Thursday, May 2, 2013
By Jonathan Mattise
TALLAHASSEE - It took three years, but Rep. Gayle Harrell is finally poised to change state law in honor of a slain Port St. Lucie teen.
The Stuart Republican’s proposed Brittany’s Law, named after 17-year-old Brittany Carleo, has cleared the House and Senate and is headed to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature into law. Carleo was murdered in 2006 by a 42-year-old sex offender who bonded out after arrest.
A Harrell proposal on sex offenses, which first contained Brittany’s Law, had stalled in the Senate. So Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Orange Park, offered to tuck the provision into HB 7035 (PDF), a pretrial detention bill. The House agreed to the final version of HB 7035 with Brittany’s Law in a 119-0 vote Thursday.
- Yep, this is how these sneaky people work. If you cannot pass it one way, sneak it into another bill with a different title.
In the proposal, if registered sexual predators and offenders are arrested again on unrelated charges, they would be kept in jail until a judge can determine whether they’re too dangerous to release. Individuals with those records would be held up to 24 hours before potentially being released, as long as the crime is more severe than a traffic misdemeanor.
This is nothing but extortion!
LANSING - Registered sex offenders living in Michigan would have to pay an annual fee under a measure (SB-221, PDF) that has passed the Republican-led Senate.
The bill passed on a 33 to 2 vote Thursday. Registered sex offenders must currently pay a onetime $50 fee, but this bill would require that they pay $50 annually.
Republican Sen. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge is the bill’s sponsor. He says $20 of each fee would go to local law enforcement and $30 to the state.
The bill only applies to registered sex offenders who are out of prison. People that prove that they are indigent can get a fee waiver.
He says neighboring states like Indiana and Illinois already charge annual fees.
The bill now heads to the House.
By Anil Dawar
The folly of tying Britain to the Court of Human Rights has been graphically highlighted by a Somalian criminal who had his deportation blocked and then carried out a sickening sex attack.
Convicted street robber [name withheld] spent an estimated £80,000 of taxpayers’ cash taking his battle to stay in the UK through the British courts and then into Europe.
But within three years of persuading the Euro judges to halt attempts to boot him out to protect his human rights, [name withheld] was jailed for a sexually assaulting a woman.
The jobless Somalian is estimated to have cost the country more than £400,000 in legal aid, prison costs and state benefits.
Home Office officials still have a deportation order for [name withheld] ready to enforce if peace returns to his homeland but the unrepentant Somalian yesterday boasted: “I am not going anywhere!”
The registered sex offender - who has to wear an electronic tag - broke cover to make a brazen bid to get the order lifted saying his catalogue of crimes was just “one mistake”.
He said: “I have been in the deportation process for almost six years. Surely I’ve earned the right to have my case revisited? How can I be deported for one mistake?”
[name withheld], 26, arrived in the UK at the age of eight and now lives in Small Heath, Birmingham along with his 20-strong extended family.
As a teenager, he was twice put on probation for shoplifting before being jailed for three years in 2005 for a vicious street robbery.
During his stint behind bars the Home Office served him with a deportation order which he unsuccessfully appealed against twice.
Immigration officers were ready to get him on a plane in 2007 but the Somalian took his case to the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg where the judges ruled sending [name withheld] back to his homeland would breach his human rights.
But within 12 months of winning his reprieve, ungrateful [name withheld] was convicted of criminal damage and then, in 2011 jailed for a sexual assault.
The saga has infuriated campaigners battling to take back power for UK courts to decide British matters from the unelected judges in Strasbourg.
Euro MP, Gerard Batten said: “We shouldn’t be surprised if criminals from around the world are attracted to Britain because the government makes it easy for them to get in and the European Court of Human Rights makes it almost impossible to get rid of them.”
“To add insult to injury, when we fail to deport them they can stay here and live on benefits from our welfare state.”
Last night a Home Office spokesman said: “We take all necessary steps to deport people who break our laws and in 2012 we removed 4,500 foreign national offenders.”
“However, deportation can be delayed when offenders seek to frustrate the process or challenge us on human rights grounds. That is why we have now changed the rules to make it harder for convicted criminals to dodge deportation in the courts.”
