Comments

  • One thing that I don't understand is that a sex offender who is still on probation, how can he/she hide where they live from their probation officer? They do monthly mandatory house visits until the offender is off probation...so where the hell are the probation officers going if the information the police have isn't correct? They all have the same information!!!!! I don't know about anybody else but I believe the police are wrongly focusing on the wrong criminals...but then again this is Victoria what can you expect from small town country cops?? This is a VERY BAD and STUPID IDEA!!!! It doesn't help anything or anybody!!!! Wake up people!!!

    April 26, 2010 at 4:15 p.m.
  • Texas law enforcement should do their research when they say,

    "You are going to have that occasional person who is going to harass an offender or do something else...”

    It is more than OCCASSIONALLY that offenders are harassed or even worse. Here is one report…

    "There have been numerous reports of vigilantism against people on the sex offender registry, including harassment, threats, and even murders."(JUSTICE POLICY INSTITUTE, P 25)

    As for reporting information on the sex registry, it can be misleading as another report testifies.

    "A California Public Defender said, “Sex registries have the dual effect of improperly stigmatizing people and lulling people into a false sense of security. Being on a registry has absolutely no bearing whatsoever as to whether [a person] poses a threat to a child. He could be a child molester or a person who urinated in public. (Free Range Kids, P 1)

    And for residency restrictions… they do not work…

    "None of the child sexual recidivists contacted their victims near a school, park, playground, or other location included in residential restriction laws” (EFECTIVENESS OF SEX OFFENDER PUBLIC POLICY, SLIDE 49)

    April 26, 2010 at 1:18 p.m.
  • If you cast a wide enough net, you eventually get everyone.........and I mean "everyone."

    April 26, 2010 at 11:55 a.m.
  • I have a cousin serving time in prison for being with a dirty girl. They were only a year apart in HS. The girl was well known. The girls mother walked in on them with her on top. Now he is in the pen for a couple years for what? And, he is marked for life now. We have all done it, but some get marked. I was 2 years older than my first girlfriend in high school. Glad I didn't spend time in the pen for it. Now for the sickos, they can lock them up and throw away the key.

    April 26, 2010 at 11:18 a.m.
  • EdithAnn..."I am not sure what the answer is, but you seem to have put thought into this. Any suggestions?"

    Yeah, I do. How about we send truly guilty and dangerous people to prison for a certain number of years. When they get out, we treat them like any other person who has completed a prison sentence and finished his parole and is no longer subject to parole rules. That is, we don't make a spectacle of him, his family and his home. He'll have all the problems of finding employment associated with being an ex-con that they all have. If he repeats his crimes, he'll be arrested and charged like any other person. If he's convicted, his sentence will be more severe as a repeat offender.

    As for as protecting your kids is concerned, it is the responsibility of the parents to watch out for them. As has been chronicled on this site in other posts, the most common offender is well known to the victim. Therefore, the stragers listed on the registery are probably not your worst threat.

    April 25, 2010 at 11:10 p.m.
  • WWW, I remember the McMartin case. In fact, there was another, similar case from the 80's profiled on MSNBC last night. Those folks were finally exonerated and were awarded damages. Unfortunate cases, for sure.

    Damaged reputations are rarely repaired to any satisfactory degree ANYTIME there are allegations that don't meet the truth. That side effect is not exclusive to sexual abuse and sexual assault cases. I think what has happened here, on this thread, is we are starting to drift toward the thinking that most folks, if not all, on the SOR do not deserve to be there.

    I think we're all pretty much in agreement that the system has its flaws, but what is one to do? But how does one decide what is true and what is not without investigating? Many times folks who are cleared of any charges still have a damaged reputation.

    I am not sure what the answer is, but you seem to have put thought into this. Any suggestions?

    April 25, 2010 at 7:14 p.m.
  • Ken...Since you don't have kids living in your home, I really don't think you have anything to worry about.

    EdithAnn...I would remind you of the McMartin day care scandal of years past. Little kids were tricked or coerced by the police investigators and prosecutors into lying about abuse at their day care center. Before the truth came out that NOTHING ever happened, the lives of everyone who worked at the day care center were ruined. Reputations cannot be repaired when the allegations are about the abuse of children regardless of the untruth of the allegatiions or how many times the TRUTH is told.

