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It is our intent to create a respectful environment for understanding and healing, a Discussion-Safety-Zone for Related Topics, while maintaining our Visitors' Zones-of-Privacy, and to interact on a non-judgmental basis. Today far too many communities fail to create these safety-zones!

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A Primer for Teenagers and Young Adults!
Three Must Read Articles

» 6-17-2004 : Age Inappropriate: A casual fling can earn a lifetime label as a sex offender! People say you make your own luck. That seems to apply to bad luck, too, and Curtis Franks has made more than his share. His mother, Jamie, believes that her son's losing streak began when his father left home, in 1990.

Curtis was ten at the time; he started doing drugs two years later. It was always low-level, but he didn't really outgrow it, either. By the time he left school, he'd been busted for theft and had even spent a few nights in jail for a motor-vehicle offense. But his big weakness was drugs. The habit kept him down.

The townhouse became a party pit. People were always around, playing video games, watching the tube. In late 2000, a new girl started hanging around the place. Curtis says he didn't know all that much about her, but she quickly became a regular. "She had short blond hair, nice body," he says. "She seemed like a nice girl." She lived nearby, and she'd stop by at all hours, sometimes well after midnight. ......

"She told me she lived on her own," Curtis remembers. "We'd just hang out. We were mostly with a bunch of people, listening to music. I was never really all that into her." In mid-February, however, one thing led to another, and the relationship changed. On the night of February 17, 2001, they had sex, downstairs in Curtis's room. Curtis says she even planned it, setting up the tryst close to Valentine's Day to make it seem more romantic. She brought over flowers, he recalls.

He says he began having doubts about the relationship almost immediately, though, and he called the girl the following weekend to break it off. "At first she seemed cool with it," he says. "Then she was all passive-aggressive, like, 'Whatever.' And then she got mad and hung up." At around 9 p.m. on the night of February 21, there was a knock on Curtis's door. Behind the knock were five cops who had an unpleasant surprise for him: The girl had claimed that Curtis raped her. But the bigger surprise was that she was only fourteen years old. ..... [can you guess the rest?] (ERIC DEXHEIMER)....much much more, a few pages, but worth the time to read, journalist has done a wonderful job....



People -v- Meyers

Did the Michigan court of appeals intend its decision in Michigan -v- Meyers, to include defendants who were involved in a negotiated plea bargin?

The court stated, "Meyers pleaded guilty of this charge without negotiating a plea agreement [plea bargin]." page 2.

That statement by the court is unnecessary in a case of a simple guilty plea. It begs the question, was the court, excluding cases where there was a "Plea Bargin?" The court then went on to its final decision, holding that Meyers did have to register.

A plea of guilty is not the same as negotiating a plea bargain (a contract, which is sacrosanct), whereby the defendant, the prosecutor and the judge must agree to the terms. In order to change that "Plea Bargin" another hearing must be held on that topic. SANTOBELLO v. NEW YORK, 404 U.S. 257 (1971)

Mr Dickerson is correct, there is something wrong when, a negotiated plea bargin (a contract) approved by the Judicial branch, can be retroactively set aside by, the Legislative or Executive branch of the government, without at least violating the Separations of Powers clause of the constitution.

Especially without a hearing where all parties are present, and the issue of all the terms of the plea bargin, are reviewed and agreed upon, and the new plea bargin read into the court record.

If such is permitted, many folks who have negotiated plea bargins throughout history, based upon statutes that may have changed with time, should fear for their liberty today.
»3-24-2004 Michigan: BRIAN DICKERSON: A plea deal thwarted, a life is ended! Ernest Hemingway wrote that every true story ends in death. This is a true story.

It begins two years ago with a troubled 14-year-old girl who documented her sexual exploits in a diary. She called herself a predator. But Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca was more interested in her slightly older sex partners. He charged four of them with criminal sexual conduct, a felony.

In May 2002, when what became known as the Bloomfield Sex Diary case broke, I argued that Gorcyca had overreacted by bringing criminal charges for what amounted to consensual sex between promiscuous teenagers. I noted that, if convicted, the defendants would be listed on Michigan's sex-offender registry until they reached middle age.

After a public uproar, Gorcyca relented. Under a plea agreement blessed by two sentencing judges, all four defendants were permitted to plead guilty to a lesser charge of seduction. The prosecutor and defense attorneys agreed that none of the defendants would be imprisoned or listed on the sex-offender registry.

It should have ended there -- a fiasco averted, a case of overzealous prosecution brought to a sane resolution. But it didn't. Last month, more than a year after the charges against them were resolved, all four defendants were notified they'd be registered as sex offenders after all.

One of them, 20-year-old Justin Fawcett of West Bloomfield, was particularly devastated. On Feb. 27, three days after Fawcett's probation officer broke the news that he'd be publicly branded for the next 23 years, Fawcett's father e-mailed me to express his fear that Justin would kill himself.

