Monday, October 6, 2008
WTF?? How does making a 15 year old, who did one bad thing, a Tier II sex offender protect anybody? Do these people really think she is a danger to children for one bad mistake? This is f--king insane! Ruin a child's life, before it even begins! How is that justice?
NEWARK — A 15-year-old girl was charged with felony offenses Monday in the Juvenile Division of Licking County Common Pleas Court for sending nude photographs of herself to other juveniles’ cell phones, Licking County Assistant Prosecutor Erin Welch said.
The Licking Valley High School student is the first minor to be charged after the Prosecutor’s Office made presentations to high schools across the county about the illegality of having or transmitting pornographic images on or from their cell phones.
- Well, looks like those presentations did no good, now doesn't it? Now you want to ruin her life, and for what purpose?
She pleaded deny to both charges: Illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, a second-degree felony; and possession of criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony.
If found delinquent, the juvenile court’s equivalent of a conviction, the girl could be labeled a Tier II sexual offender and be required to register for 20 years, Welch said.
She declined to comment on whether the juveniles who received the photographs also would be charged, but she did say the investigation is ongoing.
School officials at LVHS discovered the materials and involved Licking County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Josh Hufford, who is the school resource officer.
The defendant was arrested Friday and had been detained over the weekend. She was released after the hearing Monday pending the resolution of her case, Welch said.
- If the judge has ANY CONSCIENCE, he will give her a warning, some probation, then once she completes the probation, drop the charges. If not, there is no hope anymore in America's "justice" system!
In April, Prosecutor Ken Oswalt began conducting assemblies during which he explained the consequences to high school students.
At that time, Oswalt said he’d had about 20 cases through April where students had taken nude or otherwise inappropriate photos of themselves, text-messaged them to others or had a photo of another teen in their phone.
- So are they going to ruin 21 children's lives for one mistake?
Most of the minors did not know it was illegal and none were charged pending their adherence to a plan crafted with their families, he said.
- So, 20 students, apparently, are going to be let off, while this one suffers for 25 years and possibly life?
Welch said Oswalt hosted a presentation at LVHS last month to warn students not to engage in this activity.
- And apparently it did no good! So what, are they trying to make an example out of this girl? Ruin one girl's life to make a point? Come on!
Russ Zimmer can be reached at (740) 328-8548 or email@example.com.
Download Document Here
ORDER AND DECISION
A.L. is a fifty-year-old married, employed resident of York County and has been charged, see 34-A M.R.S.A. §11227(1), with violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 1999 (SORNA), see 34-A M.R.S.A. §§ 11201, et seq., by failing to register. He has filed a motion to dismiss claiming that the Act as applied violates the ex post facto prohibition found at Article I, Section 11 of the Maine Constitution (PDF). It is also claimed that the Act violates his rights to substantive due process and infringes upon the natural rights provided to all people pursuant to Article I, Section 1 of the Maine Constitution. Only the ex post facto violation claim needs to be discussed. That issue is dispositive.
MAINE PRECEDENTS AND STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS
The Law Court issued a comprehensive opinion regarding SORNA in Doe v. District Attorney, 2007 ME 139. That case also involved a challenge to the constitutionality of SORNA as it applies to individuals sentenced in Maine on or after January 1, 1982 but at a time when the current version of SORNA was not in effect. The Doe case and this one ultimately ask the question of whether it is constitutional to impose a sex offender registration requirement, with its potential to enhance public safety but with its harmful personal and financial effects upon the defendant and the defendant's family, when the registration requirements did not exist at the time the person was initially charged with a sex offense.
The history of SORNA is found in Doe commencing at «JUO of the opinion. The legislature, starting with a very limited act in 1992, has vastly expanded the offenses covered by SORNA, eliminated the ability of the sentencing court to waive the registration requirement for good cause shown and made the act retroactive to June 30, 1992 and then retroactive to January 1, 1982.
