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Reading Chapter 62 of the CCP just makes my head hurt. We have a local sex offender who claims that he spends four nights each week with his parents at his "real" address, and three nights each week with his girlfriend and their child at her address. Both address are out in the county. He is registered at the parents' address. The situation isn't passing the smell test for local law enforcement, who assume (as do I), that he's lying like a dog and staying with the baby momma all the time. I don't care where he puts his head on the pillow, I just want him to be registered there so the neighbors all know to hide their children from him. Does local law enforcement have any options here?
As I typed this question, I realized that you are going to think that I have so much spare time that I am searching for new problems. That's a damn lie, and don't believe it!
You can't make a person register for more places than once. And how can you make someone register for a location that is not their residence? A sex offender has just as much right to travel around the country as anyone else.
It would take time and man hours to conduct surveillance to prove that he is not living where his registration says he is living.
Time and man hours may very well be worth it, especially if he's around a young child at least half a week. The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act passed last year, providing for up to ten years in prison for failing to properly register, and the U.S. Marshals have been very gung-ho about working theses cases. Maybe they can provide some manpower for surveillance. And Stephanie - the Eastern District U.S. Attorney's Office is very cooperative on these kinds of cases, as well. Good luck, girl.
I don't understand why your LEOs think the guy might be lying about how he spends his nights? Is there a reason why he would not want to register the girlfriend's location? Its not as if he does not want to register at all, since he did sign up at his parent's house. So he is in the system. And even if he were "caught" staying that extra night or two at the girlfriend's place, he could always claim that it was a one time deal or a very infrequent occurance.
"Residence" has so many definitions, to include the place where you get your mail, have your stuff, ect.
It seems that it is the DPS that is supposed to designate which local law enforcement agency is the defendant's PRIMARY registration authority based on where the person lives, goes to school, or works. So there are many factors at play here besides where he sleeps.
A defendant is entitled to rely upon the information or statements made to him by the DPS on just where he is supposed to register.
Under Sec. 62.051, the registration requirement ONLY kicks in if the person intends to reside at a location for more than seven days. So even if he spends four or five days at the girlfriends place, he still is not required to register there.
Seems like they're trying to hassle this guy for no good reason.
It seems a foolish situation to me.
Would you consider it foolish if he lived next door to you and you had a child?
Children die or are abused when adults around them are not sufficiently vigilant about known dangerous individuals.
Sex offenders are some of the best criminals at deception. They depend on the ignorance of those around them to remain successful predators.
There is no need to apologize for remaining vigilant.
A registered sex offender has a serious duty to follow the registration laws. Those laws were designed to protect the public. Yes, they could always be improved, but there is no need to apologize for the burden they place on those individuals who have been convicted of or self-admitted their sex crimes.
Ah, because he is a sex offender, RTC.
You know what to do Steph. I would ask local LE and the Marshal's to find the manpower. There is no shame in being lawfully vigilant to these severe criminal threats such as child sex offenders.
Child sex offenders are sort of notorious, RTC, for wanting to be around children.
And how fast would that pass through the pervert community (and if you don't think these guys have an effective network, spend a few days with your local cyber unit) that you could get around the registration by living in one house 3 days and another 4 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So how much law enforcement power do you want to devote to this situation? And then what happens when another "situation' comes up?? And another, and so on?
I do not have a problem devoting manpower to an actual threat, but here there is nothing.
In addition, it seems to me that the law is pretty clear on what constitutes the time limit for there to be a change in residence and a new registration requirement. This guy does not seem to be out of compliance, at least from what facts have been disclosed above. He is registered at his parents house and he is only spending 3 or 4 days out of the week at the girlfriend's house.
That's what I've got a problem with. Why devote time and limited resources to chase shadows?
Based on the facts given, staying over at a g-friends house 3-4 nights a week, is there anyone here that can point to a specific statute that this guy is violating?
Am I wrong in pointing to the seven day time limit in Sec. 62.051?
So instead of ad hominem responses, can someone point to any specific statutes???
How do you know there is nothing there ?
Local law enforcement thinks there is an issue and if they want to devote manpower to it so be it. At least they are asking their local DA for input before moving forward !
Don't you find it unusual that the offender chooses not to register at the address where the child is staying ?
Of course, you are correct to look at the statute but sometimes you also have to look at how the offender is trying to circumvent the statute and think outside the box.
Law enforcement gets flack all the time for being reactive to crime and not proactive, its nice to see them trying to "protect and serve".
Sorry you felt our arguments attacked you rather than answered the question but quite frankly your defense orientation will seem "attacked" on a prosecutor user forum, just like when one of us posts what we think is a logical position on the breakfast channel.
Stephanie, I'm sure you have already thought about it but if not you might also call CPS and let them know about the child safety issue.
Some of the best police work is done from noticing details. An officer doesn't have to see a crime before exercising his authority to investigate. Criminal suspicion is the basis for beginning basic investigations.
When we really started devoting "time and man hours" to investigating suspects' backgrounds by talking to former wives and employers, we found out all kinds of unreported sexual offenses, most of which were against children.
I have read two RTC posts. Reading those 2 posts I have to ask, are you a prosecutor?
Go Steph, I'm with you all the way. We have to protect kids from child molesters. I would sure as hell want to know if a child molester is spending 3 nights next door to me & my three little boys!!!!
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Andria Bender:
I have read two RTC posts. Reading those 2 posts I have to ask, are you a prosecutor?
Well, you are not the first prosecutor on this forum to ask this question.
as well as other threads.
I've had a couple of these come across my desk: Registered sex offenders who are long haul truck drivers. As long as they do their annual registration as required, and aren't in the same spot for too long or too often, they are free to travel all over the country. Talk about a loophole you can drive a truck through.
Oh, I am sorry. I guess I forgot the first rule of this forum, and that is: you must totally agree with everything that a small group of people says otherwise....
I also guess you must have missed my other posts in which I mentioned that I was a former Army JAG officer who is now an ADA. I work in a medium sized county. I don't subscribe to the lock 'em up and throw away the key mentality. I guess because I am from "up north." My home state has the 2nd or 3rd lowest rate of incarceration but, interestingly enough, one of the lowest crime rates in the country! They also have fully funded public schools and a CHIPS program for the poor. The streets are pretty much always paved, and unemployment is like 2 or 3%.
of course it snows a lot. So i guess it all can't be good.
While I understand that one would want to know if a molester was living next door three nights a week, the Law clearly does not allow for that. That seven day time limit for re-registration is set in stone. I've got a real problem with the government investigating someone who is in full compliance with the law! That is the kind of nonsense J. Edgar and his boys were known for.
My job is not to investigate people and waste tax dollars investigating people who are in full compliance with the law. I have too much work as it is with actual law breakers.
To answer Stacy: I don't find it unusual for the offender to not register where he is spending partial time at because the law only allows him to register at the location the DPS says that he is to. The offender did not make the choice on where he is supposed to register at - the State did! The offender did not make the law that has the seven day time limit requirement - the State did.
I still have yet to see a single post that contains an actual legal justification or cite to statute that would justify the governemnt going around and investigating this guy and his lawful conduct. You'd think with as much collective knowledge and experience here someone would have said something other than subjective reasoning.
I spent 10 years in the Army and 3 tours in Iraq. I have seen first hand what happens when the State abuses its powers and abuses the people. We have all seen it here, too, in the good ol' U S of A.
[This message was edited by RTC on 07-26-07 at .]
Registration wouldn't be necessary if there was some technique for easily indentifying perverts.
Like maybe some sort of large symbol to wear... a big "P" on their chests.
It could be a big red letter... scarlet even.
Isn't that how they did it in New England?
Or was that just a novel?
It is sort of a Catch 22. On the one hand, I'd certainly like to know if my neighbors were perverts, burglars, or junkies.... On the other hand if they've already served their time then "marking" them seems like an extended punishment and compliance rules like an excuse to send them back to jail.
[This message was edited by AlexLayman on 07-27-07 at .]
I appreciate everyone's advice. Although it will require a little extra manpower, my local agency is going to keep a watch on this and see how much time the guy is actually staying at jte second residence. And we are going to talk with the USA's office to see what suggestions they might have.
Gosh, RTC! Your home state sounds like a mecca. Kinda makes me wonder why you're sticking around here! ;-) Seriously, the officers who brought this to my attention take their obligation to protect the public very seriously. Their years of experience tell them that something isn't right in this situation, but instead of hooking this guy up, they took the time to make sure they were proceeding legally. Where I come from, we call that solid police work. I'm sorry that you are offended by their actions and by my question to the forum, but quite frankly, I'm offended that you assume that these officers are unfairly jacking with the poor sex offender. The intent of the sex offender registration statutes is to let the public know where the offender lives, so that the people around him know to protect themselves and their children. For some reason this man doesn't want that to happen, and that makes me very suspicious.
Down here in Texas, we call that reasonable suspicion, a.k.a. "an actual legal justification...that would justify the government going around and investigating this guy."
Gosh RTC, your post in June said two tours in Iraq.
"Actually, GG, prior to becoming an ADA, I was an army JAG officer. Having done two tours in Iraq I know first hand what it is like to actually have been shot at, or have people try to blow me up, and have a bounty on my head. I've only on the civilian side for about 8 months.
"I spent 10 years in the Army and 3 tours in Iraq."
While I am willing to "assume" you are a prosecutor, you have to admit that your views are defense oriented. I am MORE than willing to admit that I am police oriented. As your backgroud has effected your ideas, so has the many years most of us have spent in prosecution.
I do not expect all of us to have the same view on any subject. That is one of the many reasons I love this forum. As far as I'm concerned your views are welcome but I have to say again that just as I would expect to be lambasted on the breakfast blog, you have to expect some resistance to yours here.
Again, no one disagrees that the statute says 7 days. The original question was does law enforcement have any options, many of us believe that there are. In my mind, law enforcement has the obligation to investigate suspicious activity and I think that is particularly true when the safety of children are involved. No one is asking you/the prosecutor to spend your limited time investigating, law enforcement is asking what their options are and one is further investigation of whether this guy is registered where he is actually living. Believe it or not, some counties actually have a task force that is charged with making sure that these offenders are where they are supposed to be.
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