Tennessee legislation rips families apart

Reprinted in full with permission

By Steve Yoder . . . Last Sunday, Jason broke the news to his 7-year-old daughter: He’d be moving out. When a new Tennessee law goes into effect Monday, he will be barred from living with her. The law, Senate Bill 425, also forbids him from being alone with his daughter, meaning he can’t handle doctor’s appointments or pick her up from school, and he and his wife will need to hire childcare since she works full-time. His daughter cried when she heard but understood, Jason said, and told him she didn’t want her father to go to jail.

Seven years ago, a stepdaughter accused Jason of sexual touching, a charge he denies and attributes to discipline that he and his wife imposed. With the prosecutor threatening up to 18 years in prison, Jason says his lawyer advised him to take a plea deal that included probation, rather than risk a trial. Jason, whose name has been changed to protect his wife’s job, says the judge imposed no restrictions on him being around his daughter, and the Tennessee sex offense registry shows that he has no other criminal history.

Their predicament is likely to be felt more widely in coming months, as Tennessee implements the new law. It was spurred by Kyle Helton, sheriff of Giles County, which borders Alabama.

Alabama legislators pride themselves on making the state inhospitable to people with a sex crime in their past. Among other provisions, the state just enacted a chemical castration law and forbids adults whose offenses involved a victim younger than 12 from living with their own minor children. Helton has said that Alabama’s strict laws against former sex offenders were driving them over the border, and he wanted to put a stop to it. So he talked to his state senator, Joey Hensley, about introducing a bill that would match Alabama’s ban on living with children, according to Hensley. (The Giles County Sheriff’s Department said that Helton was not available to talk before deadline.)

Research shows relatively low reoffense rates for people convicted of sexual crimes—12 percent on average, according to a definitive 2014 study. But Helton’s lobbying paid off. Hensley introduced SB 425, which banishes people convicted of an offense involving someone under 12 from their homes if they have a child living there who’s a minor. On May 10, Governor Bill Lee signed it into law. On May 29, the Tennessee Department of Correction sent a letter to 78 people on the state sex offender registry advising them that they would need to pack up by July 1 or face arrest and prosecution.

Hensley told The Appeal that it’s an effort to protect children by keeping registrants from other states out of Tennessee. But he acknowledges that it “may make it difficult for some.”

Jeff Cherry, a lawyer based in Lebanon, Tennessee, represents five of those affected. One served seven years in prison, has been out for six years without any violations, is active in his church, and has put his life back together, Cherry says. The client also has two children—2 years old and 8 weeks old. He’ll be leaving home for good to live with a fellow church member.

In another case, a woman told The Appeal that her husband is a registrant and said the new rule forced them on June 6 to move their 11-year-old son to live with his grandmother. “They just ripped our family apart,” she says. (She had first contacted Tennessee 4 Change, which advocates for reforming sex-offense laws in the state and referred her to this reporter. She promised her husband that she wouldn’t reveal his name to a reporter for fear of vigilante violence and other repercussions.)

Cherry says the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation already has the ability to impose conditions that restrict ex-offenders from living with their children when there’s specific evidence they could pose a danger.

Tennessee and Alabama’s laws are different—they aim to separate whole classes of registrants from their families. No other states appear to have comparable statutes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Sex Offender Enactments Database. A few have passed narrower versions: A law passed this year in Utah creates a presumption that a child removed from home by a child welfare agency shouldn’t be reunified with the family if a parent is on the registry. In 2011, Arkansas passed a law that allows a court to prohibit visitation of a child with a divorced parent who has someone living in their house who is on the registry. A 2012 Oklahoma law forbids registrants from living with a minor but excludes their parent from that rule unless the child was the victim.

At least 30 states and many more localities have rules that ban people on sex-offender registries from living near parks, playgrounds, schools, and other places children congregate.

A raft of research shows those restrictions don’t lower sex-crime rates but do force many registrants into homelessness. “In summary, there is no empirical support for the effectiveness of residence restrictions,” notes a manual from the U.S. Department of Justice’ Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. “In fact, a number of negative unintended consequences have been empirically identified, including loss of housing, loss of support systems and financial hardship that may aggravate rather than mitigate offender risk.”

