Friday, September 20, 2013

CA - ASI: Sex offender resolution rejected

News paper and coffee
Original Article

09/19/2013

By Esra Hashem

Fresno State’s Associated Students, Inc. senate rejected a resolution Wednesday that aimed to promote the disclosure of the identities of registered sex offenders on campus.

I just do not see the necessity of this resolution as it pertains to the college campus,” said Daniel Ward, senator-at-large for academic affairs. “We do not have the authority to change a law. The intention is in the right place. But the fact of the matter is, we’re not going to be able to do any legal processing of this. It is not our place for it.”

Since the passage of California’s Megan’s Law in 2004, the public has been able to view information on sex offenders required to register with local law enforcement. The law allows a person to use information from the website only to protect a “person at risk.”

Under the law, only law enforcement officers can make information available to an entire community.

While the resolution does not have the power to change the law, it lobbies for everyone from Fresno State’s Academic Senate to President Barack Obama to rewrite or adopt legislation that “in the very least, affirms that the issue of registered sex offenders being present on college campus communities must be dealt with [by] open disclosure.”

Neil O’Brien (Facebook), senator for the College of Health and Human Services, said he wrote the six-page resolution in an attempt to protect students at Fresno State.

If a criminal is required to register as a sex offender, they’re required to register because there’s a need-to-know basis,” he said. “There’s a need for closer monitoring of these kinds of people, especially considering the rate of re-offense.”
- This man is clearly ignorant of the facts that ex-sex offenders have the lowest recidivism of all other criminals, except murderers, and is clearly biased by the following comment he made on his Facebook profile, and our comment on the article, here (if they post it).

View on Facebook
 
But not all of O’Brien’s fellow senators agreed. Six ASI members voted against the resolution, while four voted for it.

Kaitlyn Sims, senator of the Craig School of Business, voted against the proposal because she said it might infringe on the constitutional rights of registered sex offenders, who she said are a protected class under the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Protected class, really?  If that is true then most of the laws are unconstitutional, but I don't think that is exactly true.

How does this [resolution] avoid discriminating against what is now, in the federal government’s eyes, a protected class?” she said. “If we’re ruling this, we are discriminating against a class that we’re presuming will be re-offending. In essence, we’re basically saying that they’re guilty until proven innocent.”

Additionally, Sims and other ASI senators feared that identifying sex offenders on campus might trigger violent backlash against them.

My concern is the possibility of negative action against anyone whose information is posted,” Sims said.
- And vigilantism is rising across the United States.

O’Brien said that violent reactions are not the goal of the resolution.

He said that the resolution exists merely to say there is a reasonable need to disclose information that might protect women and children at Fresno State. He emphasized that it is not a call to hunt down registered sex offenders.
- So what about all the other ex-felons walking among students all across the USA?

O’Brien also added the resolution does not infringe on the constitutional rights of sex offenders because it simply makes information about them that is already available more accessible.

The current process is long and arduous,” he said. “It makes you jump through too many hoops to get information that you have a right to know.”
- In the old days, you still had access to it, you just had to get off your butt and go down to the court house to request the information.  The online hit-list needs to be taken offline and used by police only, it's doesn't prevent crime nor protect anybody from someone who is determined to commit a crime.


MA - 'I'm the Level 3 Sex Offender All Of You Have Been Talking About'

Level 3 sex offender talking at a public meeting that included Belmont Police Chief Richard McLaughlin.
Original Article

09/20/2013

By Franklin Tucker

In an extraordinary presentation, Belmont's highest level sex offender speaks to residents about their concerns of him.

The tall, middle-aged man strode to the microphone in front of approximately 100 citizens in the Belmont High School auditorium Thursday night, Sept. 19.

Wearing loose-fitting jeans, a T-shirt and unbutton shirt combo over a slight paunch, the man could be anyone of thousands of parents or guardians ready to speak about school fees, the latest round of test scores or if the town can afford a new High School. He was anything but.

"My name is _____. 'I'm the level 3 sex offender all of you have been talking about," said the 48-year-old Bernard Road resident as the audience sat in rapt silence, several holding a hand to their mouth, others sitting forward in their chairs, all waiting on each sentence.

In an extraordinary public pronouncement (nearly all offenders avoid making statements or will only speak if given anonymity) _____ said at the public meeting organized by the Belmont Police Department to inform residents of _____, the first level 3 offender to reside in town since 2006 that residents only know the most basic information about him and the reason he was sentenced to jail for four years a dozen years ago.

"It seems as though the big reason why we are here tonight is me," said _____, a 6-foot, 5-inch, glasses-wearing former Lexington resident who moved to Belmont in late July to a house on Barnard Street where his wife and their 14-year-old daughter have been living.

