Wednesday, December 19, 2012

MA - Senate GOP Plans Comprehensive Sex Offender Legislation

Original Article


By William Laforme

Mass. Senate Republican Leader Bruce Tarr plans to introduce legislation in January.

Senate Republicans expect to file comprehensive legislation during the new session aimed at reforming how information about sex offenders is shared between law enforcement and other officials.

The bill is a response to the ongoing case involving Wakefield resident [name withheld] and some 100 counts of child sex abuse he is facing. His wife, [wife name withheld], is also facing charges in the case for running an illegal daycare and for reckless endangerment.

[name withheld]’s original classification suggested his risk of re-offense was low, and the public would not benefit from the disclosure of his information; however, subsequent facts have proven this assessment was inadequate and needed to be adjusted accordingly. Since 1989, [name withheld] has been the subject of multiple investigations that, with due diligence, would have warranted further scrutiny of his classification level and risk to re-offend.
- So what are they going to do now?  Just put all information online and treat all ex-sex offenders as if they are predators?  It would not shock us if they did.

According to an announcement from Senate Republican Leader Bruce Tarr, the bill is expected to include – at the minimum, the following provisions:

  • a requirement and authorization for law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to communicate with the SORB in a timely fashion about the commitment of subsequent offenses by a registered sex offender;
  • the legal authority of the SORB to re-classify sex offenders based on new information, which was taken away by the Massachusetts Court of Appeals on July 16, 2012 in its ruling in the case of John Doe 16748 v. Sex Offender Registry Board (Docket Number 11-P-308);
  • the ability of the SORB to expedite the re-classification process of a sexual offender upon the recommendation of law enforcement and prosecutors; and
  • a requirement for the timely re-classification of sex offenders who have committed subsequent offenses

Tarr indicated that he expects to file the comprehensive bill himself, and noted that other interested lawmakers are welcome to join him.

We want to produce as comprehensive a bill as possible. I am looking forward to engaging in a dialogue with other stakeholders – including law enforcement, district attorneys and other legislators – to craft legislation that will provide better safeguards so predators like [name withheld] are classified properly and not allowed to continue to prey on innocent victims,” said Tarr.
- But he was evaluated by a professional and not labeled a "predator."  It doesn't matter who does the evaluation or what designation a person gets, there is no guarantee that they will not commit another related crime.  That is the same with any other criminal!  We agree you can review past criminal records to make an educated guess, but that's about all you can do.

NY - New York Continues To Punish All Ex-Sex Offenders For The Deeds Of One Person!

Original Article


By Owen Good

New York State, whose "Operation Game Over" earlier this year banned more than 3,500 registered sex offenders from services like Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, has booted another 2,100 from online gaming after bringing THQ, Funcom and NCSoft to the cause.
- Just imagine if congress passed laws to say all DUI offenders could not drive anymore simply due to one person driving under the influence and hurt someone.  This is the same thing.  They are punishing all ex-sex offenders for the deeds of one person.

Eric T. Schneiderman, the state's attorney general, announced the bannings earlier this morning. They coincide with state law requiring convicted sex offenders to register all email addresses, screen names and other online personae with the state. The state then turns that information over to its Operation Game Over partners, who purge the convicted sex offenders from their rolls.
- And even requiring their email addresses and other online info is a violation of their rights, but hey, the Constitution means nothing anymore, so anything goes.  Just remember that when they come to violate your rights!

Many states have sex offender registries, with requirements covering email addresses and the like, but New York State says it is the only one working to have offenders removed from online gaming services. The initiative was inspired by this case, in which a 19-year-old met a 12-year-old boy over Xbox Live, arranged a meeting with the child, and then sexually abused him. The offender was sentenced earlier this year to six months in jail, making his lifetime permaban from online gaming a more lasting and potentially worse punishment.
- Exactly, they are punishing all ex-sex offenders due to one man's deeds!  No other group of offenders do they do this with, it's basically discrimination.

In addition to THQ, NCSoft, Funcom, Microsoft and Sony, publishers such as Gaia Online, Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive Media Group and Warner Brothers are working with the state.

CA - Lake Forest reverses sex-offender ban in parks

Don't cry lil' fella!
Original Article



New members oppose the reversal, but the majority fears the costs of defending against lawsuits in light of a court's rejection of a similar law.