One researcher predicts SB 425 will have the same effect. Jill Levenson, co-author of a major study of how residence bans in Florida affect homelessness, told The Appeal by email that restrictions like Tennessee’s “should be applied according to assessments by probation officers and therapists, not by statute.” Protecting children from sexual abuse is “absolutely imperative,” she writes. But “these laws will create homelessness and transience and enormous financial burdens for families forced to support two households.”

Asked about research or experts he consulted in drafting his end-of-session bill, Senator Hensley replied that “we didn’t do a lot of research—the House sponsor did more than I did. But we met with several of the sheriffs—especially in Giles County—who asked for this law because they had personally seen children that had been affected by this.” (A call to the bill’s House sponsor, Clay Doggett, wasn’t returned.)

Many of those affected by the law most likely committed crimes years that are years old. The first 20 Giles County residents on Tennessee’s sex offender registry had a most recent offense that was on average 16 years old.

At a recent meeting with representatives of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the lawyers asked him to move the implementation date forward to July 2020, which Hensley doesn’t oppose. But he can’t do anything until the legislature goes back into session next January, he says. By then affected families will have been split up for six months.

 In the meantime, attorneys representing three affected parents filed a request for a temporary restraining order in federal court that challenges SB 425’s constitutionality, in part because of its application to people whose offenses occurred before it was passed. At least two federal courts, including the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Tennessee, have ruled that retroactive sex-offense laws violate the Constitution’s ex post facto provision.

A lot is at stake for the families. One father, whose offense dates to 1999, is a single parent of a 5-year-old autistic child. Another, who has a spouse who works full-time, home-schools his 16-year-old daughter with a learning disability. Law enforcement told both that they need to be out by Sunday.

Barring a legal victory, Jason says his family will follow their usual Sunday night routine this weekend: They’ll have dinner and watch a movie or TV. Then he and his wife will put his daughter to bed, and he’ll leave for good.

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This topic contains 35 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Sandy Rozek Sandy Rozek 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #57485 Reply
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    admin

    Reprinted in full with permission By Steve Yoder . . . Last Sunday, Jason broke the news to his 7-year-old daughter: He’d be moving out. When a new Te
    [See the full post at: Tennessee legislation rips families apart]

  • #57486 Reply
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    Dwight

    The America I once loved and protected has turned it back on the minority, turn those who suppose to have a second chance into less than second class citizens, all for what…..?????? Not a damn thing, will this stop anyone that wants to harm a child no, but it will drive those who live there out into other states and overwhelm them and then those states will see what these two states have done and will do it all over again. Its been 21 years and I live in a state that pretty easy on those on the RSO, it is usually the local sheriff dept deputy that is the problem most of the time. Its not the laws of the state that an issue but this can have more trouble for us in these states that dont see us as a problem. These laws have to be overturned and these states need to be civilly punished to those they affected by laws that make no sense and have hurt not only the RSO but his or her family. THIS HAS TO END NOW! We have the lowest recidivism rate but are treated as if we are feeling from coming a crime again, This type will be coming to a state where you live if we dont stop it now. Sad i spend most of my youth defending this country and seeing it like this just plain sad.

  • #57490 Reply
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    Saddles

    Many ordeals in this whole sex registry are so obtrusive and obstructive in a lot of ways. Tearing a family apart is one thing but working things out is another, its called reasoning and it seems as the article says a lot of this has to do with pride.

    From the simple sex offense to the complex of castration to the seperation of families. How does that rectify the matter or is it a mind over matter type of situation. The judge while not imposing any restructions seems to have the logical sense in this ordeal while the DA was harsh and seemed to want to approve due or undue punishment. I wonder which person changes diapers today.

    Believe it or not folks Narsol is in there to win and while we in many sex types of sex ordeals seem to be seduced in many ways. I have even thought about this whole deceptive games. From the simple encounters such as the officer pretending which can be a form of justified money laundering or extortion in many ways when actually no one is talking to a teenager.

    Forgiveness well let the child decide instead of the other way around. A family unit is a family and the courts are showing a bit of vainty or vain justice. Ordiances are good if it corrects but man can’t correct their crooked nose if it was out of place.

