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June 2010

How The Recession Hurts Private Prisons, June 30, 2010:

Pa. House Passes Teen Sexting Bill, June 30, 2010:
A local lawmaker’s bill designed to keep teens caught sexting from ending up on the state’s sex offender registry has been approved by the state House of Representatives.

Some Offenders To Be Removed From Registry (SD), June 30, 2010:
Starting July 1, nearly 40 sex offenders currently on South Dakota’s sex offender registry will be taken off the list, and hundreds more could be removed in the next decade. It’s because of what’s called a tiered registry; created during this year’s legislative session.
On July 1, South Dakota’s Attorney General will automatically take 37 sex offenders off the registry. Those cases are misdemeanor indecent exposures, which the legislature has decided are not offenses that require registration any more. The new law also allows certain statutory rape cases to eventually be taken off the list as well.
The registry is meant to give South Dakotans a glimpse at some of the most dangerous criminals living in their neighborhoods. The attorney general says removing some of those offenders will actually make the registry stronger.

‘Ferris Bueller’ Actor Omits Sex Offender Update, June 30, 2010:
(The actor who was the principal in Ferris Bueller’s day off, as well as in the Crucible, Sleepy Hollow and Beetlejuice, just to name a few is a registered sex offender and he has failed to register for the second time).

Chelsea’s Law Amended in State Senate (CA), June 29, 2010:
Major changes were announced Tuesday for Chelsea’s Law as it passed another key vote in Sacramento. The bill’s author now says the cost of putting more sex offenders in prison will be paid for by reducing sentences for other criminals.

Law Enforcement: Inexcusable (Virginia), June 29, 2010:
In theory, asset-forfeiture seizures make excellent sense. They deprive criminal syndicates of the tools of their trade, and they provide much-needed funds for law-enforcement agencies. In reality, they’re a hot mess. As Scott Bullock of the Institute for Justice wrote in these pages a couple of months ago, “Virginia ranks as one of the very worst states for civil forfeiture abuse.” His group’s report, Policing for Profit, gave our state a D-minus.

Teacher Sues State Over Sex Law (Virginia) June 29, 2010:
A teacher convicted of having consensual sex with a “mature” student in 1993 says Virginia unfairly reclassified her as a “sexually violent” offender, requiring her to register as such for the rest of her life.
“Because of her 2008 reclassification, approximately 15 years after her offense, Jane Doe now has a continuing duty to register for life,” according to the complaint.

New Law Strengthens Sex-Offender Registration (WA), June 27, 2010:
The legislation, SSB 6414, requires any Washington resident who has been required to register as a sex offender in another state to also register in Washington, even if the out-of-state offense would not have been a crime in Washington.

Sex Offenders, Lawyers and the Burden of a Voice, June 26, 2010:
(National RSOL Conference)

Lack of ID Card Sends Sex Offender Back to Jail, June 26, 2010:

Status Change Means Officials Must Keep Close Watch of Sex Offenders (OH), June 25, 2010:
The Ohio Supreme Court recently ruled unconstitutional a two-year-old state law that reclassified thousands of people convicted of sex crimes before Jan. 1, 2008, as the worst kinds of sexual predators.
It’s a positive for those serving their time with the title of “sex offender,” many of whom find it difficult to obtain employment, Sheriff’s Deputy John Baumgardt said.
Baumgardt, who oversees the sex offender registration at the Sheriff’s Office, said he knows of two offenders who are registered as homeless because they can’t find work.
“I think most of the people that I deal with made a mistake, and it’s time to let them get on with their lives,” Baumgardt said. “By putting them back to where they were at, this gives them a chance.
“It’s going to make it easier for some of them to get jobs and get back on their feet. Some of these people have just had atrocious times trying to get jobs.”
The change also will lighten the workload at the Sheriff’s Office, as many offenders who might have been required to register four times a year now must register only once a year, Baumgardt said.

Shred Your Sex Offender Map, June 25, 2010:
If anything, the sex offender registry is making our kids LESS safe.

Visual Barrier Mandated for Sex Offender, June 25, 2010:
Man on house arrest to have barrier put up to block view of nearby yard.

UD Study Says State (DE) Wastes Millions of Dollars on Treating Low-Risk Juvenile Sex Offenders, June 25, 2010:
University of Delaware professor Chrysanthi S. Leon, J.D., Ph.D., will speak about the overuse of sex offender registration and residency laws in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, June 26 in the opening session of the conference of the national group, Reform Sex Offender Laws.

Springfield Barber College Open to All — Including Ex-Offenders, June 25, 2010:
Illinois doesn’t bar ex-offenders, other than sex offenders, from obtaining barber licenses.