    April 25, 2010 at 5:06 p.m.
  • The judge knows the circumstances of the situations, maybe they should be given the power to have them register or not. If it is truley a case of a boyfriend/girlfriend scenario then the judge can rule no registration on sentencing. I honestly don't know if it is atomatic registration or if a judge does have say, that would be interesting to know.

    April 25, 2010 at 1:16 p.m.
  • WWW--I see where the problem is. I know what I meant and since I did, I figured everyone else would. Sorry for not making myself clear.

    I agree that some folks do not belong on the SOR. These are the folks I'm talking about. Actually my remark was directed to those folks who act like the guys are somehow made to be the, well, I won't use the word victim, let's call them the 'wronged party' or the 'duped party' in these kinds of matters.

    I do not think this catagory of 'offender' (and as pointed out--this activity is wrong because of the age of the 'victim') belongs on a SOR, but using the excuse that he 'thought' she was legal is just pure baloney! Maybe if some folks used the big head, the one with the brain, we'd see less of this, uh, confusion.

    As to the under-age participants in sexual relations, are we to do away with that? Because if we make it legal to have sex because you want to, then you know we're going to have to let kids drink and smoke and vote and enter into binding contracts.

    Lastly, I am not familiar with Alabama law, but I do know in Texas that no matter the age of the victim or the offender in a sexual assault case, a victim being incapacited due to any substance makes the victim unable to give consent. This prevents the 'but she didn't say no or fight me off' (because she was comatose) defense.

    All this stuff could be argued until the world looks level. It's not a perfect system, and unfortunately there are those who are there for the wrong reasons. But, sadly, there are so many others that should be there.

    April 25, 2010 at 11:45 a.m.
  • EdithAnn..."just let one stupid guy get caught having sex with his underage girlfriend, and suddenly we're supposed to cut him a break! Why?"

    Why would you want to ruin the life of someone who isn't a threat to either society or young girls? Last time I looked, it takes two (at least) to tango. Why isn't a willing girl also looked on as being "bad"? I remember a young lady when I was in high school (I'm sure we ALL remember such young ladies from high school) who was determined to reman a virgin until she married. I don't know is she made it, but I do know there wasn't much she wouldn't do short of losing her virginity. To lable a guy she was with as a sexual preditor would be ridiculous. But your comment would indicate that you would do just that.

    Yeah, yeah, I know the law says a girl under a certain age is unable to give consent even when she gives it, but the law ignores the fact that teenage hormones will trump law almost every time. And isn't it interesting that different states have different ages for the so-called age of consent?

    This law ignores the fact that not every case of a guy having sex with an underage girl is the same. A teenage boy having sex with his girlfriend is hardly the same as a 40 year old guy having sex with a 6 year old, but the law treats the two equally. This causes the kind of tragedy that happened in Alabama a few years ago when a high school senior was convicted of having sex with a girl who, while under the age of consent, was nevertheless posing nude for photos and had sex in front of a camera while at a party at which alcohol was abundently consumed. The law was intended to "protect" the young lady. However, if there was a preditor at the party, it was her, not the guy, but he's the one who ended up in jail. Heck, the law even recognizes different levels of seriousness when the crime is homicide. But we are so uptight about sex that anyone who does something a little outside of what some consider the mainstream is branded for life as a threat to society and is shunned as a monster.

    April 25, 2010 at 10:50 a.m.
  • This is a very interesting article: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/m...

    April 25, 2010 at 9:56 a.m.
  • "The unfortunate group, like a 19 year old boy sleeping with a 16 year old girl when he truly thought she was 18, who has to register..." deserves a group to themselves--'the too stupid to be having sex in the first place' group.

    Why are you having sex with a person you DON'T KNOW WELL ENOUGH TOO KNOW HOW OLD SHE IS? And do not give me that crap about she lied. If she is still going to school (they haven't all dropped out), that could be a clue that she may be under age. Yes, I know, 18 year olds still go to school.

