Wednesday, April 3, 2013

UK - Three guilty of murder after body was buried in suitcase (Stuart Wareham, Lee Wareham & Benjamin Walter)



And yet more proof that the online sex offender hit-list needs to be taken offline and used by police in the UK and elsewhere, and the article above has video that captured most of their crimes via CCTV.

04/03/2013

Three men who killed a Boscombe man and then buried him in a shallow grave in woodland have been convicted of murder at Winchester Crown Court today.

Stuart Raymond Wareham of Bournemouth, aged 26, his half-brother Lee Raymond Wareham, 33, and 22-year-old Benjamin Henry Walter, both of no fixed abode, killed [name withheld] in his flat in Cecil Road, Boscombe, on Thursday June 7 2012.

On Sunday June 10 2012 Dorset Police received a report that [name withheld] was missing from his flat. The circumstances were suspicious and it was believed, but not confirmed, that he may have been killed.

On Wednesday June 13 2012 Mr [name withheld]'s body was excavated from a shallow grave in woods. He had been buried in a large suitcase and had suffered horrendous injuries.

An inquest into the death of [name withheld]  who was originally from Doncaster, was opened and adjourned at Bournemouth Coroner's Court. Evidence was heard that the 57-year-old died from multiple blunt force injuries.

During the trial, evidence of Mr [name withheld]'s previous sexual offending was publicised but addressing the jury the judge, The Honourable Mr. Justice Griffith Williams, said: “All human life has value and [name withheld] is entitled to the same justice as victims whose reputations are exemplary."


MO - Editorial: Time to retool sex offender registry

Original Article

04/02/2013

Replacing Missouri’s punitive and catch-all sex offender registry with a more selective list is the right way for the state to go in addressing a serious problem.

Two bills (HB-462, HB-589) that are working their way through the Missouri Legislature seek to replace the current registry, which does not give offenders in most cases an opportunity to be taken off it, with registries that would ultimately give many offenders on the list that chance.

One of the problems with the current registry is that it does not discriminate among the types of offenses that result in a person being scarred for life with the sex offender tag.

As a result, it diminishes public perception of the severity of the crimes committed by serious offenders by lumping them in with people who have committed less severe crimes.

One example of lesser crimes is the so-called “Romeo and Juliet” offender, which generally refers to older teenagers who had consensual sex with a minor, usually a younger teen. The Missouri Highway Patrol, which manages the sex offender registry, has calculated that about 631 people would immediately be removed from the list if one of the bills, sponsored by Rep. Don Phillips, R-Kimberling City, was signed into law.

The sex offender registry is not intended to be a blotch forever on the reputations of such people. The point of the registry is to allow government authorities — and citizens — to keep track of the residence and activities of sex offenders, including those who have completed their criminal sentences, to make it more difficult for them to repeat their crimes.
- But statistics already show that ex-sex offenders already have a very low re-offense rate and are not likely to commit another related crime, if you'd look, and the online registry is nothing more than an online hit-list for vigilantes to use to target for harassment ex-offenders, their families and even innocent people, which many examples can be seen here.


The information on the registry is available to the general public via a website maintained by the Highway Patrol. It includes the offender’s current address, place of employment, type of vehicle registered to him (an overwhelming number of offenders are hims) and the person’s criminal history.

Critics say the registry net is cast too wide, and they advocate the scalpel rather than the meat ax approach. Being listed on the registry can ruin people’s lives, making it difficult for them to get jobs, more likely to be harassed by neighbors and co-workers or to be targeted by law enforcement authorities.

An academic in the field, Wayne Logan, a professor at Florida State University law school, says there isn’t even agreement about whether registries serve as the deterrents they are intended to be.

Mr. Logan, who also has written a book about criminal registries and notification laws, was quoted in a front-page story in Monday’s Post-Dispatch by reporters Virginia Young and Stephen Deere. He said a recent study shows that while registries can serve as a deterrent, they can also promote recidivism by making life too difficult for the offender.

They can never get out from that shadow,” Mr. Logan said.

The registry can be used to subject listed offenders to housing restrictions and parole or probation restrictions that don’t apply to others, such as being in the presence of minors, living in proximity to schools or day care centers, owning objects of interest to minors or use of the Internet.

Another reason to retool the registry is the cost of maintaining it.

Mr. Phillips, a retired highway patrolman, said his bill would keep minor offenders off the registry and would allow nearly a third of about 14,000 people currently on it to petition for removal within 20 years.

His bill has support from the Missouri Sheriffs Association, the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri and Missouri Kids First, a statewide organization that works to prevent child abuse.

County sheriffs who support the bill say they have limited resources to track the growing list of offenders and that by cutting back on the number of those on the list, they would be better able to concentrate on dangerous offenders.

