Thursday, July 14, 2011

PA - Sex Offender Lives In Tent Near River

This is a major problem in almost all states. You can see more examples, other than the video below, at these YouTube channels (here and here).


LA - Laws On Sex Offenders, Abuse Of Elderly Strengthened

Original Article

07/14/2011

BENTON - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was in Bossier Parish on Wednesday, where he signed a series of bills dealing with sex offenders, human trafficking and abuse of the elderly.

One bill signed by the governor at a ceremony at the courthouse prohibits registered sex offenders from getting on social networking sites like facebook and chat rooms.

Another new law makes the penalties for sexually abusing the elderly and the disabled the same as the penalty for abusing children. Currently, a person convicted of sexual battery or sexual battery of the infirm faces up to 10 years in prison. The minimum sentence for sexual battery of a child under the age of 13 is 25 years.

Scarlet Letter
Jindal also signed a bill passed by the Legislature that makes it a violation of a sex offender's registration requirements if they fail to have a driver's license or identification card with "sex offender" labeled on it.

Louisiana's previous human trafficking laws criminalize the actions of the human trafficker, but do not address the actions of a person who knowingly facilitates the crime. Another new law equalizes the penalty for the person who helps the human trafficker.


RI - Law makes sexting illegal for minors

Original Article

07/13/2011

By Parker Gavigan

PROVIDENCE - Computers and cell phones: it's how adults communicate and it's how children communicate too, sometimes getting into adult-like trouble by "sexting" questionable photos that spread like wildfire online.

"I don't think they realize the impact at the age they are. They don't realize the implications it can have when they get older -- looking for a job because it doesn't go away," said parent Debbie Doeg of Coventry.

A new Rhode Island law allows police to charge anyone under the age of 18 for creating and sending a sexually explicit photo of themselves, and there are stiffer penalties for those who may send that photo on to someone else.

"If a person who receives that sexually explicit image of an underage person sends it out to friends or family, posts it on websites, they could be charged under the state's child pornography laws and could have to register as a sex offender," said Amy Kempe, spokeswoman for state Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.

It's the hope of Kilmartin that parents and their children make a pact and sign an agreement when it comes to what they post online or send over the phone.

"I think they definitely had to do something about it. I mean it's getting out of hand, getting crazy the things they put on Facebook as well. I agree with it. Something had to be done," Doeg said.


OK - Lawmakers to study sex offender registry

Original Article
Related Article

It's about time these people, who are ruining hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives, look into the registry!

07/14/2011

By James Coburn

EDMOND — State Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Edmond, will participate in an interim study on the state’s sex offender registry.

House Speaker Kris Steele, R-Shawnee, announced Friday that the House will conduct a total of 80 interim studies this fall.

Moore’s study is combined with another study by state Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, D-Tulsa, to investigate the implementation of the Adam Walsh Act and its impact on public safety.

The AWA calls for increased monitoring, registration and jurisdiction of registrants.

Moore calls the sex offender registry the Forever Registry, because a small fraction of the offenders are 18-year-old males who land on the registry because they had sexual relations with a younger teenage female.

That’s not very good,” he said.

Another questionable scenario that places somebody on the registry would be a guy driving home from a ball game with a painful bladder, needing to relieve himself. So he decides to pull off on the side of the highway to discreetly relieve himself.

He is charged with indecent exposure,” Moore said.

The study also will study if sex offenders should be located in group settings. He said sex offenders in an Oklahoma City group setting were reporting each other’s offenses in order to keep each other honest.
- And yet politicians and the media continually hound hotels/motels when two or more are living near each other or together, when makes things worse.

It’s not like a jail where you learn worse things,” Moore said. “I guess in a certain way it does help them, but nobody wants that kind of conglomerate near their home, school or park. I can understand that.”

Seventy-six percent of Oklahoma City is off-limits to sex offenders,” Moore said. “It’s not quite as bad as it is in Florida and places where they have to live under bridges as homeless people. But if we break up some of these communities, that’s what will end up happening."