A Carleton man has been handed a community sentence for threatening to set fire to the flat belonging to a convicted sex offender.
Jonathan Paul Brewin, 29, of Carleton Mill, was annoyed that a man living nearby had not been sent to prison for possessing indecent images of children, Skipton magistrates were told.
Brewin launched a verbal attack on the other man, [name withheld], when their taxis arrived back in Carleton at the same time on February 2 after nights out with friends in Skipton, the court heard.
He told Mr [name withheld], who received a community sentence for possessing indecent images in December, 2011, that people like him should not live in Carleton.
He added that if he saw him in the local pub he would “rip him to pieces” and that if he did not move out within three weeks he would burn his flat down.
Prosecuting, Caroline Midgley said the confrontation lasted about 15 minutes and left Mr [name withheld] feeling shaken.
Brewin, a man of previous good character, felt strongly about convicted sex offenders and had been annoyed to see Mr [name withheld] out enjoying himself.
In mitigation, John Mewies said Mr [name withheld]’s crime was one that caused a lot of emotion among the public.
He said Carleton was a small, tight knit community and word had quickly got around after the court case appeared in the paper.
“On this particular evening, Mr Brewin had been to Skipton and had returned in a taxi unfortunately at the same time as Mr [name withheld].”
“Mr [name withheld] says he was “fresh” and had had six or seven pints and Mr Brewin had also had an enjoyable evening and it was that that affected his judgement.”
He added that the threat to burn Mr [name withheld]’s flat down could not be taken seriously.
Brewin, a keen footballer and in full time employment, had accepted he should not have acted the way he did and admitted threatening behaviour.
He was given a 12-month community order with a specified activity of victim awareness. He will also have to carry out 80 hours unpaid work and pay costs of £85 and victims surcharge of £60.
It doesn't matter where this clinic moves to, there will always be a mob to raise hell about it and that is probably why many did not attend, they are sick and tired of the mob mentality.
By Steve Beaven
More than 60 people crowded into the boardroom at the David Douglas School District offices Tuesday night and vowed to push a clinic that treats sex offenders out of their Southeast Portland neighborhood.
“If we don’t all make an effort to band together on this issue, nothing will happen,” said Chris Piekarski, who lives six blocks from the clinic and helped lead the meeting. “We cannot let it blow over.”
The Whole Systems Counseling & Consultation clinic moved into its new office at Southeast 126th Avenue and Stark Street in early March after angry Sellwood residents forced it out of their neighborhood late last year. The clinic has contracts with Multnomah and Clackamas counties to treat sex offenders.
Tuesday night’s forum had been planned as a panel discussion featuring Johneen Manno, the owner of the clinic, and officials from Multnomah County and the City of Portland.
But Manno, who previously said she would be out of town and participate by phone, cancelled, Piekarski said. A clinic representative who initially had been scheduled to attend wasn’t there either.
Nor were representatives from Multnomah County, including communications director David Austin and Patrick Schreiner of the Department of Community Justice. City officials who had been expected to attend cancelled as well.
It was unclear why the panelists didn’t appear. Neither Manno nor Austin could be reached for comment late Tuesday.
“It’s disheartening,” Piekarski said after the meeting. “We had sincerely hoped these people would be here.”
Still, the meeting lasted for two hours and featured representatives from the David Douglas School District. It included a discussion of the clinic’s past and repeated requests for community action.
Neighbors were encouraged to picket the clinic, write to county and city officials, contact Manno or complain to the owner of Plaza 125, the office park where the clinic is now located.
Organizers handed out a long list of contact information for officials from the school district, the city, county, neighborhood leaders and the landlord.
Opponents of the clinic also announced the creation of a group called Neighbors of Upper Southeast Portland (Facebook) to provide information on the issue and a way for residents to communicate.
Neighbors were encouraged to travel to Salem on May 6 for a public hearing on legislation proposed by Rep. Jessica Vega Pederson that would give counties the authority to govern where such clinics can be located.
Vega Pederson recently met with Manno and said she was “very disappointed” that Manno didn’t participate.
