Saturday, November 8, 2008

OK - Teen Feels Snared In Sex Offender Law

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11/07/2008

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA -- An Oklahoma teenager is swept up in laws aimed at protecting kids from child predators. He must register as a sex offender for life, as the worst level offender, after having sex with his girlfriend, who said she was his age, 16. Sex between teenagers is no longer just a moral issue, it's a legal one.

Ricky grew up dreaming of joining the Navy and becoming a police officer. He was 16 and living in Iowa when he met a girl at a club for kids 16 to 20 years old. He says she told him she was nearly 16. They began dating and had sex. Soon after, police questioned him.

"The cop asked me, did you have sex with her? And, I said twice. He said sign this statement and I signed it. Soon as I got done signing it, he said, sorry to let you know, she's only 13," said Ricky.

Ricky's mother, who has recently gone blind, met with the girl's parents.

"They said, look, we know she lied, we don't want to press charges, we just want Ricky to stay away from her and I said okay," said Ricky's mom, Mary.

But, the district attorney charged Ricky as an adult for two counts of felony sex abuse of a child. He was facing 25 years in prison, so he pleaded guilty and got a deferred sentence, which means it would expunged off his record.

Ricky and his mother moved back to Oklahoma and learned he must register as a sex offender for life in Oklahoma as an aggravated offender, the highest level.

That means he'll have to forget his dreams or even getting a job.

"I read one application that said if you answer yes to sex offender, this does not make us not hire you, but, it does. If you say you're a sex offender, automatically, you're not getting a job," said Ricky.

Ricky's record was expunged last month, but Oklahoma won't take him off the registry.

"With the expungement, there is no plea now. It's gone, no record anymore, so no plea, why is he on this registry?" said Ricky's mother, Mary.

Ricky now educates teenagers as his mother works to get the law reformed.

Police officers told The News On 6 the law started good, but as it's been added to, it's become a "screwed up mess."

They also believe the laws must be reformed to protect children from dangerous sex offenders and also, teenagers like Ricky.


NV - ACLU of NV Wins Permanent Injunction Against Retroactive Enforcement of New Sex Offender Laws

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09/10/2008

Submitted by Phil Hooper

On September 10, 2008, the ACLU of Nevada won a permanent injunction against the retroactive enforcement of A.B. 579 and S.B. 471, Nevada's new sex offender laws. Judge Mahan held that the retroactive application of the laws violated the U.S. Constitution, including the Due Process and Ex Post Facto clauses, making clear that the Constitution applies to all.

The new laws, contained in SB471 and AB579, would have drastically changed how Nevada deals with sex offenders. Regardless of whether their crimes even involved children, sex offenders who committed even misdemeanors with any sexual element since July 1, 1956 would have fallen within the purview of registration and some notification provisions. For example, someone caught masturbating in their truck in 1956 could suddenly be classified as a dangerous sex offender subject to registration and notification. One of the ACLU's clients, a grandfather and solid member of his community, was about to be treated like a dangerous pedophile for committing statutory rape at age 17 back in 1960.

Many, many such rehabilitated, low risk offenders whom the state of Nevada has already determined to be unlikely to re-offend would have retroactively become Tier 3 – "high risk" – offenders based solely on the crime committed. Those offenders would also have been subject to widespread community notification, which in turn would have meant that they and their families faced social ostracism, losing their jobs, and even possible vigilante violence. Further, Parole and Probation was also imposing severe movement and residency restrictions retroactively on some offenders, which meant some people would have had to move and sell their homes.

The ACLU does not in any way oppose tough sex offender laws. In fact, by drawing attention away from offenders who are a known high risk – some of whom would have been reclassified as low risk offenders – SB471 and AB579's changes would have jeopardized public safety. In addition, by retroactively imposing terms on offenders who were known to be low risk and giving people no means to challenge the laws even if they were misapplied, the laws would have violated numerous constitutional provisions. Further, the laws are so confusing that the Attorney General's office itself has repeatedly changed its position on the laws. Nobody seemed to understand what they mean and how they were supposed to be applied.

This case was not about "the rights of sex offenders," but instead about the limits on the power of government to impose sweeping retroactive punishment. The ACLU was very concerned that if the Nevada legislature were allowed to impose laws retroactively in this context, it would pass other laws that take effect retroactively and violate the Constitution.

The ACLU of Nevada cannot provide any individual advice or other assistance regarding the sex offender laws, and the information in this post does not constitute legal advice of any kind. If you have any questions about whether any sex offender registration or other laws apply to you, please contact an attorney.


IA - 16 Year Old Sex Offender For Life for Consensual Sex

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UK - Sex offender sues over airport detention

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11/08/2008

LONDON (UPI) -- An Indian man who admitted sexually assaulting a sleeping woman is suing after he was detained at a London airport due to his criminal record.

Prashant Modi, the son of a millionaire oil tycoon, is suing the British Border Agency for "trauma" related to his nearly 14-hour detention at Heathrow Airport, The Daily Mail reported Thursday.

Modi said his business and personal interests were damaged when he was detained for 13 hours and 45 minutes upon his arrival in Britain. He eventually decided to go home rather than continue to wait for clearance to enter the country.

Modi was sentenced to a six-month suspended jail sentence and ordered to write a letter of apology to his 22-year-old victim after he admitted to sexually assaulting her in his London hotel room in August 2006. He said he has traveled to Britain nine times since his conviction but the incident was the first time he was detained.