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Sex Offenders Employ Simple Techniques to Change Identity

Sexual offenses – particularly those against children – are among the most reprehensible of crimes. Two techniques that sex offenders use to escape detection from the law are manipulating their ID and residing at addresses other than those reported to authorities, a nationwide study found.

Donald Rebovich, Ph.D., professor of criminal justice and executive director of the Center for Identity Management and Information Protection (CIMIP) at Utica College, conducted the study, “Hiding in Plain Sight? A Nationwide Study of the Use of Identity Manipulation by Registered Sex Offenders.” Rebovich worked in conjunction with researchers from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and ID Analytics, to study how sex offenders avoid registration/tracking under sex offender reporting/tracking systems. The data, which came from the National Sex Offender Registry maintained through the FBI and included cases from all 50 states, was analyzed to determine how often sex offenders manipulated their ID to escape detection, as well as the methods they used to do so.

Findings indicated that several of the most frequently used methods to avoid tracking included using multiple aliases, using various identifying information such as social security numbers and date of birth, stealing identifying information from family members, manipulating their names, using the address of family members or friends, altering their physical appearance, or moving to another state with less stringent laws.

“While the frequency of ID manipulation by sex offenders was lower than initially expected, it is still a matter of grave concern,” said Rebovich. “Given the sheer volume of registered sex offenders throughout the U.S., it is likely that tens of thousands of sex offenders are flying under the radar by employing simple methods to avoid effective tracking.”

The management and control of known sex offenders has become a national, state and local priority, Rebovich said.

Full Press Release / Full Report

Related?: Researchers win $1m grant for Sex Offender Registration and Tracking study

Join the discussion

  1. Tired of hiding

    USEFUL INFORMATION:

    Hiding in Plain Sight?

    A Nationwide Study of the Use of Identity
    Manipulation by Registered Sex Offenders

    http://www.utica.edu/academic/institutes/cimip/Hiding_in_Plain_Sight.pdf

    Educate yourself so you can think like the enemy thinks.

    • Lance Mitaro

      Yes. Thanks for the free playbook you pencil pushers! This just exposes the scale and scope of how convoluted and monotonous Megan’s Law has become. It is a security theater cottage industry boondoggle that has gotten too big and employees hundreds of thousands. This is REAL reason why they’re circling the wagon around it. “Protecting” children is just a window dressing.

      Did you know that after a national disaster, the Marshals are sent out to coral up all the SO’s in the impacted area? Go here to read more about this insanity and how the GAO facilitates and defends the systematic and orchestrated abuse of those made to register.

  2. Harry

    “…it is likely (NOT)that tens of thousands of sex offenders are flying under the radar by employing simple methods to avoid effective tracking.” Another hystria B$. Throw it in the trash.

    • Eric Knight

      Actually, this was an obvious attempt to obtain hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of federal grant money. Throw “Homeland Security” into the mix, add “sex offender” and wham! instant nomination for such a windfall.

      • Joe

        No kidding! Just say “For the Children” or “Against Terror” and you’ll get anything passed. And the sheeple applaud…

        Nothing new. Worked then, works now. Jahwol, Herr Goebbels!

    • td777

      Yeah, because it’s “a matter of grave concern” to make sure we’re tracked.

    • Harry

      FYI, CONTACT: Christine Leogrande, 1-315-223-2519, cleogrande@utica.edu to respond to this article. It is time for these “so-called” educators to get some education.

  3. NPS

    Perhaps registrants are under the radar because we ARE NOT the ones committing any new crimes. Why should they be concerned if registrants are hiding in plain sight? The concern should be if there’s a re-offense of a new crime, which of course is about 4%.

  4. Paul

    Not for one second will I believe that Los Angeles ha a non-compliance rate of 25%! But let’s go along with whatever voodoo science this team of idiots employed, and assume that their “findings” are correct. To call it “a matter of grave concern” is complete nonsense, as it doesn’t change the fact that registered citizens have the lowest recidivism rate in the state, at just over 1%!

    Unfortunately, it’s BS reports like this one that our lawmakers will use as justification to pass more useless laws. We need to be careful and ensure that, if some moron in Sacramento starts to quote this, that we can immediately and effectively shoot down the bogus findings.