For now, Piekarski said, he wants neighbors to communicate with each other and public officials. And he still hopes for a community meeting with Manno.
“But at the same time,” he added, “we can’t defer action until we achieve that meeting.”
ORLANDO - Channel 9 has learned Orlando City Council plans to vote on an ordinance that will toughen sex offender residency restrictions with an ordinance that is tougher than the state's current law.
Florida law says some sex offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of schools, but the city of Orlando wants to extend that even further to 1,500 feet.
"When I got out of prison, I came right straight here to Orlando," said convicted sexual predator [name withheld].
In November, [name withheld] told Channel 9 he moved to Orlando because the city didn't have tough restrictions.
Sybil Riddle lives in the Rock Lake community close to an elementary school. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement website shows her home is surrounded by sex offenders.
Right now, sex offenders in Orlando can live within 1,000-feet of schools, parks, playgrounds and day cares. But if the City Council ordinance passes, sex offender regulations will be pushed back an additional 500 feet.
A spokesperson for the city said there are currently 475 sex offenders living within city limits. If the ordinance passes, the residency restriction will only apply to people whose victims are under 16 and sex offenders will not have to move away from their present homes.
"Existing sex offenders, under our current state statute and under our proposed ordinance, are grandfathered," said Orlando Assistant City Attorney Kyle Shephard. "In other words, they can't be forced to move under state law, but they can't move and come back."
But that's not good enough for Riddle.
"We just need to move them out or move them further away, for the school children at least," she said.
The issue will be discussed and voted for at City Hall on Monday. If it passes, the ordinance could take effect as early as July 1.
|Harold Glenn Phillips|
By Kim Kimzey
A former Cherokee jail officer who pleaded guilty to charges related to inappropriately touching a 7-year-old girl has been ordered to register as a sex offender.
Harold Glenn Phillips, 38, of 3083 Corinth Road, Gaffney, was originally charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under age 11 and two counts of lewd act upon a minor. The State Law Enforcement Division charged Phillips in August 2011, a month after the child’s mother reported the allegations to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Steve Mueller previously told the Herald-Journal that Phillips took a polygraph test administered by SLED and admitted to the allegations after the test.
Phillips pleaded guilty in a plea agreement in January to three counts of second-degree assault and battery.
Circuit Judge J. Mark Hayes II sentenced Phillips to six years in prison and an additional three-year consecutive sentence was suspended to five years probation. It was not immediately decided whether Phillips would have to register as a sex offender.
Hayes ordered Monday that good cause existed for Phillips to be placed on the registry, “based on the State’s argument that the facts of the underlying offenses are of the type that the General Assembly deemed sufficient to establish good cause for sex offender registration.”
Phillips’ attorney, Trent Pruett, argued that two expert witnesses evaluated Phillips and testified that based on their evaluations, Phillips did not have a sexual disorder, major illness or psychosis.
Texas - State officials in Texas are urging lawmakers to reconsider placing juvenile offenders on a public sex offender registry.
This all stems from a report being released Wednesday about the lasting harms these children face.
A report by the Human Rights Watch says placing children who commit sex offenses on a public registry, often for life, can cause more harm than good.
That's because laws require an offenders' photograph and personal information to be placed on online registries which often makes them a target for harassment and violence.
- Same applies for adults as well.
Problems with registry policies have attracted attention across the political spectrum, including at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
They say Congress should provide for greater flexibility so states can choose to place certain youths in a non-public registry that would be accessible to law enforcement.
Right now Texas only has a public registry, and children as young as 10 years old can be placed on it.
Lawmakers are being urged to rethink this policy.
The report recommends making all juveniles exempt from the public registration laws, citing research suggesting they are less likely to re-offend than adult sex offenders.
TROY - A former Troy police sergeant must now register as a sex offender after pleading guilty in a computer sex sting.
Patrick Rosney was sentenced today to 5 years probation and a $5,000 fine.
He must also enroll in a sex offender treatment program.
Rosney admitted to sending sexually explicit material over the internet to an undercover New York City cop, who he thought was a 14-year-old girl.
He was arrested last June and retired after 26 years on the job.