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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Emily Horowitz: In Defense of Josh Duggar’s Parents: It's No Secret Why a Mother and Father Would Hesitate Before Reporting a Child to Police on Sex Abuse Allegations

 
Update:

Did the Duggars do the right thing? June 5, 2015
Emily Horowitz is interviewed by Fox anchor Megyn Kelly
 

Original Post:
In defense of Josh Duggar’s parents: It's no secret why a mother and father would hesitate before reporting a child to police on sex abuse allegations, May 31, 2015
By Emily Horowitz

When I learned that, more than a decade ago, reality-TV star Josh Duggar avoided jail after his parents dealt with molestation charges via church and family contacts, it made me think about the men I interviewed for my book about our draconian sex-offender laws. 

As a 14-year-old back in about 2002, Duggar fondled at least five girls in his family home — and his parents decided against taking him to the public authorities. 

The case reminded me of Josh Gravens — who, like Josh Duggar, was from a conservative Christian homeschooling family, with parents who turned to their church after learning their 13-year-old inappropriately touched his younger sisters. 

In Gravens’ case, the church reported him to police, and he was sent to prison for over three years. Released at 17, Gravens then spent a decade on the public sex-offender registry. Today, at 28, he has never re-offended. Yet he is still required to update police when moving, and is now facing up to 25 years in prison — for registering a new address a week late. 

As a researcher trying to understand widespread and exaggerated fears of sex offenders, I have a different perspective than those enraged at the Duggars for not turning to law enforcement or therapists (many counselors are mandated reporters, like the Christian counselor who reported Gravens to police). 

While most express disbelief and anger about the response of the Duggars, I understand why they bent over backward to keep their son from being chewed up by the cops and courts.
 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Fact, Public Registries Make RSO’s (their Roommates and Families) Into Targets of Vigilantes: Illinois Police Swarm Waukegan Home of Registered Sex Offender on Prank 911 Call

 
 

Good thing there weren’t any dogs at the residence because the SWAT Team probably would have shot them dead.

Everyone’s address that is posted on a Sex Offender Registry worries about vigilante vandalism, harassment, intimidation or attacks..... Now there is THIS possibility

If he was targeted because he is listed on the Registry then this should count as a Hate Crime!

A crime against property or a person that is motivated by prejudice or intolerance toward an individual’s targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group including national origin, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability, is a Hate Crime.

Registered Sex Offenders are certainly a “group” and they should qualify under Hate Crimes.

No public registries aren't punitive they are simply "administrative".  We all know better! When will the lawmakers and the courts finally get it?

Mary

Police swarm Waukegan home of registered sex offender on prank 911 call, May 28, 2015

Police converged on a Waukegan apartment earlier this week after a chilling 911 call was made by a man claiming he had stabbed a woman, bound her and was holding her hostage with a shotgun, according to police. 

On Tuesday morning, police closed down the area around the 1700 block of Sunset Avenue before officers armed with AR-15 rifles forced their way inside, Waukegan Police Chief Wayne Walles said. 

It turned out the 911 call was a false report, summoning police to the apartment of a registered sex offender. 

"This is similar to what they call 'swatting,'" said Walles, who likened the call to a prank. "But we're not sure what this was and that's why we are investigating." 

Authorities called the SWAT team, but officers at the scene were sent into the apartment instead, equipped with their street rifles, Walles said.
 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence Announces Its Recommendations Today in Richmond


At 1:30pm today Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Taskforce on Combating Campus Sexual Violence held its final meeting at the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond where the 21 Recommendations of the Taskforce were presented by Attorney General Mark Herring (they were were posted online ahead of time). Plus a Ceremonial Bill Signing was held for HB1785 and SB712 / HB1930 that passed the 2015 Virginia Legislature back in February to become law on July 1st .

I attended the meeting (sitting right behind Gil and Dan Harrington) to hear what all the speakers had to say and to see if the false 1 in 5 claim was made as it had been at the very first Taskforce meeting, it wasn’t!  During a break I also asked a few Legislators (there were 12 or more in attendance) about the VSP issue I brought to their attention last week.  

