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Archive for December 19, 2009

MTV Judge, Shane Sparks, Arrested for Child Sex Crime

December 19, 2009 Comments off

ktla.com : MTV Judge, Shane Sparks, Arrested for Child Molestation.

Los Angeles – Shane Sparks, a judge on the MTV show “America’s Best Dance Crew”, has been arrested for alleged child molestation. Officials with the Los Angeles Police Department say they arrested 40 year old Melvin Shane Sparks in North Hollywood around 8 a.m. Friday on a felony warrant charging him with sexual assault on a child. The alleged assault took place in 1994, according to a criminal complaint.

Sparks, who was also a choreographer on “So You Think You Can Dance”, has been charged with two counts of sexual intercourse with a minor, two counts of oral copulation with a minor, and lewd conduct with a child under 14, which is a felony. Sparks is said to have been at least 10 years older than the victim. He He is being held on $590,000 bail.

Sparks shot to fame as a choreographer on the 2004 movie You Got Served before joining SYTYCD.
His work on the Fox reality hit garnered him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Choreography, after which he was tapped to be a judge on MTV’s dance-themed competition, America’s Best Dance Crew, which just wrapped its fourth season. Earlier this year another choreographer from “So You Think You Can Dance” was arrested. Alex Da Silva was charged with rape.

Perhaps these cases will shed a brighter light of scrutiny on the increasingly onerous sex offender registration laws in this country.

TN to Add Juveniles To Sex Offender Registry

December 19, 2009 Comments off

Chattanoogan.com : Maggart, Black To Push For violent Juveniles To Be Placed On Sex Offender Registry.
Tennessean.com : Sex registries for youth: better politics than policy.

State Rep. Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville) and Senator Diane Black (R-Gallatin) said they will push for passage of legislation in January to place violent juvenile offenders on Tennessee’s Sex Offender Registry as required under the federal Adam Walsh Act. The legislators introduced legislation today to place offenders between the ages of 14 and 18 years of age on the Registry.

The bill filed by state Sen. Diane Black and state Rep. Debra Maggart to require the registration of youths convicted of sex offenses will do little to secure the safety of Tennessee children, will have long-lasting consequences for youths on registries and may actually reduce public safety.

The legislators say that their bill will help bring Tennessee into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act. Around the country, there is growing discontent with this unfunded and ill-conceived federal mandate. Certainly, youth need to be held accountable for their actions; but registration that can last for decades or a lifetime is not an effective or fair way to do this.

Youths are particularly amenable to change and should not be treated the same as adults. That is the rationale behind a separate system of juvenile justice, which caters to the specific needs of youths.

Registries in effect re-punish youths and may hinder success when they return to the community. Youths on registries often experience rejection from peer groups and positive adult role models and are, therefore, more likely to associate with anti-social peers. They are also less likely to attend positive activities like school and church. The online display of personal information may even put youths or their families at risk.

Furthermore, the fear of having a child on the registry may make parents less likely to seek needed help or treatment for their child (or even report a crime).

Registration may hurt a young person’s ability to maintain employment or access education and housing and can hinder his or her ability to access the re-entry services shown to be critical for young people who are trying to turn their lives around.

Registries also create a false sense of security for families who rely on them to identify people who might be a threat.

Registration requirements also overburden law enforcement and take away resources that can be more effectively used to protect public safety. States attempting to implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act have seen law enforcement tasked with database management rather than community protection.

Most people are under the misperception that children are usually sexually assaulted by strangers and that registries are an effective prevention strategy. Sadly, the young woman who spoke at the bill’s announcement represents the reality that 93 percent of sexual assaults on children are committed by family members and acquaintances who likely wouldn’t be on a registry.

For too long, public policies around sex offenses have been driven by politics and misperceptions. The Adam Walsh Act is one example that will have particularly toxic results, especially for youths.

