Tuesday, October 22, 2013

TX - Some fear ban on sex offenders has unintended consequences

Juvenile sex offenders
Original Article

10/22/2013

By Cory Smith

SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio dad fears a ban on sex offenders in city parks would keep him from taking his two children to the park.

The man was arrested for sexually assaulting his 16-year-old girlfriend.

Although he was 17 when he was arrested, the man was tried and convicted as an adult two years later, and is now a registered sex offender.

He’s now in his 40s, married, and has two children.

I'm not a threat to any children,” he said. “I want to be able to be a regular person. I served my time.”

The man’s wife said the city’s potential ban on sex offenders entering into or living near city parks has unintended consequences.

I think my children deserve a chance at a normal future, just like other families out there,” she said. “Just because of a mistake my husband made when he was 17? He's done his probation, served his time, paid his dues. I think we should be able to move on.”

Mary Sue Molnar, the executive director of Texas Voices for Reason and Justice, said there is little evidence to suggest that the city needs such an ordinance.

We've had conversations with several city council members and expressed our interest in looking at the research. We're hoping that they look at the research,” she said. “We've not found any (evidence) that supports the fact, or the idea, or theory, that residency restrictions or child-safe zones keep the public safer.”

City officials said the ordinance would likely have some exemptions, but have yet to comment on a case like this.

The ordinance is scheduled to go before the city council’s public safety committee, before the full council will get a chance to weigh in.

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MO - Juvenile sex offenders say the crime doesn't fit the time

Juvenile sex offenders
Original Article

10/16/2013

SPRINGFIELD - "My face is blacked out because I am ashamed for everyone to know what I am," says Convicted Sex offender _____.
- But leave it up to the news media to splash your name all over the article!

Missouri considers _____ a sex offender, after one decision he made 15 years ago with a 14 year old girl when he was living in Washington.

"One thing led to another and we ended up having consensual sex," he says.

That's considered to be a crime in Washington. _____ served time in juvenile hall for the crime, even though the sex was consensual.

"It wasn't rape, wasn't child molestation. It wasn't anything with a baby, it wasn't a violent crime and yet I am still paying."

_____ has tried to move on with his life, he even joined the army. But, his past still haunts him.

"Even with my military record and my degrees in school, I am still overlooked and passed. It sucks," he says.

"There's a whole coax of people who are accused, plead guilty that didn't have that mindset that don't have that same mental makeup as some of the people who are on the list," says Attorney Adam Wood.

Wood says the problem is with how the registry is run, separating the consensual crimes from those that were not.

"The list is all encompassing list and it doesn't differential between those two types of people and that's a big issue," he says.

It's an issue that _____ deals with every day of his life.

"If you're going to judge me on something that happened 15 years ago for the person I am today, then shame on you. Shame on you," says _____.

There was a push a few months ago for a bill that would allow people 18 and under to no longer appear on the registry. But, it did not get passed.


VA - Lawmakers Advocate Criminal History as Evidence in Child Sex Cases

The past always comes back to haunt you
Original Article

09/17/2013

Lawmakers in Richmond are back at work this week, looking at new ways to fight child sex crimes. The Virginia State Crime Commission is looking at which evidence should be allowed to help stop child predators.

In some cases, a jury might not learn of a person's criminal history until after a verdict comes down. But lawmakers say, in child molestation cases, a sex offender's past should be on full display to help get a conviction.

Prosecuting child sex crimes is a tough subject – but it's one lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are eager to address.
- Not really!  All you have to do is follow the news!  It's easy to get a conviction on a sex crime, guilty or not, all it takes is an allegation!

"You want to make sure that you get it right," said 58th District Delegate Rob Bell (R).

Bell and Democratic Senator Mark Herring sponsored bills earlier this year to address a common concern. They want to be able to use a person's past sex offense as evidence in child sex abuse cases.

