Saturday, April 24, 2010

MI - Police: Detroit Strip Club Employed 14-Year-Old

Original Article

04/23/2010

By COREY WILLIAMS

Detroit strip club manager arrested after police say girl, 14, worked as topless dancer

The manager of a Detroit strip club was charged after authorities learned a 14-year-old girl was employed as a topless dancer, making several hundred dollars a night, authorities said Friday.

The 31-year-old manager of the All Star topless bar was arraigned Friday on a charge of child sexually abusive activity.

_____ was arrested Wednesday night at the club on Eight Mile Road. The girl, whose name was not released because of her age, is believed to have danced at the club several nights each week, making about $350 per night, Police Chief Warren Evans said at a news conference across the street from the establishment.

"It is clear that she danced there for a significant amount of time. It's clear, at least to us, that the club knew or should have known that she shouldn't be there," Evans said.

The girl's mother pulled her daughter from the club one night last week after learning she was working there. Employees of the club brought the girl out to a lobby area near the door, said her mother, whose name was withheld to protect her daughter's identity.

"Our youth are not some cheap commodity, to be used and cast aside," Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a release. "We are sending a clear message that if you hire underage women you will face criminal charges."

An elaborate sign on an outside wall of the club bills it as "The 'ALL STARS' of GENTLEMEN CLUBS." But Evans described it as a constant thorn in the sides of police.

Over the past six years, there have been 11 nonfatal shootings and three fatal shootings "related to this club," Evans said. Violations also have been found in each of the last 15 Vice Squad inspections.

The Associated Press left a message Friday seeking comment from the club's owner. _____ was released on a personal bond Friday. The AP could not determine if he has an attorney.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin


If it Saves One Child: The Trading of Freedom for Security

Original Article

When Patty Wetterling first lobbied for a sex offender registry in 1990, she was met with resistance because people knew these laws violated the civil rights of those who served their sentences. Twenty years later, the pendulum has swung completely; the public feels we cannot pass enough laws against people convicted of sex crimes. And despite a decline in sex crime cases since 1993 (before the passage of modern sex offender laws), our culture fears the sex offender more than any other criminal in our culture.

Over the past two decades, a definitive pattern has repeated itself in our culture and media which has led to our current state of “Predator Panic.” Mass media offers round-the-clock coverage of a tragic rape-murder, almost always of a white female child. Through the victim’s family or through legislators, a new bill is introduced or an existing law is expanded. Most, if not all, sex offender laws pass without dissenting votes or even debating the laws in question ; facts and studies about the true nature of sexual abuse are ignored in favor of harsher post-conviction sex offender laws. These laws are justified by such myths as “sex offenders are highly likely to re-offend” and “all sex offenders are ‘predators’ or ‘pedophiles’” coupled with the generalization all sex crimes are similar to the high-profile sensationalized cases used to justify the passage of these laws.

Law professor and author Eric S. Janus warns us sex offender laws are a “harbinger of a preventive state” and re-introduce the concept of a “degraded status” that was largely abolished during the civil rights era. One recent case in Ohio illustrates Janus’s point perfectly. In the decision to retroactively apply registration duties under the Adam Walsh Act, Ohio’s First District Court of Appeals stated:

“By their voluntary acts, sex offenders have surrendered certain protections that arguably are afforded to other citizens. Their conviction of felony offenses puts them into a class that has already been deemed to have no expectation of finality in the consequences of the judgments against them.”

One of the primary features of this trend has been the exclusiveness of sanctions specifically targeting those on the sex offender registries. The shift towards this degraded status began with the creating of the first registry under the Jacob Wetterling Act in 1994, followed by community notification, residency restrictions, GPS monitoring, and other laws. In 2003, the US Supreme Court upheld the public registry, stating the laws were “regulatory” and not “punitive,” meaning Constitutional safeguards do not apply to the public registry. Since that decision, the US Supreme Court has only made one single ruling against any sex offender laws; the Kennedy v. Louisiana decision ruled 5-4 against the use of the death penalty in child sex crime cases where the victim did not die.

