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FL: Sex predators in Bradford County will see signs at their homes

STARKE, Fla. — Convicted sexual predators in Bradford County are being outed with red reflective signs posted outside their homes. Sheriff Gordon Smith said it is all about making sure the community knows where they live. “If it prevents one more victim in my community, I’ve done my job as sheriff,” said Smith. Full Article

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  1. C

    If you’ve never been to Florida know this: if you veer away from Miami, The Keys or Wally World it is the Dirty South and they themselves refer to it as such. In 1998 I spent a week traveling across the state with my Hispanic girlfriend and the looks we got as a couple told me their attitudes were stuck in 1958.

    Getting back to this article…The joke is on you, Sheriff Buford T Justice: The sign your holding appears to identify you as the pervert.

    • C

      The only thing that could make the video of that idiot any better is if banjo music was playing in the background.

    • td777

      I got similar looks with my filipina wife in 2006.

      • C

        Of course, those looks all came from women and they were all MUCH less attractive than my girlfriend.

  2. J

    Another grandstanding show based on misinformation. When this sheriff does this to outlaw biker gangs, murderers and carjackers, he can be taken seriously. This is just chest beating and window dressing from a man who knows very little about the constitution and who is better off cleaning the sheriff’s office rather than running it.

  3. alert

    I’ll bet the neighbors love those signs too. Nothing like driving down their property values and accomplishing nothing else.
    If he really wants to save some kids he should look for real and present dangers.
    Maybe learn how many children are injured and killed every day by reckless driving, drunks, animals, drownings, and so many other ways that are preventable.

  4. Joe

    Apparently, in Florida, ANY repeat offender is labeled a ‘Sexual Predator’.

    If you take the time to look up the guy in the video, he has two convictions for “Lewd or lascivious exhibition victim under 16 years old offender 18 or older; F.S. 800.04(7)(c) (PRINCIPAL)” which is, the way I read it, two convictions of Indecent Exposure – see here, Section 7 – c.

    A serial flasher – the horror! Sexual Predator is not what it used to be!

    Add Florida to the list of places I am never stetting foot in.

    • C

      I guess this would make Britney Spears, LiLo, Paris Hilton and other muffin flashing celebs serial flashers aka Sexual Predators, too!

  5. Joe

    It is a slow day today and I took the opportunity to educate myself about the laws of the Sunshine State… the big fat Code Section printed on the sign provides the following:

    Law enforcement agencies must inform members of the community and the public of a sexual predator’s presence. Upon notification of the presence of a sexual predator, the sheriff of the county or the chief of police of the municipality where the sexual predator establishes or maintains a permanent or temporary residence shall notify members of the community and the public of the presence of the sexual predator in a manner deemed appropriate by the sheriff or the chief of police. Within 48 hours after receiving notification of the presence of a sexual predator, the sheriff of the county or the chief of police of the municipality where the sexual predator temporarily or permanently resides shall notify each licensed day care center, elementary school, middle school, and high school within a 1-mile radius of the temporary or permanent residence of the sexual predator of the presence of the sexual predator. Information provided to members of the community and the public regarding a sexual predator must include:

    1. The name of the sexual predator;

    2. A description of the sexual predator, including a photograph;

    3. The sexual predator’s current address, including the name of the county or municipality if known;

    4. The circumstances of the sexual predator’s offense or offenses; and

    5. Whether the victim of the sexual predator’s offense or offenses was, at the time of the offense, a minor or an adult.

    http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/PredatorDefinition.jsp

    Dear Sheriff – your sign… completely illegal. Aaaah, to be admitted to practice law in Florida right now. Ka-ching!

  6. Robert Curtis

    Here’s the real sad thing. What of the family members? What if a child of a registrant commits suicide? Where would the good sheriff stand on this issue then? He’ll stand OFF the HOOK is where and it wouldn’t matter because it was a sex offender’s child. Well, that’s what these kind of laws mean although not stated right out!

    • alert

      I agree! If you dehumanize an individual than it’s family are the same and unworthy of consideration.
      Like many sex offenders who only see their victims as objects, those who support this kind of harassment do so only for their perverted lust for hate and vengeance, regardless of who they harm.

  7. Tired of hiding

    Look up the term “douche bag” in ANY dictionary and you will see the definition is Sheriff Gordon Smith.

    But seriously, it is this sort of person who is not interested in assisting anyone assimilate back into society but rather humiliate and torture them. Simple as that.

    He gets off on abusing his authority and power over those he sees as “weaker” than himself. He is the most vile sort of law enforcement person.

  8. MCH

    Sounds like Barney Fife with attitude…
    Signs in the yards, targets on our backs; anything to draw attention away from piss poor police work, makes them appear as if they’re really protecting and serving while in the doughnut shop. Oh well, my morning rant, sorry about the negativity, I’m not a pessimist, just an optimist with experience.

  9. Eric Knight

    You DO know there is a federal precedent that addresses these signs. Has everyone forgotten about the Simi Valley Halloween case? I realize the jurisdictions aren’t the same but the ruling was a federal one. The problem is that in Florida there will be no fight against this ordinance unless the ACLU gets involved. Not likely.