Moore said group settings make it easier for law enforcement to keep track of sex offenders living in society. Reforming the sex offender registry is not something that a lot of lawmakers want to face, Moore said.

Edmond Family Counseling Executive Director Jackie Shaw said she is glad Moore is introducing the interim study.

It seems obvious to me that we as a society have a long way to go in understanding the makeup of a true sex offender, the types of offenders and the prognosis of the offender regarding treatment and recidivism,” Shaw said.
- Well, you might first start off by listening to experts who treat sex offenders, not people like Nancy Disgrace or Jane Valez-Mitchell, who run on emotions for sensationalism and ratings.

Increases in reporting sex offenders also results in more sex offenders in the criminal justice system, Shaw said. So more sex offenders return to communities after being paroled or serving their sentences, Shaw said.

This leaves probation and parole in a uniquely critical situation,” Shaw said. “They must monitor those sex offenders on parole while protecting our communities.
- Well, that was suppose to be their job, not they just let the Gestapo FBI and Marshalls storm buildings to show boat, instead of the probation/parole doing their own jobs.

Shaw hopes lawmakers will be able to determine more effective, efficient ways to manage this problem, she said.

Sex offenders can be healed physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, Moore said. So the study would investigate how sex offenders can best interact with society, family and work. How to prevent more people becoming sex offenders will be a focus of the study, he said.
- For starters, you remove the residency restrictions, which do not work, then take the registry offline and used by police only, that would help tremendously.

Learning about it especially if you’re a family, public awareness of different behaviors, attitudes and that kind of thing — can that help? Yes,” Moore said. “And this is a huge deal, but is cleaning up the Internet going to help? Absolutely. … To what extent? I don’t know.”

Moore said he understands the importance of free speech in the U.S. But he said pornography feeds sex offenses.

You can speed up the path of depravity faster by feeding these things,” Moore said.


CA - S.F. weighs protecting ex-cons seeking homes, jobs (As usual, ex-sex offenders are excluded)

Original Article

07/13/2011

Ex-convicts may soon become a "protected class" in San Francisco - joining African Americans, Latinos, gays, transgender people, pregnant women and the disabled.

A proposal being circulated at City Hall would make it illegal for landlords and employers to discriminate against applicants solely because they were "previously incarcerated."

Sex offenders and perpetrators of some violent crimes would not be covered.
- Discrimination is discrimination, and that is exactly what this is.

It would also be illegal to ask anyone about their criminal past on an initial job or housing application.

"The mechanics still need to be worked out," said Supervisor and sheriff candidate Ross Mirkarimi.

"This is a very important discussion on the eve of an immense state prisoner realignment that's going to return hundreds of prisoners back to San Francisco," Mirkarimi said.

Ex-cons already are a protected class when it comes to applying for a city job or seeking to live in housing run by the San Francisco Housing Authority.

Recently, however, the Reentry Council of San Francisco - made up of representatives of the mayor's office, the Police Department, the district attorney's office, the Sheriff's Department, the Adult Probation Department and ex-convicts - adopted a resolution urging the city to apply the special status to the private sector as well.

Janan New of the San Francisco Apartment Association condemned the idea, saying state and federal law already prohibits landlords from "arbitrarily discriminating" against applicants.

"When somebody comes to rent housing, we have the ability ... to screen someone based only on the ability to pay rent," New said.

Now, by creating a newly protected class of citizens, New fears the city will unfairly open the door to "where people can litigate because they say, 'You're discriminating because I'm an ex-felon.' "

"Trust me - I recognize the concern," said District Attorney and former Police Chief George Gascón, who backs the plan. "But if we want to reduce the likelihood of people going back to prison, then we have to provide them with an opportunity to reintegrate themselves."
- Exactly, yet you are not allowing ex-offenders this same chance, so that proves you want all sex offenders back in prison, IMO.