  5. WantstoHelp

    So if I understand correctly, the Kafkaesque logic goes like this:

    Increase number of acts for which a person can be placed on the sex registry.

    Show complete inability to differentiate circumstances of one crime from the other.

    Promote idea that all people on sex registry are predators.

    Enact draconian laws that make it difficult for said predators to re-integrate, and make registration onerous.

    Find further ways to entrap, entice, or otherwise criminalize more people and add to registry.

    Further promote idea that all people on sex registry are predators.

    Entrench the idea that registrants are homogeneous, and sub-human.

    Make it difficult to impossible for any person to get off the sex registry, ever.

    Look at horrific number number of people now on sex registry and panic at the sheer number of “predators” in our midst.

    Enact further draconian laws to banish and punish the many, many “predators” on sex registry.

    Ignore the fact that draconian laws cause people on sex registry to have difficulty obtaining employment or housing, because said “predators” are not human.

    Ignore that said predators have spouses and children, now suffering from draconian laws.

    Deprive struggling, homeless and/or hungry “predators” from receiving public or private assistance.

    Ignore the desperation that would cause people on sex registry attempt to skirt draconian laws so that they can feed and house themselves and their families.

    Notice that a number of registrants might not be compliant.

    Panic!

    The only reason for a registrant to attempt to skirt such laws is to commit further crimes.

    Never would a banished and punished “predator” attempt to skirt such laws in order to feed and house themselves and their families.

    Enact further draconian legislation to prevent any skirting of draconian laws.

    Create new punishments for skirting draconian laws.

    *****

    Did I miss a step?

    How is it that these people are so f**king blind to what drives and motivates a human spirit?

    Best way to promote compliance with registration laws? MAKE IT EASY TO COMPLY!

    Want to know where former offenders are day and night? Remove the barriers.

    Stop charging them money to register, stop putting the home address of wife and children on display for the public, stop forbidding them from where they can live, and where they can work, and what types of jobs they can hold.

    The lack of logic and basic understanding of human nature makes me want to slam my head into a wall.

    • Janice Bellucci

      Please don’t slam your head into the wall. We need your clear thinking and articulate speaking. Thank you for your well written reply.

    • mk

      Nope you didnt miss a thing.
      well, maybe if you added
      Put SEX OFFENDER on their homes, or drivers licenses in big red letters (if they have a home to live in that is)

  6. Mike

    “using multiple aliases, using various identifying information such as social security numbers and date of birth, stealing identifying information from family members, manipulating their names, using the address of family members or friends, altering their physical appearance”

    These all appear to be fraudulent attempts to circumvent required registration under prevailing state laws… ok maybe.

    But then they have to add “or moving to another state with less stringent laws”!!!

    So now the first shots are being fired to limit/prohibit travel between states begins like they’re already limiting international travel!!!

    WTF! How is choosing to move to a location with less stringent laws attempting to circumvent registration?!? If I choose to exercise my freedom to move to a state different registration requirements where I’m no longer required to register then how is that supposed to be equivalent to providing a fictitious address, or committing identity theft or fraud by using the wrong ID’s, etc.? The one set is clearly a criminal act under the existing laws, the other is another fundamental freedom they’re seeking to erode!!!

  7. C

    Changing their name? Using a different address? BRILLIANT! Why did I not think of this!?

    This headline might as well read:

    Sex Offenders Flocking to Middle East to Join ISIS
    Sex Offenders Flocking to Middle East to Join ISIS

    Information recently leaked by an unnamed source at the Department of Homeland Security reveals that registered sex offenders are traveling en mass to Syria, Libya and Iraq to join the ranks of blood thirsty ISIS. The report indicates that the perverts are not as interested in defending the newly founded Caliphate as they are enjoying lifestyle choices condemned by the West, but permissible under Sharia law including the marrying underage females, sex with goats, and growing a scruffy beard.

    • Eric Knight

      Ironically, most of ISIS terrorists ARE pedophiles and hebephiles. If the US would say we were fighting sex offenders instead of simple pilot burning, Christian beheading Islamists, that “war” would be over in three weeks, culminating with adding them all to the registry.

