Saturday, August 8, 2015

Brown Betty: SCV News commentator Betty Arenson feeds us a pile of horseshit

Does anyone remember the episode from "King of the Hill" where Bobby Hill accidentally drops Peggy Hill's famous "Brown Betty" into a pile of horseshit and he scoops it up, saying, "no one will notice, and later folks eat it and get sick?

Well, that is essentially what this article is-- a Brown Betty mixed with horseshit. People DO notice and you are making them sick.

Jessica and Megan
You Know I'm Right | Commentary by Betty Arenson

Last week California Sen. Sharon Runner wrote about the fate of SB54, which addresses those convicted of sex-offense crimes and their subsequent residency restrictions once they are released from incarceration.

Runner stated her mission clearly: “The California Supreme Court decision (that ruled on a portion of Jessica’s Law as unconstitutional) creates uncertainty. County governments need a clear process to protect voter approved residency restrictions when possible and expedite relief when necessary; SB 54 provided much needed clarity.”

She tried to give jurisdiction to local county courts that would allow for the convicts to contest their restrictions.

I call that a democracy.

The blog responses were stunning. But for me, all of the comments from the bloggers – the vast majority being “anonymous” with some common first name or initials; no photos, of course – were completely divorced from any criticism of sex offenders but chose nastily to attack Runner personally and characterized her efforts as un-American and something called “Naxiism.”

The aforementioned group, with no exceptions, never discussed the real victims, just the pathetic rapists and murderers.

I don’t believe I’m alone is considering all of them as murderers. When a dominant figure molests, rapes or commits commits any similar act, the soul of the victim is killed. The victims are robbed of their senses of self-worth, trust, peace, safety, freedom and security for the rest of their lives.
Notably, not one of the negative bloggers invited the sex offenders to live near them.

If accurate, some of the bloggers had a sensible point to make, such as Runner being able to re-write and resubmit a bill. Others were simply inane.

“Will A.” wrote: “There is not a single American who supports residency restrictions. You people who do are not Americans.”

False. The press release on the subject says: “SB 54 garnered support from law enforcement and public safety groups including the Association of Code Enforcement Officers, Association of Deputy District Attorneys, California College and University Police Chiefs Association, California Narcotics Officers Association, Crime Victims United, the Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the Los Angeles Police Protective League and the Riverside Sheriffs’ Association.”

Also, 70.5 percent of Californians voted “yes” on Jessica’s Law, with its residency restrictions. Are the voters “not Americans?”

“Chris” thinks: “The registry makes things more dangerous … it certainly doesn’t stop any crime … I don’t think reminding someone of a crime they committed, year after year, long after it is out of their day to day existence, only stirs feelings that are not necessarily good for the society.”

In rebuttal, I’m not caring that the pervert may be constantly reminded of his destructive behavior; it’s exactly what he chose to impose upon the victim for a lifetime.

“Susan” wrote: “There are no sex offenders required to register in California. California requires only former sex offenders to register.” What?

All offenders are required to register once they are duly convicted.

The California DOJ / Office of Attorney General / Megan’s Law specifies: “By law, persons convicted of specified sex crimes are required to register as sex offenders with a local law enforcement agency. Prior to release from prison, jail, a mental hospital, or on probation, sex offenders are notified in writing of their duty to register, and a copy of the notification form is forwarded to DOJ. When a sex offender is released into the community, the agency forwards the registration information to DOJ.”

The document continues with specific time guidelines, etc.

Also, California says: “The Sex Offender Tracking Program at the California Department of Justice (DOJ) maintains the registered sex offender database.”

Runner did not invent sex offender laws.

DOJ’s Sex Offender Tracking Program has been in force since 1947, with California being first to enact a sex offender registration law. Many states didn’t catch up until the 1990s. It’s a lifetime sex offender registration requirement in California, whose population exceeds 35 million. “California today has the largest number of registered sex offenders of any state.”

The Jessica Lunsford Act arose out of Florida when 9-year-old Jessica fell prey in 2005 to a repeat sexual pervert, John E. Couey, who held and raped her for days, then buried her alive to suffocate in plastic bags. She tried to claw her way out. But for dying in prison of anal cancer, he’d still be sitting there with all of his “rights” and costly appeals on death row.

Megan’s law arose from New Jersey after the death of 7-year-old Megan Kanka. She was raped and murdered by “a known child molester who had moved across the street from the family without their knowledge.”

President Bill Clinton signed Megan’s Law into law on May 17, 1996. Every state has some form of Megan’s Law.

Sen. Runner, many applaud your sensible efforts to protect our families and communities while generously affording “rights” to those who violently breach the society they then make demands upon.

There will be more on this subject.

Betty Arenson has lived in the SCV since 1968 and describes herself as a conservative who’s concerned about progressives’ politics and their impacts on the country, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She says she is unashamed to own a gun or a Bible, couldn’t care less about the color of the president’s skin, and demands that he uphold his oath to protect and follow the Constitution of the United States in its entirety.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Janine Reyes of WFTV finds her sweeps week story at a yard sale. I bet her brain was bought there, too.

Any time a reporter makes a story this asinine, the Shiitake Awards will make room for her. So the big story of the day is shelter that houses registered citizens sells toys at a yard sale (among other things). So what's the big deal, especially if none of the shelter residents interact with the yard-salers. And kids don't go to yard sales alone, parents go. 

Reyes made problems for a shelter doing good work for the community. Why? For ratings, obviously. Next week, Reyes could run a story on sex offenders using public bathrooms. She can get exclusive footage of me dropping a valigator all over this Shiitake-Worthy story.

It isn't enough she ran this story, but her Twitter page suggests she's hoping some residents are violated.

[By the way, it seems "The Dirty" has an article about Janine Reyes.]

Posted: 6:38 p.m. Saturday, June 20, 2015
Apopka sex offender facility sells children’s toys at yard sale

APOPKA, Fla. — An Apopka complex that houses nearly 30 sex offenders has been having yard sales for years, but some of the items are tailored to children, worrying neighbors.
Channel 9’s Janine Reyes found stuffed animals, baby toys, Legos and other items for children during a yard sale Saturday at The Lighthouse Mission.
Reyes found out the yard sale will be the last at the facility for a while, due to a violation of city code that allows yard sales only twice a year.
“It doesn’t say anywhere you’re entering a premise where there (are) 26 registered sex offenders,” Reyes said.  “Why should it? I don’t have it in front of my house that I’m on disability,” said Gloria Hoffpauir, who helps run The Lighthouse Mission with her mother.
Hoffpauir said the sex offenders who live in the complex are not identified as predators, but some residents said the complex should prominently display who lives there during a yard sale.
Hoffpauir said the sex offenders do not sell the items, but they do help set up the sale and move items.
“So they could be out here while there are children here?” Reyes asked Hoffpauir.
“Kids don’t come up here by themselves. Their parents are with them,” Hoffpauir said.
Nearby residents said it’s not right.
“I just don’t want kids to be around violators,” said Stephen Vasquez.
“It doesn’t say anywhere you’re entering a premise where there (are) 26 registered sex offenders,” Reyes said.  “Why should it? I don’t have it in front of my house that I’m on disability,” said Gloria Hoffpauir, who helps run The Lighthouse Mission with her mother.
 Hoffpauir said the sex offenders do not sell the items, but they do help set up the sale and move items

Friday, June 19, 2015

NH State Rep Dick(head) Marston derails relief plan against aggressive collection of registry fees

This guy's name is "Dick," but his last name should be "Head" after derailing a bill that would have abolished the $50 annual fee the state forces registered persons to pay. Of course, it wasn't enough to vote against the bill-- Dickhead Marston claimed if this bill passed, the registry would eliminate the registry. If that is true, then I see no reason NOT to pass this bill. The money saved from eliminating the registry could increase his salary, which means better glasses and some Hair Club for Men.