The city's Human Rights Commission is preparing to hold hearings on the proposal next week.

Last chance: After a last-ditch meeting that went nowhere, it's game on for the big pension reform fight.

"We're going to take it all the way to the finish line," Public Defender Jeff Adachi said after his Monday afternoon sit-down with Supervisor Sean Elsbernd and union leaders went south.

Adachi's price for keeping his plan off the ballot was a "safety valve" that he wanted inserted into City Hall's proposal. Under it, city workers would contribute more to their pensions than they have already agreed to if the stock market fails to perform to projections.

The idea was pretty much a nonstarter.

With that, Adachi went over to City Hall and submitted 72,640 signatures to qualify his measure for the November ballot.

Headed east: A delegation of state and regional transit officials jetted over to Shanghai for a $200,000 celebration of the final fabrication of the new Bay Bridge eastern span.

Workers at Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co. were still putting some final touches this week on sections of the $6.3 billion span, wrapping up five years of outsourced - and sometimes troubled - bridge production.

Over the weekend, bridge contractors led by American Bridge-Fluor hosted a giant hamburger and hot dog barbecue for hundreds of Chinese workers at the main plant.
- Are all these Chinese workers here legally?

Contractors picked up a $150,000 tab for this and other parties - thanks, no doubt, to your toll bridge dollars.

The Bay Area Toll Authority footed a $50,000 party bill, plus an estimated $22,500 for flights and hotels for seven of its commission and staff members - plus two California Transportation Commission reps - to attend.

Caltrans, which has had as many as 65 workers in China for the past five years, insists nobody made a special trip from Sacramento just for the celebration.

In the grove: Retired U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who struck down the state's voter-approved same-sex marriage ban, will join San Francisco Giants CEO William Neukom, filmmaker Ken Burns, former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson and ex-Secretaries of State James Baker and George Shultz as speakers at the annual Bohemian Grove bash this month.

On a lighter note, Peter Sagal, host of NPR's "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me," is speaking on "Lord Rochester's Joke and the Flaw in Bohemia."

One tell-tale sign of the secretive July 14-31 gathering will be the stream of private jets landing at Santa Rosa Airport, and the procession of black limousines shuttling big-shot CEOs to the 2,700-acre redwood forest encampment along the Russian River.


TX - The Accidental Sex Offender

Original Article

07/13/2011

By Abigail Pesta

It was a classic teenage love story. He was a football star, and she was a cheerleader. They met, they fell in love, they started having sex. And then the cops got involved. Fifteen years later, they're still paying the price.

[ex-offender name withheld] cannot coach his children's soccer teams. He can't get a job at a major corporation. He can't leave the state without registering with local law enforcement. A married father of four girls, he is a convicted sex offender. Neighbors can find his name and address on a public registry online.

His crime? Sleeping with his high school sweetheart 15 years ago. At the time, [ex-offender name withheld] was 19 years old, a recent high school graduate in the town of Caldwell, Texas. That's when he first had sex with [girlfriend], his future wife. The two had been dating for nearly a year; the sex was consensual. However, the legal age of consent in Texas is 17, and [girlfriend] was just shy of 16. [girlfriend]'s mother, worried that her daughter's relationship with [ex-offender name withheld] was getting too serious, reported [ex-offender name withheld] to the police. She expected the cops to issue a warning, but instead she set in motion a legal nightmare from which [ex-offender name withheld] would never recover. He became a registered sex offender — for life.

Today, [girlfriend], 30, and [ex-offender name withheld], 34, both say they unequivocally support laws that put sexual predators behind bars and protect children from attacks. "The registry isn't a bad thing," says [girlfriend]. "It's a good thing. It's just that [ex-offender name withheld] shouldn't be on it."

