People speak out on sex offender law

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, Sept. 5, 2007

AIKEN CTY, S.C.---Some sex offenders living in Aiken County may have less than 2 weeks until they are forced to move. News 12 talked to some of you to see what you'd like the new law to include.

Last week we spoke with Dean Monarch a registered sex offender in Aiken. He wants to see the proposed Aiken County ordinance to include a category describing the offenders risk of repeating an offense. Today, we took that concern and others straight to the public.

Melissa Harris lives in Aiken County with her three kids. Two of them are school-aged. There's a bus stop in front of her house and that's not all. Watching TV three weeks ago, she saw this: "All the sudden his face was flashed up and I said, oh my gosh, we've already made friends with this neighbor."

It's one vote away -- Aiken County's new sex offender ordinance. It boils down to this: no sex offender living within 1,000 feet of a child care facility, school, park or church. More detail is what Melissa wants on the registry's website.

"As far as what each offense is and a little more descriptive and whether or not these people are bad people."

Dean Monarch is a registered sex offender in Aiken County. He wants a degree system added to Aiken's proposed law. Melissa is on his side.

"I've only really checked into them recently and I don't know what is what."

Tracy Brown - a mother of a 10 month old and a 2 year old - doesn't think a degree system would help at all.

"A sex offender is a sex offender regardless of the degree."

Aiken County is modeling its ordinance to Georgia's new law. Susan Fritts lives in Richmond County. She thinks the Georgia law is working, but only to an extent.

"Everyday you hear about somebody being in a place where they are not supposed to be. Or they are not in the place where they are supposed to be."

Aiken County checks on sex offenders twice a year or every 90 days if they are designated as a predator by the state prison system.

That's not enough for Susan.

"I would say probably every 30 days depending on the situation."

Tracy thinks people can help each other by coming together to find out who is living in the area and if a sex offender is living nearby.