Having “no expectation of finality in the consequences of the judgments” against sex offenders has resulted in the erosion of civil rights that could potentially expand to other crimes and eventually a “risk-alone society.” In 2004, the same arguments to justify sex offender registries were used to attempt to pass a Maryland bill that would have made a public AIDS registry. It was argued AIDS patients were “bad people,” many of them “brought it upon themselves,” they are “high-risk people,” and it is a “public safety” issue. While that law was struck down (for now), other registries began popping up in different locations, from violent offenses to DUI registries. A few places even have “dangerous/ vicious dog” registries with Fido’s picture, street address, and a map showing where they live. The United Kingdom already allows people deemed “dangerous” but have never been charged with a sex crime to be listed on their sex offender registries. The United States has not passed a similar law yet, though the state of Ohio passed a “civil registry,” which forces people not convicted in criminal courts to register and abide by all other sex offender laws through a civil court (and a lesser burden of proof).

A recent poll revealed 51% of American citizens would gladly give up personal freedoms for laws that make them feel more secure. Slowly we allowed personal rights and freedoms to erode in exchange for a false sense of security. Columnist Naomi Wolf described 10 steps of fascism in writing about the Bush administration; current sex offender legislation follows her pattern as easily as the war on terror:
  1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy: It is obvious sex offenders are the most vilified members of our culture. In a recent billboard campaign asking “what’s forgivable ” in our society, the general consensus was sex offenders are unforgivable.
  2. Create a gulag: Janus has pointed out the sex offender is America’s degraded class complete with a separate set of legal rules registrants must follow. Laws regularly dictate where a person and live, work, or even worship. Few legislators are willing to speak out against these laws because it is political suicide , and mass media largely fails to acknowledge the negative consequences of these laws.
  3. Develop a thug caste: “The feds” were given increased jurisdiction under the Adam Walsh Act, which led to massive round-ups of registrants suspected of failure to meet strict reporting requirements. We’ve justified our laws and actions by claiming registrants are an imminent present threat, despite evidence that proves much of what we know about sex offenders is untrue.
  4. Set up an internal surveillance system: Megan’s Law has been in place for over a decade, and was “intended to increase awareness of dangerous sex offenders in the area.” “Big Registry” is big business, as companies are offering iPhone tracking applications, GPS devices and readers, and even microchip implants.
  5. Harass Citizen’s Groups: Those who speak out against these laws become targets of individual vigilantes, with the legal system rarely offering sanctions against those who assault registrants. In 2009, a Seattle woman received a mere 90 days for assault with a deadly weapon of a registrant; outraged citizens had organized and raised money for her $15,000 bail for a woman with a lengthy criminal record. Organizations that sometimes work with police (such as the controversial group “Perverted Justice”) have targeted individuals and groups that speak out against sex offender registries with no repercussions for wholesale harassment of civil rights activists.
  6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release: Civil commitment laws have rebounded in recent years. In 1997, the US Supreme Court ruled a person can be civilly confined under a relatively low standard of “personality disorder.” It has become nothing more than a means of detainment; since 1993, no one has ever graduated from Minnesota’s civil commitment centers.
  7. Target Key Individuals: Our fine legislators believe it to be “political suicide” to oppose tough sex crime measures. During a campaign to pass the Adam Walsh Act, America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh shamed would-be opponents to his bill by asking them if they were child molesters or had child porn on their computers. No one opposed the bill.
  8. Control the press: Mass media rarely offers opposing viewpoints to the sex offender laws. Even in our skeptical society, few question celebrity advocates like John Walsh no matter how often scandal and controversy plague him. John Walsh testified before Congress that our country is “littered with mutilated, decapitated, raped, strangled children” while claiming hundreds of thousands of kidnapped children every year. Yet the studies conducted in part by Walsh’s own lobbying contradicts him by proving “stereotypical kidnappings” are extremely rare; only 45 were killed or went permanently missing across the country per year. Mass media needs little goading because child abduction stories equal ratings; the media even called the summer months of 2002 the “summer of abduction” because of the amount of media attention based on the issue. For the most part, fueling the fear rather than objective reporting is the key.
  9. Dissent equals treason: If you oppose tough-on-crime measures, you are a “hug-a-thug” liberal, or worse, a closet pedophile. Politicians running for office in Omaha Nebraska were the targets of a flier campaign from the local police union claiming they allowed sex offenders to roam the streets; the campaign was retaliation for opposing viewpoints on police pensions. Another site targeted a Wylie, Texas Councilman and the Mayor for “supporting” a registrant. (for the children politics)
  10. Suspend the rule of law: For years, sex offender laws have been circumvented the Constitution because they were considered “regulatory” rather than “punitive.” The Adam Walsh Act was passed under “Suspension of the Rules ” without even enough members of the Senate to hold a quorum. Most of the provisions of the bill were added just minutes before the suspension of the rules vote. Not only did the vast majority of the US Senate failed to vote on the Adam Walsh Act, most of them had not even read the bill! Former US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez applied the rule retroactively using “Interim Rule,” which bypassed APA procedure due to “pressing emergency.”