  8. Kevin

    After skimming over the introduction I was unable to figure out how the authors defined “identity manipulation”. My first guess was it simply meant purposely falsifying identifiers to avoid detection (i.e. aliases, forged documents, identity theft, etc.). After looking in more detail I still could not find a concrete definition for “identity manipulation”. In peer reviewed academic writing the first thing one does is clearly define a problem of which I cannot find. So, if I go by my assumption that identity manipulation is defined as falsifying identifiers to avoid detection then Table 5.4 on page 52 spells it out clearly…only 7.5% of non-compliant offenders are non-compliant due to ID manipulation. On page 48 the article states “On average…approximately 5% of offenders are non-compliant. Doing a little math will tell you that across the country (800,000 x 5%) 40,000 registrants are non-compliant (a far cry from 100,000 according to NCMEC!). Of those 40,000 only (40,000 x 7.5%) 3,000 are non-compliant due to identify manipulation. This entire 100+ page article is focused on 3,000 people…that’s less than one half of one percent of the entire registrant population!!!! Will you find these figures in the article? Heck no! If you told the government you wanted grant money to study less than 1/2 of a percent of a population they wouldn’t give you the time of day. So what do the authors do? They fill it will 95% of unrelated material. The entire focus of the research is hidden within the much more gruesome topic of non-compliance as a whole. Then the author sends out a press release with this shocking new research to scare the crap out of people when in fact non-compliance stats have been around for a long time. All these authors did was determine that a tiny fraction on non-compliant offenders use identity manipulation. I’m not going to say this is junk science, but if anyone is doing any manipulating here it’s the authors of this article, not your average registered citizen.

    • Harry

      He is providing fraudulent data to obtain government funds. Is this the same as welfare fraud where one is claiming they need money for 10 kids by using 10 different names for one kid? We need to publicly inform the US DOJ of this crime and demand criminal legal action.

  9. Gerald

    “Rebovich worked in conjunction with researchers from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and ID Analytics”.
    Wow! These guys might win a nobel prize for this research breakthrough.

    Puke, Puke and Puke. Thanks. I feel better now.

  10. 4sensiblepolicies

    WantstoHelp,
    You stated it perfectly, and gets right to the core of the frustration we share.

    The ‘research’ paper itself proves your point:

    These ignorant people have been completely indoctrinated to believe that the registry is inherently valid and that some people avoid identity because they are all horrible criminals plotting to re-offend. The word ‘sex offender’ must have been used in that report hundreds of times just to remind the reader of what awful people they are talking about.

    Certainly this 150 page report was not initiated as merely a cerebral exercise. My guess is that it was funded by some government agency or entity that sees the potential for more funding for tracking systems (and of course, the report recommends this). Too bad there will never be such funding for an academic study showing how useless the registry is overall.

  11. stephen

    I agree with Eric knight, this guy didn’t say anything that Couldn’t be applied to all classes, and if he had to do a study to find it out, I would think he lives on Mars. yes, I smell money. OK, for all of you that won’t show up at the protest, your job is to write/email the dean of the college and ask why they wasted money on the study. Send lots of Emails, you should also send them to the colleges Board of directors. Question why they would of hired him, and his wasteful spending.

    • WantstoHelp

      Stephen, I do get involved interacting with legislators and wading into the fray with media reports, etc. (I mention it so that you don’t feel that you’re the only one). In a case like this, though, it’s difficult to know where to even begin in locating contact information of who to reach out to with the facts on the matter. In addition to the dean, who else would be the type of person a letter like this might have an impact on?

      I figure that if I, who am already quite proactive in advocating the facts and research, get stumped in a situation like this, how much more so others who aren’t so frequently involved. I think we’d get so much more involvement from those in this community if, when these types of reports came in, we were pointed toward who we needed to contact. I know I would certainly appreciate it 🙂

      Thank you for doing what you do–for putting action to your words–for being an advocate. If everyone touched by this issue would get involved the way that you do, it would be so much easier to put an end to this nonsense.

  12. steve

    “While the frequency of ID manipulation by sex offenders was lower than initially expected”….we still request 3 billion dollars a year…..

