Knowing sexual offense facts important; paying attention to them critical

Also published in Criminal Legal News, online May 15 and June, 2019, p. 23

By Sandy . . . The Arkansas legislature has just passed a law imposing various restrictions on those who are on a sexual offense registry in regard to Halloween. The primary provisions make it a crime for anyone on the registry to give out candy at Halloween or to wear masks or costumes where children are present. Exceptions are allowed with one’s own children and for those in retail selling candy.

This legislation was passed in spite of overwhelming evidence and testimony attesting to the lack of need for it because there is no increased risk of sexual harm to children at Halloween from those on the registry or from anyone else. Those supporting the bill could produce no evidence of anyone on a registry using the guise of Halloween to harm or abduct a child. Nevertheless, after an initial delay, it passed.

Florida Sheriff Grady Judd, in announcing the success of “Operation Karma,” said, “They are apparently up to no good and we are going to hold them accountable.” The “they” in his sentence refers to 25 men and one woman on Polk County, Florida’s sexual offense registry. “They” had just been arrested for non-compliance, which means that they had failed to correctly report or identify one or more of the 25 items* required to be reported initially and any time any one of them changes in the least.

The charge is Failure to Comply or Failure to Provide Required Information. The vast majority of the charges were related to one of the six bits of information regarding automobiles. *

Sheriff Judd believes, or pretends to believe, that this oversight, whether deliberate or accidental, equates to being “up to no good” in spite of none of the 26 persons having any charges or accusations of sexual re-offense; and in spite of research and studies showing that persons on the registry who are non-compliant to any degree, up to and including going completely off the radar, do not re-offend at any significantly higher rate and are at no greater risk to re-offend than those who remain totally compliant. The only thing that failure to comply or failure to register offenses predict are future instances of failure to comply or register.

The Florida Sexual Offense Registry lists 1,371 registrants for Polk County. A more detailed search shows that 58 of those live out of state and 29 are deceased. That leaves 1,284 living, breathing registered persons actually living in the county. If Sheriff Judd’s “special investigative operation” was as thorough as it seems to have been, taking three days and involving his detectives as well as a Special Victims Response Team, then we can be confident that the 26 individuals are all of the non-compliant registrants out of the 1,284 in the county.

In Austin, Texas, in November of last year, a spokesperson for the Austin Police Dept. was featured in a news segment of a radio broadcast at KLBJ Radio. The news report was that sexual assaults for the metropolitan area were down 14% over the previous year. The police representative attributed this decrease to strict enforcement of the “1000-foot restriction rule for sex offenders.” He was referring to the establishment of exclusion zones that apply to persons on a sexual offense registry that prohibit them from going within 1000 feet of schools and other places frequented by children.

There isn’t enough room here for all the reasons why such a claim is nonsense. Here are a few:

  • Every study done, and there are many, verify the utter lack of usefulness of distance restrictions, be they residency or proximity, in decreasing sexual assault;
  • The assault or abduction of random children by persons on a sexual offense registry from or in a public place are so rare as to be statistically insignificant;
  • Virtually all sexual assault of children is committed by those close to them in their everyday lives, specifically their family members, peers, and authority figures, and the vast majority is carried out in private homes, not by strangers listed on sexual offense registries trolling schools and parks.

And then, of course, is the greatest myth of all – “frightening and high” in describing the reoffense rate of those who have been convicted of one sexual offense.

It is one thing for it to have been used almost twenty years ago, even based on the flimsiest of non-factual sources. It is quite another for it to continue being cited today in the face of the multitude of evidence to the contrary.

In 2018 the Arizona Voice for Crime Victims used the phrase three times in a brief  arguing that the state’s ban on bail for those charged with sexual offenses be upheld.

