Monday, May 3, 2010

OK - Sex Offender Next Door?

Original Article

So, why aren't people contacting police if an offender is not living where they should? Why are they contacting the media instead? Notice the media ASSUMES he is living there, without any proof. Yep, typical disinformation and vigilantism.

05/03/2010

By Janna Clark

Sex offenders are supposed to register the address where they live. The idea is – if there’s a sex offender in your neighborhood – at least you know about it. But you may still have no idea there’s a sex offender right next door… because they register one address - but really live somewhere else.

FOX23's Janna Clark went to a Bixby neighborhood where parents say a sex offender is living, in proximity too close to children.
- In typical media vigilantism style, but without the pitch forks!

Buddy Atkinson, his wife Michelle, and their two teenage daughters – Shelby and Amanda – only walk their dogs when they’re all together… and only clutching a can of wasp spray.

But it’s not to get the wasps.

"We have a sex offender that lives next door," Buddy’s talking about 32-year-old _____. On his rap sheet - first-degree rape, lewd acts to a child, and indecent exposure. He’s been out of prison since 2007.

And neighbors here in Bixby say the three-time convicted sex offender is living here at his grandmother’s house… right next door to Buddy and his family.

Buddy says most of the time his family stays inside the house.

"I sleep with one eye open because there’s a sex offender next door peeking through the mini-blinds. It’s pretty scary because usually a rapist will rape again and it could be any one of us."
- Peeking through the blinds? Now that is funny!

They want _____ gone. They say he’s not supposed to live here. He isn’t registered here.

He’s actually registered at this apartment in East Tulsa. Janna knocked on the door, but no one answered.

She talked to a next-door neighbor who recognized _____’s picture. But he says in the last couple months he’s only seen _____ a couple of times.
- So it appears, from these statements, that he is not actually living there, but visiting, there is a big difference.

"Would you say he lives here or doesn’t?"

"I’d say doesn’t," says the neighbor.

Back in Bixby, Buddy says he and his neighbors have called police to try to get rid of _____..

"We've tried everything and the simple fact is he has more rights than us."
- Yeah, right! So is he actually living there or not?  If he is not, but is just visiting, then he has every right to do so, and that is probably why nobody has done anything.

Buddy even got a surveillance camera

"I don’t trust the man. I need something to help keep an eye on him."

He hopes to prove _____ lives at the Bixby address.

"If I could afford to hire a PI I’d do that and have him followed."

Buddy says _____ stays under the radar… and hides his pickup in his grandma’s garage. Buddy catches it on tape.
- So if this is true, then where is the taped evidence?

"She can move her car and then move his truck out. Part of the time he hides and part of the time it’s a game to him. He’s either in his vehicle staring at us or he’s looking at us through the mini-blinds."

When Janna knocked on the door, a woman answered.

"I’m looking for _____." 'He doesn’t live here.'

"Neighbors have some concerns about him living here." 'I have nothing to say.'
- Then contact the police and let the police do their job, stop being vigilantes!

I called a U.S. Marshal who checks up on registered sex offenders.

Will Kinnebrew says U.S. Marshals checked on _____ at his registered address in Tulsa a month ago, and _____ was there – and not too happy that our camera was there too.

He says sheriff’s deputies checked on _____ as well, and he was there again.

Kinnebrew sympathizes with the Bixby neighbors… but says when authorities do random checks and the sex offenders are where they’re supposed to be.. there’s not much else authorities can do.

Meanwhile, Buddy says he feels like a prisoner trapped in his own home.
- That is because you are letting fear get to you.  Go talk with the man, live your life!

"I’m just trying to live my life like anybody else is. Bixby's a great little town. It’s unfortunate we got what we got next door."

Authorities tell me they have asked _____ about staying at this home in Bixby. He says he only comes here to visit. And when asked about hiding his truck in the garage, he said he only did that after someone scratched the word “rapist” on his truck.
- And if he is only visiting, then what business is it of anyone, what he does or doesn't do? Get a life folks!