LAKE FOREST – Three members of the City Council voted Tuesday to undo a law passed a year ago banning registered sex offenders from city parks.

Mayor Kathryn McCullough, Mayor Pro Tem Scott Voigts and Councilman Peter Herzog voted to remove the ban from the city's books in light of a court ruling that a similar ordinance elsewhere is trumped by state law, and in the face of a federal lawsuit challenging the ban's constitutionality.

Councilmen Adam Nick and Dwight Robinson, the council's two newest members, voted against repealing the park ban, which county officials have touted as way to protect children from sexual predators.
- Not all ex-sex offenders are predators, and this law bans all ex-sex offenders, not just predators.  How many children can you name that have been abducted in a park?  Hell, Eagles (Video) are snatching more kids than ex-sex offenders.

Robinson, a father of three, said he could not support removing the law at this time.

"My 1-year-old has no clue of what's going on, obviously. ... My 11-year-old, she's trying to figure out what Dad's going to do, and I'm as responsible to her as I am to the residents of Lake Forest," Robinson said.

Robinson said he would have preferred the original ordinance to have a waiver option for registered sex offenders to temporarily enter parks, as the county and some cities have done. That waiver option was seen by some cities as a way to defend such an ordinance against legal action such as the federal lawsuit.

Lake Forest is one of four cities in Orange County named in the lawsuit, which was filed anonymously by a registered sex offender who alleges that the ban violates his constitutional rights. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff committed his offense more than 15 years ago and is now married with children.

A recent ruling by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of Orange County also played a role in the city's decision to backtrack. The ruling reversed the conviction of a registered sex offender who violated a county law similar to Lake Forest's.

In that ruling, a three-judge panel said the county law is superseded by state law.

The lawsuit and court ruling led city leaders to begin the process of reversing the ban this month. On Dec. 4, the council voted 4-0 in favor of the repeal, citing the cost – estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars – of defending against lawsuits.

In arguing for the repeal at that meeting, McCullough said the city's coffers should not fund the defense of an initiative by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. He and county Supervisor Shawn Nelson crafted the county ban, passed by the Board of Supervisors in April 2011.

Since then, Lake Forest and 15 other cities have passed similar laws banning registered sex offenders from city parks.

"Are you willing tonight (Dec. 4) to be able to say publicly on record that you will indemnify us for damages, attorney fees and any other costs connected with this?" McCullough asked Rackauckus (Video).

The district attorney said McCullough knew the answer to her question and accused her of grandstanding.
- Yeah, the usual ad-hominem attack.  Isn't he grandstanding by lobbying for park bans which we all know won't protect anybody from someone who is intent on committing a crime?

Nick on Tuesday said he had surveyed 250 people, and 82 percent said not to repeal the ban, which is why he opposed it. He also said the cost of defending against lawsuits is outweighed by the need to protect children.

"I am fiscally conservative, and I would never want to waste your money, but there are certain things worth spending money on, and protecting children from sex offenders is one of them," Nick said.
- But they don't protect children!  If a person is so dangerous, and intent on committing a crime against a child, do you really think they are going to obey a park ban?  Come on!

CO - Jury finds Denver cop (Hector Paez) guilty of felony kidnapping, sex assault

Hector Paez
Original Article


By Jessica Fender

A jury has found Denver police officer Hector Paez, 33, guilty of felony kidnapping and rape related to a March 16, 2010 case in which he allegedly drove a female arrestee to a secluded spot and forced her to perform oral sex.

As the verdict was read, Paez grasped his head and said "I don't understand."

His wife collapsed into tears.

Paez's defense attorney Gary Lozow said he will appeal, hoping the higher court will "get it right."

Paez testified that the woman, whose criminal history includes drug use and a prostitution conviction, was concerned that her pimp may see her talking with a police officer and so needed to take her to a secret location to question her about her drug dealer — an assertion the woman denied in court.

During the lengthy trial, both jurors and the prosecution honed in on what Paez did with the information he received from the woman, if any.

Jurors asked whether Paez took notes of his interview or checked a criminal database for the names of people she allegedly identified as heroin suppliers.

Jurors began their deliberation on Monday.