In Lyndhurst, Ohio, the town council in late 2017 – early 2018 decided that their need to enact residency restrictions for those on the registry was so pressing that they drafted and passed the ordinance by “declaring an emergency.” One of their reasons behind the urgency is given as “…the United States Supreme Court has specifically noted that the ‘risk of recidivism posed by sex offenders is frightening and high’…”

The Ohio Sexual Offense Registry shows 19 registered individuals in the city of Lyndhurst.

The phrase was used in 2017 by North Carolina attorney Robert C. Montgomery in defending a state statute that made social media services such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter off-limits to persons on a sexual offense registry.

That statute was overturned by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2018.

In 2016 the phrase and the dangerousness implicit in it were used before the Seventh Circuit in an argument being made against relieving a man released from civil commitment from the requirement to wear a GPS tracking device.

We have come a long way since a publicly accessible sexual offender registry was unleashed upon the nation, and advocates, academics, and scientists have done a yeoman’s job of combating the myths, lies, and hysteria that it propagates. However, until legislators, officials, and law enforcement choose to pay attention to facts and truth and use them as the basis for their decisions and their policies, we still have a yeoman’s job ahead of us.

 

*name; social security number; age; race; sex; date of birth; height; weight; tattoos or other identifying marks; hair color; eye color; photograph; address of legal residence (or temporary residence); electronic mail addresses; Internet identifiers; each Internet identifier’s corresponding website homepage or application software name; home telephone numbers; cellular telephone numbers; employment information; driver’s license or Florida ID information; the make, model, color, vehicle identification number (VIN), and license tag number of all vehicles owned

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Sandy Rozek

Sandy is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

This topic contains 18 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Mike 2 weeks, 4 days ago.

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  • #55877 Reply
    Sandy Rozek
    Sandy Rozek
    Admin

    Also published in Criminal Legal News, online May 15 and June, 2019, p. 23 By Sandy . . . The Arkansas legislature has just passed a law imposing vari
    [See the full post at: Knowing sexual offense facts important; paying attention to them critical]

  • #55880 Reply
    Avatar
    wrongfully registered person

    Hello Sandy,

    Good article! We have to keep pounding them on the facts. I guess this is their new answer to the facts is to try to make new false facts by saying restrictions are working. If there is a drop in sex crimes this is hard to prove ether way. This is a new concern and shows they are willing to be dishonest and lie.

    “Operation Karma,” Karma works in both directions.

  • #55887 Reply
    Avatar
    Mike

    Very good write up i cant believe they can pass a law or an ordinance with out proof or evidence that the law is needed especially when claim it’s an emergency, i personally have never heard of any child anywhere being harmed or abducted on Halloween, I’m curious isn’t there a way to get such laws taken down by a certain amount of signatures or by making them show proof as in evidence that such a law is needed just like when they declare an emergency in need of funds when there’s a disaster, how are they able to pass a law without evidence or proof for such a need for a law, i would think that whom ever they brought this need for a law would have asked for proof with evidence of cases where there’s a need for such a law ontop of all of that where i live every trick or treater a parent is with the child or children so i don’t understand such a need or where the evidence or if they had to even present evidence.

