Thursday, June 12, 2014

CA - City being sued by registered sex offender

Lawsuit
Original Article

06/10/2014

By Doug Keeler

Lawsuit alleges ordinance designed to keep sex offenders away from parks, other areas are unconstitutional

The City of Taft is being sued by a registered sex offender.

The suit was filed May 29 in federal court and alleges an ordinance passed in 2007 designed to keep sex offenders away from areas where children are likely to congregate is unconstitutional.

City Attorney Jason Epperson met with the Taft City Council in closed session to discuss the suit.

The suit is not unique.

The plaintiff in the suit is _____, a man convicted in 1979 of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under age 14. That conviction requires him to register as a sex offender.

Similar suits have been filed against other California cities, alleging that ordinances similar to the one in Taft violate the fifth and fourteenth amendments of the United States Constitution, the ex post facto clause of the constitution and the California Constitution.

The suits centers on city ordinance 8-13, which states, in part:
  • It is unlawful for any registrant to reside within 2,000 ft. of any children's facility or child daycare center within the city.
  • It is unlawful for any registrant to loiter within 300 ft. of any children's facility or child day care center within the city.

The suit, filed by Arroyo Grande attorney Janice Bellucci, doesn't seek cash damages (it does seek attorney fees and other costs) but asks the court to order the city to stop enforcing the ordinance and declare the ordinance “null and void.”

Chief of Police Ed Whiting said that he doesn't believe the ordinance has ever been enforced and has no knowledge of it being enforced against the defendant.

Bellucci is associated with a group called California Reform Sex Offender Laws.

Taft isn't alone in being sued on behalf of Lindsay, a Grover city resident.

Lompoc was sued in April and Pomona was sued in April just to name a few.


WI - Proposed sex offender ordinance up for debate in Milwaukee

Morning newspaper and coffee
Original Article

06/11/2014

By Michele McCormack

MILWAUKEE - On the eve of a committee hearing about a new sex offender ordinance Alderman Terry Witkowski is taking issue with his fellow council member, Tony Zielinski's, proposal.

"This plan is not a very balanced plan to say the least," Witkowski told CBS 58 investigative reporter Sarah Barwacz.

While Alderman Witkowski says it's important to regulate where sex offender live and hang out, under Zielinski's proposal nearly half of the city's available housing units for convicted sex offender's would be in Witkowski's 13th Aldermanic District.

A CBS 58 News Bottom Line Investigation in May exposed the lack of restriction on where offenders stay.

Reporter Sarah Barwacz broke the story just weeks later about Zielinski, who represents the 14th district, proposing a two thousand feet buffer zone from schools and parks.

When Sarah questioned Witkowski about his district having fewer schools, the council member said that doesn't mean there aren't children around.

"I think you have to look at what's the perception from neighbors here," Witkowski explained. "Are you saying there's less children just because the school isn't within walking distance or two thousand feet? I can guarantee you I got a call from a person indicating that they've got a sexual predator living next door who watches his daughter get off the school bus."
- Imagine if we made and passed all laws based on PERCEPTION!

The Common Council’s Steering and Rules Committee meets Thursday, June 12th in room 301-B at City Hall at 1:30 p.m.

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TX - Teens Keep Vandalizing a University Park Sex Offender's House, and He's Getting Sick of It

Teen valdalizing a car
Original Article

06/09/2014

By Amy Silverstein

When _____'s house got egged, he called the University Park police. It was a Saturday night in September 2012. Officers came to the crime scene but found no leads, other than the splattered egg yolk. _____ realized that his patio umbrella was also missing, according to the police report.

The following Saturday night, the eggs hit again. A neighbor told the cops that he saw two teenagers walking nearby around the same time.

_____ installed a video camera security system, hoping to catch the egg-throwers. But when his house got hit again, the vandal spotted the camera and slapped it down.

Soon the vandals moved onto tougher objects. _____ was sitting in his home one night when he heard the sound of glass breaking. His window had been hit with "an unknown object," according to a University Park Police Department report.

Another night, _____ told police, he saw a car drive over his yard. The vehicle fled when he stepped outside.

The next year, _____ was awakened by the sound of a bang. Cops, in _____'s house yet again, found his front window was shattered and the kitchen had a strange smell. A smoke grenade rested on the ground.

_____ counts at least 12 vandalism attacks on his home in the past three years. He says he's likely being targeted because he's a registered child sex offender. Now, _____ has hope that some of the attackers will face harsh consequences.

University Park police have recently identified seven teenagers who egged _____'s house this past April. "Threw a couple eggs at the side of his house then drove away. It was a stupid mistake that I regret doing," says a statement written by Austin Roberts, a 17-year-old Highland Park High School student. Police say he drove one of the getaway cars that night, a Porsche. "I am truly sorry for any damage, glad to help," he wrote.

_____, pushing for prison time, has told police that if the perpetrators aren't charged with a felony, he "will be put in the crosshairs of an escalated attack and will not feel safe at home, and it will signal open season to other non-heterosexuals, RSO's, and the elderly."

