Monday, February 26, 2018

Why I oppose sex offender laws

It's a perspective that is not often considered and frequently overlooked. Read why a victim of sexual abuse eloquently explains opposes the harsh sex offender laws in place in the United States.
To many people, policies aimed at sex offenders make sense. They just do. Because everyone knows that sex offenders will invariably rack up more victims, they are doomed to reoffend, and we should just lock them up or kill them. There is no cure for pedophilia, so sex offenders are a lost cause that need to be shot. 
However… I do not think the reality is nearly that simple, and how I came to that conclusion is likewise not simple. When I share that I am a victim of sexual abuse, people also seem to automatically think that I then hate and want to punish sex offenders. There is almost an expectation that, because I am a victim, I should take a certain stance on our policies and how we approach sex crimes. So, when I share that our sex offender policies are not working, and why, I think the tendency for people is to doubt that I am a victim, and accuse me of being a sex offender (how rude!).
Read his full argument here.

Friday, February 23, 2018

LB693 would create new offenses, including "unmanned aircraft harassment by a registered sex offender"

It remains to be seen if this bill will get off the ground. The Judiciary Committee heard testimony on LB693, introduced by Bellevue Sen. Carol Blood, which would regulate the use of unmanned aircraft (drones) in the state. Much of the bill's language prohibits the use of drones to trespass or spy on another person.
Any person who intentionally causes an electronic device—including an unmanned aircraft—to enter the property of another in order to secretly peep into the dwelling of another person would be guilty of a Class I misdemeanor. 
The bill would prohibit operation of an unmanned aircraft within a horizontal distance of 500 feet or a vertical distance of 300 feet above any penal institution. Operation of an unmanned aircraft carrying a deadly weapon also would be prohibited.
The bill also creates several new offenses related to the use of drones, including "unmanned aircraft harassment by a registered sex offender."
Sec. 6. (1) A person who is required to register under the Sex Offender Registration Act commits the offense of unmanned aircraft harassment by a sex offender if he or she: (a) Operates an unmanned aircraft for the purpose of following, contacting, or capturing images or recordings of an individual; and (b) Is subject to a protection order or a condition of probation, parole, or supervised release that prohibits such following, contacting, or capturing of images. The order or condition need not specifically prohibit such conduct by means of an unmanned aircraft.
Violating this provision would be a Class I misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class IV felony for subsequent offenses.

Is this really a problem? And is it necessary to single out registered citizens, when the bill already prohibits anyone from using drones to trespass, harass, or spy on another person?

You can read the bill here.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Bill would eliminate voting restrictions for ex-felons

Testimony on another good bill was heard by the Legislature's Government, Military, and Veteran's Affairs Committee. Sen. Justin Wayne introduced LB1027, which would immediately restore voting rights to convicted felons when they complete their sentence.
Currently, a person automatically regains his or her voting rights two years after completion of a felony sentence, including parole. LB1027, introduced by Omaha Sen. Justin Wayne, would eliminate this waiting period. 
Wayne said people who participate in the political process are 30 percent less likely to re-offend in the future. Voting helps people become more engaged in their communities, he said, which benefits everyone. 
“This is not a Republican or Democrat issue,” Wayne said. “When you’ve done your time, you should be able to participate.”
Read more here.

Text of LB1027

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Periodic review of occupational licensing laws discussed

The Nebraska Legislature discussed a bill this week that could make it easier for people with a criminal history to obtain a professional license in the state.
As introduced by Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete, LB299 would create a legislative office responsible for reviewing proposed legislation that would enact or modify occupational licensing regulations to ensure that they are the least restrictive means of achieving the regulation’s ends. It also would require ongoing legislative review of occupational regulations and legislation.
Language in LB299 does appear to ease the burden for those with a criminal history, including felonies, to pursue occupational licenses in the state.
Sec. 16. The purposes of the Occupational Board Reform Act are (1) to require occupational boards to respect the fundamental right of an individual to pursue an occupation and (2) to ensure that occupational boards and individual members of occupational boards avoid liability under federal antitrust laws.Sec. 17. (1) The fundamental right of an individual to pursue an occupation includes the right of an individual with a criminal history to obtain an occupational license, a specialty occupational license for medical reimbursement, or government certification or state recognition of the individual’s personal qualifications. (2) An individual with a criminal history may petition the appropriate occupational board at any time, including prior to obtaining required education or paying any fee, for a determination as to whether the individual’s criminal history would disqualify the individual from obtaining an occupational license, a specialty occupational license for medical reimbursement, or government certification or state recognition of the individual’s personal qualifications from that occupational board. 
Read more here.

