Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Virtual Sex Offender

LetterThe following was sent via the "Tell Us Your Story" form and posted with the users permission.

By Ron:
I am a "virtual sex offender". What is that?

That's when you are treated as a sex offender even though I've never been tried, convicted or even spoken to by the police.

Examples. When I move anywhere, the residents are warned about me. I moved in with a friend and a park was nearby and the police spoke to him about me. Try to keep friends and family when any event with children causes the police to speak with the participants.

I am followed and harassed almost wherever I go by, I presume, the nonprofits and community groups that the police keep commending for keeping down crime.

I repeat: I have never been convicted of anything. I'm what I call a virtual sex offender. Welcome to the new reality.

The only thing I can conclude is that they ran out of real sex offenders for their quota.


MI - Buying Sex Could Land You 25 Years on the Sex Offender Registry

ProstitutionOriginal Article

Maybe we can then put all the politicians, celebrities and police officers on the online registry so they can see first hand what it's like?

05/12/2014

A move is underway in the Michigan Legislature to crack down harder on those who hire prostitutes.

Supporters of the effort say too often, prostitutes are arrested and those who hire them are not.

The effort is part of a move to fight the growing problem of human trafficking in Michigan.

A key bill in the package defines soliciting for prostitution as a tier II registrable offense, which would put the offender's name on a registry for 25 years.

Other parts of the package include creation of a registration system for sex industry workers, to help prevent the movement of workers from strip clubs to prostitution.

Hearings began last week in Lansing in the Senate Families, Seniors and Human Services Committee. More will be scheduled in the future.


OK - Thousands come off sex offender list months after new law

Off the list
Original Article

05/13/2014

By La'Tasha Givens

A new law took thousands off the sex offender registry.

Exposing yourself near a playground, urinating in public or peeping in a bathroom stall are just some of the actions that have landed thousands of people on the sex offender registry.

Now many of those names are disappearing from the list.

If you were to slap a woman on the behind, that would be sexual battery and you would have to register for 15 years and that has nothing to do with children on the playground,” said attorney David Slane. “People who urinated in public or fall under what we call the Romeo and Juliet situation, where the young man may have been just a little bit older than the girl or vice versa. They’re the ones typically being removed.”

Slane said he’s taken on over 400 sex offender cases, more than anyone else in the state.

In many situations the offenders were on the list way past their punishment because the laws kept changing.

They’ve had a number of changes or revisions of sex offender registration act over the last ten or 15 years and the court said those later laws could not apply retroactively,” said Jerry Massey spokesperson for the Department of Corrections (DOC).

Out of the 2,400 now off the list, Slane said most are level one or level two offenders which does not include those who committed violent and heinous sex crimes.

He also said under the new law a judge is able to decide a punishment on a case by case basis and not paint all offenders with a wide brush.

Slane said, “The more serious cases are the one we should spend our resources on, not someone who urinated in public.”

DOC officials say they still have another 2,700 cases to review to see if there are more offenders who are eligible to come off the list based on the new law.


Labeling sex offender misleading

Dear AbbyOriginal Article

05/12/2014

DEAR ABBY: As a licensed psychotherapist who has worked with both victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse over the past 25 years, I would like to respond to "Stunned in the City," who found her co-worker's name on a website for registered sex offenders.

Registered sex offenders have been convicted and incarcerated for their crimes as well as serving a probationary period upon release. However, unlike other criminal offenses, they never finish "serving their time" — both in the areas of where they can live and how they can live (employment). They continue to serve a sentence that can never be completed and are stigmatized for the rest of their lives.

The reason for this is because of a "one-size-fits-all" approach to punishment, be it a onetime offender or a serial rapist. Most sexual abusers are either members of the family or a close family friend, and most are never reported. Only a small percentage of registered offenders pose a danger and should be under surveillance.

If "Stunned" reports her co-worker to her employer, she will jeopardize his livelihood, which he needs to redeem his life.

— Already Paid His Debt

DEAR A.P.H.D.: I received mail from mental health professionals, employers, parents and people who are on the sex offenders' list regarding "Stunned's" letter. All of them stated that the range of crimes that can add someone to the list is very broad. The list is no more than a starting point for people to begin their own research into public records before telling an employer or another person. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: For more than 20 years I have employed a man who is a convicted sex offender. He paid his debt to society for having sex with a minor when he was in his 20s. It will haunt him for the rest of his life.

The pictures you see online are recent because the authorities require updated photos yearly.

There is no demarcation between being dumb and being truly criminal, so everyone is labeled the same. Stay aware of those labeled sexual predators, but approach the sexual offenders case-by-case.

— Justice For All

DEAR ABBY: Inclusion on the registry can be the result of something that would not pose a danger to anyone — urinating in public, or having sex with a younger girlfriend when you yourself are a minor.

If you see a neighbor or co-worker on such a list, no one should jump to conclusions before doing more research about the actual offense. It may be nothing to worry about at all, or it might be something to react to. But you won't know until you find out more than a simple listing.

— Rebecca in San Diego

DEAR ABBY: After breakfast on Saturdays, my husband and I settle in, listen to music and read the newspaper. It's our Saturday morning ritual.

As part of it, when I get to your column, I read it out loud to my husband. We enjoy the letters and your advice.

When I finish, my husband almost invariably says, "You know, those letters are made up."

Abby, I think they are real, albeit edited, but genuine. He thinks they're fake. Who's right?

— True Believer in Michigan

DEAR TRUE BELIEVER: You are. I could never make up anything as interesting as the mail that arrives from my readers day after day.