[girlfriend] and [ex-offender name withheld]'s predicament is not an isolated incident. Across the country, young lovers are increasingly finding themselves caught in the nation's complicated web of sex-offender laws. Teenagers wind up on the public sex-offender registry, alongside violent predators, pedophiles, and child pornographers, for having consensual sex with an underage partner (or, sometimes, for streaking or sexting — sending racy self-portraits, which can be considered child pornography). The stigma of the sex-offender label is difficult to shed: "Once you're on the registry, good luck trying to explain it," says Sarah Tofte, who has studied sex-offender laws for the nonprofit group Human Rights Watch. "It's like you're in prison proclaiming your innocence. People think, Right, that's a likely story. Especially potential employers."

There are now more than 650,000 registered sex offenders nationwide. There are no reliable statistics on the number of juveniles — but the problem is clearly on the rise. Each of the 50 states now has at least one grassroots group dedicated to getting young people — many high school age, but some under the age of 10 — off the registry. The effort includes judges and other legal experts who say they have seen the problem often enough to persuade them that the system needs adjustment.

Still, the problem is poorly understood. Partly out of embarrassment, some parents don't want to talk about this issue — even as they work to try to remove their own children from the registry. To get some answers as to the extent of the problem, we conducted our own survey, state by state. What we found: Not all states register juveniles, and of the 34 that do, only 23 keep track of the number of juveniles on the registry. In those 23 states, there are nearly 23,000 registered juveniles. No states monitor whether the number of juveniles is on the rise or not, but one state, Oregon, provided an estimate, reporting a 70 percent jump in that state since 2005.

Undoubtedly, some of the juveniles on the list are guilty of violent sexual crimes. The grassroots movement is trying to help a different group of people: high school students who get labeled as sex offenders for teenage sexual behavior that can be technically criminal, but which, activists argue, should fall into a different category. Under the current system, kids' futures are being ruined, says William C. Buhl, a recently retired Michigan circuit judge who became an activist after overseeing 12 convictions of teenagers for consensual sex. Says Buhl, "What we have done, to young men, mostly, is destroy their lives, for somewhat common behavior."

[girlfriend] remembers the night that sparked her embattled future — the night she first met [ex-offender name withheld]. At a mutual friend's house one evening on spring break, she and [ex-offender name withheld] began chatting, and quickly clicked. She was a 15-year-old freshman in high school, a self-described "clumsy" cheerleader. He was an 18-year-old football star, a confident, outgoing high school senior. They soon began calling each other every day. At the time, [girlfriend] lived with her mother, stepfather, and four siblings on the grounds of a church camp that the family ran in Caldwell, a town of around 3,500 people.

"[ex-offender name withheld] was different," [girlfriend] says. "He would pick flowers for me at the bus stop and bring them to school. At lunch, he came and sat with my friends and me, not with the guys." After nearly a year together, she and [ex-offender name withheld] had sex. They had no idea about crime or the consequences. "We were just madly in love," says [girlfriend], while standing on the sidelines of a soccer game in Caldwell on a windy Saturday morning. Watching her 11-year-old daughter, Analissa, bounce around the field, she adds, "Everyone was doing it."

When [girlfriend] admitted to her mother, Melissa Ostman, that she was sleeping with [ex-offender name withheld], tension flared. Ostman didn't think her daughter was ready for a sexual relationship, and the two began arguing frequently. "It's just that [girlfriend] was so young," Ostman says. "I liked [ex-offender name withheld] from day one, but I wanted them to cool off."

One night, after [girlfriend] and her mother had yet another argument, Ostman snapped. "[girlfriend] and [ex-offender name withheld] were supposed to bring her sister home from the fair, but they left her there and went off together," she says. "I said, 'That's it.' I was getting so mad." Fed up after months of feuding, she says, she drove her daughter to the police station that night and reported [ex-offender name withheld] for having sex with a minor. "It was the only thing I could think of to get [girlfriend] to listen to me," she says. "I wanted her to know I was serious." She thought the police would simply scare [ex-offender name withheld], giving him a stern warning. "If I had known the implications," she says, "I wouldn't have done it."