Kansas reconsiders criminal registries

Officials in Kansas are considering reducing the number of crimes (though apparently not sex offenses) that can land people on public registries.
It’s meant to boost public safety, but the Kansas Sentencing Commission says other consequences come with publishing the past transgressions of nearly 20,000 Kansans.“The state,” agency director Scott Schultz told lawmakers this month, “has unintentionally become an online shopping portal for methamphetamine and other drugs.”Kansas lawmakers have, piece by piece and year after year, created a particularly expansive set of criminal registry rules and a whole new class of crimes for not keeping up with them. Now, some policymakers want to rethink them.Schultz’s agency is among those pushing to pare back a system they say complicates reintegration and rehabilitation for thousands of Kansans, making it harder to find homes and jobs and to keep away from active criminals.
Sex offender registries also complicate reintegration and rehabilitation for thousands of Kansans and hopefully they will be part of the conversation.

Read more here.

Increased penalties for registered citizens move forward in SD Legislature

Lawmakers in South Dakota have advanced legislation that would increase the punishment for failing to keep sex offender registration up to date.
Senate Bill 61 would increase the penalty for sex offenders who fail more than once to register after moving to a new address. Currently, law penalizes second offenses the same as first offenses, a class 6 felony. Under the bill, a second offense and any subsequent offense would be a class 5 felony. 
Read the full story here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Porn and sex addiction: signs you may have a problem

Another report from Julie Cornell of KETV, Omaha, examines online pornography and sex addiction.
Omaha, NE --His private world was exposed in the fall of 2017, when an Omaha man’s wife discovered his infidelity stemming from a life-long struggle with pornography and sex addiction. “Ryan” is middle aged, highly educated, and has children. When his story unraveled, he revealed he’d been seeing prostitutes regularly, up to twice a week to feed his sex addiction after years of on-line porn use. 
Another young man was just 11 years old when he became hooked on internet porn, because he was curious. Thirteen years later, “Josh” told me it’s still a daily struggle to not seek out pornography.
Full story here.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Penalties paid, Heimlich ready to return for Oregon State basebaall

The college baseball season is underway and once again this year, Oregon State and star pitcher Luke Heimlich are among the favorites to make it to Omaha and the College World Series. You may recall Heimlich did not make the trip to Omaha with his teammates last season. He's back on the mound as the Beavers begin this season.
Oregon State's No 2-ranked baseball team opens its season Feb. 16 against New Mexico at Surprise, Arizona.The Beavers are expected to send senior left-hander Luke Heimlich to the mound against the Lobos.Eight months ago, that didn't seem likely.Heimlich, the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year and the national ERA leader with an 11-1 record, withdrew from the OSU team before its Super Regional against Vanderbilt last June. He was not with the Beavers during their College World Series appearance, either. In a written statement to the media, he said he didn't want to be a distraction in the wake of reports in The Oregonian that, at age 16, he pleaded guilty to one count of felony child molestation.The charge, brought forth by the ex-wife of Heimlich's brother and mother of his niece, was that Luke inappropriately touched the girl in a private area of her body at his family's home in Puyallup, Washington, at least twice when he was age 13 to 15 and she 4 to 6, from 2010-12. Heimlich pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to two years probation, with the possibility of it being sealed from his record at the end of a five-year period.(That has happened. Heimlich's court records were sealed on Aug. 28 in Pierce County Juvenile Court.)
Read more here

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Be Fearless Monday

The February Omaha Fearless is Monday, February 19, at St. Michael's Lutheran Church, 132nd and Blondo in Omaha.

We'll discuss how to approach social relationships -- dating, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Come and share your experiences and learn how others approach these situations.

Fearless is for registered citizens and their families to share their experiences with life on the sex offender registry.