    • http404

      Eric, I think there is a difference here setting it apart from the Simi Valley situation… not that this dingbat shouldn’t be challenged for it though. The folks in Simi were required to have a sign on their own property (front door) and in this case the Sheriff is posting those signs on public right-of-way property. I just don’t get that some of these fools cannot understand signs like this do not provide any increased safety and really only make potential targets of violence for the former offenders. Perhaps that’s his point.

  10. alert

    I wonder if the sheriff would be so quick to post a sign in front of the beautiful young teacher (Debra Lafave) RSO should she move into his territory. I can hear him now, “shucks ma’mm I’ll bet there’s a way we can get around this sign if you know what I mean. hehe.

  11. J

    Jim Crow is alive and well. However the sheriff wraps it, he is essentially in the business of creating laws. The most important posts here regard the dehumanizing of the other family members that live there. That is the protection this callous public servant is completely unaware of. For him to be name calling in his interview speaks volumes about his own reality that now gets forced down the families of these former offenders, thus again creating a whole new set of victims at the hands of this misguided and self centered public dis-servant.

  12. Thomas Jay

    Perhaps the community should be more concerned about it’s law enforcement officers sexually abusing or assaulting them than some random stranger or someone on the registry. It’s those in a position of authority you need to watch. Me thinks the sheriffs office, police station, and other correctional facilities should have big red signs warning that a sexual predator or violent abuser most likely works there. Just read the following articles out of Bradford County and you will see what I am talking about. You know what they say about those who scream the loudest having the most to hide. I’m betting sheriff Gordon has something he’s hiding. Especially considering the track record of corruption among law enforcement officers in Bradford county….. just read……

    —————————————————————————————–

    “”A Bradford County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on charges of having sex with a teenage girl while he was on duty as a high school resource officer at the girl’s school.
    Johnny Lamart Hernandez, 36, of Hampton, was arrested Tuesday on three counts of sexual activity with a minor, according to an arrest report.
    Hernandez was already in jail on domestic violence and child neglect
    charges.
    Hernandez’s arrest “has special concern on several levels,” State Attorney Bill Cervone said Tuesday.
    “There is the alleged inappropriate sexual contact between an adult and minor,’’ he said. “There is also the overlay of this suspect being a law enforcement officer, who you would expect to be above reproach.”
    Read more….

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20120207/ARTICLES/120209599
    —————————————————————————————–

    “”Bradford County authorities on Sunday arrested a Baker County correctional
    deputy on allegations that he had sexually abused a girl. Investigators said the abuse might have started when the girl was about 10 years old and continued for as long as six years.
    Steven Kyle Crews, 35, was charged with sexual battery on a child age 12 or
    younger and possession of a photograph or recording of a sex performance
    by a child…”” Read More…

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20100105/ARTICLES/1051007

    ——————————————————————————————

    “”A 49-year-old former corrections officer and one of Bradford County
    Sheriff’s Office’s most-wanted has been found in Puerto Rico after an
    email tip led to him, according to authorities.
    Juan Oquendo Jr. was arrested on a judge’s almost 13-year-old warrant on a charge of sexual battery of someone older than 12 and two counts of sexual battery of child younger than 12, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
    Oquendo had worked at the Union Correctional Institute but resigned and moved before an investigation into the charges had begun. The victims came
    forward with allegations about a year after he disappeared and a warrant
    was obtained.”” Read More…….

    http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2013-02-22/story/former-prison-officer-bradford-most-wanted-list-arrested-puerto-rico

    ———————————————————————————————-

    A Bradford County Reserve Deputy is in the Bradford County Jail for getting into a physical argument with his wife.
    According to the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office, Ronald Gassaway’s wife told
    their deputies at a gas station there that she was injured by Gassaway.
    The Sheriff’s Office said Gassaway cannot perform any law enforcement jobs and will be taken to another location.
    Ronald Gassaway is on suspension and charged with Domestic Battery.
    Read More…..

    http://www.actionnewsjax.com/content/actionlocal/story/Reserve-Deputy-arrested-for-domestic-battery/qVnTI0e1CkmuNJtySesLPA.cspx

    ————————————————————————————————-

    “”A Bradford county corrections officer is accused of trying to kill a
    co-worker after investigators said he shot her in the face. The alledged
    shooter is 50-year old Charles Gregg Hendrix who was fired Tuesday
    afternoon. In an affidavit, 41-year old Lori Jestes said she and Hendrix
    got into an argument which eventually escalated. The shooting has left
    members of a small town agency with mixed feelings.
    “Especially when you know both people… you can’t judge. All you can do is send your prayers out to both families and wish her (Jestes) a speedy
    recovery,” said coworker Kelly Moore.
    For a full report, watch the video on the right side of this page.””
    Read More…….

    http://www.wcjb.com/local-news/2011/06/bradford-county-corrections-officer-arrested-attempted-murder
    ——————————————————————————————————-

    WOW, and these are just a few of the stories I found concerning abusive government officials in Bradford county. Like I said, I would be more scared, at least in this county, of a law enforcement officer or other public official trying to sexually or physically assault me or a child than anyone else.

  13. Jason

    You can tell which people leaving comments have a sign in their yard. Thumbs up Bradfor Country!

  14. Mike

    Continue with the stereotype, depending on the crime everyone needs a second chance, he is trying to make him self look like hero to those who are scared of their own shadow, Real nice for the neighborhood and property values. How many continue to reoffend, if he did he would be gone for good.

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