Wednesday, April 8, 2009

RI - Targeting loophole in sex offender law

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More knee-jerk laws so the people do not have to think for themselves. Why don't you get the name of the land lord, before moving in, and check him out? Oh yeah, you'd rather the government dictate when and what you do, I understand!


By Danielle North

Bill would force landlords to disclose status

JOHNSTON (WPRI) - New legislation has been introduced that if passed would require sex offenders to notify anyone they rent property to of their status.

The bill came to light after a local mother of three found out her landlord was a convicted sex offender. Laurie Ardino's story prompted a Rhode Island lawmaker to draft the new legislation to try to close the potential loophole in the state's sex offender law.

For months Laurie Ardino and her three young children lived under the same roof as a man they thought they knew. Her Johnston landlord was friendly, but a few months under her lease after a dispute, she learned he was a registered level 2 sex offender.

"My son would say hi to him, give him five. So he did interact with the kids," says Ardino. When Ardino tried to break the lease to leave that rental apartment she was met with resistance. That is when she contacted state representative Peter Palumbo.

"Something is always coming up as a loophole that you didn't think about," says Rep. Palumbo.

The house judiciary committee is meeting to discuss legislation to close that loophole, making it a requirement for all landlords to disclose from the beginning their status as a registered sex offender.

"If you have control over someone else where they are going to live then you are going to have to notify the people," says Rep. Palumbo.

"I think that they should have to disclose that information if they are living under the same roof. I think that is important," says Ardino.

Ardino was able to break her lease and now lives in a new apartment.

NV - Nevada’s GOP governor caught in messy divorce, infidelity scandal

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FL - Lobbyist, daughter push crusade

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Ron Book spends $1 mil on wedding of 'Daddy's princess'


By Michael Vasquez

Family tragedy led lobbyist Ron Book to get involved in sexual offender legislation. That involvement now takes him from city hall to city hall.

In the halls of the state Capitol, veteran lobbyist Ron Book is a powerful man -- in some ways, larger than life.

At home, he suffers the same limitations as any other father -- the inability to turn back the clock, to keep his children from being hurt.

Book's daughter Lauren was sexually abused years ago by a live-in nanny, and though the perpetrator is now in jail, the crime will never be erased. Book knows this, but through his profession he also knows a good deal about laws and that laws against sexual offenders can change.
- So, when did this occur?  And if the registry was in effect, then why did he not use it, to protect his daughter?  Was the man/woman a known or unknown sex offender?  Anger and emotions NEVER make good laws.

One change Book and his daughter are currently pushing hard has taken them on car trips around Miami-Dade and Broward counties, from one city hall to another. Miami Beach, Pembroke Pines, Miami and Dania Beach have already heard Book's emotional pleas -- asking that sexual offenders be required to live 2,500 feet away from places like parks and schools.
- So Ron, how many known sex offenders, can you tell me, have committed a crime near any of these places?  Studies show that 90% or more of all sexual crimes are committed by someone NOT on the registry, and someone YOU know, not some stranger near a park or school.  But, you don't care about the facts, do you?

Current state law requires only a 1,000-foot distance, and in some cities a 2,500-foot-rule would effectively make the entire municipality off limits. Despite talk of violating an ex-convict's civil liberties and the widespread expectation of legal challenges, South Florida cities are adopting the beefed-up guidelines at a brisk pace.
- And thus they are violating the US and State Constitutions, and Ron Book, has created a new homeless class, and this hypocrite is the HEAD of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust to rid Miami of homelessness.  What a hypocrite!

"Don't let them live where your children are," Book said during a recent appearance in front of Miami city commissioners. He continued: "After having gone through this horrible, tragic experience, I can tell you there is no lower form of life than a convicted sexual predator."

Lauren Book, 20, stood behind the commission chamber podium at her father's side. Silent. The room had turned even quieter.

She later calmly relayed to reporters the timelines, court decisions and other details about the abuse she had suffered at the hands of her nanny, Waldina Flores. Both father and daughter talked about the subject openly, and both left the building with eyes made glossy by tears.

"Being a victim -- and now a survivor -- it's my job to protect other children so they don't have to deal with what I had to," Lauren Book said.
- And nothing you do, will prevent such an occurrance from occurring again.  It's just a placebo to make you and others feel better, by exacting punishment on all offenders.


But do these new laws really protect children? Skeptics include some you may not expect -- people who have seen the emotional damage wrought by such crimes, who may have comforted the victims of abuse, and still say zoning perpetrators out of town is wrong.

Among them: Claudine Ryce, mother of a 9-year-old Redland boy, Jimmy Ryce, who was raped and slain in 1995.

"They have cars," Ryce said of sexual predators. Then, referring to Miami Beach -- the city that pioneered the 2,500-foot-rule and whose island geography would make it impossible for certain sexual offenders to move there under that guideline -- Ryce added, "If they want a kid, they're just going to come over the bridge."

Carolyn Atwell-Davis, director of Legislative Affairs at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, worries the guidelines pushed by Book -- and hordes of South Florida politicians -- will make it so difficult for convicted sex offenders to live anywhere that the individuals will break the law by no longer registering with authorities.

