Tuesday, March 10, 2009

OH - Teenager commits suicide after 'sexting' a nude photo to her boyfriend made her life a misery

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By Katy Hastings

A teenager committed suicide after her life was made a misery when her ex-boyfriend circulated a nude photo she had sent him around her school.

_____ hanged herself in her bedroom just weeks after appearing on TV to tell her story and stop others suffering in the same way.

The 18-year-old from Ohio had been harassed by the girls at her school so badly she was miserable, depressed and even afraid to attend classes.

Now her mother, _____, has spoken of the tragic loss as she took her grief public in a bid to warn young people of the dangers of sending sexually charged photos and messages via mobile phone - an act known as 'sexting'.

She told MSNBC's Today programme: 'She was vivacious. She was fun. She was artistic. She was compassionate. She was a good kid.

'It’s very, very difficult. She’s my only child. I’m trying my best to get the message out there.'

Sexting is a growing problem that has resulted in child pornography charges being filed against some teens across the U.S.

Last year the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy surveyed teens and young adults about sexting or posting such materials online.

The results revealed that 39 per cent of teens in the US had sent or posted sexually suggestive messages, and 48 per cent reported receiving such messages.

Mrs _____ said she never knew the full extent of her daughter’s anguish until it was too late. She only learned there was a problem at all when she started getting daily letters from her daughter’s school reporting that the young woman was skipping school.

'I only had snapshots, bits and pieces, until the very last semester of school,' she said.

She took away her daughter’s car and drove her to school herself, but _____ still refused to go to school.

She told her mother there were pictures involved and that a group of younger girls who had received them were harassing her, calling her vicious names, even throwing objects at her.

_____'s friend _____ told NBC News: 'She was being attacked and tortured. When she would come to school, she would always hear, ‘Oh, that’s the girl who sent the picture. She’s just a whore.’'

Mrs _____ said officials at the school were aware of the harassment but did not take sufficient action to stop it.

She said that the school said they would help but only offered to go to one of the girls - aged 16 - who had the pictures and tell her to delete them from her phone and never speak to _____ again.

Mrs _____ suggested talking to the parents of the girls who were bullying _____, but her daughter said that would only open her to even more ridicule.

'She said, ‘No, I need to do something else. I’m going to go on the news,’ and that’s what she did.'

_____ had been talking about going to the University of Cincinnati to study graphic design. Her mother thought she was over the worst of the bullying.

Then one of _____’s acquaintances committed suicide. She went to the funeral but when she came home, she hanged herself.

'I just had a scan of the room, her closet doors were open,' Mrs _____ told NBC News. 'And I walked over into her room and saw her hanging. The cell phone was in the middle of the floor.'

After her daughter’s death, her mother quit her job and was in hospital for a time with what she described as 'a mental breakdown'.

Mrs _____ said she’s been through six lawyers in what has so far been an unsuccessful battle to hold school officials responsible for the bullying of her daughter.

Parry Aftab, an Internet security expert and activist in the battle to protect teens from the dangers of cyberspace, said there were laws that applied in this case.

"It depends on the age of the child. If somebody’s under the age of 18, it’s child pornography, and even the girl that posted the pictures can be charged. They could be registered sex offenders at the end of all of this."

'Even at the age of 18, because it was sent to somebody under age, it’s disseminating pornography to a minor. There are criminal charges that could be made here.'

Mr Aftab said that it is normal kids just like _____ who fall victim to the perils of the internet and the easy exchange of information on mobile phones.

NY - East Rochester leaders stand by new sex offender law

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Leaders in East Rochester are standing by the village’s new sex offender law.
- Of course they are, they do not want to look "soft on crime," or "being soft on sex offenders," it could end their precious careers.  Instead of looking at facts and listening to experts, they assume they know what is best for the community, and at the same time, trampling on the constitution and peoples rights.  If they trample on one groups rights, your rights should be, and will be trampled on, in the near future, you can count on that.

The law prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds, community centers and daycare facilities.

A problem that leaders have encountered is that the village is just 1.3 square miles, so this law keeps the offenders almost completely out of the village.

The law was initially passed almost two weeks, but some groups have called it unconstitutional. So, village leaders took another look at it Monday night and decided, if the state hasn’t cracked down on other communities, who have the same law, why should East Rochester back down?

“I'm prepared to stand by it and fight it until we can't anymore,” exclaimed East Rochester Mayor Jason Koon.

