Friday, February 17, 2012

MT - Anaconda County commissioner (Robert Pierce) under investigation for alleged sex crime against child

Original Article

02/17/2012

By Jamie Leary

Anaconda County Commissioner Robert Pierce, 51, is under investigation for an alleged sex crime, according to Interim Asst. Police Chief Bill Sather.

The alleged assault reportedly occurred around 4 years ago and involved a female who was 9 years old at the time. The crime was reported Feb. 7. A temporary Order of Protection was filed Feb. 8 against Pierce and served Feb. 10.

Sather says the State has been called in to investigate and a hearing regarding the Order of Protection is set for Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Sather confirmed that Pierce will continue to conduct business at the courthouse per the conditions of the Order of Protection.

The county attorney declined to comment when questioned about the alleged sex crime.

According to the county's website, "As a Commissioner, he [Pierce] focuses on what is best for the residents of Anaconda-Deer Lodge County. He strives to maintain a balanced budget, deal with ARCO/BP Superfund issues, and represent his District the best he can. Commissioner Pierce is a member of the Greenway Service District, the Superfund Negotiation Task Force, the Southwest Regional Juvenile Detention Board, the Commission's Finance Committee, and Commission's Land Use Committee."
- Isn't it ironic how they try to paint someone as a good person, when it's one of their own, but when it's the average citizen, it's the opposite?

In addition to County Commissioner, Pierce works for State Farm in Butte as an insurance agent.


LA - Sex Offenders, Welcome to Facebook (Well, Kind Of)

Original Article

Let's not forget this oldie, where Bobby claims to be an exorcist. So why doesn't he bust out his mojo and exorcise the demons from LA? LOL!

02/17/2012

By Christopher Danzig

Sex offenders are the easiest people to take away rights from. Even other criminals hate sex offenders. Their crimes are heinous, it’s unclear if recurring sex offenders can ever be “cured,” and if they ever get out of jail, even most progressives are happy to severely curtail their rights and freedoms.
- Not all crimes that can land you the "sex offender" label are "heinous."  Kids being kids have been slammed with the label, and their lives ruined, and you can see examples here.  Or even streaking in public, yes, that will, in some states, get you on the registry.

It’s tough to take a public stand for the rights of pedos. But someone has to do it. Yesterday, a Louisiana federal judge struck down a state law barring sex offenders from Facebook and other social media. He used a First Amendment argument to scrap the law, which took effect in August, and created a “near total ban on internet access” for sex offenders.
- Again, not all sex offenders are "pedos."

That’s all well and good, although Facebook isn’t exactly pleased….

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog provides the details:

Chief Judge Brian Jackson ruled Thursday that the law, which took effect in August, imposed “a sweeping ban on many commonly read news and information websites,” as well as social networking sites.

The definition of “chat room” in the law is so broad, for instance, the court’s own website could fall under the ban, he said.

Judge Jackson also took issue with the law’s requirement that offenders who are no longer under court supervision seek an exemption from a judge to access social-networking sites legally. He said federal courts couldn’t grant such exemptions because they have no jurisdiction over an offender who has completed a prison sentence and post-prison supervision.

How nice. Louisiana created a law that prohibited criminals from visiting the court website. It might have made a good deterrent for potential sex criminals: “Think twice before you commit that crime. If you get convicted, not only will you never be able to live near a park, school, or in pretty much any urban area, you will also never be able to go on the internet EVER AGAIN.”

What actually makes me the most angry is Facebook’s official response to the ruling:

A spokesman for Facebook had this to say: “We take the safety and security of our users, especially the many young people on Facebook, very seriously. We have consistently supported bills that criminalize usage of social networking sites by registered sex offenders. Our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities already bars these individuals from using Facebook and we would welcome the potential of criminal penalties to strengthen these provisions.”

I really don’t say this lightly, but f*** you. Facebook has no problem finding ways to circumvent its users privacy when it means more ad revenue. But God forbid criminals use the site. I’m sorry, the company doesn’t have a problem with most criminals. Murderers, scam artists, bank robbers — according to Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, you guys are chill. But if you committed a sex-related crime — Facebook would kindly request that you STFU and GTFO.

The policy is basically unenforceable, just like the fact that you’re supposed to be at least 13 years old to have a profile. But it still doesn’t sit well with me. At least now, going on Facebook isn’t a parole violation in Louisiana.

I’m not saying there are no potential issues or concerns with sex offenders on social media sites. And I, for one, wouldn’t really care to live next door to a convicted rapist myself, especially if I had children. But you can’t punish sex offenders for the rest of their lives, once they’ve paid their debt to society. That’s not how our justice system works. It’s why Judge Jackson said the courts “have no jurisdiction over an offender who has completed a prison sentence and post-prison supervision.”

Not to mention, not all sex offenders look like Herbert from Family Guy. A modern American “sex offender” might be a 17-year-old boy who took a naked cell phone photograph of his 17-year-old girlfriend. Or a college student who got drunk and peed in public or went streaking. Or a young comedian who made a marginally distasteful video sketch that got taken totally out of context and landed him in jail.

I need to stop talking before I give myself an ulcer. So in conclusion, thank you to Judge Jackson for being reasonable and respecting the rights of a massively unpopular demographic. Facebook, not cool. The bad karma here is almost palpable. But, then, this is Facebook we are talking about, and there’s nothing new about that.


AR - Re-Entry Resource Fair

For those living in and around Little Rock, mark your calendars for this event. There will be many organizations/service providers (including ATAT) there to help you re-enter the community. Please help spread the word to all those who need this type of assistance.