  • #55895 Reply
    Avatar
    David

    To my knowledge, laws are made because there is concrete evidence of a need for a law that requires a penalty for a given action that produces harm or danger to person or place.
    The ‘spirit’ of the law is meant to create the ‘letter’ of the law.
    Here, in this case, there is no ‘spirit’ of the law.
    They have made a ‘letter’ of the law with no ‘spirit’
    The “letter’ of any law requires evidence of needing a law that justifies its ‘spirit’.
    Arkansas has defiantly made a law for which there is no use or justification for creating it.
    Why? Probably for a number of reasons.
    a) it is socially and politically fashionable to ‘hate’ and ‘despise’ sex offenders.
    b) keep the public thinking that they are actively at work producing laws that supposedly make the community safer.
    c) earn what they feel is a critical status in the next voting season.
    And there are probably more.
    All of this is legal bullying!
    Look at why high school students are committing suicide more than ever.
    Their peers tell them they are worthless and will never amount to anything.
    Their peers tell them that they wish they were dead.
    Their peers reject them, and ostracize them into isolation.
    Soon, their self esteem drops and they fear going to school, but they have to.
    Finally, they have had enough, and they take their own life.
    This just happened again here where I live.
    Some of the students even texted after she was dead saying “we would dig her up and turn over her casket if we could.”
    Does this sound familiar concerning us?
    Such abominable, useless, gut-wrenching, horrific hate and this is the same hate we are exposed to everyday!!!!
    Somewhere, some lawmaker right now is devising a new sex-offender law to make the public hate us, reject us, scorn us, ostracize us, and isolate us farther than what we already are because of a huge fat myth that legislators like those in Arkansas refuse to see, and then they pat themselves on the back and seemingly say ‘Look what I did for you to protect your children. I am some great person aren’t I.’
    I am sorry to say that to me, this is a big downer.
    When legislators refuse the truth and hold fast to a myth they cannot prove and pass a law anyway, it make me lose hope.
    When people chose to accept the lie and refuse the irrefutable truth, it make me lose faith in humanity.

    • #55916 Reply
      Tammy Jackson
      Stacey

      I agree with your sentiment concerning the cause and effect of public registration leading to so much irreversible harm. I believe the “spirit” is the victim’s advocates-the family members, etc, who have initiated these laws and is supported by a public who agrees. I don’t believe Legislatures refuse facts as much as they cannot win over a public even if they know the truths around registration because they are fulfilling the wants of the majority-the obligation to public safety. Until the public can understand it’s a myth, we remain challenged by it.

      Most ‘ex-offender’ advocates (mass incarceration, re-entry, disproportionate populations/sentencing) preach to the choir and those they believe can change things (lawmakers) instead of pulling resources to begin to strategically educate the public/masses.

      • #55932 Reply
        Avatar
        David

        Stacey, I see this as a two-way street and reciprocal. As long as the Legislatures continue to make laws in spite of the facts it fuels the public to believe there really is a danger.
        I don’t see the public suggesting these laws or making rough drafts and sending them to Legislatures-it is the work of the Legislatures themselves in what they think will appease the public’s view for protection and make them feel safe.
        Making laws like this only fuels the fire of the public and keeps the myth going, so even if we were to educate the public, but the laws continue to be made, it makes us un-redeemable.
        It is the Legislatures who are as much fault as public and in this case even more because they know the truth, but yet to appease the public, they deny it, and make a useless law anyway.
        When Legislatures refuse the truth, we don’t have a leg to stand on.
        This is all to appease the public, not for justice or protection.
        Where there is no law, there in no transgression, nor sense that a transgression against it will be made.
        You can’t break a law that doesn’t exist.
        Legislatures are fueling the fire as much as the public.

  • #55899 Reply
    Avatar
    Timothy

    When it comes to crime ( violent or non) rates of percentages of rise and decline of crime LEO ALWAYS pays claim to decreases attributed to LEO’s ” lawful” activity. Their unions and reports constantly report decreases in violence statistically. Gun and computer related crimes are on the increase and it is not small increase either. Mass shootings rarely occurred, when I was a kid, today it’s in the news everyday. The people are following the leadership and acting more like enemy combatants than country men.

    We are lead by greedy cut throats in both left and right camps. Either party will attempt every tactic( constitutional or not) to gain a political edge in elections. The people already know and understand the status of things but most also know little can be done to stop unconstitutional government actors.

    One way our founders thought up was the right to confronting abusers of power via the trial process itself. I have at this point received summons to appear in Rock County circuit court for FTR. I intend to communicate to a 12 person jury a law, and other former laws in place the unlawful nature of my initial commitment to WISOR.

  • #55934 Reply
    Avatar
    Saddles

    Facts? I wonder if everyone’s viewpoint is different or if everyone is on the same page in this “plight of the sex offender” Sandy has brought up a very good point.