Judges, probation officers and defense attorneys I spoke to this week attributed Justin Fawcett's legal dilemma to new marching orders from Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox's office, which recently advised the Department of Corrections to place defendants like Fawcett on Michigan's sex-offender registry whether or not the offense they've been convicted of is specifically mentioned in the registration statute.

Cox's spokesman, Matt Davis, says the attorney general's advisory was designed to bring the Department of Corrections in line with a recent Michigan Court of Appeals ruling. The ruling, in a 2002 case called Michigan v. Meyers, says defendants may be listed on the registry for any crime "that by its nature constitutes a sexual offense against an individual who is less than 18 years of age."

So if you're a state legislator, pay attention. Because you enacted this indiscriminate law, and it's way past time for you to fix it. If you're a prosecutor, take heed. Because the criminalization of teenage promiscuity is destroying young lives. And if you're a parent, wake up. Because if you think this couldn't happen to your teenager, you've missed the whole point of Justin Fawcett's story. (Brian Dickerson, Detroit Free Press)....more....
»3-22-04 Georgia: TOUGH CRIME LEGISLATION HAS UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES! Marcus Dixon, 19, is unusual. He is black, but his (adoptive) parents are white. A star athlete in high school, he stands 6 foot 6 and weighs about 265 pounds. And with a 3.96 GPA, he scored 1,200-plus on the SAT. Any one of those factors would make him a standout; the combination is rare, indeed.

So it is no surprise that his 15-year prison sentence, which grew out of a prosecution for rape, has drawn national attention. Because of the charges, he was thrown out of high school just before he was expected to graduate. His football scholarship to Vanderbilt University, which prides itself on attracting scholar-athletes, was rescinded. His future, once so promising, has soured.

The story of his grossly unfair sentence is as unusual as everything else in his life. It is a story of unintended consequences, of a public sick of violent predators, of a Democratic governor up for re-election who was determined that no Republican competitor would portray him as "soft on crime." In 1994, Gov. Zell Miller proposed a tough "two strikes" law that required mandatory sentences for seven violent felonies. To most Georgians (including me), the law seemed a good idea. The state's prison system was releasing violent felons after most served little more than half their sentences.

Unlike the "three strikes" laws in some states, Miller's "two strikes" proposal was supposed to ensnare only the worst offenders. It requires 10 years, without parole, for any felon convicted of any of seven violent crimes, and it mandates life in prison without parole for a second offense. So voters overwhelmingly endorsed Miller's proposal, writing his "two strikes" legislation into the state constitution. Experts warned at the time that the law could easily backfire. "... A lot of decisions are made on emotion," James T. Morris, then chairman of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole, said at the time. "If we aren't careful, decisions we make in 1994 ... might have a far-reaching impact on things people might not see today."

The Georgia Legislature ought to reconsider the "two strikes" laws, but it is unlikely to do so. Even in an era of falling crime rates, politicians are reluctant to do anything -- no matter how reasonable -- that might suggest leniency toward criminals. But there is hope that Dixon's harsh sentence will be overturned by the Georgia Supreme Court. If Dixon didn't commit rape -- and a Floyd County jury says he didn't -- he has no business spending any more time behind bars. (Cynthia Tucker)....more....

A Primer for Parents, Teenagers and Young Adults!

When Criminal Justice Personnel (includes police) wish to speak to children, juveniles, or young adults, the wisest course of action is to seek advise of a lawyer beforehand:
» US Supreme Court: RE: Juveniles who have been asked by the police to come in to discuss what happened (being a possible crime or whatever)? Juvenile cannot rely upon the absence of Miranda Warnings, whatever is said is admissible or in this case a confession.

Respondent Alvarado helped Paul Soto try to steal a truck, leading to the death of the truck's owner. Alvarado was called in for an interview with Los Angeles detective Comstock. Alvarado was 17 years old at the time, and his parents brought him to the station and waited in the lobby during the interview.

Comstock took Alvarado to a small room where only the two of them were present. The interview lasted about two hours, and Alvarado was not given a warning under Miranda v. Arizona, 334 U. S. 436. Although he at first denied being present at the shooting, Alvarado slowly began to change his story, finally admitting that he had helped Soto try to steal the victim's truck and to hide the gun after the murder. Comstock twice asked Alvarado if he needed a break and, when the interview was over, returned him to his parents, who drove him home.

After California charged Alvarado with murder and attempted robbery, the trial court denied his motion to suppress his interview statements on Miranda grounds. In affirming Alvarado's conviction, the District Court of Appeal (hereinafter state court) ruled that a Miranda warning was not required because Alvarado had not been in custody during the interview under the test articulated in Thompson v. Keohane, 516 U. S. 99, 112, which requires a court to consider the circumstances surrounding the interrogation and then determine whether a reasonable person would have felt at liberty to leave.