  13. David

    Police et al are complicit in this foolishness: my name is David, so they officially list me as having “Dave” as an alias and then they add on my middle name to create a few more so-called aliases. Example: someone named William would probably have “Bill”, “Billy”, “Will” and “Willy” listed as his aliases – all created by the police, not by the individual himself!

    • Bluewall

      The police don’t read your record of trial… I had one that might have read a summary or something because my aka is Army, Sgt, E-1, E-5…

  14. freedomwriter

    I wish I knew how to change my identity! A misdemeanor from 1998 that didn’t involve a minor or child registers for life every 90 days! Can’t support my family!

  15. anonymously

    “In some parts of California, a sex offender can move without notification and not be considered in violation if he subsequently, upon detection, agrees to re-register.”

    I have never heard of that.

    Then the report goes on to state that as well as using a real-time monitoring system for sex offenders. lets use it other places..

    “Such a sex offender identity manipulation notification system could have applications to other offender groups that might be involved in identity manipulation, such as pretrial releases, probationers, and parolees.”

    The reports numbers are screwed up. The report has so many inaccuracies. Like saying that 2% of states have Tier 1 lifetime registration. 2% of the 50 states is 1 state. There are in fact 4 states like that, not 1. California, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina. Even if they did get the numbers right, the conclusion that real time monitoring of sex offenders is necessary and then apply it to more types of offenders, even those not yet convicted, doesn’t follow, no matter how many graphs of meaningless data, compilations of the methods of registration for each of the 6 sample states, or other data which, yet is as interesting as it is error-ridden, does not logically lead to the conclusion that more of a police state/more funding is needed.

    • freedomwriter

      Missouri registers everyone for life. Anyone moving into Illinois will be labeled sexual predator registering for life, regardless of actual crime.

  16. Jo

    The ol’ “10s of thousands” argument. Will someone burn down this straw man once and for all?

  17. Timmr

    Please use your money to track how many in this registered community have had their identity changed permanently, either by the hands of strangers or by their own hands, from living to dead. That fact is an indelible stain on your white sheet nation.

  18. mch

    The ol’ identity manipulation scheme, eh? I sometimes shave my beard, leaving a moustache, I shaved my head, then regrew my beard, I wear sunglasses when it’s sunny outside, a hat to protect my head, I shave my moustache and have a clean look, I wear different clothes daily, sometimes I dress up a little and forget the Levis. I believe this is some form of identity manipulation. I’m guessing that about 800,000 people do this on a daily basis. No wonder it is so confusing to the Keystone cops. When will it ever end?
    I’m not a pessimist, just an optimist with experience.

  19. anonymously

    I see a lack of proofreading as well as lack of logic….

    “level of tolerance does the criminal justice system, and the general public, have for any percentage of the registered sex offender population being able to ‘hide in plain’ site from sex offender tracking systems?”

    The word should be sight, not site.

  20. anonymously

    At the end of the report, it gets into how Lifelock’s subsidiary, ID Analytics, can provide the implementation of the pre-conceived solution of a real-time monitoring system with credit score like frequent computation of risk assessment. Did Lifelock fund this study or what?

  21. anonymously

    I found my own answer….

    “Research Team

    Steven Coggeshall, Ph.D., Chief Analytics and Science Officer, ID Analytics

    …”

    Go figure.

  22. anonymously

    Also in the conclusion section of the mostly Lifelock propaganda report….

    “offenders might somehow be different from other offenders. Do they tend to be concentrated in certain seriousness tiers? If so,
    why? Can this information help streamline registration/monitoring systems to make the wisest use of limited funds available
    for the administration of these systems.”

    Now its sounding like the report supports the notion of tiering, although to them tiering doesn’t mean eventual relief for some, but just a rating as to what extent of punishment this Kelly-like cyber-fascism will be applied to all.

    • Mjk

      I did a quick internet search and found that Lifelock, a credit-tracking company, is providing this service to its customers. So, am I to correctly guess that they are already using credit tracking in comparison with the “registry” to inform Lifelock subscribers when a “Price Club” member moves into their neighborhood? Would this be a violation of Price Club member’s rights?

  23. Jo

    SOMEONE NEEDS TO SOUND THE ALARM ON THIS!!!

