NARSOL E.D. quoted in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

By Timothy Eggert . . .  The state’s criminal code completely bars child sex offenders from entering public parks, despite an exception written into a similar but separate part of the law, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled last week.

The 5-2 majority held that the exception in Section 11-9.3(a-10) of the Illinois Criminal Code of 2012, which allows child sex offenders to visit public parks with their minor children when other minor children are present, cannot be read into Section 11-9.4-1(b), which prohibits a child sex offender from “knowingly be[ing] present in any public park.”

Patrick A. Legoo was convicted of criminal sexual abuse in 2006 and later convicted of being a child sex offender in a public park in 2016, when he was following his son to a park. He argued the latter conviction should be reversed because the legislature intended to include the exception when it wrote the law.

Writing for the 5-2 majority, Justice Thomas L. Kilbride, rejected Legoo’s argument that the two statutes are “inextricably intertwined” and upheld the conviction. . . .

In a four-page dissent authored by Justice Rita B. Garman and joined by Chief Justice Anne M. Burke, the justices argued that for an offender to exercise the exception in section 11-9.3(a-10), it must be read into section 11-9.4-1(b).

“That means that he may enter and may knowingly be present at the park, because one cannot bring his child to the park without going himself,” Garman wrote. . . .

Specifically, Section 11-9.3(a-10) applies to all child sex offenders, criminalizes the act of approaching, contacting or communicating with a minor while in a public park and carries a Class 4 felony punishment for violating it.

But Section 11-9.4-1(b) applies to all offenders except “Romeo and Juliet” offenders and also criminalizes offenders’ mere presence in public parks and carries a Class A misdemeanor for its first violation and a Class 4 felony for its second violation. . . .

Brenda Jones, the executive director of the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws, said in an emailed statement that NARSOL is disappointed with the court’s decision, but that it hopes the legislature considers clarifying the statutory provisions.

“It’s truly a tragedy that Mr. Legoo stands convicted of violating the law of Illinois when he was simply searching for his minor child who happened to be hanging out with a friend in a park,” Jones said.

Read the full piece here at the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

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    • #73825 Reply
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      WC_TN

      This just further proves the registry exists solely as a blank check for the state or federal government to harass and re-incarcerate persons forced to register at their whim because they were never wanted back out in free society to begin with. It’s total garbage and the judges who upheld the man’s convictions knew the whole case was bogus to start with. The court just said this man has no right as a parent to retrieve a disobedient minor child and bring him or her home if they happen to be in a park. This tramples all over a parent’s basic right to raise their child. This case should be ripe for appeal to hopefully a more honest court.

      I doubt legislators will do a blasted thing because the law is exactly what they want it to be; a legal minefield of little “gotchas” that can put one in jail or prison for years on the flimsiest of pretexts.

    • #73839 Reply
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      Tim in WI

      Getting some pub!

      I’m wondering what would happen if a group of NARSOL advocates occupied the same Illinois park at issue here. What happens if out of state registrants and advocates assemble and use the park in an effort to confront the intent of the law.

      I happen to live in Rock County WI, which borders Winnebago County, IL and I’ve kin who live just across the border. It is time to confront the electronic police state.

    • #73857 Reply
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      JJJJ

      Tim in WI,
      I wonder that too.
      I am also of the opinion that, as our numbers grow, and as this systemic persecution becomes more egregious, there are going to be louder and louder calls for the type of action you are endorsing – sit-in protests.
      I understand that you have not mentioned violence in your post – simply peaceful demonstration.

      But I also believe (for good or bad) that some sort of armed confrontation(s) is (are) inevitable at some point in the future.
      I believe that there may be martyrs.
      Maybe this seems like an extreme viewpoint.
      But I am not (in this post) expressing either approval or disapproval of such actions – only that I believe that they will happen in the future. (Nor am I encouraging such actions.)

      But I believe that the voices of dissent will get louder, and tensions will grow.

    • #73868 Reply
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      Shari

      When I see the term Public Parks, I think they should clearly separate out public parks in the area that has playgrounds . I believe that national public parks should definitely not be lumped into this. Also public parks offer facilities that are for adults such as tennis, adult pools, pickleball, and exercise rooms that require ages 18 and up.
      Not a very realistic approach

    • #73875 Reply
      Timothy D.
      Tim Davich

      Well I have thought about this type of sit in or action myself here in MN. With all the places we as registered persons can not go or enjoy I think it would be interesting to see the response to such an action. I understand that it could end up being more of a confrontation of both sides and think that it would cause more harm then good at this stage of the fight.

    • #73876 Reply
      Timothy D.
      Tim Davich

      I agree with this as using the term public park you are lumping in all parks (state, Federal, and evening private parks that are open to the public could even be included) there needs to be specific information on this and better written laws. Too many states have just rushed to pass laws that do little to actually protect those it was written to protect. I don’t see laws written keeping burglars from the business district or private homes. Or car thrives from cars. In fact I know of a person who is a locksmith with a burglary charge. How does that work.

    • #73883 Reply
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      TS Rohnevarg

      Of course, you had to know this was only a gateway into the eventual control of all people [“First they came for the Communists…”] by targeting ‘low hanging fruit.’ Now, all are being made to wear the “Mask of the Beast.” This is just the nature of the flesh raging and rebelling against its Creator. “In this world, ye shall have tribulation: But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

    • #73902 Reply
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      Tim in WI

      Well you mean because there are no signs that say ” No Negros” it’s not intended as unreasonable affirmative restraint? Offenders dont protest because they’re afraid to do so.

    • #73901 Reply
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      Tim in WI

      @TS Rohnevarg
      How very ecclesiastical of you to say that. The database machine driven infrastructure certainly exploits certain inherent sinful nature in human.
      Grisly as it is, there is no end to the evil potential and consequences especially with concern to an individuals’ liberty. War mongers will exploit It to the fullest.
      It does so by the same ways and means state sponsored lottery drawings do.
      Illinois has particularly latched on to taxing the gambling industry and a per-machine basis%. Small machine gambling establishments popped up everywhere.
      Gov capitalizing on gambling addictions of residents. Like pine marten to feathered snare.

    • #73896 Reply
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      Perry

      Revolt, of some type, is Inevitable.
      Done.

    • #73933 Reply
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      Erika

      As soon as a previously convicted CSO enters a park he or she ‘BECOMES’ DANGEROUS?

      Outside the Park the CSO is ‘NO LONGER’ DANGEROUS?

      What sense does that make?

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