But some residents recognize that the offenders have to live somewhere.

“We have one near my home, that's not too far away from the playground on the north side of town here, and I never even see him out,” said Beverly Place.

The law will take effect in February of 2010. That means four offenders in the village will have to move, or face fines.

One resident says that’s more than enough time.
- Sure it is, but you are infringing their rights to live where they are.  They were there first, now they pass an unconstitutional law, violating ex post facto, due process, etc, and expect this person to move, and lose a ton of money in the process?  That is just wrong.  Show me a study which says where someone lives determines if they are more of a threat or will reoffend, show me that study!  I can show you several, on my Studies blog, there are many studies which show where someone lives, has no impact on if or when they reoffend.  If someone is forced out into the country, if they are intent on committing a crime, they will.  Besides, studies show that 90% or more of sex crimes, occur in the victims own home, so it's YOU we should be worried about, not some stranger, and sex offenders, from many studies that show this, are LESS LIKELY TO REOFFEND than any other criminal, except murderers.

“It's not like they are telling them, okay we just passed a law you've got to get out. They've got a year to find new residence, I thought that was fair,” said Dan Rischenole.
- So it's a year, but it's still unconstitutional, based on the constitution!  If they have to move now, or 10 years from now, it's still unconstitutional!

Mayor Koon says an overwhelming majority of people he's heard from are in favor of the law.
- So have you heard from any sex offender experts, civil/human rights organizations, or sex offenders and their families?  I doubt it, or you did, but ignored them!

The Adam Walsh Act Debate

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Related Article
eAdvocate article here
Archived Testimonies

I am so sick of people propagating bogus statistical lies. They mention the 100,000 sex offenders missing "statistics" again, which is a load of crap, IMO. Show me the proof of this so called statistic!


WASHINGTON - Today on the Hill, congressional leaders are taking a look at the Adam Walsh Act.

When it became law a few years ago, it set out requirements for states to meet.

But they are apparently having a hard time doing so.

The families of three children who endured horrible abduction ordeals, Samantha Runnion, Jessica Lunsford and Elizabeth Smart, are in Washington fighting to find out.

Ed Smart joined us on FOX 5 Morning News.

CA - New policy bars sex offenders from Navy housing

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By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer

But guidance not yet given to installations

SAN DIEGO — Registered sex offenders are prohibited from living in base housing and barred from Navy Department facilities, according to an October memo from the Navy secretary. But five months after the order, the Navy has not yet put it in place.

The Marine Corps, meanwhile, already has begun screening all its base housing residents for registered sex offenders, who will be forced to move out as part of a massive servicewide crackdown.

On Oct. 7, Navy Secretary Donald Winter issued a far-reaching policy prohibiting convicted sex offenders from accessing Navy and Marine Corps installations, living in military or private-public venture housing, and enlisting or being commissioned into the Navy or Marine Corps.

“To the maximum extent permitted by law or otherwise waived by competent authority, sex offenders are to be identified and prohibited from access to [Navy Department] facilities,” Winter wrote in a memo to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead and Commandant Gen. James Conway.

So far, implementation of the policy is mixed, as officials sort out the details. The Navy has not yet issued specific guidance to its installations.

“We’re kind of standing by for further guidance on how to implement it,” said Doug Sayers, a Navy Region-Southwest spokesman. That guidance is expected to come from the Washington-based Navy Installations Command, which oversees naval installations and housing offices, he said.

Rachelle Logan, a NIC spokeswoman, said the issue is under review by the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Office and she could not respond to questions.

The Corps issued its follow-on policy in a memo signed Dec. 31 by its top installations official, said Capt. Amy Malugani, a Marine spokeswoman at the Pentagon.

Corps installations’ officials issued additional guidance Feb. 3 to housing offices and have asked base commanders to review and screen all housing residents by April 15 and report the results, along with the status of their local implementation of the policy, by April 22. More guidance is in the works, including policies for overseas housing and base access.

The Corps’ policy, signed by Maj. Gen. Edward Usher, requires that Marines applying for government or leased housing must complete sex offender disclosure forms for themselves and anyone who would reside with them. All housing residents would be screened, and any registered sex offenders living in base or public-private venture housing must move out.

Any waivers must be approved by Usher, deputy commandant for installations and logistics in Washington. Residents in bachelor’s quarters also are being screened.