  • #57505 Reply
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    James Coghill

    There’s a certain thing called reasonable expectations. That means we have a reasonable expectation to have a government and laws that make sense and are understandable to the average person. When that doesn’t happen you get lunatic laws like this one. The time has come my friends to go to jail for justice!

  • #57506 Reply
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    Obvious answers

    castration, branding identifications,isolating residencies, not so civil incarcerations,forced unemployment,forced offender camps forced homelessness, forced traveling restrictions, electric therapy, forced and coerced confessions….wtf people !! haven’t you had enough ??..you laughed when I compared it to the Nazi German extermination.. Have you forgotten history ?. That didnt start with the Jewish people and it wasnt just the Jews..It started with the “sex offender ” and other “undesirables”..same as today..don’t expect it to end any different unless you decide to make it different..As Alito of the supreme court toilet confirmed “bring us any other case (not a sex offender) and I would agree we’ve been breaking the law for 85 plus years”….They know they are breaking the law..they dont care.”they are the law”.there is over one million people on those registrys (yes notice they only give you 1996 numbers when you Google? ) they don’t want anyone to do the math…over one million , add to that one family member or loved one each, now an easy two million..it will be dangerous and you will face ridicule and the mainstream media propoganda will crucify you if everyone stands up, but they are doing that anyway !! stand up and at least have a chance to be human..how long before they say “let’s just terminate sex offenders “? they are already branding you, shoveling you into civil incarceration camps and chopping off your balls and mutilating you..what’s the only thing left?…they have to keep stoking public fear mongering while hiding the real numbers they are abusing and the extent. states will start exterminating you.it took less then 20 years to get to this point..5 maybe 10 to go to its logical next step?

  • #57522 Reply
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    Mom

    Shame on you Tennessee. This is insane at best. Beam me up Scotty, there’s no intelligent life in TN. Just a bunch of morons going through the motions of passing insane new laws without thinking about the numerous negative adverse affects it WILL have on families.

  • #57524 Reply
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    Matt Duhamel

    This is what I wrote to Mr. Hensley today. Attempting to be a smart-ass:

    “I’m writing today to express my disgust with your bill SB 425. I honestly have to say this is one of the cruelest bills for people on the registry I’ve ever seen. How on earth can you justify taking moms and dads away from their families and children when attempting to rebuild their lives?? This is a horrible “feel good” law based on false statistics and is only valid for your political reputation. It seems to me (and many others) that Tennessee is fueling social rejection and ostracism by banning certain people on the registry from living a normal life. Shame on you.

    I’m very disappointed and saddened that this law has been signed by the Governor. Our country is in the middle of “sex offender moral panic” and your Government is only fueling this panic by passing such a stupid law.

    Shame on you twice. And stop drinking so much damn whiskey. Maybe that’s your problem.”

  • #57527 Reply
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    John

    Welcome to the machine,
    I wasn’t allowed to live with my son, age 5, due to parole regulations for S.O. registrars back in ’98.
    They made me register due to warrant they found for a non violent probation violation back in 1978 in another state,
    ” lewd act with minor (f)”.
    Long story short, lost the wife (divorce) and never seen my son again.
    Can’t wait for the next new laws or concentration camps waiting for us,
    at least I know how the Jews felt in Nazi Germany.

    • #57531 Reply
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      Tim

      John,
      Call an attorney. Out of state stuff brings due process needs, course LEO, would tell you different.

  • #57541 Reply
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    George

    Oh, and what do you expect from a state where slavery was legal and only changed that because they lost to the North and the President forced them to outlaw it!

  • #57534 Reply
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    W.A.R of Florida

    First I want to thank Steve Yoder for writing this article and NARSOL for reprinting it.

    There have been other insane laws towards registrants that have left us shaking our heads but this one really steams me! To “Protect the children” by removing them from families..how insane!

    Not long ago, when immigrants crossed the boarder, families were ripped apart. Parents and their children were torn apart and made to live in separate facilities. The broadcast of this incident stirred the American people, “How could our nation rip families apart like that, its inhuman!” said thousands of Americans. Yet when we rip families apart in our own nation the majority of Americans don’t even bat an eye!

