Dear Members and Advocates,

Attorneys for the John Doe plaintiffs in the “Ex Post Facto Plus” challenge will have some important discovery from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in their hands next week. Yesterday, a Federal Court Judge denied the FDLE’s motion for a protective order blocking the compelled answers to interrogatories propounded by Val Jonas and Todd Scher, attorneys for the Plaintiffs. This latest decision comes after the FDLE’s previous request for a stay had also been denied. The FDLE was ordered to respond by October 17th.

While there is still a very long road ahead in this case, it is exciting to see things progressing and comforting to know the Court is ensuring a just proceeding thus far. Today, in fact, marks the one-year anniversary of the case being filed (the complaint was filed 10/8/2018). It might seem as though we are at the preliminary stages (which we are), so much has happened in this case so far. We knew the magnitude of this case would be great! Those who continue to help support this important fight through donations to our sustainer fund, thank you!!!

In last week’s weekly update, we mentioned Volusia County Sheriff, Mike Chitwood’s comments concerning persons required to register. Well it seems Sheriff Chitwood is becoming even more venomous in his comments. Yesterday he was quoted on ClickOrlando.com as saying, “A sex offender is a sex offender is a sex offender. But they also commit a lot of other crimes. And you might not get them on the rape, but you know what it might match? A homicide. (It) might match a stolen car, might match a burglary.” Really?!?!

First, persons required to register are NOT a homogenous group. Maybe the Sheriff should read the US DOJ Center for Sex Offender Management materials which recognize that this group is comprised of a “diverse mixture of individuals” who have committed an array of acts, ranging from noncontact offenses to violent assaults. Second, the recidivism rate of persons required to register is very low and most (in fact, 95%) are first-time offenders. His implication that registrants also commit “a lot of other crimes” like stealing cars or homicide is ludicrous and dangerous.

If this were some random vigilante it would be one thing, but the fact that such biased and baseless comments are being made by the head of a Florida County’s law enforcement is scary. For those who have asked how they can complain about this conduct, the Sheriff has put out a handy brochure on how to file a complaint.

This week, FAC will be sending letters to the registration offices of all 67 counties in Florida and the administrator of the registries in all 50 states in the US. The letters to the counties ask for each county’s policies and procedures for hurricane (or other natural disaster) evacuations. Our goal is to compile the responses into a resource, so come next year’s storm season those on the registry will not be scrambling for answers. The letters to the states ascertain the travel requirements and restrictions for persons on the registry who visit each state. Our goal with these letters is also to compile the responses into a resource, so should any of our members want or need to travel, they will be clear on the requirements. Once responses begin to come in, the resources will be added to our site, so please stay tuned.

Finally, FAC is actively looking for a volunteer to assist us with administering some operational tasks, such as preparing minutes and agendas for our board calls and keeping volunteer projects on task. The ideal candidate should not be an individual on the registry, who has good organizational skills and can dedicate time for a conference call two Tuesday evenings each month. If you can assist with this important function, please contact [email protected]

Sincerely,

The Florida Action Committee


Reminders:

Sun Oct 13-Meet and Greet in Daytona (Volusia County) 3:00-5:00pm

Fri Oct 25 -Family Support Session in Tampa area at 7:00 pm.

Sat Oct 26-Workshop in Apopka from 1-4pm – Come ready to turn our stories into letters, presentations, and speeches.

Sat Nov 7- Family Support Session in Central Broward County -11:00am-1:00pm -Seating is limited. RSVP early.

For more information about these events, or to RSVP email [email protected] or call 904-452-8322.  No children please.


SOME HEADLINES FROM THE WEEK

NC: NCRSOL speaking out against state fair ban

Person’s on the North Carolina registry are speaking out against a law that bans registrants from attending the North Carolina State Fair. NARSOL and NCRSOL’s Robin Vanderwall spoke out against the ban. His organization is also involved in a legal challenge to the NC…

When Prison Is A Better Option

From the Blog of Scott H Greenfield, comes an interesting but horrifyingly disturbing real-life story of a person required to register as a sexual offender who was released on probation, only to request to be voluntarily violated so that he can go back to prison. Why,…

Failure to answer door for P.O. insufficient to revoke community control.

Corey Brown, Jr. was originally sentenced to prison for five years because he failed to answer his door when his probation officer knocked at 6:50 AM. His PO claimed she showed up at his door, called his cellphone but nobody answered, knocked very loudly but nobody…

ATSA: Halloween and sexual abuse prevention: The mythical “Halloween effect”

A statement from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. As October arrives and families begin preparing for Halloween, it is always a priority to ensure children’s safety during this holiday. It is important to learn the facts and know the risks to your…

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