“While it is possible that sex offenders may be identified in bachelor quarters, it is highly unlikely, and each such case is best handled by the identified sex offender’s chain of command,” officials wrote in the Feb. 3 guidance.

Winter’s policy follows a July 11 memo that allowed both services to bar registered sex offenders from accessing any Navy or Marine Corps installation. Winter’s directive leans on federal guidelines — the 101-page “National Guidelines for Sex Offender Registry and Notification,” also known as the Adam Walsh Act — the Justice Department issued in June, following the law enacted by Congress in 2006.

Installation commanders must rely on multiple sources of information to determine whether someone is a convicted registered sex offender.

The federal database uses states’ individual collections, but it isn’t a complete listing of all convicted sex offenders, said Steve Roddel, a former Marine computer programmer who runs Family Watchdog, a private database of registered sex offenders that compiles information from daily checks of state registries.

CT - State police: Man awaiting trial an apparent suicide in Southbury

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By Michael P. Mayko - STAFF WRITER

SOUTHBURY -- An Oxford man awaiting trial on charges of sexually assaulting young girls apparently committed suicide Saturday morning in Southford Falls State Park, according to State Police and the Department of Environmental Protection.

_____, 58, of Sioux Drive, was found dead in the park at 9:14 a.m.

"A citizen going through the park found the body and called 911," said Cyndy Chanaca, a DEP spokeswoman. She said _____ had hanged himself.

State police from Troop A in Southbury responded to the scene, and they turned the investigation over to the DEP Environmental Conservation police.

_____ was the husband of Oxford Town Clerk _____.

Oxford Democratic Town Committee Chairman Peter Bunzl and Selectman David McKane expressed concern for the family, each describing _____ as "a wonderful woman."

"This is such a terrible thing for her to have to go through," said Bunzl, who called her "the best person I know... a wonderful worker and a good friend."

_____ was free on $150,000 bond pending an appearance next Monday in Milford Superior Court on charges of three counts of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

The charges stemmed from five alleged incidents involving two different girls over an extended period of time. The two girls, both minors, are in the care of the state Department of Children and Families.

_____ also faced a charge of risk of injury to a minor stemming from an alleged Aug. 30, 2008, incident at the Hemlock Hill Campground in Litchfield County.

He was free on $500 bond in that case, which was pending in Bantam Superior Court.

"The whole series of events is such an awful tragedy," said Selectman August Palmer. "My heart goes out to the children involved in this. I feel very sorry for them."

Medication Hell

From Ken:

Just a note to you all this doctor has been recently reprimanded for theft by deception and administrative negligence, and is currently under investigation by the board of medical examiners on my case.

I went to see my doctor about some depression and anxiety in 1995, and the doctor put me on a drug called Zoloft. This actually made the difference in my health for the next 10 years.

In October of 2006 I was working on my second job and had severe chest pains and anxiety. This was by far the worst attack I have ever had. My doctor gave me every test under the sun and found nothing physically wrong with me. The doctor then suggested I see a physiatrist as the problem may be emotional. When I went to see doctor, she told me that Zoloft was not an effective drug for me. The doctor then put me on a new medication therapy.

Over the next 10 months we, meaning my family and I, went through some very hard times. The fist drug was Effexor. But within a week I wanted to kill myself and had 3 to 10 panic attacks a day. Doctor then added .25 mg Buspirone and 100 mg Seroquel.

We saw the doctor again on 12/20/06 there was no change in my condition and no change in the medication.

We saw the doctor again on 01/18/07 she began 10 mg Buspirone at 7:00 am with 20 mg Prozac and at 12:00 pm .05 mg Klonopin at 3:30 pm she added 10 mg Buspirone and at 9:00 pm 50 mg Seroquel. There was no change in my condition at this time.

We saw the doctor again on 02/07/07 I do not remember this office visit. I was not having as many panic attacks but I was feeling very dazed and confused most of the time. She increased my Prozac to 40 mg. At this time I had to quit my night job as I couldn’t concentrate on driving very well.

We saw the doctor again on 03/05/07 there was no change in my condition and no change in my medication.