"Right now, if you have a prior similar offense with a different victim, you might very well not be able to bring that into the case, even though the average citizen would say that's very probative evidence that he did it this time. We're trying to find a way to get that evidence before a jury," said Bell.

The idea was put on hold due to concerns during the 2013 General Assembly session, and sent to the State Crime Commission for further study.

Some worry using a person's criminal history as evidence in child molestation cases would lead juries to decide guilt based on character, rather than the facts of a case. But Herring says, in a scenario where it's a victim's word against the accused, allowing juries to understand what happened in the past could help keep kids safe.

"Sometimes there's not a lot of evidence other than the testimony of the child victim. And this would help bring in some additional evidence to give prosecutors the tools they need to get convictions," said Herring.

"In other words, the jury hears what it should hear, but you also of course don't want innocent people to be convicted. And that's what we're trying to come up with here today," said Bell.

The State Crime Commission is also in the process of evaluating whether victims of child prostitution and human trafficking should be given some level of amnesty for their crimes. The commission will submit its final proposals to the General Assembly later this year.


OH - Sex offender Halloween ordinance passes in village

Yearly sex offender Halloween hysteria
Original Article

Remember, this is probably only for those on probation or parole, since they cannot enforce this for those off supervision, but, if you have questions, talk to the local sheriff, we could be wrong.

10/19/2013

Orwell's village council members passed an ordinance this week that will prohibit registered sex offenders from celebrating Halloween.

Village Manager Jack Nettis said council’s decision was unanimous. The ordinance will go into effect immediately, just in time for this year’s holiday.
- Even though a child has never been harmed sexually on the holiday, except maybe due to running into the street or a drunk driver.  It's the usual yearly scare-mongering!

Nettis said council took its time passing the ordinance to consider any possible ramifications. The measure was tabled last month as council members had some questions that could not be immediately answered.

Nettis said it also gave the public an opportunity to voice any opinions or concerns; however, the village did not receive any public feedback.

No one made any comments,” he said.

The purpose of the legislation, as stated in the ordinance, is to “protect children from the dangers posed by sex offenders convicted of offenses against minors.”
- It's a non-existent problem!  Just political fodder for politicians to exploit to make themselves look "tough!"

The ordinance requires any sex offenders to abide by certain restrictions between the hours of midnight and 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31 and/or any other night that might be designated as Halloween by the village.

Sex offenders are required to leave all exterior residential, decorative and ornamental lighting off during the evening hours, beginning at 4 p.m. until midnight; refrain from decorating his or her front yard and exterior of the residence with Halloween decorations; and refrain from answering the door to children who are trick-or-treating, according to the ordinance.

If the ordinance is violated, the person will be charged with a misdemeanor, according to the ordinance.

The ordinance was a suggestion by Village Police Chief Chad Fernandez, Nettis said.


AUSTRALIA - Sex-offender care to cost $1600 per day

Pouring money down the toilet
Original Article

10/22/2013

By NEDA VANOVAC

The Northern Territory's attorney-general says taxpayers should not foot an exorbitant bill to keep a sex offender under 24-hour community supervision if prison is an option.

Under the NT's new Serious Sex Offender Act, the government can apply to the Supreme Court to keep sex offenders in prison indefinitely beyond their sentence in order to protect the community.

Attorney-General John Elferink says the act can be justified on grounds of both cost and community safety but, in the Supreme Court on Monday, Justice Jenny Blokland ruled that a 34-year-old man from central Australia should not be detained but put under 24-hour supervision for five years.

Mr Elferink says the government does not want to ask Territorians to pay high costs when the best place to keep an eye on someone is in custody.

It costs $214 per day to keep a person in prison, but 24-hour supervision for the offender in Monday's ruling runs to more than $1600 per day.

"The Territory taxpayer is a finite resource and my primary concern is making sure that potential rapists don't rape," he said.

"There's always going to be a bill attached to keeping a person in custody, but to ask us to pay multiple times that amount is not what I would consider an effective outcome for the community."