The other bill that also has made it out of the House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee is sponsored by Rep. Dave Hinson, R-St. Clair. While it shares some of the same ideas for redesigning the registry, it is more far-reaching and would give all offenders a chance to petition for removal.

It also would require mental health exams and be too expensive to administer. Mr. Phillips’ bill, HB462, is the better approach.

While there seems to be legislative consensus that the sex offender registry needs work, the method of getting there has not yet been determined. With the state’s criminal code also in need of reform for many of the same reasons, it’s heartening to see that the Legislature realizes the blunt approach to crime isn’t always the best approach.

See Also:


Offendex.com and other mug shot sites are putting ex-sex offenders, families, children and innocent people's lives in danger!

Original Article

07/01/2012

Question:
I just moved to a new house. Shortly after moving in, I found out that a previous tenant had been a registered sex offender with his address (now my address) listed. Although the state sex offender registry rightfully has delisted my address, it is still listed on private Internet registries who have not responded to my request to remove my address. One site, Offendex.com, even wants me to pay them 200 dollars, otherwise they will NEVER take it off! I really don't have the money for a lawyer to fight this, but I've had two windows broken and my car key-scratched, as well as get late-night honks and shouts of "pervert!" all the time, and I'm frankly scared for my family's safety. Local law enforcement is powerless to do anything. What can I do?

Answer:
Contact the attorney general's consumer protection office and see if they can help or point you in the right direction. It is almost extortion to make you pay to have information corrected. The sex offender's name and associated address is supposed to be the information supplied to the public not an address. You may have an injury suit and if a personal injury attorney took the case, they work for a percentage of anything collected, not an upfront fee.


WA - Sex offender halfway home holds 'open house'

Original Article

04/02/2013

By ELISA HAHN

On Tuesday, the Unity House in south Seattle opened its doors to the public, offering a rare look inside a sex offender halfway house.

Jim Tharpe, Unity House owner, looks at his home as an educational center for convicted sex offenders released from prison. The goal is to teach them to re-integrate back into society so they can get jobs and have a future.

"Bring about a learning experience for these men in a different way that helps them work with you in the long run," said Tharpe.

Tharpe says part of the home's success is community outreach and getting your neighbors to feel comfortable and safe. Unity House residents say that includes keeping the house clean and the grass cut.

"Keep your place looking good, keep your neighbors feeling safe about you," said Neil, one of the residents who has the duty of mowing the lawn. "And it helps."

Some of the visitors included residents from Puyallup and Marysville, who have been facing issues with sex offender housing.

"I'm impressed," said Puyallup City Manager Bill McDonald.

Last summer, neighbors and city administrators were caught off guard when a proposed "shared living facility" for ex-cons wanted to move into a residential area in Puyallup.

"Not on transit, poorly located, no resources," said McDonald. "They're going to need to engage the community."

Puyallup has been struggling to regulate sex offender housing, only to realize that the power lies at the state level.

State lawmakers are working on a new bill that would address problems with halfway houses under the Department of Corrections voucher program. ESB 5105 passed unanimously in the Senate and is now under consideration in the House.


IA - Sex offender faces charge after lobbying legislators

Original Article

04/02/2013

A registered sex offender from Davenport has been charged with failing to register his employment as a lobbyist in Des Moines and faces up to two years in prison.

[name withheld], 24, who is on the Iowa registry for a 2008 conviction for lascivious acts with a minor victim, told the Quad-City Times on Tuesday that the failure to register charge filed late last week is a misunderstanding.

He said he has spent months trying to lobby on behalf of legislation aimed at lifting lifetime parole status for some teenagers, himself included, who were convicted of sex crimes.

He added he isn’t being paid to be a lobbyist.

They consider my being a lobbyist as a job,” [name withheld] said.

According to his arrest affidavit, [name withheld] is required to register within five business days any change in employment. Beginning March 6, [name withheld] lobbied at the Iowa State Capitol on behalf of the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators, Iowa Safe Kids and Judicial Retirement System, the affidavit states.

He also had active declarations on one House file and several Senate bills, the affidavit states. One of the Senate bills proposes changes to the Sex Offender Registry.

His name was removed from the state’s lobbying records last week.

House Chief Clerk Carmine Boal, who supervises the list of lobbyists registered at the House, said [name withheld] was lobbying as an individual and claiming to represent the three organizations. She said the organizations never hired [name withheld] and didn’t know his name was attached with theirs on any legislation.

This is very unusual,” Boal said. “We have not had someone come in and claim to be part of an organization, lobby for an organization and the organization had no idea. I don’t think that’s ever happened.”

She said anyone who wants to lobby the state is required to register. Most lobbyists are hired or work on contract with various organizations. Citizens can lobby the state on any pending legislation, but they also must register, she added.

He just didn’t know how it worked,” Boal said.

[name withheld] said that although he registered as a lobbyist, he included the three organizations on his form because he had an “interest” in them. He insisted he’s never had a “binding contract” with the organizations and has never tried to pass himself off as their representative.

He’s not lobbying for us,” Jake Fredrickson, spokesman for the state treasurer’s office, which oversees the Judicial Retirement System, said.

He’s a confused gentleman,” Fredrickson said. “He thought he was registering for something he was interested in. It’s more a case of confusion than actual malice.”

A message left Tuesday at Iowa Network of Christian Home Educators wasn’t returned. An Iowa Safe Kids spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment.

Scott County Sheriff’s Detective Peter Bawden, who supervises the county’s 322 registered sex offenders, said that although sex offenders aren’t barred from being lobbyists, they have to register what they’re doing whether they’re getting paid for it or not. Even volunteer activities must be reported as changes in employment status, Bawden added.

As soon as he started working as a lobbyist, that’s what got him in trouble,” Bawden said. “The charge definitely does fit.”

Bawden said he was alerted by someone in Des Moines who was aware [name withheld] is a sex offender.

A first offense failure to register is an aggravated misdemeanor. [name withheld] was arrested Friday and spent 45 minutes in the Scott County Jail.

His attorney, Cathy Cartee of Davenport, said she’s fighting the charge.

He’s not required to register as a lobbyist, not unless it’s his job,” Cartee said. “He wasn’t getting paid.”

[name withheld] was put on the Sex Offender Registry for life for something he called a “youthful mistake.” [name withheld] said he was an 18-year-old senior at Central High School when he had a consensual sexual encounter with a 13-year-old freshman at another school. He added that at the time he thought the girl was 16.

They teach you how to put on a condom,” he said. “They don’t teach you to check the girl’s ID.”


MA - Audit finds day cares near sex offenders gone

Original Article

04/02/2013

By Allison Thomasseau

BOSTON - While a state audit of day-care centers found that four in North Central Massachusetts shared addresses with known sex offenders, only one of the matches presented a threat to children or violated state law.
- So instead of the fear mongering statistics of 119 by Suzanne Bump, only 1 presented a threat! And we understand, this is just one article disputing this fact, but if more media would do their jobs, maybe others would show the same thing?

Matches at 105 Plymouth St., Fitchburg, and 740 Central St., Leominster, were for day care programs that closed in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

A match in Gardner was for a center that shared an address with Mount Wachusett Community College where a sex offender worked or attended school. The center is located in a separate, self-contained building.

A final match, at 21 Summer St., Leominster, was for a day care center that moved to a new location without informing authorities. The license for that center has been revoked.

State Auditor Suzanne Bump's report (PDF), which was released last Wednesday, found a total of 119 matches between the addresses of sex offenders and the 10,528 registered day care centers in the state.

Christopher Thompson, a spokesman for Bump, said the study was part of a routine audit of the Department of Early Education and Care. He said the department was not required to do the cross checking.

"It was not required for EEC to perform sex offender registry checks. That was our initial finding," said Thompson. "We found that out, so we did the check ourselves."

Carmel Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the Department of Early Education and Care, wrote in an email that the department revoked the license of a Leominster day-care operation run by Robin Wiiniaka-Machado, formerly of 21 Summer St., after it was determined she had moved from the address on her license without informing the department, a violation of a requirement of day care providers.

Sullivan wrote that the department was unable to contact Wiiniaka-Machado before it revoked her childcare license. The sex offender who matched Wiiniaka-Machado's day care address lived in a different unit at that address.

The department's attempts to find contact information for Wiiniaka-Machado were unsuccessful.

The auditor turned over the matches to the early-education department, which investigated each case, Thompson said. In addition to Wiiniaka-Machado, three other childcare providers lost licenses: Ana Julia Minaya, of Methuen, and Diane Martin and Carmen Martinez, both of Springfield.

The report also found that of 152 randomly selected child-care workers, 15 had expired background checks. None of these workers were local.

Thomas Weber, acting early-education commissioner, said last week that the department would begin to conduct routine crosschecks of sex-offender and child-care addresses.

There is no state law preventing a sex offender from living near a day-care center. But some cities, including Fitchburg and Leominster, have passed city ordinances banning sex offenders from living 1,000 to 1,200 feet from schools, parks, or childcare centers.

Lt. Michael Goldman, of the Leominster Police Department, said police do not monitor whether sex offenders are living at the same address as a day-care center.
- So are they not checking the addresses when an offender registers?

"Our only involvement with sex offenders is registration or violations while on probation or parole," Goldman said.

However, all directors of operating area day cares that turned up in the state audit said they were aware that sex offenders lived or worked nearby.

"The problem is addressed as long as you put in the safety precautions," said Patti MacGillivray, owner and director of Pattikakes' A Place to Grow in Tewksbury, which is on the Tewksbury State Hospital campus.

MacGillivray said Pattikakes' keeps the doors locked. When the staff and children leave the center, the staff members bring two cellphones with them.

"If the staff ever see something that is suspicious, they go to the campus police," she said.

Local activists have responded to the audit by asking for more regulations against sex offenders and better access to information about sex offenders.

"We need to use the public information that's available, but that comes down on the Legislature to make more information accessible," said Laurie Myers, founder of Community Voices, which advocates for child protection and safety.

Information about Level 3 sex offenders, who are classified as high risk, is available online, but Myers said more information about Level 1 and Level 2 offenders should also be available.

"We can't wait for tragedy to act," Myers said. "We need to be proactive in protecting children and unfortunately we don't see that."
- You should always take precautions to protect those you are in charge of watching, even if the registry did not exist at all!


AL - Fmr. Millbrook police officer (Ronnie Neil Lipscomb) sentenced for child porn

Ronnie Neil Lipscomb
Original Article

04/02/2013

By John Shryock

WETUMPKA (WSFA) - A former officer with the Millbrook Police Department was sentenced to jail time Tuesday in regards to possession of child pornography.

Ronnie Neil Lipscomb, 44, was sentenced to 4 years, but the judge says he will spend 12 months in the Elmore County Jail.

Lipscomb was not employed as an officer with the Millbrook Police Dept. at the time of his arrest.

The judge ordered him to report to the Elmore County Jail by Friday, April 5.

Since Lipscomb was found guilty of possessing child porn, he will be required to register as a sex offender.


Overcoming housing barriers for sex offenders

Original Article

04/02/2013

By Robert Carter

Sex offenders remain some of the most difficult to place in the labor market

Release into the community from a correctional setting is a daily struggle, even when you have only been incarcerated for a short period. Many of the responsibilities and basic needs that were met while in the community are often much harder to gain back with a criminal background.

Policies regarding employment and housing of ex-convicts vary from state to state. There are varying perceptions in the philosophy of continued punishment, or allowing for those barriers to be overcome.

In addressing the constant and growing problem of the parolee population in terms of employment and housing, sex offenders remain some of the most difficult to place in the labor market. Finding appropriate and suitable housing in terms of their parole stipulations and landlord’s willingness to rent to current and prior felons remain some of the key issues.

Meeting parole requirements and other issues
Sex offenders often have additional parole stipulations, which make it even more difficult for them to find stable housing. Even if stable housing is found, it’s most likely found in a dangerous or crime-infested neighborhood, decreasing their chances for success in the community. Housing for sex offenders should be utilized through Prisoner Re-entry programs; the community as a whole needs to work with these organizations.

Typically, private landlords and transitional housing programs can alleviate the pressure on sex offenders in finding more stable housing. Also, working with parole agents who supervise these sex offenders can help establish an acceptable or felony-friendly housing list, which should be maintained by the parole agent, the landlords, or the non-profit organizations who provide the housing services.

Addressing parole stipulations is also important in understanding what barriers exist in sex offenders search for suitable housing. Typically, sex offenders are required to register at their local police and/or sheriff’s department quarterly and to register any new addresses, cars, places of employment, email addresses, and phone numbers.

This population also can only reside within a certain amount of feet from a school or playground. What I have seen is a sex offender must not reside with 1,000 – 2,000 feet of any school or playground.

Parole agents are the ones responsible for the housing placement of sex offenders and if proper housing is not located, they must remain in jail as is it against the law for them not to have an address. Homeless shelters now have been the main focus in the media due to varying concerns that sex offenders are staying their temporarily.
- This is not the case for many states and keeping them in jail beyond their sentence is wrong!  Just because politicians pass insane laws that make it almost impossible for an ex-sex offender to find a place to live or work, doesn't mean you can just keep them locked up, or it should mean that.

Some of these homeless shelters are within the 1,000 – 2,000 foot range of schools and parks set forth by most parole conditions amongst the sex offender population, however some judges have managed to set forth precedence allowing them to stay at the shelters.

A final issue with the residing within a school zone or park rule is that some schools or parks may even be closed, thus creating a need for exceptions to the rule to be made. If schools and parks are closed and there is no activity in the area from minors or families, why should this prevent them from residing within that area?

Working together to find solutions
It’s apparent after reading this article that the community as a whole needs to work together to provide housing resources to sex offenders re-entering the community.

Non-profit organizations, parole agents, private landlords, and church organizations are examples of community members that can help alleviate the pressures of those entering the community seeking stable and affordable housing.

Prisoner Re-entry programs in general need to address this concern regarding sex offenders as this will become a growing problem, especially since most of them will be released in the near future after serving a long sentence.