Addition to laws go too far
Apparently, Megan’s Law wasn’t bad enough. Now my home state of Ohio is pushing ahead a law that would allow prosecutors, or even the alleged victims, petition a judge to have someone listed in the public sexual offenders registry even if they aren’t found guilty! According to the Toldeo Blade:
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.
Apparently, we now live in a society that is perfectly willing to throw away a tried and true concept like “innocent until proven guilty” because it gives the appearance of “protecting the children”, without actually protecting anyone.
Even as a survivor of childhood abuse, this law idea sickens me.
A few years ago I was entered into a list by the Missouri DFS that named me as a “potential child abuser”. This action was taken as a result of a nasty divorce where my ex-wife reported me as a child abuser. The investagation was based on a statement by my estranged wife and a birthmark known as a mongolian spot. These spots are common on children of color and usually disappear, as this one did, around 4 or 5 years of age. After a lengthy and fruitless investigation I was notified by the prosecutor that there was no evidence to support the claim that the spot was a bruise. Shortly thereafter I received a letter from the State of Missouri listing me as a “potential child abuser”. Now after repeated incedences of physical and sexual abuse to my two children by my wife and her boyfriend, I have been unsuccessful in gaining police cooperation to investigate them because every time the children’s names go into the computer my name is the one that pops out as the child abuser. A law similar to the one described in Ohio has protected my wife and her boyfriend from police suspicion and allowed ongoing abuse to my children. I too am a survivor of childhood abuse. My life experiences have lead me to agree whole-heartedly with the opinion stated above. We need FACTS before we tag someone a child abuser for life. Thank you for your time in constructing this website.