The headline from this story on WFLA reads, “Sex offender Santa seeking Christmas party employment arrested”, but the headline doesn’t tell anything close to the story. The person required to register, in this case, had committed his offense in 1993 (25 years ago) and was no longer on probation. As such, there’s no prohibition in the Florida Statutes on his being employed as a Santa.
What the police set up the elaborate sting operation for (as detailed in his arrest report) was to arrest him for not registering his self employment.
Granted, freelancing as a Santa is probably not the best way for someone on the registry to earn a few dollars during the holidays, but there was nothing inherently illegal about it. The lesson learned was to make sure your “i”s are dotted and your “t”s crossed because any petty violation can land you back in prison after a quarter century!
So is there any update to this story? Does anyone know what happened to this man?
His case is still active and he is out on bond. He was arrested in late November and these cases can take a while to make their way through the system.
In reply to your questions
“Does Florida seriously expect registrants to register oneself as a self-employed odd job laborer? Isn’t that synonymous with unemployed? ”
The answers are Yes and No respectively. As an RSO, when I couldn’t find a suitable job, I found work. The FL DOC told me I needed a business license (I was on probation at the time) and to inform each and every person I worked for about my conviction. Additionally, I was required to report my annual income on my Tax Records each year to my P.O.
While I didn’t make a fortune, I did make a living as a handyman (odd jobs). I told over 100 people about my conviction and was never turned away. Granted, some never called me for work but none ever turned me away.
Being self-employed is a legitimate occupation for an RSO. The state simply wants you to do it the right way. Once I get off of probation, I won’t be required to tell people about my conviction. And my taxes each year will be done in accordance with tax law; the same law that affects everyone that earns an income.
I can’t speak for the people holding up signs.
How can it be in This Country established on freedom can make citizens off probation report. The beginning of total big brother control, Nazi rule.
Total dicrimination, unconstitutional, De Ex facto punishment. Frankly I’m sick an blank mother blank tired of it. To point not gonna take it anymore blank blank MORE
https://www.azfamily.com/news/former-mcso-deputy-sheriff-arrested-on-child-molestation-charges/article_4e0af7f6-f41b-11e8-8757-8b672c6a566f.html hmmm maybe the laws be different now since a lot of cops or ex cops getting caught It hitting them in their own back yard
First of all, this person’s choice to dress up as Santa was probably not the smartest thing to do. That being said is there a law against what he did? I have been on the registry for over 20 years and for the past 4 of those I’ve been “self-employed”. When I go to the jail to register and I tell them I’m self-employed not once have they asked me to elaborate about what it is that I do. I have had a couple times where a police officer doing an address verification asked me about it and I just explain that I’m a graphic artist with an associate degree in graphic design and that I make signs, decals, and screen printed shirts from my home for any person or company that needs something made. They always tell me good for you and move on.
Even though the Santa thing was a bad idea for him, if there isn’t a direct law forbidding him from working around children or going to a customer’s home or work to provide a service then did he break a law in that respect? They even created a sting operation by hiring him to a company office for a party which had no children at it in the first place. They should have contacted him and told him the Santa thing was a bad idea and to find something else that he can be “self-employed” at without so many issues
If he told them he was self-employed and was never asked to elaborate is he then automatically at fault? Not registering the internet identifier part was really all on him.
There is no law against him performing as a santa. He wasn’t even charged with that because he couldn’t be.
He was charged with failing to register an email address and failing to report his “employment”.
Thanks to FAC for pointing out that he was lawfully working as a Santa (although I wouldn’t do that just to avoid scrutiny). As for his other charges for failing to register, I know there are cases that other folks have won since the laws are so confusing.
If I start a business in Florida and make myself the owner and president, but my wife is the primary employee, do I need to register the business with fdle if I am a sex offender off probation and my primary income is from another business already on the registry?
This sounds like a question for a real lawyer with experience with these specific laws because they are such a messy set. I would not trust my freedom to anonymous answers from the Internet. Your question touches on some possible gray areas, which is all too common with registry laws. There’s a page on this site with attorney referrals.
FL registrants are required to register where they work.
I agree this is literally 1 (one) point for the cops. Who knows his motives but he fit the adgena this detective is probably earned a stripe and pay increase. What about the 30 thousand other techs that were pure tech on unsuspecting offenders. “Well we see you didn’t list your garage sale and see here you have yoga videos and women’s clothing and what’s this….video games, how you want to explain this sicko”
I am not siding with L.E.O.’s I have a sex crime on me too. I question his motives. Really a Santa business? Knowing full well the hate and anger towards us why go out of his way to Pi$$ed off L.E.O.’s,parents, or some lame excuse for politican? Certain Isolated incidents causes the rest of us to suffer. I don’t want to sound like the villain here,however, I don’t feel sorry for him. He gotten what he deserve. People need to start to think of others then themselves. I not upset he was working a business, I am upset his hidden desires could hurt us all. I am not doing any finger pointing either. But I am sick and tired of this Registry $hit because of others’ actions. Those who committed these actions are either in prison for life or dead. Nevertheless, the rest of us have to endure the hardships.
then you should know that as being a member of the Hit List $$$ can be very hard to come by! he is arrested 25 years ago!