    I feel as if I woke up in another country..we are not the land of the free. And we definitely do not have “Liberty and justice for all”…

  • #57536 Reply
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    kat

    Before this bill was passed, I contacted Rep. Doggett, I was seeking info for an article I was writing. His office was eager to respond, his impetus for the bill he replied, was “too many registrants from Alabama moving to TN because of Tn’s less restrictive laws.”
    I emailed his office info, lots of info on the low re-offense rates of registrants.
    Once Rep. Doggett realized that I was a registrant advocate and not doing an article about how wonderful he thinks he is, his tone changed.
    Crickets!.

    • #58084 Reply
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      d

      If his reason for the Bill was ” “too many registrants from Alabama moving to TN because of Tn’s less restrictive laws.” Then this is Legislative intent. It is not legal to make a law to keep certain citizens from moving to your state. If I am correct this can be used against them.

  • #57537 Reply
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    Tom Chambers

    I have been on the registry and am now off. I saw a person that I once worked with and they said “ We know what kind of person you are at XYZ company. I do not want you to speak to me”. I can just imagine the flurry of emails and phone calls that were burning up the wires when one person who knew me at my former Company saw my name on the registry. The registry is a terrible thing. But even if there was no registry getting a job with a sex offense conviction will virtually eliminate consideration from decent jobs. The criminal justice system needs reforms.
    One final point. We as convicted sex offenders need to keep from comparing the Germans of WWII to our criminal justice system. The system is grossly unfair. But we need to realize that we committed crimes. Change the system but stop the crying and finger pointing.

  • #57540 Reply
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    George

    This is ridiculous, I mean don’t they look at recidivism rates and what happened to the legal maxim that a man is a king in his castle (or that parents have a right to raise a child as they see fit). If you as a parent have a spouse or a family member who is a sex offender and you trust him to not do anything, shouldn’t you have the right to say “I trust him and want my child to have a relationship with him”? The state should not have the right to interfere in this unless there are extenuating circumstances. It should not be just because he committed a sex offense that now he should not be trusted around any children, people do make mistakes and people do change.

  • #57538 Reply
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    Eric

    Does anyone have the attorneys contact information that are filing a stop to this on behalf of those affected by it? Maybe send them money to help the case out?

  • #57539 Reply
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    Tyrus Young

    With good representation, I would expect this law to be struck down – not necessarily on the unfair premise, but because it does not provide for exceptions for registrants to demonstrate through evaluation, therapists, etc. that they do not present a risk to the under 12 aged children in the home. A law must be flexible to the situation it purports to cover.

    As many who have read my earlier posts will know, I have been railing against the AWA and its restrictions affecting immigration. Not only did the US government separate my wife and I after 8 years of marriage, they also deported her. There was no correlation between what I was accused of and the marital situation, but they would not accept professional opinions or personal references of support to determine No Risk. Not that they could even define what risk was involved. In other words I was supposed to prove I would not do something that I had never done before. Lets rephrase that… I AND my wife were punished for crimes that were never committed.

    Collateral damage in legal reparations is unacceptable. As someone suggested last week, I don’t feel the registrants should file lawsuits… the children and spouses should file and demand that their rights of association are being trampled on by the law without even reasonable expectation of a pending calamity. The fear of the unknown is not justification for unconstitutional intrusion into a family’s infrastructure.

  • #57533 Reply
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    Tim

    It is a mistake to blame homelessness on residency restrictions all by themselves. The unintended outcomes advanced by the government agency attributed to ” lack of efficacy in residential restriction” is factually FAR MORE ABOUT REGIME INTENT. Employment difficulties, poverty and homelessness were issues mentioned by the minority in Smith V Alaska. Those ” potential” outcomes were rejected by the majority. The

    No one can say for sure what the court(s) will make of this stat, but we can see plain liberty at stake. Another unstomachable affirmative restraint ” narrowly tailored ” enough to contravene ” strict scrutiny. ”
    Sick, sick, sick

    • #57535 Reply
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      John

      Tim, thanks for kind reply,
      This incident happen in 1998, no lawyer would help me at that time, parole very powerful in CA.
      Again, never seen my son since parole told me not able to live with son/wife.
      Its now 2019, still a S.O. registrant at age 64yr, jobless and homeless in SF CA (clean/sober). No future for us, things will only get worse, I only had one offense w/ minor over 40 years ago..
      Welcome to the machine.

