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Discussion : Child abuse in the US

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2006-12-04 11:44:04 -
im doing my grad project ( a class required to graduate) and my project it's self is on child care and my persuasive essay is on child abuse and i need some info on the child abuse laws and the consiquence on the abuser and if the laws are harsh enough i need an argument on how the laws are harsh anough and one argument on how they are harsh enough if any one has info on this i would greatly appreciate it
thank you for your time
jamie Luebbe

2005-10-03 10:27:05 -
my son just turned 18 and his girlfriend is 15 and i have told him he is no longer to see her and he keep's telling me it is o.k he will not get into trouble i would like to know what what the is when an 18 yr.old is with a 15 yr.old

2005-08-15 22:47:16 -
This is my story as a sex offender
Already ruined, forced to plea bargain and admit guilt to avoid either the possible implicating of his son or a harsh prison sentence, his job gone, his wife in mental hospital, after a short stay in prison he was released under control of a parole officer and forced to attend a sex offender’s treatment course. A terrible irony underlying his story is that, although he is a US citizen, he is an immigrant from the old Soviet Union, where he experienced the harshness of a totalitarian regime. Now he is sick of the hypocrisy of so-called US democracy.

Mike (not his real name) was also badly let down by an incompetent lawyer who took all his money. By pleading guilty in his plea bargaining he appears to have no legal alternatives left to him. His first problem upon leaving prison and facing ‘rehabilitation’ was to avoid being placed on one of the more draconian sex offenders treatment programmes.

As far as can make out, there are at least two classes of sex offender treatments – a lower 'educational' class, and a harsher sex felon’s treatment class. Mike was threatened with the second by his woman parole officer if he did not conform to her demands.

The individuals being treated include ‘those who compulsively view adult-oriented materials as well as those who view sexual depictions of children and adolescents’. The offenders are forced to take a polygraph (lie detector) test, ‘to verify that they have not engaged in inappropriate/criminal sexual contact with either adults or minors’. If they fail the test, that is if it is determined that there has been inappropriate or illegal sexual contact, they are referred to ‘a traditional adult sex offender therapy group’.

When Mike was faced with this, he wrote us saying, “They are using the polygraph to find out if the sex offender had something in his past that he tried to hide from the police. They can ask questions like ‘Have you ever raped a child?’ I would take these kinds of questions as violence against me. How can I react? In the same way when I have an SS Nazi in front me, or an interrogator from the Soviet Union. What will the polygraph show? My desire to kill the examiner, because I do not think that such an SS Nazi examiner person is an equal human being. I also think that the polygraph is a junk science, and can not verify any crime.”

At this stage, Mike began to examine the possible treatments he might be faced with and sent this message with what he uncovered: “This is some information about sex offenders’ treatment. This is really hard to understand. I think that Spanish Inquisition could not do this.”

2005-08-11 03:03:20 - Hamlin
I appreciate the opportunity to have a dialog with you, Betty. You are directly involved with the issue and I'm not. Of course, people who can be rehabilitated and ask for this help should be given it promptly, but I am not convinced everyone can be recovered by therapy, especially those who have attraction to younger children. But certainly those who did nothing really morally or biologically wrong should not be shackled by this system.

I would like to bring to your attention another article I found. It is by Jack Levin, "Keeping children safe from sex crimes" in The Boston Globe, July 18, 2005. I think it makes good arguments.

"... Sex offender registries, including the [Massachusetts] Commonwealth's version, have been ineffective. They make citizens feel safer but do little else. Many dangerous offenders never register. Others register but reoffend. ... Not even a strong national offender registry would discourage recidivism. Notifying the neighbors that an ex-con is in their community only assures that he will be pulled out of mainstream society and pushed back into crime. As soon as the word gets around, he undoubtedly will lose his job, be evicted from his apartment, and be shunned by his friends and neighbors. Then he will move to somebody else's city or town. ... It is almost impossible for offenders to live in a community and not be in proximity to children. ... There is really only one way for the criminal justice system to protect our children from sexual predators: Give dangerous repeat offenders the life sentences they deserve. A first-time perpetrator probably merits a second chance. He serves a finite sentence behind bars and then resumes his life in the community. Hopefully, he has learned his lesson. But a repeat offender has proven that he cannot be trusted with our children."

Do you have comments about what Levin has written above?

2005-08-08 03:00:10 -
I am very much more than "in part" right. I work with registered former sex offenders. These children, men and women are totally capable of being rehabilitated. Especially the ones with these absurd "sex crimes" previously mentioned in my article.

