Saturday, February 25, 2017

KATU Joe DouglASS writes report crediting himself for getting lawmakers to expand the registry

This guy reminds me of the Milwaukee reporter who did the same thing a year or two ago.

And no I didn't mistype his name, it really DOES end in -ass, which is what I think anyone who writes a news story about himself

KATU reporter inspires state lawmaker to launch sex offender registration reform effort
Joe Douglass

SALEM, Ore. — Bills meant to help better protect you and your family from sex offenders are now in the works in Salem. And a state lawmaker credits KATU with tipping him off to problems with the system that he was not aware of.
The lawmaker, state Rep. Jeff Barker, D-Aloha, says KATU's Joe Douglass opened his eyes to a startling fact about Oregon's public sex offender registry last fall.
Barker, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, told Douglass he was unaware the state only publicly lists around 2 percent of Oregon's sex offenders.
Oregon currently has the most sex offenders per capita in the country.
"You indicated the problem that I wasn't aware of," Barker, a retired Portland Police Bureau detective, said Tuesday. "I've seen the young girls. Their lives are ruined over being molested when they're kids. It rips their soul out and I do everything I can to stop that."
After Douglass spoke with Barker in September, he made good on a promise to talk with the Portland Police Bureau's sex offender registration unit, including Officer Bridget Sickon, who's spoken with KATU repeatedly.
"Our sex offender laws in Oregon are like Swiss cheese," Sickon said in July, "lots of holes, lots of problems."
Sickon and other members of her unit wrote up proposed legislation that addresses what they feel are some big problems with the system.
In Oregon right now, generally sex offenders must check in just once a year around their birthday or if they move.
But in Washington, for example, the rules are tougher. Less risky "level one" offenders are checked at home once a year. Level two offenders are checked at home twice a year. And the most serious level three offenders are checked at home four times annually.
When it comes to homeless offenders, a big concern for Barker and Portland police, Washington requires them to check in once a week and lists them on a public website.
But in Oregon, homeless offenders, like all others generally, just have to check in once a year at a law enforcement facility.
"I had a bill last year, last session, that would've required the homeless offenders to check in monthly," Barker said. "The parole information people came in and said, 'Please don't do that because we won't be able to keep up and we'll just be violating people and it would be a waste of everybody's time.'"
But this year Barker, using the Portland police unit's suggestions as a guide, plans to propose that homeless offenders check in more often - though he's still working out details.
He also wants Oregon's level three offenders to have to check in three times a year.
"Mainly what we want to do is make sure the people who are dangerous are monitored," Barker said, "(That) we spend more resources monitoring the dangerous, predatory sex offenders and not waste time on somebody that did something stupid when they were a kid who is no danger whatsoever."
As far as adding more offenders to the public registry, Barker said he's looking at how that works out and may propose legislation on it next year.
An overhaul to the registry is already in the works. The deadline for it was pushed back from the end of 2016 to the end of 2018. The state is reclassifying offenders into a three-tiered system and promising to list all of the most serious "third tier" offenders publicly.
The state predicts that will likely only result in 5 to 10 percent of all offenders being listed publicly -- still far below neighboring states.
The head of Oregon's Parole and Post-Prison Supervision Board says they're on track to blow the already pushed back deadline for overhauling the classification system. He told lawmakers unless his agency gets more resources, only about 2,200 re-classifications will be done by the end of 2018.
Oregon currently has about 29,000 sex offenders.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Minnesota State Rep. Matt Grossell wants to bury the hatchet inside Minnesota's registrant population (figuratively, at least)

This is what happens when you vote for a guy who is such a redneck his campaign shirts come in blue camo.

Sex offender sentencing bill introduced following KARE 11 investigation

A.J. Lagoe , KARE

ST. PAUL, Minn. - “Enough is enough, it’s time to start stopping this!” said State Representative Matt Grossell (R - Beltrami)

Grossell is the chief author of a sweeping bill he calls a first step in reforming Minnesota’s sex crime sentencing laws which critics have labeled some of the weakest in the nation.