NJ - Principal to parents: Take kids off Facebook

Original Article

04/30/2010

By Jason Kessler

(CNN) -- In a move likely to earn him few Facebook friend requests from tweens, a New Jersey middle school principal is calling for parents to yank their children from all social-networking sites.

Anthony Orsini sent an e-mail blast to the Benjamin Franklin Middle School community in Ridgewood, New Jersey, on Wednesday, urging parents to take down their children's online profiles on Facebook and elsewhere.

"There is absolutely no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site!," he wrote. "Let me repeat that - there is absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site!"

After issuing a rallying cry --"It is time for every single member of the [school] Community to take a stand!" -- Orsini enumerated the reasons he opposes social-networking by his students.

The main problem, he wrote, is that tweens do not have the resilience to withstand internet name-calling.

"They are simply not psychologically ready for the damage that one mean person online can cause," he said.

His school's guidance counselors for years now have been mediating spats that originated online, Orsini said. The last straw for him was students' growing use of Formspring, a social-networking upstart where members ask and answer questions about one another.

Orsini singled out the site for scorn in his e-mail to Ben Franklin Middle School parents, calling it a "scourge" that exists "simply to post mean things about people anonymously."

"The nicest thing you see [on it] is, 'Jane is a slut,'" he said In a phone interview with CNN.

Formspring did not reply to a request for comment on the principal's campaign.

A Facebook spokesman pointed out that many middle school-age children are formally barred from the site. "We prohibit children under the age of 13 from using Facebook both for safety reasons and to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act," the spokesman said.
- Facebook's Terms Of Service says people under 13 are not allowed to use the site, but that doesn't mean kids won't lie.

In his e-mail, Orsini also warned parents that the casual cruelty of an unsupervised 12-year-old online is a more realistic threat to their children than the oft-raised specter of sexual predators.

"The threat to your son or daughter from online adult predators is insignificant compared to the damage that children at this age constantly and repeatedly do to one another through social networking sites," he wrote.

In recent years Facebook, MySpace and other social-networking sites have been blamed for the suicides of teenage girls in Missouri, Massachusetts and New York. Parents complained the girls were traumatized by nasty comments posted on the sites.

Inez Bunza, the parent of a student at the Ridgewood, New Jersey, school, said she agreed with the principal's point, but her daughter was "completely up in arms" when she broached the possibility of shutting down her Facebook account Wednesday. She said she remains hopeful they can hammer out "an amicable solution."

Orsini says that, on the whole, parental response to his e-mail has been overwhelmingly positive, and that parents as far away as Israel and Korea have e-mailed him to say, "thank you for saying something."

Fans of Orsini's zero-tolerance philosophy toward student social-networking can also friend him on Facebook, of which he is a member.


GA - Former UGA quarterback Mettenberger pleads guilty to sexual battery

Original Article

05/03/2010

By Tim Tucker

Former University of Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery stemming from a March 7 incident in a bar in Remerton, Ga., near Valdosta.

Mettenberger entered the plea in Lowndes County Superior Court and was sentenced under the Georgia First Offender Act to 12 months probation and 80 hours of community service. He also was fined $2,000 and banished from Valdosta for a year.

Southern Judicial Circuit District Attorney J. David Miller said the sexual battery charges “were the result of Mettenberger grabbing the breasts and touching the buttocks” of a 20-year-old female Valdosta State University student in the bar.

Mettenberger, kicked off the Georgia team on April 18, originally was arrested outside the bar on five other misdemeanor charges. Miller said those charges — underage possession of alcohol, disorderly conduct, obstruction and two counts of possessing false identification -– were dismissed as part of the negotiated plea to the more serious charge that surfaced during the subsequent investigation.

