The Child Molestation - Sex Offender Issue

UPDATED: 09/05/2001

August 31, 2001

Dear Editor:

    I've read your report (below) and I am concerned.  I thank you for abiding by your rule of anonymous although I relaize you have to verify the sender such as myself.  I appreciate that. However, your article does not apply to me, even though I was convicted over 20 years ago of child molestation.

    I am now having to abide by the Megan's Law.  And, I have kept my nose clean.

    While I live in Oakland, California and work with a clergyman who operates a shelter program, I have to admit that I was guilty of raping my step-daughter.  She came on to me while I was drunk.  Afterwards it got out of hand and finally I was turned in because it went on so long.  I was guilty.

    Your article points out some facts that have to be dealt with.  I have seen some of my friends charged and accused by public news accounts when a few of my friends were not even guilty of what was said.  Usually this happens because the man is in the middle of either a divorce, breaking up with his girl friend or is being blackmailed for favors, money or something by the teenager who makes the threat.  In one instance, the mother found out that nothing was going on but listened to her child knowing that her child was a proven liar as she had been proven time and again.  But didn't stop things from happening once the child to the matter to school.  It got worse and you know what happened.  

    He's in prison still and probably won't get out because of the two year extensions that they can impose each time a parole hearing comes up.  It's ridiculous and insane.

    I'm glad what happened to me, happened way before Megan's Law.  But, I live more in fear now than ever before the Megan's Law because I know that depending on where you live as a registered sex offender, law enforcement will go out of their way to set-you-up even though you are doing nothing wrong, because they want you out of their lives altogether.  

 

Signed: Fear In Oakland


There seems to be a sad spirit of fear and revenge grasping hold of much of this State in which I reside; indeed all of the United States of America.  The following represents what we have received of recent concerning the matter.

From a concerned cleric, the following was sent to us:

            Recently, a “20/20” News Program featured a Judge who ordered all convicted sex offenders be made to post a sign on their homes and cars that say they are a "dangerous - convicted sex offender” against children or “Child Molester lives here” or “Child Molester in this vehicle”.  Some of these people are hardly dangerous.

            I think a man guilty of date rape is actually more 'dangerous" than many who are required to display the signs. 

I am not sure how the Church should respond to this.

We can't really just ignore such injustice, but what can we do as concerned clergy for both the victims and the offenders? 

Last night on TV, there was a promotion for a program to be aired this Thursday which starts out like this:

"IMAGINE A FACILITY FILLED WITH DANGEROUS SEX OFFENDERS AND CHILD MOLESTERS.  THEN IMAGINE THESE DANGEROUS MEN BEING RELEASED ON SOCIETY."

I am not sure why the sudden panic or even the sudden interest.  What I found most disturbing was a poll taken by Gallup in Texas showed that 67% of the people supported what the judge had done in requiring the signs.  I don't understand how a judge can impose an additional sentence once a person is out of prison, or after his initial sentence.  People who have been off parole for years from a sex offense and had lived peaceful lives crime free and who had become respectable citizens were suddenly required to register as sex offenders in this state in which I reside,  after the Megan’s Law came into effect.  In some cases it had been over 20 years since these x-offenders had any run in with the law and now, all of a sudden, they were evicted from their homes and lost their jobs because it was found out that they were a sex offender even though many, many years had passed.  “Sex offender” does not, in most instances, equate with force, and does not even equate with oral copulation, penetration or intercourse. 

What can the Church do without becoming identified or known as approving sex crimes?  How do we condemn the sin and embrace in love the sinner?  How do we show empathy and compassion for the victim and compassion for the repentant offender?

I think this is something that would be more possible for various Jurisdictions of the world wide Christian Church.  Any thoughts?

             The Judge’s order extended to all sex offenders. 

            The Judge, having gone to a local prison in his district, had all the sex offenders brought into a room where he (in front of each), reviewed their files and then made a decision on his own to say who would and would not be singled out to have the signs posted when they were released on parole.  Is this proper or not? 

            In response to our questioning visitors on the Internet, in addition to the above, the following has been said or indicated.

            What the judge did was without fairness because he was the only arbiter in the decision.  There was no panel of professional psychologists and others unknown to each other, and thus unbiased as to being influenced by each other, to make such an enormous decision.  He did not state what his criteria was and made the decision solely on his own.