Grossell, a former law enforcement officer, said he watched KARE 11’s report on how a type of plea deal known as a Stay of Adjudication allowed hundreds of child sexual predators in Minnesota to have their crimes masked by the legal system.

“This is wrong to me! That’s just wrong!” he added, “So we decided to eliminate the stays of adjudication and imposition.”

Stays of imposition result in a felony charge being reduced to a misdemeanor if the defendant successfully completes probation. Stays of Adjudication disappear completely and the entire time the defendant is on probation the case is listed as pending. That means there’s no record of it on the Minnesota Court system’s online database.

“When young children are victimized like that, that tears me apart,” said Grossell, with tears in his eyes. He apologized for being emotional, adding “and to think that that person won’t be held accountable the way they should be, makes it even worse. You can never give that child back the innocence that they had, but you can keep that person from hurting somebody else.”

Governor Mark Dayton also called for reform following KARE 11’s reporting.

“Innocent people need to know that there are people around them who have a history of sexual abuse, and we need to protect the public first and foremost,” said Dayton.

The proposed changes also increase the penalties for child pornography, and orders the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission to toughen up recommended penalties for sex crimes. It also calls for more intensive probation for certain sex offenders.

Robert Small with the Minnesota County Attorneys Association said he had not had a chance to read the bill in its entirety, but said prosecutors in his association had concerns that the bill goes too far. He likened it to “using an axe where a scalpel is needed.”

Grossell contends, “it’s time for the hatchet and not the scalpel.”

A hearing on the proposed changes has not yet been scheduled.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Nebraska LB 60 would require registrants dating someone with kids to send humiliating letters to baby mammas/ baby daddys to warm them their exes are dating registrants

LB 60 should be reported to the manure hotline
If I'm willing to travel a thousand miles to testify against a bill, it is definitely Shiitake-worthy.

LB 60 is promoted by third-string Huskers QB turned third-string Senator Brat Lindstrom. I find this bill to be full of manure, and as it turns out, Nebraska has a manure spill hotline. So maybe I can get them to clean up this bill.

A BILL FOR AN ACT relating to the Parenting Act; to amend section 43-2933, Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska; to change provisions relating to limitation or denial of custody or access to a child; and to repeal the original section.

(b) No person shall be granted custody of, or unsupervised parenting time, visitation, or other access with, a child if anyone residing in the person's household is required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act as a result of a felony conviction in which the victim was a minor or for an offense that would make it contrary to the best interests of the child for such access unless the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the person seeking such access has overcome the presumption and burdens of production and persuasion in subdivision (1)(c) of this section and that there is no significant risk to the child and states its reasons in writing or on the record. Any person who has been granted custody of, or unsupervised parenting time, visitation, or other access with a child must provide written notice to all other persons who have custody or access rights to the child before such person allows any sex offender described in this subdivision to reside in such person’s household or to have unsupervised access to the child.
(c) The fact that a child is permitted unsupervised contact with a person who is required, as a result of a felony conviction in which the victim was a minor, to be registered as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act shall be prima facie evidence that the child is at significant risk and such unsupervised contact shall be presumed to not be in the child’s best interests. The person who is seeking to allow such unsupervised contact shall have the burden of production and the burden of persuasion that such unsupervised contact is in the child’s best interests.

Judge’s ok suggested before sex offender access to children
 February 9, 2017 Sen. Brett Lindstrom, LB60

Members of the Judiciary Committee heard testimony Feb. 9 on a bill that would provide stronger protections for children against registered sex offenders.

Under LB60, introduced by Omaha Sen. Brett Lindstrom, registered sex offenders found guilty of felony child sexual abuse would not be allowed unsupervised parental access to a child unless a judge finds that the adult presents no significant risk to the child.

Lindstrom said a recent Nebraska Supreme Court decision found that a father could not prevent his child from living in the same home as his ex-wife’s new husband, a registered sex offender.

He said LB60 would shift the burden of proof to the person seeking to allow unsupervised contact with a child to show that such contact would be in the child’s best interest.