Miller said the Remerton Police Department and the victim “were satisfied with this resolution.” As part of the sentence, Mettenberger is forbidden from having direct or indirect contact with the victim. He also is forbidden from being any place where alcoholic beverages are sold during the term of his probation.

Miller said the misdemeanor offense to which Mettenberger pleaded guilty will not require him to register as a sex offender.

Mettenberger, in a written statement released through his Valdosta attorney, said he “took full responsibility” for his actions.

I first want to apologize to the young lady my actions most directly affected, and I hope that by me accepting responsibility for my actions that she can move on with her life,” Mettenberger said in the statement.

I would also like to apologize to my family, friends, teammates, the coaching staff and the University of Georgia. Though it was very uncharacteristic of me to act the way I did, I still accept full responsibility for this event. I deeply regret my actions of that night and can assure that these actions will never happen again. I intend to do everything in my power to restore my image and rebuild the trust people had in me before.”

Mettenberger, 18, also expressed hope that he may get “a second chance” to play football at another college. “I hope to have another opportunity to demonstrate to everyone that I have learned a tremendously hard lesson and will make the most of any other opportunity,” he said.

Mettenberger’s attorney, Zachary R. Cowart, said his client would not comment beyond the statement. “He has accepted full responsibility for his actions and has suffered public humiliation and lost the ability to play football for the University of Georgia,” Cowart said in an e-mail.

Miller said that under the First Offender Act, Mettenberger’s record will be cleared if he successfully completes probation.

Mettenberger, a graduate of Oconee County High School, was kicked off the Georgia team before playing in a game for the Bulldogs. He was redshirted as a freshman last fall and was in a three-way competition for the starting quarterback job in spring practice, which concluded on April 10, eight days before Mettenberger was tossed from the team for what coach Mark Richt called a violation of team rules.


DE - Feds recognize Delaware's work to go after child predators

Original Article

05/03/2010

Wilmington - Delaware has become just the second state in the country to achieve compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act.

This recognition by the federal government reflects the significant steps Delaware has taken in recent years to strengthen the fight against criminals who prey on children, Attorney General Beau Biden (Contact) said.

The State Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Delaware State Police, and members of the General Assembly worked with the Department of Justice to enact legislation that brought Delaware into compliance with the Adam Walsh Act, Biden said. The agencies has have an ongoing partnership to track offenders and investigate and prevent sex crimes.

We will never stop fighting to get these criminals off the streets and away from our children,” Biden said.
- Well you will be fighting for a very, very long time.

The U.S. Department of Justice recently determined that Delaware has substantially implemented the provisions of the sex offender registration and notification provisions of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. The Act aligns sex offender registry standards across the states and asks states to place the burden of proof on convicted sex offenders.

Biden created the Delaware Department of Justice Child Predator Unit and established the Delaware Child Predator Task Force in partnership with the Delaware State police. He has fought for tougher sex offender registry laws and led the effort to enact greater penalties for child pornography offenses. As a result of these efforts, over $1.3 million in federal grant funding has already been secured to expand Delaware’s fight against child predators.
- Wow, $1.3 million?  It's going to cost a lot more than that to be completely compliant.

Under current federal rules, states that fail to substantially implement these provisions by July 26 stand to lose 10 percent of their annual federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funding.
- Thus it's a bribe!

Biden’s office is overseeing the prosecution of former Lewes, Del. pediatrician Dr. _____, who is accused of raping or sexually abusing 103 children at his office.


CA - County’s sex offenders in clusters

Original Article

Of course they are going to live in clusters! The very laws being passed make it so offenders can only live in certain places. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out.

05/03/2010

By Matthew T. Hall

Concentrations exist from Vista to San Ysidro

The Country Creek RV Resort in East County promises tenants “peace of mind and security.”

The Baltic Inn bills itself as “the perfect place to begin exploring San Diego’s thrilling downtown” and the ideal spot for singles, retirees, students and tourists.

Neither place promotes its popularity with another class of residents: registered sex offenders.

Twelve live at the Baltic, a 200-room apartment building that also serves as a youth hostel near Petco Park. Seven live at Country Creek, a gated, 127-unit RV park in unincorporated El Cajon.

They form two of the largest clusters of sex offenders in San Diego County, according to a review of the state Megan’s Law database.

The clusters exist from Vista to San Ysidro, often in low-rent apartments and motels in less prosperous areas. The pockets are driven partly by residency restrictions that limit where sex offenders can live.

The residency issue sets the safety of numerous California neighborhoods against the rights of one of the most reviled segments of society.

Every time a child gets hurt, this issue rises again,” said Debra Carlton, spokeswoman for the California Apartment Association and its 50,000 owners and operators.

Eight sex offenders live among 63 units at an apartment complex on Broadway in Lemon Grove. In Vista, 21 live in four apartment complexes within 40 yards of one another on South Santa Fe Avenue, and 12 others call a place on Palmyra Drive home. In south San Diego, four hotels on a 2 ½-mile stretch of San Ysidro Boulevard house 13 sex offenders.

The Peachtree Inn, with 300 efficiency units in downtown San Diego, houses 13.

At the Country Creek RV Resort, Edward and Sally Eboch, who have lived there for nearly four years, say the presence of so many sex offenders doesn’t bother them.

They paid their dues for what they did,” Sally Eboch said. “They deserve a second chance and to be left alone.”

But Mike Nelson, 48, feels he should walk female neighbors to the convenience store at night, and Lee Braun, 56, doesn’t let her young grandchildren visit.

Braun knew there was one sex offender in the RV park because a law enforcement official notified her of his arrival more than a year ago. But she didn’t know there were seven.

I wanted to bring my kids swimming here this summer, but I’m not going to do it now,” she said. “Not with seven.”

RV park manager Sylvia Golden said new tenants are notified of the state’s sex offender registry in rental agreements, but that’s where management’s actions end.

They do have to live somewhere,” Golden said. “And they don’t give no one no trouble.”

Will Newbern, president and CEO of the Tom Hom Group, which operates the Peachtree downtown, said tenants are accepted based solely on income, credit and past rental history to avoid running afoul of fair-housing rules.

You have your personal feelings,” Newbern said. “But on the other hand, you’re stuck with what the law says. What are you going to do?

He said the studios inside the Peachtree house mostly single men and no children and that he wasn’t aware of complaints from tenants about sex offenders.

For years, lawyers have advised California apartment owners not to screen potential tenants through the sex offender registry or evict them based on their status.

There are arguments on both sides of allowing offenders to live in proximity to one another. Large groups can be easier for law enforcement to monitor. Offenders who want to stay out of trouble might be more likely to know the rules and alert the authorities to misbehavior by a peer.

But the concentrated living arrangements also put parents and others on edge.

Three weeks ago, angry Anaheim residents complained at a City Council meeting about 11 sex offenders living at two locations in their neighborhood.

We need a law,” Natalie Barker said. “We need something where we can get together and just get these guys out of our city and out of our community so our children can play again, so they can feel safe going door to door on Halloween and spending the evenings outside, so please help us.”
- We have a law, and offenders are everywhere, so are murderers, gang members, drug dealers, DUI offenders and many other criminals, why are you not freaking out about them as well?  Oh yeah, sex offenders are the easy targets, the modern day scapegoat!

On the other side of the argument, Bill Naler, a spokesman for Holy Ground Christian Fellowship, which runs the two group homes, said it’s better to house offenders than add them to the hundreds of transients in the area.

Many of these offenders do want to change their lives,” Naler said.

This year, a bill stalled in the Legislature that would have barred sex offenders from living in hotels and motels and would have restricted the number that could live in apartments to 10 percent of their room capacity.

Two years ago, legislators scuttled a related bill that would have required a panel of volunteers to analyze the rental housing options for registered sex offenders and explore the effect of allowing landlords to refuse to rent to them because of their status.

Jill Levenson, a professor at Lynn University in Florida and a leading researcher of sex offender residency, said higher numbers of registrants in small areas and a spike in homeless sex offenders are unintended consequences of the residency restrictions created by Jessica’s Law in 2006, which put many places off-limits.

Sex offenders are naturally going to cluster in the areas that are compliant,” Levenson said. “What do we expect? Where do we think they are going to live?

The numbers of offenders both in apartments and living on the street are likely to grow because California lists 118,000 registered sex offenders; 22,000 are in prison. There are limited places to house offenders because of the 2,000-foot restriction in Jessica’s Law on how close many can live to schools and parks.

A survey done by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office in late 2006 found the restrictions set three out of four residential parcels in San Diego County off-limits to sex offenders.

Two sex offenders interviewed for this report declined to be named. They said they do the best they can, given residency restrictions. And they said they aren’t necessarily aware of other offenders who are neighbors.

The state estimates that at least 1,000 paroled sex offenders are living in hotels and more than 5,000 others are homeless, up sharply from the dozens who registered as transients before Jessica’s Law took effect.

The law has triggered legal challenges since its passage, and residency restrictions have come under even more scrutiny after the murders of two North County teenagers by convicted sex offender John Albert Gardner III. Before the killings, Gardner was homeless for nearly four months and had lived too close to a school in a parole violation that was allowed to stand for two years.

A panel of experts on the California Sex Offender Management Board noted in its final report on the Gardner case on Friday, “There is no evidence that restricting where sex offenders live will prevent repeat sexual offending against children.”

The panel is calling for targeted restrictions against high-risk child molesters instead of the broader bans against all sexual offenders.

Levenson, the residency researcher, said neighborhood concerns must be balanced against decades of criminal justice research that show stable housing, employment and family support are the best ways to prevent recidivism.

Probably most of us would like it if we didn’t live near any convicted criminals,” Levenson said. “If we say they can’t live in my neighborhood, are we saying children in other neighborhoods are less important?


GA - Allen Hunt - Radio show audio pertaining to sex offender laws and issues



  • To Catch A High Schooler

    Fri, Apr 9, 2010 - Lakeland is in the news again and I am afraid once again I am a bit ashamed of my hometown - and more specifically the Sheriff of my hometown. Two high school seniors were, well lets say "parking," with their two freshman girlfriends. And according to the Sheriff, this offense constitutes 15-20 years in prison and lifetime registry as sex offenders because the boys were 18 and the girls were 15. Once again the Sheriff of Lakeland shows absolutely no judgment whatsoever and the parents of the two girls are also not on my good list right about now either.
  • No Penalty Equals No Arrest For Sex Offender

    Thu, Mar 11, 2010 - A convicted sex offender is not suppose to live within a certain distance of a school in California. But he is doing so anyways. And no one is arresting him. Why? Because their is no real punishment for breaking that law. Once again proving that our laws towards and handling of sex offenders in this country is so inconsistent and ridiculous.
  • San Diego Rape and Murder

    Fri, Mar 5, 2010 - A young woman was abducted while jogging in a park and subsequently raped and murdered. People in San Diego are calling for the death penalty and proves this is why we should have stricter laws regarding sex offenders. Both those stances are wrong. This situation is a tragic, but shouldn't be used to establish precedent.
  • Sex Offenders Revisited

    Wed, Feb 10, 2010 - We did a show the other day on Sex Offenders under a bridge and I was amazed at the email and voicemail volume afterward. So I decided to revisit the topic to allow those not in markets we are live in to get their voice heard (most were not happy with me).
  • It Isn't Just Trolls Under Bridges These Days

    Wed, Feb 3, 2010 - There is a new leper colony of sorts under a bridge in Miami. But they aren't lepers, they are sex offenders. The draconian sex offender laws prohibit them from living in so many places, that the only place that is safe for them to live is under a bridge. This is wrong. We need to provide these people an opportunity to reacclimate to our society.
  • High School Sex Offenders