The registration and notification requirements are rigorous requiring prompt initial registration, notification to the local police within 24 hours of a change in domicile, residence, place of employment or location of college or school being attended. Notice of any of those changes must also be provided to the State Bureau of Identification. Periodic verification is required.
The information contained in the sex offender registry is now widely available to both the police and, through the Internet, to the general public. An individual's name, date of birth, photograph, and city of residence are statutorily required to be "post(ed) on the Internet for public inspection." 34-A M.R.S.A. §11221(9)(A). Upon written request additional information such as, "race, height, weight, eye color, mailing address and physical location of domicile and residence" and "place of employment ... and the corresponding address and location" must be provided. 34-A M.R.S.A. §11221(9)(B).
Additionally a 2007 amendment to the criminal code, see 17-A M.R.S.A. §261(1), creates a new criminal offense of prohibited contact with a minor under the age of 14 and the offense of prohibited contact with a minor in a sex offender restricted zone such as a school, athletic field, park, or playground. 17-A M.R.S.A. §26l(2).
The Doe opinion examined an earlier decision State v. Haskell, 2001 ME 154, 784 A.2d 4, which held that the then version of SORNA was not an ex post facto law, and restated that the test to be applied, as the current version of SORNA does not directly impose criminal sanctions, is whether the registration and notification requirements are "so punitive as to overcome the civil characterization." Doe at <[23. Such an effect must be "demonstrated by the 'clearest proof'." Doe at <[23.
Doe was remanded for development of "a more detailed" record. Doe <[31, and <[36.
THE CURRENT CASE
A. L. was convicted on April 9, 1993 of Class D offenses of sexual abuse of a minor and unlawful sexual contact and received a sentence of 364 days, with all but 90 days suspended and one year of probation with a fully suspended 364 day consecutive sentence and a second year of probation on the second count. He served his time and his probation apparently was successful. He had been a heavy drinker at that time of the separate offenses in 1990 and 1991.
A. L. has been married for fifteen years, has a 14 year old child from his current marriage and has a child from an earlier marriage. His wife also has a child from a prior marriage, they have four grandchildren in total and he has been and remains employed in the same job for over 20 years.
There have been no charges against him in the last 15 years.
Both A. L. and his wife testified to the stability in his current life, his having his alcohol problems under control, the fear that A.L., his wife and child will be subject to ridicule and public humiliation if he is forced to register and have the information about him so readily available and the near certainty that his 1993 conviction would result in his being fired. Should he be fired his ability to obtain a new job as a publicly registered sex offender is doubtful. His wife is not currently employed. He, his wife and the minor children would be punished through humiliation and potentially severe economic hardship.
While A.L.'s acts were and remain terribly wrong the current version of SORNA is punitive by the clearest proof. If the Act is constitutional a person such as A.L., who was convicted fifteen years ago, must now report to the police on a regular basis. He must promptly report any changes in residence or employment. He would be in danger of arrest if he would attend his child's school functions or athletic events. He could not take a grandchild to a park or playground. He and his family are likely to be subject to ridicule, hatred and even the possibility of violence. He will likely lose his job and remain unemployed. These obligations and risks were not part of the law when he pled guilty and was sentenced over 15 years ago. The Legislature, despite its good intentions, may not constitutionally impose such punitive requirements retroactively as the Maine Constitution states that, "The Legislature shall pass no '" ex post facto law ..." Art. 1, §11.
The entry is:
- Motion to dismiss is granted.
By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The ACLU (Contact) has filed a lawsuit over Allegheny County's restrictions on where registered sex offenders are allowed to live.
The American Civil Liberties Union says that the county's ordinance, passed last October, "not only violates sex offenders' constitutional right against increased after-the-fact punishment and other federal and state laws, but that it interferes with Pennsylvania's carefully constructed system for tracking and supervising sex offenders and undermines public safety." The PA Institutional Law Project (Contact) joined the ACLU in the suit.