    There certainly are folks who have no business on the SOR, but really folks, get real! Ignorance, i.e., not knowing important info like the last name or the age of the person you're bopping is just stupid.

    I love it! Everyone screams about folks not taking responsibility for their own actions, but just let one stupid guy get caught having sex with his underage girlfriend, and suddenly we're supposed to cut him a break! Why?

    April 25, 2010 at 9:07 a.m.
  • texmex..."The unfortunate group, like a 19 year old boy sleeping with a 16 year old girl when he truly thought she was 18, who has to register is a price I the public should be willing to pay."

    That's interesting...YOU'RE willing to pay the price that is ruining another person's life. Gee, that's generous of you! This is a problem with the law. The 19 year-old isn't a criminal and isn't a threat to anyone, but he's marked for life and it's okay with you. You'd better hope it doesn't happen to YOUR kid at 19, but I guess it'd be okay with you; that's the price YOU'RE willing to pay.

    When a person completes his sentence including probation or parole, he should be discharged from further punishment. We don't keep tabs on people who rob convenience stores, sell dope or steal cars. Why? Because we've convicted and jailed them. They have finished their sentences and have been truned loose. Will they do it again? Yeah, maybe so, but a sentence is for a fininte amount of time. If we're not happy they are loose, perhaps the legislature should increase the amount of time the he spends in prison, but once he's out, and completes his parole, the state should leave him alone.

    April 25, 2010 at 8:41 a.m.
  • The laws that require people convicted of sex crimes to register with the local police are poorly written and misguided. The original intention of these laws was to protect children from falling prey to recidivist sexual predators. Now everyone who has been convicted of a sex crime, no matter how serious, has to register. This is the reason why so many people are registered and why it is difficult for the police to know who is dangerous and who isn't. And it is even more difficult for people not involved with law enforcement to be able to distinguish between a neighbor who is potentially dangerous and one who is not. And these laws are based on the belief that people who commit sex crimes are more liable to repeat these crimes than someone convicted of assault or robbery. Many studies have questioned the wisdom of this belief, but no one in government has the courage to bring this up for fear of being seen as "soft on crime". I know a physician who was convicted of sexual battery (he supposedly touched a patient's breast) (he adamantly denied the charge) and who now cannot even deliver meals to housebound seniors on a volunteer basis because he is a registered sex offender. And, of course, he cannot live within 2000 ft. of a school, or hang out in the local park. These laws are misguided, and a waste of time and money. But nobody has the courage to do anything about it.

    April 24, 2010 at 11:47 p.m.
  • I am sure that Mr. Kostello really appreciates the paper putting his street name and the fact that he has three little girls on the front page of the paper. But, I'm sure that pedophiles don't read the paper, so he should be ok.

    Are you serious Advocate - show some restraint (and some professionalism) - that information did not help the story one bit!!!

    April 23, 2010 at 10:32 p.m.
  • Maybe as a service to the community, since it is Child Abuse Awareness Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and to dispell the myths and rumors on BOTH sides of this argument, the Victoria Advocate could gather some actual figures on this topic.

    Suggestion:
    1. How many reports of child sexual abuse are made in Victoria in a year?
    2. How many meet the criteria to be investigated?
    3. How many are found to be be valid by CPS?
    4. How many are found to be valid by law enforcement?
    5. How many are accepted for prosecution by the District Attorney?
    6. How many end in some disposition besides conviction?
    7. How many get pled down to a non-sex crime?
    8. How many get convicted of a sex crime?
    9. How many serve prison time?

    I think most folks would be surprised at what the actual odds are of someone 'accidentally' being on the sex offender registry.

    Nation-wide, in the area of adult sexual assault, the stats are something like this:

    If a rape is reported, there is a 50.8% chance of an arrest;
    If an arrest is made, there is an 80% chance of prosecution;
    If there is a prosecution, there is a 58% chance of conviction;
    If there is a felony conviction, there is a 69% chance the convict will spend time in jail;
    So, even in the 39% of rapes that are reported to police, there is only a 16.3% chance that the rapist will end up in prison;
    Factoring in unreported rapes, only about 6% of rapists will spend time in jail.
    Fifteen out of sixteen rapists will WALK!

    The above stats for the adult cases are from www.darkness2light.org.

    April 21, 2010 at 5:55 p.m.
  • The registry was developed on the premise that strangers pose the biggest danger to our children. This simply is not true!

    MYTH – Strangers pose the biggest threat for children.

    Molestation by strangers is less than 7% of the overall sex crime statics. Crimes involving abduction, rape and murder are less than 1%. “In the year a paroled New Jersey sex offender raped and killed Megan Kanka, the seven-year-old after whom community notification statutes were named, nine children under age twelve were the victims of similar crimes, out of over forty-five million in that age group.” The fact is a child is in more danger of being sexually molested in their home by a family member than by any stranger!

    Andy Kahan, a crime victim advocate from the Houston area blamed Chelsea King ’s death on a system failure. He said creating more laws won’t help. Besides, he said, “I get sick and tired of naming state laws after victims of child molesters. Think about all your state laws. You got Jessica's Law, Megan's Law, Ashley's Law, the Amber Hagerman Act, etc., etc. It's pretty sad that we continue to name those laws after dead children who were taken by known offenders."

    I think those comments just about sum it up for all of us. Indeed, the system has failed. And we’re all sick and tired! Sick and tired of living in fear. Sick and tired of hearing about little children murdered at the hands of monsters – seeing their pictures and their grieving parents all over the media. It rips out hearts.

    Why do crimes like these still occur? Do we need to create harsher laws and longer sentences? Dr. William Marshall from Canada says no. An expert on this topic, he tells the countries that consult him on sex offender issues to do the exact opposite of the US. Over fifteen years ago, when all the hysteria over sex offenders was rising to a crescendo, Dr. Jerome Miller, the Clinical Director of the Augustus Institute for Mental Health warned as laws become harsher, sexual offending will only “grow more dangerous and egregious.”

    The current system is broken. Maybe the time for change has come. Can the hysteria be calmed long enough to get something constructive done? If the answer is YES, then the first step towards change is to dispel the myths the existing laws are based on.

    April 21, 2010 at 5:24 p.m.
  • AJT, TEXMEX and others, you don't care if the system isn't perfect???
    You won't care until it is your child being accused of playing Doctor with another child who has a hysterical mother. The Hysterical Blabbering Mother will call the police on YOUR CHILD. You will try to explain and guess what - it won't matter. YOUR CHILD's name will go on the registry. Period.
    Here's another example - TEXMEX - you aren't on the registry but guess what? The system made a mistake and has listed your home address as belonging to a High Risk Sex Offender. Notifications go out to all your neighbors. You complain and what will happen? The department in charge doesn't have the funds to send out a notification saying they made a mistake. So, those people down the street won't let their children near your house. (You should check the news story on this one - happened in TEXAS!!!)
    But AJT, TEXMEX and Kick - you are all happy with a system that isn't perfect. As long as it isn't you being persecuted.

    April 21, 2010 at 5 p.m.
  • sallgarrettson there is such a registry that I check on not only for
    sex offenders but all crimes at www.Crime Reports.com. How
    dare you say that these pedophiles should not be singled out .
    They are sick people who prey on innocent children . As a parent
    I'd want to know as much information on who and what crimes
    are commited around the city , especially a name and face of
    SEX OFFENDERS!!!!!!!






    April 21, 2010 at 4:52 p.m.
  • I wish there was a like or dislike button.
    Thank you - texmex and ktfootball - I'm with you. I would rather have a heads up, and like I said it will say on www.familywatchdog.us WHAT they were convicted of. Some even give the ages of the victim. So, 33 year old man, 5 year old girl...I think I have EVERY right as a parent to know this and teach my children he is a "bad man, stay away". We currently have two that live in close rang to my home and my kids are not allowed a few streets over for just that reason. So who cares if the system isn't perfect I am thankful for it and that they are being checked on!