This issue is not a matter of sympathy for those convicted of sex crimes. In an ideal society, they would be punished and receive treatment for their crimes, but also given a chance to be productive members of society after serving their sentences. Thanks to a perfect storm of moral panic, a society willing to surrender Constitutional safeguards for security, a Big Brother bureaucracy, and a “Big Registry” industry willing to further erode our civil rights, we are no closer to sex crime prevention but closer to an Orwellianrisk-alone” society.

In vetoing a bill that would exclude teens from registering for consensual sex with other teens within four years of each other, Texas Governor Rick Perry stated it was to “protect young victims.” Texas has over 4000 sex offenders listed on the public registry who were convicted as juveniles, many for consensual sex with other teens. How much are we willing to sacrifice to “save one child?


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin


AL - Alabama Legislature passes limit on housing sex offenders

Original Article

04/24/2010

By Val Walton

The Alabama Legislature has given approval to a bill that would limit the number of registered sex offenders living together in Jefferson County.

The bill, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Priscilla Dunn (pictured), D-Bessemer, and in the House by Rep. Oliver Robinson, D-Birmingham, now goes to Gov. Bob Riley (Contact) for his review.

The measure would bar landlords from housing more than one registered sex offender under one roof and would require offenders who live in an apartment complex to reside at least 100 yards from each other.

City officials in the western Jefferson County town of Mulga asked Dunn to sponsor the bill because a boarding house there has had as many as four offenders living there. State law prohibits offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or day care. Mulga has no schools or day care facilities.

"This bill is going to put many of the residents of Mulga at ease now," Dunn said. "I feel good about it. I was glad I was able to do this."
- I guess you would feel good about putting offenders in concentrations camps as well?

Mulga Mayor Dennis McCrary said he was "tickled to the death" that the bill passed the Legislature and is hoping the governor signs it into law.

McCrary said some residents were fearful knowing that multiple sex offenders were living at the boarding house on First Avenue with children so close by.
- Well, how does this bill fix that?  It doesn't, you just pushed offenders further a way from each other, which makes no sense at all.

"They just couldn't let their kids get out," he said. "They had to watch them every minute. They couldn't ride bicycles a block from their house."
- Give me a break, this law does nothing, really.

Rosie Parker, who owns the boarding house, said she has only one registered offender at her home now, her brother. "I was trying to help them out," Parker said.

Her brother, _____, said it was disappointing to learn that the bill had been approved. _____, 53, who was convicted in Texas of aggravated sexual assault, said he didn't think the bill was fair because "everybody deserves a second chance at life."

"I can understand how they feel, but I'm human, too," he said. "It creates a problem for those who are trying to resume a life."

The bill would affect 122 convicted sex offenders and 23 addresses in Jefferson County that would not be in compliance if it becomes law, including apartments, hotels, a ministry and at least two boarding houses, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

Sgt. Jacob Reach, who oversees the sheriff's office sex offender unit, said the boarding house was the only place in Mulga that housed multiple offenders. He said his office has two outstanding warrants for sex offenders who gave that address as a residence but no longer live there.

David Gespass, a Birmingham lawyer who is a cooperating attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (Contact), said he believes the legislation has the potential to create a cycle because the inability to provide a residence could cause many sex offenders to fail to register, which brings additional convictions and jail time.

The bill does contain some exceptions. A landlord would not be in violation if the registered sex offender is a spouse or child, or the owner of the property. The landlord would also not be in violation if a registered sex offender does not provide written notice of his prior convictions.

Dunn said there was no opposition to the bill. It would become effective three months after it becomes law.

A state law that passed in 2007 doesn't allow landlords in Birmingham to house more than one registered sex offender under the same roof.
- So why are they including the same in this bill?


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin


Nowhere to go - By Fenix

Video Link


LYRICS:
Eviction Notice On the Door, Says I’m not welcome anymore
I used to live underneath a bridge, Now it seems like a privilege
I Can’t live here and I Can’t Live There, Guess I can’t Live Anywhere
All my options taken away, By a man who wants me to pay

So Now I Got No Home...
So Now I Got No...

