Posted by Brian at 4:31 PM
I really don't get
why this story hasn't garnered more outrage.
COLUMBUS - An Ohio legislative panel yesterday rubber-stamped an unprecedented process that would allow sex offenders to be publicly identified and tracked even if they've never been charged with a crime.
No one in attendance voiced opposition to rules submitted by Attorney General Jim Petro's office to the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review, consisting of members of the Ohio House and Senate.
The committee's decision not to interfere with the rules puts Ohio in a position to become the first state to test a "civil registry."
The concept was offered by Roman Catholic bishops as an alternative to opening a one-time window for the filing of civil lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse that occurred as long as 35 years ago.
A recently enacted law allows county prosecutors, the state attorney general, or, as a last resort, alleged victims to ask judges to civilly declare someone to be a sex offender even when there has been no criminal verdict or successful lawsuit.
The rules spell out how the untried process would work. It would largely treat a person placed on the civil registry the same way a convicted sex offender is treated under Ohio's so-called Megan's Law.
The person's name, address, and photograph would be placed on a new Internet database and the person would be subjected to the same registration and community notification requirements and restrictions on where he could live.
A civilly declared offender, however, could petition the court to have the person's name removed from the new list after six years if there have been no new problems and the judge believes the person is unlikely to abuse again.
So you can beat charges in court, beat a lawsuit in civil court, and a DA or a judge with a hard-on for you can still screw you over by sticking your name on a sex offender registry? I know it's not popular to defend kiddy-diddlers, but jeez, we're talking about people who haven't been convicted or lost a civil suit where the guilty requirement is even lower.
I mean, I don't even like the fact that convicted child molesters can be held in hospitals after their prison term is up--if you've done your time, then you get a new start. That's the idea behind the system. If you think kiddy-diddlers are getting off light, then change the penalties to stick them in jail for life.
But this is outrageous. These are people who have not been convicted, and their lives can still be destroyed.