    This single piece of drivel will now attempt to be used as science and fact going forward for more misplace, misguided and unconstitutional legislation. If not debunked and exposed, this will be the building block and lynch pin for every legislator to point to and cite to pass dangerous legislation. No doubt Chris Kelly is lurking behind this somewhere. Pay attention people, this needs attention

  24. Anonymous Nobody

    This piece of trash study is a conclusion looking for a storyline to wrap it in. Gee, much or all of what is alleged is perfectly legal! You are allowed to use any alias you want other than for strictly legal purposes, such as filing a lawsuit of applying for a driver’s license. And a LOT of people do, especially wives who often use their maiden names but who have legally taken on their husband’s name (I have multiple friends who do that – one doesn’t even know what her legal name is!). Many people use aliases of trusts to keep their name off things – just buy a house under the name of a trust instead of under your name. Gee, how many actors out there use their real names instead of a stage name, how many writers use their real names instead of a nom de plume. Mark Twain must have been a sex offender hiding out.

    And plenty of people use the address of family or friends for any number of things and for any number of reasons.

    Consider, if this was all readily available for this guy to find, all these people were readily identifiable to him and all this “hiding” they did was readily findable by him, then how could the people be hiding!? Certainly not from the authorities — and that is the only people registrants are required to give information to. If this guy could readily find all these people, they’re not hiding very well.

    Lots of people have two homes — and not every state requires that you register at all “residences,” as California does, but simply at your primary residence.

    This guy is a disgrace to the educated. This guy should have his PhD taken away from him, as he clearly is not up to it.

  25. The Anon

    Boy, I guess all Registered Citizens have their own personal Saul Goodman running around to get them new ID’s.

  26. Tina Marie

    Wow. This “study” is geared to backup AWA/SORNA. It IS a conclusion to a bogus problem. Is it research? Yes. Loosely. Is it accurate? Hardly.

    I state this because: Many states have NOT accepted AWA/SORNA. The Federal government wants 100% acceptance – so they are using this bogus study with the help of the FBI (read a push by the attorney general and the balance of the cabinet) to come up with a “scientific” study that can only be solved by widespread analytics, real-time tracking and Federal support. In other words, if you are not AWA, we cannot help you with the ever increasing numbers of registrants that are trying to hide.

    Another way to look at this is: RSOL as a whole, and in CA in particular – is winning.

    According to Bloomberg Business- Dr. Stephen Coggeshall goes by an alias as “Steve, PHD” – and supposedly is headquartered in San Diego. Yes, he can have an alias because it helps him. Us poor and subhuman SO’s cannot have anything that allows us a semblance at a normal life.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=24705675

    Steve PHD is actually a rocket scientist. Moved from quantum physics into this craptacular field because he’s making money. Lots of it.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/stephen-coggeshall/2/8a/149

    I can speak about research projects because I used to be on a human subjects review board at a university for 5 years. I specialized in Federally Funded Prison Research (in other words, research involving prison inmates). All I did was review the proposed projects and made sure they followed Federal guidelines on prison research to make sure prisoners were not taken advantage of by the study – as they are a separate population. I never saw any research on SO’s at the specific University. I saw a lot of drug court research – which after 5-6 years has culminated in the Federal government (thank you Eric Holder) to streamline drug cases and validate that the USA is spending too much money on marijuana cases – ergo the push for legalized MJ.

    Yes, the USA has determined that it is better to make money from legalizing pot than punishing small-time people and spending too much money in the process in the court/prison system.

    Sorry for the rant. My graduate degree and experience gets in the way.

    Go Janice! You Rock! Loved talking to you in Texas.

  27. Neil B Fisher

    Most everything that I read in the comments are very informative it helps persons to understand what it’s all about But the major majority of persons who are reading the comments are mostly members . We all know the score it’s the general public and lawyers and Judges and police officers and so on and so on .
    Get this information on Yahoo or Facebook or Twitter or YouTube (on sites that people turn to be) into the media go on radio talk shows etc.

    Let the general population know that sexual abuse is bad it’s wrong but thousands upon thousands of persons make a bad judgement and it is a very old saying that is a all Pedofiles and SvP are sex offenders but some 97.5 percent of all sex offenders are NOT Pedofiles and Predators . It

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