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Archive for March 1, 2010

MO Policeman Faces 16 Counts of Child Sodomy

March 1, 2010 Comments off

KFVS12.com: Hearing scheduled for former officer accused of assaulting boys.

Another in a litany of police officers and public officials charged with sex crimes against children, yet they keep pressing for stricter laws against sex offenders. Oh, the hypocrisy !

Fredericktown, MO (KFVS/AP) – A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday for a former Fredericktown police officer and Boy Scout leader accused of sexually assaulting two boys.

Kenneth Tomlinson II, was Fredericktown’s highest-ranking officer when he was arrested in January and charged with 16 counts of sodomy.

One boy is now 12 years old, but was 11 years old at the time. The other boy is 14. They told authorities that the abuse began last spring. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Tomlinson admitted having sex with the boys and videotaping some of it. The probably cause statement also said that Tomlinson and the boys watched the video and then he destroyed it.

WI Bill to Override Local Sex Offender Restrictions

March 1, 2010 Comments off

wtaq.com: Bill Aims To Create Statewide Sex Offender Residency Laws.
greenbaypressgazette.com: Wisconsin bill may override local sex-offender residency rules.

A new bill in the Legislature would create statewide limits on where sex offenders can live, and override more restrictive local laws like those in Green Bay. The city adopted strict residency rules in 2007. And that drove sex offenders out to the suburbs, where a few passed their own laws and most called for uniform state limits. De Pere will consider residency restrictions Tuesday.

Assembly Republican Phil Montgomery of Ashwaubenon says there should be uniformity statewide – and it must spell out places where sex offenders can live. The vast majority of Green Bay is off limits to those offenders – and Common Council president Chris Wery defended its law, saying the city still has than its share of offenders. A statewide policy was proposed a few years ago, but it never got anywhere.

State corrections’ officials generally oppose residency restrictions, saying they drive sex offenders underground just so they can find a place to live. The department’s Tom Smith say they’ve found offenders at homes in Green Bay while using De Pere addresses. And if they’re not using fake addresses, Smith says many don’t register with the state at all – which sex offenders are required to do by law.

More Kids on Sex Offender Registry

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mansfieldnewsjournal.com: More Kids on Sex Offender Registry.

Every year, more teens are added to Ohio’s sex offender registry, slapped with labels that will follow them past their 18th birthday and mark them as potential threats to their neighbors. But if teen sex offenders are indeed dangerous, how come they’re being locked up far less often than in the past? The answer may be a 2008 law that was designed to crack down on sex offenders, but may have the opposite effect when it comes to juveniles.

The Adam Walsh Act requires anyone 16 or older who is convicted of a sex crime to be added to the state’s sex offender registry. As a result, some judges and prosecutors are changing charges to avoid registration requirements they say are too harsh to be applied uniformly to every juvenile. Usually, that means “sex” disappears from the sex crimes.

For example, a sexual imposition charge can turn into an assault because both deal with unwanted contact. Or a pandering obscenity allegation for “sexting” — sending lewd images of minors with a cell phone — can morph into a charge that punishes the teen for using a cell phone in a criminal act.

The law allows for judges to lower classification after a juvenile’s incarceration or probation is completed. So if a judge designates a teen a Tier I offender and orders him to complete six months of probation, the label can be removed a half-year later. If they’re still under 18 at that point, the teen successfully avoids inclusion on the online, publicly accessed registry.

A snapshot of the registry database in each of the last three Decembers shows that the ranks of Tier I offenders have grown significantly. In December 2007, the state attorney general’s office was watching 148 teens in that lesser designation. By Dec. 15, 2009, the state had 290 Tier I teens to monitor. The number of teens who committed more serious sex crimes has trended only slightly upward.

Richland County Assistant Prosecutor Bambi Couch Page, who handles many of the department’s sex crime cases, said there are cases where the consequences of giving a juvenile a sex offender label that lasts into adulthood might be the wrong thing to do. (this seems to be a clear acknowledgment that inclusion on a sex offender registry certainly does include a punishment component).

Michael, who also is president of the Ohio Association of Juvenile Court Judges, said the law, if applied to the letter, would cost good kids who exercised bad judgment a chance to fully realize their potential as productive citizens. (but it is perfectly acceptable to take away that chance from a person over the age of 18 after one offense ?).

The Adam Walsh Act was crafted with the best intentions, but may be creating a second set of victims, Wyman said. If teens aren’t a danger to others, she said, they shouldn’t be labeled as sex offenders well into adulthood.
(and if adults are not deemed to be of high risk to offend, they should not labeled for the remainder of their lives either).

Maggie Ostrowski, spokeswoman for State Sen. Bill Harris, R-Ashland, said the Walsh Act was designed to protect kids from repeat sex offenders (yet in many cases, it imposes life-long sentences of registration on first time offenders).

Michael said that laws crafted in the spirit of protecting our most vulnerable can go too far because of their near-universal appeal. Supporting sex offender legislation, or any law that purports to be tough on crime, rarely hurts re-election prospects, lawmakers said. “I’m not familiar with anyone ever losing an election because they were too tough on crime,” said Rep. Dan Dodd, D-Newark. “You’re not going to lose support by going too far … sometimes that does create bad law.”

Summary: Ohio is bypassing the Adam Walsh Act requirements with judges and prosecutors changing charges to avoid forcing juvenile registration.

Lawmakers Consider an Animal Abuse Registry

March 1, 2010 Comments off

NYtimes.com: Lawmakers Consider an Animal Abuse Registry.

We warned that this would happen. Once we allow lawmakers to publicly shame one group of citizens on Internet registries, it won’t take long before other crimes are listed online. Already registries have been pursued in other states for animal abuse, murder, drugs, DUI ,gun offenders, arson and domestic abuse.

See Related Posts : NH Bill to Create Internet Murderer Registry
Gun Offender Registries
Tenn: Online DUI & Animal Abuse Registry

San Francisco — California may soon place animal abusers on the same level as sex offenders by listing them in an online registry, complete with their home addresses and places of employment.

The proposal, made in a bill introduced Friday by the State Senate’s majority leader, Dean Florez, would be the first of its kind in the country and is just the latest law geared toward animal rights in a state that has recently given new protections to chickens, pigs and cattle.

Under Mr. Florez’s bill, any person convicted of a felony involving animal cruelty would have to register with the police and provide a range of personal information and a current photograph. That information would be posted online, along with information on the person’s offense.

The bill was drafted with help from the Animal Legal Defense Fund, an animal-protection group based in Cotati, Calif., north of San Francisco. The group has promoted the registry not only as a way to notify the public but also as a possible early warning system for other crimes.

In addition to sex offenders, California lists arsonists in an online registry, and the animal abusers would be listed on a similar site, Mr. Florez said. Such registries have raised privacy concerns from some civil libertarians, but Joshua Marquis, a member of the defense fund’s board and the district attorney in Clatsop County, Ore., said the worries were unfounded.

“Does it turn that person into a pariah? No,” Mr. Marquis said. “But it gives information to someone who might be considering hiring that person for a job.” He added: “I do not think for animal abusers it’s unreasonable considering the risk they pose, much like the risk that people who abuse children do.

“A lot of times these people will just pick up and move to another jurisdiction or another state if they get caught,” said Ms. Deegan, who has written on animal welfare laws. “It would definitely help on those types of cases where people jump around.” One Web site — Petabuse.com — already offers a type of online registry, with listings of animal offenders and their crimes.