Join us at 7:00 p.m. this Monday!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Bill would expand authority for mental health professionals

The Judiciary Committee held a hearing this week on another bill worth watching. While not focusing exclusively on registered citizens, LB964 does use the fear of the "dangerous sex offender" as a selling point.
Mental health professionals would have the same authority as law enforcement to place people in emergency protective custody under a bill heard by the Judiciary Committee Feb. 14.LB964, introduced by Omaha Sen. Mike McDonnell, a mental health professional could take a mentally ill and dangerous person or a dangerous sex offender into emergency protective custody until commitment proceedings could be initiated if he or she believes the person may cause harm.McDonnell said the bill would help avoid the criminalization of mental illness and allow for a smarter, more responsive solution to an already emotional situation.
The bill specifies that those taken into emergency protective custody should be taken to an appropriate medical facility. However, "dangerous sex offenders" are treated differently.
(2)(a) A person taken into emergency protective custody under this section shall be admitted to an appropriate and available medical facility unless such person has a prior conviction for a sex offense listed in section 29-4003.(b) A person taken into emergency protective custody under this section who has a prior conviction for a sex offense listed in section 29-4003 shall be admitted to a jail or Department of Correctional Services facility unless a medical or psychiatric emergency exists for which treatment at a medical facility is required
Read more here.

Text of LB964

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Debate: Should the sex offender registry be abolished?

From Reason online:
Should the sex offender registry be abolished? Watch a live debate at the Soho Forum between Emily Horowitz, a sociologist at St. Francis College, and Marci Hamilton from the University of Pennsylvania and CHILD USA. Drop questions in the Facebook comments, and we'll read aloud a few of the best at the event.  

Click here for more analysis and to watch the debate.

CO Senate committee rejects bill to change indefinite sentencing of sex offenders

In Colorado, it appears there will be no changes to the law that allows indefinite sentencing for sex offenders, at least for now.
The Senate Judiciary Committee Monday voted down a bill that would change the state’s laws on indefinite sentencing for sex offenders. The measure, Senate Bill 17, would allow judges to determine on a case-by-case basis whether to sentence sex offenders to “indeterminate sentences,” which in some cases means a life sentence.The issue of indeterminate sentencing most recently came up in 2016 when a Boulder man, Austin Wilkerson, was sentenced to two years of work release and 20 years on probation after being convicted of raping a young woman in 2014. According to the Boulder Daily Camera, Wilkerson could have received from four to 12 years for the crime. But the crime also falls under the state’s lifetime supervision act, meaning Wilkerson could have gone to prison for life with the possibility of parole. Some judges have been hesitant to impose prison time because of that.Part of the problem, according to Republican Sen. Kevin Lundberg of Berthoud, is that the treatment programs that would allow sex offenders to go through treatment and then be released under the act don’t exist.
Read more here.

Missouri Rep. proposes changes to state's registry

A state representative in Missouri is proposing changes to that state's sex offender registry, as reported by MissouriNet.
State legislators are talking about updating Missouri’s sex offender registry to be more in line with the federal system. Under State Rep. Kurt Bahr’s proposal, three tiers of offenses would be created, corresponding with how serious the crime was, the 3rd, being the most heinous.  
Bahr, R-St. Charles tells Missourinet affiliate KSSZ in Columbia that the proposal would make the registry more effective.
“If we can clean the list off of those people who have minor offenses, then the list becomes more helpful because now you can say ‘If this person is on the list, then they’re likely to be more worrisome,’” Bahr says.
His legislation would offer low-level, one-time offenders an escape from being placed on the list for a lifetime. A punishment he says, that makes it difficult for people to rehabilitate. 
“If they do not have a job, if they do not have housing, and if they do not have social interaction with others, if those three things aren’t met, somebody is likely to commit another crime,” says Bahr. 
First and second level offenders could petition the courts to be taken off the registry after 10 and 25 years respectively. Top tier offenders would be on the registry for life, as would anyone who repeats a sexual crime while on the list.

Monday, February 12, 2018

How Texas created a prison that's not a prison

The Texas Observer has a story on that state's new civil commitment facility -- a repurposed, privately-run prison in Littlefield, Texas, that the state really, REALLY, doesn't want you to call a prison. 
Once inside those old prison walls, the men surrendered their IDs, Social Security cards, birth certificates and credit cards, along with cash and coins. Guards dug through the Hefty bags, tossing out all sorts of personal items now considered contraband. They went from living in halfway houses that looked like motels to windowless cells with cinderblock walls, hard steel bunks and metal toilets. But officials at the detention center were adamant: This wasn’t a prison. They instructed the men to call their living quarters “rooms,” not prison cells.Unlike at the halfway houses, the new inmates couldn’t come and go. It wasn’t clear when their sentences would end, if ever.Two and a half years after the Texas Civil Commitment Center opened its doors, only five men have been released — four of them to medical facilities where they later died.State officials claim Texas’ new civil commitment program is designed to rehabilitate the men. But their families and friends argue the state has simply stashed them in a for-profit prison on the outskirts of the state, far away from the support services they’ll need if there’s any hope of transitioning back into society — the supposed goal of the facility. Lawyers who represent them consider the state’s new program an unconstitutional extension of the prison sentences the men have already served.
Read more about the constitutionally murky world of civil commitment in Texas at the Texas Observer online.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Mayor defends fire company's choice of sex offender as chief

From Pennsylvania comes the story of a small town mayor who is standing by the choice of a registered sex offender to be the town's fire chief.
Chief Roger Gilbert Jr. was convicted in 2001 of sexual intercourse with a 4-year-old girl and is listed in the state's Megan's Law database, The (Corry) Journal reported Saturday . Court records show Gilbert is a felon who completed a five- to 10-year sentence for "involuntary deviate sexual intercourse."Mayor Ann Louise Wagner says she and firefighters have been aware that Gilbert, an unpaid volunteer with the department since 2010, is a sex offender. He was just elected to his second term.
Good for the mayor and the fire department.

Read more here.

Update: Gilbert has reportedly resigned his position after public scrutiny.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Attorneys oppose "yes means yes" bill

Several people testified in favor an against a bill (LB988) that would have Nebraska adopt affirmative consent as the standard for sexual assault during a Judiciary Committee hearing Friday in Lincoln. Interestingly, the bill seems to have brought prosecutors and defense attorneys together in opposition to the proposal, at least as written.
"It's difficult for us as prosecutors to understand the language within this bill, let alone communicate that to jurors who need to understand what elements we have to prove ... beyond a reasonable doubt," said Molly Keane, representing the Nebraska County Attorneys Association.
And speaking for the defense...
Attorney Spike Eickholt, representing the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, said his opposition should not be interpreted as disrespectful or unsympathetic to victims. But all the scenarios he heard at the hearing are already covered in existing law. The definition in the bill of what consent means, he said, is convoluted and would only cause chaos in this area of the law. If the judge is unable to instruct the jury properly, and the jury isn't able to understand what that instruction means, that will lead to an acquittal or a conviction that's reversed on appeal.  
The Judiciary Committee took no action on the bill immediately following the hearing.

Read more about Friday's hearing here and here

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Committee hearing on "Yes means Yes" bill Friday

The Judiciary Committee will hear testimony Friday on LB988, which would have Nebraska adopt affirmative consent ("yes means yes") as the standard in cases of sexual assault. Is this a wise course of action?
The Omaha World-Herald reports that the Nebraska Legislature is looking at policies and procedures for sexual assault reports from within the legislature and its staff. The #metoo movement has all kinds of people and institutions wondering if they will be the next in the sexual harassment/assault spotlight.

The World-Herald tells the story of a state senator who crossed the line:
The female legislative staffer said it started with sexual innuendo and remarks like “Do you want a back rub?” and progressed to suggestions from her boss, a male state senator, that she accompany him, alone, to social events. 
Then one night, at midnight, came a telephone call: “Can I come over to your house?” 
That’s when the staffer, now retired from the Nebraska Legislature, put her foot down. 
“There were things that you kind of toss off, but when he did that, I said ‘This has to stop,’ ” said the staffer, who spoke on the condition that she not be named. 
These kinds of stories, relayed in more than two dozen interviews with current and past legislative staffers, state senators and lobbyists, suggest the State Legislature is not immune to the type of sexual harassment that has spawned the #metoo movement across the country.
The Legislature almost certainly has people among its history who have done things they shouldn't have, who have committed crimes that weren't reported or were reported and ignored.

Also, its history almost certainly includes people who look at past experiences with clear eyes and recognize unacknowledged truths of harassment and assault, and people who look at past experiences and wonder uncertainly if they could say #metoo.

If the #metoo movement makes it easier for victims to report assaults, it will have accomplished a great deal.

At the same time the senators are learning to recognize and acknowledge, they are considering LB 988, a bill that would make affirmative consent, also known as "yes means yes", the law in Nebraska.

Sex without consent is already considered a crime and that is not changing but this bill would change where the burden of proof lies.

Currently, the burden of proof is on the prosecution, requiring that the prosecution must prove--beyond a reasonable doubt--the truth of the accusation. The defendant isn't required to prove anything.

The beauty and good sense of this? When a person's freedom is at stake, we must be certain he is guilty. Blackstone's formulation is at the base:  “For the law holds, that it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer.”

American law has always been formulated that way: innocent until proven guilty. Even when it seems the whole world is sure the defendant is guilty, the law must presume he is innocent and treat him that way until he is proven guilty.

A good example is the OJ Simpson: The jury did not find OJ innocent; they found him not guilty. The jury decided that the prosecution failed to prove guilt.

Could the jury have been wrong? Of course, but the slightest possibility that the jury could send an innocent man to prison is so abhorrent that it is worth letting a guilty man go free.

If passed, LB 988 would mean that the accused would have the burden of proof. This turns justice on its head.

The defendant would have to prove that he deserves his freedom and the prosecution would have simply to make the accusation.

When we remember that an estimated 97% of federal and 94% of state criminal cases are resolved with a plea agreement instead of a trial, we can see that justice has already been knocked askew. A plea agreement means the prosecution no longer has to prove guilt to a jury.

It has only to convince the defendant that it is better to take the plea than to risk more severe charges and a harsher sentence if found guilty in a trial.

The prosecution can already convict defendants without the need to prove guilt to a jury. Why pass legislation that would remove the burden of proof from the prosecution altogether?

Freedom is too important to risk convicting the innocent.

Perhaps the possibility that legislators someday might need to defend themselves against accusations--false or not-- will make them move more cautiously.

The Judiciary Committee hearing will begin at 1:30 p.m. in Room 1113 at the State Capitol in Lincoln.

LB988 text

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Nebraska Supreme Court Judge resigns after ethics complaint

A Nebraska Supreme Court Justice resigned, less than two years after he was appointed, as reported by the Omaha World-Herald.
Nebraska Supreme Court Judge Max Kelch’s abrupt resignation last month came in the face of an ethics investigation, two officials told The World-Herald.The officials wouldn’t discuss details, but one said the allegations against Kelch are in line with the national #MeToo movement that has resulted in resignations of actors, politicians, business executives and judges over questions of sexual misconduct. Attorneys and former colleagues — including two women — told The World-Herald that Kelch’s judicial career has been pocked with sexual comments to women.Kelch, 60, resigned Jan. 23 — less than two years after his appointment to the bench — rather than undergo an inquiry, according to the officials.Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts was unaware of any complaints or allegations against Kelch before his appointment to the Supreme Court in March 2016, said Taylor Gage, the governor’s spokesman.
Read more of the Omaha World-Herald story here

Monday, February 5, 2018

How to prevent child sexual abuse: know myths and realities

Salon has an excerpt from the book "Protecting Your Child from Sexual Abuse" by Cynthia Calkins and Elizabeth Jeglc. The information is useful to know and share with as many people as possible.
How would you describe a sex offender? In all likelihood, you would describe a monster — someone who lurks behind bushes and rapes unsuspecting women or abuses children. And that is how sex offenders are portrayed in the media. For most of us, much of what we know about sex offenders comes from movies, TV shows and news stories. However, those stories are often sensationalized portrayals — or cases that are the exception to the rule — rather than the norm. While cases like these do exist, they remain statistically rare, in that they happen very infrequently. In this article, we are going to review the myths and realities of sex offenders and sex offending behavior. It is important that, as parents, you know the true facts — knowledge is power. We have set up this article in a myth versus fact format, as myths about sex offenders abound, and it is important to separate myth from reality.
Read the full article at Salon.

Bills aim to lower Nebraska prison overcrowding

Reporter JoAnne Young writes about several bills Nebraska senators have introduced this session aimed at reducing overcrowding in the state's prisons, which are at approximately 160-percent of capacity.
Several of the bills had hearings Thursday afternoon in front of the Legislature's Judiciary Committee, including one (LB852) that would provide for medical release and rehabilitative options for inmates, and another (LB868) that would assist prisoners in getting recommended programming for re-entry into the community.A bill (LB842) introduced by Lincoln Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks would re-establish a so-called one-third sentencing rule to require that a minimum sentence not exceed one-third of the maximum term for certain felonies, unless a mandatory minimum sentence is required.The change could allow offenders to become eligible for parole sooner and potentially alleviate crowding in Nebraska prisons. It had been used beginning in the 1970s, but was taken out of law in the early 1990s. 
Read more here.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Pennsylvania Senate considers overhaul of sex offender registration law

