City officials say they won't back down from legal attempts to void their ordinance.
CYPRESS – Twice within the span of a month, the city has been sued by sex offenders who say the city has violated their rights by refusing to let them live here.
City officials say they will stand behind the law, enacted with a unanimous vote in March, that bars sex offenders from living near schools, parks and civic buildings. It mirrors a state law enacted by voters in 2006 that prevents sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools or parks where children congregate. The city law goes further than the state mandate, also banning residency for sex offenders near private schools and day care centers.
In the first lawsuit, filed in December, ___ says the city refuses to let him return to the home he lived in before he was convicted of rape in 2003. He also says he's forced to live on the street in an industrial part of Anaheim with others in a similar situation. His former residence in western Cypress is just blocks from Eucalyptus and Eastgate parks.
Current law, the lawsuit says, "forces him to make an unlawful and unconscionable choice between being homeless or violating his parole condition and returning to prison."
In 2003, he pleaded guilty in a Los Angeles County courtroom to charges of raping his former girlfriend. After he was paroled in 2010, the state Department of Corrections and Cypress police determined he couldn't live in the city. He looked to Los Alamitos, where law enforcement also turned him down, the lawsuit says.
His Glendale-based attorney, Carlo A. Spiga, filed the lawsuit on Dec. 21.
On Monday, the council voted to fight the lawsuit, and a separate lawsuit filed Monday, City Attorney William Wynder said.
"We were told to defend the city's ordinance, and that's what we will be doing," Wynder said. "We worked carefully with the Orange County District Attorney's Office in crafting our ordinance. It's entirely within state law, allowing localities to adopt more stringent requirements. This ordinance is enforceable."
In addition to the proximity restrictions, the Cypress law prevents more than one sex offender from living in a single residence unless they are married or related by blood. It also prevents sex offenders from putting up Halloween decorations or answering the door for trick-or-treaters.
Spiga and Los Alamitos city officials did not return phone calls seeking comment. Luis Patiño, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections, said his agency doesn't comment on ongoing litigation, but said there are several similar lawsuits active in several counties across the state.
A 2010 ruling by the state Supreme Court said the state restrictions can be applied to convicts who committed their crimes before the 2006 law took effect.
___' lawsuit asks for the state and Cypress laws to be overturned, as well as for lawyer's fees.
In the second lawsuit, filed earlier this week, ___ and his fiancee, ___, say Cypress has unconstitutionally tried to prevent him from living in ___'s home. ___ was convicted in 1987 of sexual penetration with a foreign object and released in 1990.
___'s Santa Maria-based attorney, Janice M. Bellucci, said ___ and ___ got engaged in November 2010, and that he signed an agreement to pay about $700 rent to ___ before he moved in with her the following February.
The ordinance requires sex offenders in rentals at the time the law took effect to leave after their leases expire, but Bellucci said ___'s agreement with Moreno is open-ended.
"He is still living there, but the city is threatening," Bellucci said; she expects the city to try to evict ___ in late February. "There's nowhere else he can live in Cypress. We believe they have the right to live together, whether or not he's engaged."
Wynder said the Police Department hasn't driven renters out of town right away, but has given many of them up to six months to find other places to live.
Bellucci is president of California Reform Sex Offender Laws, and in March penned a letter to Cypress arguing that the then-proposed law was overly broad.
"It's unfortunate that Cypress has chosen to ignore the information we provided them before they did what they did," Bellucci said this week. "We gave them every opportunity to do the right thing, but they chose a different path." ..Source.. by MICHAEL MELLO
California RSOL Lawsuit - Against Halloween Restrictions >>>> 10-30-12: Temporary Injunction Issued
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Saturday, December 8, 2012
And the fear mongering begins, over a offense committed YEARS ago as a juvenile (12), and no mention of how old he is today.12-8-2012 Texas:
Looks like Santa himself made the "naughty" list.
Parents in Cleveland, Texas, were none too pleased to learn a man who played Santa Claus at a city Christmas event is a sex offender.
Emily Collins told KTRK that she and her kids had a great time at the Saturday event, but she was shocked when "a friend of mine recognized the Santa Claus and informed me… that he is a registered sex offender."
There were two volunteer Santas at the event, according to Your Houston News -- one riding in the parade and one posing for photos with children. Cleveland City Manager Dion Miller confirmed with the station that the Santa who posed for photos appears on the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry.
The man, whose name has not been released by police, was charged with a sex crime when he was 12 years old and served time for the offense. Because the crime occurred when he was a juvenile, Click 2 Houston reports, his records are sealed.
He currently has no restrictions that prohibit him from being around children, though he will remain on the state sex offender registry for five more years.
No criminal incidents occurred while the man was working as Santa.
Collins noted that she does not want to "go after" the man who played Santa Claus, she just wants the city to be more thorough in its background-checking.
"I couldn't believe that the city of Cleveland would hire someone with a record like that," she told KTRK.
Miller has stated that the city is taking action to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. ..Source.. by Huffington Post
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
This is the second case reported of a trick or treater being assaulted since the 1979 case, and this guy IS NOT a RSO. Apparently the police were too busy checking RSO homes to prevent this case. This si also proof that the registry WILL NOT prevent sexual assaults. There was one in 2011 also.11-14-2012 South Carolina:
Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Richland County deputies have arrested a man they say sexually assaulted a girl.
Officers were called to an apartment complex in the 300 block of Percival Road in Columbia Wednesday night. Witnesses at the scene had detained a man they say attacked the 10 year old.
Officers say the girl was out trick or treating when she was approached by the suspect, who fondled her private parts, and was subsequently found on top of her with his pants below his knees.
According to deputies, 56 year old William Brown was caught by residents of the community and the girl's mother, when the victim yelled out for Brown to get off her. Those residents detained Brown until deputies arrived.
Brown was transported to an area hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries he incurred in a minor scuffle with the residents, and was then transported to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention center.
Brown faces charges of kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct with a minor. ..Source.. by Derry London
Sex offenders are a topic guaranteed to push the limits of any discussion. The range of those limits tops out with feelings, usually worded with as many expletives as possible, that anyone who is on a sex offender registry should be taken out and shot. The fact that this has actually occurred, and more than once, is proof that at least some of those advocates aren’t just swaggering verbal bullies but are willing to follow through with actual murder.
More and more, however, discussions on the topic reveal that a large segment of society is questioning a registry that grows disproportionately larger and registers children as young as nine and offenses as benign as childish play and as common though ill-advised as consensual teen sex.
Adding to the level of intensity are studies and reports from government bodies and academics alike showing a number of findings that contradict the value of a public registry and call into serious question the wisdom of maintaining it at staggering costs that are bankrupting state after state. These findings include such things as recidivism rates for former offenders that are remarkably low, the fact that roughly 95 percent of new sex offenses are committed by first time offenders, and, most tragically, the fact that virtually all sexual crime against children is committed, not by some stranger already registered for a previous sexual offense, but by family members, peers, and others who are well known to their young victims and have relationships with them.
All of these issues are brought to the forefront when jurisdictions across the nation are making headlines for their efforts in keeping children safe from registered sex offenders on Halloween. Halloween has come and gone, and no children anywhere were harmed or, as far as anyone knows, even approached by such an offender. This includes the thirteen states in which there are no mandates in place regarding sex offenders and Halloween; it includes the many jurisdictions and counties where no such mandates exist even though others in the same state have them. And it includes going back as many years as records have been kept. Even though there is no police report of a child being attacked on Halloween by a registrant, ever, some states and counties choose to dedicate great resources to protecting children at Halloween from them. And the result is their success rate is exactly the same as it is in the counties and states that spent not a penny: 100 percent success rate for all.
Encouraged by such a victory, one state at least, Louisiana, has extended the Halloween ban for registered offenders to encompass other holidays in which children can be involved. One fact of note is that these bans, like the Halloween ban, target everyone on the registry even though many of those offenses were non-child related. And even more disturbing because it appears to be in serious violation of our Constitution, the bans apply to everyone required to register even though many are no longer under supervision such as parole or probation.
