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April 3, 2008

Sex offender wants judge to allow him to watch baseball

This AP story out of Indianapolis provides a fitting way to celebrate the first full week of regular season MLB games:

A convicted sex offender banned by a city ordinance from entering parks has asked a judge for permission to watch his son play baseball at a Little League complex.

Eric Dowdell, 34, said he will seek an exemption from the ban based on his completion of counseling, probation and other requirements set by the ordinance for an exemption.  A hearing on the request has been scheduled for April 11 in Jeffersonville City Court.

Dowdell said kids need to be protected from offenders. But he said there should be a distinction between someone like him, who made a mistake years ago and has been a good parent, and someone who might harm children.  Dowdell was convicted of sexual battery in 1996, according to the Indiana Sheriff's Registry of Sex Offenders, and was no longer required to register as an offender after 2006.

Dowdell lives in Clarksville and his 11-year-old son plays in the Little League there, but the games will be played in the Jeffersonville complex this year because the Clarksville site is undergoing a renovation....

Larry Wilder, the lawyer who drafted the Jeffersonville ordinance, has said repeatedly that he believes the ban is constitutional. Wilder says "going into a park in Jeffersonville is not a fundamental right."

Geez, it is just like a sex offender to ask some activist judge to let him get some kinky fun watching little boys run around in a local park.  Next thing you know, these sex offenders will start asking judges to let them eat apple pie and drive a Chevy.  Why can't a local government just force those they do not like to live in the shadows forever?!?I?  Of course, if all judges would just act like umpires the way the Chief Justice of the United States urges, we would not have all these crazy activist-judge problems (unless sex offenders started signing up themselves to be umpires or judges).

April 3, 2008 at 01:57 PM | Permalink


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"activist judge"?

Where did that come from? As far as I can tell, the judge hasn't ruled on the motion.


Posted by: babalu | Apr 3, 2008 3:22:28 PM

It appears you were absent the day they taught sarcasm at Superhero College.

Posted by: S.cotus | Apr 3, 2008 3:45:38 PM

When a law professor equates pedophilia with Chevrolets and applie pie, the terrorists have truly won.

Posted by: Superhero | Apr 3, 2008 4:42:48 PM

Yes, I WAS absent that day, and they said I didn't need it for the test.

Posted by: babalu | Apr 3, 2008 5:01:21 PM

Well let him watch those boys playing basketball is basically the same as letting him rape them, right?

Ugh. The state clearly didn't consider him a threat, or else his registry wouldn't have been suspended as of July of last year (why his picture appears on the registry site is a mystery).

Whatever this guy's mistake (he committed the offense over ten years ago at the age of 23), I find it hard to believe he is a remote threat to children. There is no evidence that his original offense involved children. When I googled his name at least one of the comments on a news site noted he was a coach.

While I wish these laws would disappear/be rationalized, I suspect that the positions on this site are in the minority.

Posted by: Alec | Apr 4, 2008 3:20:52 AM

"The state clearly didn't consider him a threat, or else his registry wouldn't have been suspended as of July of last year (why his picture appears on the registry site is a mystery)."

Depending upon Indiana's interpretation of the AWA requirements, he may be required to re-register.

As for why his picture still appears... It is the stance of some jurisdictions that the expiration of an offender's obligation to register has no bearing on the State's decision to include an offender's information on the public registry.

Posted by: Ilah | Apr 4, 2008 10:02:09 AM

Looking at the Indiana code, it does not look like he was convicted of a crime involving a child since he was convicted of sexual battery while a crime with a child victim would have been sexual misconduct with a minor or child molesting (since both of those laws were in effect by 1996) - http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title35/ar42/ch4.html ) The registration requirements under Indiana law are available here - http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title11/ar8/ch8.html which show that crimes against adults which did not involve drugs or injury or use of force expire after 10 years).

It seems that he should have a pretty strong case given the state law determination that offenses such as his do not require residentcy restrictions or lifetime registration.

Posted by: Zack | Apr 4, 2008 11:11:43 AM

Zack, the Indiana code may change on July 1, when most laws enacted in this legislative session will take effect. If Indiana chose to crystal-ball gaze and assume what the AWA federal guidelines will be, it's possible the man's crime will suddenly require 25-to-life registration terms.

Posted by: Ilah | Apr 4, 2008 3:47:10 PM

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