The ACLU says in the suit, filed late this afternoon, that "it is believed that, if and when published, the map will reflect that registered sex offenders will not be permitted to live virtually anywhere in the County, including the City of Pittsburgh."
The lawsuit was filed in federal court on behalf of six sex offenders, five who are already living in the county and one who is still in prison because he cannot find a place to live.
The ACLU is seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the ordinance from taking effect. It was supposed to take effect March 1 with the publication of a map showing where the restrictions for sex offenders would be, but that still hasn't happened. It was passed in October 2007.
Allegheny County has not yet responded to a message seeking comment.
First published on October 6, 2008 at 5:15 pm
HASTINGS -A Rice County prosecutor wants to unseat a Dakota County judge and take his place on the bench. He's basing his one-issue campaign on a case involving a sex offender who was awarded custody of his girlfriend's daughter, then went on to sexually assault the girl.
Nathaniel Reitz is running against Judge Joseph Carter in the 1st Judicial District, which spans Carver, Dakota, Goodhue, Le Sueur, McLeod, Scott and Sibley counties.
Reitz said he's troubled by the case of Justin Paul Farnsworth, a 34-year-old Hastings man who was sentenced in February to 27 years in prison for first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
"I was hoping someone would run against (Carter) just so voters would have an opportunity to give their evaluation of his performance overall," Reitz said.
Carter said he felt terrible about the outcome, but that he handled the case by the book.
He considers Reitz - who has sought a judicial seat before - a one-issue candidate.
"It was a big tragedy as to what happened to the 9-year-old girl," Carter said. "No one feels worse than I do."
- What a joke! I think the parents of the girl feel worse than you! You are just exploiting the issue to hopefully get votes!
In December 2003, Farnsworth asked the court for sole custody of his estranged girlfriend's 9-year-old daughter, as well as two younger girls the couple had in common.
The woman, who moved several hours away, wanted joint custody but did not object that the girls continue to live with Farnsworth, according to the court documents.
"She came in supporting the concept," Carter said.
But Farnsworth had a history. At the time, he had nearly completed 10 years of probation for raping a 13-year-old girl in Carver County. He'd served six months in jail for that crime.
- Sounds to me like he did NOT have a history. One crime doesn't make a history!
Reitz acknowledged that even with the conviction, Farnsworth may have looked like the more stable parent.
- So the judge, it sounds like to me, did what he thought was best, and you are trashing him over one incident to again, make yourself look better and get votes. Politics as usual!
Farnsworth was working, had several children and, until a paternity test came back negative, it was unclear whether he was also the 9-year-old's father. The mother did not have a permanent home, job or transportation and had walked out on the family many times.
Carter awarded Farnsworth and the woman joint legal and physical custody of the younger two children in May 2004 and of the oldest girl in October 2004. He ordered that the kids reside primarily with Farnsworth in Hastings.
Reitz maintains there was no one to speak on behalf of the child. He said Carter should have appointed a guardian ad litem - a social worker or courtroom advocate - to represent the child's interests.
"Judge Carter did not break the law; Justin Farnsworth did that," Reitz wrote on his campaign Web site. "But Judge Carter failed to protect this girl at the moment when she most needed the law's protection."
Instead of a guardian ad litem, Carter appointed a custody evaluator. He said he chose David Jaehne, a West St. Paul attorney with experience working as a guardian ad litem, because he thought Jaehne represented "the best of both worlds."
Court funding was in crisis at the time, Carter said. And the state Supreme Court was reorganizing the guardians ad litem under one centralized jurisdiction and clarifying the roles of guardians and evaluators.
In April 2004, Jaehne told Carter in writing that the mother had at times lived with one of the children in her car. He also made note of Farnsworth's rape conviction, which occurred when he was 19.
"No safety issue is identified regarding the children," Jaehne wrote, "particularly in response to (their mother) not having an issue with it."
With news of the rape, the Farnsworth case drew public outcry. Lawmakers enacted a 2005 law that would make many offenders who reoffend eligible for life in prison. Another new law all but bars convicted sex offenders from prevailing in child-custody proceedings.
