The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein

Monday, July 25, 2005

Child Molester Doesn't Pose Nuisance?

Source HERE

Judge won't force convicted molester to move

By , Journal and Courier
A Tippecanoe County judge says he has no authority to order a convicted child molester to move merely because the man poses a potential threat to children living next door.
"The offender in this case has done nothing since his release from prison that would arouse suspicion that he would offend again," Judge Don Johnson of Tippecanoe Superior Court 1 wrote in a three-page order issued Thursday.
"Under our system of jurisprudence, persons cannot be punished on the mere statistical probability that they could commit an offense."
The ruling means Skip and Amy Sturgeon will continue to restrict the outdoor activities of their four children -- ages 9, 7, 6 and 4 -- while Michael J. Rodgers continues to live next door to their home on County Road 300 East, north of Battle Ground.
"So we have to wait until one of our kids gets molested," Skip Sturgeon said after learning of the ruling. "Then we'll be in a criminal court rather than nuisance court."
The defendant, Billy Rodgers, did not immediately respond to a telephone message.
The Sturgeons had cited nuisance law in their plea for a preliminary injunction requiring Rodgers, a convicted child molester who was released from prison in May, to move away.
They cited statistics about recidivism among child molesters in arguing that Rodgers' presence is a nuisance that infringes on the Sturgeons' use of their property.
"It's amazing that I could get an old junk car removed from this property as a nuisance, but I can't get rid of this child molester," Sturgeon said.
Skip Sturgeon, a stay-at-home dad, and Amy Sturgeon, an elementary schoolteacher, said they warned their children about Rodgers and told them not to play in the yard alone when Rodgers moved in with his brother, Billy Rodgers, next door on Memorial Day weekend.
Now, the Sturgeons testified, their children are fearful and unwilling to use the play area at the south edge of their property.
Carl Sandy, a Lafayette attorney representing homeowner Billy Rodgers, the defendant in the lawsuit, argued successfully that the Sturgeons presented no evidence that Michael Rodgers' presence had caused them actual harm.
The Sturgeons are represented by Lafayette attorney Anthony Dowell.
What's next
Skip Sturgeon said he and his wife still plan to request a jury trial on their request for a permanent injunction in hopes of forcing Michael J. Rodgers to move away.
"We're not going to let it end here," he said Thursday after his petition for a temporary injunction was denied.

Let me say- for the record that unless you have children and live next to a sex offender... you can not imagine the nuisance it would be. I can't imagine it. My neighbors have a rabid dog (okay not RABID, but the think chased my kids scaring them half to death) and I am so uptight about it I don't let my kids out alone. Now, the thought that a sex offender would be living next door, I would have to lock up my kids day and night with a steel cage erected around the house. It would be a bit more than a nuisance. It would be horrifying. The judge should be kicked in the knee. And, if having a sex offender next door isn't a nuisance maybe he would willingly allow for the guy to move next to him, or someone in HIS family. I praise these people for looking out for their children, and I hope that they continue their fight against this low life and win.

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