The Pennsylvania Senate will consider an overhaul of the state's sex offender registration laws. The move is necessary after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled provisions of the Adam Walsh Act could not be applied retroactively. 
The proposed legislation would turn back the clock for ex-offenders convicted before the 2012 law took effect, but still require they finish any original registration obligation under the old version of Megan’s Law, which was either 10 years or a lifetime. The bill also would loosen some burdensome requirements including giving offenders with lifetime registration obligations the ability to get off the registry. 
The bill also would add a registration exemption for interference with custody of children if the defendant is a parent or other legal custodians of a victim child. 
At least one critic is not impressed with the proposed changes.
Attorney Aaron Marcus of the Philadelphia Defenders Association believes state House lawmakers missed an opportunity with the bill to bring the state into line with research-based validated strategies for managing sex offenders and determining who is at risk for reoffending that “actually make us safer.” 
“There are dangerous people. We need to monitor them or incapacitate them when they do terrible things, which when done right, is done by the court at sentencing and probation or parole after release,” Marcus said. “Not a single study suggests schemes like this (proposed bill) work to reduce sexual violence.” 
Read more here.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Center established to track sex offender litigation and policy

Prof. Eric Janus, one of the pre-eminent national experts on sexual violence law is heading up the Sex Offense Litigation and Policy Resource Center at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law. The center has a goal of "tracking litigation and encouraging effective public policy related to sexual offenders."
“Our aim is to create a national network of lawyers and social scientists dedicated to holding our sexual violence policies accountable both to the Constitution and to the growing body of knowledge about effective prevention strategies,” said Janus, who has written extensively and participated in impact litigation on sex-offender laws. 
Read more about the center here.

Check out the Sex Offense Litigation and Policy Resource Center website here.

Info. for those on Florida registry who don't live in Florida

If you are on the Florida Sex Offender Registry but no longer living in Florida, FAC is organizing a potential legal action to seek removal of those no longer in our state.

There are currently over seventy thousand (70,000) individuals on the Florida registry. In fact; less than half are actually physically present in the community. MOST are incarcerated, moved out of the state, were only here temporarily and had to register, have been deported or are deceased.
The purpose of Megan’s Law (public disclosure) was to create, “notification programs so the public can be warned about sexual offenders living in the community.”  Florida’s registry is comprised MOSTLY of people NOT living in the community.
If you remain listed on the Florida public registry but are no longer residing in a Florida community, you may be eligible to participate. It is important to note that since most FAC members are IN FLORIDA and this potential suit would not benefit them, FAC cannot help in funding this suit. Costs will need to be shared by those participating in the suit and it is our hope that by bringing several similarly situated people together, the pooled resources will enable this lawsuit to move forward, where individual resources might not.
If you are interested in learning more; please contact

Illinois court rules lifetime sex offender registration "grossly disproportionate punishment" for 21 year old

Another court says the registry is punishment. Via the Florida Action Committee:
The opinion in People v. Tetter, which came out a couple days ago, is another great decision to add to our growing list of cases where courts have found the registry to be “punishment” and conditions of the registry have crossed the line into irrational.  
Kyle Tetter was 21 when he met a girl on an online social media app. Her profile said she was 18. Even though he later learned she was 16, they continued the consensual relationship and eventually she became pregnant and her mother reported him to the police.
Tetter was sentenced to 180 days in county jail, 4 years’ sex offender probation, and lifetime on the registry. 
The appeal directly addresses the question, “Whether Sex Offender Statutes Constitute Punishment.”
Read more here.

Read the decision here.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Indiana bill would restrict sex offenders' time at church

It's the silly season for Indiana lawmakers. A state senator there is responding to an Indiana Court of Appeals ruling allowing three registered citizens to attend church services with a bill that would restrict the time registrants could be at a church.
Sen. Frank Mrvan, D-Hammond, has authored legislation that would allow a serious sex offender to be at a religious institution, when it is located on school property, not earlier than 30 minutes before worship service begins or 30 minutes after it ends.Mrvan said his Senate Bill 295 was aimed at keeping children safe: "It's our responsibility to protect children."
Read the full story here.

Lincoln Fearless meets Monday

The February Lincoln Fearless gathering is Monday, February 5. Fearless is a place for registered citizens, their families, and invited guests to support one another and learn how to manage life on the registry.

Lincoln Fearless meets at 7:00 p.m. on the first Monday of each month at the Calvary United Methodist Church, 1610 S. 11th St. in Lincoln.

If you live in the Lincoln area, or anywhere in the state of Nebraska, and are able to attend, please come!