Lawyers Seek Haynesworth’s Exoneration (Virginia), March 31, 2011:
Republicans Protest Full Reading of Sex Offender Bill (ID), March 31, 2011:
Sessions and Blumenthal Introduce Finding Fugitive Sex Offender Act of 2011, March 31, 2011:
Proposed Bill Curbs Online Data Gathering, March 31, 2011:
Opinion: Maine’s Sex Offender Conundrum, March 31, 2011:
‘I Hurt So Many People’: Sex Offenders Share Insights, Harsh Reality, March 31, 2011:
April 5 Named as Somer Thompson Day in Clay County, March 31, 2011:
Father Of Elizabeth Smart Speaks With 10News, March 30, 2011:
Wrongly Convicted Va Man Seeks Exoneration, March 30, 2011:
DOJ Programs Office Faces Budget Pressure, March 30, 2011:
Romeo-Juliet Law Changing: Young Lovers Will No Longer be Listed as Sex Offenders (MI), March 30, 2011:
Sex Offenders and Their Employers – Who’s Accountable Again? (TX), March 29, 2011:
Wasserman Schultz: Save Funding to Hunt Online Child Sex Predators, March 29, 2011:
McDonnell Signs Bill on Abortion-Clinic Regulations, March 29, 2011:
The forthcoming changes for sex-abuse victims will mean they can file suit 20 years from the time of the incident or — in the event of repressed memories — from the time the abuse is remembered. There is no limitation on criminal charges.
The Catholic Church, in the wake of a sex scandal involving priests, had concerns with the bill during the legislative session, noting that the 20-year period could mean that someone discovering abuse at age 50 would have until age 70 to file a lawsuit about something that happened when the victim was a child.
Other groups cheered the governor’s action, including Camille Cooper, with National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT).
“I think (McDonnell’s) sending a resounding message to perpetrators that he’s giving victims the last word and that no matter what happens, even if it takes them 20 years to come forward, they will be held accountable,” Cooper said.
Bill Threatens Oklahoma City Mobile Home Park for Sex Offenders, March 29, 2011:
Cops Say ‘Hands are Tied’ on Homeless Sex Offenders (MA), March 29, 2011:
City to Research Sex Offender ‘Industry Standard’ (TX), March 29, 2011:
Delegate Athey Calling It Quits After 10 Years (Virginia), March 29, 2011:
New Sex-Predator Agency Gets OK (TX), March 29, 2011:
Pine Lakes Cabins in Jeopardy Over Sex Offender Stay (IN), March 28, 2011:
Sexting To Be Decriminalized – Unless It’s Sexy (FL), March 28, 2011:
Sex Friends Sheltered by Loophole (MA), March 27, 2011:
GPS Tracking Devices Can’t Stop Crime, March 27, 2011:
A Girl’s Nude Photo, and Altered Lives, March 26, 2011:
Parole Data in Study is Disputed by State Officials (OK), March 26, 2011:
Green Bay Sex Offender Home Called Model for Other Communities, March 26, 2011:
Ed Smart Continues Campaign Against Child Predators, March 25, 2011:
Question of the Day: Teen Sex Offenders (MI), March 25, 2011:
FBI Honors Mom of Dru Sjodin for her Work in Creating National Sex Offender’s Database, March 25, 2011:
Michigan Lawmakers OK Sex Crime Registry Changes, March 24, 2011:
Senate Panel to Consider Rules to Simplify Sex-Crime Convictions (MT), March 24, 2011:
Opinion: Lansing Right to Reform State Registry (MI), March 24, 2011:
Community Outraged at Impending Release of Child-Murderer (RI), March 24, 2011:
Opinion: A Registry for Killers More Harm Than Good (IL), March 24, 2011:
Women’s Funding Network Sex Trafficking Study Is Junk Science, March 24, 2011:
Attorneys representing Craigslist told Congress on September 15 that the ubiquitous web classifieds site was closing its adult section.
Under intense scrutiny from the government and crusading advocacy groups, as well as state attorneys general, owner Craig Newmark memorably applied the label “Censored” in his classifieds where adult advertising once appeared.
During the same September hearing of a subcommittee of the House Judiciary, members of Congress listened to vivid and chilling accounts regarding underage prostitution.
