Thursday, November 10, 2011

PA - Possible Legislation to Make it Mandatory to Report Sex Crimes Against Children to Police

Original Article


By Ashley Singh

Coach Joe Paterno didn't break any laws by not reporting the allegation that his former defensive coach was seen in the shower with a young boy. At least one state representative wants to make it mandatory to report suspected sexual child abuse.

Rep. Dan Deasy is planning to introduce legislation that would make it illegal to fail to report a sex crime against a child.

With this bill, that could result in up to seven years of jail time.

Jennifer Storm with the Victim Witness Assistance Program says she likes the idea of strengthening laws, but doesn't think it's a good idea to rush legislation.

"We just really need to be careful right now. I just really believe that a statewide systematic comprehensive review of what we currently have and what is lacking needs to occur," she said.

TX - Forget Green Acres, Bandera is the place to be!

NY - Township, with hands tied, repeals sexual predator ordinance

Original Article


By Kyle Bagenstose

At Wednesday night's meeting, the Upper Dublin Board of Commissioners begrudgingly repealed a sexual predator residency restriction

As previously reported by Patch, the Upper Dublin board of commissioners was informed last month that a “Sexual Predator Residency Restriction” law currently on the township’s books would likely need to be removed after a similar law in Allegheny County was found unconstitutional.

At Wednesday’s stated meeting, the board followed up by passing a resolution to officially strike the law from township code.

This board had worked hard to create this sexual predator ordinance a few years ago, and it was a compromise, and everyone was pretty well satisfied (Depends on who you ask),” said board President Bob Pesavento. “However, there has been court action at the state supreme court that invalidated a very similar law, therefore it invalidates our ordinance in that it would be unconstitutional.”

Pesavento went on to explain that if the law were kept on the books, the commissioners could individually be held liable and sued, without coverage from the township’s insurance policies.

As the code previously read, any person who is registered with the state as a sexual predator could not take up residence within 2,000 feet of any school attended by children in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Commissioner Rebecca Gushue took the opportunity to remind the audience that Upper Dublin residents could visit the police department’s webpage to find a number of helpful links, including a Megan’s Law search for sexual offenders in the township.

We’ve not leaving anybody unprotected,” Gushue said.

MI - USA Gymnastics alters sex offender regs

Original Article


By Marlee Ginter

"Loophole" was allowing sex offenders to coach

GRAND RAPIDS (WOOD) - USA Gymnastics, the national gymnastics governing body, is making it tougher for coaches on its banned list to participate in the sport.

The new policy, which is listed on its website, requires "gymnastics clubs and event organizers to become a member club or registered business of USA Gymnastics to receive a USA Gymnastics event sanction, effective January 2012."

The policy change may have repercussions for one Grand Rapids gymnastics coach.

Target 8 discovered that coach [name withheld] -- a registered sex offender -- is still able to coach by law because he is no longer on probation.

Under the new policy, [name withheld]'s gym, Aerials and Baranis in Plainfield Township, will no longer be able to host USA Gymnastics events or competitions.

He will still be able to coach USA Gymnastics member gymnasts.

But the governing body of USA Gymnastics, Target 8 discovered, is also considering solutions to close that "loophole".

One West Michigan legislator is also working to change state laws to create stricter rules for sex offenders who coach.