Nowhere to go, The Politicians say to me
Nowhere to go, That Everyone’s afraid of me
Nowhere to go, Will The People Ever See
The System’s Failing

Nowhere to go, The Media Wont Let Me Be
Nowhere to go, Now I’m a Public Enemy
Nowhere to go, Even Though They Say I’m Free
I’m Going Crazy

The Registry Well it Tells My Name, Now I hang my head in shame
Bossman told me I gotta Go, Cause Too many People Know
Without a job or a place to sleep, Statistics say I’ll become a creep
Sure is a reckless game you play, But I guess you wanted it that way

So Now I Got No Home...
So Now I Got No...

Nowhere to go, The Politicians say to me
Nowhere to go, That Everyone’s afraid of me
Nowhere to go, Will The People Ever See
The System’s Failing

I’m Going Crazy, Now....



"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin


CA - Chelsea's Law - GPS Tracking, Another Failure?

Also Available Here




"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin


FL - Ron Book continues to tick people off - Shorecrest residents unhappy about relocation of sex offenders

Original Article

You see, Ron Book moved the offenders from under the bridge, now he has several other fires to put out, and all he's going to do is, continue to shuffle the offenders around! And I wonder, is he going to continue to use tax payer money to do it?

04/23/2010

By TANIA VALDEMORO

Sex offenders? Not in my backyard, Miami residents tell their mayor and other city officials.

When the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust moved 96 convicted sex offenders from their camp under the Julia Tuttle Causeway to other parts of the county a few months ago, one of their destinations was Shorecrest, a neighborhood in the northernmost reaches of Miami's Upper Eastside.

Now, with 15 of the offenders in their midst, no one -- especially residents -- is happy about the situation.

People gave an earful to Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado (Email), City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff and Police Chief Miguel Exposito Wednesday at a packed town hall meeting at Legion Park.

"Right now the problem is we've had one of those 96 people reoffend," said Donna Milo, a Shorecrest resident. "How long until others reoffend?"

Since 2007, the Florida Department of Corrections sent the former convicts to stay under the Julia Tuttle Causeway because the former convicts had no place to live.

Tougher sex offender laws mushroomed after the murder of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford in 2005. Those laws barred the offenders from living within 2,500 feet of schools, parks and other places where children congregate.

In July 2009, the city of Miami sued the state for improperly allowing sex offenders to live too close to Picnic Island #4, a piece of land it considers a park. Later that month, the Homeless Trust began a plan to relocate them.
- This is an island in the middle of the water!

Complicating the situation, the Miami-Dade County Commission passed a measure this January that had repealed more than 24 different sex offender laws enacted by municipalities such as Miami.
- And how did repealing bad laws complicate things?

On Wednesday, Mayor Regalado acknowledged the city's hands were tied on this issue, but he pledged to ask the Homeless Trust to come up with a long-term plan for the former convicts.

"My belief is that these people should be moved to Homestead," the mayor said.
- And do you think the people there will appreciate it?  No matter where you move them, it's the same issue!  As long as you continue to not educate the public and spread fear and lies, and ignore the Constitution and your oath of office, this will continue!

He further urged residents to lobby their state representatives and senators to resolve the issue.

To date, 96 convicted sex offenders have been moved from the Julia Tuttle Causeway to other parts of Miami-Dade including Allapattah and Homestead, said Sergio Torres, the administrator of Miami's Homeless Assistance Program.

Exposito told the audience that he had undercover police monitoring them, but there were limits to what the police could do.

"We cannot be harassing these people or stopping them," the police chief said.

That provided little comfort to Shorecrest residents such as Chris Masciatti.

"Is monitoring really happening? Are they saying that to appease us or is it really happening?" he said.

"The issue residents are having is `Why Me?' " Masciatti said. "And we did not get any notice that they were coming."

He added: "We have residents in Shorecrest with children. They don't let their kids play outside anymore. Some of them are considering moving away."
- You have kids everywhere.  Like I said above, as long as the news media and politicians continue to fear-monger, this will always be a problem.  California has been playing the sex offender shuffle for many years now!  Looks like Florida is joining that trend.


"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin


OH - Akron residents concern over a halfway house

Video Link | The Exit Program



"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin