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When John C. Doe got a letter in June 2007 letting him know he was in violation of a law prohibiting some sex offenders from living near schools or other places frequented by children, the Lafayette man moved.
Nine months later, Doe - living in a residence that had been approved by the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department - got a letter saying he was in violation again.
"All this after they gave him the OK to live there," his attorney, Earl McCoy, said Friday. "They said the map had been wrong. He had already been there almost a year."
The man, using the pseudonym John C. Doe in court documents, recently filed a civil lawsuit against the sheriff's department and the Tippecanoe County prosecutor's office, challenging their enforcement of the law.
The statute, which took effect on July 1, 2006, prohibits sex offenders against children from living within 1,000 feet of a school, public park or youth program center. Violating it is a Class D felony.
Doe was convicted in 1985 and again in 1987 of child molestation in Tippecanoe County, according to an affidavit filed in Tippecanoe Superior Court 2. He was released from prison in 1993 and from probation in 1994 without any further sanctions.
This is the third civil complaint McCoy and his associate, Chad Montgomery, have filed in Tippecanoe County on behalf of sex offenders who had to move. A fourth lawsuit was filed here by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana (Contact).
The three older lawsuits have been partially shot down by county judges.
Sheriff's Detective Greg Haltom, who is in charge of the Sex and Violent Offender Registry for Tippecanoe County, said Friday that he delivered the note to Doe on behalf of the prosecutor's office.
"The prosecutor's office makes that determination and wrote the letter," Haltom said. "They determined that where he had been living was near a youth program center."
Prosecutor Pat Harrington is named as a defendant in the lawsuit with Sheriff Tracy Brown.
"What we use is constantly being updated and revised with new information," Harrington said, explaining why Doe was in violation a second time.
He points out that when his office and the sheriff's department first began enforcing the law, Haltom sent letters to dozens of churches and other organizations, asking whether they host programs for youth.
About two dozen sex offenders against children in Tippecanoe County moved under the new legislation. Harrington said all complied and no charges had to be filed.
"The law does allow them some relief," he said. "They can file an injunction challenging it."
McCoy is asking for preliminary injunction, which would allow Doe to stay in his residence as the lawsuit progresses, and permanent injunction against the statute.
His client does not have a driver's license and relies on public transportation to get to and from work.
Doe also has filed a request asking that Tippecanoe Superior 2 Judge Thomas Busch determine whether Doe is still considered to be an offender against children.
McCoy said also at issue is whether the statute violates ex post facto under Indiana's constitution and the U.S. Constitution by imposing punishment for Doe again, years after he completed his sentences.
Busch on Friday set a telephonic status conference for June 30 to schedule dates to proceed with the lawsuit.
Friday, July 18, 2008
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A looming federal deadline that requires tribes to track and register sex offenders in their communities was both embraced and denounced by tribal leaders in a Senate hearing on Thursday.
The Adam Walsh Act, a law to track the whereabouts of people who commit sex crimes, calls for tribes to comply with the federal law by next April or step aside so a state’s attorney general can do the job.
Sen. Byron Dorgan (Email), D-N.D., chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian affairs, called on tribal leaders and national spokesmen to testify on Indian Country’s success and failures in complying with the sex offender registration act.
“Warm Springs was surprised and upset, as was most of Indian Country, to learn that Congress has jeopardized our sovereignty, subjecting our governments to the mandates of the Adam Walsh Act,” said Chairman Ron Suppah of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. “Faced with the option to comply or lose our jurisdiction, we have opted to comply even though we have little experience in registering sex offenders.”
- The strong arm of the corrupt government. Many dictatorships use this tactic as well.
States, on the other hand, have had decades to create sex offender monitoring systems, said Jacqueline Johnson, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C
Johnson and Robert Moore, a Rosebud Sioux tribal councilman, thanked Senate members for their vote on Wednesday to direct $2 billion to American Indians from a $50 billion global AIDS health bill. The money would be used for the Indian Health Service, water projects and law enforcement.
The AIDS bill, meant to combat global illnesses such as HIV and malaria, is expected to pass the full Senate early next week.