Mr Elferink said there appeared to be a focus on the offender's prospects of rehabilitation by the court, which he said was secondary to the safety of the wider population.

He said he would seek legal advice to revisit how the legislation operates if judges continued to rule against indefinite detention for serious sex offenders.

"If a person is declared to be a serious risk to the community, then it might be the case that how that person is managed is left to government," he said.

The man, who cannot be named, had completed a one-year jail term for sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl at Hermannsburg near Alice Springs and exposing children to pornography in July 2012.

He had previously been jailed for sex offences and has assault convictions.

He has been living in a caravan since July on the grounds of Darwin's Berrimah jail on an interim supervision order until the new act was tested in court.

"The client had a background that justified a view that he was a serious danger to the community, though he wouldn't have been so recognised if the legislation hadn't been framed in a particular way," defence counsel Rex Wild QC told AAP on Tuesday.

Knee-jerk reaction"He's not the worst sex offender you've ever heard of."

Mr Wild said the NT is following the knee-jerk reactions of other jurisdictions in implementing the legislation.

"The political view is always `lock `em up for as long as you can and the community will reward you for it'," he said.

"Politicians are in a place where they can't lose on this, because nobody cares about an Aboriginal offender who's already committed one or two offences."

Justice Blokland said in her ruling the act raised questions of civil liberty, and that evidence suggested the offender's likelihood of assimilating back into the community would shrink if he spent an extended period in prison.

"In the longer term, a supervision order supports the primary object of protection under the act and is preferable to detention," she said.

"It is reasonable in my opinion that a form of intensive supervision be ordered, even if that will mean a readjustment of resource distribution within Correctional Services."


CA - CeeLo Green cleared of sex assault, charged with giving drugs to woman

CeeLo Green
CeeLo Green
Original Article

10/21/2013

By Andrew Blankstein

Los Angeles prosecutors have charged CeeLo Green (Wikipedia) with giving Ecstasy (Wikipedia) to a woman who claimed the singer drugged her and had sex with her, but have declined to file charges of sexual assault against him, citing insufficient evidence.

Green appeared in a downtown L.A. courtroom Monday afternoon, wearing sunglasses and a black mesh top that extended past his knees, to plead not guilty to the single felony count of furnishing a controlled substance. If convicted, he faces up to four years in state prison.

Green, whose real name is Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, was accused by a 33-year-old woman he dined with at a downtown Los Angeles sushi restaurant last July of placing Ecstasy, also known as MDMA or Molly, in her drink.

The woman later told Los Angeles Police detectives she woke up naked in bed in her hotel room with Green. The department opened an investigation into the woman's allegations and consulted with prosecutors, who asked detectives to continue to seek evidence in the case.

The 39-year-old singer, a judge on the NBC show “The Voice,” allegedly admitted to law enforcement that he took Ecstasy, but denied drugging the woman's drink or committing sexual assault. Law enforcement sources said police did not believe there was evidence of “wrongful intent.”

NBC declined to comment.


End of Love (Video Series)

End of love logo
Original Article

See many videos on their web site, or click here.

Matt, Neil, Josh and Zach sought out pornography on the Internet as adolescents. Today they are convicted felons on the National Sex Offender Registry. Their names, photos and addresses are public information available on the Internet. Their residency, movement and employment options are extremely limited.

END OF LOVE is about the epidemic of adolescent boys and men who are being convicted of downloading child pornography. Law enforcement officials say that these charges constitute the fastest growing prosecuted crimes in the US. What is going on?

END OF LOVE questions why and how the impulse to seek out child pornography originates in boys and men who do not have the typical pedophile profile. Is their on-line sexual exploration and arousal responding to the normalization of the sexualized images of underage girls in popular and consumer culture? Taking into consideration new discoveries in brain development and addictive behavior, does uncontrolled access to the cornucopia of sexual acts on the Internet at an early age pre-dispose youth to become eventual consumers of child pornography? Or not?