Despite the tragic outcome of the situation, some attorneys have reservations about Reitz's candidacy.
"I'm not happy with the approach," said Tom Plunkett, a St. Paul-based defense attorney and Carter supporter. "Somebody attacking a sitting judge - who has probably handled 50,000 cases in his tenure - based on one case?"
- That's politics! Bring out peoples mistakes to make yourself look holier than thou!
Of Carter, he said: "He's a good judge, and we need more like him."
In August, the Dakota County Bar Association polled its 153 members. The lawyers returned 73 votes for Carter and six for Reitz. Three ballots were rejected. A smaller poll conducted by the Minnesota State Bar Association produced a similar result, with 43 votes for Carter, four for Reitz.
Job fair to help released offenders get back on track
“Who’s going to hire me… I’m a convicted felon.”
This statement embodies the frustration felt, not only by individuals who have criminal convictions, but by institutional release coordinators, probation and parole officers, and other professionals involved in the attempt to re-integrate these individuals back into society.
The benefits of steady employment are numerous. Offenders become productive taxpaying citizens who support their families and learn lifetime job skills. They build self-esteem and develop a rapport with employers. And hopefully, they will be less likely to re-offend.
The Southeastern Kentucky Re-Entry Task Force (SKRE Task Force) is attempting to connect employers with an offender workforce with a mission of “Building Bridges to a Better Community” through an offender employment fair. To accomplish this requires the partnership of many agencies, including District 10 Probation and Parole.
“I have been working at the U.S. Probation Office for 12 years now and I have seen the struggles our offenders face when trying to find employment,” said Co-chair Crissy Norman of the U.S. Probation Office. “Since I have been involved in the offender workforce development initiative, I wanted to start a project that involved our agency and other agencies to tackle the issues the offenders face when seeking employment.”
“To be a part of a job fair that brings both employers and offenders together is needed in rural areas, such as those in District 10, and we are very appreciative to have been asked by federal probation to participate in this project,” said Supervisor Jim Bundy for District 10, which covers the counties of Laurel, Knox, Whitley, McCreary, Bell, Clinton, Wayne and Russell. Nearly 2,100 state offenders are supervised within these counties.
District 10 Probation and Parole Officers Cheryl Kaberle and Tara Lewis have volunteered to work on this project. The Offender Employment Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 13 at the London Community Center.
Employer representatives will be invited throughout the southeastern part of Kentucky.
Knowing first-hand how difficult it may be for offenders to find jobs, both officers are up to the challenge of this project.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be involved with the Southeastern Kentucky Re-Entry Task Force in the first year of its development in our area,” said Officer Lewis. “On a daily basis as P & P officers, we hear our offenders describing how difficult it is to gain employment and also hear the discomfort that employers have in hiring those with criminal backgrounds. This is also mainly due to the negative stigma sometimes associated and attached with those that have criminal records.”
- Well, if once the offender has served his/her time, their records are sealed from background checks, but still available to police, that would help a great deal. But, once you have a record, it is forever available to the public, and that is what causes these problems.
It is the task force’s mission to bridge this gap within the community and assist those who need and want a second chance at life by providing them easily accessible resources for employment and education all under one roof, she said. According to Officer Lewis, employment is the number one way to lessen the chances that those on officers’ case loads will re-offend and that they will instead, be successful within the community.
“I am excited to see the outcome of this effort and look forward to working jointly with many people within the community to make this an annual event and hopefully see our offenders find the employment they so desperately need,” she said.
Officer Kaberle agreed.
“There are obvious barriers to the successful reintegration of the individuals on my and every other P& P officer’s case load on a daily basis. In my opinion, one of the most important and frustrating hurdles is the inability for convicted felons to find and maintain steady employment,” said Officer Kaberle, who is District 10’s Sex Offender Specialist.
“The mission of the task force, ‘Building Bridges to a Better Community,’ can be achieved if we are able to assist with the idea and action that everyone deserves a second chance to be upstanding and productive members of our society,” Officer Kaberle said.
- Yet they continue to pass draconian, unconstitutional laws, which make it impossible for sex offenders to maintain a home or job! Sounds a little hypocritical to me! But again, we know they only say what sounds good to the public and media!
Other task force committee members represent the Bureau of Prisons, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Laurel County Half-Way House, the 27th Judicial Circuit Drug Court (Knox and Laurel counties), Office of Employment and Training, Come-Unity Cooperative Care and the London City Police Department.
“The goal is to locate as many possible employment and education vendors as possible, and to assist with any questions or issues that may arise during the interview process. There will even be probation officers present to answer any questions that the employers may have regarding employing someone who is on supervision. If successful, the employment fair will become an annual event,” said Officer Kaberle.
Politics as usual, bust out the sex offender issues!
By Dawson Raspuzzi Herald Staff
POULTNEY — After being elected in contested battles for the past three terms for the House of Representatives in Rutland District 1-1, this November's election promises to be easier for Andrew Donaghy, who is running unopposed this year.
Donaghy, R-Poultney, has served in the district made up of Poultney and part of Ira for six years in which time he's been an instrumental figure in change, he said, most recently illustrated with the Marble Valley Regional Transit's bus line to Poultney, which he had been fighting to get for the past couple of years.
After topping former representative Fred Maslack as a Democrat in 2000, Donaghy was elected over Maslack in 2004 as a Republican and then beat out Maslack in the Republican primary two years later.
"I like to believe I'm unopposed because the people I represent feel I'm doing a good job," Donaghy said about this season's change of not having to campaign as hard.
On his platform for the upcoming term, Donaghy, 66, a retired chief of detectives with the Long Beach, N.Y., police department, said his top priority will be to protect the children of the state by pushing for bills with stricter penalties for sex offenders and additional enforcement to crack down on sex offenders.
- Sex offenders, the sound bite of the 21st century! Mention sex offenders, and get votes! Who cares about upholding the oath of office, in which you swore to uphold the constitution.
Donaghy said he supports Jessica's Law, which would raise the mandatory minimum sentence for sex offenders; Katie's Law, which requires DNA sampling of anyone arrested for a felony — which could be used to compared the DNA for outstanding investigations — and Meghan's Law, which would make more information about sex offenders available to the public.
On top of new laws, Donaghy wants to amp up enforcement efforts to bring convictions against sex offenders by creating state police sex-crimes units to work exclusively on sex offense cases.
"I don't want to micromanage state police, but I think we have to create the sex crimes units within the state police to deal exclusively with the crimes. They should be regionalized where they could get to crime scenes first, preserve evidence and establish a good foundation," Donaghy said.
Donaghy said he recognizes many other important issues will be discussed during the next legislative session, but cracking down on sex offenders will be his top priority.
"My focus would be on beefing up, and strengthening (sex offender laws), and protecting our vulnerable children," he said.
As a member of the judiciary committee and having experience in the legislature, Donaghy said he's prepared to serve the people in his district.
"Being a rep is not all about getting bills passed, but it's also about helping the community in other ways," he said.
Donaghy pointed out his efforts in obtaining funds for various Poultney projects, including village renovations that created new sidewalks and streetlights a few years ago and upgrades to Stonebridge Inn.
Contact Dawson Raspuzzi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, we are going too far! But, this is what the media, politicians, Perverted-Justice, To Catch a Predator and others have created. Imagine, in the near future, how kids will be with everyone acting like shown in these videos?
You will also notice, that out of the thousands of people who walked by, none attempted to abduct the children! Hell, they did not even talk to, or try to help the child!
From the hysteria propagated by the media, politicians and others, they make it seem that pedophiles are everywhere, and children are at great danger to be abducted by strangers. Well, nobody even talked to these kids, let alone try to abduct them. So it seems the FEAR-MONGERING is just that....
Plus, the people who made this, put the children in potential danger to make a point!