"The problem is all you know, all you get to know about my problem is what you read ... which says I'm the most dangerous and the most likely to reoffend of all sex offenders. It also says my offense was the rape against a child," said _____, as state officials, law enforcement and Belmont Police who spoke earlier stood behind him.

Speaking in a calm, slightly high-pitched flat voice, _____ described in the most general terms a single incident, an assault, he committed on his 14-year-old niece in 2000.

"I don't want to hear this!" a women cried out from the back of the hall, breaking the tension with the outburst.

"Just go!," said another.

"It happened over the course of a weekend 12 years ago," said _____.

"Nobody cares," came another response.

But for the majority in the hall, _____'s admission was compelling.

"This is important," explained a resident who said she came to the meeting not knowing anything about _____ or even the issue of a level 3 sex offender living in town.

"Whoever is uncomfortable, we respect that. But we are being told that we need to be knowledgable to protect our children," she said, adding that she wanted to hear what "Mr. _____" had to say.

"I'm shocked what I'm hearing but I want to hear it," she said to the applause of many.

"It's not important what I did," said _____, to the derision of some.

"What's important is that I'm not the victim. I'm a sex offender and I committed a crime and I did spend four years in prison for," he said.

"You were charged with rape," answered a resident.

"The problem with that word is when I hear [it] and [the phrase] a sex offender likely to reoffend, what I hear is 'a pedophile.' That word has been tossed around ... That is not what happened in my case," said _____ who told the audience about the incident again, his immediate confession to the parents and law enforcement.

"It scared me when this happened. Before this happened, I would have said and meant it, 'I would never have an offense against a child. That wasn't who I am.' But the problem was I did have an offense against a child," he said.

"One of the scariest thing while spending time in prison was wondering ... that it will not happen again," said _____, saying that he has been in therapy for the past eight years with Dr. Carol Ball, a licensed psychologist in Arlington and a founder of New England Forensic Associates, "to answer that question."

"At this point, I know that it will never happen again," said _____.

"You don't."

"There is nothing that I can say that says 'You don't have to worry about me,'" he said. "One thing I can say is I will answer any questions you have ever," including how his therapy is placing safeguards to prevent another act from occurring.

He discussed initiating meetings with Belmont High School Principal Dr. Dan Richards and his church's pastor (another long-time educator, former Watertown High Head Master Steve Watson) on "the kind of things that scare people" about him.

"I don't want to scare people," said _____. "You are afraid of me and I hate that. There's not a whole lot that I can do about that, except some of the things I can do," such as not talking or "hanging out" with children and informing all their friends and the parents of his daughter's friends about him and his past.

_____ said his crime was against a family member, not "running down the street and see some children.'" The question whether I should be living near a preschool is a question that is more asked in general" about people like _____.

"My crime was not against pre-school children or somebody I didn't know or lots of lots of children. It was against my niece," said _____.

"If you have serious questions, talk to me," he said.

_____ and his wife, who sat next to him at the meeting, said they are not immune to the fears of those who wish to harm children.

"I'm a parent. I have a 14-year-old daughter. On the first day of school, a white SUV showed up and approached a child. I'm a level 3 sex offender; it scared me to death. We talked about this to our daughter. I talked to this about my wife. What happened is the kid did not get picked up. He knew exactly what to do. The kid said 'This is not OK' and went away and told the police. There's not much else [parents] can do except [talk to them]," _____ said.

At the end of the meeting, as the audience was leaving, a smartly-dressed man came up to _____, shook his hand and said it was a "brave" thing for him to acknowledge what he did and present himself to the town.

_____ simply nodded and stared straight ahead.

See Also:


FL - Head of Florida's sex predator program resigns

Dan Montaldi
Dan Montaldi
Original Article

09/19/2013

By Sally Kestin and Dana Williams

The state administrator in charge of identifying sex predators who are too dangerous for society resigned Thursday, a day after the Sun Sentinel raised questions about his views and record.

Under Dan Montaldi's leadership, the number of potential predators identified by the state dropped by more than half, the Sun Sentinel found. In writings obtained by the newspaper, Montaldi advocated a narrow definition of a predator and defended the rights of sex offenders — a philosophy that one lawmaker said made his "skin crawl.''

"Dan Montaldi no longer works for the department,'' said Alexis Lambert, spokeswoman for Florida's Department of Children & Families.

Lambert said she could not elaborate. Montaldi, 59, did not respond to a request for comment.