As for the 21 recommendations some that will require legislation at the 2016 General Assembly session, they are all reasonable and I do not oppose any of them.  
 

Fact Checker Gives Four Pinocchio’s to the Widely Repeated and Bogus Claim that "in the U.S., 300,000 Children are at Risk Each Year for Commercial Sexual Exploitation", Claimed by Legislators (and Victim’s Groups) and Then Broadcast as Fact By the Media

 
It's Political Grandstanding to create Hype and Fear so they public believes there is an extreme danger so they’ll support new and harsher Human /Sexual Trafficking Laws, Mandatory Minimum Sentences, more funding and the requirement to Register as a Sex Offender. 

Mary

Fact Checker: The bogus claim that 300,000 U.S. children are ‘at risk’ of sexual exploitation, May 28, 2015
By Glenn Kessler

In the U.S., some 300,000 children are at risk each year for commercial sexual exploitation.” –Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), statement, May 19, 2015 

There are upwards, according to the Justice Department, of 300,000, mostly young girls, at risk for this.” –Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), remarks at a congressional hearing, May 14, 2015  

Beatty and Wagner were two key players in the recent bill targeting sex traffickers that passed both houses of Congress, and they—and many other lawmakers—repeatedly cited the statistic that “300,000” children were “at risk” of being sexually exploited. Often, the source of the statistic was claimed to be the Justice Department, an attribution that The New York Times also used in its report on passage of the bill. 

But it turns out that this is another one of those nonsense statistics, based on data so old that the original researcher even says it is no longer relevant. It also does not have the imprimatur of the Justice Department. 

In recent months, The Fact Checker has exposed a series of dubious factoids, each of which are endlessly repeated by politicians and, even more irresponsibly, by the media. Human trafficking is an important issue, but the data are especially susceptible to exaggeration. Let’s explore why this statistic is another entry in a growing collection of discredited facts.
 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Action Alert from ACLU of Virginia: Tell the VA Supreme Court to End Trial by Ambush!


Update:

JUSTICE SYSTEM: Make Virginia trials more fair, June 4, 2015

Major rule changes proposed for pre-trial discovery in criminal cases, June 1, 2015

 
Original Post:

Today I received an email Action Alert (see below) from the ACLU of Virginia. 

A past post back on April 11, 2014 showed how Virginia’s “Trial by Ambush” works against defendants. 

Before that article, there was a May 29, 2013 Virginian Pilot article Sharing details between lawyers may change in Va. http://hamptonroads.com/2013/05/sharing-details-between-lawyers-may-change-va which I shared with all of the Virginia lawmakers later that day.  

When the false accusation was levied against my husband back in mid-May 2007 no one involved in the investigation would tell us what the teenager who lied to save her dog from being euthanized was claiming had occurred.  

We begged the Hanover Commonwealth Attorneys office and the Hanover County Investigator to come interview us, we asked repeatedly what she was claiming he had done, no interview was ever granted and no one would tell us anything.
 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Crucify Him or Forgive Him? Everyone….it Seems Has an Opinion When it Comes to Josh Duggar, But Would Their Current Opinion be the Same if it Weren’t About a Duggar?

 

Update:
Sarah Palin hits media ‘double standard’ on Duggars, calls Lena Dunham a ‘pedophile’, June 4, 2015
 
Original Post: 
 
For 5 days I’ve debated about writing a post on the “Josh Duggar situation”. 

I’ve started 2 different posts combining some facts from articles I’ve added to the  In the News page and both times I’ve stopped and deleted what I’ve written. Then I found the below article today and I decide it was time to post.

I’ve read just about every article, editorial and public comment  about Josh Duggar sexually touching young girls when he was 14 years old, 13 years ago. 

Blood-thirsty people are demanding criminal charges be filed against Josh Duggar, they are happy Josh Duggar has lost his job/income to support his family, they want Josh’s parents to be criminally charged, they want TLC to cancel their show, people are trying to guess “which sisters, was it”, a past TLC show personality is threatening a lawsuit if the Duggar show isn’t cancelled because her show was cancelled because she was dating a Registered Sex Offender (RSO), then there are people who are saying Josh Duggar has changed, he deserves a second chance and something he did when he was a 14 year old (some articles say 15 years old) juvenile shouldn’t define him as a 27 year old adult. 

People are calling Josh Duggar a Sex Offender, a Pedophile, a Monster and a Hypocrite.
 

Tasha Tsiaperas: Frisco Woman Recounts Childhood Sexual Abuse to Help Inmates in Rehab

 
Frisco woman recounts childhood sexual abuse to help inmates in rehab, May 25, 2015
By Tasha Tsiaperas

Marti Martin spent years being angry at the men who sexually assaulted her as a child. Decades ashamed of the abuse. 

That anger threatened to destroy her marriage — and herself — until she learned how to forgive and move forward. 

Now when Martin, 52, stands in front of a room full of inmates at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville, she doesn’t see convicted sex offenders. 

“I see little boys, little boys who were hurt, little boys who were abused,” Martin says. “I don’t see grown men who purposefully wanted to hurt people. I see something that goes a little deeper. There’s something there that caused them to do what they did.” 

The Frisco woman drives 400 miles round trip every other month to share her story with a group of inmates completing a sex offender rehabilitation program.
 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Cathy Young: Feminists Want Us to Define these Ugly Sexual Encounters as Rape. Don’t Let Them.

 
Feminists want us to define these ugly sexual encounters as rape. Don’t let them.
We need to stop prosecuting bad behavior as rape.
By Cathy Young                May 20, 2015

There was the time when, 19 and naïve, I was guilt-tripped into entirely unwanted physical intimacies with a much older married man. And the time, three or four years later, when I went to visit an on-and-off long-distance boyfriend and quickly realized that it was over for me—but he assumed we were still on, and I didn’t have the nerve to say no to sex. And the time I told a man, “Look, I’m not going to sleep with you,” and it was taken as “try again in a couple of hours.” 

When they happened, my view of these encounters ranged from “a mistake” to “it’s complicated.” It still does—even though, these days, we are encouraged to reinterpret such experiences as sexual violations. To many feminists, stories like these are evidence of a pervasive, misogynistic rape culture. “Kids see movies where there’s an aggressor who gets pushed away, but keeps trying until the girl relents,” writes advocate, author, and  filmmaker Kelly Kend. “This is a rape dynamic that has been played off countless times as just how it works.” Canadian feminist author Anne Theriault laments “the still-pervasive and very flawed idea that if she doesn’t say no, it’s not rape”—clearly referring not just to attacks involving violence or incapacitation (for which few would demand a verbal “no” as proof of rape), but encounters in which a woman yields to unwanted  overtures.  

 To me, this crusade against “rape culture” over-simplifies the vast complexity of human sexual interaction, conflating criminal sexual acts like coercion by physical force, threat or incapacitation—which should obviously be prosecuted and punished whenever possible—with bad behavior.
 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Virginia State Crime Commission: 2015 Studies and Meeting Dates.....Agendas are Posted by VSCC a Few Days Before Meeting

 
Finally........we know what the Virginia State Crime Commission (VSCC) is studying for 2015 (see below). 

These issues will be presented and discussed at the first two VSCC meetings:
  • Tuesday September 29, 2015 at 10:00 A.M. Senate Room A, General Assembly Building (in Richmond, VA)
  • Tuesday October 27, 2015 at 10:00 A.M. Senate Room A, General Assembly Building
At the last VSCC meeting on Thursday December 3, 2015 at 10:00 A.M. Senate Room A, General Assembly Building the members will vote on what proposals should be proposed as legislation a the upcoming 2016 Virginia General Assembly session. 

Mary
 

The Crime Commission was referred a number of studies during the 2015 Session of the General Assembly. Additionally, the Commission plans to implement recommendations from last year’s missing person/search and rescue study, continue to work towards completing the ongoing DNA Notification Project, and continue to monitor illegal cigarette trafficking. 

1- Forfeiture of Property SB 684 and HB 1287
The Crime Commission was requested to study forfeiture of property used in connection with the commission of crimes. Staff will conduct a comprehensive review of Virginia’s forfeiture statutes, as well as review the issue of forfeiture upon conviction of the defendant. 

2- Sexual Crimes Against Minors SB 1253
The Crime Commission was requested to study the statute of limitations in regards to misdemeanor sexual crimes against minors. 

3- Stalking SB 1297 and HB 1453
The Crime Commission was requested to study the penalties for stalking. Staff plans to review First Amendment constitutional concerns and other states’ stalking laws.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Corey Levitan: You Might Be a Sex Offender and Not Even Know It! Have you ever peed in public? Or hugged a child? Or been naked in your own home? You might be in trouble

 
You Might Be a Sex Offender and Not Even Know It! May 20, 2015
Have you ever peed in public? Or hugged a child? Or been naked in your own home? You might be in trouble
By Corey Levitan
http://www.menshealth.com/best-life/you-might-be-sex-offender-and-not-know-it 

Because I walk around the house naked way more than my wife would prefer, she recently played a joke on me. As I sometimes like to do, I donned only flip-flops to enter our garage and get something from my tool shelf. I was a full 20 feet inside when I heard the garage door rumble open. 

I had to give her credit. This not only related her point perfectly—that I am perhaps not wearing pants as often as I should—but was undeniably hysterical. However, then I heard the voices of little children playing outside, near our driveway. 

State laws that require pedophiles and rapists to register as sex offenders are a good thing. They prohibit them from being near schools, parks, or playgrounds, and make their identities easily learned by new neighbors and employers. 

But some of the criminals listed on “offender locator” apps deserve to be there way less than others. In fact, you may have committed some of the very same crimes that got them listed alongside playground prowlers.
 

Families Against Mandatory Minimums Commends 3 U.S. House Members (Including Virginia’s Bobby Scott) for Saying “No” to Expanded Mandatory Minimums

 
FAMM’s Julie Stewart Commends 3 House Members for Saying “No” to Expanded Mandatory Minimums May 19, 2015

Three members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted “no” today on S. 178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, a human trafficking bill that will expand federal mandatory minimum sentences. Julie Stewart, president and founder of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, had this to say:  

“There is no question in my mind that human trafficking demands our attention and law enforcement resources, but there’s also no question that expanding mandatory minimum sentences is the wrong way to do it. Every time members of Congress create a new mandatory minimum, they end up disproportionately punishing offenders they never intended to.  
 

Why Not Create.......Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry Kiosks for Registration Updates?


My husband and I had this discussion over a year ago and yesterdays experience (see earlier post, below) of no one being at a Norfolk VSP location at all (during operating hours) to take an RSO’s Registration updates because they have an unwritten “by appointment” policy has me circling back on this idea. 

Every time an RSO must register, reregister, get their photo taken or update basic information a VSP employee take the information and fills out paperwork by hand. Then that paperwork is sent to VSP Headquarters for another VSP employee to enter into the database by hand, allowing for typos, errors and delays. The majority of our RSO’s must re-register 4 times a year plus any additional residence, employment, vehicle, phone number or email changes. Last November the number of RSO’s under VSP supervision was 8,726 and under DOC Probation was 3,478, that’s at least 27,000 forms being filled out and entered in 12 months. 

Why not place VSP SOR Kiosks (like an ATM) outside every VSP Barracks in the State? 
 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Action Item: Is the Virginia State Police Limiting Access in Your District to Register, Re-Register or Update Mandated Information (in Time) as Required by Virginia Law?


 
 
(See Action Item Post above/dated May 20, 2015 as follow up to this post)

Dear Followers, 

See the sign above? I need to know if your Virginia State Police (VSP) location has a similar policy. 

If it does please send me the following:
  1. The physical address of the location
  2. What hours are listed as open for the appointments/registrations?
  3. Approximately when (Month and Year) did they begin this practice?
  4. How did you learn of this new policy? 
    • In person when you went to the Barracks to register? If so were you turned away that day or did they take your update?
    • In person during a home compliance check by your Compliance Officer?
    • In writing? If so via mail? Handed a letter?  If, so do you still have a copy?
  5. Have you experienced any delays in getting your information updated within the 3 day or 30 minute window (per Virginia law) because there were no openings for an appointment even though you were ready to travel to the VSP Barracks?
Any information you send me will remain anonymous and unspecific. 