Dornin: Pay $50 a Year Forever ... Or Maybe Not

HB 587 would have abolished the annual fee former sex offenders pay to be listed in the state's online database.

By Chris Dornin, Founder, CCJR

Lawmakers killed a good crime bill this year.

Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform wrote and recruited sponsors for HB 587, which would have abolished the $50 annual “fee” the state charges citizens to register as former sexual offenders, often for the rest of their lives. The charge buys them the privilege of being publicly shamed on the State Police website. Failure to pay can get them arrested and theoretically sent to prison.

Our bill died on the House floor based in part on misinformation by state Rep. Dick Marston, R-Manchester, who posted the following blurb in the House calendar before the vote:

“There is a provision in the law that would currently allow the fee to be waived if the offender was unable to afford it. The (House Criminal Justice) committee determined that repealing the fee would have resulted in virtually eliminating the registry, which would be a disservice to the citizens of NH.”

Marston misled lawmakers, perhaps intentionally. Yes, eliminating the fee would cost the state the $93,400 a year it squeezes from registrants to pay for their scarlet letter. But the registry costs state and local government far more than that. The State Police testified they employ seven people full time to keep the registry up to date. The Manchester Police say they assign two full-time officers to track their 440 registrants on the State Police website. If that is a best practice, the rest of New Hampshire needs another eight or 10 officers full time to handle the remaining 2100 registrants. The total cost easily exceeds ten times what the state collects from registrants.

We would submit the state has no right to make registrants pay anything for being pilloried on the Department of Safety’s website. They have already paid for their crimes. Registration is not voluntary and being on the registry is not a privilege. Why should registered citizens have to pay for it? Good evidence suggests sex offender registries do nothing to protect the public anyway, despite what lawmakers say.

Former offenders have every legal and moral right to challenge the fee under state law. Sex offender registration already has crippling effects on registered citizens’ financial viability. Once a potential employer finds out a person is a registered sex offender, the door of opportunity closes. We know of many registrants who are unemployed or under employed because of their registrant status. But, if they don’t pay the state $50 every year, they can be charged with yet another crime.

As far as CCJR knows, no one has actually been arrested for not paying the registry fee, though some have been threatened with arrest if they didn’t cough up the money. The point of the fee is to raise money for the State, of course, so it’s not in the state’s interest to arrest non-payers. Putting just a few registrants in prison for failing to pay a $50 charge would soon use up all the money the State hopes to collect.

As Rep. Marston suggested, the law is not entirely heartless. It provides a way for the indigent to be excused from paying. Registered citizens can ask for a hearing before the Commissioner of Safety to decide if they are unable to pay. As you can imagine, these hearings are like having a friendly talk with the fictional Don Corleone, who famously said, “Let me make you an offer you can’t refuse.”

States normally determine indigence based strictly upon income and assets. But the Department of Safety wants to know how impoverished registrants spend their limited resources. We know of registrants who have been asked if they smoke. If so, they should smoke less and pay the fee. The same goes for cell phones and cars. The threat is always the same, pay up or get arrested.

We believe this is no way to run a free state. So we’re encouraging all registrants making less than 125% of federal poverty levels to apply for a waiver of the fee. We have posted on our website clear instructions on how to do so and, if denied, how to appeal that decision into the Superior Courts. Just follow the link

Our hope is that many registrants will exercise their rights this way. But, even if just a few end up appealing to the Courts, the State will soon spend all the money it hopes to collect through this extortionist scheme, and somebody in power will finally figure out the registry fee is not a good idea.

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

Chris Dornin is the founder of Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Judge Dennis "The Menace" Wiley proves Sen. Rick Jones lied when he claimed R&J cases aren't prosecuted in Michigan

This is Dennis "The Menace" Wiley, judge in Berrien Co., MI. He is not exactly an ethical judge, and is apparently no stranger to controversy, including being censured by the Michigan Bar. Now, he has ruined the life of a 19-year-old just because he can.

This is a rather long read, but is a very comprehensive article on this case. So much for Sen. Rick Jones's bogus claim that Romeo and Juliet cases don't get registry time in Michigan.

Was justice served after teen's encounter with girl?

Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 9:30 am | Updated: 5:04 pm, Tue May 26, 2015.
By Virginia Black South Bend Tribune

When the Niles girl came down the stairs early one December evening all made up and her hair looking especially nice, her mother said, "Dang! Where are you going?"
The girl, who struggles with epilepsy, didn't answer. Her mother assumed she was merely heading down the street, so the mother decided to give her daughter space.
Outside the house, the girl climbed into a car with 19-year-old Zachery Anderson.
The two first met on the Facebook-hosted Hot or Not website, in the over-18 section. When they were communicating online and in text messages, she told him she was 17. They went to a nearby school and talked a while before having sex. Zach recalls dropping her back at home later, where he gave her a hug before he drove back to his parents' Elkhart home.
But the girl was only 14, on the cusp of 15.
After she had not quickly returned, her mother worried about her daughter missing a dose of her medicine and possibly having a seizure, so she called police. Officers were at the house when the girl returned, not even an hour after the girl left.
The next time the teens would see each other was in a Niles courtroom, where Zach would ultimately be ordered to spend 90 days in the county jail, five years on probation and 25 years on Michigan's sex offender registry. He would lose the work he'd completed toward a computer-related degree this semester and be forced to give up his field of study — and, as part of his sentence, even the use of a smartphone or being around anyone else with one.
A longtime Michigan law often applies in cases like Zach's, calling for lenient sentences and, perhaps more importantly, allowing first-time offenders to avoid the sex offender registry. The victim and her mother even pleaded for leniency. But the judge in Zach's case chose to not give the first offender a break, even after false information about the 19-year-old in a pre-sentence report was flagged. The judge's sentence came with a lecture about the dangers of the Internet.
And, critics say, cases like Zach's raise questions about sex-offender laws that are meant to protect the public but sometimes have unintended consequences.

'How old are you really?'