As director of Florida's Sexually Violent Predator Program, Montaldi was responsible for administering a law that allows the state to keep predators locked up after their prison sentences end. Staff evaluate sex offenders before they're released and recommend those likely to reoffend for continued confinement at a Central Florida treatment center.

The sex predator program has been under scrutiny since June, when 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle was abducted from a Jacksonville Walmart, raped and murdered. Her accused killer, a registered sex offender, had been evaluated twice under the law and let go.

Last month, a Sun Sentinel investigation found nearly 1,400 sex offenders were arrested again on sex charges after being reviewed under the law.

In response to the series, Montaldi wrote an email to an association of mental health professionals, pointing out that more than 31,000 sex offenders had been screened since the law took effect 14 years ago and as a group they are "statistically unlikely to reoffend.''

"The real ethical concern,'' he wrote, "is the dilemma of competing moral values in a free society.''

"Public safety is a very important value because, among other reasons, it is necessary in order for liberty to be enjoyed,'' said the Aug. 20 email, posted to a mailing list of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. "However, the value of liberty in a free society must also extend even to society's most feared and despised members. ... The civil rights of even sex offenders is still an important moral value.''

Montaldi urged his peers to support those rights. "It is our obligation, I believe, to stand up for even unpopular values, especially at a time when their unpopularity is at an extreme,'' the email said.

Montaldi's comments riled Florida legislators who are working to strengthen the state's sex offender laws in response to the Sun Sentinel series.
- This is what usually happens when someone stands up for the Constitutional rights of those despised by others, and below is what happens when someone doesn't have the balls to defend those rights and their oath of office!

Rep. Matt Gaetz & Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto
"That makes my skin crawl,'' said Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican and chairman of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. "You're juxtaposing the rights of monsters among us to the safety of the most vulnerable among us, and it's an absurd comparison.''

Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, a Fort Myers Republican, said Montaldi's views are inconsistent with the state's mission of public safety.

"The man who was charged with helping oversee a process that kept violent predators off the streets, to have sympathies for those committing the most heinous crimes, I'm glad he's gone,'' she said. "He took it upon himself to inject his own philosophy, which did not match ours.''

Montaldi, a psychologist, joined the department in 2010 and became director in March 2012. He was paid $82,500 a year.

Previously, Montaldi was director of Arizona's sex predator treatment center. He wrote in a 2007 paper that laws allowing continued confinement of predators were not "illegitimate as such'' but should be narrowly applied.

Constitution burning
"As a society we are rightly concerned about individuals who have served their sentences yet remain sexually dangerous,'' he wrote in the Sexual Offender Treatment journal. "But for good reason the Constitution greatly restricts state power to confine persons who have not committed (new) crimes, whatever their propensities (or our estimations thereof).''

In Florida, sex predator recommendations dropped under Montaldi. In the year before he became director, the program flagged 213 offenders as potential predators, 8 percent of the total screened. In the year after, that number dropped to 86, or 3 percent of the total, the Sun Sentinel found.

Rep. Irv Slosberg
Rep. Irv Slosberg
In his Aug. 20 email, Montaldi said predator recommendations declined for several reasons, including efforts to send stronger cases forward. "This decrease does not reflect a overarching policy decision to 'not evaluate as many,' or 'let's not recommend so many.'"

Lawmakers are working on legislation to close gaps that have allowed predators to slip through, and the department is finishing an internal review of the sex predator program that began after Cherish's murder.

Results are due Monday, when the department will also announce Montaldi's replacement, Lambert said.

Rep. Irv Slosberg said Montaldi's departure is a good beginning. "The way the sex offenders are falling through the cracks,'' said the Boca Raton Democrat, "we need a fresh start.''


TX - Jail official (Joe Adam Flores) charged in sex assault on girl, 14

Joe Adam Flores
Joe Adam Flores
Original Article (Video Available)

09/19/2013

HUTTO (KXAN) - A man who works as a correctional officer at the Williamson County Jail is charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl at his home last week.

According to the arrest affidavit, Joe Flores, 33, had provided alcohol to two under-age girls last Friday night. One of the girls had fallen asleep, and the other was dozing off when Flores carried the 14-year-old to his bedroom and sexually assaulted her, the document says.

The girl's parents later took her to the hospital for an examination that confirmed injuries commonly found with sexual assault victims. Police were notified and and were given access to the girl's cell phone. The phone had a text message from Flores asking her not to report the matter, the affidavit said.

The girl's mother also spoke by phone with Flores in what police called "a controlled phone call." Flores, according to the affidavit, acknowledged providing alcohol, but said the girl initiated sexual activity. He denied having sex with the girl.

Flores is charged with sexual assault, a second-degree felony. He is on administrative leave with the sheriff's office.