[girlfriend] remembers the police interrogation. "The sheriff said I had to give a statement," she says. "I refused." The officer told [girlfriend] she could be arrested, she says, so she replied: "Arrest me." Then, thinking it would help [ex-offender name withheld], she told the cops the sex was consensual. After that, she was driven to the hospital to be tested for rape.

The next day, [girlfriend]'s mother calmed down. She went back to the police station to rescind her complaint. It was too late. "The police said the state would be taking it from here," she says. "Looking back on it, I just feel horrible. I don't know what the answer is when your kid is 15 or 16 and wants to date. But the answer is not to label the guy a sex offender."

America's sex-offender laws have a noble goal: to protect children from predators. A handful of states have had sex-offender registries since the 1940s, but most states began creating them in the 1990s, after an 11-year-old boy named Jacob Wetterling disappeared while riding his bike in Minnesota. In 1994, Congress created the Jacob Wetterling Act, requiring states to establish registries listing convicted sex offenders. That same year, 7-year-old Megan Kanka was raped and killed by a predator who lured her into his New Jersey home. Two years later, Congress passed Megan's Law, making the registries available to the public.

Other federal acts have followed. The federal rules are broadly defined, and state laws vary widely. In 2006, new federal legislation tried to bring some uniformity to the tangle of state laws. The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, also known as the Adam Walsh Act (named for a 6-year-old Florida boy who was murdered in 1981), created minimum standards across the states. However, only seven states have implemented the act to date. A main reason cited is cost: Many states, already struggling to maintain expanding registries, say they can't afford any added administrative costs. The government has said that states that aren't compliant with the act will lose a chunk of federal funding, effective as of July this year.

In the meantime, the effectiveness of individual state registries has become subject to debate. Patty Wetterling, a child-safety advocate whose son Jacob sparked the Wetterling Act, now counts herself among those voicing concerns. The registries were designed to be "a very useful law-enforcement tool," she says, "but legislators wanting to appear tough on crime have hijacked that intent, have cast a very broad net, and are causing many people tremendous harm." Parents add that teenagers arrested for consensual sex are diluting the registries — making it hard to spot violent predators.

[ex-offender name withheld] was 19 years old in the fall of 1996 when the police rolled up to his home and arrested him. The eldest of three brothers and two sisters, [ex-offender name withheld] had grown up in Caldwell, where his parents worked for the city and the school system. [ex-offender name withheld] had spent his high school summers working on local ranches, and the physical labor served him well on the football field. Known around town as a star lineman and kicker, he was surprised when the police treated him as a criminal instead of a hero.


CA - Former Police Activities League director (Alanna Reichle) to face sex crime charges

Alanna Reichle
Original Article

Update: Former Coachella Valley police league leader pleads guilty to sex with minor

07/14/2011

A 33-year-old Cathedral City woman, who had served as a Police Activities League director at the time of arrest on accusations of having sex with an underage boy, will be arraigned next week, court officials said Wednesday.

Alanna Reichle is charged with three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and one count of oral copulation with a person under 18.

Reichle had been set to be arraigned Wednesday at the Larson Justice Center in Indio but the proceedings were rescheduled to July 21.

She is accused of having sex with a 17-year-old boy, authorities said.

At the time of her arrest, Reichle was the director of the Western Coachella Valley Police Activities League and was employed in that position as a civilian staff member by the Palm Springs Police Department.

She had been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, officials said in May.

The status of her employment was not available Wednesday night.

Reichle served three years as the Palm Springs Police Department drug prevention officer before taking over the Police Activities League in 2007, according to The Desert Sun archive.

She has been publicly recognized for her work as PAL director at events including the annual Peace Officers and Public Safety Awards luncheons.

In 2008, she was presented with the Service to Youth award and in 2009, Western Coachella Valley PAL was named Outstanding Community Program.

Among her many community service activities, she spearheaded a Christmas food drive for homebound seniors.