Monday, September 28, 2009

Homeless Sex Offenders "Camping"?

Most sex offender laws state that the offender may not live nears schools, parks or other places in which children gather. In Georgia, sex offenders who are being released from prison are finding that they are unable to find a place to live because of these laws. Now, some of these offenders are living in the woods. They have set up a small camp because they can't afford something else, or it is simply unavailable to them. Some of these people have stated that their probation officers told them about the wooded area. How safe is it to have sex offenders living in the woods without any kind of permanent address? How do the probation officers keep track of them? Homeless shelters aren't an option because there are children there, so where do they go? We don't want sex offenders living next door, but do we want them camping in the woods where it is harder to keep track of them?

Polanski Arrest Sets Off International Debate

Over 30 years ago, Roman Polanski plead guilty to having sex with a minor. The victim was just thirteen years old when she was drugged by big shot Hollywood director Roman Polanski and sexually assaulted. Polanski was charged with six counts and plead guilty to just one. He was sentenced to 42 days in jail and when the possibility of being sentenced to more time in prison became an issue, he fled the country. He has been living in France and has continued to make movies, get married and have two children. He has even won an Oscar for his work and was on his way to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award when he was arrested. He is seen as a hard working family man in France and most of Europe seems to support him. In the United States, he is a fugitive who has been dodging officials and law enforcement for over thirty years.

The victim in this case is Samantha Geimer. She came forward years ago, identified herself, sued Polanski and received a monetary settlement. The question is, if the victim does not want to pursue the matter, does the law continue to do so in the name of justice? Geimer has asked that the charges against Polanski be dropped. She has stated that reliving the ordeal has been hard on her and her family and that she has moved on. Officials say that this is a legal matter and have watched Polanski snub his nose at American authorities. Not only did he commit a heinous crime for which he received a slap on the wrist, but he fled the country and continued on with his life. He has been careful not to work in countries that may extradite him to the United States and has been able to lead a fairly normal, successful life. Now, some may not understand why the US would go after a man whose crime is over 30 years old. They speak about his troubled life and all that he has endured. For those people who are applauding his movie making genius, remember that he still committed a crime. He not only committed a sex crime, but then ran away from authorities. He ADMITTED to having sex with a thirteen year old girl. Even if you don't agree that he should face a courtroom, don't put him on a pedestal for his work. It is hard to discuss what the repercussions should be when the only one who should have a say is the victim. Samantha Geimer is the one whose life has been turned upside down. She is the one who deals with this incident every day of her life. This particular woman wants this all put behind her. Do we honor her wishes, or make an example out of a man who chose to run away from his punishment?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Italy Facing Charges of Sex Abuse in Church

Both the United States and Ireland have faced criticism when sexual abuse within the Catholic churches has been made public knowledge. Now, in Italy, where the catholic church is even more prominent, in the home of the Vatican, they are facing the same problem. Charges of sexual abuse are being brought to light in a country where talking about sex is hard enough. In the last ten years there have been over 70 documented cases of sexual abuse among the clergy. 67 former students have come forward recently to speak about abuse dating back to the 1950's. Once again, in a place where children are supposed to be safe, and taken care of, they were being taken advantage of by their own caregivers. In this particular case, the students were deaf. Who would think these children would TELL anyone what was happening. They were being bribed with candy and would face physical abuse for saying anything.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Texas Law Will Give Closure, Open Old Wounds

Even though the statute of limitations has expired, both prosecutors and parole boards will now have access to DNA evidence that may link suspects to old sexual assaults that are considered cold cases. For some victims, they will finally have a name. An actual person who is responsible for their assault. Allowing prosecutors and parole boards to view this information will give them additional insight to the people in question. It may put restrictions on their release if they are up for parole or show that they are capable of a serious crime. Some of these perpetrators have lived the last 20 or 30 years without ever paying the price for crimes they have committed. The victims have had to face it every day. Although this may help victims move forward or find a sense of peace, others may have to face old hardships. They may find out that the person they thought was responsible is not the one who assaulted them. Even though it may point to another person, it could end up that they do not find out at all. The ACLU is also concerned that this law will punish suspects without "due process".