of town hall or another place where the offender has to pay fees or fines or to cast a vote.

If a sex offender enters a park, he or she can be fined anywhere from $100 to $2,500. The person also could receive charges of criminal trespass.

Crothersville police are to deliver notices to the sex offenders living in town boundaries to let them know of the ordinance. Signs prohibiting sex offenders will be erected at each of the town’s parks as well. A map showing prohibited areas also will be posted in town hall.

Online readers can read the ordinances in their entirety under PUBLIC NOTICES.

A long discussed ordinance re-establishing a parks board was passed at the July 1 meeting. At first, council members had trouble finding people interested, but as the ordinance got closer to becoming reality, more people expressed interest.

So far, the seven candidates are Mike Spencer, Sam Kuehn, Sarah Isenhower, Jimmy Shirley, Steve Prather, Alisa Sweazy and Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson.

The council will select four members, two from each political party.

A fifth member appointed by the Crothersville school board of trustees. That person will have the same rights, including voting, as the other members.

The town council will announce the appointments at the Aug. 5 meeting.

In other business the council:

  • Heard from Mark Adams, owner of Adams Funeral Home on Howard Street, of a concern of people driving through his parking lot off Dixon Street and, in some cases, damaging property. Drivers still go through it, even when it’s been blocked off.
  • Approved Verizon to install Internet service for the wastewater treatment plant to allow workers to complete on-line reports. The cost will be $42.99 per month for high-speed DSL service.

Other bids were received from C3BB in Scottsburg, $50 per month with a one-time $100 installation fee, and Insight Cable, $49.95 per month with $150 installation fee, but the fee would be waived if a one-year contract was signed. However, cable TV service would also be charged at the sewer plant.


MI - Ex-deputy charged in inmate case taken off sex offender list

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07/09/2008

A former Livingston County Sheriff's deputy charged -- but not convicted -- in connection with allegations of sexual encounters with female inmates was registered on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry for nearly two weeks before the Michigan Department of Corrections removed his name on Tuesday.

Randy Boos, 34, has not pleaded guilty to any crimes. He is scheduled for "plea and sentencing" Aug. 21 in Livingston Circuit Court.

However, Boos has been on the state sex offender registry since June 26 as having three offenses for second-degree criminal sexual conduct with conviction dates "not available." The online public record claimed he would remain on the registry for 25 years -- until 2033. Boos' photograph was not included, although an address where he is apparently living in Howell was listed, not his marital home in Shiawassee County.

"That was a mistake and it will be rectified. His name should not have been on the registry," Russ Marlan, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections, told The Detroit News on Tuesday after The News began making inquiries.

Michigan State Police maintain the sex offender list since a law went into effect in 1995 requiring those convicted of sex crimes to be listed on a public database with current addresses to keep residents aware of predators living in their neighborhoods.

"Individuals are supposed to register after conviction and prior to sentencing," State Police spokeswoman Melody Kindraka said.

Boos, a 12-year department veteran was charged June 11 with three 15-year felonies for molesting three women prisoners on three different occasions in April while transporting them from the county jail to the justice center. He resigned later in April amid the accusations. He is currently free on a personal bond, although he was ordered to wear a tether. Boos did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Lt. Gene Kapp, of the Michigan State Police First District in Lansing which investigated the Boos case, was surprised when informed that Boos' name was on the state registry on Monday. After making several calls to find out why, Kapp said, Boos registered himself through the Probation Department in Livingston County.

"He did it on his own. I guess he's trying to get ahead of the game. (As a former deputy), he knows what the requirement will be," Kapp said.
- So why would someone register before they have even been convicted? And why on the registry when he has not been through the court system yet? Sounds like he is basically admitting he did it. Why else would he go ahead and register?

Probation and parole officers, sheriff's or the Michigan Department of Corrections are required to file notice with the State Police when sex offenders are processed.

Dan Chepeska, probation supervisor in Livingston, referred comments to Marlan, who said the unusual circumstance of having a visiting judge may have created some confusion.

Jackson County Circuit Judge Chad Schmucker was assigned the case by the state Court Administrator's Office after both Livingston Circuit Court judges disqualified themselves due to potential conflicts of interest. Both knew Boos, who had been working a six-month shift transporting prisoners between the jail and courthouse.

To reduce Schmucker's visits to Livingston County, the visiting judge requested a presentence investigation by the probation department so that a dual hearing could be held on Aug. 21, Marlan said.

Typically, a sentencing takes place about a month after a guilty plea or conviction by jury or judge. The presentence investigation is a personal history of the offender and sentencing recommendation.

"Normally the presentence investigation is post-conviction and the probation officer fills out the forms for (the sex offender registry) and sends it to the Michigan State Police," Marlan said.

The paperwork should not have been forwarded in this case until after Aug. 21, he said.

"I can't say if (Boos) did this on his own," Marlan said when asked if Boos requested he be put on the state registry before sentencing.

Boos' defense attorney Mark Gatesman, of Howell-based Gatesman & Spickard, declined comment. Livingston Prosecutor David Morse did not return phone calls.

