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



Friday, August 10, 2007

Teen Sex Offenders

Christopher Tindall was living in a home for delinquents when he escaped late one night and went on a short lived crime spree that ended with the rape and murder of a elderly woman who lived down the street. Neither Joan Green or her family were aware of the fact that a convicted sexual predator was living just doors down from her. Tindall, having been convicted of sexually assaulting a classmate was still a minor, which kept his name off of the Ohio Sexual Offenders Registration list.

In 2002, Timothy Borden enrolled in a high school after being released less than a week earlier from jail. He was a convicted sex offender, but neither his classmates nor his teachers were aware of his past crimes. He soon raped a 14 year old that he had been dating (their relationship had not been sexual) in a baseball dugout on campus.

In Texas, Manuel Nathan Mendoza was also a convicted sexual offender. Because he had been convicted as a minor, his teachers and fellow students were unaware of his criminal history. He was on the run for 10 days after he approached a female teacher, held scissors to her throat, asked if she had ever been victimized and grabbed her breast.

These are just three of the many many cases in the news of teenage sex offenders who go on to commit violent crimes on unsuspecting victims because they failed to be list on SORs. In order to prevent more crimes like these from happening, on July 1st a new law went into effect in Florida, making registration a requirement for sexual offenders as young as 14. Not everyone is happy about that:

The public defenders argue the law violates constitutional guarantees of due process because juvenile cases are decided by judges, not juries, to protect the child's identity and offer a better chance for rehabilitation.

This law isn't as harsh as people want to make it sound- after all, there is he Romei and Juliet law that will allow provisions for having certain people removed for the list if they meet the required standards, as I previously mentioned.