An open letter to Laura Ahearn and Parents for Megan’s Law

Your program is advertised as an advocacy for children focused on preventing sexual abuse.

Yet this, from your site, tells a very different story: “Most parents and community members believe that they are doing everything they can to protect children from sexual predators but the disturbing reality is that registered sex offenders are obtaining employment and volunteer positions across the country where they can have unfettered access to children.”

This tells me that your focus is on people who have already committed a sexual crime and have served or are in the process of serving their court-ordered sentences. Your very name, Megan’s Law–synonymous with public notification which often translates into public persecution–makes this focus crystal clear.

Why? Statistics and studies tell us that virtually all children who are sexually abused are not random victims of offenders already registered. They are overwhelmingly victims of those in their lives with whom they are comfortable: their family members, their peers—fully a third of those who molest children are themselves children and juveniles—and their authority figures.

Studies show that if we wish to work toward the goal of protecting children, we must focus on the children; we must change our focus to a victim-oriented one, one that stresses prevention through education, awareness, and empowerment programs.

And yet here you are again–or rather, still–“standing with” self-serving politicians “to advocate for stronger sex offender laws.”


This is what you are encouraging and promoting:

Every suggestion that sexual harm to children will be prevented by closely monitoring all on the registry obscures the fact that virtually all such perpetrators are not on the registry.

Every dollar spent registering, tracking, monitoring, and legislating against registered citizens is a dollar not spent educating and empowering parents and victims against the overwhelmingly greater threat.

Every dollar spent impeding registered citizens in their goals of rehabilitation and second chances is a dollar not spent working toward prevention of child sexual abuse.

Every minute focused on those on the registry is a minute not focused on those who are victims of sexual abuse in their own homes and other places in their everyday lives.

Again I ask–Why?

(Republished by permission from Shelly Stow, With Justice for All)

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14 Thoughts to “An open letter to Laura Ahearn and Parents for Megan’s Law”

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  1. Joseph McQuiston

    It’s ridiculous to assume that registration isn’t affecting the rights of people every day. Saying that children have more rights than adults is presumptuous and absolutely false in and of itself. This nation was founded on equality. But making the people that have served their sentence become the object of persecutions and instilling fear in the people around them is inherently wrong and unjust. I almost lost my sister whom I havent talked to at that time for 22 years because her father was so adamant on convincing her that I am a violent, sick and dangerous individual. I was fortunate enough to have a sister investigate the matter with me before making a decision. She now knows the truth of what really happened and she isnt scared anymore. Now just before I got off parole I found out I had a daughter by a woman I used to be in a relationship with before my incarceration. Now I am fighting the grandma for custody so that me and the mother can raise her correctly. I’ve wasted time, money and a trip to the hospital which cost $7k in bills and money spent on motions and petitions entering the lawsuit the grandma pressed against her own daughter simply because the grandma is severely convinced I will rape and kill my daughter. And all this because of registration.

    Registration for sex offenders is punishment. Courts, politicians and everyone else can call it what they want but it is what it is. Punishment and virtual banishment. Persecution and torture. America needs to acknowledge what it really is and abolish all registration laws across the United States.

    I want to go on with my life and stop being a target for everyone. I want my family and I want it NOW!

  2. charles pettus

    In a discussion with a close relative on SO registry/registration laws, he asked a simple question: exactly how does regisrty/registration protect anyone? He went on to posit that the regisrty is an inanimate object, it has no volition, it is not psychic like the characters in the Tom Cruise movie “Minority Report” who seen a crime before it happened and was able to prevent it. So how does the registry do its job, i.e., preventing a REAL predator from committing another sex crime? I had no answers. The only thing I could think of was that the registry actually rely on the registrant to do the right thing and not re-offend. But how can that be whent these people who want the registry refer to registrants as incorrigible, in capable of rehabilition? Any thoughts on this from anyone? Thanks…

  3. Chris Muhr

    A friend of mine and I were having a discussion the other day about the registry and I said to him that if everybody who ever had sex, with somebody else who was under 18, for example; remember your high school days, there would be another million easily added to the list. He turned sheet white, and seemed to be recalling high school. The registry has become a catch all, but certainly doesn’t include nearly everyone. Another large number that could be added are the people that “taught” this behavior to the person who was caught, as this is learned behavior, it doesn’t come out of nowhere. I was truly molested myself by two guys who are not on the registry to this day, one teaches school and the other is affiliated with the boy scouts and numerous organizations having to do with kids.