“[The bill] reaffirms a strong public policy that we must protect our children and provides more guidance to our judicial branch to protect them,” he said.

Written notice also must be provided to all other persons with custody or access rights before a registered sex offender would be allowed to have unsupervised access or reside in the same home as a child.

Stephanie Huddle, representing the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, testified in support of the bill. She said 34 percent of sexual abuse is perpetrated by family members and can have long-lasting effects on children.

“Children who are sexually abused may develop phobias, suffer from nightmares and engage in regressive behaviors,” she said. “[LB60] would ensure additional safeguards for Nebraska children and peace of mind for their parents.”

Opposing the bill was Derek Logue, an anti-registry activist and registered sex offender. As a group, he said, sex offenders have low rates of recidivism.

“The written notification requirement seems to be more about humiliation than personal safety,” he said. “Those who share my label are assumed guilty until proven innocent. How can anyone reasonably expect a registered citizen to meet such a burden when society is so quick to believe the worst about such people?”

The committee took no immediate action on the bill.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Oh, SNAP! Leader of SNAP resigns amid lawsuit over exploiting abuse "survivors"

This perp needs jail, too
And to think some of you folks dared to criticize me over the use of the term VICTIM INDUSTRY. So SNAP has **ahem** "allegedly" been exploiting their clients by sending them to their special lawyers in exchange for some kickbacks? Why am I not surprised? I wouldn't be shocked if SNAP also coached folks into telling stories that may be complete fabrications.

Barbara Blaine, leader of priest sex-abuse survivors group, steps down
Feb. 4, 2017
Chicago Tribune staff

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests told its volunteers on Saturday that its president and founder has resigned.

Barbara Blaine, who also describes herself as a survivor, founded the group in Chicago nearly three decades ago. Her resignation, effective Friday, comes a week after SNAP announced the departure of its national director David Clohessy, effective Dec. 31, 2016.

Both were named in a lawsuit filed in Cook County last month by a former SNAP employee, accusing the leaders of referring potential clients to attorneys in return for financial kickbacks to the group.

But Blaine said her leaving had nothing to do with the suit and "no bearing'' on her leaving.

Blaine, who describes herself as a survivor, expressed gratitude for her supporters in an emailed statement.

"It has been the greatest honor of my life to have found and been your president for the past 29 years. Change however is inevitable," Blaine said in the statement.

Mary Ellen Kruger, who is on the SNAP board, said in an emailed statement they are "grateful for her 29 years of leadership."

“Her contribution to the survivors movement is unsurpassed. Her tenacity and fortitude helped expose abuse globally during the past three decades. We will carry on her vision of SNAP as we grow in new ways to better meet the needs of survivors coming forward today and in the future. We wish Barbara the best," Kruger said in the statement.

It was a horrible feeling twenty-nine years ago," Blaine said in the statement. "Church officials would not keep their promises. My perpetrator remained in ministry but more importantly, I felt such immense pain that I was not sure I could continue to live," Blaine said. 

“I knew there were other survivors out there and wondered if they felt the same debilitating hurt and if so, how they coped with it. I thought they might hold the wisdom I lacked. I looked for other survivors and asked if they would be willing to talk.

"Somewhere in the past twenty-nine years you got involved and I want to thank you for doing so. To be honest, my heart is overflowing with gratitude to each of you. Words fail to express the extent of how grateful I feel," Blaine said in the statement.

Barbara Dorris, SNAP’s outreach director, has become the managing director, according to SNAP. The group said Dorris will work closely with the board of directors to continue to engage the group's volunteer leadership nationwide to help more survivors of sexual abuse and assault, and to stop further abuse, according to the statement.

Blaine and Dorris are defendants, along with SNAP and Executive Director David Clohessy, in a lawsuit filed last month by a former employee. In that lawsuit, former director of development Gretchen Rachel Hammond says she was fired shortly after asking superiors whether SNAP was referring potential clients to attorneys in exchange for donations.

“Please know that the recent lawsuit filed against SNAP, as the others in the past which have no merit, had absolutely no bearing on my leaving. The discussions and process of my departure has been ongoing, Blaine said in the statement.