The Federal District Court agreed with the state court on habeas review, but the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that the state court erred in failing to account for Alvarado's youth and inexperience when evaluating whether a reasonable person in his position would have felt free to leave the interview. Noting that this Court has considered a suspect's juvenile status in other criminal law contexts, see, e.g., Haley v. Ohio, 332 U. S. 596, 599, the Court of Appeals held that the state court's error warranted habeas relief under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) because it "resulted in a decision that ... involved an unreasonable application of ... clearly established Federal law, as determined by [this] Court," 28 U. S. C. §2254(d)(1).

Held: The state court considered the proper factors and reached a reasonable conclusion that Alvarado was not in custody for Miranda purposes during his police interview. Pp. 7-15. (US Supreme court: YARBOROUGH, WARDEN v. ALVARADO)....more....



A Primer for Criminal Justice & Mental Health Professionals!
The focus must be therapeutic for long term safety of society!

Child Sexual Abuse Within The Family: The American way of handling this is to break up the family and prosecute the offender, yet there is another way!

» 5-13-2004 Australia: Govt stands by child sex offender program! The Western Australian Government is standing by a taxpayer-funded agency that offers conditional confidentiality to child sex offenders. Opposition Justice spokeswoman Sue Walker wants the Perth-based agency SafeCare shut down, saying it undermines the criminal system.

The Western Australian Government is standing by a taxpayer-funded agency that offers conditional confidentiality to child sex offenders. "Perpetrators are saying that they would seek treatment services much earlier if they weren't necessarily faced with being dobbed into the police - SafeCare provides that sort of facility and service for perpetrators," she said. (ABC News Online)....more....
» Australia: SafeCare Inc.,! SafeCare Inc. is an independent, community-based organisation that provides treatment, counselling and support services to families where child sexual abuse is an issue..

This site provides information on SafeCare for clients, students, educators, referring organisations and the broader community. (SafeCare Inc.)....more....
» 5-13-2004 Australia: Don't do that, Daddy! WHY should anyone help a man who has sexually abused children in his family circle? Popular sentiment is that, once exposed, he should be evicted from suburbs, posted on pedophile websites and banished to a black hole.

But in a series of consulting rooms in Perth, adults and children with first-hand knowledge of child sex abuse meet under a different premise. The 10-year-old girl playing in a corner with her older sister knows precisely what her father did each bedtime, fondling her genitalia and encouraging her to stroke his penis. She knows why her father, Wayne, disappeared from the family for a year. He went to jail. Still, she, her sister and their mother do not want him to disappear from their lives.

The entire family – abuser, abused child and other family members – attend Safecare, a West Australian program with a unique way of tackling child sex abuse within families. It's also a highly controversial approach; although half the abusers who are Safecare clients are known to the authorities or have gone to jail, another half are not.

They have come to Safecare voluntarily, disclosed their abuse and received the promise of conditional confidentiality. If they immediately move out of home, undertake never to be alone with any child and attend Safecare's two-year program, their crime will not be reported to the authorities.

This is only possible in Western Australia, the only state in the country to have resisted the introduction of mandatory reporting of sex abuse. Safecare's supporters say it has offered a rare window of opportunity to explore new ways of treating intrafamilial sex abuse, of encouraging unknown offenders to come forward, and of working with entire families.

"The vast majority of child sexual offending occurs behind the closed doors of the family home," argues Safecare director Christabel Chamarette. "The demonisation of pedophiles – picturing them as strangers who stalk children in playgrounds (or) public toilets, or as the local priest systematically abusing young members of the congregation – fails to acknowledge the reality of child sexual offending." (Victoria Laurie)....more....

Risk Assessment for Family Court: Advantages & Disadvantages in using Community-Based FAMILY Intervention for Child Sexual Abuse Risk Assessments. (PDF file 6pgs) Christabel Chamarette MPsych. (Clin) MAPS Clinical Director, SafeCare Inc.

A Primer for Schools, School Administrators and Other School Employees & Volunteers!

8-19-2004 Washington
How much do you know about sex abuse in schools?

A coach runs away with his 15-year-old team member. A female teacher is arrested for having sex with a 14-year-old student. Whenever these inappropriate relationships make the news, parents start to worry about the safety of their children at school. Here's a quiz to see how much you know about the problem. True or false.

QUESTIONS: 1. The prevalence of sexual misconduct by employees at schools is highly exaggerated and not something a parent or child would normally have to be concerned about. ... .... ... 2-8 see article

ANSWERS: 1. FALSE. According to a report just given to Congress by the American Association of University Women, an estimated one in 10 kids faces misbehavior by school employees sometime between kindergarten and high-school graduation, ranging from inappropriate jokes to serious molestation. This could add up to more than 4 million students affected. ...... ...... 2-8 see article

DR. JOYCE BROTHERS, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST ..more..



Sexual Abuse Within Schools by Employees!

This new federal study seems to suggest, that legislators need to change their focus from "Sex Offender Residency Laws," designed to keep previously convicted sex offenders from living within xx+ feet of a school, to looking at "Better Controls Within The School Systems!"