A Call For Reform of Sex Offender Legislation, June 24, 2010:

Sex Offenders Near Schools in Lorain Told to Move with Short Notice (OH), June 24, 2010:

Teen Drops Suit Against School Officials in ‘Sexting’ Case (Virginia) June 24, 2010:

Sex Offenders Forced to Move: 150 Notices Sent Out Stating They Live Too Close to Schools, Parks (OH), June 24, 2010:

State Senate Votes to Shield Teen ‘Sexting’ from Harsh Criminal Penalties (NY), June 23, 2010:
“The sex offender laws were intended to go after people we consider sexual predators, not some kids caught in a youthful indiscretion,” Zebrowski said.

Sex Offenders Told to Register or Else (IN), June 21, 2010:
“In the state of Indiana, it’s a felony for them not to possess a valid ID card with the correct address,” said Sgt. Dalstrom.

More Than 400 Convicted Sex Offenders Now Off State Registry (ME), June 21, 2010:
Last December, the court ruled that some changes made to the sex offender registry had gone a little too far. “There are very few offenses where you would escape the registration requirement,” says Attorney General Janet Mills, “the only constitutional question that has arisen, the only legitimate one, was the ex post facto one, where they tried retroactively applying the law.”
Some convicted sex offenders who had already been sentenced were told their sentence had changed. Instead of being required to register as a sex offender in their communities for 10 or 15 years, they had to register for life. The Maine Civil Liberties Union was part of the group that challenged the new laws being applied retroactively. “You can’t create new punishments for activities that have already happened,” says Zachary Heiden, a legal director for the MCLU, “the cumulative affect of the legislature’s actions were punishment for people for offenses they had already committed, and the constitution says you can’t do that.”
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court agreed and lawmakers in Augusta came up with a solution:

Rape, Psychiatry, and Constitutional Rights—Hard Cases Make For Very Bad Law, June 21, 2010:

Ohio Court Rules on Sex Offender Classification, June 21, 2010:

JP State Rep Candidate Fires Convicted Sex Offender on Staff (MA), June 21, 2010:

Minnesota Sex Offenders Inch Closer to Freedom, June 21, 2010:

Sexual Predator Treatment Squeezes Budgets, June 21, 2010:
‘They had no idea 10 years ago … what this program was going to cost’
Now these “civil commitment” programs are costing states hundreds of millions of dollars more than anyone envisioned, and they’ve created a political quandary for lawmakers who need to cut spending but don’t want to be seen as soft on rapists and child molesters.
“I’ve heard people in a lot of the states quietly say, ‘Oh, my God, I wish we’d never gotten this law,’” said W. Lawrence Fitch, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. “No one would ever dare offer repeal because it’s just untenable.”
The heavy financial burden of treating confined sex offenders has left lawmakers with less money as they make agonizing cuts to areas like education and health care. Politicians who spent years cracking down on sex crimes now struggle to pay for their tougher laws.
“It’s easy to say, ‘Lock everybody up and throw away the key,’” said state Rep. Michael Paymar, a St. Paul Democrat who heads a public safety budget panel. “But it’s just not practical.”
In most states, the number of confined sex offenders has steadily increased, requiring ever-greater spending.
Iowa spends nearly $7 million to confine 80 offenders, almost double 2005′s $3.6 million budget for 48 patients. Virginia’s program has swelled from 45 patients five years ago to more than 200 this year, with annual costs climbing from $10 million to almost $16 million.

Standoff Over Sex Offenders, June 20, 2010:

Schumer: Close Loopholes in Sex Offender Law, June 20, 2010:
State laws nationwide prohibit sex offenders from working as school teachers and coaches, but most laws don’t cover karate instructors, youth coaches, carnival workers, clowns, magicians, or dance instructors in the private sector when public funds aren’t involved.
Sen. Charles Schumer of New York wants to change those circumstances, and is proposing a national measure that would apply to sex offenders in these and other jobs even when their employers don’t get public funds. The measure would cover people who are paid or volunteer to do the work.

Greater Restrictions on Sex Offenders Proposed by NY Sen. Schumer, June 20, 2010

NH Sex Offender Claims Religious Rights Denied, June 19, 2010:
A New Hampshire sex offender is asking the state’s highest court to allow him to go to church with a chaperone.
The case of 35-year-old Jonathan Perfetto of Manchester marks the first time the New Hampshire Supreme Court is being asked to rule on whether a probation condition that effectively bars church attendance violates a person’s constitutional rights to religious freedom.

Chesapeake Sex Therapist gets 22 years for Child Pornography (Virginia), June 19, 2010:

Justin M. Bloxom Act Clears La. House, June 18, 2010:
If it clears the last hurdle, the law will prohibit registered sex offenders from driving taxi cabs, limousines and buses. It also would make service-type jobs, where entry would be required into homes, and the operation of carnival or amusement rides off-limits.