And…. Further:

            Megan’s Law, a Federal law covering all states in the United States of America, make it mandatory that anyone convicted of two or more counts of ‘Child Molestation’ or where there were two or more so-called victims, the offender must, on release from prison, register as a sex offender FOR THE REMAINDER OF THEIR LIVES with the police agency in the area they reside, regardless of what state they may be living in or moving to.

            Yet, in the Texas case we have found that one of those sentenced by the judge to the public notices, is a man who was convicted not for having sex with an under aged minor, but for having met, through  a “sting” operation, an adult posing as a female youth in a restaurant after meeting her (posing as a child) over the Internet.  He was arrested and convicted as a sex offender without having had sexual contact or activity with the one posing as a child.”

And again we hear….

            An inmate who was convicted of molestation charges had, in fact, been convicted due to his being asleep on the couch of his girl friend’s when his girl friend’s 15 year old daughter snuck up to the couch and undid his zipper, taking out his genital to where she began to fellate him.  At about the time she had begun, her mother had returned and walked into the living room.  The man was still asleep and though he was dreaming of his girl friend.  The Girl Friend, mother, screamed and called the police.  The man was convicted of child molestation and sentenced.

            Both of these men were sentenced and under terms and agreements as to their parole established prior to the judge’s biased “Posting Notice” ruling.  The terms and conditions of both the convicted inmate’s sentence and release were arbitrarily changed which violates the initial terms and agreements imposed at the time of these men’s original sentencing as well as initial release on  parole prior to the last minute ruling. 

            Murderers are not required to register for life.  Rapists are not required for life.  These crimes should require for life registration, but they do not.  Is this registration under Megan’s law discrimination?  By some accounts, Yes! 

            Megan’s law, by itself, is discrimination, according to some.  Originally, the law was formulated to go after “violent” (Where physical force, rape, OR MURDER was involved) convicted sex offenders.  The law went far to far, according to another person, by requiring all, including non-violent, sex offenders to register for life.  See: Sexual Predator issue....another e-mail and response (2000).

            It is a fact that most first time offenders, approximately 82 percent, regardless of the number of 'counts' (two or more victims, or two or more incidents with the same victim) do not re-offend as a sex offender whatsoever.  Of those who are sentenced because of their sexual identity (homosexual) 98 percent do not re-offend, according to another source.

            Prison is supposed to be  a place where murderers, sex offenders, etc. are to be rehabilitated, regardless of the State in which they are incarcerated.  Yet, as the public is aware, many states offer no rehabilitation services except via “lip service”.  Yet, the statistics are true across the country and they show a significant change as a result of prison sentences.  What is more, of those convicted for sex offenses, 96 percent of those convicted were heterosexuals of whom 22 percent or less were violent (using physical force), according to one source, while the remainder of those convicted were 4 percent were homosexual (less than one percent for violent use of physical force).

            When a person has done their “time” in prison, they, for most part, are placed on parole where they are required to follow certain rules and regulations in order to complete parole and be returned to full powers of a normal citizen.  Is this being done?  Again, by many accounts, NO!

            Many instances have occurred whereby a parolee had obtained employment, only to loose it because the parole agent had revealed more than he should to the employer in such a manner whereby the employer was placed in a state of fear.  The parolee-employee was heckled or harassed by fellow employees because it was made known through the “gossip vine” of employees.  Thus, because of loosing his or her employment (depending on the state in which this occurs), the parolee is violated and returned to prison for having not maintained employment which is a violation of the parole agreement.  This varies from state to state and in some states, legal income (regardless of form) is a requirement and an amount of time is required in which to obtain such.

            Yet, for some parolees, especially those whose convictions were due to their lack of finances to fight their case, “hearsay laws” and red-neck law enforcement agencies were involved, including red-neck child protective services; a person has not a chance of proving innocence.  Thus, a plea bargain is normally the method whereby the alleged perpetrator is convicted and sentenced.  In these instance, understand that there is normally no physical evidence, just hearsay.  The minor is protected, in many of these states, from having to appear on the witness stand because the police agency representative appears on behalf of the alleged victim, even when the alleged victim had recanted stating duress and force by the law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation.

