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MeganG
7.19.07, 12:10 AM
Okay, having spent the last 24 hours in a hellish situation I thought I'd throw this out for debate. Do you make information available to the public anyone who has a sex offence level status?

Here's the background..At my skating club (I'm on the board and a past President) a known coach petitioned us to be a guest professional. He taught two of our members at other local rinks and wanted to be able to coach them on ice our club procured with the city rink. We have two levels of coaches, ones who are full on our staff, meaning we 1099 them as independant contractors. And those we clear as guest professionals who are allowed to teach their existing students but not seek new students from our membership. Coaches are retained privately by parents and we have no involvement in setting rates or assiging coaches.

In all cases we do background searches and require proof of liability insurance and they be registered with our two governing bodies nationally. This gentleman was coaching for several years, as a full staff member, at other local rinks. He approached us 2 weeks ago! We found nothing and gave him provisional status, meaning he had to reply to the board in 21 days with a full paid background check.

He was arrested the NEXT day during our ice practice and we learned he is a level 1 sex offender in the state of MA. Level 1 means not likely to reoffend and they are required to register with police but their information is not made public. They are also NOT ALLOWED TO WORK WITH CHILDREN IN ANY CAPACITY. In his case we learned from police is FOR FRIGGIN' LIFE!!!

So here's my debate, should level 1 offenders info be made public? I'm truly hoping for a whole lotta hell yes responses but it'll be interesting to see what you all think.
http://www.wmur.com/index.html

(By the by, my club is the Southern NH Skating Club)

big easy
7.19.07, 1:43 AM
great post Megan...here's my take... violent sex offenders are thrown in the same basket with those who should never have been convicted or registered in the first place..

what about the 17 year old in a GA prison because he received oral sex consenually from a 15 year old?...the mother of the 15 year old has even gone on t.v. to plead for the release of this 17 year old boy who was an honor student at the time..

then there are those who violently rape minors who seem to find their way back on the streets and a family loses a child..

all to often, a disgruntled father presses charges due to the premiscuous actions of his under aged daughter and another "sex offender" is registered... some kid who is NO threat to anyone but has to live with that scarlet letter attatched for life...

right now, we have a failed "one size fits all" policy that is doing very little to protect our children and that is what is sad..too many scary dudes roaming the streets that should be locked up while others should be able to move forward and live their lives ...

reines
7.20.07, 4:56 PM
Hell yes, Megan! Children can't be protected from these predators if we don't have the knowledge of who they are- and these folks are quite good at disguising their true selves.
Bigeasy has a good point about the various levels of offense, however. We don't get as outraged and concerned about that 15 year old as we surely would the powerless eight year old. But who's to say that someone abusing a young child wouldn't also prey on a teen- or vice versa?
My personal opinion is that anyone who takes advantage of a child in this way deserves to have his name out there, in the public, for all to see. It's the price they pay for being a pervert. The public needs to be protected. Especially in this society of readily available porn and lowered expectations of behavior and respect!
Don't let the bum anywhere near those kids- and thank goodness for background checks.

TritonPrez
2.4.08, 5:05 AM
I have been doing a lot of research on sex offenders and registries ... do they work, or don't they? It is an interesting debate and I do not think it will go away any time soon. The federal government, in 2006, passed the Adam Walsh Act (AWA) legislation that consolidates almost all the federal laws dealing with sex offenders and crimes involving minors. AWA also requires that all jurisdications across the United States implement at least the minimum provisions of the Sex Offender Registry Notification Act (SORNA), which also requires that states readily share the necessary information with each other on sex offenders moving from jurisdication to jurisdiction.

I am all for public sex offender registries. I was stalked by a sex offender and it probably would have escalted into something serious had I not gone on the registry website one evening and saw his picture; thankfully, I was able to get a TRO on him. Then a year later, my cousin was raped by sex offender that wasn't on the registry. I have other personal stories that have shifted my ideas and criticism of sex offenders and related crimes.

I believe in sex offender registries, but as a poster before me had stated, there are some state registries that lump all so-called sex offenders together. I believe that this is wrong. I think that all those labeled as sex offenders should be given their own categories and on the registry website, they should give a description of exactly what crime was committed. Most registries will say, "first degree criminal sexual assault." I suggest that it should say, "raped a 10 year old girl." Or some will say, "fourth degree criminal sexual conduct" which might mean, "public indecency."

The labeling of "levels" or "tiers" depend on the jurisdiction. Where I come from, a level 1 is the high risk, sexual violent offense, level 2 is the repeat offenders, level 3 are what we some times call the petty sexual crimes such as public indecency, urinating on the public side walk, possession of child porn, fondling, etc. So, one has to be careful with the levels or tiers. Some jurisdications don't even have levels or tiers.

As mentioned, I am very critical about sex offenders and very vocal about enforcing sex offender registries, but we do have to understand that sex offenders are people as well, and though they commit henious crimes, they have rights as well. There are sex offenders who have lived their lives in regret and want to build their lives and become better, but most jurisdications have made it hell for them. Take Florida; their laws have prevented sex offenders from basically living anywhere ... sex offenders have resorted to living under bridges and some cannot get a job anywhere. This in my opinion is not only wrong, but wouldn't even deter crime as it may even encourage sex offenders to reoffend. This is dangerous.

Sex offender registries should evolve and progress in a way that the people become better aware of their surrounding community and educate their children on safety. These registries are suppose to help arm us with information that could protect us from harm ... just like potentially hiring a sex offender who will be coaching children day in and day out.