Moore said the money will go a long way in addressing issues such as implementing the Adam Walsh Act, including increased financial support for victim services and law enforcement and tribal clinics and hospitals responsible for assisting victims of sexual assault.
Johnson, who represents the largest and oldest Native advocacy organization in the country, suggested several steps Congress could take to help tribes successfully create a sex offender registry system.
First, all tribes should be allowed to implement the act, she said. Second, the Bureau of Indian Affairs should also be a part of the sex offender system. And third, Congress should amend the law to prevent state attorney generals from stripping tribes of their criminal and civil jurisdictions to monitor sex offenders. “It sets an extremely dangerous precedent,” she said.
Johnson also urged Congress to extend the compliance deadline for all tribes.
“As the deadline for implementation approaches, we’re still finding there’s this great deal of confusion,” Johnson said. “We also found that the many tribes who opted in to protect their sovereignty who were eligible to opt in have recognized they must work through and collaborate with states.”
She said some states have been good, while others have been more challenging.
“We have great jurisdictional issues with the state of South Dakota, and they would jump at the chance to have any entrance to any of our tribal jurisdictions,” Moore told the committee.
Meanwhile, Johnson said many states are reporting they do not have enough resources to comply with the act. Some states are even saying it’s too expensive for them to comply. “If a state chooses not to comply, they make it even more difficult for a tribe to comply.”
The Tohono O’odham Nation of Sells, Ariz., has had a sexual offender register in place, so it’s been easier for tribal law enforcement to comply with the Adam Walsh Act. The tribe has tracked 216 sex offenders living on the reservation, which has a population of 14,000.
Tohono O’odham Vice Chairman Isidro Lopez said the tribe needs additional money to fully implement the Adam Walsh Act. But its success, so far, is attributed to a positive relationship with state law enforcement.
“Our successful efforts reflect on the environment of cooperation with the state of Arizona, spurred by the motivation to protect our women and children, the most common victims of these terrible crimes.”
Lopez said the Adam Walsh Act would “only truly succeed if states fully include tribes as fellow governments fighting crime together.”
Reporter Jodi Rave: 800-366-7186 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Notice the title of this article? These laws are for sex offenders and the reporter makes the assumption that all sex offenders are child molesters, which they are not.
RALEIGH -- The Jessica Lunsford Act is one step away from becoming law in North Carolina.
Oh Thursday, the N.C. House and Senate adopted a final version of the act, which would provide a minimum 25-year prison sentence for adults convicted of raping a child younger than 13 and require lifetime GPS monitoring for such offenders when they are released from prison.
All it needs to become law is Gov. Mike Easley's (Contact) signature.
"The passage of this law makes North Carolina one of the toughest states when it comes to punishment of sex offenders in the nation," said Rep. Tim Moore of Cleveland County, one of the sponsors of the bill.
- I wish I had a dollar for everytime I heard "one of the toughest states!" I'd be a rich man by now. And you will also notice the word PUNISHMENT again, thus proving these laws are punishment and not restrictive like the courts continue to say.
The bill 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 sex offender in February 2005. The offender, John Couey, was convicted of her death and has been sentenced to die.
- And he begged and begged and begged for treatment, which nobody gave him. If he would've got the treatment he begged for, Jessica would still be here.
Police had lost track of Couey, who was staying with his sister in the same neighborhood as Jessica.
"This is North Carolina's tribute to a native," said Sen. David Hoyle (Email) of Gaston County, the bill handler for the Jessica Lunsford Act in the Senate. "If this law had been in place (in Florida), we believe the person who killed Jessica Lunsford would have been in jail."
- I doubt that. He did all his time. If you would've got him the treatment he begged for, Jessica would still be here.
The bill also forbids people required to be on the sex-offender registry from going on the premises of places where children normally congregate, such as schools, children's museums and playgrounds.
- Does it prevent them from going on the premises or loitering at these places? There is a big difference.
The final version contains a provision that would allow such a person to go on school grounds only if the offender has a child at the school or if a voting place is at a school.