    April 21, 2010 at 3:29 p.m.
  • Is the sex offender registry perfect? No, but it is better than nothing. The public needs access to this information in order to protect our future, the children. The unfortunate group, like a 19 year old boy sleeping with a 16 year old girl when he truly thought she was 18, who has to register is a price I the public should be willing to pay.

    April 21, 2010 at 2:52 p.m.
  • Some of you are way off base. I personally know one of these high risk perverts and everyone needs to know where he lives. He ruined a good friend of mines little boy forever. No way in the world should he have ever been released. He refused treatment in prison and if he hadn't already repeated his sickness he will in the near future. Tell everyone you know about this website. I think this ought to be front page once a month. Keep it coming.

    April 21, 2010 at 11:54 a.m.
  • Yeah, it's also sad that some girls yell "HE RAPED ME!!" when she was just drunk and 16 and didn't want to get in trouble for drinking, there was no physical proof of the rape but since she said it, his life is ruined by the label "sex offender" and has over 300 community service hours, $10,000 in fines, and a lifetime registry.....the justice system works sometimes, but now always and this is just one injustice....Just because someone is labeled SEX OFFENDER doesn't necessarily mean he is a sicko. And, don't get me wrong there ARE some sickos......I'm just defending the ones that aren't mentally disturbed.

    April 21, 2010 at 11:31 a.m.
  • I can't believe there are still some that think all sex offenders molested children! Please, PLEASE look into who is on the registry. GO ASK them what they did, most had consensual sex, chatted online with a teen or cop, mooned someone, had a picture of bad taste on their computer and didn't even know it in some cases, etc. Of about 200 or so registered sex offenders I've met (yep, true), I know not ONE who hurt or endangered a child in any way.

    I also feel it is the parent's responsibility and not the government to keep an eye on my children. If someone is so dangerous they need to warn us, then those fellas or gals shouldn't BE released from prison.

    The registry is a joke, the Adam Walsh Act is more than a joke and EXTREMELY unconstitutional.

    Learn the laws, everyone - you'll be shocked that you could be next on the registry in this state. Come to visit, leave on parole eh? The laws must change and change soon or we'll ALL be on it and I'm a mother of 4 girls who are MY responsibility. I know who watches them, who babysits my kids and who is around my kids and have taught them what to do if something happens. From what I have read (and I've read a lot because I want to be informed) is that most sexual abuse comes from within the home or someone who earns the trust of my kids,,,so thus, I keep close tabs on everyone near my children. Government, get out of my house, it's mine and my responsibility as a single parent to "govern" my home, not yours.

    April 21, 2010 at 11:18 a.m.
  • "I'd rather they not be in my neighborhood at all, but there's nothing I can do about that," Borden said. "Hopefully, it will prevent someone from being hurt."

    How. Mr. Borden? How will knowing where someone lives keep someone else from being hurt? There is no RBE (research-based evidence) that even begins to support that; in fact, all evidence supports the opposite:

    "Levenson (2003) reported that there is no evidence that community notification laws are effective in preventing sexual abuse." (JOURNAL OF SEXUAL OFFENDER CIVIL COMMITMENT, P 4)

    “ A January 2007 resolution passed by the American Correctional Association declares, ‘There is no evidence to support the efficacy of broadly applied residential restrictions on sex offenders.’ A 2006 statement issued by the Iowa County Attorneys Association on that state’s residency restriction requirements takes a similar view, asserting, ‘There is no demonstrated protective effect of the residency requirement that justifies the huge draining of scarce law enforcement resources in the effort to enforce the restriction.’ ”

    "Some studies show that as many as 95% of all new sex offenses are committed by individuals not required to be on any type of registry."(SCARLET LETTER OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, P 22)

    And the greatest majority of that 95% are the family, friends, and trusted acquaintances of the children they are molesting, so you tell me how knowing where some guy lives who ten years ago had consensual sex with a minor will help you keep your kids safe. That, Mr. Borden, is your job.

    April 21, 2010 at 9:37 a.m.
  • The major problem here is the term "Sex Offender". This includes a person who rapes a 7 year old, a person who has consensual sex with a minor (even though the minor and parents do not press charges) and a person who looks at pictures of minors on the internet. To treat them all as if they were in the first category is ignorant and expensive.

