Thursday, October 25, 2012
By Joe Barnes
JACKSON (WLBT) - State Senator Will Longwitz wants to reform how sex offenders register and notify nearby residents where they live.
Longwitz explained, "I believe that using technology and reducing the number of man hours that it takes to go find these people in the first place, we're looking at a much more cost efficient system than we currently have now."
The plan calls for convicted sex offenders to be graded on their dangerousness to society. The most serious would wear a GPS monitoring device. Longwitz says 16 states already have similar legislation in place.
"If you leave your restricted area, it could notify police. If you approach a school, it could set off an alarm. If you approach your former victim's family's neighborhood, it could set off an alarm," explained Longwitz.
Similar laws in other states have been challenged in court.
Longwitz says the convicted sex offender would even help pay for the cost of the GPS device.
- Yeah, more extortion! And you cannot make them pay for what they cannot afford due to them being jobless due to your draconian laws.
However, if you look at the sex offender registry website in Jackson, some offenders have a registered address at a shelter or they're listed as homeless. Many convicts have a hard time getting a job after being released from jail.
"Every serious offense comes with a penalty with restitution requirements. There's no reason we shouldn't put as much of this as possible on the offender. There may be some start up cost for equipment," said Longwitz.
By Brandon Smith
A proposal approved by a summer study committee would establish a timetable for offenders to petition a judge to be removed from the registry.
State lawmakers are attempting to close gaps in Indiana’s sex offender registry while at the same time making the registry more constitutionally sound.
The Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy committee’s work on the sex offender registry was prompted, in part, by a case in which the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the registry unconstitutional because it does not provide some offenders ways to correct errors in the registry.
A proposal approved by the committee Thursday would establish a timetable for offender, typically ten years after release, to petition a judge to be removed from the registry.
But committee chair Greg Steuerwald says it isn’t just a rubber stamp process.
“It appears to be not very often done in the first place and secondly, a pretty heavy burden to convince the court to get them removed,” he says.
The proposal would also spell out specific requirements for when, where and how a sex offender must register when moving — something Indianapolis Democratic Representative Ed DeLaney says has been lacking from the law.
“You’ve got 72 hours to either get it done or to report that you didn’t get it done,” he says. “So you have to be registered somewhere. You can’t set yourself adrift.”
The proposal is the committee’s recommendation to the full General Assembly, which can act on it when the legislative session begins in January.
The Anaheim City Council voted unanimously to enact an ordinance yesterday to expand child safety zones to protect children from registered sex offenders in city parks. The Ordinance, which was originally introduced by Councilwoman Kris Murray, becomes effective in 30 days. The City Council also includes Mayor Tom Tait, Mayor pro tem Harry S Sidhu, P.E., and Council Members Gail E. Eastman and Lorri Galloway.
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder, and Erin Runnion, Founder of the Joyful Child Foundation and mother of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion, who was murdered in 2002, were present at the City Council meeting to address public concerns and advocate for the passage of the ordinance. State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) also spoke at the meeting and endorsed the Ordinance.
“The City Council put public safety first and stood up for children by creating these child safety zones,” stated District Attorney Rackauckas. “I would like to thank the Anaheim City Council members for their courage and conviction in voting for this Ordinance to make Anaheim a safer place for children and their parents.”
“Public Safety is our primary concern in the City of Anaheim,” said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. “The action taken last night is to protect children from potential offenses, and to reduce the risk of harm to them. We are pleased to stand alongside our neighboring cities in Orange County for the welfare of children.”
“Protecting our children is one of my highest priorities,” said Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Harry Sidhu. “With this ordinance, if we can protect even one child, we will have made a meaningful difference in our community.”
- Any law you pass may in fact protect one child, but that doesn't make it right, and do you really think by making a law saying ex-offenders cannot enter parks, that all ex-offenders who are intent on committing a crime, will do so? It won't prevent anything, it just makes politicians look like they are actually doing something besides ruining the country, and to help pad their resume.
. . . . .
To read the full County Ordinance, please visit www.orangecountyda.com and select the April 5, 2011, press release entitled, “Orange County Board of Supervisors Unanimously Votes to Adopt New Law to Keep Registered Sex Offenders Out of Parks, Harbors, Beaches and Playgrounds,” under Press Releases/Media Advisories.
By Tina Kaufmann
COLUMBUS - The development of three new initiatives will intensify Ohio's ability to monitor more than 19,000 convicted sex offenders living in the state.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office will provide sheriffs' offices in the state new technology that will give sex offenders the option of updating their registration information online. The offender then has five days to confirm that information in person. The information program will expedite the reporting process and help alert sheriffs' offices as to when the offender may be appearing.
A smartphone verification app for police offices has also been created. During sexual assault or missing persons investigations, the app allow officers to search for sex offenders' addresses within a quarter-mile radius of the phone.
Investigators who conduct onsite compliance checks will also be able to immediately update the status of a sex offender who is found to be non-compliant. The new information will upload directly to the state sex offender database.
Last, agents with the AG's office have partnered with U.S. Marshals and others to help with locating and extraditing non-compliant offenders who, in the past, may not have been pursued due to budget limitations.
"Ohio has always taken an aggressive, proactive approach to developing tools, processes, and procedures for tracking and monitoring sex offenders," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. "We will now be even more efficient at keeping tabs on these convicted criminals living in Ohio's neighborhoods."
- So where is the tracking and monitoring of other high-risk criminals?
More than 5,000 sexual and violent offenders live in the state of Montana, with Halloween approaching, some parents wonder if those individuals are allowed to answer the door when trick-or-treaters come knocking.
ABC 5 Found out how to avoid dangerous neighborhoods and how to keep your trick-or-treaters safe.
Missoula Police Detectives say currently here is no state law preventing sexual and violent offenders from coming in contact with children on Halloween.
"I definitely think something should be done about that--it doesn't seem right that they can just open their doors,” says a local mother.
- Yeah, God forbid something happens, like they walk outside! Oh the horror!
Jennifer Fredette has four kids and three will trick-or-treat this year. Fredette says she and her husband always plan out a route and her entire family travels in a big group.
By Rosa Silverman
A High Court ruling said paedophiles should be allowed to make representations before their details are revealed to members of the public.
- The law is about ex-sex offenders, and not all ex-sex offenders are pedophiles.
Parents could have a harder time finding out if any paedophiles live nearby after a High Court ruling that sex offenders’ human rights to privacy should be considered.
In a judgement that lawyers say risks “watering down” what is known as Sarah’s Law, the court ruled that offenders should be given a say before their presence is disclosed.
Their human right to a family life should also be taken into account, the judges said.
In a test case brought by a repeat sex offender from the Sheffield area, two judges agreed he had the right to make "representations" to South Yorkshire police before local parents who made inquiries about him were told of his criminal past.
Sarah’s Law, started in 2008, allows parents to find out from police if someone has a record for child sexual offences.
Known formally as the child sex offender disclosure scheme (CSOD), it is named after Sarah Payne, who was murdered in 2000 at the age of eight by [name withheld], a paedophile.
- Was he truly a pedophile, by definition, or are people just labeling him as such just because he killed a child? That doesn't make you a pedophile, it makes you a child killer.
But the new ruling could force a redrafting of the guidelines.
|Hector Reynaldo Cuellar|
Remember, everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
By Jana Winter
A Secret Service officer assigned to Vice President Joe Biden’s residence was arrested Monday for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in his custody.
Hector Reynaldo Cuellar of Woodbridge, Va., was charged with three counts of aggravated sexual battery and three counts of taking indecent liberties with a child by a custodian, according to a daily incident report released by the Prince William County Police Department. He is being held without bond.
“The investigation revealed that the 14-year-old female victim was sexually assaulted by the accused family member on separate occasions between August and October of 2012,” according to the Prince William County Police Department’s daily incident report.
There is no mention of his employment with the Secret Service in the police report, but sources told FoxNews.com that Cuellar, 51, is a uniformed division officer assigned to the vice president’s residence in Washington, D.C.
In response to FoxNews.com’s request for comment, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said via email:
“We are aware of the arrest of this employee. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of judicial action. Any other questions should be referred to the Prince William County police.”