The congressmen heard testimony from half a dozen nonprofit executives and law enforcement officials. But the most alarming words of the day came from Deborah Richardson, the chief program officer of the Women’s Funding Network. She told legislators that juvenile prostitution is exploding at an astronomical rate.
“An independent tracking study released today by the Women’s Funding Network shows that over the past six months, the number of underage girls trafficked online has risen exponentially in three diverse states,” Richardson claimed. “Michigan: a 39.2 percent increase; New York: a 20.7 percent increase; and Minnesota: a staggering 64.7 percent increase.”
In the wake of this bombshell revelation, Richardson’s disturbing figures found their way into some of the biggest newspapers in the country. USA Today, the Houston Chronicle, the Miami Herald, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the Detroit Free Press all repeated the dire statistics as gospel.
The successful assault on Craigslist was followed by a cross-country tour by Richardson and the Women’s Funding Network.
None of the media that published Richardson’s astonishing numbers bothered to examine the study at the heart of Richardson’s claim. If they had, they would have found what we did after asking independent experts to examine the research: It’s junk science.
After all, the numbers are all guesses.
The data are based merely on looking at photos on the Internet. There is no science.
Eric Grodsky, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota who teaches about proper research construction, says that the study is fundamentally flawed.
“The method’s not clean,” Grodsky says. “You couldn’t get this kind of thing into a peer-reviewed journal. There are just too many unanswered questions about their methodology.”
Ric Curtis, the chairman of the Anthropology Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, led a Justice Department-funded study on juvenile prostitution in New York City in 2008. He’s highly skeptical of the claims in the Women’s Funding Network’s study.
“I wouldn’t trust those numbers,” Curtis says. “This new study seems pretty bogus.”
In fact, the group behind the study admits as much. It’s now clear they used fake data to deceive the media and lie to Congress. And it was all done to score free publicity and a wealth of public funding.
(A MUST Read! We all know that so-called “experts” who are asked to testify at Congressional and Senate hearings have lied before to push their cause through the system. Even members of the US Congress and Senate falsely claim 100% recidivism rates for registered offenders. To falsify any information as an invited witness should be a crime as well as lawmakers who make false claims at hearings or on the floor.)
Virginia Schools to Get Sex-Abuse Prevention Guidelines Regarding Teacher-Student Interactions, March 23, 2011:
Cuccinelli Personally Apologizes to Haynesworth for Imprisonment (Virginia), March 23, 2011:
Though he himself was in high school when Haynesworth was convicted, as a representative of the Virginia’s justice system, Cuccinelli said he feels “very guilty that the system failed him as it did. ”
“It’s the worst kind of error we can have — that is, putting an innocent person in jail,” he said. “It’s much worse than letting a guilty person go free.”
For years, there was no way for those in Virginia who believed they’d been wrongly accused of crimes to get a court to review evidence that had surfaced after their conviction. And generations of state attorneys general argued that inmates should take such evidence to the governor and seek a pardon if they believed it showed that they were innocent — most famously in the early 1990s, when Attorney General Mary Sue Terry (D) once argued after a conviction in a death row case that “evidence of innocence is irrelevant.”
ICE Arrests 130 Illegal Immigrants in Northern Va., March 23, 2011:
Facebook Booting ’20,000′ Underage Users Per Day, March 23, 2011:
According to a study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, nearly half of all 12-year-olds in the U.S. are using social network sites, despite not meeting the minimum age requirements for sites like Facebook.
And such popularity only balloons once the teens grow older: roughly 64% of 13-year-olds are social networking; between the ages of 14 to 17, that figure jumps to 82%, says Pew.
Child Pornographers Use Online Social Networks to Foil Investigators, March 23, 2011:
Gov. Jindal Announces Bills to Crack Down on Crime (LA), March 23, 2011:
Sex-Offender List Too Inclusive? (NE), March 23, 2011:
Saying Nebraska’s current sex-offender registry law unfairly punishes some minor offenders, a group of state senators wants to remove those offenders’ pictures and addresses from a public list.