The complete report is available below, be advised, the report is 150 pages and is a PDF file; it will take a long time to load.
"Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature, March 1, 2004"
by Charol Shakesshaft, Ph.D., Professor, Foundations, Leadership and Police Studies, Hofstra University and Managing Director, Interactive, Inc..

»3-15-04 US Schools: Sexual Abuse by Educators: Is Scrutinized! A draft report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education concludes that far too little is known about the prevalence of sexual misconduct by teachers or other school employees, but estimates that millions of children are being affected by it during their school-age years.

The scope of the problem appears to far exceed the priest abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church, said Charol Shakeshaft, the Hofstra University scholar who prepared the report. The best data available suggest that nearly 10 percent of American students are targets of unwanted sexual attention by public school employees—ranging from sexual comments to rape—at some point during their school-age years, Ms. Shakeshaft said. "So we think the Catholic Church has a problem?" she said.

To support her contention that many more youngsters have been sexually mistreated by school employees than by priests, Ms. Shakeshaft pointed to research conducted for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and released late last month. That study found that from 1950 to 2002, 10,667 people made allegations that priests or deacons had sexually abused them as minors. Extrapolating from data collected in a national survey for the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation in 2000, Ms. Shakeshaft estimated that roughly 290,000 students experienced some sort of physical sexual abuse by a public school employee from 1991 to 2000 —a single decade, compared with the roughly five-decade period examined in the study of Catholic priests.

The Education Department contracted with Ms. Shakeshaft to examine what is known about the prevalence of sexual misconduct against students by school employees. The agency was responding to a provision in the No Child Left Behind Act. The little-noticed provision required a "study regarding the prevalence of sexual abuse in schools, including recommendations and legislative remedies for addressing the problem of sexual abuse in schools." The provision went on to set a completion date of "not later than 18 months" after the enactment of the law, which was signed by President Bush in January 2002.

She said that after she turned in a draft of the report last May, she received feedback from the department that led her to believe that the literature review was no longer intended to lay the groundwork for a future study. In a letter stating that the Education Department "has not made plans to conduct further work on a national study on sexual abuse in schools," Ms. Shakeshaft was asked to change the original subtitle of her report, which was "A Synthesis of Existing Literature in Connection With the Design of a National Analysis." Ms. Shakeshaft then retooled and expanded the report to include more information about what is known about the issue, and submitted another draft to the department last week. (Caroline Hendrie, Education Week)....more....

»11-1998 A Trust Betrayed: Sexual Abuse by Teachers! This three-part series on child sex abuse by school employees is the result of a six-month project by Education Week involving scores of interviews with state and local education and law-enforcement officials, other experts, teachers, principals, parents, and victims, as well as an extensive review of court documents, journal articles, and public- policy records. (A Special Report, Education Week 1998)....more....


News Articles Showing What Occurs in Society

COURT CASES with EMPHASIS ON JUVENILES:

4-7-2004 Virginia
16 Year Old Girls Charged with Disseminating their Own Brand of Child Porn

.Two Northside High School girls who took nude pictures of themselves and e-mailed them to their boyfriends last year said they only did it to be flirtatious. It wasn't long before they realized the consequences: loss of friends, no more school activities, seeing themselves on Internet sites and felony charges.

By the time the girls faced Roanoke County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge Philip Trompeter on Thursday, all joking was aside. "You were degrading and hurting yourselves doing this," Trompeter told them. Both 16-year-olds were charged with production and dissemination of child pornography. ..more.. Roanoke Times | See also blog discussions on this type of case: Another Child Self-Pornography Case down the page a bit; -AND- Once Again, It's On

»4-05-2004 Pennsylvania: Teen who posted own photo charged with child porn! State police have charged a 15-year-old Latrobe girl with child pornography for taking photos of herself and posting them on the Internet.

Police said the girl, whose identity they withheld, photographed herself in various states of undress and performing a variety of sexual acts. She then sent the photos to people she met in chat rooms.

She has been charged with sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography. Police said they are trying to identify all the people who receive photos from the girl. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)....more....

In the above 2-articles the teens were prosecuted for allowing others to see their naked body. Read the following article, the federal judge saw no criminal act in these teens allowing others to view their naked bodies. Even in the newspaper showing their picture (albeit under water and obscured).

8-10-2004 Virginia
Teen Nudist Camp: Teen nudist camp lawsuit dismissed: Va. judge rebuffs suit seeking challenge to restrictions

.RICHMOND, Va. - A federal judge said Tuesday that a new Virginia law requiring parental supervision at a nudist camp for kids does not violate parents’ rights to raise their children as they see fit.

Virginia’s General Assembly passed the law in response to last summer’s weeklong residential camp for 11- to 18-year-olds at White Tail — the first camp for nude juveniles in Virginia and only the third in the nation, according to its sponsors.

