Tuesday, April 30, 2013

OR - Window shot at SE Portland sex-offender clinic

Original Article


More proof that the public cannot handle the online registry without stooping to vigilantism.

By Carla Castano

PORTLAND (KOIN) - A counseling clinic that already relocated once because of neighborhood concerns is getting backlash from residents in its new location and called the police over a few issues.

Whole Systems Clinic and Consultation recently moved to 125th and Stark in Southeast Portland, but critics worry it’s too close to several schools in the area. Tensions have gotten so high police are now involved.

What appears to be BB gun holes are visible in the windows of the clinic that primarily serves convicted sex offenders. They moved out of a Sellwood neighborhood earlier this year.

But neighbors said they weren’t notified until after the clinic opened its doors on Stark.

I worry for the children at the bus stop,” neighbor Lauren Mosbrucker told KOIN 6 News.

Area residents understand counseling for sex offenders is a necessary service, but they don’t want it near their neighborhood or schools.

Clinic employees, who said they’ve been harassed and threatened by neighbors, called Portland police in the past week. That’s why they’ve backed out of a Tuesday night community forum, though a mediator will attend along with neighbors, police and county officials.

Tuesday’s meeting is from 7-9 p.m. at the David Douglas District Office Boardroom at 1500 SE 130th in Portland.

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MO - House endorses sex offender legislation

Original Article


JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri House members have approved legislation (PDF) that would make changes to the sex offender registry.

Sex offenders would be grouped into three tiers with each considered to have a different risk of committing another offense. Eventually, people could file a petition in court and ask to be removed from the registry. How long they would need to wait before filing a petition would vary depending on their tier.

Part of the legislation also seeks to increase the penalty for incest, child rape and child abuse resulting in death. Another portion adjusts the definition of rape to include instances in which a woman has become incapacitated because of the actions of a third person.

The legislation approved 101-52 on Monday now goes to the Senate.

OH - Former Pike Co. Deputy (Clyde Franklin Sanders) Found Guilty Of Gross Sexual Imposition

Clyde Franklin Sanders
Original Article


By Matt Lucas

A former chief deputy at the Pike County Sheriff's Office was found guilty of one count of gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony, on Monday when he appeared before visiting Judge Jan Corzine in the Pike County Court of Common Pleas.

Clyde Franklin (Frank) Sanders, 50, was arrested by the Pike County Sheriff's Office in 2011 and charged with one count of gross sexual imposition, two counts of kidnapping, one count of rape, and one count of endangering children. The rape and kidnapping charges were first-degree felonies.

On Monday, Sanders pleaded no contest to the charge of gross sexual imposition and was found guilty of the charge, according to the Ohio Attorney General's Office, which handled the prosecution of the case through Assistant Attorney General Emily Pelphrey.

In 2011, a term of the Pike County Grand Jury returned a five-count indictment against Sanders, alleging that between October 2008 and January 2009, he engaged in sexual activity with a child who was under the age of 10. At the time of his 2011 arrest on Five Bucks Road, Sanders was living in Beaver.

Due to Monday's plea, the case will not go to jury trial. Pelphrey declined to be interviewed on Monday, but the Attorney General's Office said that sentencing of Sanders will take place at a date yet to be determined. Sanders is represented by attorneys from Yavitch and Palmer Co., LPA, and Bowen and Keck, both Columbus firms.

NY - Advocate Thinks Reporter Too Harsh on Sex Offenders

Shana Rowan
Original Article


By Shana Rowan (Blog, Website)

As a registry reform advocate and fiance to a registrant whose crime was committed as a minor, I felt compelled to respond to the numerous sex offender-related issues brought up in several recent articles.

Buffalo/Niagara is no different than other urban areas in our country in terms of high concentrations of registered sex offenders. The public’s mentality towards those on the registry often makes it difficult for those convicted of sex crimes to find housing, and often impossible when municipalities enact residency restrictions. Schools and other “child oriented places” are usually centrally located, so finding housing more than 1,000 feet from such facilities is often not possible. Former sex offenders and their families often find themselves with little choice but to live in poorer, higher-crime neighborhoods.

A 2012 study by Dr. Jill Levenson (studies), one of the leading authorities on sex offender recidivism, found that residency restrictions do not reduce child sexual abuse and several previous studies corroborate her findings. Lack of stable housing and employment actually increases the likelihood of recidivism, making such restrictions counter-productive at best. Empirical research on sex crime reveals that children are overwhelmingly victimized by people they know, family members, friends, coaches, clergy, etc., not a stranger. Even the toughest laws directed at registrants only apply to those who have already been caught and since recidivism is so low, the impact of these laws is minimal.

