Archive for May 11, 2010

Sex Offenders Forced to Use Hotels As Home Address

May 11, 2010 Comments off

WKRC (Cincinnati, OH): Sex Offenders Forced to Use Hotels As Home Address.

Sex Offenders Are Using Hotels as Home Address

Across the country, and right here in the Tri-State, sex offenders are legally using hotels and motels as residences when they register with law enforcement. They are people like Rodney Hines, a top level sex offender, a convicted burglar and rapist. Until recently, when he was arrested on new charges, the Ohio Attorney General’s sex offender website showed this Extended Stay America in Sharonville was home base for Rodney Hines.

According to the Kentucky sex offender registry, this Stay Lodge along I-75 in Florence is home to 11 convicted sex offenders. While she didn’t want to appear on camera, the manager says that number’s wrong… it’s really more like half a dozen, but they don’t cause her any problems and she says they’re entitled to a certain amount of privacy like anyone else.

Searching local registry websites, we easily found nearly 60 sex offenders living in hotels around the Cincinnati area. Recently, U.S. Marshals, probation and parole officers along with sheriff’s deputies and police scoured Butler County, checking up on nearly five hundred registered sex offenders, including at least 9 that we discovered living in hotels.

The sex offender registration laws and residency restrictions are the cause of this kind of situation. When you ban former offenders from living in nearly every decent neighborhood, this is the only place many of them can find to live. If you don’t like the results, change the residency restriction laws which force former sex offenders to find unorthodox places to live.

Sen. Klein Wants to Kick Sex Offenders Out of Public Housing

May 11, 2010 Comments off (NY): Sen. Klein Urges State to Keep Sex Offenders out of Public Housing.

State senators Jeffery Klein and Diane Savino urged New York State Senate and Assembly on Sunday to pass legislation that would keep registered sex offenders from moving into public housing.

“Unfortunately, we know that even one sex offender living in public housing is one too many,” Klein said. “No parent or caregiver should ever have to worry that their child is at risk—especially right in their own backyard.”

In 1998, Congress passed the Quality House and Work Responsibility Act, which prohibits any person registered as a lifetime sex offender from being admitted by any public housing authority. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires all public housing authorities to perform criminal history background checks on prospective tenants and deny housing admission to registered sex offenders.

A March 2009 report released by New York City Councilman Eric Gioia found 129 lifetime sex offenders living in the city’s public housing units illegally.

In August 2009, the HUD inspectors found 4,784 households with one or more members registered as a serious sex offender. The HUD general inspector said the problem may be that legislation would be required to terminate tenant agreements for those improperly admitted to public housing, but HUD officials claimed public housing officials had the authority to remove registered lifetime sex offenders.

A more recent report released by Klein’s office this year showed 74 registered lifetime sex offenders illegally occupying public housing units in the city, with 12 more found in upstate and western New York. The zip code with the highest percentage of sex offenders in public housing was 11354 in Queens, with 40 percent. The zip code with the highest number of sex offenders in public housing was 11212 in Kings County, with 10.

“The time to act is now—we must make it easier for state housing authorities to identify sex offenders from the start and to boot out those currently taking advantage of this vital public program,” Klein said.

Klein is introducing legislation that would require housing authorities, tenants, and prospective tenants to be provided with a monthly list of all registered sex offenders within the city by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Where do you expect these citizens to live, Mr. Klein? I thought Public Housing is for those who have no other means to find housing. You prefer they live on the streets? Will that make your communities safer?

MI and ME are Doubting the Adam Walsh Act

May 11, 2010 Comments off Michigan not alone in seeking changes to sex offender registry.
BangorDailyNews: Changes sought in federal sex offender act – State rejects provisions as costly, ‘draconian’.

The state of Michigan is not the only state struggling to comply with the changes required by the federal Adam Walsh Act to the state’s sex offender registry. The Bangor Daily News reports that Maine is having a difficult time with those requirements as well and may ask for a delay in implementation of those changes.

Legislators from that state call many of the changes required “unworkable” and “draconian” and say they have not yet found a way to comply with the law in a way that makes sense. One of the major problems there, as here, is how to treat juvenile offenders and those in so-called Romeo and Juliet relationships.

Maine officials say the federal Adam Walsh law, which sets requirements for sex offender registries — including those for juvenile offenders — is unworkable and should be changed. Members of the state’s congressional delegation are listening.