NYC Going After Teen ‘Sexting’ — In The Home, June 18, 2010:

Lawmaker Works to Close Sex Offender Loophole (NC), June 18, 2010:

Calif. Bill Seeks More Limits on Sex Offenders, June 17, 2010:

Report: SoCal Sex Offender GPS Alerts Backlogged, June 16, 2010:
Monitors worn by convicted sex offenders in Southern California have sent out more than 31,000 alerts this spring, backlogging authorities who are struggling to review them for potential violations, according to a published report Wednesday.
Records obtained by the San Diego Union-Tribune show that some of the unresolved alerts date back to March.
The alerts from GPS trackers included low batteries, lost signals and potentially more serious problems such as offenders entering or leaving restricted areas or cutting the straps on their ankle bracelets, the newspaper reported.
The state spends about $60 million a year to track about 7,000 convicted sex offenders via GPS.

Amber’s Law Rejected by Senate Committee (CA), June 16, 2010:

Miley Cyrus Upskirt Shot: Child Porn? June 15, 2010:
Blogger Perez Hilton posts a link to an alleged upskirt photo of the 17-year-old — and could face serious charges

Hi…I’m Your Sex Offender Neighbor, June 15, 2010:
Can I Borrow a Cup of Compassion?

Court: No Civil Commitment For Army Sex Offender, June 14, 2010:
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) ― A federal appeals panel says sex offenders convicted in military court but housed by the Bureau of Prisons are not eligible for civil commitment.

Roll Call: Sex Offenders Flagged for FHA Mortgages, June 13, 2010
The House passed an amendment, sponsored by Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas, to the FHA Reform Act (H.R. 5072) that will require individuals applying for a mortgage from the Federal Housing Administration to certify that they have not been convicted of a sex offense against a minor. Proponents said taxpayers should not be fiscally responsible to cover loans made to convicted child sex offenders and that the amendment would extend the same type of restrictions already in place for Section 8 housing, which bans sex offenders from obtaining housing or subsidies under the program. The vote Thursday was 420 yeas to 4 nays.
(See Bulletin Board Posting #235)

Restrictive Sex Offender Registration Rules Force Some Underground, June 13, 2010:

Do Sex Offender Registration Laws Actually Make us Safer?  June 13, 2010:
“We think that these type of laws are well intended, but they are misguided and very limiting,” Cleveland Rape Crisis Center President and CEO Megan O’Bryan said.
O’Bryan said laws create a false sense of security for the public and concentrate a vast amount of resources and attention toward a small number of offenders — the very few who are caught and prosecuted.
The concept also capitalizes on the fear of stranger attacks, when family members, friends or acquaintances commit most sex crimes.
“Just like the public needs to be educated about these issues, so do the lawmakers,” O’Bryan said.
Lawmakers need to support prevention, education and treatment for both victims and perpetrators of sexual assault, she said.

Sex Offenders Want Restrictions Lifted (OH) June 13, 2010:
Sheriffs not reacting yet to court’s ruling

New Law Makes Life Easier for Some Sex Offenders (GA), June 12, 2010:

Schools: No Say on Offender Neighbors (KS) June 11, 2010:

Iowa Supreme Court Rules in Sex Offender Treatment Case, June 11, 2010:

Murrieta Children Threatened in ‘Manifesto’ by Man Claiming to be Sex Offender, June 10, 2010:

ACLU Calls Proposed Child Safety Zones ‘Unlawful’ (CT), June 10, 2010:

Panel Discusses Sex-Offender Registry (TX), June 10, 2010:
Adam Walsh compliance also taken up by senators.
“We recommend that we not implement the Adam Walsh Act in the State of Texas,” said Liles Arnold, chairman of the Texas Council on Sex Offender Treatment . “Basically, the research on registration notification, to date, suggests that it’s really not accomplishing what we want it to accomplish,. Which is, fundamentally increasing community safety by reducing sex offender recidivism, making the public aware of where dangerous individuals were, and be better able to protect themselves and protect their children.”

Update: Prosecutor: RI Sex-Offender Registry Bill on Hold, June 10, 2010:

Conn. Judge Accused of ‘Empathy’ Toward Sex Offenders Gets Senate Panel OK, June 10, 2010:

Should Homeless Sex Offenders Be Allowed To Stay In Shelters Near Schools? June 10, 2010:

Richmond Schools Could Lift Cell Phone Ban (Virginia) June 9, 2010:
Richmond school leaders consider letting students bring cell phones on campus and creating tough rules on sexting.,0,3265798.story

‘Sexting’ Legislation Clears Senate (LA), June 9, 2010:

Lawsuit Divides Mobile Home Park, June 9, 2010:

Another ‘Sexting’ Investigation Under Way (Virginia), June 8, 2010:

Big Changes to Georgia Sex Offender Law, June 8, 2010:
It is essentially a rewrite of Georgia’s sex offender law which many critics have called unconstitutional.
Now registered sex offenders convicted before June 4th, 2003 are no longer restricted from living and working near places where children congregate like schools, day cares and parks.
The law also lets sex offenders who have done their time petition a superior court to have them removed from the sex offender’s registry.
The law helps people like Wendy Whitaker. The Augusta woman was forced to move out of her home because of consensual sex with a 15-year-old when she was 17.
The act, now considered a misdemeanor, landed her on the sex offender registry.
Whittaker is currently the lead plaintiff in a class action law suit against the state filed by the Southern Center for Human Rights.

