Thursday, January 10, 2013
You ask what we can do about sex offenders, but you will notice, these men were not known sex offenders!
Anybody who commits any crime, sexual or not, should be punished, but putting them on an online shaming hit-list for vigilantes to use to harass and attack ex-offenders and their families, is not the answer.
If they've served their time, then they should be allowed to live a normal life just like everyone else, period!!!
Why not a registry for all criminals?
The recent scandal in India has raised dozens of questions about attitudes to women in the developing country. There are many that have argued that punishment for sex offenders in the country have been far too lenient, and pressure is being put on the Indian authorities to act, to change the culture of India.
Is there a problem with attitudes towards women in India? Is there a problem with attitudes towards women in general? Are men being unfairly demonized?
What happened in India isn't isolated. Just a few weeks ago, the UK was embroiled in a fierce debate about the definitions of rape when Assange was wanted on sex offence charges. George Galloway added his opinion to the debate with the smallest amount of tact possible.
In America, Todd Akin made an incredibly ignorant comment about rape which was quickly criticized by just about everyone, but it goes to show just how many strange and controversial attitudes towards sex offenders exist out there in our world.
It's a debate which seems like it will rage on and on, and it's a debate we thought we'd have here at Truthloader.
By Jen Horton
[name withheld] — who came to the public’s attention because of his wife’s role at the Animal Rescue Konsortium (ARK) in DeLand — has been removed from the Florida Sexual Offender/Predator Public Registry.
Critics of the ARK shelter, which was raided by the DeLand Police Department Nov. 8, complained that one of the shelter volunteers — [name withheld] — was a registered sex offender.
Just two weeks before the raid, on Oct. 26, [name withheld] had been arrested by DeLand police and charged with failure to register properly as a sex offender. He had listed himself on police records as a transient, but had stayed at least occasionally at ARK.
[name withheld] and his wife were homeless, and ARK president Maggi Hall had given them permission to live at the ARK shelter in exchange for caring for the 126 animals on the property.
After the raid, the [name withheld]' situation was dire, as they had few possessions and no home, and had difficulty finding work. Daniel [name withheld]’s status as a registered sex offender made hard times even harder.
However, then [name withheld] learned the dates of his conviction on sex charges predated the enactment of the Florida registry.
[name withheld] was convicted of sexual assault in Michigan in 1996 when he was 22 years old. He said the charges had been brought by a former girlfriend.
Florida’s Public Safety Information Act, which requires sex offenders to be registered and their addresses published on a state website, did not go into effect until 1997.
- So anybody whose crime was before 1997 needs to hire a lawyer to get off the registry.
[name withheld] consulted with an attorney, who helped him have his name removed from the sex-offender registry. He’s happy to lose the label.
“I can live anywhere I want to,” [name withheld] said.
Most jurisdictions restrict where registered sex offenders can live. The ARK shelter is among locations in DeLand that are off-limits as a sex offender’s residence.
[name withheld] said he now has a good job, and he and his wife have a car and a new place to live in Orange City.
- This just goes to show you, the registry is punishment. It made this man and his wife homeless, and when he was removed from the registry, he now is able to get on with his life.
“Things are going good for us,” he said. “I’m happy.”
Depending on exactly where they live, the [name withheld]’ trouble with [name withheld]'s past conviction may not be over.
In 2012, Orange City adopted a residency-restriction ordinance that applies to all sex offenders, whether or not they are listed on the state registry, and whether they were convicted in Florida or another state.
- And it's another unconstitutional ex post facto law that should be repealed!
All states have the issue of "ex post facto" laws in their constitutions, so why aren't all states finding the same?
By Dan Carden
INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a Hammond man removed from the state's sex offender registry after determining the law requiring him to register for life imposes an unconstitutional retroactive punishment (PDF).
[name withheld], 52, pleaded guilty to child solicitation in 1997 after seeking a sexual encounter with a 9-year-old Lake County girl, according to court records.
He served 18 months in prison, 18 months on probation and was required by a 1996 law to register as a sex offender for 10 years.
In 2006, the Republican-controlled General Assembly changed the sex offender registration law to require adult sex offenders who victimized children younger than 12 to register for life.
[name withheld] argued in his appeal to the state's high court that extending his registration period from 10 years to life was an additional retroactive punishment and prohibited by the "ex post facto" clause of the Indiana Constitution. Ex post facto is Latin for "after the fact."
In a 5-0 decision, the state Supreme Court agreed.
Writing for the court, Chief Justice Brent Dickson, a Hobart native, weighed the punitive effects of lifetime registration and determined that as applied to [name withheld]'s low-level felony conviction it is additional punishment and therefore unconstitutional.
Republican Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who sought to keep [name withheld] on the sex offender rolls, is reviewing the court's decision, said spokesman Bryan Corbin.
Corbin said Zoeller expects to meet with state legislators to help draft an update to Indiana's sex offender registration law in the wake of several similar recent court rulings.