    Fact,. its a shame that some on the registry have had to go to jail or prisons in many of these cases. Fact. Goverment should be ashamed for some of this sex registry inducement that has cropped up in to this inducment both civil and internet usage. Civil disobience is one thing and so is internet betrayal .

    Sure protecting and serving is good and so are rules. Actually folks we can all make a difference in this ordeal that each of us share in many of these sex offender issues.

    A lot of these “reaching out comments” are good on here and its no myth to understand how discrimination can do to others, whether one is induced or seduced.

    Now I’m not married but every parent wants to protect their child. I mentioned the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s feud and yes I’m from Logan County WVA and I’m sure a lot of historians have herd of bloody Mingo, but thats not the point.. The point is facts.

    Fact, we can go with biblical history or american histry or greek & roman histry. We could go with husbands cheating on wives or the other way around but group efforts help to win the war or battle in many cases. Sure right is right and wrong is wrong or should we all go out and get a sex change operation today, sorry folks.

    At times we all dont’ think about facts but here’s a key are we all wiser than others or are a lot of us being duped.

    Hey what was women’s sufferage all about. How was the black person treated or do we still have discrimination today. Now this ssex offender issue. Was the Holocaust an advanage or disavenage? Was it for public safety? Was it a choice or a dicision a bit discriminatory.

    Yes Sandy facts carry a lot of burden at times but when one abuses their vocation in Government where does fact and myth come in. Sure I would rather go with facts than some masquarade of power abuse.

    Vocational abuse can dystroy any system of government.

  • #55945 Reply
    Avatar
    David

    I call this ‘Legislation without representation’.
    There are NO facts to represent the legislation behind this new law and many others they have enacted.
    In the Justice system, the truth is meant to set you free, or condemn you.
    In the passing of this particular law, truth was bound and gagged until the law was enacted.
    This was an abuse of power.

  • #55953 Reply
    Avatar
    Saddles

    Stacey I like your anthology on this as well as the other comments. Course I left out the big scandle in my hometown was the famous Logan County 5 scandle . And yes a Governor was sent to prison. Course I was still in high school at the time but this tells one about fraud in many area’ and also about money laundering.

    Sure guys I would like a lot of this stuff to be over. I can understand my convictions of DUI and the responsiblity of that than I can understand this. I wonder if people still black-ball one today.

  • #55984 Reply
    Avatar
    Joe123

    This is a great post and should be brought to the attention of the Polk County Sheriff’s office. I have done my part and wrote a very ‘forward’ letter to their department sometime ago and commenced them on their ‘great use of tax payer money’. I hope everyone reading this will write to them as well.

  • #56009 Reply
    Avatar
    Saddles

    Actually Sandy Joel has a good point. If any American citizen can help defend justice with fact than I’m sure everyone is in agreement with that. Typecasting one against another leads to feuds.

    While we all might be considered outcasts. Family members being unjust to serve or vote in many cases or are being discriminated in many cases a lot of this has to stop as it does no good for a country or is it the American Way of truth, liberty, and Justice for all.

    Authority is just as good as how one uses it but abuse is never good or should we go to the “One tin soilder” them as an example and I’m sure we all liked a lot of those Billy Jack movies.

  • #56041 Reply
    Avatar
    Tony From Long Island

    I have a section in my masters thesis where I describe how the SCOTUS actually misquoted itself when it used the “frightening and high” phrase that then went on to be used in hundreds of lower court cases. Its origin was a case that talked about how offenders who refuse treatment have a “frightening and high” rate of recividivism (which isn’t even actually that accurate). From then on, the phrase was used to describe sex offenders in general. Frustrating

    • #56194 Reply
      Avatar
      CJB

      Sir

      I would like to communicate further with you!
      how can we do this?