High Court Asks if Sex Offender Case Is Moot, June 7, 2010:
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Montana Supreme Court for guidance on whether a juvenile can challenge national requirements to register as a sex offender. The state court’s answers will help the justices decide if the case is moot.

California Civil Commitment for Sexual Offenders: Is it working and who benefits? June 6, 2010:

Sex-Offender Crackdown Faces Hurdles in California, June 6, 2010:

Still Soldiering On, June 6, 2010:
Military sexual assault victims push Department of Defense and VA to make changes.
He knows that his status as a Megan’s Law offender may give some people pause. But he does not believe it should impact his credibility in terms of advocating for MST victims.
“If anything this gives me a very unique position in telling the story about how a sexual assault on me as a child and the aggravation of the rapes in the military essentially caused me to continue the perpetuation of the cycle,” he said. “This is my way of trying to remedy and correct my misdeeds and prevent other victims from the silent suffering.”

Coming to a Halfway House Near You, June 6, 2010:

“Sexting” Leads to Child Porn Charges for Teens, June 5, 2010:
Distribution of Nude Photos among Teenagers via Cell Phone Catches Attention of Prosecutors, Principals in Pennsylvania;featuredPost-PE

New Sex Offender Laws In Georgia, June 4, 2010:
A sex offender who was convicted or committed a crime before June 4, 2003, will not have any restrictions on where they live,work, or volunteer.
Sex offenders can live within 1,000 feet of a school or a place where children gather if they own the property. They are also no longer prohibited from taking part in some church activities or Bible studies.
Another big change, homeless sex offenders are no longer at risk of going to prison for failing to have a fixed address.
Judges will now have the discrection to exempt some registered sex offenders from restrictrions on where they are allowed to work.
One of the biggest changes, judges are allowed to remove convicted sex offenders from the state registry after they’ve completed their sentence.

Ohio to Begin Sex Offender Reclassifications, June 4, 2010:
The Ohio Attorney General must reclassify 26,000 sex offenders following a court decision finding parts of an Ohio law unconstitutional.
Attorney General Richard Cordray said his office will reclassify the offenders through the state sex offender database and notify the defendants of their new status.
Cordray called Thursday’s ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court a narrow decision that doesn’t affect the intent of the law to toughen registration rules for sex offenders.
The court said Ohio lawmakers violated the constitution by forcing state officials to change convicts’ classifications.
The ruling means that sex offenders convicted before the law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2008, would revert back to former classifications.

Reaction Mixed as Some of Walsh Law Ruled Unconstitutional (OH), June 4, 2010:
“I think it was a correct ruling,” said defense attorney Jason Price, of Lancaster.
Price said people understand that when someone does something wrong and they get sentenced to your punishment, it is the price he or she pays.
When a judge sentences someone, and the appeals process is done, that should be it, Price said.
Under the sections of the law ruled unconstitutional, Price said the legislature added additional provisions or punishments to what the judges already had ordered.
But there is a big difference between an 18-year-old who has sex with a 15-year-old girlfriend and a person who has sex with a 5-year-old, Price said.
Most people think sexual offenders should punished, Price said.
“It makes them an easy target,” Price said.
But judges should have some discretion in their rulings and legislatures should not be able to add punishment to cases already decided, Price said.

Court Rejects Part of Sex Offender Law (OH), June 4, 2010:
Ohio Supreme Court change will affect the status for 26,000 in the state–745411.html

Court Rules Against State’s Sex Offender Rules (OH), June 4, 2010:

Justices Give Break to 26,000 Ohio Sex Offenders, June 3, 2010:
Court says reclassification in 2008 under new law was wrong

Ohio Court: Revert To Old Sex Offender Classes, June 3, 2010:

Miami’s Tent City in Retrospective, June 2, 2010:

Registry Law Doesn’t Apply to All Sex Offenders, Supreme Court Rules, June 1, 2010:

Sex Offender Law Can’t Be Applied Retroactively, June 1, 2010:

Court: No Backdating Sex Offender Registry, June 1, 2010:

Supreme Court Says Sex Registry Rule Not Retroactive, June 1, 2010: