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ME: Registered sex offender among those honored at ceremony for murdered children

[narsol.org – 6/26/18]

y Jackie Mundry . . . In 2006, William Elliot was sought out and shot because he was a registered sex offender. On Sunday, he will be honored by the Maine chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.

His mother, Shirley Turner, says he was on this list because he had consensual sex with an underage girlfriend.

“But he was 19 when he got involved with a young girl and ended up on the Maine sex offender registry,” she said.

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  1. Sunny

    I empathize with William’s family. In 2008 I was 21 and I was convicted under a similar statute to William, triggering 10-year registration in Maine. I know my fate could have been the same.

    My twenties consisted of years of hate groups targeting me and actively encouraging public vigilantism against me. I was in fear for my life and filed several federal lawsuits and obtained a protection from harassment order against the primary hate group. I nonetheless feel fortunate I was never subjected to physical violence.

    Nearly a decade later, as I count down my remaining 6 months on Maine’s registry, I reflect on how William could have been me or any of us. And that we can never take anything for granted, especially given the everchanging face of the registry.

    As long as there is any kind of registry, we are all at risk, and it’s why I am committed to this fight whether I’m on the list or not. We must remember those we have lost and continue forward, for our own sake, for those before us, and, perhaps most importantly, for the freedom and safety of future generations.

    • Ali

      Sunny, I am curious, does your state have a program that allow you to de-register early after taking mandatory therapy and completing half of your probation?

      • Sunny

        Ali, I was convicted in 2008 under the Maine SORNA 1999 law, which classified registrants based on the severity of the crime – misdemeanor offenses required 10 year registration and felony offenses required lifetime registration. Maine switched to a tiered registry in the model of the Adam Walsh Act (AWA) in 2013, with 10-year, 25-year, and lifetime tiers. Because Maine has strong state constitutional prohibitions against retroactive laws, anyone convicted under SORNA 1999 is unaffected by SORNA 2013.

        The federal AWA model provides for reductions in registration, for example, a 15-year registration being reduced to 10 years for good behavior (no new criminal activity, counseling, and so on). Years ago I contacted the federal SMART Office and they informed me that because Maine did not substantially comply with the AWA, registrants were ineligible for such reductions or certificates of rehabilitation. In any case, the officer I spoke to indicated it was a moot point because the “tier” I was in only required 10-year registration anyway.

        Also of note, the officer explained that the AWA and all other federal laws relating to registrants are entirely dependent on the respective state registry schemes. That is, if a registrant is no longer required to register in a state jurisdiction (or tribal, military, etc.), the federal laws (AWA, international travel, passport markers, etc.) likewise no longer apply. This is also why the “Federal Registry” – https://www.nsopw.gov/ – is really just a forwarding directory for state registries and not an independent database. Because of this, it’s important that we continue to fight the registry at the state level; despite how oppressive and draconian the federal laws are, if the state registries are mitigated or eliminated, the federal laws become meaningless.

        This is the specific statute under which I was convicted: MRSA Title 17-A §254(1)(A):
        http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/17-a/title17-asec254.html

        In my case, had the minor been 6 weeks older (age 16, Maine’s universal age of consent) or if I had been 8 months younger (less than 5 years older than the minor), no criminal allegation could have been made. I received a flat 3-month county jail sentence with no probation, supervision, or any counseling requirements. Due to good behavior and in-jail work, I served about 7 weeks. I was ordered to register for 10 years as part of my sentence, which expires this December. Maine will automatically remove my information from their registry as a function of law; there is no petition or judicial determination.

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