  4. Hillary

    I think the registration might create a “lifetime” obsession within the offender and that is something nobody intended I am sure. If anything, it should only be available to law enforcement and not a daily reminder necessarily to a person that genuinely wants to move on with a new life, not reoffend again. It also gives “them” a database of hundreds of thousands of other people, should they want to seek others with the same interest. Thirdly, it paints a target on the offender and victim for someone that is vengeful. Poorly administered and not thought out is my opinion.

  5. terrie

    I worry about my grandson. He is 2. His father is on the registry even though he’s married to the to the girl now. Pictures and addresses are in front of the police station.what if some parent of a teenager that comes in late or runs away decided to take vengeance on him…how is this protecting these children.How re the children that live 2 blocks from a school when the law has concentrated them in this area being protected.I feel like we ate being punished as well..The police alone should have this information..not the public.what do he want a witch hunt.I don’t feel safend my grandson isn’t grandson vommited. no crime but yet he will be punished ‘ bullied and ostricised all his school years and pay for this the rest of his life.Then we get to pass this legacy on to his children great hand childten. Our rights re being violated We as family members of sex offender are being punished as well.He’s only 2… Please some one protect him!

  6. Love

    Anyone who had sex with someone under the age of 18, most commonly in High School with a girl or boyfriend; is technically a sex offender. Ask your grown adult friends, did they? Don’t be so swift in judgment(s).

  7. Pamela Sorensen

    I have to agree with Joseph. This past year has increased our family’s anguish of my husband having to register as a sex offender when he is not. He made a mistake 24 yrs ago paid his dues, courageously accepted a plea bargaining to prevent victim from being put on trial not realuzing at that time of what CA laws would do to him & our remaining family later on… for life. Plus the victim even put in writing she had been cohersed to say what she said against him wasnt true. The court ignored that more interest wad to prosecute & brand for $$$ for life even after full successful compliance. This last March our only daughter was found deceased in her closet which was clumsly ruled as suicide, yet a poor investgation…resulting as questionable. She had 2 small children…our grandchildren. They were her world. They were our world. Our family. Because of her untimely & suspicious death brings me here. It began with his name on the registry, on google for the state to step in and persecute without facts. “Things are not always as they seem” My husband IS NOT WHAT HE HAS TO AGREE TO. He is a great, loving, wonderful human being whom is loved and adored by me & extended family on both sides & many church members. Anyway, while at the Dentist we got the horrible phone call from our only (disabled) son. We were never contacted by the state…they just took the kids. It was because of “the registry” yes, the children were immediately taken or “legally kidnapped” by the State/DCFS of Utah because of the CA laws where we lu ved when it happened 15 yrs ago. They told me I could have them if my husband moved out of our home. For the past year & a half we ended up in a horrible custody battle for grandparents rights & religious rights but to no avail because he was a registrant. On July 28th, 8 days after our 37th anniversary I got a text that the DCFS foster parents adopted them & since he was on the registry we lost them too. Its been like two more deaths to grieve. The lies & manipulation & the wrongfull accusations towards us were intrusive & tortueous. Even the GAL in the court said the kids were being used as “cash cows” for the state. The long harsh pain we have been suffering is beyond words. Meagans law was ironically set up in behalf of the sad loss of a
    daughter…I strongly feel there needs to be a reformed new law, set up for the loss of my daughter, and our grandbabies. This has caused tremendous mental anguish of separating my family. How has this type of persecution for a past mistake help? What is rehabilitation for if it is ignored by the very people who instigate it? How are these children going to understand truths if they are a part of corruptness, deceit & lies about their own “geneology? Are these prosecutirs sins worse than a one time, first time, fully rehabilitated, (24 yr yrs ago) recovered & strongly dedicated Christian? I pray daily for immediate changes in these poorly implimented laws. They severely affect the entire family & extended family in many different areas. My heart aches for so many like me…