    Wed, Dec 16, 2009 - Here we go again. Another case of a 17-year old registered for life as a sex offender because he had consensual sex with his 15-year old girlfriend. I am not an advocate for teens having sex, but this is ridiculous. These people should not be in the same category of violent child rapists. But they are.
  • Halloween's Not Good for Sex Offenders

    Thu, Oct 22, 2009 - I have asked it before, but I am asking it again. Why are sex offenders the modern day scarlet letter? Why is their crime so beyond all the other crimes that we must continue to punish them after they have served their time.
  • Sex Offenders in Church

    Thu, Oct 8, 2009 - This week was another example of the controversy on sex offenders being allowed in church. Frankly, that's exactly where they should be. Sure, not serving with children. Not in leadership positions. But they should be encouraged to be there.
  • De-Baptizing

    Sat, Aug 22, 2009 - My listeners send me the most interesting news stories. Something that stuck me recently was the phenomenon of "de-baptizing." How do you leave something like the Church or a marriage or a career or what-have-you, well? Do you cut ties gracefully or do you burn bridges all out? Also, in this hour we talk about other assorted topics such as John Edwards' love child adoption saga, a church in Michigan winning the lottery, a shelter that turns away sex offenders, and whatever else you want to talk about tonight. Open mic night folks--let's begin the conversation, shall we?
  • Sex Offender Law Shoot Down

    Sat, Apr 4, 2009 - A Federal Judge must agree with me because this past week he shot down a law requiring registered sex offenders from living 1000-feet from where kids congregate as being unconstitutional. Finally! Do we not realize that if we let these people out of prisons, we owe it to them to reestablish themselves in society. How does it help anyone forcing them "underground." Join the conversation as we look at forgiveness and redemption for people who rarely get it.
  • The Scarlett Letter: Halloween Version

    Sun, Oct 26, 2008 - We've done the show before, but the topic came up again in a new way this week. I am convinced that the scarlet letter in our society is sex offense. We punish these criminals and then we release them, but unlike other felonies, we don't let them live their lives. This year in Maryland, law makers are requiring sex offenders to display a bright orange pumpkin with the phrase no candy here. Come on people. If we as a society think that sex offenders is that heinous of a crime, then we should lock them up for life. But if we let them out, let them live there lives. Join the discussion - one where I am sure I will get a berating.
  • Should Sex Offenders Be Allowed to Serve in Church?

    Sat, Jun 28, 2008 - I came across a law this week that was enacted in Georgia that forbids anyone convicted of a sex crime from serving in their local church. Give me a break. Now the government is telling the church who can and cannot serve in the church. Don't get me wrong, I don't want sex offenders serving in Children's ministry. But the church is a rehabilitation center more than it is a tea party. Join the conversation as we look at who should be serving at our churches.
  • Sex Offender Mayor

    Sat, Mar 29, 2008 - Did you see the case of the mayoral candidate in Texas who is a convicted sex offender...sort of. He pleaded guilty and worked out an parole agreement with the prosecutor so that he wasn't a felon and didn't serve jail time. But here is the kicker: he is running for mayor. Needless to say, it has been quite the controversy. So do you think you could live in a town with a sex offender as mayor? Join the conversation.
  • Sorry, But You Got to Move

    Sat, Jun 9, 2007 - Anthony Mann is a convicted sex offender. He served his time. He followed the law when looking to find a place to live and work after prison. He settled down, obeyed the law, but now is being told he needs to vacate his home and his business because two separate child day care centers are being constructed within 1,000 feet of his home. This is ridiculous folks. Where is forgiveness? Where is the fairness? If we are going to let them out of prison, then we need to give them a chance.


CSOM - The Comprehensive Approach to Sex Offender Management

PDF Document