If the offender has a child at school and needs to attend a parental conference or pick up his or her child, the offender must get permission from the superintendent, board of education or principal and must be supervised at all times while the offender is on the school grounds.
If a person subject to sex-offender registration plans to go to vote at a school, he or she must notify the principal and can only be at the voting enclosure, other than when entering or exiting the voting place.
The final version also gives judges some leeway in the sentencing. The original version gave judges the option of either 25 years or life in prison. The final version would allow judges to give offenders sentences longer than 25 years.
Stricter registration rules would also be in place for when sex offenders change their addresses.
If signed by the governor, the law would take effect on Dec. 1.
A separate bill sponsored by Hoyle, which would require lifetime GPS monitoring for adults who molest children, passed the Senate earlier this year but has not been taken up by the House. Hoyle said he does not expect the House to take it up before lawmakers go home.
- And I wonder if Hoyle has stock in the GPS market? GPS has been proven to not prevent a crime. Many people just cut them off and vanish, so this is a waste of money. If a person is in need of being monitorer 24/7, then why are they out of prison in the first place? Again, this is just a waste of money and probably making some people rich at the same time. Somehow we need to find out who the company is who is furnishing these GPS devices and see who has stock in that company, I bet we might be surprised.
Adjournment of the 2008 session of the General Assembly is expected Frday.
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See the comments on this article, from a friend who sent this link to me. It was only a matter of time before this happened. Now, what is to prevent anybody from setting up fake MySpace or other web sites, pretending to be a sex offender, and getting them into trouble? More vigilantism, and those who do this, IMO, should be in prison for a long time.
AND YET AGAIN, MORE REASON WHY THE REGISTRY SHOULD BE TAKEN OFFLINE, THE PUBLIC CANNOT HANDLE THE INFORMATION IN A CIVILIZED MANNER. KEEP IT UP FOLKS, YOU WILL HELP GET THESE LAWS REPEALED!!!
BALDWIN COUNTY - They were hailed as heroes last month, now two local teens are being investigated, themselves. But that's not all. The teens, are also being investigated for breaking into Baldwin County High School. The teens originally said they were contacted and solicited by a man on MySpace. Now police are questioning the story, while they question the teens in an entirely separate case. Bay Minette teenagers imitating Dateline's "To Catch a Predator" didn't have cops, cameras, or Chris Hansen. Yet they managed to lure a convicted sex offender to their home. John Salter was later arrested at that home by police. "We're like, let's get him off the streets, let's call him and get him arrested." But tonight-- police say the boys may not be telling the whole truth about how they lured Salter in. "It very well could alter the charges against Mr. Salter."
The teen's story began falling apart when police say they refused to cooperate. "We asked them to produce some documentation that they were either unable to produce or refused to produce it, and that of course made us go farther. It's not a matter of trying to prove Mr. Salter is not guilty it's a matter of trying to prove whether or not he is guilty." And while police investigate this-- the teens are now accused of breaking the law in another case. Police say they broke into a local high school.. stealing electronics and sporting equipment. A bizarre twist that has police digging even deeper into the MySpace case. "This investigation really is far from over."
One of the teens has already been charged with receiving stolen property from Baldwin County High School, if police determine the teens lied about the MySpace case- they could be charged with filing a false report.
You will notice here how the news agency took it upon themselves to get the information, then call the peoples work places and thus getting them fired. Now the media is getting in on the vigilantism. Sick, very sick. Now the registry has become a "HIT LIST" for vigilantes to get people fired everywhere they go, and also to hunt down sex offenders and set their homes on fire, beat them with baseball bats, murder them, you name it. More proof the registry needs to be taken offline, because the public and media cannot handle the information without resulting in vigilantism.
The information NewsChannel 11 is about to give you in this story is not yet available to the public. Last week, NewsChannel 11 told you about how you'll soon be able to go online to find out where registered sex offenders are working in your community. We told you NewsChannel 11 were working on getting that list for you first, we have it now.
- And they use this information to call employers and harass them, thus getting people fired from a job which was probably hard to get in the first place. Now NEWS CHANNEL 11 has jumped on the VIGILANTE bandwagon.
It was on the Internet a 12 year-old boy met the man who would sexually assault him. His mother says her son was touched by that man. "We're both scarred for life," she told NewsChannel 11.
She would rather not tell her name, for she and her son would like to forget what happened six years ago. "The gentleman who assaulted him is still in prison," she told us. That is a relief to this mother because if he was out of jail and working, she would want everyone to know what he did.
NewsChannel 11 has a stack of 16 hundred pages of registered sex offenders in Texas. We got it from the Department of Public Safety. It is employment information they will be posting on the Internet sometime this summer. But we have it now. The research was extensive. A team of NewsChannel 11 employs went through all the information, highlighting the ones working in Lubbock. We found 94 of them. Then we went back to match a name by cross referencing an ID number and confirmed where they work after calling their employers.
- So now, when this info is placed online, more people will take it upon themselves, just line NEWS CHANNEL 11 did, and harass people, which is against the law, or was at one time.
After you hear what we found, you will be more cautious about who's coming to your door. Like for instance the cable guy. DPS says Jeraldo Ramirez, who works for Suddenlink as a field service tech, is also a convicted sex offender. His crime, indecency with a 13 year-old girl by sexual contact. Even though that happened more than ten years ago, he is labeled a sex offender. We found more who are working in warehouses, restaurants and some who have their own landscaping company. We even found offenders working at hospitals. But we are going to tell you about the ones the state considers a danger to the community.
- Yeah, so we get more viewers and higher ratings by riding the backs of sex offenders.
Toby Villa stocks Coca Cola products inside stores in and around Lubbock. He is a merchandiser. But you should know he is a convicted sex offender for sexual assault on a 14 year-old girl. We found a cook at Cujos sports bar and grill. Wilber Thomas was convicted for indecency with a nine year-old girl by sexual contact. Leonard Fabila works at Cici's Pizza located at 60th and Slide. He is a dishwasher there and doesn't deal directly with the public. Fabila was convicted of aggravated sexual assault on a three year old girl. The next one we found is a student at Texas Tech University. Andrew Raffaelle is 21 years-old now, but committed his crime when he was 14 years-old. He was convicted of sexually assaulting a nine year-old boy and a two year-old girl.
- And Wilbur was fired because of the constant phones calls and harassment. NEWS CHANNEL 11 should change their name to VIGILANTE CHANNEL 11.
These next offenders are considered high risk, which according to DPS, are a serious danger to the community. We found John Hanson. He is a Biology Teaching Assistant at Texas Tech University. He was convicted of indecency with a 15 year-old boy by sexual contact. And finally, Andrew Galicia. He works at Chicken Express located at 4704 4th Street. He was convicted of indecency with a 5 year-old boy by sexual contact.
- John is another person harassed by the news agency, and the assistant at this place said Hanson is "not available for the foreseeable future!"
Regardless of their crimes, the simple fact is, they all must work to live and pay their bills. Which is why Robert Kollman, owner and operator of Chicken Express hired Galicia. "My response with Andrew, I've got an employee who's been working for me for a year and a half. I really feel that I made a great decision at the time based on the facts. I can stand behind that, at no point would I ever be putting my customers, my employees or business at risk," he said.
- But NEWS CHANNEL 11 doesn't stick by their own words above, they contact the people's employers and either get them fired or their bosses upset with all the calls. They are VIGILANTES!
Kollman says he's not in favor of this new requirement of making employment information public. He says it gives room for public scrutiny and negative publicity. "If I make a decision based on this law then when I do that and I say I don't want to hire them, then I'm not following my convictions of giving people a second chance," said Kollman.
- I can understand why, because when it's known, news agencies, like NEWS CHANNEL 11, love to contact you and cause problems for the sake of viewers and ratings. So I wonder if the Equal Employment Opportunity organization would consider this a violation of "Disability Discrimination" or another form of discrimination?
But as for the mother of the sexually assaulted boy, she believes the law is in place to make it easier for parents to protect their children. "I think it's still important to know where they're at and how they're conducting themselves," said the mother.
- I agree, but calling them, their employers or families and harassing them is against the law. And I am not saying this lady is, but the news agency apparently is.
Law enforcement says half of the sex offenders change jobs frequently. Police say they must keep close tabs on them, especially the ones who commit crimes against children. They make sure they're not holding jobs that deal directly with children. But, as we just told you, children are in stores and they do go to restaurants; places we've just learned sex offenders work. NewsChannel 11 will let you know when DPS has their website up and running so you can look up this information on your own.
- I wonder why they change jobs so often? I think this article helps explain why. Vigilantism!!
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You see, GPS is a waste of time and money. It did not stop this man from committing another crime.
A convicted sex offender from Steelton was arrested today for peeping into an off-duty officer's home and admitted doing that numerous times since he was released from prison two months ago, police said.
James Thomas Kist, 55, was charged with three counts of loitering and prowling. He was arrested at noon in the 2100 block of South Third Avenue, Chief Kenneth A. Lenker said.
Police found Kist through a GPS tracking device that's attached to his ankle, a requirement after his release from prison May 5.
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Who the hell thought up this insane idea? And here is some of the racy photos (No nudes). Would you want your kid doing this?
WARNING: If you are on probation or parole, then do NOT click the link above, it could be used against you by viewing those images, and when they are viewed, they are placed on your machine. SO BE FORWARNED!!
It guess it sounded like a good idea on paper: a national campaign to collect clothing donations for homeless youth featuring non-homeless, fully-clothed youth. Except for the part where the clothed youth are supposed to take their clothes off. Sponsored by cell-phone company Virgin Mobile and National Network For Youth (NN4Y), the Strip2Clothe campaign asks young people to make a video of themselves stripping and post it online. Clothing companies then donate new clothes based on the number of times the video is viewed.
This strip-tease idea doesn't sit well with some of the organizations the campaign is intended to benefit. Catholic Charities, among other groups, has complained saying the effort is inappropriate and that it exploits young people. Rebecca Lentz, a spokeswoman for Catholic Charities, is especially horrified because she says that it isn't uncommon for kids who find themselves on the streets to be sexually exploited within days of becoming homeless.
Victoria Wagner, chief executive of NN4Y, says the program is now being re-evaluated. "It's unfortunate it's become so explosive," she said. Unfortunate, indeed, since many of those who are complaining are members of NN4Y and were not informed of the campaign before it kicked off.
To be fair, the rules for video submission stipulate that there is to be no full nudity and the videos I viewed were in no way risque. Like it or not, the campaign appears to be going quite well - the site reports close to 150,000 donations so far.
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It appears that Gov. Douglas (Contact) and Lt. Gov. Dubie (Contact) are politically grandstanding on the understandable emotions resulting from the recent tragedy.
Lots of talk of "penalties" and "retribution," as if the threat of penalties served as realistic "prevention." Lots of research to show that long and harsh penalties fail to serve adequately to "prevent" a majority of these crimes.
It is not the stalking sex predator near our schools and playgrounds that we most need to fear. It is known a majority of sex crimes against young people occur within families, committed by family members or close family friends. This rarely makes headlines nor gets votes. Where are the sensational headlines in highlighting our families and friends?
By all means, I feel there should be strong sanctions for these crimes to separate predators from the community. However if we really want to address the problem, we also need to develop ways of better identifying young people who are being abused in their homes and working to protect them.
There appears to be very little in the administration's belated "call for action" which seems to recognize and address the real problem. The oversimplification and grandstanding to have the Legislature immediately deal with a long-standing administrative issue totally misses the boat — but then the loud administrative focus on prison terms instead of prevention makes much better press during an election year, doesn't it?
Can reason prevail within the political arena?
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RANKIN - Custody battles are never easy but for one Rankin mother, a court order was too much to stomach. Associate Judge Matthew Blair for the 6th and 7th Administrative Judicial Regions, ordered visitation rights including overnight visitation, every other weekend to Jimmy Joe Martinez. Martinez is a registered sex offender, convicted of sexually assaulting a 14 year old girl back in 2005.
Judge Blair was not in the office on Thursday and was unavailable for comment.
According to a six page document outlining the conditions of Martinez's probation, obtained from the Upton County Clerks office, says Martinez is not allowed to be around anyone under 17 without permission from the court and supervision.
Hernandez says just 24 hours before she was ordered to turn over the children to Martinez, Fort Stockton District Attorney Laurie English called to tell her she contacted Martinez and told him he was not allowed his visitation rights.
Hernandez says she contacted anyone who would listen when the order came down last Thursday. Today she says she is relieved.
"Why wait and let something like that happen?" Hernandez said, who also says she wants her children to know their dad but doesn't think the visitations should be anything but supervised.
Betty Dickerson, heads up the Midland Rape Crisis and Child Advocacy Center.
"[Children] always know it's always either family, friends, somebody they know," Dickerson who says undoubtedly there is a cycle of abuse, said, "If it were my child I would feel the same way, but it has to be addressed through the family court system."
A family Law Attorney told Newswest 9 a judge must weigh all sides to do what's best for the children, he adds it's up to the Judge's discretion and there are no steadfast rules.
"I just think a lot more needs to be done," Hernandez said, "I talked to CPS and they advised me to let the children go, and then if I see some kind of abuse then they told me to call them and they will investigate."
Hernandez wants lawmakers to do more.
"It's my two small children that I care about," she said, "and anyone else's children in this situation."
According to Hernandez, Martinez will be allowed to appeal.
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Globeville residents are up in arms after discovering that nearly 100 registered sex offenders are listing a nearby homeless shelter as their address.
The large concentration of men with myriad sex crimes on their records is only half of their worry.
Another 62 men the registry identifies as "whereabouts unknown" listed the Salvation Army Crossroads Shelter as their home.
The city's online registry is driving some of the fear.
Police said the number of unaccounted registered sex offenders from the shelter just north of downtown is cumulative and that about 15 are currently missing.
But the damage is done.
"We're concerned about where everybody is located," said Paulette Hirsh, president of the Globeville Civic Association No. 1.
"We have a whole bunch that are supposed to be registered there," but their whereabouts are unknown, she said.
Salvation Army Major Neal Hogan is also disputing the number of registered sex offenders that the city's registry identifies as currently living at the shelter, 1901 29th St., though police insist that number is accurate.
"Every time we have reviewed our numbers, we only have at any one time between 30 and 40," Hogan said. "Currently, we only have 30 registered sex offenders."
Police Lt. Ron Saunier said the city is working closely with the shelter to monitor registered sex offenders who are living there.
A portion of a $217,000 grant the city received to monitor sex offenders will be used specifically for technology to help track them at the shelter, he said.
"We've got a professor from one of the universities who's looking at what's the best way, if it's voice recognition, fingerprint or some of that, so that we will have a better idea of what's going on," he said.
"We share the same concerns that the public has down there," Saunier added.
Councilwoman Judy Montero, whose district includes the shelter, said new partnerships have been forged to help alleviate the concerns.
"Everybody is at the table," she said. "No one is turning their head on this. We're working on it."
Hogan said housing sex offenders is an emotional subject, but it's better to have them in a safe and supervised location than out on the streets.
"We have said and we still say that we are not a sex offender program," he said. "We are a homeless services program, and because of our unique status, generally we're about the only place that sex offenders can go."
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Now the criminal justice system is in the business of predicting the future.
Theodore Ginnery will remain locked up. Indefinitely.
A Jasper County jury deliberated 11 minutes Thursday before returning a verdict that the 62-year-old convict is a sexually violent predator who should remain in the control, care and treatment of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, even though he has completed 28 years of prison sentences for two child-sex offenses perpetrated in the late 1970s in Joplin.
Ginnery’s age and health were the primary issues in the three-day trial to determine whether he fit a law pertaining to sexually violent predators under which the state attorney general’s office may seek civil commitments of certain prisoners past the completion dates of their criminal sentences.
Randy Schlegel, an attorney from the state public defender’s office representing Ginnery, told jurors during closing arguments Thursday that they were deciding “a case in which the essential facts are all numbers.”
The law requires the state to show that a prisoner has “a mental abnormality” that causes them “serious difficulty in controlling their behavior” and making them “more likely than not” to commit another offense if released.
The state’s expert witness, Springfield psychologist Kent Franks, testified Wednesday that he had diagnosed Ginnery with both a personality disorder and the umbrella sexual disorder of paraphilia. Franks scored Ginnery at moderately high and high risks to re-offend on two widely used risk-assessment scales for sex offenders.
One of the scales put Ginnery at what Franks termed “about a 50 percent risk of re-offense over 15 years.” The state’s witness added that he would place the risk significantly greater than 50 percent in Ginnery’s case when 10 to 15 other risk factors, not taken into account by either assessment tool, were considered, such as his failure to complete a sex-offender treatment program five years ago, a perceived “intimacy deficit,” problems with anger, and his separation from parents at birth.
Schlegel argued that the state’s expert was stacking purported risk factors that all existing studies of sex-offender recidivism among males his client’s age suggest have generally small correlation, if any, to actual re-offense rates. Schlegel had questioned witnesses about a study of seven or eight males over 60 years of age, none of whom re-offended when released. Another study showed just a 3.8 percent rate of recidivism and a third just 4.8 percent, jurors had heard during testimony Wednesday.
“These studies represent the best information we have about what really happens when we release these guys,” Schlegel reminded jurors during closing arguments.
None of the studies provides a rate that appears to meet the “more likely than not” criterion in the law since it should be presumed that standard means greater than a 50 percent chance, he argued.
Testimony revealed that Ginnery was convicted of three child-sex offenses, the two in Joplin and one in California, within a four-year period in the 1970s when he was in his 20s.
People change as they get older, Schlegel argued, particularly if they are in poor health, as his client is. Ginnery was living on disability benefits because of heart problems before he went to prison, and in 2005 underwent triple-bypass heart surgery. His heart condition and hypertension, diabetes and other ailments have all lessened his sex drive and make him less likely to re-offend, Schlegel said.
Terry Gross, assistant attorney general, countered that Ginnery was “totally disabled” when he molested a 12-year-old girl in California and when he had deviate sexual intercourse with a 10-year-old girl and a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl in Joplin. He remained so when he was caught cupping the breast of the daughter of a friend who was visiting him at prison in the 1980s and later wrote an inappropriate “love letter” to a female corrections officer, Gross said.
Circuit Judge David Mouton signed an order committing Theodore Ginnery to the Department of Mental Health following the return of Thursday’s jury verdict. He will be returned to the Farmington Correctional Center for sex offenders pending an appeal of the verdict.
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ISP-based newsgroups have taken a beating in the last month, as New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's initiative against child pornography has forced many of the more popular newsgroup hierarchies offline. Verizon, Sprint, RoadRunner, and late last week, AT&T, have all acted on the Attorney General's recommendation. Today, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) announced a "historic" agreement where all member companies have entered into a MOU (Memoradum of Understanding) with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) to attack child pornography on their servers and networks.
The exact details of the MOU is unknown, as Rob Stoddard, Senior Vice President of Communications for the NCTA, informed Slyck.com that the information contained in the MOU is not releasable. However, it's rather clear from the press release that the fight initiated by Andrew Cuomo is now taking on nationwide proportions. NCTA is the premier organization that represents the telecommunications industry, and today's announcement has the endorsement of every member.
Those who signed on today are as follows: "Comcast Corporation; Cox Communications; Charter Communications; Cablevision Systems Corporation; Bright House Networks; Suddenlink Communications; Mediacom Communications; Insight Communications; Bresnan Communications; Midcontinent Communications; Broadstripe; GCI; Harron Communications; US Cable Corporation; BendBroadband; Eagle Communications; and Sjoberg’s, Inc. Time Warner Cable has already signed the MOU."