I went to see the doctor again on 04/05/07 while driving to her office I had to turn around twice due to panic attacks as this was the only visit my wife could not attend. The doctor changed my Seroquel to 100 mg at 9:00 pm

At this point my medication treatment schedule was as follows: (MEDICATION AS OF 04/05/2007)
  • 7:00 AM 40 MG PROZAC 10 MG Buspirone
  • 12:00 PM .05 MG KLONOPIN
  • 3:30 PM 25 MG Seroquel 10 MG Buspirone
  • 9:00 PM 100 MG Seroquel

We saw the doctor again on 05/30/07 I felt not well at all I was not social I was not driving and getting hurt a lot at work and missing time from work. At night I would cook food or walk outside to relieve myself in the front yard and have no memory of it the next day. I was also having very bad dreams and not spending any time with my family just laying around on the couch all day. There were times when I tried to initiate sexual relations with my wife at night but she would tell me I was not really there.

We saw the doctor again on 06/28/07 I again was not well my anxiety was worse and I was weak all the time. She said no change in the medication and to give my body time to react to the medication.

We saw the doctor again on an emergency visit 07/10/07 My wife told the doctor that my niece told her and her mother that I made a sexual advance at her in the middle of the night when she slept at our house in May. She said I tried to kiss her privates. She would sleep at our house a lot with our other nieces. She did state that I didn’t touch her but made some kind of gesture towards her and we were both fully clothed. My wife had called the doctor because we were horrified that I did not remember any of this. At that point I wanted to die. We asked the doctor if any of the medication would make my sleepwalking worse or make me not remember, as this was our biggest fear that did anything else happen. The doctor said she would have to call the supplier and let me know the following week. We said we needed to know now and what to do, she said not to change any medication and make an appointment for the following week.

Again I wanted to kill myself so my wife called our primary care doctor and he said come right away. When we got there we told him what happened and he asked what medication I was currently taking. When I told him he said did they give you a cocktail with that mix. I didn’t think it was funny. He said I was definitely overmedicated and needed to get off the psychotropic now.

As a result of all this I have attempted suicide 3 times twice in jail while I was on constant watch being assaulted and once at my sister’s house. That time was when I was bailed out of jail I was hospitalized for that one and nearly died. I was arrested and charged with 3 charges after the mother and father inquired 1 month later to a social worker what to do or if their daughter should see someone. The social worker informed them that by law she had to call the authorities right then and there.

Charges were as follows:

I have been seen and evaluated by numerous specialist and doctors both for myself and for the state of _____. They all agree that I am no threat to my or anyone else’s children. This has been attested by 4 medical doctors 2 specialist and 2 DYFS doctors. Also I have been found not to be a risk to other children for reoffence by the adult diagnostic center.

In August of 2008 as a result of these many tests and reports DYFS had closed their case with me and after 1 year of not being allowed to live in my home released me to return to full parental rights and privileges. I have lost my job as I was told I would be fired for moral interpitude if I didn’t resign. I lost my respect from others and worst of all my faith in the legal system of this country.

In July of 2008 as a result of financial and mental exhaustion and the fact that we sold everything we owned for lawyers and expert fees. $4500.00 for an expert to come up with I was incompetent to stand trial. Total fees to date are 25000.00 The prosecutor offered me a deal that all charges would be dropped and I would plea to endangering the welfare of a child 3rd degree. With 1 year probation and continued counseling. If I did not want this plea we would go to trial. I have never said anything did or did not happen I truly don’t remember but if my niece said it did I have to believe her why would she lie. My lawyer tells me if we go to trial he will put her on the stand and the doctors and we have a good chance of walking away, but how could I put her through that she has gone on and started to live her life and to put her through that to me would be just as bad. Not to mention that it would cost another 10 to 20 thousand dollars that we don’t have. So to spare my wife my children and family any more pain with pain in my heart as I know I would never hurt a child, I took the deal.

In November of 2008 with 35 people in the courtroom that did not know the truth after I was home for only 4 months I was sentenced to 180 days in jail with Megan’s law registration and parole for life.

When I was in jail the parole board came to me 68 days later reviewed my file and said we are going to let you go home.

But there is a catch with parole for life you have to be evaluated again for what is called living with children so you can stay with your family again. This of coarse cost money and takes time. It is now March and I have been out of jail 2 months again waiting to be rejoined with my family. I have gone from an upstanding member of the community to a convicted felon in less than 24 months. If the doctor that had treated me would have seen the signs that were prominently there, none of this nightmare would have happened to us. I can only hope that we all can pick up the pieces and move on from here.

If you have info on a state in this country that has the minimum rules for me please let me know.