Couey and Duncan both asked for but did not receive any help. In both cases, sex offender treatment therapy should have been given, but it wasn't. The FDLE had notified Citrus County Sheriffs Dept. 3 months before he abducted and murdered little Jessica, that his yearly notification had come back address unknown. They hadn't bothered searching for him. He was on probation for drug charges through the Salvation Army, they were not aware he was a registered sex offender. Too many things DID NOT happen that should have before little Jessica was abducted. Couey entered the home in the middle of the night through an unlocked door. Duncan, by the sound of his blogs, most likely had too many problems to really be helped. Couey had told authorities in 1991 that he had many more victims. Had law enforcement further investigated this he would have been behind bars for much longer and possibly put into civil committment. The 1991 sex crime charges were not his first. He was previously convicted in 1978 for sex crimes.

Then there is Bentley, he killed a little girl in between the FL Couey and Onstott incidences. His Mother knew he had recently been released from prison and was a registered sex offender. As a matter of fact, his brother was sitting in county jail awaiting trial for molesting the little girl that Bentley molested in killed. Yet, she asked him to come over, work on her truck, and while he was there she left. He took the little girl, sexually assaulted her and killed her.

Onstott killed Sarah Lunde. Her Mother had left her home alone for the weekend while she was out of town drinking and partying with her buddies. Onstott was a former boyfriend of hers.

Yes, all of these incidences are horrid! We must remember though that these are 4 out of 550,000 registered former sex offenders. These men, if they are found guilty, should never leave prison again!

In 3 of these 4 cases, a parent was not doing their number one job, supervising their children. The 4th was Duncan. I wonder if we will ever know that entire story. Why he chose that family?

Your opinion of what the registry should be for is actually what the original intent of it "used" to be. But it has become a huge money maker for the states. The more they have on the registries, the more money they receive from the Byrnne Fund. You can put a search in Google for Byrnne Fund and see the amount of money each state gets.

The child you have posted about is not the only child who will pay for the rest of his life. In a few states, if two teens are caught having sex and they are under the age of consent, they charge them both with sexual assault against each other. The male always has the more harsh sentence.

There are also many persons caught in this trap due to false accusations. They normally plead guilty when they are not guilty because they don't want their child or step child to be traumatized by being put on the witness stand.

If you have any questions I will watch for your replies and answer them to the best of my ability.

2005-08-02 10:26:49 - Hamlin
I accidentally came across a perfect illustration of how Betty Price is, at least in part, right:

From The Star-Herald (Kosciusko, Mississippi) July 28, 2005 "Sex offenders among us" by Mark Thornton:

"... Name is listed as a sex offender on the Mississippi Department of Public Safety's official registry. His crime, according to the Web site and court records, was sexual battery. But the sex the young couple had was consensual, Name said. Court records and police reports support that claim. ... The girl was barely under the age of consent, which is 16 in Mississippi. He was 18 and she was 15. According to state statute, it wouldn't have been a crime if there had been 36 months' difference or less in their ages. The difference in their ages was 37 months. "That's a senior and a sophomore," Name said, adding that he thought the girl was at least 16 because her father let her drive alone and she once used an ID to get in an 18-and-over club. ... "I'm lumped in there with child molesters and rapists," he said. "It just doesn't seem right." ... But the stigma of being on the registry is what has hit him hardest. Two of his best friends all but abandoned him. One longtime friend was told to stay away from NAME because of his 8-year-old sister. ... He didn't feel welcome at his church after a pastor told two teenage boys in the youth group to stay away from him, Name said. "I'm depressed all the time, always looking over my shoulder, thinking people are looking down on me," he said. "I feel uncomfortable everywhere except when I'm out of town." ... It's been difficult to see the boy she adopted as a newborn go from a happy, outgoing teen to a withdrawn young man who sometimes talks about suicide."

Then District Attorney Doug Evans repeats media hype in this article: "It seems like every time you turn around, there's another case of someone abducting a child," he said, "and it seems like it's always someone who's a known sex offender."

"Every time you turn around"? At least he says it as "It seems like" rather than "It's a fact that". He uses that phrase twice. And here's another thing that seems true: media hype leads to badly written or overextensive laws. I blanked out the name of the young man in the above quotes, replacing with "Name", so that no additional harm comes to him from reposting this. He deserves to be left alone.

My opinion is the registries should be mainly for those who commit violent sex offenses and those who have sex with preteens. I don't like those people at all. Teenagers who go to the same high school are going to mingle as friends and sometimes as more than just friends, and this sort of thing (15 year olds with 18 year olds) apparently happens often, sometimes accidentally as in this case, and is usually harmless.

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