So, as I have done over the last few years when I move: I update my drivers license. No big deal, just go online and fill out the information, or mail it in if you don't have internet access.
Went to do it this year, and the online system said, "No record found. Verify your information." Tried a few times to no avail. Giving up I wrote a letter and mailed it in.
State law says there is no need to get a duplicate, as long as their system shows the correct address.
So, in December, I completed my semi-annual registration as I always do. The officer told me that my address on my drivers license did not match up to my new address in the state's database. I responded that I followed procedure, and would call them.
First call, the guy is clueless. Few days later I call again, wondering if my driver's license is valid.
The woman looks a little and then says, "Oh, I'm showing here you are a registered sex offender."
Me: "What does that have to do with my drivers' license?"
Woman: "Well, you cannot update your address online if you are a registered sex offender."
Me: "That's not in the registry law or the drivers license law, is it? In fact, I know it is not. I've updated it online before."
Woman: "It's a new policy with the Division of Motor Vehicles, you'll have to update your address in person."
Me: "I already do that when I register my new addresses with law enforcement, why must I do it again."
Woman: "That's the new policy."
Me: "Let me guess, I'll have to pay the $20.00 for a duplicate, rather than just update the information in the system."
Woman: "That is correct."
Me: "Well, I already have to pay to get a new license each year, plus give law enforcement $25.00 per year, and then the the State Registry $100.00 per year (which I have never paid). So, if I move a lot I now have to pay you guys each time? Let me talk to the person in charge, because I guarantee you that is not in the laws."
I get transferred to a voice-mail and leave a rather pointed message about suing the s*** out of the state again. No response yet.
View the PDF document
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, September 2011
Sexual offending against children is a highly emotive issue. It is nonetheless important that public policy initiatives to prevent and/or respond to child sexual abuse are based on the available evidence about child sex offenders.
This paper (PDF) addresses five common misperceptions about the perpetrators of sexual offences against children. Specifically, the issues addressed include whether all child sex offenders are ‘paedophiles’, who sexually abuse children, whether most child sex offenders were victims of sexual abuse themselves, rates of recidivism among child sex offenders and the number of children sex offenders typically abuse before they are detected by police.
The evidence outlined in this paper highlights that there are few black and white answers to these questions. Perpetrators of sexual crimes against children are not, contrary to widespread opinion, a homogenous group. Rather, there are a number of varied offending profiles that characterise child sex offenders. Gaining an understanding of the nuances of this offender population is critical if children are to be protected from sexual abuse.
IN - New law enforcement tool finds sex offenders at local malls (Shopping sex offenders? Oh the horror!)
OMG, sex offenders are shopping, oh the horror!
By Kent Erdahl
For years, online registries have allowed people to search for sex offenders near their home, but now the Marion County Sheriff’s Department is using new technology to see where sex and other violent offenders go when they’re not at home.
A $500,000 federal grant has enabled the sheriff’s department to equip four vehicles with highly sensitive cameras that capture and process license plate information. The grant also funds overtime needed to patrol high traffic areas like schools, parks and malls.
“Whenever we pass by a vehicle it will beep to me,” said CPL Brad Allen, pointing to the computer in his Marion County Sheriff’s Department cruiser. “That means that it’s been read.”
Allen showed Fox59 how the cameras work even while driving at high speeds. They also run license plate information through law enforcement databases in real time, checking for expired licenses plates, outstanding warrants and registered sex offenders.
“It’s helped out tremendously,” Allen said.
“One plate reader device has the capability of reading up to 100 license plates per minute,” said Captain Michael Hubbs with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. “So I don’t know if you could have enough man power to ever do that.”
During a special holiday shopping enforcement in December, deputies patrolling mall areas used the cameras to find cars belonging to 73 registered six offenders along with 42 people wanted on warrants associated with vehicles. The new technology also led directly to one felony arrest for a sex offender violation.
- OMG, shopping sex offenders, everybody run to the hills!
Hubbs said that the discrepancy between sex offenders and arrests is because some may not be barred from malls. Still, he said the technology allows law enforcement to keep tabs on them and that even one arrest is significant.
“I’d say absolutely it’s worth it because the arrest speaks for itself,” said Captain Hubbs. “Who knows what that person could have been up to?”
- So one arrest is worth spending $500,000 on?
For Corporal Allen, it’s helping him keep better tabs on the 1,500 registered sex offenders in Marion County every single day.
“I check all the schools to make sure that there’s no sex offenders there,” Allen said.
WI - Former police chief (Gary Wayerski) sentenced to prison for sexual encounters with teens he was "mentoring!"
By Jerry Gallagher
Dunn County (WQOW) - Wheeler's ex-police chief is going to prison for a long time.
On Wednesday, Gary Wayerski was sentenced to 14 years behind bars. He was convicted of a range of crimes related to sexual assault. He had been accused of having dozens of sexual encounters with two teens he was mentoring.
Wayerski was charged in 2011 when he was still police chief of the Dunn County village. He was fired a few months later.