The law took effect July 1, prompting camp organizers to move this year’s event to another undisclosed state. The law denies a state license to “any hotel, summer camp or campground ... that maintains, or conducts as any part of its activities, a nudist camp for juveniles” who are not accompanied by a parent, grandparent or legal guardian.

AG underscores state's ‘absolute responsibility’ “Virginia has an absolute responsibility to see to the safety of its citizens, particularly its children,” said Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for Virginia Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore. “We know that pedophiles tend to congregate where children are accessible ... and we just think this law is common sense.” ...

“If there were a law requiring a parent to accompany every child to Boy Scout or Girl Scout camp, you can see what a burden that would be,” Glenberg said. Although the camp for children opened only last year, White Tail opened in southeastern Virginia in 1984. About 1,200 nudists are there at any one time, including about 30 families who live there all year. Visitors undergo background checks, and the camp has strict rules against lewd, lustful or lascivious conduct. ..more.. MSNBC


»3-8-2004 Wisconsin: Teens who have sex charged with abuse: DAs are prosecuting even when both consent! Wisconsin's child abuse law makes it a felony for anyone to engage in sexual activity with someone younger than 16. It applies to consensual sex, even between teens of the same age.

Last summer, when she was made pregnant by her boyfriend at age 15, Sarah, a shy girl with a pretty face, went to a clinic with her mother for consultation. As they left the Racine clinic with blankets and booties, neither had any idea that three weeks later, an investigator from Racine County Child Protective Services would show up on their doorstep.

The investigator's ruling: Sarah would be charged with sexual assault and prosecuted in juvenile court for having sex with a minor. Her boyfriend would be charged, too. "I didn't know what to say," Sarah, whose name has been changed because she's a minor, said in a recent interview as she sat on her living room couch clutching her newborn son. "I had no idea how this was happening."

A growing number of those teens are being prosecuted for sexual assault, though state and county statistics don't differentiate between sexual assaults involving consensual and non-consensual sex, the officials say. Among them are teenage girls who were once viewed only as victims. (MEGAN TWOHEY)....more....

» 8-12-03 Georgia:High court orders CHILD to register as sex offender! COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Juvenile sex offenders must register on the state sex offender registry if required by law, the South Carolina Supreme Court says. The justices unanimously ruled Monday that forcing a boy to register after he was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct when he was 9 years old does not violate the child's due process. The boy's lawyers had argued forcing him to register as a sex offender for life violates his constitutional rights because it will remain on his record well into adulthood. More than 200 juvenile offenders are on SLED's list, but not named in the public registry. (by Associated Press)

Should the girl be charged too? Every state has a "Aiding & Abetting" a Felony statute.
» 6-15-2004 Kansas: Underage victim apologizes to sex offender! OLATHE, Kan. - The 14-year-old victim of a man convicted of having sex with her apologized Monday for convincing him she was 18. The [technical offender] was sentenced Monday in Johnson County District Court to nine months in jail for aggravated indecent liberties with a child. [He] plead guilty to the crime in April, saying he didn't know the girl was underage. The girl, who met [him] last fall after posting an Internet profile claiming that she was 18 and interested in meeting men for casual sex, apologized to [him] and her family for the pain her behavior had caused. (The Kansas City Star)....more....


PROBLEMS WITH CASEWORKERS -or- AGENCY HANDLING JUVENILES:
» 7-24-03 Michigan: Child agency rebuked by judge: Sex by underage teens brings contempt order!A Monroe County judge has held the state's child welfare agency in contempt of court for failing to stop two teens from having sex in a foster home. Moskwa (judge) took the unusual action of holding the Monroe County FIA in civil contempt of court after hearing testimony last month on how the agency reacted when it learned that a 14-year-old girl under FIA supervision was having consensual sex with an unrelated 15-year-old boy.

In her five-page order, Moskwa cited a series of problems within the FIA, including: The agency was not advocating for children. Caseworkers, supervisors and top managers at the agency are not communicating with each other. The agency has a lack of training, and morale is low among caseworkers. .(By Jack Kresank, FREE PRESS Staff Writer)
NEIGHBORHOOD TRIES TO FORCE GROUP HOME FOR JUVENILE SEX OFFENDERS TO LEAVE THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD:
4-12-2003 Stockton, California: Beverly Wrensch is afraid for her seven year old daughter. That same fear prompted her neighbors to put up signs on their property protesting a group home for juvenile sex offenders that opened on Heather Drive. The home houses six boys, and has the proper permits. But there is no requirement to notify neighbors. "Anybody can find out where the group homes are." They wonder why group homes can't be put in the country or in industrial areas. Beverly says she's putting up her house for sale tommorrow. She feels a little guilty running away from the problem, but...Beverly Wrensch says, "I have to do what's best for my family."