Zach Anderson is wearing dark green scrubs now, in a dorm of the Berrien County Jail in St. Joseph.
The girl was the first he met in person through Hot or Not, he said. The Tribune is not identifying the girl or her mother to protect the girl's identity as a sex crime victim.
Anderson doesn't remember which of them proposed sex, although he said he wasn't pressing the girl. She also had not mentioned having epilepsy, he said.
Shortly after their Dec. 19 meeting, he traveled with his family to Florida and, he said, the first he knew trouble was brewing was when the girl sent him a message saying "something like, 'Oh, we're in a lot of trouble.' "
Why, he asked?
"I asked, 'How old are you really?' and then she told me," Anderson said.
In early January, two detectives visited him while he was working as a lube tech at Auto Village Service Center in Goshen. He cooperated. They confiscated his phone.
He turned himself in Feb. 24, posted bond and was released on house arrest, living in his parents' home. Anderson began to work for their small business as he attended his first semester on scholarship at Ivy Tech Community College in Elkhart.
He was aiming for a computer-related degree, because "I've been building computers and stuff since I was 12," he said. "I'm a technology-type guy."
His defense attorney, John Gardiner, had advised that if he pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct 4th degree — a "high-court misdemeanor," according to Michigan law — he would be a suitable candidate for Holmes Youthful Trainee Act status. HYTA is meant for first-time offenders older than 17 but not yet 21. It allows a defendant to avoid harsher penalties and, in the case of more minor sex crimes, not be subject to a state-mandated 25-year listing on the sex offender registry.
But Berrien County District Court Judge Dennis Wiley decided against leniency.

'Out of whole cloth?'

At Anderson's original sentencing hearing on April 13, the girl and her mother pleaded with Wiley in his Niles courtroom.
"I feel that nothing should happen to Zach," the girl said, according to transcripts of the hearing.
Her mother elaborated, telling the judge the girl's emotional state over her epilepsy "plays a role in what she has done, and she feels guilty about what happened and she says, 'Why can't I be in trouble for what happened?' ... I hope you'll really consider the fact of just dropping the case."
Gardiner took issue in open court with the pre-sentence investigation, which a document a judge considers when issuing a sentence. Gardiner pointed out what he called incorrect information that was not attributed to any source.
The April 7 report describes, for instance, a police investigation about a suspect named Zach who had been targeting underage girls on the site.
"Zach was asking victims sexual questions, asking if they were virgins, asking for them to show him pictures of their private parts and indicating to them if they don't play his games or show him naked pictures of themselves, he will send naked pictures of them to all of his contacts," wrote the pre-sentence investigator, Joseph Tourangeau, recommending against HYTA consideration. "This information strongly suggests that this defendant has engaged in pre-offense, predatory conduct."
Police later said they determined Zach Anderson was not that perpetrator.
Tourangeau also wrote that Anderson had mental health and substance abuse problems and recommended a long list of suggested sentencing conditions "to punish the defendant, deter others from committing like offenses and for the protection of the community."
When Gardiner, the defense attorney, challenged the accuracy of the report on April 13, Wiley responded, "You mean what you're saying is that Mr. Tourangeau created this out of whole cloth?"
The investigator was summoned to the courtroom, and, according to the transcript of the hearing, Wiley postponed the sentencing "until we get additional information."
On April 27, Tourangeau did not attend the rescheduled hearing, nor had Gardiner or Assistant Prosecutor Jerry Vigansky received a new or amended report.
"Apparently the DOC (Department of Corrections) is not prepared to meet that challenge, so it'll be stricken," Wiley said, according to a video recording of the hearing. "Apparently there was some report somewhere that (the investigator) received, but apparently it has disappeared from the face of the earth, so ..." The judge did not finish the thought.
Vigansky clarified during the hearing that police told him Anderson was not a suspect in any other crimes.
Officials in Berrien County's probation office did not respond to requests for comment last week, but DOC spokesman Chris Gautz acknowledged a section of the pre-sentence report — particularly the part about Zach Anderson having a history of seeking out 10- to 14-year-olds and threatening them — came from an incorrect reference to another case in a police report.
Gautz said a regional administrator will meet with the judge as soon as Monday, to see what, if anything, a corrected pre-sentence report would have on his decisions in the case.
The DOC spokesman also said he was told the information in the report was "upheld by the prosecutor and the judge" during the April 27 hearing. Yet the court recording of that hearing shows differently.

'No excuse for this, whatsoever'

Gardiner recommended the judge grant his client "youthful training" status under HYTA, citing Anderson's clean record, the fact the girl had lied about her age and even that the girl and her mother had asked for leniency. The young man had cooperated with authorities and had been engaging in weekly counseling with a pastor of Granger Community Church, where the family attends.
Gardiner pointed out the 4th degree offense to which he pleaded guilty is not eligible for expungement should the court deny his recommendation for leniency.
Vigansky did not recommend against using HYTA but reminded the judge of other cases just this year with the same factors in play, and that Anderson's sentence should be similar.
Those "two or three" other cases, Vigansky told a reporter later, also involved men between 17 and 21 who met younger girls who had lied about their ages on Hot or Not, also had sex with them and and also had previously clean records.
"I apologize sincerely and this won't happen again," Anderson told the judge. "In the last couple of months, I've changed a lot."
But Wiley, without giving a reason, said, "I'm not going to place you on Holmes Youthful Training status...And Mr. Gardiner, contrary to your belief, it is an expungeable conviction..So we shall see how he does."
But the judge was apparently wrong. Michigan lawmakers recently passed legislation that, as of Jan. 12, now includes Anderson's offense among those that are never expungeable.
The judge did not respond to a request for comment.
"The Internet's wonderful, thank you, Al Gore. But it also is a danger," Wiley told Anderson, according to the recording of the sentencing. "You went online, to use a fisherman's expression, trolling for women to meet and have sex with. That seems to be part of our culture now: meet, hook up, have sex, sayonara. Totally inappropriate behavior. There is no excuse for this, whatsoever."
Then the judge, despite having thrown out the earlier pre-sentence report, read his sentencing conditions, which appeared to be the same as those recommended by the pre-sentence investigator.
Despite Gardiner's appeal, Wiley refused to reconsider the ban on computer usage. Anderson was two weeks away from finals for his semester's classwork at Ivy Tech, but the judge ordered him to serve his 90 days immediately.
As deputies escorted Anderson out of the courtroom, the girl wiped tears from her eyes, and her mother gasped and was so overcome with emotion she left the courtroom.

'I don't think they're pedophiles'

Anderson's parents say they will appeal the case.
"I can't think of a better case for (HYTA) than Zach's," Gardiner, the defense attorney, said last week. "He will forever in current Michigan law have this on his record, the rest of his life."
The attorney said most pre-sentence reports he has seen include a victim impact statement or information from an interview with a victim, and refer to specific police reports.
And Gardiner is still puzzled by some of the terms, such as forcing Anderson to change his college major: "What did happen was the punishment so grossly outweighed the crime."
Miriam Aukerman, an attorney with ACLU Michigan, said legislators have reacted out of "fear and not facts" when it comes to sex-offender laws. She is involved with a case where a federal judge recently ruled that many of the stringent requirements for those on the state's sex offender registry are unconstitutional.
"Whenever we make legislation in response to horrible crimes, we run the risk of making bad law," Aukerman said of increasing requirements for listing offenders on the registry, which is now the fourth-largest in the country and includes nearly 42,000 offenders. "We don't think about all of the other people who are caught up in these laws."
That includes cases like Zach Anderson's, she said.
"HYTA recognizes you don't want to tar somebody for life because of the stupid things we do at that age," Aukerman said.
Legislators have argued that stringent sex-offender laws and registries are meant to protect children and the community. After the recent ruling on Michigan's sex offender registry, State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was quoted in the Detroit Free Press last month saying, "This is one judge's ruling and the law will soon be changed." He told the newspaper he is already drafting a legislative fix to "protect our children from sex predators."
Vigansky, the assistant prosecutor, was involved in all three recent Berrien County cases involving young men meeting underage girls on Hot or Not. He said HYTA was not invoked in any of them, all plea agreements, although he did not recommend one way or the other.
He wouldn't comment specifically on the cases or the judge's decision, although when pressed a bit, he acknowledged, "I don't think they're pedophiles."