“It just does not work,” said Sen. Stan Gerzofsky, D-Brunswick, co-chairman of the Legislature’s Criminal Justice Committee. “On our committee we have spent a lot of time trying to come up with a law that works for Maine, and Adam Walsh does not.”

Gerzofsky expects the state will seek another one-year extension to comply with the law but doubts the new Legislature elected in the fall will go along with the “draconian” provisions of the law that have been rejected by the current and past legislatures. Only one state, Ohio, has complied with the federal law.

“Congress should change the law and let the states do what works for that state,” Gerzofsky said. “We have looked at what it would cost to comply with the act and what we get under the Byrne grants and I just don’t think it is worth it.” Byrne grants provide funding to state and local police for a wide array of projects from equipment purchases to paying for special enforcement details.

Attorney General Janet T. Mills agreed with Gerzofsky and said many other attorneys general across the country have expressed concern about portions of the Adam Walsh law. “All states have a great deal of difficulty imposing the very tough restrictions on juveniles that the act requires.” “That is just one of the concerns,” Mills said.

The law requires states to have lifetime registration for the most serious of offenders, such as those convicted of sexual abuse or aggravated sexual abuse; abusive sexual contact against a minor less than 13 years old; or an offense involving kidnapping of a minor.

But the laws and definitions of sex crimes vary greatly by state, and creating a registry based on the risk of a person offending would be very expensive, experts have told Maine lawmakers.

Members of the state’s congressional delegation say they are open to some changes in the law as urged by state officials, but none supports a total repeal of the law. There is agreement that serious sex offenders should be on a registry and be required to report where they live for a long period of time.

U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said in an interview that other states are in the same position as Maine — that is, where state courts have ruled against portions of the sex offender registry laws. She said at a minimum Congress should consider giving the states more time to work through the complicated issues before facing the possibility of a reduction in federal assistance.

U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud said the fact that a large number of states are not in compliance with the law should be a clear message to Congress that it should consider making some changes.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree said she was not in Congress when the law was passed. She said it is becoming increasingly clear the law needs to be changed.

The state has until July 1 to apply for another waiver from the Justice Department. Mills thinks it will be granted. But as the law stands the state will face sanctions a year from July if it does not change its sex offender registry to comply with the Adam Walsh law or if Congress does not change provisions in the law.

How Your Son Could End Up on the Sex Offender List

May 11, 2010 Comments off How Your Son Could End Up on the Sex Offender List.

Let’s say your son turns 18. He gets a job at the local carnival, running the ride where the kids lie face down and spin around till they shriek with delight (or puke). Before each ride he has to buckle the kids in so they don’t fly out. But then — tragedy strikes.

Oh, don’t worry. Nobody goes flying. They’re buckled just fine. But one girl does tell her mother, “He touched my bottom!” The mom alerts the police.

The police come over and ask, “Is that true?” Your son replies, “Maybe. I have to lock the bar around their waists and between their legs. They squirm. It could have happened.”

The next day the police take him in for questioning. They ask him the same thing, this time with the videotape running. He gives them the same answer. It is considered his confession. He is convicted of “Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child.” He goes to jail for nine months. He is put on the Sex Offender Registry — for life.

Meantime, a few years later, your younger son is now 18. He’s at the urinal in the school bathroom during a weekend service project. A girl too young to read bursts in and he yells, “Out out out! Get out!” She starts crying and leaves. Her mom is concerned. The police are called. Was he in the men’s room with a girl?

Well, yes. Since everyone agrees the girl was not touched, he is convicted of “Visual Sexual Aggression Against a Child” — the crime of having a child see his genitals. He does six months in jail. He’s placed on the Sex Offender Registry for the next 10 years.

Let us remember this when we look up our local sex offender maps and see two convicts: One who ostensibly exposes himself to children and one who ostensibly assaults them.

We consult those maps because, as parents, we are hardwired to worry about our children. We worry about them getting hurt by strangers. But few of us worry about them getting hurt by strange laws that can put a young man behind bars for touching a child, even accidentally, on the bottom, in public, with everyone’s clothes on. Or for having a child, even accidentally, glimpse his private parts.

I spoke to the actual mom of these two young men. She’s a fishing net-maker in Maine and she put it pretty succinctly: “We’re all just one accusation away from the sex offender registry.”