1-23-2003 California: A group of residents is turning up the heat on a controversial group home for juvenile sex offenders, hoping that constant pressure will force the Elk Grove facility to close. Around 11 a.m. last Saturday, Randall Beaida, head of the company that operates the group home, found 10 people marching in front of his Rancho Cordova home, carrying signs and shouting, "Hey, hey, ho, ho. Sex offenders gotta go. At the same time 125 miles away in Reno, 13 Elk Grove residents showed up at the doorstep of a businessman yelling, "Shame on you, Lyle Schmitt." Schmitt owns the Serafino Court group home in north Elk Grove.

Comment: Where in the community can they be treated, especially if they are under state custody?.


COLORADO HOUSING ORDINANCE: Limiting number of sex offenders permitted per household, overturned by Colorado Supreme Court, as to juvenile offenders, but remains in effect as to adult offenders:
1-13-2003 Colorado: The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that local governments can't control how many juvenile sex offenders live in one household. It does not affect restrictions on adult sex offenders.

Three boys who had been both victims and perpetrators of incest were living with Ibarra and her husband (foster parents), Eusebio, in Northglenn when the city passed a new law in 2000. It limited registered sex offenders to one per household, or two if they were related. That meant two of Ibarra's boys had to leave. "I just don't know what's going to happen to them," she said tearfully in a federal courtroom in February 2000, at the beginning of her legal battle.

Comment:Colorado Supreme Court decsion.
New Interpretation of Sex Laws:
»12-2-03 Kansas: Court considers new interpretation of juvenile sex law! Wichita — An opinion by Atty. Gen. Phill Kline that Kansas can require health care professionals to report all suspected underage sexual activity changes nothing in existing state law, his office told a federal judge Tuesday. Judge J. Thomas Marten told attorneys during a five-hour hearing that he was mostly concerned about what was going to be required under the 1982 reporting statute and Kline's recent reinterpretation of it.

At stake is whether Kansas can compel doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, social workers and others to report all instances of underage sex as evidence of child abuse. Kline contends the law requires it because sex involving someone under 16 is illegal in Kansas, even if it involves willing same-age partners.

After hearing five hours of testimony -- mostly by health care workers -- Marten gave attorneys until Dec. 12 to file their written closing arguments. A decision on whether Marten will issue an injunction against Kline's interpretation would come after a Dec. 19 deadline for responses.

In July, Kline issued an opinion dealing mostly with abortion and the question of whether doctors must report a pregnancy as evidence of child abuse. Kline said that because sex involving someone under 16 was illegal, it required a report to law enforcement officials or the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. The center argued in its lawsuit that Kline's opinion contradicted one issued in 1992 by then-Atty. Gen. Bob Stephan.

To make its case, the center put on the stand a Kansas clinical psychologist, a New York pediatrician and a Kansas gynecologist -- who testified that confidentiality was essential to sexually active youths seeking medical treatment or counseling. "Mandatory reporting would harm adolescents in Kansas by requiring physicians to break confidentiality," said Dr. Jonathan Klein, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester in New York.

Clinical psychologist Beth McGilley also testified that confidentially was "critically important" to adolescents seeking counseling. The effect of Kline's ruling would be to require her to tell her patients that their underage sexual activity would be reported to authorities. "I think the effect would be tragic, and frankly catastrophic," McGilley said. (by Roxana Hegeman - Associated Press)
Why does the Attorney General interpret the law this way??? Maybe, to prosecute more crimes, but this time it would be juveniles! Will his next step be, to prosecute them as adults (as Texas is doing)?? The effect on their lives would be a disaster. Lets hope that the court remembers a very old saying, that all crazy people are not in mental institutions! Kansas also has civil commitment, will their juveniles be next?


Sex Offender Registration:
7-9-2004 Michigan
BRIAN DICKERSON: Sex-offender list changes a good start

Nine years ago, in their haste to strike a blow against child molesters, Michigan legislators swept violent sexual predators and promiscuous teenagers into a single net. Now, hundreds of ruined lives later, lawmakers have at last begun to fine-tune the state's public sex-offender registry. Under legislation adopted this week by lopsided majorities in both houses, some nonviolent teenage offenders will no longer be listed alongside serial rapists and other violent sexual criminals. The changes also will limit the impact of a mean-spirited appellate court ruling that threatened to keep youthful offenders on the registry for decades after their criminal convictions had been expunged.

Unfortunately, though, the changes approved this week will do little for the thousands of teenage offenders convicted before the new laws take effect Oct. 1. Even those whose convictions have been expunged will have to stay on the sex-offender registry for a minimum of 10 years -- long enough to sabotage their efforts to find jobs, obtain college degrees or have social lives untainted by the stigma of sexual deviancy.

These are harsh consequences, to say the least, for youths whose only crime was sexual contact with a consenting partner two or three years their junior. And the sting will only increase next year, when new rules requiring the state to post photographs of those listed on the registry take effect.