    • #56554 Reply
      Avatar
      Mike

      Hi Tony, i heard that the phrase ” frightening and high ” came from an article out of Phycology Today magazine which Megan Kenka’s father cowrote the article, at least thats what my research have dicovered.

  • #56067 Reply
    Avatar
    Saddles

    I believe its time for those under the sex registry to step up to the plate for “True Justice” in this fact for true justice saga. To quote a tv series.. Just the facts Ma’am.

    While lot of this is water logged and even going against the grain, these prosecutor’s won’t even give a person a minute of time as they say the case is still open. I hope we still have true justice in America today or is someone stealing someone’s pig or goat in this justice ordeal.

    Fact: While Justice deals in truth. When real truth is suppressed the little person becomes the victim. Sure governments can cover up, or suppress in many ordeals but is the sex offender in many area’s dead weight in this balance of Justice?

    Fact, if this ordeal that many of us fact some cheap dime store detective story or like a Nathan Hale conspiricy of justice ordeal.

    Fact is: A man is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. One wonders why they offer a plea deal in the rush to judgment.

    Fact is: Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere…. Martin Luther King.

    So does the facts outweight the myths in this cover up of Justice today or should we all get our history books out. Now Mke and some of the others have brought up some good points or has anyone seen Abraham, Martin and John.

  • #56255 Reply
    Avatar
    Mike

    Hello, i found this & checked it for authenticity:
    ONLINE SEX STING
    This is yet more proof that online stings are run by the very people that want to believe that they are “protecting” kids from…these sicko cops pretend to be children to entrap men into asking for sex. Here is a recent sting operation that the police in Florida are so proud of.

    NOTE that NOT a single registered sex offender was caught…however, one of the very policemen that participated in these stings deceiving others and trapping them was himself caught! Think he will end up registering as a sex offender…neither do I BUT the point is that these sort of entrapments do not nab registered sex offenders…you know…they ones that the government claims need to be watched and every move monitored.

    Polk’s Sheriff Grady Judd says he got one of his own guys (more will certainly follow). Perhaps he should watch his men instead of so called registered sex offenders. Of course part of his job is to create more “sex offenders” to add to Florida’s inflated registry. Well done…keep it up and soon all your men will be locked up…problem solved.

    During his latest crackdown, dubbed “Operation No Tricks, No Treats,” his deputies arrested Sgt. Luis Diaz, a 17-year veteran of the force. During that time, Diaz had taken part in undercover operations just like the one he was nabbed in. Sounds like he thought he was above the law, if you ask me.

  • #56536 Reply
    Avatar
    Ernest B Tucker

    The difference between being on the registry and being in prison is that in prison you know who intends you harm.
    As far as holidays go I treat them just like every other day of my dead life. I stay in the house unless I have no choice like doing to sex offender treatment where I am told what a terrible person I am and how if it wasn’t for me there would be no child porn and that it’s all my fault. I have even gone to having Walmart deliver anything. Thank God for Amazon. I figure that if I avoid all contact the people they can’t accuse me of anything and violate me. So a word to the wise, avoid any activity that someone could accuse you of doing anything. Because the government will do anything to put you back in prison.
    May God bless all of you and for those of you who like me were fraudulently convicted, at this time you just have to resign ourselves to the fact that until the people out in the world stand up and put an end to this we will have to live like we are guilty and the pariah of the world.

  • #56550 Reply
    Avatar
    Mike

    Nice article Sandy, that ” frightening and high ” statement and the 80% recidivism rate, came out of an article in the “Psychology Today” magazine. The article was written by an employee of the magazine ( I’ll get his name for you if you don’t have it.) & i believe Megan Kenka’s father cowrote that article with zero evidence & Megan’s dad cowrote the article thats just a tad prejudice, but i heard the guy who was an employee of the magazine who cowrote the article, has since done a real study and the results are recidivism is below 5% and has since retracted the previous article. I will get you all the details for you if you dont have it. Thanks

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