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August 25, 2005

USA Today overview of sex offender realities

USA Today has this long article discussing important sex offender realities in the midst of the national on-going sex offender panic.  Here are some highlights:

[H]igh-profile cases ... don't tell the whole story of sex offenders in America. They don't reflect the surprisingly good news: Sex crimes against children have dropped dramatically in the last decade. An online national sex-offender registry was launched in July. And recent research shows doctors can better predict which offenders may strike again....

Dramatic drop in cases. Government figures show the rate of sexual assaults against adolescents ages 12 to 17 plunged 79% from 1993 through 2003, and the number of substantiated sex-abuse cases involving kids of all ages fell 39% in the same time period. [One expert], who has analyzed the data, sees multiple reasons for the decline: Greater incarceration of offenders, more therapy and use of psychiatric drugs, economic improvement in the 1990s and heightened public concern. ...

Treatment helps. Group therapy dropped the recidivism rate from 17% to 10%, according to a 2002 study that [anther expert] co-wrote.  He studied 9,454 sex offenders in 43 states.

UPDATE:  More commentary on the story comes from the ACS Blog and TalkLeft.

August 25, 2005 at 04:50 AM | Permalink

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Comments

To criticize a law with out understanding the context in which it was enacted is little different then when hearing that people are starving because they have no bread respond by saying “Let them eat cake.” Yes, bad laws are passed every day. Certainly some of laws attempting to protect people from violent murderous child rapists are poorly written. They are being writing at this time because Shasta Groene family was murdered and she was abducted by a violent predator that was only free because the courts prevented his incarceration so as to allow him to attack innocent people. Clearly if those in power didn’t want crimes like this from happening they would stop it. We have bad laws because judges are hostile to the interest’s people and seek to protect violent criminals so they can terrorize society. By their very nature such laws must be harsh and overreaching because if there is any loophole that allows a judge to release a criminal who is a clear and present danger to the community he will. Then after such laws are passed elitists will present the law as evidence that the American people are depraved and undeserving of rights.

The problem that we have can never be fixed by laws. Judges will strike down any law that protects that people that he can get away with. It doesn’t matter if a judge is from the left or the right, the courts are a power in themselves, and power corrupts when there is no force to temper it. Soon people will forget Shasta Groene, and judges will strike down the laws enacted to protect society and be free to release more violent predators to prey on children.

The Constitution was set up to require that the government protect the people and do their wishes. Judges along with academia have perverted the accepted meaning of the Constitution as to being the exact opposite of what it really is. Judges have turned the Constitution in a tool to frustrate the will of the people and deny the people protection from their enemies. Simply put they have used the word “constitution” as an instrument of oppression. As such the judiciary is in material breach of the Constitution. Therefore the people are well with in their rights to use any means necessary to wrest power from a tyrannical judiciary and force judges to protect the people.


1. In other words, the justification of the authority of the executive component of government is the protection of the people’s property and well-being, so when such protection is no longer present, or when the king becomes a tyrant and acts against the interests of the people, they have a right, if not an outright obligation, to resist his authority. The social compact can be dissolved and the process to create political society begun anew.--John Locke, 1632-1704, the State of Nature

2. "Independence can be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass. They are inherently independent of all but moral law." --Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1819.

3. [R]efusing or not refusing to execute a law to stamp it with its final character...makes the Judiciary department paramount in fact to the Legislature, which was never intended and can never be proper.
James Madison, letter to John Brown, October, 1788

Judges must be made the serve and protect the people. The people are or should be independent and sovereign.

Posted by: James Briggs | Aug 27, 2005 7:29:39 PM

So lets ban the judges ffom living or entering within 2500 feet of any courthouse.

You mistaken if you think that banishing a class of people from society is going to solve the problem.

The MAJORITY OF OFFENDERS ARE CLOSE FAMILY MEMBERS.

So, look at your own family before you condem a stranger to death.

But heck, let send the judges to Iraq to fight instead of our children

Posted by: Tom | Aug 30, 2005 7:14:17 PM

I was convicted of a sex offense a number of years ago. I touched my stepdaughter and a year later she turned me in. I spent 2 1/2 years in prison and another 2 years on parole. I've been off parole for several years now and have been turned down for more jobs than I care to count. I lost a good career (I was a gov't employee), and have had to accept low paying jobs in order to put food on my family's plate. When I go to the local police to inform them of any changes in my employment status, I'm forced to endure extreme intimidation tactics by the officers there, normally after waiting for 2-3 hours in the lobby. They take great pleasure in making the "visits" miserable. I can certainly understand why someone would not want to go through the turmoil involved in registering.

I'm not any more danger to my community that the cops that are "tracking" me. I succesfully completed 2 1/2 years of therapy and took it very seriously. I've read that studies from John Hopkins University, the Canadian penal system, along with ohers, have found the recidivism rates for sex offenders who have succesfully completed therapy is between 3.5 and 6%. Yet, one of the first lines in most stories about offenders states as fact that we are likely to re-offend. This is accepted as fact when many studies find very different truths about sex offenders.

I can't stand reading news reports about young children being kidnapped and brutally murdered. I can only imagine the pain their parents go through, and I pray the person responsible is found quickly and put away for a long time. Unfortunately, with each nationally publicized crime comes more opportunities for lawmakers to "tighten" the laws and put the screws to our society's least welcome segment. Sex offenders are today's equivilant to lepers. Most people would rather we were all sent off to an island somewhere where they could feel safe in their own neighborhoods. Unfortunately, if many men are put in the right situation, many would commit a sex crime. The trick is to avoid those situations. I know, many will throw out their chests and proudly say "not me". I know, I would have said I wasn't capable of touching an underage girl. But, a day of drinking and some problems in my marriage left me open. I've replayed it in my mind countless times, and each time my stomach twists again. All I can say is that I had never been tempted to anything similar prior to my offense and I have certainly not been tempted since my release from prison. Not everyone convicted of a sex offense is a monster. Please consider this the next time you read about some new law or watch a talk show doing their best to scare the public into believing what is needed is more police and tougher laws. What is needed is for states to take the therapy seriously and those who show no interest in working out their problems need to stay in prison for the full length of their sentence. Canada is finding out it works and is not afraid to admit it. I'm afraid our country is so fixated on throwing laws and police at our problems that we will continue to throw away good lives and destroy countless families needlessly.

Posted by: karl | Sep 18, 2005 11:47:07 PM

Perhaps the reason there are tens of thousands of child molesters is that we as a society have been far to tolerant. Time to drop the hammer.

This is the story of one community's daily struggle to protect its children from a HIGH RISK SEX OFFENDER placed here by the Parole Divison of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

http://dokich.blogspot.com

We are doing our best to prevent this creep from harming another child.

Posted by: tonylr | Oct 2, 2005 1:22:05 PM

It is horrible that our society has to hear and see such terrible things done to children across our great and vast nation. Nowadays, California passes laws to "protect" children after high profile cases in Florida. Heck, they even name the laws after the children of far away states.

I am an rso.

-Common sense flash-

If we have to go clear to Florida for justification to pass a law to "track" those sex offenders who do comply with the law and are not repeat offenders, THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE HYPE BEING SPREAD ABOUT THOSE COMPLYING SEX OFFENDERS.

Let's face it - Quit lying to ourselves and others. Further punishing those people who are and have been complying with registration laws isn't going to catch the father, mother, brother, step parent, or sibling who is molesting within your family. Oh, but we don't want to think about that do we??

Facts are facts, most sexual offenders in our neighborhoods are in bed with us, have never been reported and most likely won't be. Who is keeping an eye on them?

Oh, that's right, we don't want to think about that, do we?

And why should we, we have someone else to keep us entertained.

Posted by: Louis | Oct 9, 2005 8:59:05 PM

My name is tim and was charged back in 1995 and i had done my punishment for this crime 6 month in the county now 10 years later i still feel like im being punished for that crime, in 2003 i was charged for DUI 3rd and i did 1-5 years, i done the year and now that i on parole they had given me a parole agent that does mostly sex offenders it really make me mad that just because you make a decision about something even if yes it was a bad one they make you out to be someone that you don't want to be around or even hire i think the world is letting the government take over the power has gone to their heads.

Posted by: TIM | Nov 15, 2005 12:27:30 PM

yes this country is being fooled we as a society have become hypnotized has anyone thought about how fast the sex offender rate has increased do you really believe everyone of those names are there because they are all guilty? come on America and I am using the word America loosely it's good for business to have a registry, lawyers do not defend properly but they charge for services that are not properly performed but who really can track this right? the prosecuters make money for the counties brings in revenue for the law enforcement the state gvernment gets the grants we get more prisons and the economy grows to a point the contractors land you get the picture right put a childs name to a law man see who jumps on that I feel terrible sadness for the victims and thier families but what about the innocent men yes the few women also but the registry is mostly aimed at men why is that? you all can stay in your trance but when you really start to wake up most likely to late just remember it's just business right? but for who's gain and who's loss just think about it please.

Posted by: Eric | Jan 22, 2006 9:56:26 PM

I am and advocate for sex abuse awareness, as well as a survivor of two female adolescent offenders. What I had experienced is often considered "rare" when in fact it is under-reported. Having spoken at several panel meetings and local cabelthons, I find that as a scoiety we are just not willing to face the truth. While I do not condone the actions of a sexual offender, I do feel that we need to look at this issue with a clear head. As a public we often fall prey to a mob mentality which suggests we burn all sexual offenders at the stake. I happen to know from talking to several survivors that not only were their offenders known to them, but often times their stories were not taken seriously (especially if the offender was female). Female offenders are greatly overlooked, which has allowed them to feel exempt from punishment. It is because of this bias thinking that they will continue to flourish. I have heard of female offenders being described as "lonley" which is a load of garbage, where is this consideration and excuse when pertaining to male offenders? No one really knows for sure what happens to a person who has been sexually abused, but for many it is a behavior in which they will repeat as a means to regain power. Most times it has nothing to do with sex, but rather control. If I as a (female)survivor can see this often denied side of reality, dont you think its time we all did?

Posted by: s.m | Apr 13, 2006 10:34:40 AM

It is easy to single out sex offenders as the worst of the worst because of the images the media brings to us about them. We hear about the offender who abducted and sexually assaulted a child all over the evening news over and over and over. But what about the 18-year old offender who's offense was having a consensual sex with his 16 or 17 year old girlfriend. He too must register as an offender FOR LIFE and there is nothing on the registry that explains what truly happened. All you'll see is a penal code number and a short note "lewd act on a minor". When you see that you would automatically think that he's a predator, but is he really? Don't you know of someone close to you who at one point in time may have done something similar. Don't get me wrong. There are sex offenders out there who deserve every bit of punishment they're getting (the Joseph Duncans, Kenneth Parnells, John Coueys) and actually deserve more, but there are also many who's offenses do not warrant more than a month of incarceration. Each case is different. Punishment should fit the crime but in the case of many registered offenders these punishments go on forever. The stigma of the words "sex offender" is so overwhelming. They get no second chance. They're branded for life. Their families suffer too. You can drive drunk and put hundreds of people's lives in danger, but we don't care as much about them because they're not harming children. And they can be rehabilitated unlike sex offenders. Really? We don't want to know about the paroled murderer or the serial burglars/robbers or the habitual wife beaters or the drug dealers whose turning our kids into drug crazed beasts. We don't need to slap a GPS device on these guys because they're not a priority. But we need to put the guy who urinated on a public park (indecent exposure) under the microscope away from our neighborhoods for the rest of his life because he's a danger? Do we really want to see these people six feet under as one poster have suggested? Do they really deserved to be isolated in a remote island? The fact is you will hear a lot about sex offenders during election year because politicians like to beat up on this group to appear tough on crime. They like to play on our fears. It's the right side of the issue to be on if you want to be elected. Sex offenders are ripe targets because they're easy to humiliate and step on. No one would ever defend them. The "perceived threat" they pose on our children are a perfect vehicle for politicians who need votes to ride on. There will never be thousands of protesters on the street if unfair laws are created just for them. They're a perfect platform because everyone hates them. If real terrorists and suicide bombers start campaigning in our areas, we'll forget about sex offenders. Thank God that hasn't happened. Treating sex offenders like animals to the point that they'll feel they have nothing else to lose will only push them to commit more crimes not less. Unfornately, the more dangerous sex offenders are those who have not been caught yet not the ones whose information are free for everyone to see.


Posted by: Dom | May 5, 2006 7:18:26 PM

I am a wife of a registered sex offender, I went through the whole horrible ordeal with him. He doesn't have a level# assigned to him and is a zero risk of re-offending. His crime was not done in sexual intent, I resent that he even has to register and if the crime happened in a different State then Iowa he wouldn't have to register.(We live in MN now, but the crime took place in Iowa)He never did any jail or prison time, was put on probation for 2 yrs but was released after 1 yr. He registers yearly and follows all the rule set for him. We live in a small town and was told over and over again because of the nature of his "crime" that only the police agency will know he has to register(my husband went through intentive evaluations and passed all the tests with high scores making him a zero-risk) Now 4 years later we are informed by a few people in our small town that they found my husbands profile as a sex offender on the internet. In MN only level 3 are on the internet, my husband is not even in the MN database since he isn't a threat.
So the people in our town now are threatening to beat and kill my husband because he "has" to be a level 3 to be on the internet..after research we found out that IOWA changed a law 2 years ago that no longer uses levels to indentify the danger of a sex offender but goes by the age of the victim...SO a level 3 sex offender isn't online if the victim of over 16..
but my husband a zero-risk and has no level is pastered all over the internet...every year he registers he has to inital 3 times and check something in the form and it says that if he does this every year that he would not be made public and only the police agency will know. He even talked to a lady at the Iowa sex offender registery 8 months ago who told him if he filled out this form they sent and got his photo taken that he would be safe for being made public. After contacting this same lady again and asked her why she didn't notify him that his picture would be online she said, because you didn't ask, HELLO only level 3 are public knowledge we should never had to even worry about this...

I agree with the last few post...it is people we know and trusted that molest us and take away our innocence and change our lives forever...not the stranger in the park. Most sex offender will never be reported, I was molested by 2 uncles and 1 brother, 2 of my sisters were molested by our dad, in school teenage boys with raging hormones used to harass me or grab at my breasts because of my size. All of these would be on the sex offender list if it happened nowadays.
Like one earlier man posted, all men would be an offender if the situation arised for them...
I feel sorry for people who think they can't be called a sex offender and put on "the list" it can be as easy as someone wanting to get even with you and say you did something or a divorce and accuse you of molesting the small child so you are forever ban from that childs life...THINK about it!!!

Posted by: BjB | May 12, 2006 11:57:57 PM

This is the new 21st century "witch hunt". I agree with s.m.; most people don't even know the difference between an offender and a predator, they just hear sex crime.
My son visited his father in Florida in 2000; met a girl who told him she was 17 (he was 18). They had sex and a few months later my son had a warrant out for his arrest. Lewd battery. What's that suppose to mean??
The girl apparently had also had sex with another boy and the parents found out. We also found out that the girl had lied about her age; she was only 14. The girl even told the police that she lied about her age because she knew if my son had known how old she was that he wouldn't have had anything to do with her. But the DA still pressed charges. Does that sound like a sex offender?? The parents dropped all the charges; but the DA filed anyway.

My son had already come back to NY and was working when he found out about the warrant for his arrest. He didn't want to go back to FL. and I don't blame him. The warrant was only for Florida and the surrounding states. So for 2.5 years my son lived and worked in the same area. He had even been pulled over for a few traffic infractions and been pulled into the Sheriff's office because of the fugitive warrant. But Florida wasn't interested in him and they had to release him, AT THAT TIME. THEN IT BECAME AN ELECTION YEAR!!
The Florida DA ammended the warrant, came and got my son and published his name and picture all over the local news about the great "capture" of this offender.

My son was told to take a plea bargin of a year in jail and two years probation because if it went to trial he'd get 15 years.

My son moved back to NY after serving his year in jail and was working off his probation. In the mean time he got a DUI. Florida proceeded to violate his probation, extradicted him from NY and sentenced him to 8 years in prison!!!!

Nothing he had done over all this time (a total of 6 years) has had anything to do with a sex crime but now he's getting ready to serve eight years in a Florida prison. Talk about the laws being screwed up.

I'm not saying that the sex laws aren't there for a reason; but each case should be looked at on their own merits and not lumped together under one crime with a "score sheet" system. I even wrote to the judge and asked her to really read his file, but I just got a form letter sent to me about how I shouldn't contact them. Who am I suppose to contact? How do you go about getting laws changed that are sssoooo wrong?

Posted by: | Jun 16, 2006 1:33:36 PM

For those that wanted to know. Michigan places those that publically urinate on the Sex Offender Registry.

Posted by: Educating You | Jun 19, 2006 1:15:41 AM

Isn't it amazing, people can find this article over and over in the course of a year, and can't find their government representatives to educate them.

Our government has completed study after study. There have been private studies as well. All basically forming the same conclusions, but our representative government ignores the facts and continues to come up with more laws to further PUNISH a whole sub-class of people (who have already paid for their crime) because one preditor in a state clear across the country has taken a child and killed him or her. Where is the justice in that?

Is all of this really required to satisfy the sadistic need of "victims" and their families, to exact their revenge?

This is a sad testiment of a society who claims to be "advanced".

Let's face it, sexual exploitation and abuse of children is truely horrible. The worst nightmare of a LOVING parent, is to imagine something being done to their child by anyone.

We also need to understand, many sex offenders were victims themselves. This is no excuse for hurting someone else, especially when there is so much information and theraputic help out there. Oh, wait a minute, let's think back twenty years..

A young man being raped was unheard of back then. Our society didn't even want to acknowledge that a male could rape another male. So, only recently has our society been eager to acknowledge that the offenses males commit against males, are considered rape.

In recent years there has been a push to help male victims of rape. There has also been a relentless push to punish those same male victims (if they abuse someone else) as though they always had the same amount of support females have had.

What a shame.

Posted by: Louis | Aug 3, 2006 5:58:09 PM

I am currently in the preliminary stages of filing a class action law suit.

I am looking for people who got entangled in an internet police sting because of a perverted sexual fantasy, then were later convicted of a felony, "Indecent Solicitation of a Child" (aka "Indecent Solicitation of a Minor" and "Lewd Indecent Act") If your conviction is a result of an online internet sting, I would like to hear from you.

Please only respond to this posting if meet the following criteria:

(1) You were convicted of the aforementioned charge
(2) You have only 1 Felony conviction and no other convictions (excluding traffic violations)
(3) Your conviction is a result of chatting with a police officer posing as a teenage minor in a chatroom.
(4) Your state law does not allow you to expunge your conviction upon discharge of sentence only leaving you the option to have it pardoned.

For those who respond, I would like to know if employment has been denied solely based on the conviction.

Adults getting arrested from online solicitation of a minor are happening at epidemic levels. Many of these people who offended, truly had no bad intentions but used very poor judgement that has now ruined many lives unnecessarily. While we understand that protecting children should always be a top priority, there needs to be checks and balances. The majority of offenders that fall into this category are not criminals or predators, but instead typically endure a psychological deficiency that the deviant behavior stems from. In most cases, such deficiencies can (and most of the time are) corrected through therapy.

Details about the civil suit will be shared with the people who respond and meet the above criteria.

Regards,
Gary

Posted by: Gary | Oct 14, 2006 12:20:54 AM

I'm looking for others to file a class action lawsuit against FLDE in Florida. As attempted with the lack of "Due Process" my case along with some others will stand up against this. I just can't afford to take on the case alone. I'll be more then happy to put my name on it and not just another "Doe".

I was convicted in 1993 and served 2 years in the state of N.J. upon my release the "Meagans Law" was in the hands of the Federal Supreme court. As N.J. was instructed being they were making the law retroactive "Due Process" must be granted to all prior convictions. Well I went for a court hearing in 1996 as to be tiered. A state judge granted a Tier Level 1 for my conviction with notification to local law enforcement only!!! I moved to Florida in 1999 where as I was required by law to register but then the " Due Process" I had received for the conviction from that state was no longer valid and the State of Florida made it public record without having any "Due Process" under the law.


Posted by: Po'ed SO... | Jun 28, 2007 4:59:36 PM

i want to file a law student against the federal government for their acceptance of sex offender laws and requirements. i want to make them ruled un-constitutional and have my records sealed and pardoned for my crimes. i believe the laws are unfair, unconstitutional and they need to be thrown out. public notification of a person makes them unable to obtain fair housing and fair opportunities for employment. i have struggled for six year to make an income to support myself. i live like a homeless uneducated person because i cant get rid of the core that prevents people from hiring me or letting me live there.

Posted by: anonymous | Aug 19, 2007 3:56:10 PM

Female offenders are not taken seriously in our society and that has to change. My daughter was sexually molested by her babysitter, who is also our neighbor. The woman is 46 years old. My daughter told me when she first started talking, she was almost three years old. This woman had babysat since she was born on a regular basis, so I do not know exactly how long it went on. I immediatlely discontinued my friendship with this woman and reported her to the police. She would not take a lie detector test and hired a lawyer. The police and the D.A.'s office did not persue this even though my daughter was interviewed on tape two different times and she talks about what this woman did to her, it breaks my heart. It has been two years now and this woman not only still lives accross the street but also has a husband and grown son that walk by our house and still stare at our children in an attempt to intimidate them.

Posted by: dee | Apr 21, 2008 12:58:22 PM

toshiba portege r100 battery

Posted by: | Oct 14, 2008 9:25:19 PM

Its amazing to me in this day and age that persons looking for sexual gratification fantasy or otherwise, would be stupid enough to get themselves on a sex offender registry.Its also amazing the overall perception of registrants is they got caught with thier underage girlfriends. I have read and re-read some of these post and not one of them put their victim above "themselves" and the over-riding sentiments and complaints are the repercussions that they (the offender) must live with.
I hate to be the one to break it to some of you guys and wive's, but most people go thru their entire lives and never make that list. I hear alot of bitching and moaning about the restrictions, the neighbors, the lost jobs and opportunities due to the sex offender status, but society has determined that "you dont mess with the kids, and you dont force yourself and your sexual desires on another human being just to "get off". Your the adult and in a successful society you dont take advantage of minors. We arent building rockets here...Society has been telling you for a long time and even spells it out...if you insist on crossing the line, well you practically begged for it in my book..

Posted by: Pragmatic | Nov 12, 2008 7:20:13 PM

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