@Concerned Yes I understand money is very hard to come by. Dish washing jobs, is better than Santa. I was arrested and convicted 28 years ago. I don’t have the 1000 foot law where I live,but that doesn’t mean I should go out of my way and live near any schools ..,etc. He has the responsiblity to keep up on those laws. For the Membership, I value my freedom and life,I have a linked to the sex offender dept at the sheriff office to follow any updates. I been here for 8 years and no problems. Common sense is to asked ” What am I required to do to stay out of trouble/jail?” Once again Each and every sex offender has the duty to themselves to asked questions or seek help. Where I am living at there is a small support group, but nothing like FAC where you live in Florida. If that is where you are living. I wish there was Action Committee here. but there isn’t So you get update on laws and changes. I on the other hand have to get online once a month and seek the information out
the problem with your idea of staying out of trouble I don’t think is the best one. If you been visiting FAC site for any length of time then you should know that the police or the person doing the registration likely will not tell you the correct as most of the time they do not know. Perhaps this person could not find that type of job or is unable to perform that type of work. the man has no sanctions on him, has not been in any trouble for a very long time. he should be allowed to do any legal job he can without being subject to things like he shouldn’t have this job or he shouldn’t live here or over there!
would you say the same thing about a drunk driver that was convicted 25 years ago that they should not work anywhere alcohol is sold should never drive again should not be able to live or be within 2500 ft? (btw Miami is 2500 ft. residency law).
If a sanction is good enough for one citizen it should be good enough for all citizens or none at all. Contrary to today’s concern about sex offenders, there are threats out there that are of much more concern. Debt paid is debt completed…all then should be able to go to work and earn an honest living. Should we have a public registry for all threats or none at all. I vote for none at all unless law enforcement, within its confines, needs a document to track all threats…all!
It’s obvious to me that this was done to make headlines, which in turn helps the cops on sex offender squads justify their positions as well as top cops’ budgets.
Heres a little more to the story discussing internet identifiers.
The City of New Orleans was first established by certain countries emptying there jails and dumping them out there in that mosquitoe infested area. It worked out pretty well for all. The problem is today certain factions of society aren’t as civilized as they were 300 yrs ago. They don’t want to give others a second chance no matter what the cost.
how much tax payer money wasted to set up illegal entrapment sting for the only purpose to keep someone from employment…any more questions about the criminal enterprise called the justice system ?..police equal paid thugs to stupid to get a job in private sector and to insecure to be military.
Why would a person with a past like that want to be a Santa anyway. that ain’t smart.. Putting yourself In Harm’s Way!!! Why would you do that, I question his motives.
It’s understandable that such an individual would attract the attention and suspicion of authorities— hands on offense against very young victim, even if long ago, now working as a Santa?
He should have registered his work. And how could he not know to register his e-mail addresses??
Too bad legislators are not held to the same standards as RSO’s. If an RSO is earning any kind of a decent wage the legislators become jealous. Obviously being self supportive is some sort of a disguise for devious plans.
This is exactly what I’m saying. They force you to provide information by testifing against yourself through coercion then hand over your info to a detective to stalk you looking for the littlest conflict. Technically you have the right to plead the 5th but here they force you to incriminate yourself. Lake City I see had 300 such Techs prosecuted in 2017. Isn’t this entrapment? It surly is violation of due process. Either you give up info for us to hunt you down and out you in jail or goto jail if you don’t. Being civil you should just be able to plead the 5th and they figure it out them selves right what and I missing?
Dear HC, I don’t think you’re missing anything. Although I’m not a lawyer, there are only three parts to a legitimate fifth amendment claim: compulsion, testimonial act or communication, and incrimination. See U.S. v. John Doe, 670 F.3d 1335 (11th Cir. 2012). We are all under judicial orders (i.e., compulsion) to testify and provide registry information that can be used as incriminating evidence against us in a criminal case for failing to register. The Doe case above goes into great detail of defining what incriminating testimony is, based on many U.S. Supreme Court’s binding precedents. It is also binding precedent as a published opinion by the 11th circuit Court of federal appeals. For all who don’t know, this means all state and federal courts in Florida, Georgia and Alabama must follow the mandates in the Doe case.
Does Florida seriously expect registrants to register oneself as a self-employed odd job laborer? Isn’t that synonymous with unemployed? Wouldn’t registrants who hold up “Will work for food” signs at street corners have to do that, too?
And out of curiosity, how many sex offenses have their been where the assailant was dressed up like Santa Claus?
Have to hand it to Florida law enforcement. They find new ways to be more ridiculous every year.