  8. shawn

    I am an offender from a one time first time incident. I wanted to die. I plead guilty served my sentence and completed all phychiatric evaluation ( 2 years that helped alot) and was found not to be a petafile. Which I could have and did tell them day one.the. 5 years later the publication on internet was published. Within a week I was fired from protector and gamble ( employed 10 years.)for lying 5 years earlier as to why I needed time off for court dates. Ouch.I can handel this. After 6 months couldnt even vet a nob at temp agency I started my own buisness. Now here comes the Horrible Part. And why this law needs to be re evaluated. There are a good number of sex offenders that live a normal productive life and he’s even have children. Me two boys and a girl. Now back to it. When do you have the talk with your kids that they are going g to catch hell from there friends at school when 1 person finds out about what there dad. Did 15 years ago. You see I can take any punishment dished out but the kids my kids should be protected from bullying and harassment. The blanket posting on internet is wrong. Each case should be evaluated and judged before going on the internet for all. My son coming home and asking.” Dad these kids school are showing me pictures of you on the internet what happened”. He was 10. You can talk and e xsplain but that does no good when he goes to school. So who is paying now for what I did. Not only my kids but there close friends get it as well. Im not looking g forward to telling my younger ones when they get older. There needs to be a case by case review before posting us on internet. This can be done and should be done during the plea and sentencing phases. Im sure that if some sex offenders would have known about the internet postings we would have thought twice about pleading so fast. I often think what they will Do in the next 5 years. Signs on our front lawn. Kids have to wear a scarlet letter to school. Again its not for me but the others around me. The police and any goverment offical should have this info for sure. But not 5th graders. Ya we know 5th graders shouldnt be looking at this stuff anyway but it only takes 1 in a whole school and a kids school life gets ruined. But good luck getting g a politician or official to say this is wrong. But can we at least start from here on. Review it I. Court and have that put on the sentencing if warranted. Or give current offenders a viable option. To get off without going bankrupt with lawyers.

  9. brian

    Laura Ahern is a complete fraud , and she is the total embodiment of greedy self absorbed cynicism! She has aided and abetted two of the worst sexual predators in the world! Sheriff Eddie Walsh and Suffolk county chief of police jimmy Burke! They give her money she steals it and gives aid and comfort to these monsters as they rape women and children !

  10. yaakov

    Someone should check out the rules regarding 501(c)(3) regarding this person. She seems to ignore facts from USDJ with respect to recidivism and is actually causing more emotional suffering to families of offenders than preventing new cases of abuse.Majority of offenders were themselves victims of abuse…where is the compassion? A shande.I am not sure if a non profit 501(c)(3) is allowed to violate the civil rights of anyone…including the children and families of former offenders…we will look back in history at this eternal persecution of human beings as a dark age as we look today at slavery or holocaust…Shalom

  11. Candice Rose

    Excuse me. All of you have clearly not done your research on what a sex offender is regarding to high school relationships.
    It’s different in every state, look it up. Stop making comments about something you clearly haven’t even done research on.
    In my own personal opinion, as a mother there would be no way in hell that my daughter OR son would be dating someone 4 years older than them.. In high school. They’re still maturing and a 14 year old dating an 18 year old… You really don’t see that as an issue?! You all have just hatred on your mind.
    Why are you targeting Laura Ahearn? She has put her blood, sweat and tears into this organization. She has created something from an office probably started in her own home to now something that she can be proud of that helps others. I apologize if she has offended you, but a sex offender is a sex offender I don’t care how old you were, you will be on that list for a very long time and I HOPE you learn your lesson. But she’s not focused on you, no she’s not focused on tracking YOU down. She’s focused on protecting those who YOU have hurt. And she is going to do everything in her power to make sure those people have their justice.

    1. Candice Rose: Nope. You are wrong. Every second that Laura Ahearn and PFML are focused on families that are listed on Nanny Big Government (NBG) Sex Offender Registries is a second where they are not focused on preventing sex crimes or protecting children. That’s a fact. Those seconds are spent on harassing.

      So I don’t know if PFML actually works to do anything good or useful. But I do know that any time that they focus on Registered families that they are wasting limited resources and they are fleecing taxpayers.

      You people who support NBG and the fleecing need to pay a lot more taxes.

    2. Rob

      Candice, you clearly do not know what a sex offender is as you say “a sex offender is a sex offender”. Enough said. You lost any credibility right there. Laura has hatred on her mind, plain and simple.

  12. Tony

    Laura Ahearn pays no attention to facts or data. She is driven by a zealous hatred that has no equal! However the emperor has no clothes. The sky is not falling. The recidivism rates for sex offenders, which were already incredibly low are not rising. Yet, Ms. Ahearn was able to con two million dollars in taxpayer money from Suffolk County to have her goons harass otherwise law-abiding citizens who have past transgressions.

    Her latest tirade involves extending the time Level One (the lowest risk level in New York) can be on the registry. Next month, Level One offenders who have been on the registry for twenty years will begin to be removed. Ms. Ahearn wants the time to be extended to thirty years “before it’s too late!!!” This, after she already conned the legislature into extending the time from ten to twenty years back in 2006.

    This time around, however, there doesn’t seem to be any urgency on the part of legislators, save for the occasional right-wing zealot. Her “press conferences” only seem to be covered by News 12 now (they are her media lapdogs). She utterly REFUSES to do any media with an opposing viewpoint. One particular forensic psychologist from Long Island is ready and willing to debate her at any time but she always declines. Wonder why????