NC - She sent him to jail for rape; now they’re friends

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By Mike Celizic - TODAYShow.com contributor

DNA evidence exonerated him; today they’re co-authors fighting for justice

For 11 years, a North Carolina woman slept comfortably, secure in the knowledge that she had put the man who raped her in prison for life. And for 11 years, that man endured the endless days of confinement praying that someday, somehow, his innocence would be proved.

On Tuesday, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and the man she mistakenly put in prison, Ronald Cotton, shared a couch on the TODAY show as they told co-host Meredith Vieira a tale about pain and redemption — and the tricks that memory can play on people with the best intentions.

“This can happen to anyone. And hopefully it does not happen to them,” Cotton told Vieira.

Friends and co-authors
Today he and Thompson-Cannino are best friends. In fact, they’ve written a book together: “Picking Cotton: A Memoir of Injustice and Redemption.” They sometimes travel together too, giving talks about the ways memory can deceive us, and they are working to change the way police conduct photo lineups.

They are also a testament to the power of the human spirit. When DNA evidence ultimately proved that another man committed the rape and Cotton was freed, Thompson-Cannino was consumed by guilt and shame. She was also terrified that the man from whom she felt she had stolen 11 years would attempt to exact vengeance on her and her triplet children.

But Cotton had long since forgiven her. “I couldn’t carry on serving my time in the prison system holding grudges and thinking about retaliating against a person that made an honest mistake. I had to proceed on in life regardless,” he told Vieira.

In 1984, Jennifer Thompson was 22 and a student at Elon College in North Carolina when a man broke into her house during the night and raped her. As he assaulted her, she memorized his face, his voice, everything she could about him. She intended to survive, and when it was over, she wanted to put him in prison for what he did.

After the rapist assaulted her, she offered to make him a drink, and when he agreed, she fled the house, wrapped only in a blanket. A couple living next door let her into their house and called police. After being treated for her injuries, Thompson-Cannino helped police draw a composite sketch of her attacker.

‘100 percent certain’
Her description seemed to fit Cotton, who was the same age as the victim. He had had several minor scrapes with the law, and several years earlier, when he was 16, he had sneaked into his girlfriend’s bedroom through a window and was caught snuggling with the girl by her mother. The mother called police, and Cotton was charged with several offenses, including breaking and entering and sexual assault. The charges were eventually all dismissed, but Cotton’s name and mug shot were now on file.

Investigators showed Thompson-Cannino a number of photos of possible suspects. She now knows that her mind was trying to find the person in the group who most closely resembled the sketch she had helped the police artist draw.

“There’s six photographs in front of me, so consciously I’m trying to figure out the person in the photographic lineup that most closely resembles the sketch, as opposed to the actual attacker,” she told Vieira.

She picked Cotton. Later, police put him in a physical lineup and she picked him again. “It was 100 percent certain,” she said.

During many of those years in prison, Cotton actually knew who the real rapist was. His name was Bobby Poole, and he landed in the same prison as Cotton. The two bore a striking physical resemblance to one another, and to the police sketch of Thompson-Cannino’s attacker.

The fragility of memory
Cotton even asked Poole if he raped Thompson-Cannino. Poole denied it, but one of Poole’s friends told Cotton the man confessed to him. Cotton used that information to win a retrial, but Thompson-Cannino’s memory by now had firmly replaced her rapist’s face with that of Cotton. When she saw both Poole and Cotton in the same courtroom, she again identified Cotton as her rapist with absolute certainty.

“That’s just the way memory works,” Thompson-Cannino now knows. “Memory takes certain visuals. In my case, after doing a composite sketch, that was the last visual I had in my memory, and it’s very subconscious.”

The second trial came three years after the first, and during that time, Thompson-Cannino’s memory cemented Cotton’s image as that of her attacker.

“Now three years have gone by and Ronald Cotton was the rapist. Period,” she told Vieira. “That’s how memory works. It’s so fragile. It’s so easily contaminated.”

The years in prison were a nightmare, Cotton told Vieira. “I just had to keep myself together, which wasn’t easy at all. I was missing my family, my loved ones. I took it day to day and hoped that true justice would prevail and open a door for me.”

Cotton’s break came in 1995 when he was watching the O.J. Simpson trial on television. Attorneys and investigators kept talking about DNA evidence, something he had never heard of before. He contacted his attorneys, who were able to recover one tiny sample of sperm from the rape kit that had been used to treat Thompson-Cannino 11 years earlier.

There was enough DNA in the sample to prove Cotton was innocent and Poole was guilty. And just like that, Cotton was a free man.