It’s possible to feel anger at sex abuse and support harsh punishment of perpetrators, while recognizing the importance of fact-based policies. The unfortunate fact is that putting a stop to sex crime is far more complicated than perpetuating sex offender hysteria. The media plays a large role in communicating such information to the public, hopefully, the Niagara Falls Reporter will do this from now on.

Learn the truth at www.usafair.org/studies.

Shana Rowan is executive director of USA Fair, Inc. (USA Families Advocating an Intelligent Registry).

MI - Is Sex Offender Registry evil gossip or public safety? Ethics and Religion Talk

Original Article


By Matt Vande Bunte

GRAND RAPIDS - Here's this week's question: “Given that a sex offender registry list does not give a lot of useful information about the individuals on the list and, in fact, may give false and misleading impressions about them, is it ethical to keep such a list and make it public?"

Rabbi David Krishef (Bio) consults an attorney in this week's column, then shares his thoughts along with the Rev. David Christian (Bio).

Ethics and Religion Talk, by Rabbi David Krishef

In the course of writing a 2-part column on the ethics of welcoming sex offenders into congregational worship, I learned a great deal from people who are on the Sex Offender Registry as well as professionals who work with sexual offenders. A number of people questioned whether a public sex offender registry is useful and ethical.

Given that the Public Sex Offender Registry is the law in Michigan, I consulted an attorney, Susan Gellman, who has experience working with sexual offenders and practicing in constitutional law. Here's her response:

"We don't have registries for arsonists, con men, thieves or even killers. Having them for sex offenders is based on pandering to people's emotional but irrational feelings, not facts or probabilities."

The Rev. David Christian, a pastor of Resurrection Life Church in Grandville, disagrees:

"Public safety is the first responsibility of government, and that's why all crimes are routinely published. It is further justifiable when the victims of adult crime are minors, who are by definition less able to defend themselves.

"One reason why the registry focuses on sexual offenses is that the rate of recidivism is higher for sex offenders, especially those who offend minors. A behavioral line is crossed against the conscience that offenders rarely overcome.
- Wrong! Sex offenders have the lowest recidivism (re-offense) rate of all other criminals, except murderers, and you would think a Pastor would do their homework before just throwing out some statement like this.

"All forms of adult-to-minor abuse occur during the formative years, so the harm is not just to the body, but also to the soul (mind, will and emotions). Healing for the lifelong effects is always available, but this grace is not widely known or taught.
- For some this may be true, but not for everyone. One of the admins on this blog was sexually abused as a child, and they are no longer a victim but a survivor, and it didn't emotionally damage them for life. As long as you and others see yourself as victims, you will always be a victim!

"In the light of the lasting harm from sexual abuse of minors, the registry is ethically justified. The fact that the record-keeping process is flawed doesn't mean we should abandon it, just improve it. One possible way is to add detail about the degree of the offense, currently lacking in Michigan law."
- The registry should be taken offline and used by police only. It's nothing more than an online phone book for vigilantes to use to hunt down and harass or kill ex-sex offenders, their families and children, and we have many examples of this, here.

I believe that, as it is currently written, the law creating a sex offender registry is unethical. Leviticus 19:16 says, “You are not to traffic in slander among your kinspeople.” Jewish ethics cautions us not to share even verifiably true information which might damage someone's reputation unless we have a compelling reason to do so. Gossip is lashon hara, evil speech.

If it is the case that a female friend is considering dating a guy that we know, from unimpeachable sources, has physically abused his last three girlfriends, we would be justified in sharing that information with her. However, sharing information that damages someone’s reputation without such a just cause is not ethical speech.

The Sex Offender Registry might be ethical if it only listed individuals who have been determined by a professional to constitute a high risk to society. Only a small percentage on the list (pedophiles) have a high recidivism rate. The vast majority, however, have a recidivism rate comparable to or less than that of other crimes.

The Sex Offender Registry, as currently constituted, lumps all sex offenders together as if they all pose the same risk. A sexual predator is placed alongside a 17-year-old who had consensual sexual relations with a 15-year-old. The average person who doesn't read the list carefully or understand the nature of the degrees of the offense is likely to think that everyone on the list is a danger to society. In this Internet era, the reputation of a person on the registry, even one who has served his time and properly repented, will be forever smirched. This is lashon hara, evil speech.

Ethics and Religion Talk is compiled and written by David Krishef, rabbi at Congregation Ahavas Israel in Grand Rapids. Krishef takes questions from readers and shares them with a panel of clergy, then provides the responses in collaboration with MLive.com reporter Matt Vande Bunte. The views expressed are those of the panelists and do not necessarily represent the official perspectives of their congregations or denominations. Please submit questions from your own day-to-day encounters to EthicsAndReligionTalk@gmail.com.