The proposal will be up for final approval on September 18th. If it passes, it will officially become a law in Aiken County.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by shay Location: Darby on Mar 13, 2008 at 04:24 PM
    I believe that everybody have a right to be redeemed. Jesus died so that all man can be forgiven from all sin. That goes for drug use, have sex without being married, abortion etc. Jesus died for everybody in the world. Can anybody say they never made a mistake.NO! Jesus is the perfect one. I forgave my child affender because when i needed forgiveness god had mercy on me. i'm not saying not to be caution about people. However, we must as a country provide help for everybody know matter what. Jesus is love, so let's follow his commandments and not our own.
  • by Nancy Location: NJ on Sep 16, 2007 at 02:36 PM
    I just love it when a mother claims she has children and is all for these laws. Guess what girls your children are not safe from being listed, read and weep. Ethical Treatment of youthful offenders
  • by Joe Location: Colorado on Sep 14, 2007 at 06:48 AM
    ... according to the US Department of Justice ... in 2002 the US Dept of Justice estimated that 1.3 Million children went "missing" ... of those only 115 were abducted by a "stranger" ... with 40 of the 1.3 million that went "missing" being killed by a stranger who abducted them. The media plays this like it happens all the time ... the research by the Department of Justice indicates it is actually EXTREMELY rare. But sensationalism gets votes and increases media ratings. I encourage people to get the real facts and not believe the media hype.
  • by lucy Location: valdosta on Sep 12, 2007 at 12:37 PM
    "The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation." - Adolph Hitler (Mein Kampf) “In 2002, Iowa enacted a law that prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or daycare center. ... the law overburdened law enforcement, has concentrated sex offenders in areas where they are allowed to live and has led to an increase in the number of sex offenders who have stopped registering with local authorities and gone missing. I defy anyone to try and convince me, scientifically or logically that those requirements have any affect at all. It makes great sense politically, but has no affect whatsoever on public safety.” — Corwin R. Ritchie, Iowa County Attorneys Association executive director
  • by Debbie Location: Valdosta on Sep 12, 2007 at 12:18 PM
    Someone in the article said a sex offender is a sex offender no matter what the degree. Do people know that sex offenders could be someone caught nude sunbathing, yes, that is indecent exposure in most states. Do you know that a juvenile can streak, moon or have sex with his girlfriend a few years younger which is totally consensual and still be branded a sex offender for life. Some have been put on the list for urinating in Public. The problem is that the Government usually doesn't decipher a difference so most just naturally assume the worst. They don't even tell you if the offender was with a minor in most states. They don't tell you if his crime was violent, a misdemeanor or give any detail so the parents can decide how afraid to be. They want you to fear all of them and outcast all of them. It feels good, it brings votes. No one will ever not sign a bill in a childs honor but those bills need to be thouroughly examined and be proven beneficial. This is not the case here.
  • by Joe Location: Atlanta on Sep 12, 2007 at 11:51 AM
    i don't believe these laws help. they make us scared of everyone around us. Most people know that most sex offenders are NOT PEDOPHILES though most are just assumed so. Please differentiate between the two. Many are non-violent sex offendenses occuring with adults and are even misdemeanors and single offenses. These people are being lumped into these broad categories and new laws imposed on them that were not a part of their sentencing. Everywhere they go they are being watched and monitored, toll booths, by their cell phones, credit cards, computers, satellites, ankle monitors, new license plates... as wel as having to stop at sheriffs offices and rtegister in basically every state they visit. And most were not even with a minor or violent. If we keep outcasting them i think they will become more furious than if we accept them, help them get back into society, get a job, have a home, and quit this witch hunt and possibly show them a little compassion. they've already served time!
  • by danny Location: idaho on Sep 12, 2007 at 11:13 AM
    Take a look at waht these experts say: “Therapy works for these people. Let them be punished for their crimes, let them out and let them get on with their lives. Let them work. Let them have stable homes and families and let them live in peace. Harassing them, making them move and continually punishing them does far more harm than good. A sex offender in therapy with a job and a place to live is less of a threat than one that is constantly harassed.” — Robert Shilling, Detective, Seattle, WA Crimes Against Children Division “We went from knowing where about 90 percent of them were. We’re lucky if we know where 50 to 55 percent of them are now...the law created an atmosphere that these individuals can’t find a place to live.” — Sheriff Don Zeller, Linn County, Iowa “It is sad 20th Century Commentary that society views the convicted felon as a social outcast. He has done wrong, so we rationalize and condone punishment in various forms. We express a desire for rehabilitation of the individual, while simultaneously we do everything to prevent it. Society cares little for the conditions which a prisoner must suffer while in prison, it cares even less for his future when he is released from prison. He is a marked man. We tell him to return to the norm of behavior, yet we brand him as virtually unemployable, he is required to live his normal activities severely restricted and we react with sickened wonder and disgust when he returns to a life of crime.” — Former Chief Circuit Judge Donald Lay
  • by Al Location: Aiken County on Sep 10, 2007 at 02:56 PM
    Yes there are still violent crimes. Yes this law wont protect everyone! But it will HELP keep these ppl away from our kids! If it was consentual sex between an adult and a teen then that should be taken into consideration but if someone touched a CHILD in any way, then get rid of them!No child is gonna say "well im 4 so lets do stuff!" And so what if we teach our kids stranger safety? If someone wants to hurt a child, whats gonna stop them? Adults can over power a child any day!Having these ppl around kids IS TEMPTATION! Why give them the chance? So what if they havent done it in years!? Should we let Bin Laden in the US with a gun just cause nothing major has happened in 6 yrs?so why let some person who RAPPED a child live in next to your child? and who cares if these ppl dont have anywhere to go? they decided to RAPE a child!Think b4 u act!They shoulda never been let out of jail in the 1st place! C'mon ppl,these are OUR KIDS!WHY WOULD U TRY NOT TO LET THIS LAW PASS?THESE PPL ARE SICK
  • by Zon Location: AZ on Sep 9, 2007 at 01:45 PM
    To all who want this law: Know that you're INCREASING the risk of harm to your children. That's why the Jacob Wetterling Foundation, the Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence--along w/ many prosecutors, law enforcement agencies, and corrections officials across the country--OPPOSE residency laws. Lawmakers know this, and ignore it, hoping their voters would rather "feel better" (while endangering their own children), than hear an honest appraisal of the consequences. It isn't about sympathy for the sex offender. It's about what actually, y'know, will protect children. Besides--let's say all sex offenders are so dangerous they can't spend the night within a 1000 feet of a school. What about all the children who live outside the Magic Bubble? Do lawmakers just say, "Tough luck, kid, there aren't as many voters in your neighborhood!"
  • by Fred on Sep 9, 2007 at 10:23 AM
    [quote] In the state of Georgia a little 6 year old boy was a victim of residency requirements. Christopher Barrios Jr.[/quote] Do us all a favor and go back to the boards on SOSEN....SHEESH....what a freakazoid!
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