Supporters of the change include Omaha Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh, typically a hard-liner on crime who has said sexual predators should be banished to a remote island because they can’t be rehabilitated,
Yet Lautenbaugh said it’s unfair to hang a “scarlet letter” on minor offenders whom the Nebraska State Patrol had deemed at low risk of reoffending and who haven’t committed repeat crimes.
“I don’t think we should ruin their lives,” Lautenbaugh said.
Sen. Brad Ashford, also of Omaha, said, “We have to balance punishment with fairness.”
A Nebraska group for convicted sex offenders and their families called Families Affirming Community Safety has lobbied and joined a federal lawsuit to get the current state law reversed.
Rigorous tracking of minor, low-risk offenders diverts attention from true sexual predators, the group says.
State Lawmaker: ‘Sexting’ Shouldn’t Be Crime (FL), March 22, 2011:
Dad of Murdered Fla. Girl will Urge NJ to Enact Tougher Child Sex Offender Sentences, March 21, 2011:
More Homeowners Associations Banning Sexual Offenders (OH), March 21, 2011:
Va Inmate Exonerated by DNA in Rape Released on Parole, Calls Event ‘Joyful’, March 21, 2011:
The Innocence Project, which is representing Haynesworth, is leading the effort to have those convictions tossed out as well. As long as those convictions remain, Haynesworth will have to register as a sex offender.
“This really is a case where justice is not served until he is fully exonerated,” said Shawn Armbrust, executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project.
Gov. Bob McDonnell, who recently named a new Parole Board, asked the board to go ahead and consider Haynesworth for parole rather than wait for his regularly scheduled review this summer. McDonnell announced Friday that Haynesworth had been granted parole and said he would consider a pardon if Haynesworth’s lawyers filed for one.
After 27 Years, Haynesworth Released from Prison (Virginia), March 21, 2011:
Got a Criminal Record? Please Go Away, March 21, 2011:
McDonnell Approves Familial DNA for Va. Crime-Fighting, March 21, 2011:
McDonnell Says State Can Now Perform Familial DNA Searches (Virginia), March 21, 2011:
Congressmen Seek Law to Help Investigate Internet Kiddie Porn, March 20, 2011:
This week, several members of the U.S. House of Representatives continued the government’s infatuation with controlling the Internet by using the frequently used rationale “we’re doing it for the children.”
Democrat and Republican lawmakers are busily creating a House bill that will mandate Internet service providers to keep computer records — including identification information — of users to be used by federal law enforcement agencies during their child pornography investigations.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is expected to introduce a draft of the bill in April. He stated that his legislation will require Internet service firms to maintain records of users’ Internet Protocol, or IP, addresses for a mandatory period of at least 24 months.
Law Officials Work to Reduce Chances for Misidentification (Virginia), March 20, 2011:
As Congressman, Poe at Home on Podium, March 20, 2011:
A One-sided Case (Virginia), March 20, 2011:
Editorial: Reform State’s Sex Offender Registry to Better Fit the Crimes, March 17, 2011:
Child Porn Raid Wrong, but No Apology by Feds (NY), March 17, 2011:
West Side businessman traumatized at home because of ‘Wi-Fi theft’
At about 7 a.m. March 7, federal agents battered open the back door of a Buffalo businessman’s home, where they seized his computer after allegedly pulling him down a flight of stairs.
They told him he was in a lot of trouble, accusing him of downloading child pornography, although they didn’t arrest him.
The federal agents pointed automatic weapons, scaring the businessman and his wife.
Three days later, agents returned the computer to the man. Law enforcement officials now realize he never sent or downloaded any images of child porn.
Adventureland Park to Begin Screening for Sex Offenders (IA), March 17, 2011:
New Port Richey Looks at Tightening Sex Offender Ordinance (FL), March 17, 2011:
Signs Posted to Warn Neighbors about Sex Offender (ID), March 16, 2011:
New Florida Senate Bill Officially Defines “Sexting”, March 16, 2011:
Next Hearing Set for Man Seeking Exoneration in Attacks (Virginia), March 16, 2011:
‘Violent Sexual Predator’ Label Could Stay in Sex Offender Reforms (ID), March 16, 2011:
Ban on Sex Offenders in Orange County Parks Proposed by D.A. (CA), March 16, 2011:
Is Being Stupid on YouTube Now a Crime? Evan Emory Pleas “No Contest”, March 15, 2011:
‘Sexting’ Teens Avoid Child Porn Charges Under N.J. Bill, March 15, 2011:
The New Jersey Assembly passed a bill yesterday that essentially decriminalizes teen ‘sexting,’ by allowing the courts to send teens to a diversionary program, rather than strapping them with a criminal record.