Ex-worker sues priest sex-abuse victims advocacy group, says it exploited survivors 
Manya Brachear Pashman
Chicago Tribune

A former employee of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has sued the victims advocacy group, alleging that SNAP exploited victims of sexual abuse by clergy in return for financial kickbacks from attorneys.

According to a lawsuit filed this week in Cook County Circuit Court, Gretchen Rachel Hammond worked as a director of development from July 2011 until she said she was fired in February 2013, shortly after asking superiors whether SNAP was referring potential clients to attorneys in exchange for donations.

In addition to the organization, defendants named in the lawsuit are Barbara Blaine, its founder and president; David Clohessy, executive director; and Barbara Dorris, outreach director.

Blaine said in a statement that "the allegations are not true."

"This will be proven in court," she said. "SNAP leaders are now, and always have been, devoted to following the SNAP mission: To help victims heal and to prevent further sexual abuse."

Neither Clohessy nor Dorris could be reached for comment.

Though it did not name attorneys, the lawsuit said donations from several high-profile litigators across the country comprised a large percentage of SNAP's income.

Jeff Anderson, a prominent Minnesota attorney for victims of clergy sex abuse who was not named in the lawsuit, confirmed that he makes regular donations to SNAP, as well as other nonprofit organizations that advocate for the safety of children. But he said he does not do it in exchange for referrals.

"I have supported SNAP and a lot of other organizations that help survivors throughout the country, unapologetically," he said.

"The allegation is explosive because it's unethical," he added. "I've never done it nor would I ever do it."

According to the lawsuit, Hammond grew suspicious of SNAP's methods when she was not permitted to participate in an internal audit of SNAP by an accounting firm and was barred from attending survivors' meetings, group therapy sessions or counseling sessions to help generate material for grant proposals.

She also was given access to a list of lawyers who regularly donated to SNAP but was told to never tell anyone that lawyers donate to the organization, according to the lawsuit. At a news conference, Hammond said she raised more than $950,000 for SNAP during her 19 months there.

A Missouri judge ruled in 2012 to open more than two decades of correspondence with victims, lawyers, witnesses and journalists to shed light on whether SNAP had coached victims to fabricate claims of repressed memory.

Shortly after that, Hammond said, she was accidentally copied on an email from Clohessy to an attorney, asking when he could expect the next donation, the lawsuit said. It was then she began to ask questions and the workplace climate dramatically changed, she alleged in the lawsuit.

She said she began to collect evidence of what she believed to be a kickback scheme, copying reams of documents and downloading records on a flash drive she used to do work at home. When SNAP sent a volunteer to her apartment to collect the flash drive, she did not disclose that she had copied it, the lawsuit said. She was fired two days later, she said.

Though she decided not to go to authorities at the time, the movie "Spotlight" renewed her concerns and she sought legal counsel. Hammond alleges she could not find employment that paid as much as she made at SNAP and is seeking compensatory damages, attorney’s fees and expenses.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Dolce de bleche: Victim Cultist Michael Dolce doesn't believe in positive treatment programs

Oh great, it is yet another biased victim cultist spewing nonsensical tripe. As typical of victim cultists, he uses nominal & dubious "research" and statements of personal belief as "fact." He also makes bogus claims of high recidivism rates and the same tired myths of all registered persons being 'psychopathic," which is ironic considering that lawyers are the profession with the second highest rate of psychopaths within its ranks.

Say no to restorative justice for sex offenders

The debate around the Senate’s possible confirmation of Betsy DeVos, President-elect Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary, should kick start a national discussion on how colleges and universities handle sexual assault.

Recently, much of that conversation has revolved around “restorative justice,” programs that aim to respond to misconduct or crime by redressing the harm inflicted on victims and the community, rather than simply punishing offenders. 

As a victim of childhood sexual abuse myself and an attorney who now represents sexual assault survivors every day, I can say without doubt that restorative justice is not only horribly insufficient for handling sexual abuse but, in many cases, actually serves to leave an offender free to offend again.