Already, Atwell-Davis said, more than 100,000 of the roughly 549,000 sexual offenders nationwide who should be registered are unaccounted for.
- Again with the 100,000 magic number.  Not too large, not too small.  But, where are they FACTS to back up the number?

"Placing residency restrictions is ultimately compounding the problem of under-registration," Atwell-Davis said. "You make it harder for law enforcement to track them down."

Ron Book has heard these arguments before, but is steadfast in support of the new laws, saying that if state law permits local governments to keep porn shops 2,500 feet from schools and parks, surely sexual predators should be similarly banned.
- So then, what about alcohol stores, gang members, drug dealers, DUI offenders, and all other criminals?

Book acknowledges this new measure has proved much more contentious than previous legislation he has championed to protect potential victims.

This is not even the second or third time father and daughter have teamed to make laws tougher on sex offenders. Those previous efforts, however, took place in the state Capitol, where Book has been a fixture for decades.


The quest began in 2002, when the Book family had trouble finding out if their nanny-turned-abuser had been infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. After encountering judicial delays in obtaining the information, Ron Book and his daughter successfully pushed a new state law guaranteeing victims quick, easy access to it.

Lauren Book, citing her dad's decades-long lobbying career, said she grew up exposed to the inner workings of government, which helped prepare her for pushing bills in the House and Senate while still a teenager.

"It wasn't unfamiliar territory," she said, describing Tallahassee as "exciting, kind of chaotic, always fun."

After the HIV legislation, the pair successfully lobbied to increase funding for victim service centers, to severely punish convicted sex offenders who try to contact their victims while in prison, and to close a loophole dealing with Internet sex offenders.

With virtually no politician challenging it, the current 2,500-foot-guideline will likely face its toughest test in the courts. Ron Book vows to advocate for it there, too.
- And now, sex offenders are homeless, without a job, not getting treatment, and living worse than animals, which in turn, could possibly put more people in danger!  But, they won't admit that!

"Absolutely," he said.

FL - Homeless sex offender arrested for failing to update driver's license with address

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This just shows that probation and other officials do not want people to be a success, they want you to fail, and will get you on any technicality. What other person in this country, is arrested and put into jail for not updating their drivers license? Nobody! This probation officer, IMO, is a jerk!


FORT WALTON BEACH -- A registered sex offender has been living under the Brooks Bridge and failed to update his driver's license with his new address, according to an Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office incident report.

_____, who is 31, had been living at the Colonial Drive Apartments. He was convicted in June 2001 of lewd and lascivious battery on a child younger than 15, according to the report.

He had reported to his probation officer and to the sheriff's offfice that he was no longer living at those apartments and was homeless as of March 12. He was contacted under the bridge on March 23.

As of March 24, he had not updated his driver's license. His status required him to update his driver's license within 24 hours of a move.

The probation officer contacted the deputy and stated that Hall had violated his probation for failing to update his driver's license address within 48 hours of a change of address. Hall was arrested, according to the report.

IA - Culver's offender plan spurs doubts on legality

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Gov. Chet Culver (Contact) wants the Legislature to give the Iowa Board of Parole expanded authority to continue to hold soon-to-be-paroled child-sex offenders behind bars after they have served prison sentences.

But the idea - crafted amid widespread public concern over the release of an offender who indicated he would molest children again if freed - is not likely constitutional, a spokesman for the Iowa attorney general's office said Tuesday. One reason: Courts could deem that "preventive detention," a concept that is illegal under state and federal law.

"We are doubtful this kind of measure can pass constitutional muster," spokesman Bob Brammer said.

Culver's plan, unveiled by his spokesman, Troy Price, in an e-mail to The Des Moines Register, would give state corrections officials authority to revoke parole without first releasing sex offenders - and keep them in prison for up to two more years.

Price said after learning of the attorney general's opinion Tuesday that the governor was not giving up on the idea. He said Culver still hoped to accomplish something before the end of this year's legislative session.

Under the measure drafted by the Department of Corrections for Culver, the director of the department would determine whether an offender was a threat to re-offend "either by admission or action," Price said.
- Determining if someone is still a risk is not up to the Director of the DOC, it's up to a staff of EXPERTS, sex offender therapists, civil/human rights personal, and not some BIASED prison official!

The idea to revoke parole without ever having released a sex offender appears to be unprecedented across the country, according to some tracking of state laws done by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

"This proposal hasn't even seen the light of day," said Randall Wilson of Iowa Civil Liberties Union. "We're extremely concerned about allowing someone to be locked up on the say-so of some official."

The governor's proposal also comes amid growing pressure from a range of interest groups for legislators to air their own plan to deal with sex offenders, during the final weeks of the legislative session. Among the ideas yet to be considered is a bipartisan plan to rework a controversial state law restricting where offenders can live, work and roam.
- Must be close to election time again!