Canada to Ban Pardons for Sex Offenders

May 11, 2010 Comments off : Canada to Ban Pardons for Sex Offenders.

A bill, introduced Tuesday in the House of Commons,seeks to exclude from the system sex offenders who harmed children.

“The current system of pardons implies that what the person did is somehow OK, or is forgiven, or that the harm done has somehow disappeared,” Mr. Toews told a news conference. “That is not for the state to do; that is something that is done between individuals as opposed to the state.”

If pardons say “what the person did was OK”, then how do you justify pardons for murderers, and not sex offenders? Perhaps those who committed a sex offense against a minor should murder the victim, so they can be forgiven? The blood of these victims will be on the hands of these kinds of lawmakers who craft laws which classify murder as a lesser offense than sex crimes.

Haidl Wants to Avoid Registering as Sex Offender, Case to Supreme Court

May 11, 2010 Comments off Greg Haidl wants to avoid registering as sex offender, takes case to Supreme Court.

Greg Haidl, the son of a former assistant Orange County sheriff who was convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage girl at a Newport Beach home, wants the California Supreme Court to take up his appeal.Haidl’s attorney, Dennis Fischer, petitioned the court last week to hear arguments on why his client should have his conviction overturned and not have to register as a sex offender for life.

Fischer told the Daily Pilot that the chances of the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the petition are “next to none.” Haidl’s convicted accomplices, Kyle Nachreiner, 25, and Keith Spann, 25, filed petitions with the court too, Fischer said.

All three men were convicted in 2005 of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in the basement of the house belonging to Haidl’s father. Haidl, 24, is the son of former Orange County Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl. While the girl apparently was passed out drunk, the men made a videotape of penetrating her vagina with several objects including a pool cue, Snapple bottle and a lighted cigarette.

For the Supreme Court, Fischer will narrow the arguments he presented to the Court of Appeal. He argued that the judge did not give his client a fair trial in electing to withhold evidence that the victim in the case had participated in similar sexual activity not long before the assault. The woman’s sexual history was protected under California’s Rape Shield law.

He also argues that Haidl should not have to register as a sex offender. The men were juveniles during the crime but were tried as adults. Read the full story here.

Only when more relatives of prominent state and federal officials get caught in this net will the courts and laws change. To those judges and elected officials who created these sex offender laws: one day you may wake up to find someone you love is now a registered sex offender!

Sex Offenders Provide Accurate Info to Law Enforcement, Study Finds

May 11, 2010 Comments off Sex Offenders Provide Accurate Info to Law Enforcement, Study Finds.

Despite the lies told to you by the media, the large majority of sex offenders comply with registration as they are required, even though these laws are violating their constitutional rights.

Federal authorities who double-checked addresses of Iowans required to register as sex offenders discovered that only a small percentage provided erroneous information to authorities.

U.S. Marshals teamed with local law enforcement to conduct the Sex offender Tracking And Registration (STAR) project in the 52 counties that comprise the Northern District of Iowa. The teams checked all registered sex offenders in the district, a total of 1,745 individuals, and discovered that only 155 — or roughly 8 percent — had provided false addresses. Charges have been made against 63 of those found to be in non-compliance, and there might be more charges made in the future.

If 155 are providing false information, then why only charge 63? Because their definition of compliance includes those who can make human errors, or try to comply but get caught up in a technicality. This is why you should not trust their statistics on compliance, recidivism, ect..

The project comes on the heels of national criticism that the sex offender registry isn’t working as well as it could because offenders are lying about their addresses and/or switching addresses without notifying authorities. Law enforcement officials for municipalities and counties have also argued that they have been provided mandates to check on registered sex offenders, but have not been provided the funding necessary to complete the task. Those same officials have also gone on record, at least in Iowa and a few other states, to explain that strict residency restrictions can sometimes be counter-productive to keeping track of known offenders due to limited housing opportunities.

Yet, despite the arguments and estimates that perhaps 25 percent or more sex offenders have wrong addresses on file, authorities conducting the home checks found most individuals provided correct information. Tim Junker, U.S. Marshal for the Northern District, said at a press conference Monday, however, that there is no way of knowing if the Iowa figures will translate to other federal districts.

Of course, statistically, the numbers will be similar across the nation. That is how statistical estimations work.