Friday, January 25, 2013

NY - Sex Offenders and Social Media in New York State

Our Comments:
The law is lumping all ex-sex offenders into one group, the worst of the worse, and that is why it's unconstitutional. Probation / parole can already set guidelines on who can do what, so this is just another un-needed law made by some politician who is exploiting fear, children and ex-sex offenders to help their own careers.

It is time for the people who took oaths to defend the Constitution, to do so!!!!!

And we are also sick and tired of the biased media, who are suppose to report all the facts, and not their own personal hate and biasness, using the term sex offender, child molester, pedophile and predator as if they are all the same. THEY ARE NOT! So stop misusing the terms. It's reporting like this why the hysteria is still going strong, but maybe that is your goal in the first place?

Video Description:
Criminal Defense Attorney Thomas Carr of Albany, NY discusses New York State laws pertaining to Sex Offenders and Social Media.

A federal judge in Chicago said it is unconstitutional for states to ban all sex offenders from social media sites. The ruling came after an Indiana sex offender who was no longer on probation challenged a state law.

It was a very, very broad ban, if you were a sex offender you couldnt register and you couldn't be on Facebook, said Thomas Carr, a partner with Tully Rinkey PLLC.

In 2008, New York enacted the Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP). Authorities have since used provisions to take thousands of sex offenders offline. E-STOP requires offenders to register their email addresses, screen names and social media accounts with the state. The information is then provided to social media sites that request the data. New York only prohibits some sex offenders from using the websites as part of probation requirements.

More than two dozen social media websites, including Facebook, ban sex offenders as part of their Terms of Service. The federal ruling does not apply to the sites because they are private companies.

Some sites do not have an outright ban on sex offenders and do not cross-check the information on the state database with their usernames, which is why experts continually suggest parents take steps at home to monitor computer, gaming and smartphone use.

Were always concerned about safety for kids and this is concerning. it really highlights and makes it more important for a parent to be involved with the kid's online presence, said Andy Gliplin, Director of Program Services at CAPTAIN Youth and Family Services. Really take advantage of the parental controls that are out there with a lot of the sites, gaming consoles, and different access points to the internet.

GERMANY - Kid Gets Strippers For His Birthday Party

We believe that is German at the end of the video. If this were done in the USA, the parents and the strippers would probably now be in prison and eventually on the sex offender registry for life. They never say how old the kid is, he could be of legal age.


MN - Report: Hundreds of Sex Offenders Released Before Completing Treatment

Original Article


By Steve Tellier

Hundreds of convicted sex offenders are ordered to complete treatment while in prison but are released without doing so. And even the Minnesota Department of Corrections admits those convicts are more likely to commit another sexual crime once they're back on the street.

"The department is very concerned about the risk of all sex offenders," said Steve Allen, the director of behavioral health sciences at the DOC.

That concern was clear in a new DOC report presented to the legislature last week. It states that in Minnesota, there are about 1,800 sex offenders behind bars who are supposed to complete a treatment program before being released. But only one in three ever enter that treatment, let alone complete it. A 2010 DOC report showed those who are released before participating in treatment are about six percent more likely to commit another sexual crime.

"That really is a disappointing figure," said Donna Dunn, the executive director of the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault. "We know that sex offender treatment can work and does work. We know that that is something that is incredibly important for offenders to go through. When that doesn't happen, we know that public safety is compromised."

The DOC does make sure the most serious offenders are the ones who get spots in the prison treatment program, and the ones who don't are passed on to community-based treatment and supervision after they're released.

"The research tells us to put the resources where the risk is," Allen said.

The problem is that resources are lacking.

"We would need funding to expand our treatment," Allen said.

The DOC's budget has recently remained flat, and Gov. Mark Dayton's budget proposal doesn't include any additional cash.

"Preventing sexual violence has got to be a priority," Dunn said.