The state law on holiday restrictions for sex offenders states: “Every person currently required to register who has been convicted of or who pleads guilty to a sex offense is prohibited from using or wearing a hood, mask or disguise of any kind with the intent to hide, conceal or disguise his identity on or concerning Halloween, Mardi Gras, Easter, Christmas, or any other recognized holiday for which hoods, masks, or disguises are generally used. It shall also be unlawful to distribute candy or other gifts on or concerning Halloween, Mardi Gras, Easter, Christmas, or any other recognized holiday for which generally candy is distributed or other gifts given to persons under eighteen years of age.”
Every registrant who gives an Easter basket or a candy egg, a Santa cookie or a Christmas present of any sort to his own minor children or grandchildren, or to nieces or nephews, will be in violation of the law.
I find that extremely disturbing. I know many registrants with young children, several of whom are on the registry for having sex, back in high school, with the girlfriend who for years now has been wife and mother of those children. Thankfully, none of them lives in Louisiana, but I am certain there must be similar situations there.
It is abhorrent that, in an effort guaranteed to grab headlines and votes, the protection of children is used in a situation where there is no risk to them to begin with, and even more abhorrent that it is done to the detriment of other children who suffer the negative consequences of daddy or mommy not being allowed in family participation of those holidays that make the memories that help shape children’s lives.
I only hope that in Louisiana this year no child’s memory includes the reality of Daddy being arrested and taken to jail because he was seen buying his child a Christmas present or giving him or her a candy cane.
Sandy Rozek works with Reform Sex Offender Laws, a group based in Cambridge, Mass., that lobbies for reform of the nation’s sex-offender laws. ..Source.. by Sandy Rozek, Guest Columnist
Saturday, November 10, 2012
FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Halloween is only a few weeks away.
Stores like Halloween Express near Cool Springs Mall are fully stocked with décor and costumes for kids of all ages. Workers have been gearing up for the holiday since late September.
Now, the Franklin Police Department is gearing up too.
On October 3, officers went door-to-door with six other local law enforcement agencies to check on Williamson County's registered sex offenders.
The compliance checks were coordinated by the department's Special Victim's Unit and known as Operation RAVEN (Random Address Verification, Enforcement, & Notification).
"We want to verify that they're actually there and that they're in compliance with the law," said Franklin Police Lieutenant Charles Warner.
The festivities associated with Halloween come with special rules for registered sex offenders.
According to the State of Tennessee Department of Correction, registered sex offenders currently on state probation or parole are under the following restrictions.
- No fall or Halloween decorations inside/outside the home.
- No distribution of candy
- No costumes
- No trick-or-treating with children
- No Halloween parties
- No corn mazes, haunted houses, hayrides, or other seasonal activity
- No children-associated public/private gatherings
- Curfew (10/31/12 - 11/01/12)
Wednesday's investigation revealed 76% of the 121 registered sex offenders in the area were in compliance with restrictions. Nine possible violations were discovered, and 20 offenders were not found.
"It doesn't mean they were in violation," Lt. Warner said. "It just may simply mean that they weren't home or weren't at work that day. We'll make another attempt to follow up and make contact with those people."
Compliance checks are done year-round by local law enforcement. Efforts have been ramped up during the month preceding Halloween due to the expected increase of children in neighborhoods.
Lt. Warner told Nashville's News 2 Operation Raven sent a clear message.
"We want to put registered sex offenders or people who have restrictions on them, during Halloween and other holidays, on notice that we're watching," he said.
Halloween safety isn't only in the hands of law enforcement. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation allows anyone to search specific areas for registered sex offenders.
"You can search by name. You can search by location. You can search by address," said Lt. Warner. "Knowledge is power, and that's why that information is there to empower you as parents to help protect you and your children." ..Source.. by Heather Jensen, Reporter
Halloween-itis: A Disease that spreads quickly.
Halloweenitis is a subset of offenderitis, and both are incurable social diseases because these people refuse to face reality, or facts and statistics which prove them wrong, they discount these facts and statistics because in their minds they only see horrific events in everyday life circumstances Those afflicted with Halloweenitis, fear based, focus on denial of civil rights of other persons under the pretext of public safety.”