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D.A. Defends Sex Offender Park Ban Amid Council Questions

Should child molesters be separated from other sex offenders in the new law to ban some former criminals from city parks? District Attorney Tony Rackauckas gives the city council his opinion.

This week the City Council approved a law to and public facilities like the community center.

During the meeting, directed some pointed questions about the new law to District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, whose office had a hand in drafting the ordinance. also commented on the law, and her comments are included at the bottom of this article.

Here's a partial transcript of the proceedings:

Leckness: What about people saying they've already paid their debt to society? How do you pick this one field of people?

Rackauckas: We wanted to protect our kids, to have a place of safety where kids can have a place where they will not be observed, leered at and maybe groomed by sex offenders. People who commit sex crimes, they are a sexual crime and they tend to get those kinds of urges again. I think the danger is very real. I think we have to protect against sex offenders in a different way than people who commit other crimes.

Leckness: Aren't there already restrictions like this? Is there a time limit?

Rackauckas: Certainly not all sex offenses are the same. We've looked at, should we make distinctions? If a person has not commited a crime against a child, should that be the only one that is provided for? But it's really hard to make that kind of distinction. For instance if someone has been convicted of misdemeanor possession of child pornography, that's pretty serious stuff. Just having child pornography means you're looking at and enjoying and dwelling on the fact that some sexual crime has been committed against kids. I don't think we want someone who has just been convicted of misdemeanor possession of child pornography to be in the park, because that is the specific mental attitude or mental set we want to keep our kids safe from. I don't think it matters much if it's a misdemeanor or a felony.

What about a child versus an adult?

Rackauckas: I don't really think we should make that kind of distinction because there isn't anything that says a person who committed a sexual crime against an adult, that they won't at some other time commit a sexual offense against a child—particularly because it might be easier to commit a sexual offense against a child. We've had several cases where we've had sexual crimes against a child where that person had a background of rape, sexual crimes against adults.

What about minor, so-called Romeo and Juliet sex crimes?

Rackauckas: Those are not necessarily registerable sex offenses. That kind of crime is discretionary with the court, whether or not to register as a sex offender.

Rackauckas also said after time has passed, someone can petition to be removed from the sex offender registry.

Schlicht defended the law that she proposed, saying "It's very hard for a sexual offender to be rehabilitated. You can't compare them to a bank robber."

She said kids fail to distinguish between sexual offenders and other adult authority figures.

"Our children's constitutional rights far outweigh the constitutional rights of a sexual predator," Schlicht said.

Valerie Parkhurst April 14, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Funny Lila, I read your 50 year old sons tales of woe written by you of course and the question one must ask themselves "how does your kid get convicted of a sexual assault while in the commission of a felony? You state he fell in love, What before or after the rape? Offense/Statute: 23-3-470(A)(B)(1) - SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY VIOLATION 1ST OFFENSE Date Convicted: 20 May 2009 Offense/Statute: 750.520B1C - CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT - FIRST DEGREE (During Felony) Date Convicted: 10 September 1991
Lila Folster April 14, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Val, dear, again you have misconstrued your research. My son is only 26 and he does not share my last name.
Valerie Parkhurst April 14, 2012 at 10:11 AM
You might want to think twice on Lilas version of events..Her kid (50 years old)is a level three convicted of rape during the commission of a felony..with multiple FTR..the kid is a train wreck..not the poor Romeo she describes in her hundreds of blogs..If your looking for a Voice of Reason, you wont find it in her writings..
Valerie Parkhurst April 14, 2012 at 10:14 AM
Actually Lila if your son walked down my street I would call the cops..Your son is the poster child for all things "evil "while you push that lying Romeo Version off on people who dont know better.
Lila Folster April 14, 2012 at 02:40 PM
You can't accept that fact that you are wrong, can you Valerie? You have just proven yourself a bigger fool than ever. My son IS NOT 50 years old (I am not old enough to have a 50 year old child), he is 26 and his last name is not the same as mine. I can prove that it is a fact. I have one blog, not hundreds, sorry sweetie, your long white jacket sleeves are showing on this one.

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