When asked how long Cuellar has been with the Secret Service, Donovan told FoxNews.com, "We aren't providing any further information at this point."
Sources also said that on Tuesday afternoon, the Secret Service’s Security Clearance Division sent around a “Do Not Admit” email notification throughout the agency for Hector Cuellar.
Police were first notified on Sunday, according to the police incident report.
“On October 21st, detectives from the Special Victim Unit received a report of a sexual assault, reported to have occurred in the Woodbridge area of Prince William County,” the report says.
Cuellar was arrested the next day following a police investigation.
By Jeff Munson
The Nevada Department of Public Safety, Division of Parole and Probation and Carson City authorities have again launched Operation Scarecrow, a program eight years running that targets sex offenders and predators during Halloween.
Operation Scarecrow's purpose is to ensure there is no contact between division supervised sex offenders and children. Law enforcement will provide enhanced community supervision and give specific direction to high risk and high profile sex offenders, said DPS Spokeswman Gail Powell.
Sex offenders are not allowed to participate in any activity which could lure children to or near their residences, including a restriction that they cannot have home parties or pass out candy on Halloween.
The focus of the operation is to ensure that offenders whose crime involved a child victim or offenders who have a “no contact with children” condition have no contact whatsoever with children. DPP Officers will be specifically targeting sex offenders under the DPP’s supervision.
Ongoing since Oct. 1, division officers are providing sex offenders with an “Offender Halloween Restrictions” handout. These sex offenders were instructed they must avoid any contact with children during the Halloween holiday, and must avoid participation in any Halloween-related festivities involving or potentially involving children.
Officers across Nevada will be conducting residential contacts and surveillance activities to ensure offender compliance and to spot any potential violations of the “Offender Halloween Restrictions” provided to the offenders. Officers will make as many contacts as possible during the operation. Enforcement action regarding observed violations will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Operation Scarecrow sweeps are being conducted in Carson City, Reno, Sparks, Fallon, Fernley, Ely, Elko and Winnemucca.
By Matt Carroll
BELLEFONTE — Centre County officials are moving to update the county’s system for registering sexual offenders ahead of a new state law set to take effect in December.
The bill, signed into law in December 2011 by Gov. Tom Corbett, will bring Pennsylvania in compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.
The act is named after Adam Walsh, who was abducted from a Florida shopping mall and later found murdered. After his death, Walsh’s father, John Walsh, became an advocate for the victims of violent crimes, hosting the television show “America’s Most Wanted.”
- Adam's death was never proven to be done by a known or unknown sex offender, or even if sexual abuse was involved. It was a brutal murder. And they claim Ottis Toole, a known serial killer / liar, was the person who killed Adam, by his confession, but he recanted. The Adam Walsh act targets ex-sex offenders and not all those who have harmed children in some form, so ex-sex offenders are the scapegoat.
The bill will result in a greater number of registered offenders in Pennsylvania and will require some offenders to report in more often, county commissioners heard at a meeting Tuesday morning.
“It’s a revamp of Megan’s Law,” said Andy Andrews, the county’s central booking coordinator. “They are adding more information, making more public information available and broadening the number of people who need to register.”
- So since the original intent of the Adam Walsh Act was to punish people who harm children, when are we going to see a registry for abusive parents, baby sitters, family members, drug dealers, DUI offenders, and all other people who harm children?
Andrews said there are about 23,000 registered sexual offenders in the commonwealth. The number is expected to jump to 84,000 under the new system.
The new bill closes loopholes in Megan’s Law regarding homeless and out-of-state offenders. It also requires some juvenile offenders to register for the first time, Andrews said.
County officials will also be processing some existing offenders more often. The bill calls for a three-tier system. The most serious offenders must report in every four months, while others must report every six months or once a year, Andrews said.
The county’s central booking center is in the Centre County Correctional Facility. The booking center has been, and will continue to be under the new law, where sexual offenders register in the county.
The county is seeking a $1,598 grant to purchase a new computer, digital signature pad and webcam to facilitate the system upgrades.
Commissioners Chairman Steve Dershem said the existing booking center is largely funded by fees collected through criminal proceedings.