The chair of the House Public Safety Finance and Policy committee, Rep. Michael Paymar (DFL-St. Paul), said the legislature is looking for ways to get the DOC more money and resources for offender treatment.

IN - Community speaks out about social network ruling

Original Article


By Holly Campbell

LAFAYETTE (WLFI) - An Indiana law banning registered sex offenders from using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter was found unconstitutional by a federal judge.

"I think a lot of that falls into the parents responsibilities, but then what do you do for those children that don't have parents involved. I think it is wise for the community to try and protect them," Rochelle Jones of Lafayette said.

Last June U.S.. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt upheld the law saying the state has a strong interest in doing just that, protecting children. Pratt said social networking provides sexual predators the ability to prey on children.
- It also provides a way for scammers to target victims and ruin their lives as well, or gang members to recruit new children into their gangs, or thieves to find when you are or aren't home, but we don't see you passing laws to prevent that.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the class-action lawsuit on behalf of a man who served three years for child exploitation. They appealed the June ruling and agree with the most recent ruling that the law was too broad.

"Indiana has already made it a crime to engage in, as I said, not only solicitation just sort of succeeding in doing something horrible but even inappropriate communication with children that's already illegal, so what you're asking is that we are going to make any contact with social media illegal and that's just too broad," Indiana ACLU Legal Director Ken Faulk said.

Just last week a Crawfordsville man was arrested for seven felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor after using social media to make contact with the minor. According to court documents, 53-year-old [name withheld] met a 15-year-old boy on Facebook. He committed sexual acts at least 6 times with the boy over a span of 18 months. [name withheld] was not a registered sex offender.
- So punish the individual not an entire group!

AL - Law regulates sex offenders, even on social media

Original Article


By Christy Hutchings

BIRMINGHAM (WBRC) - A federal appeals court has ruled that an Indiana law banning registered sex offenders from Facebook is unconstitutional.

The ruling won't affect us in Alabama, because we take an entirely different approach when it comes to social media.

Alabama has one of the strongest laws in the country when it comes to sex offenders. And while the state does not ban sex offenders from using social media sites they regulating what they can do. These laws so far haven't been seen as unconstitutional and haven't been challenged.

The Internet can be a sexual predator's playground.

"We think about our children and restricting their access to computers, however now with technology and phones out there it's in the palm of their hand," Sgt. Jacob Reach with the Jefferson County Sex Offender Unit said.
- Well, get rid of the phone!  Be a parent, stop letting the government babysit you and your children!

Reach helps monitor the more than seven hundred sex offenders in Jefferson County and he will be the first to tell you, convicted sex offenders are drawn to social media.
- What a crock!  This is fear mongering BS!  Ex-offenders use social media for the same reasons you do.  Some may be using it for what you mentioned, but it's rare!

"They are going to find a way to access children and social media is easy access," Reach said.
- Not all ex-sex offenders are out looking for kids to molest.  Clearly this man is biased in his personal opinions, which aren't based on the facts.  A study was done awhile back (here) which shows that most children are approached by their peers, not some stranger.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all ways for a predator to reach children. But here in Alabama there are strict laws in place protecting potential victims. On top of sex offenders having to register where they live or work, they also have to notify law enforcement of social media sites they belong to and share email accounts.

"For example, if they have a Facebook account we'd have access to it to look at the account to make sure [an offender is] not posting pictures of himself with children sitting in his lap and he's not allowed to reside with children and that would allow us to investigate further to ensure their safety," Reach said.
- This is not exactly true.  You may have their account name, but you don't (I don't think) have their passwords.  If you do, then that is clearly a violation of their rights, and if they have the profile non-public, then you cannot see anything they say or do.

Jefferson County issues close to 250 warrants a year for sex offenders who aren't in compliance with the law.

"These offenders know we stay on top of them," Reach said.

Reach says parents need to talk to their children about the danger of sexual predators. If someone, your child doesn't know sends them a request on Facebook Reach says do not accept that request and to tell your parents at once.