Hammerstrom (Bill's Sponsor) has steadfastly refused to meet with representatives of Citizens for Second Chances, a well-informed advocacy group that has spearheaded efforts to reform the registry. Hammerstrom and her subordinates also declined to return phone calls in which I sought to learn why she believes teenagers who engage in consensual sex represent an ongoing danger to their communities. ..more.. BRIAN DICKERSON | FREE PRESS COLUMNIST


General Interest Articles:
7-6-2004 United Kingdom
'Mood' enzyme linked to teen suicide

The activity of a brain enzyme thought to affect mood may be reduced in teens who commit suicide, according to US researchers. Dr Ghanshyam Pandey and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Chicago examined the brains of 34 teenagers who had died - 17 by suicide. Protein kinase C (PKC) activity levels were much lower in the suicide victims' brains. .. more.. BBC News

8-27-2004 Michigan
BRIAN DICKERSON: Policing teen sex isn't job of educators

.Just in time for the new school year, the Michigan Court of Appeals has provided beleaguered educators with some welcome news -- they're not responsible for policing the sex lives of their teenage charges. In a unanimous ruling handed down this week, the Court of Appeals said a Michigan statute requiring educators, doctors and other child-care professionals to report suspected child abuse doesn't oblige them to alert the Family Independence Agency whenever they suspect students of having sex with each other.

If sexual or abusive encounters between students triggered the reporting requirement, appellate judges said, school officials would be required to notify the FIA "every time a bully pushed another child down on the playground or extorted lunch money." In fact, the Court of Appeals said, abuse must be reported to the agency only "when the suspected perpetrator is a parent, legal guardian, teacher, teachers aide or other person responsible for the child's health and welfare." ..more.. Read the court's decision: People v Beardsley Decided August 24, 2004, Docket No(s) 246202. Lower Court Docket No(s) LC No. 02-004793-AR.

8-12-2004 Michigan
Teen victims of sex offenses

40-year-old teacher has an affair with a 14-year-old student and gets caught. The court's expected punishment for the assault: A delayed sentence amounting to two years on probation. Why so lenient?

We hope it wasn't because the teacher in this Saginaw County District Court case was a woman and the student was a boy. Yet it's hard to imagine the court handing out a similar punishment to a male teacher who had sex with a female student. A male teacher pleading to a charge of having an sex with a teen girl almost certainly would receive prison time, likely a lengthy sentence. Male teachers are viewed as sexual predators; female teachers are more likely viewed as unstable deviants.

Last month, Lori Jo Fraser of St. Charles, a former teacher at a Montcalm County parochial school, agreed to two years of probation for assault in what was described as consensual sex with a male student. Prosecutors agreed to a plea deal and Fraser avoided standing trial on three counts of criminal sexual conduct, 15-year felonies. The court is expected to delay sentencing. If Fraser stays away from the victim and doesn't get into further trouble, she can withdraw her no contest plea and the court will drop the charges in two years.

A 14-year-old, regardless of gender, cannot consent to sex. Saying the sex offense was mitigated by its consensual nature ignores the emotional maturity of the victim and society's understanding of what juveniles can agree to. Other mitigating factors, such as the family of the victim wanting to avoid putting their teen through a trial, are harder to dismiss. Still, accepting a plea bargain and avoiding a trial shouldn't result in a sentence that doesn't reflect the seriousness of the offense. Child predators don't come in one gender.

Chalking up a sexual assault with a nod and a wink because the victim is a boy should strike more people within the criminal justice system as wrong. As a society, we should take a closer look at the way we treat sex offenses involving teenage boys and older women, particularly school teachers who are in a position of power and responsibility. Such acts are a violation of parental trust. We need to move past the nod-and-wink days and what amounts to a tacit shrug that teenaged male victims aren't as vulnerable as female peers. Victims are victims, regardless of sex. Police, prosecutors and courts shouldn't treat sex offenders differently, regardless of sex. ..more.. Saginaw News SEE ALSO: 9-2-2004 Former teacher withdraws plea Darryl Q. Tucker, The Signaw News

»12-02 Texas: Statistics: More teen offenders tried as adults! FORT WORTH, Texas - A slight increase in major crimes and some highly publicized violent crimes involving teen suspects have led to more Texas juvenile offenders being tried as adults in recent years, authorities said. In Tarrant County, the number of juveniles certified as adults increased in 2002 because prosecutors are considering more types of crimes, including sex offenses, said Jay Lapham, chief of the juvenile division of the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office. The number went from six in 2001 to 10 last year.

Statewide, the number of juveniles certified to stand trial as adults increased from 141 in 2001 to 214 last year, according to the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission. A juvenile certified and convicted as an adult can face tougher sentences and be sent to prison instead of a Texas Youth Commission facility. In Texas, someone as young as 14 can be tried as an adult in a felony criminal case. (by Associated Press)

» 11-26 Australia: Net porn drives junior sex offenders! Internet pornography is helping to spawn a new generation of sexual predators as young as six, child protection experts warned yesterday. The Child At Risk Assessment Unit based at the Canberra Hospital said there had been an alarming increase in children under 10 sexually abusing other children. Most had used the internet to browse porn sites.

