Archive for January 31, 2009

Iowa : Sex Offenders Banned from Public Places

January 31, 2009 Comments off

WCF Courier (Iowa) : Sex Offenders Banned from Public Places.

DES MOINES — Sex offenders would be restricted from loitering or being present — rather than residing — near places where children play or gather under changes being proposed by state public safety officials.

Ross Loder, lobbyist for the state Department of Public Safety, told a legislative panel his agency is working with justice department officials to craft legislation that will comply with new federal sex-offender requirements — including a provision to repeal Iowa’s 2,000-foot residency restriction and convert to presence and loitering restrictions that focus on where offenders are while they’re awake instead of while they’re asleep.

Among the provisions would be language to shift the focus from restricting where sex offenders can reside to establishing exclusion zones where they could not be present without permission or loiter within 300 feet of a restricted area, he said.

Aside from the claim that the requirements deter offenders from registering their addresses, authorities said it is addresses only a small portion of sex crimes against children. Only 1.5 to 2.5 percent of molestation cases involve a stranger, Ferguson said. In the vast majority of cases, the perpetrator is family member, step-parent or friend of the family, he said.

Aside from the obvious Constitutional abridgment of rights which comes from banning a group of citizens from any presence in a public place, they go on to admit that 97 – 98% of sex crimes against children come from family and acquaintances. So the proposed legislation could have absolutely no affect on over 98% of these crimes.
Soon in Iowa, if you are a sex offender and you walk your dog through a park or library or school grounds, or if you take that short-cut through the park to get home, or you jog past that daycare center….you’re going to prison!