Teen Sexting Bill Soaring Through Florida Senate, March 15, 2011:
Plymouth Decides to Forgo Vote on Sex-Offender Bylaw (MA), March 13, 2011:
In Plymouth, a study committee comprising eight precinct chairs spent a year researching such bylaws and concluded that “residency is not related to repeated sex offenses.’’ Its final report to selectmen noted that research also suggests that most sex offenses are committed by people known to their victims, rather than strangers lingering in areas where children play.
Those conclusions, along with concern the ordinance could provoke litigation over civil rights violations, prompted the committee to urge selectmen take a pass.
Butch Machado, proponent of Plymouth’s 2009 proposal and a selectman then, had expressed concern that the town might become a magnet for sex offenders, if surrounding towns enacted restrictions making residency in those communities difficult.
The study committee concluded Plymouth would not be attractive to sex offenders, because it is too expensive to live in and offers limited public transportation.
Plymouth Police Chief Michael Botieri said last week the bylaw would be a nightmare for his department to enforce.
He said his department is vigilant. “It is recommended that Level 3 offenders be checked every six months, and we check every two,’’ Botieri said.
Spokesman Chris Ott said the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts doesn’t track sex offender ordinances, but it believes such restrictions are not effective. “These laws do little to enhance public safety and may even give people a false sense of security,’’ Ott said via e-mail.
Research Needed on Megan’s Law, March 13, 2011:
In more than 15 years, however, what have been the results of that nationwide effort to thwart sex crimes? Are children safer because of Megan’s Law?
A psychologist from Megan’s home state said studies raise doubts.
“We found in New Jersey it didn’t make any appreciable difference in the first or repeat offenses,” Dr. Phil Witt said.
Witt, of Associates in Psychological Services in Somerville, N.J., participated in research on Megan’s Law for the National Institute of Justice. He called for more research.
“With a social experiment that is this expensive, one would think we would do more studies,” he said.
In New Jersey, some prosecutors devote divisions solely to enforcing Megan’s Law, and a state prison primarily houses sex offenders.
Pennsylvania State Police has a Megan’s Law Section, and the Pennsylvania Sexual Offenders Assessment Board was started because of the law.
Devoting resources to enforce Megan’s Law reduces the manpower and money available for prosecuting and preventing other crimes, Witt said.
“Even if Megan’s Law had some positive effect, and I think the evidence is very weak, is it worth taking people off the gang unit or the drug unit?” he asked.
RI House to Look at Committing Sex Predators, March 12, 2011:
Audit: Sex Offender Program Costly, Inconsistent (MN), March 11, 2011:
The Legislative Auditor concluded that dangerous offenders in Minnesota receive inadequate treatment, while others don’t need confinement.
Broken Justice: Exonerees Testify on Behalf of Reforming Texas Eyewitness Law, March 11, 2011:
Senate Approves Changes in Sex Offender Law (MI), March 11, 2011:
The proposed change would prevent teens from being listed for having consensual sex with a partner between the ages of 13 and 16, provided there is no more than four years between their ages. Children would have to be at least 14 to be added to the sex offender registry…
“The purpose of the Adam Walsh Act is to ensure that the dangerous predators are treated in a different manner,” [State Sen. Rick ] Jones said. “That’s been toughened up. But while doing that we’ve taken up the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ situation, where it’s a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl.”