Along with prison time, Wayerski was also given 16 years of extended supervision.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder has become the latest lawman in the country to stop the practice of displaying mug shots online.
- Good, it's about time, all police departments should stop doing this, for the same reason, exploitation. Offendex.com comes to mind.
Winder says booking photos are being exploited by websites for monetary gain — they charge suspects high prices for removing their mug shots and sometimes fail to follow through.
Winder has removed booking photos from his metro jail’s online roster.
The practice has former inmates saying they are paying twice for their crimes. They say it does no good to pay one website operator for the removal of a mug shot when so many are trafficking in the same booking photos.
Utah County responded to the problem by shrinking the size of its online mug shots to prevent them from being easily duplicated on the Web.
By Tracey Kaplan
SAN JOSE - In a scathing opinion (PDF) published Thursday, a state appellate court reversed a judgment against a felon accused of being a sexually violent predator, saying the prosecutor handling the case -- now District Attorney Jeff Rosen's right-hand man -- engaged in a "pervasive pattern'' of misconduct.
The misconduct finding against Chief Assistant District Attorney Jay Boyarsky is the first black mark against Rosen's administration since he took office two years ago on an ethics platform and appointed Boyarsky as his top assistant.
Rosen handled the situation Thursday with the same aplomb he demonstrated as a homicide prosecutor to defuse potential courtroom crises. Boyarsky, who is also Rosen's best friend, tried the case when he was a line prosecutor before Rosen came into office.
"We respect the court's decision," Rosen said. "Any prosecutor in my office may err, and when we do, we learn from it and improve."
The ruling, written by Conrad Rushing, the presiding judge of the 6th District Court of Appeal, stems from a civil court hearing in Santa Clara County in which [name withheld] was involuntarily committed to a state mental hospital on the grounds that he was a sexually violent predator.
Boyarsky erred by asking improper questions of the witnesses that elicited inflammatory answers and by making improper arguments to the jury, Rushing wrote. For instance, Boyarsky implied without offering any evidence that [name withheld] had molested other boys. The prosecutor also essentially asked jurors what their friends and family would think of them if they found [name withheld] wasn't a predator.
"This is not a case in which the prosecutor engaged in a few minor incidents of improper conduct," Rushing wrote. "Rather, the prosecutor engaged in a pervasive pattern of inappropriate questions, comment and argument throughout the entire trial."
Boyarsky said he accepts the court's ruling about his conduct, though he made his arguments in "good faith."
"Based on the court's opinion, if I had it to do over again," he said, "I would make my arguments differently."
Although the ruling reverses the involuntary civil commitment order, [name withheld] will remain at Coalinga State Hospital while the case is pending. Rosen noted [name withheld] has a "serious history of sexually preying on young teenagers," and said his office will try him again if doctors conclude he is a predator. Under another scenario, the state Attorney General's Office could appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court, which could strike down the appellate decision, allowing the involuntary commitment to a mental hospital to stand.
- So are you saying you will try him twice for the same crime? Isn't that double jeopardy?
The case dates back to 1994, when [name withheld] pleaded guilty to sodomy with a minor under 14, sodomy with a minor under 18 and oral copulation where the victim is unable to resist due to an intoxicating substance. He was sentenced to 17 years and eight months in prison.
Shortly before he was to be released, the DA's Office sought to have him involuntarily committed to a state mental hospital on the grounds he was a sexually violent predator. The first attempt resulted in a mistrial when the jury voted 11-1 in favor of finding he was a predator. The second attempt, by now-disgraced former prosecutor Ben Field, was also reversed on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct.
To qualify [name withheld] as a predator, Boyarsky had to show he had "a diagnosable mental disorder that predisposes him to sexual violence.''
Two of the two state doctors testifying for Boyarsky said [name withheld] has hebephilia, a sexual attraction to teenage boys who have attained puberty. However, hebephilia is not classified as a mental illness, Rushing noted. One of the doctors also testified that the defendant was not a pedophile and was not aroused by force or violence, and that the only reason his prior crimes were considered nonconsensual was because the victims were minors who could not legally consent.
Rushing said that [name withheld] presented a "vigorous defense," including evidence that he had spent the last 15 years while incarcerated seeking every voluntary treatment available. The justice also criticized the trial judge, Alfonso Fernandez, for overruling all of the many "well-taken'' objections made by [name withheld] s defense attorney, Deputy Public Defender Patrick Hoopes.
Dallas Sacher, director of the Sixth District Appellate Program, which handled the appeal, praised the ruling.
"Nobody in their right mind wants people on the street doing this to boys," Sacher said. "But creating a make-believe genre of crazy people isn't right either. The ends do not justify the means."
A spokesman for the Attorney General said the office is reviewing the opinion and hasn't decided whether to appeal it to the state Supreme Court.
"We argued in our appellate court brief that none of the cited instances constituted prosecutorial misconduct and reversal was not required because it is not 'reasonably probable that a result more favorable to the defendant would have occurred' absent the misconduct."