'It's hurt our families greatly'

Zach's parents, Lester and Amanda Anderson, acknowledge their son made a mistake. They recalled always teaching their four boys that sex is for marriage.
"But he's only been on earth 19 years, and his punishment is longer than he's been alive," his father said.
Amanda called the judge's comments in court "vicious."
" 'Learn from it' — that's what he should have said. Is the law supposed to cripple people, or is it supposed to correct people and rehabilitate their lives?" she said. "This really did no justice to anybody."
The girl's mother is still distraught over the ruling and says her whole family has sought counseling.
Anderson, the mother has learned, is "very nice. He's concerned about you. He's just different. He's not a jerk."
She's still outraged that neither the prosecutor nor judge took into account her daughter's wishes in pressing forward with the case. "It's hurt our families greatly," she said.
Meanwhile, Anderson is spending his time in jail sleeping, playing cards or watching TV. He's hoping for a successful appeal.
He says he's grown closer to God in the last few months and is grateful for his family's support.
"I wouldn't use any of those different apps at all," he would tell other young people. "They're not safe."

Mass. State Sen. Bruce Tarr should be tarred and feathered for this stupid quote

Mass. Sen. Bruce Tarr, apparently overestimating the size of his brain
Thanks to the public registry, the majority of registered citizens are unemployed. Even if they have jobs, it is unlikely many have jobs that pay a livable wage. Thus, the idea of registry fees is stupid. But Bruce Tarr, Mass. State Senator, thinks if you can't pay your fees, you are on the slippery slope to re-offense. What in TARRnation is this clown thinking?

When convicted sex offenders register each year in Massachusetts, they are required to pay an annual $75 registration fee, but necn has found hundreds are failing to pay that fee and the state is doing little about it.
"It's completely unacceptable and it's a sign of a system that is dysfunctional and needs to change," began Sen. Bruce Tarr.

Since 2012, the Sex Offender Registry Board has collected $1.1 million in fees from men and women convicted of sex crimes, but the board has left even more money on the table- failing to collect another $1.2 million in fees.

"If we were in private industry and you were basically saying, 'hey, 40 percent of what you think your revenue should be is not being collected,' management would say, 'this isn't working right,'" Rep. Bradley Jones added.

The state already waives fees for sex offenders deemed too poor to pay. According to state data, last year the board waived the $75 fee for about a third of the more than 11,000 offenders in the system. That money is not counted in this 1.2 million in uncollected fees.

Paul Craney heads the non-profit, non-partisan Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance. He points out that the money collected goes back into SORB's annual $3.8 million dollar budget- and ultimately taxpayers are left holding the bag.

"Massachusetts is continually ranked as one of the most expensive states to do business in, to live in and here we are passing over a group of people who owe money," Craney said.

Under the current system, if an offender fails to pay the registration fee, the board sends them a letter warning them that they are breaking the law. If the offender still doesn't pay, SORB sends another letter, but the agency claims the statute doesn't give them the power to do anything else.

"What are they gonna think about- 'I don't have to pay the fee? Maybe I can be lax on the registration.' We cannot afford to go down that slippery slope with folks that are being required to register for a reason," Sen. Tarr continued.

Tarr, the Senate Minority leader, and Senator Bradley Jones, House Minority Leader, filed similar budget amendments to put more teeth in the law. Jones' amendment would require the board to notify the departments of Revenue and Transitional Assistance if an offender fails to pay along with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

"Just like if you have unpaid parking tickets or you have tolls or things like that, you're not going to get your car registered until you resolve these issues," Rep. Jones added.

Jones' amendment passed in the House. Tarr's failed in the Senate, but it can still make it onto the Governor's desk through conference committee. Asked if he would support or veto the measure, Governor Baker declined to weigh in.

"We'll take a look at the legislation and make our decisions going forward from there," Baker said.

Published at 10:44 PM EDT on Jun 16, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Two possibly sexless professors wants to make it damn near impossible for the rest of us to have sex without landing on the registry

Apparently, there is a duo of college professors trying to make California's asinine "affirmative consent" law the law of the entire USA.

I think the headline needs a little fixing.

The question is NOT if the federal government has had sex (screwing the people regularly for generations counts as sex, right?), it is whether these two professors have engaged in sex in, well, EVER. The consensus view of the posters at the Washington Examiner suggest that is a likely improbability.

If their diabolical scheme somehow passes, these two will go down as the two biggest cockblockers in American history.

Has the federal government ever had sex?
BY ASHE SCHOW | JUNE 15, 2015 | 12:01 AM 

The act of sex is not illegal. But if two members of the American Law Institute have their way, it will be — unless you follow their rules.

Law professors Stephen J. Schulhofer and Erin Murphy are trying to update the criminal code when it comes to sex offenses, believing current definitions of rape and sexual assault are antiquated. The focus of their draft is on what constitutes consent. It adopts the "yes means yes," or "affirmative consent" model that was passed in California last year.

The California law applies only to college campuses, however. Schulhofer and Murphy aim to take that definition of consent — which says that before every escalation of a sexual encounter, clear and convincing consent must be given — to the state or federal level. No one actually has sex this way, requesting permission and having it granted perhaps a dozen times in a single encounter.

But the theory that millions of Americans are having sex wrongly has gained currency among campus activists. This new attempt to alter the American Law Institute's Model Penal Code, a highly influential document that has been adopted in whole or in part by many states' legislatures, is part of a push to bring authoritarianism into the bedroom.

Schulhofer and Murphy do not intend to make sexual intercourse impossible to construe as an innocent act. But this would be the consequence of their draft. Any act of sex in which permission is not repeatedly requested and granted would put at least one of the parties, usually men, in legal jeopardy. Absent the repeated "May I…?" and affirmative responses, any woman could later have her partner locked up over unexpressed mental reservations. Men could make the same accusations.

No one who opposes this legal change argues that consent is unnecessary. But the "yes means yes" standard is so stringent that it would criminalize millions of Americans overnight unless no one reports them.

Schulhofer, a New York University law professor, has been on a crusade against rape since the 1990s. He told the Washington Examiner that when he began teaching criminal law, rape law was not part of the agenda. He was shocked that law students were not being taught such a crucial category of the criminal code.

"So I made a concerted effort to bring it into the classroom," Schulhofer said. "It was very controversial at the time. A lot of teachers did not want to get into it because it was too much of a minefield."

In 1998, he wrote Unwanted Sex: The Culture of Intimidation and the Failure of Law. In it, he challenged existing rape law and proposed a massive expansion of the legal system to address systemic flaws. One involved the issue of consent and ambiguity. Part of his solution was to use the legal system to engineer social change.

"But cultural change proceeds slowly, and porous legal standards leave many women at risk in the meantime," Schulhofer wrote in his book. "Legal reform can play a crucial part in the effort to raise public awareness and alter social assumptions about when sexual assertiveness should be considered abusive."