The alleged offenses took place on April 16, 18 and 22 and involve three different women being held in the county jail. One was a 19-year-old Fenton woman who later pleaded to a misdemeanor count of larceny and was sentenced to two years probation, another is a 45-year-old woman facing various drug charges. She is expected to be sentenced this week. Information on the third victim was not available.

You can reach Valerie Olander at (517) 552-5503 or volander@detnews.com.


VT - Barre Considers Limiting Where Sex Offenders Live

View the article here

The registry shows 15, but the Mayor said 45, below is a potential explanation.

07/08/2008

The city of Barre is considering a plan that would limit where sex offenders can live.

Mayor Thom Lauzon (Email) and Barre City Police Chief Tim Bombardier (Email) introduced the ordinance at the city council meeting in Barre, Tuesday night. They say the timing was a coincidence; it has nothing to do with the Brooke Bennett case, and they've been working on it for nearly two years.

Barre is a city filled with public spaces, like City Hall Park, which is currently under renovation. It is also home to a number of schools and a number of sex offenders.

"Over the past two years I've had discussions with our Police Chief Tim Bombardier, about the number, quite frankly a disproportionate number of sex offenders who have been placed here in Barre City," Lauzon said.

Mayor Lauzon says he became concerned when he found out Barre is home to 45 sex offenders. That accounts for 35 percent of sex offenders in Washington County, even though Barre's population is only 15 percent of the county.

- Well from me using the Vermont registry, it doesn't allow you to search by City/Town, but it is on a county basis. And when I used the National registry, it shows 15 people, not 45. So is he bloating the info to further his agenda?

Click the image to enlarge it



"Quite frankly, in terms of these people who have violated, you know, sex offenders who have violated, it's best if we keep them away from direct observation of children," Lauzon said.

A proposed ordinance would create buffer zones around schools, playgrounds and recreation areas like public parks. Sex offenders would not be allowed to live within 1,000 feet of those places. That covers nearly all of downtown Barre, which has about 33,000 residences.

"They are grandfathered to live in their current residency as long as they maintain that residency," Chief Bombardier said. He says the ordinance is not intended to force people out of Barre. If a sex offender is currently living inside one of the buffer zones, and maintains residency there, he or she won't be forced to leave.

"It won't happen overnight, those buffer zones won't be established, you know, overnight because you will have people grandfathered in there, but through attrition it is possible to have those buffer zones not have anybody from the sex offender registry living in them," he said.

Officials say it's all about safety, about keeping potential offenders away from potential victims.

The city council voted unanimously to consider the ordinance. There will be a public hearing and a final vote on the ordinance on July 22. Offenders could face fines for hanging around the buffer zones.



So with the info below, I wonder if the 30 not on the registry still have to obey the residency restrictions, etc? If not, why mention them?

Email from the reporter:
You are right, there are only 15 REGISTERED sex offenders living in Barre. However, not every sex offender is required to register as their crimes do not meet the criteria to be on the list. The additional 30 sex offenders referenced in my report are ones who are not on the registry but who have been convicted of a “lesser” sex crime.

Hope that clears things up.

-Bianca

Bianca Slota
Reporter - WCAX News
W: 802-652-6390
P: 802-749-5030


OR - Jeff Merkley - Riding the backs of sex offenders for votes!!





You see, it will be election time soon, and here comes this idiot riding the backs of sex offenders to get your votes. Instead of being a man of integrity, upholding the constitution, he has an agenda, to get voted into office. SEX OFFENDERS - IT'S A WINNING SOLUTION FOR POLITICIANS WHO CANNOT GET VOTED INTO OFFICE ANY OTHER WAY! THEY ARE POLITICAL SCAPEGOATS!




DANGER! The Witch Hunt


GA - Sex Offender Law Limits Renters

View the article here

Video is available below, and at the site as well.

07/08/2008

The state's new sex offender law went into effect July 1, and already some people on the list are feeling its ramifications.

Under the new law, registered sex offenders who rent homes or property are not protected if a place where children gather moves within a thousand feet of where they live.

Lonnie Davis, a registered offender in Laurens County, says he's moved all over Central Georgia trying to stay within the limits of the law.

"I've been in Milledgeville, Eastman, now East Dublin," said Davis. "I mean, you just keep feeling like you're homeless."

Davis was convicted of molestation nearly twenty years ago, but as 13WMAZ reported last year, those involved in his crime admitted he was falsely accused.

Davis says he's been fighting to get his name off the sex offender list since then, but until he does, he, like many other registered offenders, may have to lead nomadic lifestyles due to the new law.

"Every time I go to rent a place to live and I think I'm good, [the police] can show me that a school, a bus stop, a church is coming in and I'll have to move," he said. "You're being discriminated against... and whether you're guilty or not... there's nothing you can do about it now."

State Representative Tony Sellier of Fort Valley, one of the legislators who worked on and voted for the new sex offender law, says it's tough on people like Davis right now, but there's a fine line to walk.

"I realize there's a lot of gray in this," said Sellier. "And there'll probably be more changes ahead, but I'd rather err on the side of the children."

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, there are currently more than 15,000 registered sex offenders in the state, and just over 1,500 in Central Georgia.