Wednesday, January 23, 2013

MA - Legislators Propose Overhaul To State Sex Offender Registry

Original Article

The man they are talking about, was deemed a level 1 offender (not likely to re-offend). He committed another crime and now they want to change the law. So I guess they will just label everyone a level 3 (most dangerous) just to "err on the side of safety?" It doesn't matter what laws they pass, if a person is intent on committing a crime, they will.

01/23/2013

By Bob Oakes

BOSTON — A month after the arrest of a Wakefield man on more than 100 charges of molesting young children, some state lawmakers from that area are calling for an overhaul of the system that lets the public know about the presence of convicted sex offenders in their neighborhoods.
- As usual, one man commits a crime, all must pay for it!

The Wakefield man, was previously convicted of indecent assault and battery on a child, but a state board characterized his as a Level 1 sex offender, which prevented release of information about his criminal history.

The lawmakers who’ve filed a bill to reform the state’s sex offender registry all represent Wakefield, including state Sen. Katherine Clark, who joined WBUR’s Morning Edition to discuss the proposal.


PA - Former magistrate (Ross Cioppa) registered as sex offender

Ross Cioppa
Original Article

01/23/2013

RANKIN - A former Rankin magistrate is on the Megan’s Law website as a registered sex offender.

Ross Cioppa, who was the district justice in Rankin for 13 years, had previously been accused of offering favorable rulings for women in exchange for sex.

Cioppa was sentenced to six months house arrest and four years probation after pleading guilty to four misdemeanor criminal counts.



Older Story: Original Article

04/12/2012

A former district magistrate in Rankin pleaded guilty to some charges he was facing in connection to allegations that the offered favorable rulings in exchange for sex.

Ross Cioppa will spend four years on probation and six months on house arrest. He was the district justice in Rankin for 13 years.

Cioppa had been charged with bribery, indecent assault and official oppression after two women came forward saying he made sexual advances toward them in court and in return, he would help their cases.

A statement from one of the women in court read: “I went to him for help. He made my life a living hell.”

The bribery charges were withdrawn and Cioppa pleaded guilty to official oppression and indecent assault.

I just want to make it very clear – this is not a win – I’m not going to try to spin this,” Phillip DiLucente, Cioppa’s attorney, said. “This is a death to his professional career and this has hurt him both professionally and personally.”

Cioppa told the court medications he is taking may be the reason for his behavior.

None of us are medical doctors,” DiLucente continued. “I think that’s why it was proper and appropriate Judge Rangos had ordered a mental health evaluation so that this can be dealt with properly, appropriately and how it is supposed to.”

Cioppa told the court he was pleading guilty because he was guilty.

It could have been the medication I was taking. I am remorseful. I know I can’t turn the time back.”


NJ - Assemblywoman Donna Simon: Sex Offenders Should Have to Identify Status on Social Networking Sites

Donna Simon
Original Article

Most of those who are busted in these online stings are not known sex offenders, so forcing them to wear a digital scarlet letter would do nothing to prevent this, and it's just another blanket law that puts all ex-sex offenders into the worst of the worse group, which most are not like this, but hey, she's a politician, so what do you expect?

01/23/2013

State Assemblywoman Donna Simon wants the state to create a law that would force sex offenders to identify their status on social networking profiles like Facebook.

Anyone who remembers the TV show `To Catch a Predator’ knows they don’t just knock on the door anymore. We can bring a some of the landmark Megan’s Law protects to the Internet,“ Simon said. “It’s almost impossible to open a newspaper these days without seeing another example of a depraved predator hiding his past to victimize another innocent child. Any bit of knowledge that might prevent a tragic crime is essential.”

Simon, a Republican representing parts of Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Hunterdon counties, says three recent crimes in New Jersey show the need for the legislation and illustrate how dangerous the Internet remains for children.
- The world is a dangerous place to children, and adults, but do I see you banning people from driving cars because alcoholics drive drunk and kill people?  Or gang members who kill innocent kids from drive by shootings, to name a couple scenarios?

Last year a Bound Brook man who had been convicted of exposing himself to teenage girls was caught responding to personal ads on an online dating site. Earlier this month, a Robbinsville man recently was arrested after flying to Colorado to engage in sexual activity with an investigator he believed was a teenage girl he met on Facebook. And a Pemberton man previously convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 13 was sentenced to life this month after traveling to Rhode Island to have sex with an investigator he believed was an 8-year-old girl he met online.

These horrific, stomach-turning examples show how important it is for parents and children to know whether the person they’re chatting with is capable of committing atrocious acts,” Simon said. “My plan would give one more tool to the law enforcement officers who work around the clock to protect children from sex offenders.”
- It's idiotic thinking like this is why American's continue to lose their rights. Let's force all gun owners to publish on Facebook that they own a gun, post their address, photo, etc, because a couple people who own guns have killed people! Makes just as much sense, and yeah, it's the same logic.

Simon is sponsoring legislation, modeled after a law enacted in Louisiana last year, that would force anyone required to register under Megan’s Law to identify themselves as a sex offender on social networking profiles. Anyone caught violating that provision could face 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.


IN - Facebook Sex Offenders Ban Ruled Unconstitutional

Original Article

01/23/2013

By CHARLES WILSON

INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana law that bans registered sex offenders from using Facebook and other social networking sites that can be accessed by children is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Chicago overturned a federal judge's decision upholding the law, saying the state was justified in trying to protect children but that the "blanket ban" went too far by restricting free speech.

The 2008 law "broadly prohibits substantial protected speech rather than specifically targeting the evil of improper communications to minors," the judges wrote.

"The goal of deterrence does not license the state to restrict far more speech than necessary to target the prospective harm," they said in a 20-page decision (PDF).

The judges noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has also struck down laws that restricted the constitutional right to freedom of expression, such as one that sought to ban leafleting on the premise that it would prevent the dropping of litter.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled in June that the state has a strong interest in protecting children and found that social networking had created a "virtual playground for sexual predators to lurk." She noted that everything else on the Internet remained open to those who have been convicted of sex offenses.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the class-action suit on behalf of a man who served three years for child exploitation and other sex offenders who are restricted by the ban even though they are no longer on probation.

Courts have long allowed states to place restrictions on convicted sex offenders who have completed their sentences, controlling where many live and work and requiring them to register with police. But the ACLU contended that even though the Indiana law is only intended to protect children from online sexual predators, social media websites are virtually indispensable. The group said the ban prevents sex offenders from using the websites for legitimate political, business and religious purposes.

The ACLU applauded the decision.

"Indiana already has a law on the books that prohibits inappropriate sexual contacts with children," including penalties for online activities, ACLU legal director Ken Falk said. "This law sought to criminalize completely innocent conduct that has nothing to do with children."

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said his office would review the ruling before deciding on the next step.

Federal judges have barred similar laws in Nebraska and Louisiana. Louisiana legislators passed a new, narrower law last year that requires sex offenders to identify themselves on Facebook and similar sites. A federal judge struck down part of Nebraska's law last October.


NM - APS bus stop near sex offender's home