_____ is classified by the state as a low-risk sex offender. He was convicted of sexual assault of a child in 1980 and 1983. He was charged for the offense again in 2006 in Dallas County after an alleged victim went to police, reporting a relationship he had with _____ dating back ten years earlier, when the victim would have been 15. The case resulted in a hung jury, as the News reported in 2010. "There's nothing say. It's a matter of public record," he tells Unfair Park, declining to speak further about any of the cases.

He's lived in University Park for over 30 years, and he said his neighbors never gave him trouble for his criminal history, perhaps because they didn't know. That all changed in 2010, after _____ encountered teenage boy playing saxophone in the street. He filmed the boy performing. "I said, 'You mind if I film a video of you playing a song?' And he said, 'No problem,' and that's what that was all about," _____ says, describing the encounter as totally innocent.

But the footage disturbed a mother, who then notified the police, according to a local news report at the time.

Though _____ wasn't charged in connection with that incident, it alerted the University Park PD to the fact that he was required to register as a sex offender under a law that had recently gone into effect in Texas. The news, obviously, didn't go over well. ("Bryn Mawr Resident Registers as Sex Offender with University Park Police Department," was the headline on Park Cities People in 2010, and the case also got write-ups in the News).

And now his house is a popular target for eggs and other stuff.

University Park police say that they have no evidence the attacks were coming from the same group of people. Though they never caught the people behind the previous attacks, UPPD Lieutenant John Ball says he's proud that detectives were finally able to identify suspects in this case.

"I'm very pleased that we spent many hours looking for these offenders, and making sure that they're brought to the courts for prosecution," Ball tells Unfair Park.

The police originally tried to turn the case over to the Dallas County district attorney, after _____ provided a bill showing that it cost him more than $1,500 to remove the egg stains and repaint his house. But prosecutors declined to prosecute. The teenagers are instead being charged with Class C misdemeanors in municipal court. The trial isn't scheduled yet.

With their addresses posted online, registered sex offenders can make easy targets of crime. Last year, a man in South Carolina went on a killing spree, selecting child abusers his victims. _____ argues that charging the teens with a felony will send a message to the others tempted to have some fun at his expense that they're not above the law.

The attacks have stopped recently. Word got around, _____ says, that people are getting caught. But it will only stop for good if those caught are punished. Otherwise, he wrote, "HPHS students with easy access to cash from their rich parents in Park Cities may feel entitled to break the law with impunity."


AL - Man (Jay Maynor) charged with killing sex offender in Cullman Co.

Jay Maynor
Jay Maynor
Original Article

06/09/2014

By Melynda Sides

BIRMINGHAM (WBRC) - A man suspected of killing a registered sex offender in the Berlin community has been charged with murder.

The Cullman County Sheriff's Office identified the victim as _____, 59. The suspect in the case, 41-year-old Jay Maynor of Cullman, is charged with _____' murder.

Court documents indicate Maynor is a relative of the child _____ pleaded guilty to sexually abusing in 2002. _____ was convicted in an incident involving an 8-year-old girl.

Sheriff Mike Rainey said the first shooting happened at the Berlin Plaza Quick Stop on Highway 278 shortly after 7 p.m. Witnesses told deputies a man drove up on a motorcycle and fired shots at the store's window, Rainey said.

"After the would-be victim was able to elude the shooter, the suspect then drove off and went to the residence of _____," Sheriff Rainey said.

The sheriff's office said on Monday they don't know the full extent of the details, but confirmed _____ was shot at his home in the 4300 block of U.S. 278 East.

A state trooper who responded to the scene saw Maynor pull out onto the road from _____' home and took him into custody, according to the Sheriff's Office.

"At this time we are still investigating both crime scenes, the one at the store and at Mr. _____' residence," Sheriff Rainey said in a release. "We just ask that the public stay patient as our investigators work to piece together the events which took place Sunday night."

_____ was convicted of first degree sex abuse of an 8-year-old girl in August 2002 and has been a registered sex offender since then.

Sheriff Rainey would not comment on whether or not _____' sex abuse conviction had a role in the shooting.

"We are investigating all aspects of this case and cannot comment on a motive at this point. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim's family," the sheriff said.

Maynor was booked into the Cullman County Detention Center for one count of murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of shooting into an occupied dwelling.

Stay with this story for more information as it becomes available.

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OK - Probation questions

Letter
The following was sent to us via the "Tell Us Your Story" form and posted with the users permission.

By Michelle:
I have recently learned that I have fallen love with a sex offender. We live in Oklahoma. He never served time he was given 10 yrs suspended sentence and is currently on probation. He has 2 1/2 yrs left before he has completed his probation. I am looking for some one to help me understand what happens when his probation is up. Will some of his restrictions be lifted? What is still expected of him? I've tried looking for site to help me understand what I may be facing in the future but am not having any luck. I do have a child under the age of 18. Do we have any kind of a chance for a future together? Can anyone help me or give me some website that I can visit? Thank you for your time.