  • #57551 Reply
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    David

    The ‘sex offenders’ Constitution:
    ……limited life, loss of liberty, and the denial of happiness.

    • #57560 Reply
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      W.A.R of Florida

      Sad to say but that’s how it is in this one nation under God.

      • #57751 Reply
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        d

        Yep, this pretty much sums it up!

  • #57553 Reply
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    Wearethepeople

    I would like to quash what is now Senate Bill 425. Governor Bill Lee shame on you for radicalization of a group of people labeled as Sex Offenders. When I first became a Nurse in the early 80″s, Aides was the panic being told. We had never used gloves. We would clean everything and bag it to be sterilized. Rinsed out dirty laundry in a universal hooper’s and throw it in to a laundry bin. We even reused needles. Well the good thing that happened with all the hate and the new precautions that were in forced upon the Medical staff. When I say hate I mean towards the Gays.
    Thanks to my best friend who’s brother I loved, was gay so I knew the stories being told were Fiction. He was telling so much more of what was really happening. The Nurse’s and Doctors’s were afraid that for just touching someone with aides that they would get the disease. Aides had no treatment and people were dying from it. I remember someone saying that God sent this disease down to punish the gays for being different. What was needed was Gay people started to tell there stories. They became Human and all the grab that they were hearing changed. They are now just apart of our world, being accepted for who they are. So when I hear the stories that Sex Offenders our telling about what had happened to them. I just want to say I am so proud of you. I think of the song, Brave. I just want to see you be Brave!

  • #57558 Reply
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    JoAnn Piccin

    Hey Lawyers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Lifetime punishment! No other sector of society must endure this……..totally against the U. S. Constitution! This is Punitive! Punitive! Punitive! The U. S. Supreme Court can no longer deny what they have done!

  • #57574 Reply
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    Margaret burke

    This is another slap in the face to our constitutional rights. I feel so sad for these families. The money that is spent on the registry could be better put to use elsewhere. I listen to news and people are dying and being killed daily and people just keep their vigilanty behaviours focused on making laws and by laws that dont help at all. It leaves me angry. I cant rap my mind around how uneducated people r. GOD help us.

  • #57576 Reply
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    Kurt Martin

    According to the article, “Jason” (fictional name) pled guilty to and was convicted of some variation of child molestation involving his stepdaughter. He admitted his guilt in court, right? So is he now claiming he was innocent? The evidence against him must have been very strong for him to accept a conviction and felony sentence for a crime he didn’t commit.

    Let’s just say, hypothetically, that “Jason” isn’t lying. He really was framed by an evil step-daughter over his appropriate parental discipline. Let’s also say that the State of Tennessee doesn’t know that it’s a lie; they think the stepdaughter was telling the truth. The State believed Jason when he admitted his guilt and agreed to become a convicted sex offender, only 7 years ago, at a time when EVERYBODY in the criminal justice system knew about sex offender registries, living restrictions, Halloween round-ups, etc.

    Now, is it unfair for the State of Tennessee to consider “Jason” to be a child molester?
    If it’s not unfair for the State to put that label on him, is it then unfair for the State to treat him differently because of that, and say, for example, “Convicted child molesters of young female relatives shall not live with any other young female relatives” ??

    I don’t think it’s unfair. People with felony sex offender convictions, recent ones, less than 10 years old, can be forbidden from living with people of the same age, gender, and relationship that they victimized. “Jason” has a young daughter. His crime was molesting his step-daughter. Even if the girl’s ages are different now, the young daughter will grow to reach the age the step-daughter was when the molestation took place.

    I’d support changing the laws to let all the decisions about living restrictions be determined by the sentencing judge, or later by a probation officer or social worker on a case-by-case basis, after individual assessment of all the facts and circumstances of a particular person’s case. But even then, plenty of reasonable judges and social workers and probation officers are going to say “NO” to a convicted child molester living with a girl of a similar age to the one he molested. (If he’d had a sexual encounter with some 17 year old girl, a stranger to him, that he met at a party, in a state where the age of consent was 18, then THAT should not trigger any prohibition on living with in a household with his own kids.)