New Bill To Keep ‘Romeo & Juliet’ Sex Offenders Off State Registry (MI), March 10, 2011:
Legislator: AZ Won’t Comply With Federal Sex Offender Database Law, March 9, 2011:
(Adam Walsh Act)
1,100 Felons Regain Rights in McDonnell’s First Year (Virginia), March 9, 2011:
Unprotected Wireless Leads to Child-Porn Raid, March 9, 2011:
Task Force Requests Drug Dealer Registry (MI), March 9, 2011:
Bill Would Force Sex Offender Check-In At Schools (ID), March 8, 2011:
Jack Rice: Sex Offender Program is Unconstitutional (MN), March 8, 2011:
Student: My Principal Made me Delete Facebook Posts, March 8, 2011:
Singer Slapped With YouTube Child Porno Case Wants to Go to Jail, March 8, 2011: http://www.aolnews.com/2011/03/08/singer-evan-emory-slapped-with-youtube-child-porno-case-wants-to/
Should Child Pornography Laws be Re-Evaluated in the Digital Age? March 8, 2011:
Lawmakers to Consider Revamp of Idaho’s Sex Offender Requirements, March 8, 2011:
Idaho could change its plan for managing sex offenders that includes requiring offenders to report more information, expanding a state board that oversees sex offenders, and ditching part of the state’s sex offender law that is unconstitutional.
The change comes in response to an Idaho Supreme Court case in 2009 that ruled the state’s “violent sexual predator” designation, which required some offenders to check in with law enforcement more frequently, violated the offender’s constitutional rights. Offenders couldn’t receive information on why they were called violent predators, which went against their right to due process.
Another Sex Offender Bill Passes Arkansas House, March 8, 2011:
Michigan Town Split on Child Pornography Charges, March 7, 2011:
Suit Filed to Block LC Sex Offender Registration Fee (LA), March 7, 2011:
A Lake Charles sex offender has filed suit in State District Court against the Mayor and City Council over that controversial new sex offender registration fee. The ordinance would require a $600 registration fee up front and then an annually fee of $200.
Suspect: “I Shot Him in the Head”, March 7, 2011:
(A man believed to be on the registry is now paralyzed from the nose down because of a vigilante who shot him; he was not even on the registry. This should be a Hate Crime!)
Police Say Man Shot Victim After Molestion Allegation, March 7, 2011:
(The “allegation”, turns out to be a false rumor)
Challenging the Modern-Day ‘Scarlet Letter’ (LA), March 7, 2011:
Forty percent of the people registered as sex offenders in Orleans Parish have not committed a violent crime or taken advantage of children, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights.
This group of people has been required to register as sex offenders because of a law dating from 1805 that prohibits the solicitation of oral or anal sex. This is called the Crimes Against Nature (CAN) law, and advocates say that it brands those convicted with a modern-day scarlet letter, which renders it almost impossible for them to move out of sex work and into the mainstream.
Alexis Agathocleous, co-counsel for the Center for Constitutional Rights, said that he was “startled” when he learned the percentage of people registered as a result of the CAN law. “It just doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “The fact that about 75 percent of them are women, and 80 percent are African-American is deeply troubling.” Agathocleous also pointed out that 97 percent of the women in Orleans Parish who are on the registry are on there because of a CAN conviction.
One of the ways the law impacts registrants is by printing the words “SEX OFFENDER” in bright orange letters on the person’s driver’s license or ID card.
One example was offered by Prof. Davida Finger of Loyola. Finger was called early Friday morning by a housing services organization that was trying to assist a developmentally disabled woman who didn’t realize that she had been convicted as a sex offender under the CAN law. Since she was unaware of the registry’s requirements that she pay fees and send postcards notifying her neighbors, she didn’t. This led to her photo being published in a local newspaper as a sex offender, which, in turn, led her landlord to question the safety of continuing to rent her an apartment. What makes the situation even worse, Finger said, is that now this woman may face jail time.
Finger says that registering as a sex offender for those convicted under the CAN statute subjects “those who are least equipped to deal with them” to “onerous requirements and punitive situations.”
Sex Offender List in the Middle of a Showdown, March 7, 2011:
Federal mandate costs too much to implement, Texas officials argue
Who is a Sex Offender? (TX), March 7, 2011:
VP Says Sex Offenders on Campus Seek New Beginning as Student (TX), March 7, 2011:
Child Pornography Cases Rise Dramatically in D.C. Area, U.S. March 7, 2011:
Sex Offenders Legally Live In Motel Near Fairfax High School (Virginia), March 7, 2011:
DHS Concludes They Have Authority to Monitor Political Activities of Advocacy Groups, March 7, 2011:
Cases Changed by the DNA Project (Virginia), March 6, 2011:
East Moline Man Remains a Sex Offender After Bill is Defeated, March 5, 2011:
Shane Sandborg is a registered sex offender, but it’s because when he was 17, his fiancée at the time was 16-years-old and pregnant with their now 7-year-old daughter.