    April 21, 2010 at 8:18 a.m.
  • If we have someone who is trying to fly under the radar, we don't want to give them a heads up," Lehnert said. "If we've been going out in the evenings and have been unable to reach someone, then we will change our tactics and go in the daytime. If we've gone during the week, then we'll change it up and go on the weekend."

    Change it up by letting 'em know our plans. Cops are silly!

    April 21, 2010 at 7:36 a.m.
  • www.familywatchdog.us
    Sorry

    April 21, 2010 at 7:14 a.m.
  • www.watchdog.com
    Great website. It tells what they were convicted of. So personaly if it says the offender raped a 7 year old...I will exercise judgement. Being the mother of a 10 and 3 year girls, I have that right. But thanks to all of you for taking up for the scum. They need friends, too.

    April 21, 2010 at 7:12 a.m.
  • This is such an unfair practice...these people have paid for their crimes...leave them alone. If we are going to have a sex offenders registry we also need a murderer registry, a theft registry,a credit card abuser registry, a hit and run registry....ect...why are we singling out only sex offenders? I don't care who is my neighbor and what they have done...that's between them and God. I was not put here to judge people..and neither should you if you don't know the truth of why they are on the registry.

    April 21, 2010 at 6:33 a.m.
  • There are some innocent people in jail for murder. Should we therefore quit prosecuting murderers, or quit publishing their names? I want to know when a child rapist moves into my neighborhood. It is bad enough that most of them receive a slap on the wrist for ruining someones life.

    By the way, if there is a "rattlesnake in the room" stomp it.

    April 21, 2010 at 5:22 a.m.
  • I raised 3 daughters. When my girls were little I thought sex offenders should have neon signs flashing in front of their homes. That all changed when a friend of one of my daughters ended up on the registry. He was 17 years old, had sex with a girl he believed to be 16 turned out she was one week from turning 14. While my daughter's friend was sitting in county jail, the girl's mom left a comment on the girl's myspace telling her daughter that she knew she was still sneaking out, having sex, smoking, and lying. A couple of weeks after this comment, a second boy was arrested for the same girl. My daughter's friend is required to register for 20 years, the other guy for life. Even the length of time an individual must be on the registry is misleading and has nothing to do with how dangerous an individual may be, but mostly depends on how good of a criminal defense laywer you can afford, or if you know the right person.

    Many of the guys like my daughter's friend are considered "high" risk. Most people would think that means "dangerous" but it actually has little to do with the offense. An older man who has held a steady job for 15 years, owns a home, has a wife and family, but has been molesting his 5 year old neice will be considered a lower risk than my daughter's friend.

    Once it happens to someone you care about, you look at the issue much more closely. Do you know we have individuals on the registry who were juveniles when they committed an offense? We have kids as young as 10 on the Texas registry right now. Do you know some of these juveniles were doing what most child psychologists consider normal kid curiosity. No rape, or touching in many cases just show me yours and I'll show you mine. We don't want our kids doing this, but come on tagging them as sex offenders?

    I hope to see the Victoria Advocate address the other side of the sex offender issue such as myth vs fact.

    April 21, 2010 at 12:01 a.m.
  • Currently, there are over 60,000 people listed on the Texas sex offender registry. The registry is over-loaded, inaccurate, and counter-productive. Law enforcement and resourses are wasted prosecuting, monitoring, and incarcerating thousands of people who pose no threat to anyone. Laws need to differentiate between those who truly pose a threat and those who do not. The system is broken and we are now less safe. Parents should worry less about "stranger danger" and more about old uncle Joe. Over 90% of sexual abuse occurrs in the home and/or by someone known and trusted by the victim. Furthermore "sex offender" laws have encompassed a huge variety of offenses, many of which were nothing more than romeo/juliet romances, one time lapses of judgement, computer chatting, or mistaken age identity. Beware folks! Those who are quick to judge may soon find themselves or their loved ones added to the ever-growing, broad-sweeping list and lifetime label of "sex offender".
    www.txvoices.com

    April 20, 2010 at 9:26 p.m.