Instead of passing ineffective, punitive legislation such as the registry, resources should be focused on educating the public about the realities of sex offenses and how to protect their families from sexual violence, and providing better services for troubled youths.
We all want our children and communities to be safe, but the sex-offender registry makes better politics than policy.

WI Sex Offender Residency Board Bans Man from City

December 19, 2009 Comments off

wbay.com : Residency Board Rejects Sex Offender’s Second Appeal.

A convicted sex offender continues to search for a place to live after the Green Bay Sex Offender Residency Board turned down his second attempt to move into the city. G.S ‘s appeal was denied Friday afternoon.

This was his second appeal to the city of Green Bay but the third address in to which G.S. , 50, tried to move.
Last month he had a lease for an apartment in De Pere, which the landlord revoked following a public outcry.
Schmidt was convicted in 1986 (23 years ago) of first-degree sexual assault of a child.
He’s been living at the Brown County jail, searching for a place to live for about five months.

G.S.’s frustration was obvious following the board’s vote. “How am I ever going to get out of jail then, if I can’t live anywhere? How am I going to get into life if I can’t get out of jail? This is what my problem is,” he said. Schmidt will remain living in the Brown County jail for now. He can appeal to live in the city of Green Bay as many times as he wishes.

Here is the result of the social branding and residency restriction laws which have grown like weeds over the past couple years.

Fla. Installs Signs in Sex Offenders’ Front Yards

December 19, 2009 Comments off

news4jax.com (Baker County, Fla.) :Sex Offender Removes Signs From Yard.

We cannot believe the county is constitutionally permitted to post these signs!
Watch video here.

Baker County Deputies said they’ve put up a sign 10 times to warn neighbors about Torres, and all 10 times the sign was taken down.
The last two signs were put in his yard near the road in concrete. Deputies said the final straw was when they saw Torres in action removing the sign.

“He thinks he can circumvent the law and he can be the only one,” Sheriff Joey Dobson said. “We have five predators in Baker County. All of them have signs in front of their houses, and he is no different. He is going to have a sign in front of his house.”

Dobson said people will know. He said another sign will go up next week, and it will also be placed in concrete.
“We have made the decision that the signs are the best way to notify the community,” Dobson said. “We’ve done that for years and it’s worked properly.”

Readers can contact this idiot sheriff here :
jdobson@sheriffsoffice.co.baker.fl.us
Tel: 904-259-2231 , Fax: 904-259-4254

Neb. Sex Offender Registry to Change Drastically

December 19, 2009 Comments off

ketv.com (Omaha) : Nebraska Sex Offender Registry To Change Drastically.

Mike Tollander served two years and will be on Nebraska’s sex offender registry for 10 years, but starting next year, that will change. “Now, all of a sudden, it’s going to change to a lifetime registry and I don’t think that’s fair,” said Tollander.

Tollander will also have to check in with law enforcement every three months and register all social Web sites he uses and communication devices like computers and cells phones. The new law will place all convicted sex offenders on a public site. How long their listed, depends on the crime.

A federal lawsuit questions its constitutionality, saying “not only is this burdensome on the registrants, but it creates a prohibition on their right to engage in first amendment activity free from government monitoring.”

“The new act also infringes on the privacy of the registrant’s family roommates or employers by coercing a registrant to give “consent” to search all computers or electronic communication devices “possessed by the registrant.”

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing next Wednesday to determine whether a temporary injunction should be issued.

action3news.com : Sex Offender Registry Law Heading To Court.

Earlier this year, lawmakers added stricter guidelines for sex offenders to follow. They’ll start January 1st unless one group wins in court. Tough changes that would affect every sex offender on Nebraska’s Registry are under fire. More than two dozen unnamed Nebraska residents are suing the state because of the new law.

The new law will make it legal for authorities to search sex offenders vehicle, home, and computers, including where they work at any time. Attorney General Jon Bruning believes the changes will protect children and survive any legal challenge.

A legal decision on whether the changes to the Sex Offender Registry Law is constitutional or not will be made in federal court on Wednesday.