    • #57598 Reply
      Charlie
      Charlie
      Moderator

      Hi Kurt, while on the surface your argument seems sound, there is one factor that would undo it. In your hypothetical, the perpetrator offended against a step daughter, and is now prohibited from living with any child of same age and gender. The fact is, that it is not simply a mater of apples to apples in the assumption that once someone perpetrates on someone, all others are under the same risk. A stepchild, in many cases, shares no familial history or emotional connection with a step parent, particularly a step father, unless raised from a very young age. The risk of a biological parent offending against his own naturally born child is not a given when a step child has been victimized. Statistically, that’s a false assumption. Step parents are far more likely to NOT violate their own kids, even when they have historically done so to a step. Any law that assumes that apples and oranges are identical when seeking to establish imminent harm is specious at best. Due process is supposed to look at “beyond a reasonable doubt.” There is more than a lot of doubt when it comes to the difference between the way someone sees a stepchild and a biological child with regard to sex offending. These types of broad sweeping assumptions in law are dangerous. We need specificity not assumptions. Basically, the law as it’s written in Tennessee is based on bias.
      Since you also advocated for allowing for individual assessment a risk of imminent harm on a case by case basis, I must presume that you recognize the fallacy of the all-or-nothing position of law.

    • #57599 Reply
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      Jann Patterson

      What I believe you did not consider was that Jason in the article took a plea because the prosecutor told him he faced 18 years in prison if found guilty. He would have had a trial and probably his step daughter would have been called to testify. Jason would have had a hard time proving his innocence so he took the plea to avoid a long prison sentence. That happens all the time. My son was charged with possession of child porn. He was a tutor at a university and therefore had an open peer to peer program on his computer. He never thought about child porn passing through but apparently it did. After a forensic search of his computer his lawyer told him they only found 7 fragmented images but he could get up to 70 years if a jury found him guilty. Furthermore two cops said that my son confessed but the recording device had failed. He took a plea and is now on the registry. It sucks but it’s better than being in prison.

      • #57642 Reply
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        EdC

        Jann’s comments are right on. I can’t imagine Kurt’s remarks coming from someone who has been through the criminal meat grinder. Prosecutors have tremendous unchecked power which is often abused. Defendants plead guilty all the time when faced with horrendous consequences of what is termed the “trial penalty.” Opting for trial invariably means a long prison term. That is why 97% of cases–not just sex offenses–are settled through plea agreements. A plea is simply the least painful way out, even considering registration. With a sex offense, particularly against a child, a person is presumed guilty until proven guilty.

        Kurt is right that any determination of danger should be on a case-by-case basis rather than by a categorical decision based on the count of conviction. However, that requires courage and rationality on the part of those officials who are responsible for making those decisions. In my experience, that is a rare commodity which is even more scarce among politicians who want to appear tough on crime.

        • #57680 Reply
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          David

          Summit County, Ohio

          Yeah. I was arrested by a liar of a policeman!
          About 85% of the police report was false and fabricated.
          The guy even claimed he was a Christian, but lied like the devil.
          When the girl I was involved with read the police report, she told my wife that most of it were lies and things that never happened.
          My wife called the Assistant Prosecutor and the Assistant Prosecutor said ” If you bring this up in Court, we will put a life sentence on your husband!!”
          So, not only the policeman lied through his teeth in the police report, but the Assistant Prosecutor protected him by threatening my wife to keep him from being exposed for filing a false police report!
          That is how evil the so-called upholders of the law handled my case–through lying and blackmail!!!
          Law breakers arresting and convicting law breakers—What a justice system!!!!!

  • #57786 Reply
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    Charles Bowen

    I see the 8th Ammendment being violated here.

  • #57812 Reply
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    WC_TN

    The argument that will spell certain doom for the retroactive application of this heinous and cruel law is as follows:

    Does v. Snyder (6th Circuit) – This is the landmark ruling made against the state of Michigan for retroactively applying newer and harsher restrictions in 2006 and again in 2011 to those who were already on the registry prior to their enactment. This ruling was solidified as BINDING PRECEDENT within the 6th Circuit (of which TN is a part) when the Supreme Court refused to grant certiorari to the state of Michigan. The 6th Circuit ruled that such retroactive application was punitive and in violation of the ex post facto clause.

    The law passed in TN has been applied retroactively to those who were already on the registry prior to its enactment and were allowed to live with their children under previous law. Therefore, as far as I understand the ruling in Does v. Snyder, the court will have no choice but to invalidate the retroactive application of this new law.

