The utter foolishness of U.S. sexual offense laws

By Sandy . . . Siegfried Hepp, Jr., according to Village-News.com, a registered sexual offender in Florida – although not in Connecticut where he was convicted – was forced to leave his father’s home where he had just moved. The home at 1214 Maria Court, Lady Lake, Florida, is, it seems, a tad too close to something called the Rio Grande Family Pool, which is three streets away on Rio Grande Ave.

Since then, Mr. Hepp has lived in motels and has changed motels three times as of this writing, driven quite possibly, at least in part, by financial concerns.

IF Mr. Hepp is a risk to public safety after more than twenty years of not offending, is he more of a risk living with his father, where he is needed, supported, and stable, or bouncing around the county or the state on his own from one cheap motel to the next? Mr. Hepp, Sr., is 84; would not the presence of his son in the home be helpful to him, even needful?

While some sources, in reporting about Hepp’s background, write that he was an adult actor in the situation that would put him in the spotlight, other sources report that the man who claimed Hepp molested him years before testified that he himself was a young scout and Hepp an older scout in the same troop.

In what would become a somewhat infamous trial, the accuser filed a suit against the Boy Scouts of America, making the claim that the organization failed to protect him from the action of the older boy, Hepp. A seven million plus dollar settlement was awarded in late 2014, only to be overturned by the Connecticut Supreme Court two years later.

While the suit was prefaced on Hepp’s actions, Hepp was not an accused nor a defendant in the trial, which comports more accurately with Hepp’s being a minor himself. The sole defendant was the Boy Scouts of America.

Hepp did become a scout leader with BSA, and his conviction was in late 1999 for touching a youth in a sexual manner. He was sentenced to probation and served ten years on the Connecticut sexual offense registry with that requirement being completed the end of 2019 or the first of 2020.

He surfaced again in 2008 when he was employed by Eastern Mountain Sports, a clothing retailer. He had given a demonstration at a park in Danbury, Connecticut, at Winterfest, an annual popular event. His name was recognized by a local policeman as someone on the registry, and he was officially notified that the law prohibited him from being at a park. His employer voiced agreement with the law; whether Hepp was relieved of his position with the company is not said, and no more is heard until he moved to Florida where his elderly father is and was denied his father’s house as a legal address as he is on the Florida registry.

Hepp has never been charged with a crime in Florida as far as can be determined. He has not been convicted of a crime in Florida. For Florida, neither is necessary to be included on their sex registry. Just stepping foot in the state, staying for 48 hours, and coming to the attention of law enforcement by any means will put a person on the Florida registry for life even if they are no longer required to register in their state of conviction, which is the case with Hepp.

Florida seems to have some special reason for keeping as many as possible on its registry. Several states keep registrants listed for a while after they have died; some on Florida’s registry have been dead for many years. The state’s goal appears to be to have the nation’s largest registry.

And thus a man who was convicted of a sexual crime in Connecticut and satisfied every aspect of obligation toward that crime in Connecticut is forbidden, in a state at the opposite end of the country, to reside in his 84-year-old father’s home where he is wanted and needed but instead forced to move from spot to spot to spot in order to be in compliance with the law.

What element of this makes any sense?

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9 Thoughts to “The utter foolishness of U.S. sexual offense laws”

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  1. Tim in WI

    Sandy,
    None of it makes sense, with the exception of the trendy tendency toward over reliance on the database driven infrastructure to solve very human problems. Unfortunately the database machine isn’t capable of fixing human behavior though some few would have you believe otherwise. Have you seen Intel’s new marketing slogan for their latest wonder chip…”Transcend humanity…” Yea right.

  2. A Mistake They Made

    They people who think it is ok to reinstate something that was fulfilled and expired, especially if it involves hardship need to be in a similar program rather then law making. This is discrimination plain as the day!

  3. A Mistake They Made

    Solution we all go to Florida for 49 hours. Have fun with the 800,000 registrant work load! Imagine the paper work lets do this!

  4. w

    This isn’t about making sense, it’s about constantly manipulating the narrative while suppressing the truth. If you’re a green stripped zebra somehow surviving through their traps the next day you’ll find a story about “…how to avoid the dangers of green stripped zebras…” That’s the game they’re playing, they’ll always be able to flip the tables on you and you have to decide when enough is enough. Fight back, screw their laws, and do it with a tire iron if you have to. THEY ARE TWO-FACED THUGS, and you are nothing but a case file in their drawer. They have taken the concept of “cover-up” to the extreme and beyond.