Using such a method to change how people have sex was also included in Schulhofer's draft of a model penal code.

"[A] vitally important function of the criminal law is to identify and seek to deter behaviors that pose unjustifiable risks, even when those risks are not yet universally understood," reads the draft. "[The criminal law] must often be called upon to help shape those norms by communicating effectively the conditions under which commonplace or seemingly innocuous behavior can be unacceptably abusive or dangerous."

Murphy is also an NYU law professor and Schulhofer's associate reporter for the draft. She told the Examiner that she joined the project because, as a woman, she "thinks deeply about these offenses on a day-to-day basis and sees both in my community and in the scholarly literature a real wrong that is going on unrecognized and un-remediated."

But Murphy also sees the other side of the equation. She was a public defender for five years and saw abuse of sex crime prosecutions including "overly harsh collateral consequences and penalties" and evidentiary rules that have "gone too far against protecting the rights of the accused."

She, too, mentioned using the criminal justice system to enact social change.

"It's interesting to me to see how quickly the mores have changed and to consider where they're going, where they're headed, what that might mean," Murphy said, adding that she and Schulhofer "wanted to bring some clarity to the system."

The American Law Institute was founded in 1923 "to promote the clarification and simplification of the law and its better adaptation to social needs, to secure the better administration of justice, and to encourage and carry on scholarly and scientific legal work," according to its charter. It is a consequential organization. The Institute's Model Penal Code of 1962 was adopted almost entirely in New Jersey, New York and Oregon, with nearly two-thirds of the states using at least some portion of it.

So, Schulhofer and Murphy want to change an important document.

The two presented their first draft of a new model penal code for sexual offenses to the Institute's 2014 annual meeting. Members discussed the draft vigorously. Because the discussion ran out of time, the draft was referred back to Schulhofer and Murphy for reworking.

They presented a reworked draft at ALI's 2015 annual meeting in Washington, D.C. It was dated April 28, just three weeks before the meeting on May 19. Schulhofer and Murphy were criticized for providing the draft so close to the meeting, giving lawyers limited time to read and analyze its 250 pages. But the "reworked" draft is actually just a reorganized version of the 2014 draft, with hardly any changes.

This made it easy for opponents to produce an opposition letter with 22 co-signers to pick the document apart. It also showed that Schulhofer and Murphy did not allow the feedback received in 2014 to affect their views.

Opponents say the draft would further burden an already over-criminalized and over-incarcerated American public.

The opponents' letter provides this common and hypothetical encounter: "Person A and Person B are on a date and walking down the street. Person A, feeling romantically and sexually attracted, timidly reaches out to hold B's hand and feels a thrill as their hands touch. Person B does nothing, but six months later files a criminal complaint."

Under Schulhofer and Murphy's new rules, according to the opposition letter, Person A is guilty of "criminal sexual contact." That's because Section 213.0(5) of the draft "defines 'sexual contact' expansively, to include any touching of any body part of another person, whether done by the actor or by the person touched. Any kind of contact may qualify; there are no limits on either the body part touched or the manner in which it is touched."

Person A would be guilty of the act only if Person B filed a complaint, but therein lies a profound problem with Schulhofer and Murphy's draft. Everything is potentially a sexual assault unless done strictly according to their rules about obtaining prior consent to every action, no matter how innocuous, of every sexual encounter. There is no need to say "no." Without the presence of a prior "yes," the act is already an assault.

By this definition, millions of Americans — perhaps almost all sexually active people — become offenders. Previously, it was not thought necessary to ask verbally, "May I hold your hand?" or "May I kiss you now?," if a couple had been together for a while, or for months or years. It was recognized that either previous requests or implicit indications had given permission for a touch or a kiss. Men and women can and often do misread signals coming from someone to whom they are attracted, but it has not been thought appropriate to criminalize a touch or a kiss attempted in light of what seemed to be implicit assent.

Proponents of "affirmative consent" rules might argue that an explicit question is not necessary if there are proper social cues. But given the scope of the proposed definitions, the only safe way to be sure a person is consenting is to ask explicitly at every step of the sexual process. Thinking that a person "seemed into you" during a date would not be a strong enough social cue to presume the person wanted his or her hand held.

The law wouldn't apply only to first dates or similar new encounters, but would apply even in committed relationships. This means affirmative consent would be mandated for every sexual encounter, even to married couples. Given that divorce and custody cases frequently produce false accusations of child abuse, it's easy to imagine false accusations of sexual abuse proliferating if Schulhofer and Murphy's rules aren't followed every time a couple has sex.

Schulhofer and Murphy's draft makes clear "that when a complainant's behavior has been passive — neither expressly inviting nor rebuking the defendant's sexual advances, that behavior cannot be considered sufficient to show affirmative permission."

Silence and passivity could automatically be construed as unwillingness, and would make a "guilty" verdict far more likely. Indeed, Schulhofer and Murphy say this is what they want, writing in their draft that "the appropriate default position clearly is to err in the direction of protecting individuals against unwanted sexual imposition."

In other words, when in doubt, convict.

When confronted with the idea that many innocent people would be wrongly accused and punished, Schulhofer falls back on extreme examples that all reasonable people agree amount to rape or sexual assault.

Talking to the Examiner, he described the example of a woman drinking heavily at a party and passing out on a couch, after which a man penetrates her with his finger while she is unconscious. Schulhofer says this is "not a crime under current law."

But actually, it is. The FBI definition of rape describes the crime as "penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim."

Schulhofer's scenario clearly fits that category.

For her part, Murphy told an ALI audience, "Obviously, no one ... would want to criminalize someone who reaches out to, you know, grab a hand or go in for the kiss," adding, "The problem is, of course, that it's not just people on dates to whom the sexual assault code applies, it also applies to people riding on the subway or walking down the street."

The acts that Schulhofer and Murphy set out to make illegal, which are actually already illegal, represent just a small number of the actions that their draft would make illegal.

When Schulhofer and Murphy presented their ideas in May, it at first appeared that they might win majority support. The first few comments from people were supportive, offering helpful tips about grammar and organization to strengthen the draft. One of the first comments, from a female lawyer from New York, addressed the issue of over-incarceration, but said opponents of the draft shouldn't be concerned with such matters since rape is an under-reported crime.

But after a couple of supportive comments, the tide turned, and speaker after speaker questioned the extreme lengths to which the two lawyers went to expand the definition of rape.

Some of the most articulate and persuasive critics were women. The most prominent and outspoken was feminist and former federal judge Nancy Gertner, who this year wrote for the American Prospect denouncing the way sexual assault accusations have created a hostile environment on college campuses. Gertner, one of the co-signers of the opposition letter, thought the draft should focus on areas of complete agreement instead of trying to use the ALI as a vehicle for social change.

"There's a very striking ... lax concern for false positives, the wrongful accusation of sexual misconduct that is inconsistent with the criminal law," Gertner said. "Like it or not, criminal law and criminal procedure are all about erring on the side of — erring against false positives."

Another woman, a former prosecutor who specialized in sex offenses, called the draft "really disturbing" and explained that Schulhofer's and Murphy's proposed rules were not in line with "how the world works."

"I look at this and say it feels like intellectually it makes sense, but we are criminalizing something and moving way past where our mores are," she said.