The unit, which worked with children under 10, noted a "dramatic" increase in the number of children sexually harming other children, from three a year in the 1990s to about 70 this year. Cassandra Tinning, a social worker at the unit said almost all of them went online to access porn and many thought that was the internet's sole purpose. Forty per cent had been abused themselves and 25 per cent had had someone else show them how to find porn on the internet.

Ms Kovacs said internet pornography was worse than X-rated videos because it was "a lot more deviant and extreme, violent and showing rape and other non-consensual sex". Dr Stanley said US research had found a firm link between young sexual predators and internet porn, and anecdotal evidence from child protection workers here showed the same trend. Dr Stanley said an Australia Institute survey of 200 children this year showed that 38 per cent of boys aged 16 to 17 and 2 per cent of girls had deliberately sought out sexually explicit material online. (by Natasha Wallace, The Age.com)
STOP MEANS "NO MORE" AND CAN AMOUNT TO RAPE:
1-6-2003 California: When a woman says no to sex, even after intercourse has begun, a man (a minor here) had better pay attention. On Monday, the California Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that it's rape if a man continues to have sex with a woman who originally consented but then changed her mind. Read the appellate decision. Here is an interesting commentary on the issue of "Rape."


ISSUES with SCHOOLS:
» 5-17-2004 Florida: Sex offender law criticized for increasing risk! School officials say the measure protecting kids on their way to school could make them unsafe. In a news release, Sen. Mike Fasano trumpeted passage of a bill he sponsored that will prohibit certain sex offenders from living near school bus stops. "This legislation has been several years in the making," Fasano said in the release. "No longer will the worst of the worst be allowed to live anywhere near a location where children spend most of their waking lives." With more than 30,000 registered sex offenders statewide, Fasano's press release did not specify how many offenders his bill targets. The best guess from the Department of Corrections: 35.

And, in the opinion of the transportation director for Pasco schools, the benefit of such a law is questionable no matter how few or many offenders it targets. "In some cases," Mike Park said, "we're going to put kids in more harm." Under the bill's rules, certain offenders cannot move near a bus stop, but once an offender does move into a home, bus stops must keep clear of it. This forces children who may move in nearby to walk farther along roads to get to their bus stops. Any time you make children walk farther in potential traffic, you increase their risk, Park said.

The bottom line, he said, is that parents should be there to supervise their children as they wait at a bus stop anyway. "It doesn't happen, but it should," Park said. "They're responsible for them until they step on the bus - by law." The new law will not affect the vast majority of state-supervised sex offenders: those on probation. (STEVE THOMPSON)....more....

7-15-2004 Georgia
School board votes to ban registered sex offenders from attending school

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Columbia County school officials tentatively agreed to ban registered sex offenders from the school system. The policy would not allow anyone listed on a sex offender registry to be enrolled in the county school system. School board members decided Tuesday to approve that and other policy changes by a 4-1 vote. One student may remain, however, under an exception because a judge ordered that he attend school as part of a sentence. That student must attend the county's alternative school. The policy is a reaction to a 20-year-old former Harlem High School student who pleaded guilty June 17 to the molestation of a 15-year-old classmate at the school. ... Christopher Allen Hall was already a registered sex offender in Columbia County for a March 2002 conviction of child molestation and criminal attempt to commit rape. Part of his sentence for that conviction was to attend school. ..more.. Associated Press

1-13-2003 Washington State: Washington's juvenile justice system "dumped" a 15-year-old sex offender on Gig Harbor High School, endangering students and staff members, Peninsula Schools Superintendent Jim Coolican says. "There are 1,000 young women at Gig Harbor High School, and I have to protect them, as well as the rest of the students and staff," Coolican told the School Board recently. "As soon as I saw the paperwork (on the boy), that student was out of our schools in less than an hour."

Comment: Notice how proud that school administrator was in what he did, instead of finding a way to comply with the law. Is that acceptable behavior for one in office?.


SCHOOLS BAN SPORTS ACTIVITY:
» 7-7-03 Washington: Auburn High School bans juvenile sex offenders from participating in any sports activities! Auburn revised its athletic conduct rules to ban convicted sex offenders from participating in athletics at any time, district athletic director Tim Cummings said. Felony convicts are prohibited from participating in sports for one full year or until their sentence is completed.

People who work with youth also see the power of sports to motivate students to behave and develop personal skills. Judges and probation officers encourage young offenders to participate in organized sports to learn teamwork, juvenile court administrator Erker said. Research shows students who are involved in activities do better in school and earn higher grades than those who don't participate, added Shearer, Mount Tahoma's principal.

"We feel athletics is a tool to keep many kids on the straight and narrow," said Dave Lutes, Kent School District director of athletics and activities. "It's a prevention tool for criminal activity, drug and alcohol activity and gang activity. We feel we're the best medicine for that." (The News Tribune.com)

Note: Should a juvenile offender be denied those opportunities so highly regarded by the criminal justice system and Educators?



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