    You’re not even real since the state now owns everything to your “name”. They can toss you around year after year after year. They can keep you floating on paper like a phantom. It’s real and it’s what they’ve always wanted it to be. Complete control over people’s lives. For example, the “innocence project” is just them casually dusting off 40 year old files and saying “whoa, whoa, something’s not right”. See for them 40 years is enough time that the incident doesn’t matter anymore and the people are just names on paper. New evidence and new witnesses can just be their plot devices. At this point they are the architects of rewriting history and redefining reality. And you will thank them because they got you out of prison before you died, while at the same time they just sent another guy to start his 40 year train ride…

    Yeah…40 years of someone’s life and the system finally “figures it out”. That’s what these district attorneys and prosecutors love…they can keep you in a drawer and in a prison and in a program while they pay off their kids’ tuitions and new cars and mortgages. They enjoy “success” while you enjoy their systems of entrapment awaiting you at every turn, every single day.

    Welcome to Amerika. Welcome to Kalifornia.

  5. Jeremy from Indiana

    I don’t think it’s about becoming the largest registry in the states, but more about having the strictest laws against “our population”. Their thinking behind this, I’m assuming, is that if they have the strictest laws that none of “us” will want to move there and that strategy is kind of working.

    Instead of constantly complaining about it though (which I have strong thoughts about), we should be constantly challenging their assumptions. This is just a state’s version of NIMBY. What we need to do is send the lawmakers statistics from Georgia and other neighboring states showing that more repressive laws aren’t doing what they intend. This especially applies to Georgia since they had to make their laws much less restrictive due to some court cases a while back. Has there been a significant increase or decrease of sex crimes there?

    NARSOL consistently sends “friend of the court” briefs to SCOTUS, but how many communications are there directly to lawmakers? How many to local and district courts?

    If we are going to affect national change on this, we need to start at the local level.

    1. A Mistake They Made

      Or we can all go register in Florida and they can keep track of 800,000 🙂

  6. Dustin

    Sandy,

    Florida’s special reason for keeping its registry as inflated as possible is financial. SORNA grants are based on the number of registrants.

    It’s been shown by several sources that well over half of Florida’s registrants (a little over 40k out of 70, last I saw) are either dead, incarcerated, or have left the state. Amazingly, no one at the so-called SMART office is interested in auditing what it gives Florida every year. I suspect it’s the typical spend-it-or-lose-it anomaly that infects all government agencies.

  7. Mike

    Hello, well the only way your gonna get the registry taken down and that’s to get total honest people in the Supreme Court Judges and honest lawmakers and those involved, that won’t happen, take all the Supreme court justices and lawmakers and every Governor from every state and put them on the registry for one year then let hear there opinion about the registry. This would be the fastest way abolish the registry or keep chipping away at it might take one hundred years to get it taken down. Hitler had a registry for the Jewish people, a lot like what we have in the U.S. Here’s more registries U.S.At least five states (Montana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois and Indiana) have violent offender registries; Ohio is contemplating one. Some states have them for meth (Tennessee and Kansas), others for drunken driving (Ohio’s has over 5,000 people on it). Florida has a “career offender” registry for people convicted of three violent crimes or who have been designated a “habitual violent felony offender” by a state court. Some jurisdictions require registration for narrower categories of offenses like violent crimes against children or animals.

    1. Brian Wittman

      I hate to say it but some people are on the right track. They don’t want to deal with all of us. Imagine if 800,000 people decide to never register again? Are they going to incarcerate 800,000 ppl. I think not. It will send a message they don’t want to hear.
      There are other things that could be done.ook at what Anonymous does. We could do Deliberate Denial of service which wouldn’t shut down the registry but sure would make it impossible for anyone to reach it. I’m not advocating breaking a law but I know we have lots of technically savvy people who can do.many things with a computer. Unfortunatel,, it will take drastic measures for them to get the message that we just are not going to be their lepers anymore and their go to in order to garnish more votes by looking like they’re tough on crime.