She added that she was able to prosecute crimes in which the victim was too drunk to give consent. "I have to prove more than if she said 'no,' but I can prosecute those cases and win those cases now."

When she returned to her seat, the lawyers sitting around her reached out to praise her for her comments.

One of the main concerns for those who oppose "affirmative consent" policies is how an accused person is supposed to prove they obtained consent when the only evidence is an accusation. Schulhofer and Murphy's draft shifts the burden of proof from the accuser to the accused, who would now have to show he — it is usually he — obtained consent in order to prove there was no assault.

This, according to the opposition letter, would make prosecutors' jobs incredibly easy. They could merely tell juries that they must find someone guilty because no evidence could be produced that consent was obtained. The prosecutor would need no evidence beyond the accusation, and could tell the accused: "Prove me wrong."

Asked about what evidence would be needed to prove that consent was obtained, Schulhofer raised the issue of credibility in a he said/she said situation, but said "that's not an issue that this draft really addresses."

But the draft explains that the "default position" should be to err on the side of the prosecution.

Murphy's answer was simply that "hopefully" there would be enough evidence to say one way or the other.

For now, their draft is going nowhere at ALI as long as members continue to oppose it as they did this year. The next chance for comment, and to see if Schulhofer and Murphy listened to criticism and updated their draft, will be in October.

Even though "yes means yes" has failed to gain traction in most states where it's been introduced, with the continued focus on sexual assault in the media and academia, Schulhofer and Murphy will not be the only ones to propose expanding California's policy across the nation. Unless more people take notice of the proposals, we could be just a few years away from having the government tell us how to have sex.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval proves he has sand for brains by vetoing juvenile registry relief bill

Nevada has a lot of sand- so much so, in fact, that you will find sand even in the head of the Governor of Nevada, apply-named Brian SANDoval.

Sand-for-brains vetoed a bill that would have granted some juveniles relief from the social death of the registry. Sand-for-brains claims that this bill would have undermined the CONTROVERSIAL Adam Walsh Act, something Sand-for-brains actually believes works.

Once again, hysteria trumps sound research and facts. Whoever voted for this idiot obvious has sand in their brains as well.

Posted June 11, 2015 - 7:20pmUpdated June 12, 2015 - 9:20am
Veto of juvenile sex offender law changes shocks advocates


Juvenile justice advocates sounded an alarm Thursday after Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a bill that would have revised the state’s controversial sex offender registration law regarding juveniles.

The changes would have granted courts wider discretion in deciding whether registration and community notification were necessary in cases of young sex offenders.

“This is horrific. I’m just devastated,” said Susan Roske, an attorney with Clark County’s juvenile public defender’s office. “I just pray that Gov. Sandoval holds a special session to fix this.”

Sandoval vetoed Senate Bill 99 Wednesday, citing concerns that the legislation would remove a prohibition in the state’s version of the federal Adam Walsh Act that states Tier III sex offenders cannot be within 500 feet of a place where children are.

“While Senate Bill 99 proposes amendments to the Adam Walsh Act, which have merit, the removal of this important prohibition undermines confidence that this legislation will ensure greater protection of Nevada’s children,” Sandoval said in his veto letter to the Nevada secretary of state’s office.

The measure would have revised provisions governing registration and community notification of juveniles who commit sex offenses. It would give courts the option to decide on a case-by-case basis if registration and community notification are appropriate for juveniles, said Nevada Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, the bill’s main sponsor.

The changes also would have given the courts discretion to relieve the obligation of registration and community notification when juveniles reach the age of 21 and can prove to the satisfaction of the court that they have been rehabilitated.

Other changes would have addressed the supervision of adult offenders released from prison.

“This was a well-thought-out proposal and this is very disconcerting,” Segerblom said of Sandoval’s decision to veto the bill. “It really was just a shocker.”

Donna Coleman, a member of the committee that has been evaluating the law for the past eight years for the state attorney general’s office, was shocked when she learned of the veto through a reporter.

“Obviously, he didn’t understand what he did,” she said. “He just condemned juveniles who are low-level sex offenders with a ‘Scarlet Letter’ on their head.”

The existing law, which hasn’t been enforced, would require many offenders judges have deemed not dangerous — including some as young as 14 when they committed a sex crime — to make their names, photos and addresses available to the public. Since Nevada legislators approved the law in 2007, pieces of it have gone before courts from the district to federal levels.

The measure was to take effect Feb. 1, 2014, but the Nevada Supreme Court put a temporary stop to it after a lawsuit filed by Las Vegas firm Langford McLetchie on behalf of 24 unnamed clients. The suit was filed Jan. 16, 2014 in Clark County District Court to stop enforcement of the law, but the request was rejected 12 days later by Judge Douglas Smith. So the matter went to the state’s high court.

Maggie McLetchie, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, said they are waiting for an oral argument to be scheduled. It’s unknown when that could be scheduled. The the court would then issue a decision. McLetchie also represents the Review-Journal in public records issues.

Among the questions to be considered are whether it is constitutional for sex offenders who already have served their court-ordered time to have the rules changed retroactively and whether Nevada legislators overlooked public safety in passing this law.

The law applies to anyone convicted of a felony sex crime or crimes involving children since 1956.

“The state of Nevada is in a terrible position,” she said Thursday. “If the state of Nevada has to enforce this, the real loss is going to be for the public at large because they are not going to be safer.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Denial 101 starring Michigan State Senator Rick Jones

Rick Jones has outdone himself this time. Who cares about the facts when you have an idiot with 31 years as a career politician to tell you what to think.

I agree. MI shelter pets deserve better than to be
held by Rick Jones. 
But some legislators and law enforcement officials say registries are useful because they help keep track of potentially dangerous people. The supporters also dismiss the research, saying it's impossible to determine who might re-offend.

They caution against narrowing the definition in Michigan's law of who should be listed and are against adopting a new recommendation by some that defendants should be judged case by case by who is most likely to re-offend.

"The problem I have is should we go back and say only pedophiles have to register?" said state Sen. Rick Jones, a former sheriff who helped draft some of Michigan's sex offender registry laws. "Do we want violent sex offenders on the school grounds? Do we want public masturbators on the school grounds? I'm not prepared to change the way the list operates."

Michigan legislators are reviewing Cleland's ruling and considering reforming the laws to make them compliant. Some, though, think tougher laws are in order. And they dismiss critics who say the registries cause unnecessary misery to those who have already served their sentences.

"I say if you do the horrible rape, or if you have sex with a child, you deserve the consequences," said state Sen. Rick Jones, who helped draft some of Michigan's sex offender registry laws.

Jones questions the research that shows sex offenders are much less likely to re-offend and that the majority of those on the registry pose no threat.

"I have 31 years of experience in police work, and as a retired sheriff in Eaton County I formed some very strong opinions that the science is still not clear for pedophiles. I believe it is society's duty to keep pedophiles from children so that the temptation isn't there. So I say you need to stay a thousand feet from schools."

Jones also discounts the idea that offenders should be treated differently, depending on their likelihood of re-offending. Minnesota, for instance, places offenders on its registry based on extensive risk assessment and psychological testing, not the crimes they committed.

You can watch Senator Rick Jones make a complete ass of himself by clicking the link below:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tossed Salads: How lame "comedian" Joey Salads turns back advances in understanding sexual abuse 50 years

Seriously, who would take THIS asshat seriously? Yes, that's Joey Salads. 
It is bad enough dealing with so-called experts publishing faulty statistics, but it is worse when a "viral" video has people taking stats from a self-professed comedian.

Joey Salads claims 700 children are kidnapped everyday (a stat refuted by the NISMART studies, which found only 100 or so "stereotypical kidnappings" annually), then teaches folks the Leave It to Beaver era of picking up little kids. All you need is permission from the parent watching the kid and approach with puppy in hand. This couldn't have been any more stereotypical other than the parental consent. It isn't even an original experiment, as new stations have pulled the same stunt in the past. What DOES make it different is Salads sullies the experiment.

The most glaring mistake is the kids likely saw him talking to the parental units before talking to them, so it is likely the kids who saw this interaction are assumed to be okay.

Even the NCMEC stopped teaching "stranger danger."

This guy is not a good comedian, but he IS a joke.

Viral 'Social Experiment' Parenting Video Peddles Outrageously False Claims About Stranger Danger
No, strangers don't grab 700 kids every day
Lenore Skenazy|May. 4, 2015 2:37 pm

This purportedly helpful video, posted Saturday, is viral in every sense of the word. It already has nearly a million views, which means that people are sharing it like crazy, convinced that its creator, Joey Salads, is doing something other than creating terror and angst with his Stranger Danger “social experiment.”

He’s not.

The experiment consists of Salads asking parents at a playground if they’ve taught their kids not to talk to strangers—a lesson I don’t endorse, since most strangers are good and you want kids to feel confident asking them for help if need be. “You can talk to anyone, you cannot go off with anyone,” is the advice I prefer.

Mr. Salads proceeds to startle the parents by showing them that their kids do talk to strangers. He does this by going up to very young kids (kids so young they would normally not be at the park unsupervised) and asking them if they want to meet his puppies. Some go off with him.

Not addressed are a few salient facts, including the biggie: Isn’t it more than likely that these kids feel fine going off with this man because they just saw him talking to their mom? What’s more, their mom is right there! If she didn’t want them going off, she would intervene.

After this bizarre scenario that he calls an experiment—without ever telling us how many kids he approached who did not go off with him—he says 700 kids are abducted a day. But Salads curiously omits the fact that this statistic includes all abductions, the overwhelming majority of which involve family members and often include custody disputes that were resolved by police in a matter of hours or days. Salad's video, on the other hand, is designed to warn parents about strangers, who abduct just 115 children a year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

If 700 kids were actually grabbed by strangers on a daily basis, that would be closing in on 1 percent of all kids under age 9. So if you sent your kid to a grammar school with 500 kids, by fifth grade your child would have witnessed 25 kids—a classroom’s worth—kidnapped the way they are on “Law & Order.”

But the story of how easily a child can be lead to his doom is one that TV can’t get enough of. Here is almost the exact same “experiment,” on Headline News. As I said then:

A show that “tests” whether kids can be lured to a car with the promise of a puppy — the premise of this show — makes it seem as if this is a situation kids could very likely be faced with, something on par with, “Would your kids eat a cookie if someone offered it?” What is so hard to understand is that, first of all, the vast majority of crimes against children are committed NOT be strangers they meet at the park, but by people they know. So it is bizarre to keep acting as if the park is teaming with danger.

But this scary, misleading  message just seems to be one that everyone loves to share, as if it’s a public service. As if kids already have way too much unsupervised time outside.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Peter Schorsch has the right to remain stupid

In a couple of days, the Anti-Registry Movement will be in Tallahassee protesting Lauren Book, her daddy Ron, and Florida's "Scorched Earth" policy.

Not everyone is happy about it, of course. This guy is Peter Schorsch. He's not exactly a bastion of journalistic integrity but he's apparently Lauren Book's knight in tin-foil armor. It is possible Lauren Book paid for the coverage.

Peter and Daddy Ron Book have a lot in common, since both have been arrested in connection with charged involving money and politics. Maybe that's why Lauren appreciates the guy so much.

Critics of Lauren Book, you have the right to remain silent
By Peter Schorsch -  Apr 20, 2015
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This weekend, I woke to the following headline in my hometown paper: “Sexual predator gets second chance, now faces 14 new charges”

You don’t even need to read the story to know how this ends – how very badly and sadly it ends.

It turns out this supposed Romeo & Juliet convict was raping a young girl approximately once a month since being let out of prison, all the time under the watchful and sometimes doubting eyes of his neighbors.

“He seemed nice,” recalled one 11-year-old girl.


Anyone reading this column knows Book’s story and knows that she is focused – intensely focused – on trying to make sure that these kinds of stories happen less and less often. As she logs literally hundreds of miles, with shin splints, blisters and the kind of sleepless nights that come from extreme exhaustion, Book wants people to know that when a convicted predator is taking girls around on a scooter, buying them ice cream or taking them for a Happy Meal – IT’S OKAY TO TELL. When you see something suspicious, it’s your RESPONSIBILITY to stop it. Her quest is to do more than highlight the very realities of childhood sexual abuse, but to empower children and yes, adults on the steps they can take to recognize the signs and to take the necessary steps to stop it.

Adults: It’s not just okay to tell, it is our obligation to tell.

As Lauren Book ends her incredible journey – for the 6th time – in Tallahassee this week, I was astonished to learn that a group of protesters is organizing a counter-rally. They think Lauren has gone too far … that registering violent sexual predators like Michael Shepard is not fair … that a chronic child sexual predator like him has rights and by golly, they want to fight for his rights.

I guess they are forgetting that those seven little girls had rights, too.

The Missouri-based “Women Against Registry” folks have the right to protest against Lauren Book and the hundreds of Lauren’s Kids supporters. Our Constitution protects them and allows them to say what they want, when they want and where they want to say it. They have that right.

Bully for them.

But they also have the right to remain silent.

Seems to this husband and father that they should avail themselves of the latter.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Dale Wren interferes with hearing that would determine whether a man should be removed from the registry

This man is Dale Wren, an attorney working in Yuma County, AZ. Apparently he was also person who  tried unsuccessfully to get elected as a judge. Since he's not elected official, I did list him under worst politico.

To summarize the story below, this man interfered in a hearing to determine whether or not to remove a man from the sex offender registry and is trying to get the alleged victim to protest the bid for registry removal.

