Saturday, March 30, 2013

SOSEN News Spring 2013

MD - High court ruling could affect sex offender registry - ourt says offenders from before registry began shouldn't be on list

Original Article


BALTIMORE - The Maryland Court of Appeals on Monday decided that sex offenders whose crimes took place before the registry was created in 1995 should not have to register, and the decision could have widespread implications for hundreds of others on the list.

The case of Sarah Foxwell, an 11-year-old girl found raped and slain on the Eastern Shore in December 2010 sparked outrage and increased efforts to tighten restrictions on Maryland sex offenders.

"It's enabled all of us statewide to have a conversation about the fact that this really is a problem. It really does happen and it can happen anywhere, whether it's on the Eastern Shore or it's right here in Baltimore City," said Adam Rosenberg, the executive director of the Baltimore Child Abuse Center.

Much of the conversation has focused on the sex offender registry, which was placed front and center in the Maryland Court of Appeals on Monday.

In the case presented to the court, a Washington County teacher who went by the name John Doe was convicted in 2006 of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old student in 1983. Doe argued that he should not have to register as a sex offender because the registry didn't exist until 12 years after the crime.

"He's saying when I did what I did, there was not a sex offender registry in place, therefore you can't put me on the sex offender registry for doing what I did," explained Baltimore criminal defense attorney Christopher Wheatcroft, of the firm Alperstein & Diener, P.A.

The Maryland Court of Appeals agreed in a ruling that sets new precedent in the state and has the potential to remove hundreds of sex offenders from the registry.

Wheatcroft called the decision fair but acknowledged that the future will at least partly depend on how the Legislature and the Department of Public Safety react to the ruling.

"Long-term, I don't know how many people will be off the registry, and I don't know what process they're going to have to follow to make that happen if it remains an opportunity for them," Wheatcroft said.

Rosenberg said regardless of what happens, the registry is only one part of the solution.

"It's great to be able to know who is in your neighborhood that has been convicted of being a sex offender, but that doesn't solve the entire problem," he said. "There are many more people who could be committing a sex offense that we don't know of, and that is preventable."
- Preventable how exactly?  And what about knowing all the other ex-felons who live in our neighborhood, like murderers, gang members, drug dealers / users, DUI offenders, thieves, etc?

Details written in the judgment show that the court was somewhat divided in determining its ruling. Legal experts said the issue still has a long road and will likely make its way to the Supreme Court.

AL - Jeff. Co. B'ham Al crazy arrest

The following was sent to us via the contact form and posted, as was sent, with the users permission.

By P:
i was arrested in june 2002 for sexual abuse 1st i was 19 the girl was 18 my 6000 dollar lawyer advised me to plead guilty to 1yr 1day split 30 days to serve or i would get 10 yrs if i lost at trial which is usually the case even in he said she said anyway fastforward over 10 yrs my wife called 911 about 6 months ago at 4A.M. thinking there was a burglar the operator told us to step outside so the deputies could see us so we stepped on the porch they ask our names and i guess ran them finding out i was a SO my wallet was 6to7 feet away i was in basketball shorts no shirt at 4 in the morning just awoken by an intruder and they arrested me for SO with no id on my wifes porch and its a felony i am really interested in your cause and just wanted to share that by the way they took not a single second to look for the prowler its a joke here i have never been in trouble for another sex offense and i never will its something that haunts me everyday i was a kid hooking up with a drunk girl 1 yr younger than me and her boyfriend came in so she said it was forced but there were no bruises no scratches on me and my very christian parents were upstairs asleep in a 290,000 dollar home so i just dont know what to do where should i move? i hate it here there is no difference between any SO's here and registration is for life please let me know what you think thank you