A new life
“It was like a dream come true. I couldn’t believe it,” Cotton told Vieira. “The warden of the penitentiary called me in his office and told me I was going home tomorrow. I told him, ‘Please don’t pull my leg, it’s already long enough.’ But it was true. I finally went home to be with my family and loved ones.”

Cotton began the difficult task of beginning a new life. He got some money in compensation from the state of North Carolina, but he also worked two jobs to get himself back on his feet. He married and today is the father of a 10-year-old daughter.

As for Thompson-Cannino, she was torn apart by the revelation that her dead-certain testimony had imprisoned an innocent man.

“I was devastated, I really was,” she told Vieira. “One of the things that is really important is that I never felt any shame being a rape victim. I knew that I had been innocent that night. I now felt this debilitating guilt and shame over 11 years of a man’s life [that] was just gone.”

She lived with her mental torment for two years before finally reaching out to Cotton. When they met, she told him if she atoned every day for the rest of her life, it would not be enough to make up for the years Cotton had lost.

Her fears that he would want revenge were unfounded, and he quickly allayed her guilt. Cotton simply told her he had forgiven her long ago; it wasn’t her fault.

Today, when they travel together to give speeches, people sometimes assume they’re a couple and ask them how they met.

It is, they reply, a long story.

PA - Rules on sex offenders' residence under scrutiny

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By ERICA DOLSON of The Patriot-News

_____, 35, works three jobs and has a girlfriend. He lives in Lemoyne.

"I'm here," he said. "I'm settled."

But he lives closer than 300 feet from Lemoyne Middle School, a problem for _____. He's a registered sex offender.

He's in violation of an ordinance passed by the Lemoyne Borough Council in 2007. The ordinance prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 500 feet of places such as day care centers, parks and schools. _____ has been living in Lemoyne since October, his house catter-corner from the middle school on a stretch of Market Street.
- And despite all the studies which show and prove that where someone lives, has nothing to do with whether they will commit another crime, or if they will harm someone.  Yet the media and politicians continue to stir the fire with bogus statistics and disinformation, instead of reporting the facts.  I thought news was about facts?  Yeah right, now it's about entertainment, and whatever brings in more scared people to view their web site or news show.

_____ is an example of a growing dispute in Pennsylvania. More towns are passing ordinances restricting sex offenders from living near schools and parks, and some towns are being sued over the laws.

As he shoved his hands in the pockets of his sweatshirt, _____ said he didn't know about the ordinance when he moved in. "Why would I take the chance?" he said.

The violation was discovered by a concerned resident. The resident has a son who walks to Lemoyne Middle School each day and said he wanted to remain anonymous to protect himself and his family from any possible retaliation.

Once every couple of months, the resident checks the state's Megan's Law list, a Web site that shows the photos and addresses of registered sex offenders, he said. Megan's Law seeks to protect the public, especially children, from sex offenders by listing their locations and alerting communities to sex offenders in their neighborhoods, according to the Web site.
- So what about all the murderers, drug dealers/users, gang members and all other criminals who are "TROLLING" the neighborhood to sell your kid dangerous drugs, or initiate them into their violent gang?  Your kid is more likely to be ran over by a drunk driver, than abducted by some stranger.  People need to stop listening to the media, they only instill fear to get you to watch, and politicians use fear to get them votes and to look good to the people who are not willing to do their own homework and find the facts for themselves.

He brought his concerns to the West Shore Regional Police Department on Wednesday. He stressed that he did not intend to harass _____. He just wants to protect his children.

"My reaction was, 'How did it happen?'" he said.
- Well I'll tell you how it happens.  The police do NOT inform people of the laws, and when a person changes addresses, the find a place, move in, then go down and register, then it may be days, weeks, months or years before someone comes around to verify the address.  And I am willing to bet nobody informed this person of the law, or he would've checked first.  Now he could potentially lose a ton of money because someone did not do their job and inform this person of the law(s).

Cpl. James Karns of the West Shore police said his agency has never run into this issue before.
- Yeah, you expect me to believe that?  Sure, the sheeple will believe anything, but I don't buy it for a second!

"We reviewed the ordinance and took the appropriate action as outlined in the ordinance," Karns added Monday.