Sex offender registry hearing gets continued
Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2015 10:05 pm | Updated: 10:06 pm, Tue Apr 7, 2015.
By James Gilbert, @YSJamesGilbert

A hearing for a Yuma man who was attempting to have his name removed from the state’s lifelong sex offender registry was continued recently when, by chance, the attorney of one of his victims asked that the matter be rescheduled.
Yuma attorney Dale Wren said he was at the Yuma County Superior Court on the morning of Feb. 19 when he noticed the name of James Anthony Cruz on Superior Court Judge Larry Kenworthy’s calendar and stepped inside the courtroom to find out what the hearing was about.
Upon speaking with the attorneys on the case, Wren said he was told the hearing was to consider a motion to terminate Cruz’s probation, which requires that he also register as a sex offender. He added he was also told that despite there being numerous victims in the case, only one had been notified about the hearing.
“I think it is outrageous. He needs to be monitored,” Wren said in an interview. “The lifetime probation was part of his sentence and was very important to all the girls. They will re-victimize these girls all over again if he is allowed to get off of probation.”
According to court records, on Aug. 18, 2000, Cruz, who was employed as a Community Supervision Officer for the Yuma County Juvenile Courts, was convicted of providing drugs to and having sex with several female juvenile probationers and was sentenced to seven years in prison, in addition to the probation.
The motion, which was originally filed by attorney Michael Donovan in August 2013, requests that the court terminate Cruz’s probation based on him having paid all the restitution that was ordered in the case, that he has been employed and on probation for the seven years following his release without incident, and that he had completed all of his court-ordered treatment.
Wren said that during that February hearing he informed the court that he was still in touch with some of Cruz’s victims and asked it be rescheduled to a later date, which would allow him time to inform them of the motion, as well as provide them with an opportunity to attend a future hearing on the matter or have him speak on their behalf.
“Almost all of these girls have got their lives together now,” Wren said. “It is hard to guess how (Cruz) getting off of probation would affect them.”
Wren said that he was unaware the Cruz has been trying to get his probation terminated for the past two years.
The problem, he explained, is that while victims are entitled to notification whenever the status of a sex offender changes, the girls were young at the time and didn’t request it.
“They figured he would be monitored for the rest of his life and are trying to forget about what happened,” Wren said. “Victims of this type of abuse don’t ever want to be reminded about it.”
Kenworthy granted Wren’s request and rescheduled the hearing to consider the petition to terminate Cruz’s probation for 2 p.m. on April 23.
Wren said anyone who was involved in the case who would like more information about the upcoming hearing can call his office at 329-1871.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Putting Semen in someone's coffee will lead to registry status if Minnesota bill passes

Pat Maahs got a little too much cream in her coffee. Now, she wants her co-worker added to the public registry
Yes, what the guy did to this woman was nasty, and I'd be pissed if someone creamed my coffee. But, do we need yet another way to squeeze a few more names onto the registry?

You can find the text of HF 0889 HERE. I'd much rather hear an audio of the actual floor debate. According to the audio below, it was extremely lively.

Bill on bodily fluids merits much more than snickers
Article by: JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune Updated: March 28, 2015 - 10:32 PM

The debate on the floor of the Minnesota House surfaced near midnight, when most of the curious and the connected had gone home.

It followed a long and contentious argument over lowering the minimum wage for restaurant servers. Members were no doubt tired, and the issue at hand, many acknowledged, was something that they found uncomfortable to discuss aloud.

Words such as “body fluids” and “semen,” and the discussion of a horrible sexual violation of a woman who drank semen put into her coffee by a co-worker.

What followed was a strange debate, even by legislative standards. A couple of legislators cracked jokes, made odd comparisons to putting gum under a dinner plate and questioned whether a new law would punish mischievous students who spit in another student’s soup. At times, there was laughter.

Little did many of the legislators know, the victim of the assault was sitting in the gallery.

The idea for a bill was brought to Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center. The impetus was a crime brought to court back in September. A Blaine man, John R. Lind, 34, admitted to police that he ejaculated several times into a co-worker’s coffee and onto her desk. He was, he said, trying to get her attention. He got it when the woman caught him near her desk, and notified police.

Lind was initially charged with criminal sexual conduct, but a judge found that the act he committed was not covered under state sex offender laws, and the case was dismissed. Lind was later charged with indecent exposure, a misdemeanor.

Hilstrom is seeking to change the act to a felony for adults who put bodily fluids in food or drink, knowing someone else may consume it. There would also have to be intent to arouse or gratify sexual desire, or involve a child, to be considered a felony sexual offense.

During Monday’s debate, Rep. John Lesch, a prosecutor, offered some reasonable questions. “It appears to be legislation designed out of a specific incident, an incident that elicits disgust from any person who hears about it,” he said. “But in crafting legislation this way, I think it falls victim to the folly of so many bills, where policy is written as a reaction to an incident that garnered a lot of press controversy, and that folly is a lot of ill-considered construction of law.”

While prompted by the Lind case, this is not a bill targeted to one strange incident, Hilstrom said.

“This isn’t the one-time thing,” Hilstrom said in an interview. She pointed to the movie “North Country,” which depicted the same type of behavior in the mines of the Iron Range.

I know. I covered the lawsuit and read thousands of pages of disgusting testimony of how some men sexually abused some female co-workers. I have also worked in a couple of factories, and have witnessed similar “pranks” toward both men and women.

Hilstrom also pointed to a California teacher who baked cookies for his students that included his body fluids, which launched a multimillion-dollar lawsuit.

“This is an indication that, clearly, Minnesota law needs to be tightened up,” Hilstrom said.

The night took a strange turn when Rep. Ron Erhardt, DFL-Edina, began with an odd anecdote about putting gum under his plates and putting them into the dishwasher. Then he and others questioned whether we should actually make it a felony to spit in people’s food. Erhardt mentioned a commercial for the television show “Friends,” in which one of the characters licks her coffee cup so no one would use it. He actually pretended to lick a coffee cup to illustrate.

Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, then rose to ask: “Suppose a child spits into his own soup, how is that covered under your bill?”

Assured that spitting in your own soup would not be a felony, Kahn asked if a kid who tried to spit in his own soup, but spit in someone else’s soup instead, would face a felony.

Hilstrom, who remained impressively calm through the questioning, said the bill would not make that a felony.

”If saliva is the part that gives the body heartburn, I’m happy to delete saliva from the bill,” Hilstrom said. “If members are OK with people spitting in their food and eating it, we can amend the bill.”

Hilstrom should have performed an epic microphone drop at this point and exited.

Instead, the bill was referred back to committee to decide whether spitting into someone’s food should be a felony, or simply bad manners, and whether putting semen in someone’s coffee would make someone a sex offender (seems obvious to me). The Senate Friday passed a bill making the acts of putting bodily fluids in food a gross misdemeanor. The Legislature will ultimately decide how far the law should go.

I asked Hilstrom what she thought of the “debate.”

“Sometimes nothing good happens late at night,” said Hilstrom, who acknowledged colleagues were tired but added “that is not an excuse. I was disappointed.”

Maybe “disappointed” is the Minnesota way of saying “disturbed.”

Hilstrom was being magnanimous, and so was the person whose abuse launched the bill, Pat Maahs, who watched the discussion from the gallery and heard the snickering.

“To me, it kind of hurt to see people act like this,” said Maahs. “It’s likely because they don’t know what something like this can do to a person. I still don’t know what Lind’s medical history is. A lot of diseases can stay with you for life.”

So, Maahs will have to get tested regularly to make sure she didn’t contract a disease, such as AIDS or hepatitis C.

“At first I was very, very, very embarrassed and tried to hide it,” said Maahs. She courageously came forward so other women wouldn’t have to suffer.

“It’s really sad when we have to legislate morality,” Maahs said.

It may be hard to see an upside to a story like this, but Maahs volunteered one.

“How about a little free advertising for Beisswenger’s Hardware?” Maahs asked.

She has worked at the New Brighton store for 26 years, and they have arranged her schedule so she could try to change state law.

“Everybody there, from the owners to my co-workers, have been wonderful,” Maahs said. “Just wonderful.”