    On the other hand, I don’t know what argument could be made against the prospective application of this law. One might make the case for the stripping away of parental rights without due process since there is already a procedure through which children or an abusive parent can be removed from the home when a child is in danger.

  • #58217 Reply
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    Tom

    Sad, that once again we challenge a new law rather than the registry itself. As more and more restrictions are imposed, it make the Supreme Court’s Alaska decision ripe for challenge. Let’s attack the registry itself rather than play whack a mole challenging each new restriction imposed by 50 different states.

  • #58402 Reply
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    Saddles

    This legistation in TN ia a bit of a problem. Mr. Coghill I was reading some of your stuff on “Tells from the Registry” and I have to agree with you about representation as acting as your own atturney general. I also have to agree with some lady on here screaming about Lawyers.

    Now who likes a cover-up, no one I sure that is in the ordeal we all face. Whether its going to bat for your child or what or whether it is you personally on trial. Even Tom on here with we challange new law’s instead of the registry itself. I just wish I could out challenge my sister but I got to love her or is she my keeper. Sure we have our disagreements just like others.

    At the time of my plea deal offer yes I was scared . Sure I already knew about NARSOL or back than was RSOL, correct me if I’m wrong on that RSOL issue.

    Sure there’s always trails and tribulations for any parent to go thru raising there kids or even when familie members get in hat water but this sex offender ordeal interested me even though it was more of a devilish thing.

    I’m sure Robin has a negative look on all this as well as everyone on here. I have even been voilated but thatsa different story, but I can say it wasn’t getting on the internet or anything of that nature. I might of mentioned my violation to Brenda or Robin one time I’m not sure but that was a back 2 or so yrs ago

    Standing up and defending your rights is what America is all about. Yes one can be punished justly or injustly and this registry is about as injust as one can get without spilling their beans.

    Sure I’ve been to Tenn before… Growing up familywent to Oak Ridge and toured Pigon Forge. I have a sister and her husband that live in Tn now and its a beautiful state but each state law is different even Virginia which is the state I live in now. I came from WVA but crime is crime if it is a crime in this concrecte jungle.

    Families being split apart, kids either going to live somewhere else or being put in an orphenage or something is not good and these other ordeals of the single person that gets tripped up in all this. Sure I took a plea deal with my situation but even I knew I needed more Christian understanding and principal.

    To this day, and all this episode’s, even the years, the frustration I still wonder why they gave me a plea deal and probably some of you all think the same.

    Good things always come out of bad and yes these soga’s are trying on people but anyone with common sense needs to stand up for true justice. We all go around in life once and if you can help others and stand up for justice that’s a warm feeling.

  • #58589 Reply
    Avatar
    WDW

    This article is totally misleading. SB425 does not prohibit all sex offender parents from living with their children. By statue, the law states:
    (c) While mandated to comply with the requirements of this part, no sexual
    offender or violent sexual offender, whose victim was a minor, shall knowingly reside or
    conduct an overnight visit at a residence in which a minor resides or is present.
    Notwithstanding this subsection (c), the offender may reside, conduct an overnight visit,
    or be alone with a minor if the offender is the parent of the minor, unless one (1) of the
    following conditions applies:
    (1) The offender’s parental rights have been or are in the process of
    being terminated as provided by law;
    (2) Any minor or adult child of the offender was a victim of a sexual
    offense or violent sexual offense committed by the offender; or
    (3) The offender has been convicted of a sexual offense or violent sexual
    offense the victim of which was a child under twelve (12) years of age.

    So the majority of parents can live with their minor children unless specific exemptions as stated above apply

    • #58599 Reply
      Sandy Rozek
      Sandy Rozek
      Admin

      I think that if you look at the history of the bill, you will see that the law has for some time been as you stated it with the only exceptions being numbers 1 and 2. It is the recent addition of number 3 that arbitrarily removes the right of parenting one’s own children from everyone on the registry whose victim was under twelve. There is no consideration given to how long ago the offense was, the age of the registrant at the time, and the current needs of the registrant’s children. It is the fact that the statute, if it is enforced, will apply to all who fit the category with no room for individual assessment of those factors that makes this so onerous.

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