The Patriot-News tried to reach _____ for further comment Monday about the resident's fears and whether he has received notice to move. Nobody answered the door at his home.
- Typical media vigilantism.  My, they must be hard up for news stories.  Surely there is some drug dealer, gang banger or something else occurring in the city, yet they continue to harass sex offenders, so they can stir up the fear and scare the hell out of the public.  Why don't they harass murderers or gang members?  Well, that is obvious, they might wind up killed, yet they go after those who are mostly obeying the laws, because they are easy fodder!

In 1999, _____, then 25, was charged by Silver Spring Twp. police with aggravated indecent assault and corruption of minors for having sex with a 13-year-old girl. He pleaded guilty to the aggravated indecent assault charge and served 5 years in state prison, Cumberland County Court records show.

"It was five minutes of stupidity, and I walked away. But it was too late," _____ said last week.

"Is it ever going to be in the past?" he asked.
- I doubt it, not until the sex offender moral panic dies down, if it ever does!

While Cumberland County Court records indicate no history of violence after his release from prison, _____ pleaded guilty to a retail theft charge in 2006, records show.

The bigger issue arises from his apartment's proximity to the school, relating to the effectiveness of these local residency restrictions, which have recently fallen under scrutiny.

They are sprouting in all parts of the country, said Witold Walczak, the legal director for the ACLU of Pennsylvania. In the midstate, Harrisburg City Council is considering a similar ordinance.

A lawsuit filed in October is meant to fight a similar ordinance in the Pittsburgh area, Walczak said. Allegheny County's ordinance restricts registered sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of pretty much anything, Walczak said. Virtually all of Pittsburgh, most large communities and areas with affordable housing are off-limits, he said.

The case claims that these restrictions place offenders within the realms of double jeopardy and after-the-fact punishment, Walczak said. They also can conflict with individual sentencing, he said.
- And the offenders signed a CONTRACT when they pled guilty, nolo contender or accepted a plea deal, and now, the state is tearing up that contract, which is also unconstitutional.

The case is pending. In the meantime, Allegheny County has suspended enforcement of the ordinance, Walczak said.

Sex offenders "need to be monitored, but it's got to be done under a comprehensive system that truly takes into account individual circumstances," he said.

The areas monitored by these local ordinances (schools, playgrounds, libraries) are places where children are generally under less direct supervision, said Jeffrey Boyles, a York County first deputy district attorney. Knowing that registered sex offenders cannot live close by might be reassuring for some parents, he said.
- It might be reassuring (i.e. a false sense of security/placebo), but it does nothing to protect anyone.  If someone is intent on committing a crime, they can simply get in a car and drive!

Even officials and concerned parents are conflicted about these ordinances.

"That's really a double-edged sword," said Lt. Douglas Grimes, the commander of the state police Megan's Law unit. "There are good things and bad things that come out of these residency restrictions."
- Look, nobody is saying those who commit sex crimes should not be punished, but you cannot trample of their rights and the constitutional rights, just to make you temporarily feel safe.  All people are asking for is fair and constitutional laws, period.  Forcing punishment onto people who have been sentenced already, that violates the ex post facto of the constitution, not including due process and much more.  Remember that "oath of office," which you "sworn on the bible, so help you God," to enforce?  Well, did you lie to the people and God?  Sounds like it to me!

Of course, nobody wants a registered sex offender near a school, he said. But too much restriction can concentrate several sex offenders in one area, he said.
- It's not a question of "can," it is doing this.  You are basically creating sex offender ghettos, and when this occurs, out come the mob, and they raise hell and the cycle repeats itself.  So like the war on drugs, with the laws as they are, this will be an ongoing issue, until the laws are repealed, fixed and made constitutional!

The concerned Lemoyne parent agreed that these ordinances are noble in their efforts, if not in their execution.

"It looks good, and it makes you feel good," he said. "But if it's not being enforced, what good is it?"
- And that is all it does, it makes you feel good, but it does nothing else!

The ordinance in Lemoyne was passed as an extra safety precaution, not as a reaction to a problem, Councilwoman Susan West said.

"Up until right now ... I feel it's worked," she said.
- Well "feelings" and facts are two different issues.  Show me the proof that it has worked!

"From our borough's perspective, we intend to enforce it," said Shireen Farr, the council president.

The prospect of being told to leave didn't sit well with _____, who paced nervously on his porch when he learned of his residency violation from a Patriot-News reporter last week.

"It was a lapse in judgment," _____ said of his offense. "I pay for it every day, and here I'm going to pay for it again."
- And you will pay for it again and again and again, because the laws are not based on facts, but emotions!