Monday, November 10, 2014

Notification sought for sex offenders entering developmental disabilities homes

This looks like another bad bill similar to the nursing home bill that recently passed.

Notification sought for sex offenders entering developmental disabilities homes
Special to the Legal News
Published: November 10, 2014

Rep. Anthony DeVitis has introduced a bill into the Ohio General Assembly that would outline protocol regarding the admission of sex offenders to residential facilities owned by county boards of developmental disabilities.

“Before an individual is admitted as a resident to a residential facility owned by a county board of developmental disabilities, the residential facility will have to research the Internet database to identify if the individual is a sex offender,” said DeVitis, R-Uniontown.

“If the individual is identified as a sex offender, the local law enforcement agencies and the leaders of the community will be notified of their possible admission.”

House Bill 621 states that officials from the residential facility would contact community leaders who they have “reason to believe would help disseminate to other members of the community the information about the individual’s possible admission.”

HB 621 states that each residential facility shall develop a protocol for establishing and implementing all of the following plans when the facility admits as a resident an individual who is identified as a sex offender: a resident supervision plan that provides for the residential facility to identify and provide the proper amount of supervision the individual needs at the residential facility; a medical emergency plan for the individual and other residents of the facility; and a community engagement plan that includes methods for members of the community being able to express concerns about the residential facility’s operation and for the residential facility to address any concerns.

Subject to the redaction of all medical information, the measure also calls for a residential facility to provide copies of the proposed plans to local law enforcement agencies and community leaders who have been provided notice about the sex offender.

“This legislation will better serve the individual and the community to determine the supervision level for the individual’s treatment or progress,” DeVitis said.

HB 621 is co-sponsored by Reps. Peter Beck and John Becker. The bill is awaiting a committee assignment.

Copyright © 2014 The Daily Reporter - All Rights Reserved

Rep. DeVitis in front of his family business. If you live in Akron, don't patronize this place. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

10 Investigates: "Legal Loophole" Allows SOs To Avoid Time Behind Bars

I am merely posting this story because we can likely expect legislation to be hastily passed to close this alleged "loophole." No doubt, if DeSwine gets elected, we can expect this to become his pet project.

By Nathan Baca
Thursday October 30, 2014 3:08 PM 
UPDATED: Friday October 31, 2014 7:13 AM
 274   111  Google +0  478
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The crime of importuning is an undercover world, where adults try to meet kids - often online - for sex.

But some of those caught can avoid being listed on the sex offender registry that parents use to keep their families safe, 10 Investigates has found.

"There's no way for families to even know about this. You putting this out on the news is going to be the first families have probably heard of it," Sheriff Zach Scott said. “And they don't know. There's no way to get that information out."

In addition, a majority of sex offenders caught for importuning don’t serve time in prison, 10 Investigates found.

That's because prosecutors cut deals - and a majority of Franklin County judges are willing to accept those deals. Some say that catching an adult wanting to meet a child for sex in an undercover sting is a "victimless crime."

Columbus resident Rico Dawkins disagrees with the plea deals. He and his wife check the sex offender registry. They had no idea that such a criminal was living close by, until notified by 10 Investigates.

"I don't think that's right. I don't feel that's right. I've got two daughters and I'd go crazy if something happened to them,” Dawkins said.

10 Investigates analyzed court records of importuning charges from 2010 to mid-September. Records show that only 19 of the 93 people who have been charged with importuning and sentenced during that time were sentenced to prison. Of the others, 70 were given probation.

That's despite a law Ohio passed in 2008 with the intention to put nearly all people in prison caught trying to meet children for sex.

10 Investigates talked to three Common Pleas judges who all said the sentencing was proper. The law, they note, gives them discretion with many sex offenders.

In court, Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Richard S. Sheward said he is "bothered" by undercover detectives posing as teens in order to have sex with children, adding that he thinks the undercover stings lead to police "misrepresentation."

"Our prisons hold 36,000 people. Right now, we have about 52,000 in there. We can't send everybody to prison,” Sheward said in an interview.

Law enforcement doesn’t see it that way.

"I guess this judges' position is disappointing to the law enforcement community,” Scott said.

Scott leads the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a group of investigators made up of law enforcement from the Sheriff’s office, Columbus Police, six suburban police agencies, and state and federal officials.

They investigate sex offenders who are prosecuted. All those convicted of importuning are added to the state’s sex offender registry so families can be aware of sex offenders in their neighborhood.

10 Investigates found five criminals they investigated who were not on the registry: *********.

 All five were charged with importuning for soliciting what they thought were teens for sex. But all five negotiated plea deals so they are not required to register as a sex offender.

The law says repeat sexual offenders automatically get prison time, but 10 Investigates found ***** who was charged with 5 counts of raping boys from 11 to 13 years old in 1991.

He did six years in prison, but was arrested again in 2012 after detectives snag him in a sting operation wanting to meet a child for sex.

***** avoids prison with another deal, 10 Investigates Nathan Baca talked with him at his home.

"I don't want to be involved in this. I think we're going to call it enough," ****** said.

"But you did do something online," Baca said.

"Yes,” he said.

After uncovering just how many sex criminals get deals, 10 Investigates brought the findings to two state senators. Now, there's an effort to close what they believe is a legal loophole.

"We've got to improve this law,” Sen. Tim Shaeffer said. “We've got to fix this loophole that apparently the judiciary is letting some folks through without any prison time."

Even first-time offenders should be in prison for this type of crime, Senator Jim Hughes said.

"We feel these people should be incarcerated to keep our children safe," Hughes added.

Watch 10TV on Monday for a follow up to the story on efforts to change the law and toughen the penalties.