I was recently advised that the Virginia State Police location on Newtown Rd (Norfolk) had a sign posted for Registered Sex Offenders who needed to register that walk-in’s were no longer an option and they must be scheduled ahead of time, with their VSP Compliance Officer. All Sex Offender Registry (SOR) updates must be “by appointment”…… to register, re-register or update information with your assigned VSP Compliance Officer. I was advised that this sign has been up for OVER 1 year. That RSO’s received no advanced notice (by phone, via mail or in-person) of the change and in fact some/many of them didn’t even know who their Compliance Officer was when the sign went up. And since the sign has gone up RSO’s who have needed an appointment within 30 minutes or less than 3 days even when they’ve told their Compliance Officer the change needs to made that day or by a certain day to comply with Virginia law they are still given an appointment days later…..AFTER the RSO’s legal requirement. Who might suffer consequences from this? The RSO, that’s who and that, is unacceptable! 
 

Hopewell Virginia Mother Facing Charges for Revenge Porn, But Is It?

 
Remember when the Revenge Porn Law was being proposed and debated? I do! 

Is it too vague and most likely unconstitutional? Yep! 

Is the below story/situation how the Virginia Legislators intended for the Revenge Porn law to be applied? Nope! 

Past Posts on the creation of Virginia’s Revenge Porn Law:
Mary Devoy
 
Hopewell mom tangled up in bizarre revenge porn case, May 18, 2015
By Curt Autry

If you click on the above link you can watch a 3:32 video report.
 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Shaun Webb is the Standard Not the Exception, When Conviction Not Truth is the States Primary Motivation. “I’ve been accused once falsely, so I know it can happen”


A worthwhile read plus 3 short videos. 

Mary Devoy

Does Michigan's sex offender registry keep us safer?
Experts say such registries can be counterproductive; courts question constitutional fairness.
By L.L. Brasier

If you click on the above link you can watch a:
  1. 3:55 video of Shaun Webb
  2. 1:00 video of Attorney Shannon Smith
  3. 2:27 video Dr. Jennifer Zoltowski 
It has been 10 years since Shaun Webb, a married father and caretaker at an Oakland County Catholic church, was convicted of groping a teenage girl over her sweater, a claim Webb vehemently denies.

Webb, then-37 with a clean criminal record, was convicted of misdemeanor sexual assault and sent to jail for seven months. 

Though a misdemeanor, state law demanded Webb be listed on the same public sex offender registry as hard-core rapists, pedophiles and other felons. It has meant a decade of poverty, unemployment, harassment and depression for him. Under current state law, he'll be on the list until 2031.
 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Federal Bill HR515- International Megan’s Law Sponsored by New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith Gets ANOTHER U.S. House Hearing Even Though it’s Next Step is Supposed to be in the U.S. Senate. HR515 (if Passed) Will Make International Travel for RSO’s (and their Travel Companions) Who Have No Human Trafficking Convictions or Intentions Much More Difficult!



My last Post on current IML bill with full history of all past bills:

Mary Devoy

 
Utah A.G. Sean Reyes urges Congress to pass international Megan's Law, May 14, 2015
By Dennis Romboy

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes urged Congress on Thursday to get tougher on human trafficking worldwide, particularly by passing an international Megan's Law to protect children from predators. 

Human trafficking, he said, is one of the most insidious but least understood and recognized crimes. 

"As a father of six children, I want to change that," Reyes told the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Human Rights in Washington, D.C. 
 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe Grants Absolute Pardon to Michael Kenneth McAlister

 
Past Posts  on Michael Kenneth McAlister case:

News Release from Governors Office: 

RICHMONDGovernor Terry McAuliffe today issued the following statement after granting an absolute pardon to Michael Kenneth McAlister. 

“Today I am issuing an absolute pardon for Michael Kenneth McAlister. My staff and I have carefully and thoroughly reviewed the documentation in this case and concluded that a pardon is appropriate in light of the overwhelming evidence, including a recent confession by another individual, pointing to Mr. McAlister’s actual innocence of the crime for which he was convicted. 

“Mr. McAlister has served 29 years in prison, and he had faced the potential to be civilly committed for a crime he did not commit. A number of individuals in the law enforcement community, including the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Richmond, have concluded that this crime was committed by another individual, and that Mr. McAlister should be freed to return to his family and his community. I have reached the same conclusion, and I have acted in accordance with the law. 
 

Not Really Administrative, Is It? Florida Woman Incorrectly Labeled Sexual Predator for 2 Weeks and Experiences How Punitive It Can Be!

 
Update:

State makes changes after woman mistakenly labeled sex predator on license, June 8, 2015

Wrong 'sex predator' label leads to DMV changes, June 8, 2015
Computer system updated after multiple licenses mistakenly labeled
 

Original Post:
The below story is a week old and I posted a link to it days ago to the In the News page . 

I specifically avoided posting the article because I am always concerned one or two Virginia Legislators will see something being done in another State that increases punishment for RSO’s, makes a successful reentry impossible and is based on zero facts as "a great idea" for the Commonwealth. 

But I can not, not post articles and issues because I worry about a handful of elected-officials who patron and vote for myth-based, fear driven and prejudicial legislation. 

So today I’ve decided to post it. 

Why? 

Because this mother of three teenagers was misidentified as Sex Offender /Sexual Predator for just 2 weeks and she suffered immensely due to the label. Exactly what WILL happen later this year in Virginia when Robby's Rule 2015 HB1353/SB1074 goes into effect and people with similar names are incorrectly presumed to be Sex Offenders and they will be unable to prove otherwise.
 
Public Sex Offenders Registries are Constitutional ONLY if they remain administrative, not punitive. If they are in fact punitive (as we all know they are) then they are a violation of the Constitution and should be eliminated. 

In her two weeks with a drivers license incorrectly marked Sex Offender she was:
  1. Denied entry to Disney World after being detained by employees in a room for about three hours while employees called authorities about he designation
  2. Denied a room at a hotel
  3. Treated “the wrong way” in public, including her loved ones
  4. Publically embarrassed
Lucky for her she didn’t lose her job (Applebee’s server) or housing as most RSO’s do, ALL because of the label not their ability to do their job or how they have behaved as a tenant.

Mary Devoy
 

Florida woman sues DMV for wrongfully labeling her a sex offender on her license, May 7, 2015

42-year-old Florida woman plans to sue the state Department of Motor Vehicles after she was mistakenly listed as a sex offender, causing her and her loved ones to be treated “the wrong way” in public, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

New Book! Protecting Our Kids? How Sex Offender Laws are Failing Us by Emily Horowitz, Ph.D.

 
Update:

This book is the best one I have read in 7 years. Every policymaker in America needs to read this book.  

If I had the $5,400 to buy 145 copies for every Virginia Legislator and the Administration I would! 
If you read only one book on Sex Offender Registries this should be it! 
Mary 

Original Post:

I preordered this book two weeks into the 2015 Virginia General Assembly session that began in January and ended in February. 

This year was the first session in the 7 years I've been presenting facts and research during session that I walked away EXTEMELY dumbfounded and disappointed that Virginia’s 140 Legislators and our Governor willfully ignored every fact, our Constitution (retroactively placing citizens with 20+ year old convictions on a new VSP list-of-shame) and ignored every unintended consequence presented to them in regards to the two Myth-Fear-Hate-Based proposals HB1366 and HB1353/SB1074 that will become law on July 1st. 

The book arrived earlier this week and today I finally sat down to read it. 

                Introduction – Why Sex Offenders Matter
                1. Child Abuse Becomes a Social Problem
                2. Race and Poverty Matter
                3. Sex Offender Panic
                4. Sex Offenders are Different
                5. Case Study – New York
                6. Child Porn Panic
                Conclusion – Why We Need to Talk about Sex Offenders