            Some would say that sex offenses, child molestation, is difficult to prove on a material level when it is all hearsay and the child has been manipulated by over-zealous social workers and police personnel.  This has proven to be true in numerous instances.  Even so, with newer laws being passed in some states where a child can make a false claim, even though the agencies claim they do a thorough investigation; it is still a most difficult and rigorous process whereby often the mitigating factors to convict is both on the basis of hearsay and fanatical indifference to the alleged perpetrator, especially if the alleged individual has some serious “other” problems not necessarily associated with the alleged crime.  Thus, one way to put the person out of societal view is to do all things that will prove him or her as being guilty regardless of whether it is or is not true. 

            More often than not, the prosecutors are overzealous because they know that it is far easier to convict and alleged child molester than it is to prove their innocence.  From investigations to defense, both sides are ill equipped to deal with these issues.  The Defending Attorney (usually a county appointed lawyer) has no or little experience and no experience in defending an accused child molester. 

            In 97 percent of attorneys today, less than three percent are prepared to defend an alleged sex crime of child molestation.  Of those, most are “for hire” and charge huge fees that only the wealthy can afford like Michael Jackson.

            There is an understanding amongst many attorneys today regarding sex crimes, that child molestation, when alleged, even if the person alleged to have committed the crime, is indefensible.  This is basically, for the most part, a very true statement.

            The whole idea and purpose of Prisons is “Rehabilitation”.  When a person is convicted of a crime, regardless of whether the investigating authorities are unbiased (for which it has been found most are rather biased), there should be a limitation in the law as to the matters charged when the evidence produced is either “hearsay” and “circumstantial evidence” without physical proof. 

            In “Hearsay” and “circumstantial evidence” cases, the normal mode of attempt to prosecute is along the lines of either the mental state of the individual (Psychological) and one’s aberrant past behaviors that were not necessarily criminal in themselves so much as to “paint” a picture of the individual being a “bad person” to the degree that anyone who is alleged and tried of a conviction, can (in truth) be made to appear guilty without regard of factual truth.

            Because of what has been and is happening, we cannot help but see a fine line parallel between the death penalty issue and the Child Molestation-Sex Offender Issue.  In the former, DNA testing has resulted in a large number of overturned convictions of those on death row.  In the Child Molestation-Sex Offender Issue in most states, all that is needed is “hearsay” and overzealous social/law enforcement personnel coupled with an angry parent to psychologically manipulate a child, or a child who decides that s/he does not like mommy’s boyfriend or daddy’s girlfriend."

Another E-Mail we received says:

            Another example of overzealous law enforcement activity is in the much notarized Ellie case in California.  The man was killed by Ellie later on.  It was learned, according to reports, that Ellie herself had actually known of her son and her boyfriend’s trysting while she was continuing an affair with her bisexual boyfriend.  However, because of law enforcement officials (primarily social workers) having found out of the incidents, finding that Ellie was leaving her son in the vehicle while drinking with her boyfriend and when having their own physical relation activities… Ellie played “ignorant” and took a back room deal to convict the boyfriend.  But, it was also alleged, she came to believe everything herself, having forced her memories of the trysting between her son and bi-sexual boyfriend to the back of her mind, which caused for her to focalize her actions on self-image by killing her boyfriend.  Thus, when she was convicted of murder and it became later found out that she had a cancerous disease, many believe and have said that it was God’s wrath descending upon her for her lies and action.  Does this seem far-fetched?  Hardly when considering that she knew her boyfriend was bi-sexual and that she knowingly left her son in the vehicle numerous times when she and her boyfriend would go into the various local taverns to drink up a storm.  A woman of this magnitude would know, since they had been together for a very long time, if their man is bi-sexual or not… Apparently, in the mind of Ellie, it didn’t matter.  One can only wonder how much more there is to this story than what has been made wholly public.

The last E-Mail recently received sums up the issues altogether with:

A better question is what ever happened to Justice? Is Justice just something that is found in the dictionary?

What ever happened to "did their time" or once a man is sentenced and serves his sentence it can't be changed later?  Is this an admission that our ‘Correctional Facilities’ do not effect remedial action and correction?

BUT... "WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE TERM, "CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT? 

            It is no wonder that the various Prisoner Rights Groups and/or the ACLU have not challenged this and other uncivilized and unjust actions of the various states all the way up to the U. S. Supreme Court.  If they did, they might loose their supporters.  They raise a hue and cry about unjust and uncivil actions concerning “other rights” but fail and refuse to defend and raise these issues concerning “sex crimes” and “sex convictions” because it would politically (primarily financially) hurt and damage their scope of activities.

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