Shane, his wife Kristina, and their two young sons were hopeful a new bill introduced to the Illinois House would allow him to shed the sex offender tag. But the House defeated the bill known as the “Romeo and Juliet” bill on Thursday leaving the Sandborg family in the unknown.
State Scrambles to Update Sex Offender Lists (NC), March 5, 2011:
Molesters Might Not Be Far Away (NC), March 5, 2011:
Operation LASER Targets EJC Sex Offenders (MO), March 5, 2011:
SJC Tosses 2-day Sex Offender Police Check (MA), March 3, 2011:
Massachusetts’ highest court has tossed out a requirement that sex offenders report in person to their local city or town police department within two days of their release from prison.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board overreached its authority by creating the regulation.
The court said the board pointed to nonexistent gaps in the state’s sex offender law to justify the regulation. Sex offenders must still check in with police annually or every 45 days if they are homeless.
Lawmakers Reject Sex Offender Registry Bill (IL), March 3, 2011:
‘Romeo and Juliet’ Sex Offender Bill Defeated in Illinois House (IL), March 3, 2011:
McDonnell Weighs Change on Filing Sexual Abuse Lawsuits, March 3, 2011:
New Study: More Than 130 Top Congressional Staffers Are Former Lobbyists, March 2, 2011:
“The bottom line is that many of the most powerful congressional staffers, who are now responsible for working on behalf of the public’s interest, used to make a living convincing the government to benefit a client’s special interest,” said Sheila Krumholz, the Center’s executive director. “Such relationships could present conflicts of interest and deserve continued scrutiny.”
South Carolina Bill Would Bar Teens from Sexting, March 2, 2011:
Virginia Legislature Passes Sexual Predator Bill, March 2, 2011:
(HB1698 and SB1275)
Pat-Downs Might Make TSA Felons (NH), March 2, 2011:
Bell Bill to Expand DNA Sample-taking Headed for Governor’s Desk, March 2, 2011:
Virginia already takes DNA in a sexual battery case when the victim is a minor as of July 1, 2008.
Are Sexual Offense Laws Too Harsh? And Do They Work? March 2, 2011:
New Book by UB’s Ewing looks at the laws’ legal effectiveness
Prisoner Advocates Hopeful about McDonnell’s Revamp of Virginia’s Parole Board, March 2, 2011:
House Passes Bill to Bring Miss. in Line with Federal Sex-Offender Registration Regulations, March 2, 2011:
OWN Network: State of Sex Offenders, March 1, 2011:
Delving deep into the Florida back country, Lisa Ling explores the subculture of convicted sex offenders who have served their time and are now out among the living…well, sort of. In Florida the laws are so strict about how far away they have to reside from children that they have been banished to a quite literal leper colony in the woods. While living among them, Ling explores the possibility that the laws aren’t really making anyone safer– just making them feel safer– while stripping these people of their humanity. But don’t think the series will be asking you to feel too badly for these offenders, as Ling also follows authorities as they re-arrest one particular offender.
Va. Inmates Getting Handbooks on Challenging Mistreatment, March 1, 2011:
Sex Offender Enrolls at SUNY Geneseo; Students Notified, March 1, 2011:
(A must watch! He’s paid his court-ordered debt to society for sex with an underage girl when he was 18 years old and now he’s trying to be a productive and contributing citizen but the label follows him everywhere)
NH Proposal Would Make Some TSA Exams a Crime, March 1, 2011:
The TSA says they’ve checked with their attorneys, and they say they have a clear mandate under federal law to protect security. And if New Hampshire passes a bill like this then federal law with supersede state law.
Justices Could Rule On Sex Offender Cases, March 1, 2011:
The Ohio Supreme Court considered two cases involving sex offenders Tuesday. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports they could decide once and for all what happens to sex offenders who are caught up in a sea of changing legislation.
The Child Abduction that Shook America to its Core, March 1, 2011:
The chilling story of the kidnapping and murder of 6-year-old Adam Walsh