OK - Innocent man jailed for 'rape of his girlfriend's four-year-old daughter' because police said a DNA test would be a waste of money

Original Article


A man was held in prison for three months while wrongly accused of child rape because police refused to carry out a DNA test after reportedly saying it was a waste of public money.

[name withheld] is planning to sue police in Oklahoma for wrongful arrest and detention after he finally managed to persuade a court to carry out the test which proved his innocence.

The 24-year-old, from Sapulpa, near Tulsa, was arrested on April 6 last year after reporting an attack on the four-year-old daughter of this then-girlfriend.

He denied the charges, but investigators refused to believe his defense.

A lie detector test had shown him to be deceptive and, damningly, the victim had even identified him as the attacker after more than an hour of interrogation.
- Lie detectors are junk science!

He was only released on July 3 when the DNA test matched that of a [name withheld #2], a convicted felon who lived in the same mobile home site as Mr [name withheld].

Mr [name withheld] said he was depressed while in jail, stopped eating and dropped to 130lbs from 190lbs.

[name withheld #2] was eventually arrested and charged with burglary, rape and lewd molestation and being held on a $750,000 bond awaiting a trial date.

Mr [name withheld]'s lawyer, Don Smolen, told Tulsa World: 'From day one he's begging them to do a DNA test. They said they weren't going to do that because it was a waste of taxpayers' dollars.

'Why wouldn't you do a DNA test? Even if it was him, why not do a test and confirm it? Why take three months?'

He has sent notice to the Creek County Sheriff's Office alleging wrongful arrest and detention as a result of police negligence.

The sheriff's office has three months to respond or face a potential civil rights lawsuit.

It has declined to comment on the legal action.

TN - Tipton County cracks down on sex offenders

Original Article


By Justin Hanson

COVINGTON - (WMC-TV) - Action News 5 received an inside look at how one Mid-South county is cracking down on sex offenders living in their neighborhood.

It was a combined effort from the Tipton County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Marshals and others as the county made unannounced visits to sex offenders in Tipton County – making sure they are in compliance with the law.

Covington resident [name withheld] was just one of 21 handcuffed and taken to jail on Friday and over the weekend.

[name withheld]'s arrest was part of a two day sex offender compliance check in Tipton County.

Action News Five was not only part of ride-along, but there to see those sex offenders heading to jail.

"We've recovered even pornography from some of them, a gun from one of them and the list goes on," said Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley.

Chumley takes crimes against children seriously.

That is why he wants sex offenders living in his county to know he or his deputies could come by at any time to make sure they are following the law.

"We don't want to go out, and one of them have a gun at their house and another one looking at pornography. We're making sure they're doing what they're supposed to do and if they're not, we're locking them up and if they don't do that, they can leave," said Chumley.

He said if they leave the area, they are required to let his department know the change of address.

Sex offenders are also not allowed to be within a certain distance of children.

"They're not going to be able to do what they want to do, they're going to be monitored by police," said Memphis Police Department Lt. Wilton Cleveland.

Officials said registered sex offenders are likely to commit a second sexual offense – that is why making unannounced visits to homes is so important.
- Not based on the facts!

"Here in Tipton County, it does take a village to raise a child and we're going to watch out for each other as much as we can, especially the children," said Chumley.
- No, all it takes is a responsible parent!

Those arrested will face a judge for the first time May 14. They will all stay on the sex offender registry and some could get jail time.

NY - LaValle Legislation: School Districts Must Notify Parents of Sex Offenders (Just a politicians repeating the same lies!)

Senator Kenneth P. LaValle
Original Article


Long Island - New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle’s legislation requiring a school district to notify students’ parents about the presence of sex offenders in their community once the district is notified by law enforcement officials, passed the New York State Senate today. The legislation provides funding to reimburse school districts for their costs related to complying with the requirement.

Megan’s Law requires that level two and level three sex offenders register with local law enforcement agencies,” Senator LaValle said. “The law enforcement agencies may distribute information including the offender’s name, picture, address, location of employment and background information.”

The rate of recidivism among sex offenders is very high and it is important that the public is aware of any dangerous offenders who may be living in their neighborhood. The information is currently available to the public, but many parents are not aware of this, or do not know where to look to find the information. Sending the offenders’ profiles to the parents in the school district provides an extra assurance that each household has the invaluable information that could protect their children from dangerous predators,” said Senator LaValle.
- More BS as usual!  The recidivism rates are low in general, even their own study (PDF) says that.

The bill will now be taken up in the Assembly.