This total number of ISPs represents 87% of all carriers, providing connectivity to 112 million individuals. From the press release, it's difficult to gauge what Internet medium will be targeted. However, the statement does offer the following:
"Specifically, the cable companies have agreed to use NCMEC's (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) list of active websites identified as containing child pornography, to ensure that no such site is hosted on servers owned or controlled by those companies. The companies will also report these instances to NCMEC's CyberTipline and where appropriate revise their policies around other potential sources of child pornography, such as, for example, newsgroups."
Slyck followed up with Rob Stoddard, who told us the list referred to in the press release was a "prospective statement". A representative from NCMEC clarified that the agreement is protocol agnostic, and their targets change as content appears. If the past is any indication of what's in store for ISP customers, the newsgroups may very well be a prime target.
The move garnered support from 45 Attorneys Generals. In a letter to the NCTA, Attorney General Patrick Lynch of Rhode Island and President of NAAG, offered his congratulations on the agreement.
“I commend the nation’s cable operators for utilizing the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) to negotiate and collectively enter into a unprecedented industry-wide agreement with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to limit the availability of child pornography on the internet.”
What this means for the newsgroups is unknown at this time, however as ISPs begin to enact the MOU, the repercussions of this agreement will likely be felt throughout the online community.
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The state ACLU and the Nevada attorney general’s office were locked in a heated battle Thursday over whether provisions in a new law that would force some sex offenders to move from their homes, if too close to schools, and other restrictions should only apply to future cases.
After issuing an opinion Wednesday in a letter to Margaret McLetchie, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, stating the law would not be retroactive, Deputy Attorney General Binu Palal sent a new letter Thursday to “clarify” the opinion.
He said only one provision in the law, restrictions concerning residency “within 1,000 feet of a school or day care facility,” would not be enforced retroactively.
Other portions in the law, passed as Senate Bill 471 in 2007, would be enforced by the Division of Parole and Probation for certain sex offenders. The list of restrictions would be enforced even if their crimes occurred 25 years ago and the limitations were not imposed at sentencing.
That sparked sharp criticism from McLetchie, who filed a federal lawsuit against the AG office, the Department of Public Safety and various law enforcement agencies contending the new sex offender laws are unconstitutional.
McLetchie said the law includes bus stops, video arcades, playgrounds and athletic fields as being off limits to sex offenders. So identifying only schools and day care centers adds confusion about what places are off limits to some offenders.
The law also includes other restrictive measures the ACLU said should be applied only to future cases, including electronic monitoring through Global Positioning Systems, she said.
“How is anyone supposed to know what to do when the AG’s office has no clue about what the law means or what they’re doing,” McLetchie said. “If the AG can’t get these laws straight, how can anyone else?”
“It supports our case that these laws are so vague and ambiguous they can’t be applied or interpreted.”
Chief Deputy Attorney General Christine Guerci said the office’s position has been consistent.
“There has been no change in the position of the attorney general’s office,” Guerci said in an e-mail. “It appeared from media coverage this morning, that there was some confusion with respect to our position on retroactivity; our second letter was simply a clarification.”
Days before another new sex offender law was to take effect July 1, the ACLU filed suit in federal court contending the law, passed as Assembly Bill 579 and AB 471, was unconstitutional.
AB579 seeks to change the way sex offenders are classified and defined. If enforced, a number of low-risk Tier I offenders would be reclassified as high-risk Tier III offenders requiring a much higher level of scrutiny by law enforcement, the suit said. AB471 added a list of restrictions that certain high-risk offenders would have to follow.
A federal judge ordered the new laws be put on hold while the lawsuit is decided in court. Meanwhile, the ACLU has sought clarification from the AG office over whether it would apply the law, if found constitutional, to older cases. The AG position would impact how it proceeds with the suit, McLetchie told Palal in a July 3 letter.
But the recent change in the AG positions has made their efforts to move the case forward challenging, she said.
“This is the second time Binu (Palal) stated their position and retracted,” she said. “We’ve been pulling our hair out trying to get a straight answer on this. It’s the AG’s job to give clarity to the meaning of the law. They are sorely falling down on the job.”