AL - Adding Registering Requirements for Sex Offenders

Original Article

02/16/2012

By Andrea Ramey

MOBILE - Alabama lawmakers are considering legislation that would place more registering requirements for convicted sex offenders. State Senator Ben Brooks (R-Mobile) is sponsoring the bill that would make sex offenders register things like their email address and social media log-in names.
- Of course they are!  All states, almost, do this every single year.

"This is a tool that we'll be able to use that we will be able to track them better," said Lori Myles with the Mobile County Sheriff's Office.
- Track them?  Will you be using a warrant as well for those off probation/parole?

Myles says the laws that force sex offenders to register with local law enforcement agencies were written in a time when things like text messaging and Facebook didn't exist, and it's time the laws reflect how potential victims now are contacted.

"We are just now catching up with it. It was a playground for them, for a while," said Myles.
- Yeah right, a "playground," you funny!

"So much communication takes place on the internet," said Child Advocacy Director Pay Guyton.

Guyton says this proposed law could prevent children from being victimized. He says if sex offenders provided their technology addresses, investigators would have a better idea of what to monitor and would be able to track what offenders are doing online.
- Like we've said a million times, if a person is intent on committing a crime, they'll just use another email address they create in a matter of minutes.  This won't protect anybody, or prevent any crime, it's just more ways to eradicate someone's rights.

"A lot of that can be traced if we have the correct address," said Guyton. "You go on a Facebook account, and someone posts something on your Facebook and says, 'I'm a 15 year old girl and I just want to know what other girls think about this.' And really it's a 65 year old sex offender. You have no way of knowing that. And it happens. Unfortunately, it happens all the time."
- You are right, but the same can be said for murderers, identity thieves, etc, but you don't see them having to registry their online id's.


MN - House Committee Examines Sex Offender Discharge

Original Article

So what is the purpose of civil commitment and treatment by professionals then? Apparently civil commitment is their "prison outside of prison," thus proving the laws are punishment, and therefore unconstitutional. Are we going to have people in congress raise hell every time someone is released from civil commitment? Is it election time or something?

02/15/2012

Related Article: Editorial: Keep politics out of sex offender release

ST. PAUL (AP) — Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson is defending her decision not to oppose the provisional discharge of a man who spent nearly 19 years in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program.

Sixty-four-year-old [name withheld] is the first civilly committed sex offender to receive a court-ordered provisional discharge in Minnesota.

Last year, Jesson and others had opposed his provisional discharge, but they changed their minds after receiving new information about his case. [name withheld] will soon move to a halfway house, where his every movement will be monitored.

Jesson and others say [name withheld] meets the criteria for provisional discharge under the law.

Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, says maybe the law needs to be changed. He says sex offenders should be locked up for life with no chance for parole, or face the death penalty.
- I wonder if he would be okay with sentencing a child to death or life in prison?


UT - Sex offender bill awaits governor's signature

Original Article

02/17/2012

By Amy Macavinta

A limited number of sex offenders may be able to petition a judge to have their names removed from the Utah Sex Offender Registry in the future.

During the current legislative session, Rep. Jack Draxler, R-North Logan, is sponsoring House Bill 13 (PDF), which has now been approved by both the House and the Senate.

Sex offenders who have been convicted of unlawful sexual contact with a 16- or 17-year-old or unlawful sexual contact with a minor will be able to make an application to have their name removed from the list after five years.

There is a total of 26 different punishable sex offenses in Utah.

In Cache County, there is a total of 158 people registered on the State of Utah’s Sex Offender Registry. Of those, three were convicted of unlawful sexual contact with a 16- or 17-year-old. To be charged with this crime, the offender must be 10 or more years older than the victim.

Nineteen of Cache County’s offenders were convicted of unlawful sexual contact with a minor. County Attorney James Swink said this offense can be a misdemeanor if there are less than four years difference in age between the offender and the victim. If there is more than five years difference, the crime becomes a felony offense.

Approval will not be automatic. Provisions in the bill require that the sex offender seek a certificate of eligibility from the Utah Bureau of Criminal Investigations certifying that the individual has completed all terms of sentencing and remained crime-free.

Their investigation will include a search of nationwide databases.

The certificate of eligibility is good for 90 days from the date it is issued. During that time, the offender must deliver a copy of the application to the prosecuting attorney, who is tasked with notifying the victim or the victim’s family.

The family will have 30 days to object to an offender’s application for removal before the judge can conduct a hearing to consider removing a name from the sex offender list.

Swink acts as the legislative committee chairman for the Utah Council on Victims of Crime. He said the council was opposed to the bill when it was first drafted. However, Swink said Draxler was very open to concerns and made every effort to address any issues with the bill that might have had a derogatory effect.

Our primary concern is for the victims who want closure in their lives,” said Swink. “Hopefully the door isn’t opened so wide as to be overly traumatizing to the victims.”

Swink said each criminal proceeding can be a stressor to victims.

You want finality for them, and any time you open up new proceedings for them, it causes anxiety,” he said.

However, Swink does not believe this bill will affect very many offenders.

We need a good, effective offender registry,” Draxler said. “We need to protect the public, but right now … its meaning is diluted by having people on there who actually may not belong there.”

Draxler said he is aware of a man who had sex with a 15-year-old girl when the man was 19 years old. He was prosecuted, convicted, sentenced and served jail time, according to Draxler. The man also completed required counseling. He later married the girl, and the two now have four children.

He has not been able to take his kids to the park. He has not been able to go to their parent-teacher conference,” said Draxler. “He has not been able to live where he wants to live because of the registry, and it’s affected his employment because of the registry.”

Swink calls this type of case a “Romeo and Juliet” case. According to Swink, there are about 200 people either in state custody or on parole for the two sex crimes affected by this bill. Of those, only two fit the “Romeo and Juliet” description, Swink said.