"I hope to meet with the governor soon and get some direction," said Rep. Clel Baudler, R-Greenfield, who has been working for months in secret with a group of legislators to reach consensus on the potentially politically dicey legislation this session. "I really want some leadership on this."

More and more stringent restrictions on sex offenders have become increasingly popular in the last decade.
- And there is many studies out there which show this "tougher" doesn't work either!  But, it's used for political reasons, to get votes, and to look good to the sheeple.

Most states already have enhanced or expanded criminal penalties, mandatory reporting laws, restrictions controlling offenders' movement and global-positioning technology to track their whereabouts.

Iowa and other states are also facing a deadline to come into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act's minimum standards for offender registration and notification.

Culver decided to weigh in after the prospect of convicted sex offender _____'s release last month from Oakdale prison to the Fort Des Moines Correctional Facility triggered public alarm.

_____ wound up being re-arrested on a parole violation less than a week after his release - but not until after he threatened to harm several people. _____'s sister has since said that _____ is mentally disabled and that he may have made threats so that he could return to prison.

Under a state law passed in 2005, Iowa sex offenders can be subject to special "supervisory" sentences that require additional monitoring upon parole. Those convicted of serious felonies can be monitored for life, while those convicted of less serious felonies can be subject to monitoring for 10 years.

According to Fred Scaletta, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Corrections, at least 60 sex offenders released from prison are subject to monitoring for the 10-year period. None is subject to monitoring for life so far — although the number of offenders eligible upon release was well over 100 in 2007, according to a state study.

Sex offenders are ordered to receive treatment in prison, but many fail to complete it successfully before their sentences expire. McGill wrote letters prior to his release acknowledging he had molested children, and would likely do so again.

Iowa is one of more than 30 states that have civil commitment facilities for sex offenders, but most of the state’s more than 6,000 registered offenders are ineligible to be sent there.

Before a person is civilly committed as a sexual predator, state law requires the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the person suffers from a mental abnormality that makes him likely to commit more sex crimes unless confined to a secure facility.

Legal experts say that’s a high legal burden to prove. _____, for example, was examined by a psychologist and officials concluded he did not meet criteria for civil commitment.

Wilson said the public has a right to know before the Legislature’s final hours what criteria will be used to hold onto some offenders and who will determine the facts.

“It was in the latter days of the session that we got the 2,000-foot rule,” he said, alluding to the residency law banning offenders from living near day cares or schools.

Many experts and law enforcement officials now say that law doesn’t work.

NJ - Local laws for sex offenders must be uniform

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More than 100 towns in New Jersey have ordinances restricting where convicted sex offenders may live.

This patchwork approach has thrown the issue into the courts. Two ordinances -- those in Galloway Township and Cherry Hill, struck down by a state appeals in July -- reached the state Supreme Court last week.

The matter belongs in the Legislature, which needs to come up with a uniform standard to deal with convicted sex offenders and housing.

Any package of laws seeking to protect the public while balancing the rights of sex offenders who have served out their terms must be applied uniformly throughout the state.

The legislation also must differentiate between the three tiers of sex offenders and the risk of recidivism offenders in each category pose.

And the Legislature should seek increased jail time and mandatory electronic monitoring of sex offenders deemed most likely to commit new crimes.

There are glaring inconsistencies in the rules from town to town and even within a given municipality.

For example: a home-owning convicted sex offender in more than a dozen Shore towns can remain in his neighborhood, but a renter could be forced out by local law. In some towns, an offender could be prevented from living near a school but not from attending that school.

This confusing hodgepodge is one reason the courts have struck down a range of residency restrictions.

It's also clear why the Legislature has consistently punted the issue back to the towns, even as municipalities pass ordinances that usurp state authority by going beyond the restrictions in Megan's Law: Devising a statewide standard in dealing with convicted sex-offenders is difficult.

That's not enough reason to leave its responsibility to either local government or the judiciary.

People who have served their sentences and are not likely to repeat their crimes deserve the chance to return to society. But citizens also deserve assurances high-risk pedophiles or rapists won't pose a threat to their children or their communities.

Trenton must clear up the mess by passing a sane, sensible standard.

MD - Students fight to watch porno

WA - Medina cop investigated in sex case

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Notice they do not mention his name, like they do anyone else?  More protecting the "Good Ole' Boys!"



MEDINA - Medina Police confirm one of its officers has been placed on paid administrative leave following allegations of sexual assault.

The 30-year-old, four-year veteran of the department is under investigation by the Issaquah Police Department, where the crime is alleged to have happened.

Medina Police Chief Jeff Chen says he learned of the allegations two weeks ago, and took immediate action.

“I immediately had to place the officer on paid administrative leave, and have taken the officer off street duty,” Chen said in a telephone interview with KING 5 NEWS.

Issaquah Police did not return our calls Tuesday night.

The officer has not been charged with any crime.

Few details of the alleged incident have been released, but the case apparently stems from a routine traffic stop in Medina last November.

Medina is a small department, serving just 3,000 residents, but patrolling some of the most exclusive real estate in the area. Chief Chen says this episode has been hard on the tight-knit department.