Whether as an alternative or a supplement to traditional discipline, restorative justice programs require offenders to make amends with victims — often with apologies and mediation — and participate in reformative programs like anger management or cultural sensitivity training, measures rarely imposed by the criminal justice system. In an education setting, employing these programs for offenses like racial harassment and alcohol misuse have had some success, leading to understandable calls from some criminal justice reform advocates and college administrators to expand their use to college sexual misconduct cases.

It’s true that our colleges and universities routinely fail victims of sexual assault, as last year’s abhorrent handling of the Brock Turner case at Stanford University reminded us. It’s also true, as the Chicago Tribune reported late last month, that the future of campus sex assault investigations under President Trump are “uncertain,” particularly since GOP convention platform calls for a reduced federal government role in investigations of campus sexual assault.

But, for several important reasons, restorative justice is not the answer for handling sex offenders. First, this method only works if offenders feel empathy when confronted with the impact of their misconduct. 

According to prominent forensic psychology researchers Drs. Daryl Kroner and Adelle Forth, about half of convicted sex offenders exhibit psychopathology, meaning they are incapable of feeling remorse or empathizing with their victims. Sex offenders are often skilled at manipulating others into believing they are safe, which helps them gain their victims’ trust before attacking.

Imagine that same manipulation in a restorative justice program setting where the offender fools college administrators and the victim with fake remorse. College administrators, often despite their best intentions, do not have expert command over the dynamics of sex offenders and victim behavior and shouldn’t be entrusted with safe and effective use of restorative justice programs for sex-based offenses.

Second, advocates for restorative justice programs in this context often make the flawed assumption that sex offenders are similar to repeat offenders of other habitual offenses like drunk driving. 

But while underage drinking and alcohol abuse are certainly a common problem on university campuses, alcohol does not turn a college student into a sex offender. In fact, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, some offenders actually drink alcohol before committing sexual assault specifically to later justify their behavior. Relying on restorative justice to ‘treat’ this group would be a dangerous validation of their criminal deceit.

The third common argument – that schools might be safe relying on restorative justice methods in cases of sexual harassment that don’t involve physical assault – is risky at best. Those who sexually harass others are objectifying and dehumanizing their victims, behavior that is often a prelude to assaults.

In my work as a victims’ attorney at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, I repeatedly see rapists whose behavior escalated from lesser offenses like voyeurism and other forms of harassment.

Finally and most critically, we must consider the victims of these heinous crimes. As a society, we are too quick to blame victims, overtly or subtly, especially on college campuses. 

Student victims regularly hear: “You were both drunk,” or “Don’t ruin someone’s life over one drunken night.” I routinely see offenders and even school administrators attempt to blame the victim. One student’s complaint of rape was rejected by school administrators because she gave the rapist a ride after the attack, despite her explanation that she feared she would be hurt further if she did not do as he asked.

The impact on those subjected to sexual assault can be profound, life-altering and permanent. Furthermore, the effects can be substantially worsened if a community deflects the offender’s responsibility onto things like alcohol, or worse yet, suggests that the victim is partially at fault.

The reality is that I believe the majority of sex offenders are largely incapable of empathy. Two-thirds of male sex offenders will re-offend if they are not treated and restrained as criminals. The consensus among mental health and criminal justice professionals is that most sex criminals cannot be reformed; they can only be monitored, controlled and contained.

These are people who look at the tears and agony on victims’ faces, show no mercy and then quickly move on to their next victim.

Restorative justice can be a wonderful tool for certain types of offenses, but let’s not ask victims of sexual assault to suffer an even greater burden by making them take part in their attackers’ so-called “reformation.”

Michael Dolce is on the board of directors of the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence and was the former political committee chair of Protect Our Kids First. He was instrumental in the passage of landmark legislation in the state that repealed all statutes of limitation for civil and criminal prosecution of child sexual battery. He is of counsel at premier national plaintiffs' firm Cohen Milstein and has dedicated his career to seeking justice for the victims of abuse.