Sunday, April 01, 2012

Lewisville sued over sex offender residency restrictions

The city of Lewisville has been sued over its residency requirements for sex offender registrants over and above state law, reports the Dallas News (behind paywall), with attorney Richard Gladden arguing that the ordinance prevents his client from living with his family. A reader pointed out this cogent reaction from a local who argues that "This ordinance was never really meant for public safety; it was meant for demagoguery. But its effects are punitive not only on the ex-offender, who ostensibly has done their time and paid their debt, but on their families. They are saddled with an additional burden at precisely the time when they need to be helping the ex-offender get back to being a productive, contributing member of society."

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

As we have learned on this blog, sex offenders are really just Romeos looking for their Juliets.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Or in the case of the fellow in the Dallas News, a man who's been married 27 years with a devoted wife and two school-age daughters who'd like to live in the same house with him. He received probation and had it revoked for failure to comply with registration conditions. But please, don't let reality get in the way of your opinions.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this Grits! Anyone wanting more info on the Lewisville litigation can go to www.texasvoices.org. We are working on posting links to all media articles on the site as well.
Very courageous of this family to step up and out in such a public way.
For many years, people who are required to register have been afraid to speak out and I certainly understand why. However, times are changing as the laws and restrictions for everyone required to register become more and more ridiculous and harmful to entire families. Research shows that residency restrictions provide no additional public safety and that they are basically "feel-good" laws.
May God bless the Duarte family....

JFYI, there are currently over 67,000 people listed on the Texas Sex Offender Registry and an average of 111 are added weekly. Welcome to Texas where you or your loved one could be the next person on this ever-growing, over-burdened list.

Mary Sue Molnar
Texas Voices for Reason and Justice

shabootyboo said...

Being a registered sex offender myself since I was 18, I can totally sympathize. I have paperwork from the sex offender treatment I was placed in which states my crime was a "victimless offense". Nevertheless, I totally understand the shame and emotional trauma people in these situations encounter being involved in the sex offender community for over 11 years. This is the first time I believe an action was taken by a sex offender who really was standing up for his family and not just himself. Shame on anyone who's responsible for these girls lives being destroyed. These are selfish laws created by selfish people, and you can see the result in this familys life.

RSO wife said...

My husband's crime was a victimless one and he was put on probation. But due to a probation officer with a chip on her shoulder, a polygraph that the interviewer didn't say he lied but "didn't like his answer to a question" and a judge who was too vain to admit she thought he was someone else, she kept him in the county jail without bond for 5 months while she kept changing DA's. After 4 years of satisfactory probation and polygraphs I might add - and living at home - he was sentenced to 3 years in TDC.

Due to the residency restrictions, when my husband was paroled last August, we have had to live in two separate houses. Thank God we have friends who have rental property that have allowed him to live in their rent house. If not for that, he would still be in a halfway house that is horrible at it's best. While this situation is still workable, it is draining financially as well as emotionally.

While he was on probation, he was allowed to live at home, now he's not. I don't understand why it was OK for him to live at home on probation, but not now on parole. He's still the same person he was when he was on probation, and his crime was still the same as when he was originally arrested. If I hear one more person tell me that probation and parole are different but not give me the differences, I could end up in TDC myself for assault.

As for Anon 8:19, I'm not sure if you are stupid, bigoted or say things just to get attention. At 69 years old my husband isn't a Romeo except to his wife (me) who has been married to him for over 30 years, and at 72 I'm sure no Juliet. He's just a man who did something stupid that he will regret to his dying day.

If we are going to have residency restrictions for sex offenders then we need to have them for all felons regardless of the crime. And all felons need to be put on a public registry so I can tell if my next door neighbor MIGHT rob me or kill me. You never know.

Anonymous said...

How interesting today that Texas Country Reporter aired a show on the Military Internment Camps in Crystal City that were used 60 yrs ago, to house families of Americans of "German descent, Japanese descent& I'm sure others" during World War II. What an embarrassment to us as Americans. If Texas continues on the path of residency restrictions we might have to revert to this type of housing for our young people involved in Romeo/Juliet relationships and others who are deemed "sex offenders".

Anonymous said...

No one looks at the crime for sex offenders. They look at the lable. My brother is 25 and currently in tdc where he has been sexually assaulted 3 seperate times at 3 seperate units yet nothing has been done the warden at the last unit told him to get used to this kind of stuff because its because of what he is there for. I brother got caught writing letters to a minor that would be the equivalent of a freshman and senior in high school she was 14 he had just turned 19 graduating late. The system is broken and we need to stand up for the offenders. The are people just like us i have 4 children and i look at the crime before i pass judgement. Yet that still isnt enough. If you look on the sex offender list for your area the victims age never changes yet the offender ages every year. Year for someone that doesnt know this doesnt get the true information you have to do the math between the year the "crime" happend and the year now with the age of the "offender"

Anonymous said...

My husband is a RSO and we live in a city north of Dallas that also has residency restrictions. It is really quite obvious that these ordinances are not created to protect anyone. There have been numerous studies to show that they don't protect anyone and in fact contribute to the destabilization of the person that is trying to reintegrate back into the community. What it DOES do is gives local politicians and police chiefs a podium to stand on and shout "See! We are tough on crime!"

If the courts TRULY consider sex offenders to be THAT dangerous, then why were they either released from prison, probation or parole to begin with. The truly dangerous ones are most likely still in prison anyway. And even if they aren't, is it truly right to punish someone for a crime they may or may not even commit again?

Here is a famous quote which I think truly reflects a great problem in Texas and the United States:

"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill

Anonymous said...

Why say anything more, when the best words have been said?:

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.."

Anyone in Lewisville understand what that word means?

ckikerintulia said...

As far as I know, Amarillo's sex offender residency legislation is still "under study." That's a good place for it. I hope it stays hidden there until it's completely forgotten.

A few years ago, the local weekly rag published a note that an RSO had moved into a house just a block down from my home. Anytime I pass that home I remember it. Sorry, but I do. It's near the city park where I take my great grandson to play. Never have seen him lurking around watching for some child to molest. I don't know the guy. Not even his name. My guess is that he made a hormone driven mistake with an underage girlfriend when he was nineteen. When my grandsons were late teens, I warned them often about the dangers of dating younger girls. None of them carry the RSO tag. But they might have.

Anonymous said...

The "sex offender" must be protected. These laws are ruining their lives.

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