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Utah A.G. Sean Reyes urges Congress to pass international Megan’s Law

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes urged Congress on Thursday to get tougher on human trafficking worldwide, particularly by passing an international Megan’s Law to protect children from predators.

Human trafficking, he said, is one of the most insidious but least understood and recognized crimes. “As a father of six children, I want to change that,” Reyes told the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Human Rights in Washington, D.C.

Victims are forced into hard labor, military servitude and suicide bombings, recruited for terrorism or killed to harvest their organs on the black market, he said. But the overwhelming majority are forced into sex slavery or sex exploitation. Full Article

H.R.515 – International Megan’s Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking

Related

Victim presses Congress to fight child sex trafficking

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes to Testify at Congressional Hearing on Human Trafficking in Support of Advancing International Megan’s Law

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  1. Jo

    This is like trying to plug a thousand leaks

  2. Justice For ALL

    “Reyes said he’s embarrassed that Americans, estimated to account for 80 percent of sex tourists, are driving the demand.”

    Where in the hell is he getting this number? Unbelievable, every time I see a BS statistic like this, the number is almost always 80% magically. I also am concerned how he arrives at the high percentage are “women and girls” (98%). Again, how do you arrive at this number? Sounds like BS to me, but it fits your agenda, doesn’t it?

  3. David

    Will these BS politicians ever start respecting the U.S. Constitution?? Ever??!

  4. td777

    They already are sabotaging us from travel internationally without the rest of the nation even knowing it. What’s the point of this other than political gain? There is no point, it’s all about political appearances…the Utah AG should be ashamed of himself for this grandstanding.

    • David

      No, td777, this is even worse. I believe this new law requires you and I, the RSOs, to notify the U.S. government (FBI, DHS, etc.) before we travel of where we are going, how long, where we will stay, etc. with a felony charge awaiting us if we don’t tell them (and probably also if we change our plans while there, stay longer, etc.) In other words, it’s yet another trap designed to punish us and throw us back in prison (and, for many, another felony would be a 3rd strike). What next, I wonder: maybe any misdemeanor charge received by a registered citizen will automatically become a felony charge simply because the individual is an RC?

      • Joe

        Reading the bill text

        https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/515/text

        what this seems to do is codify the current practice. For 1-2 years now what is being described to be the new law is what is actually happening. This may actually be a good thing in that a) this would provide a tangible target for a formal challenge, and b) includes the requirement to provide notification to the traveler when now there is none until the point of rejection.

        I do not see a new requirement to provide an advance travel notification. The question remains, however, to what extent international travel triggers jurisdiction by SORNA – which does require advanced notification. Even though California is not AWA compliant and there is no procedure by which to even attempt to provide such notification. So by the time you travel to a foreign country (even if you get rejected by their immigration) you may have triggered authority by SORNA and at that point need to go back in time to provide advanced notification that was not required by the time you left California.

        Like the judge said in the recent Michigan case “”SORA was not enacted to serve as a trap for individuals who have committed sex offenses,” – yeah right!

  5. wonderin

    If indeed most of these human trafficking problems arose after RSOs’ were created in or about 1947 than I would have to support this bill, however, I can’t seem to find any evidence to that effect.
    But than again I never was too smart.

  6. anonymously

    Registrants have been prevented from travelling for , I believe about 2 years, with sending out notices to send the ex-offender back to the U.S. Has sex tourism ceased to exist or dramatically decreased since the effective ban on registrant travel. If not, then this legislation will not help the problem that still exists as Sean saw on his adventures in Cartagena. Registrants, with a 98% rate of non-reoffense, are seldom the problem for anything currently sex related.

    • mike t

      I seem to recall a “Human Trafficking” incident in Cartagena, Colombia a couple years ago that was a MAJOR embarrassment to the U.S.. I don’t remember any involvement by registered citizens though. Only Obama’s entourage. I suppose this International Megan’s Law is part of the fallout ( err… I mean cover-up).

      Cartagena fallout hangs over Secret Service issues
      http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/09/politics/cartagena-secret-service/

      • Timmr

        Maybe the politicians, diplomats and their staff ought to be required to wear GPS and body cameras at all times when doing American “business” overseas. After all it would show how serious they are about sexual exploitation to suffer a little inconvenience for the children.

    • Joe

      Excellent point!

  7. Hank NewMexRSOL

    The International Megan’s Law (IML) is much bigger and far worse than just the issues that would affect us, namely the angel business and annual passport renewal. There is a big reason why our Senate won’t pass it year after year. The big reason is Europe. They will NEVER buy into it :

    Part D titled “Concerns”, page 21 of 37, of probably the best Paper on the subject; “The prospect of an international sex offender registry: Why an international system modeled after the United States sex offender laws is not an effective solution to stop child abuse”. By Karne Newburn. Wisconsin International Law Journal , Vol.28, No. 3. It’s dated in 2013, a few years ago. I’ll paraphrase the page 21 of 37:

    Concerns: The overarching concern about IML is that it is an attempt by the United States to UNILATERALLY fix a GLOBAL problem !
    Concern # 1: It is based on the FLAWED U.S. System. European nations know there is no empirical evidence. There is concern the U.S. defects would follow internationally.
    Concern # 2 : Offender privacy. Europe has long established human rights laws on that. While European countries have police-only registries, they do NOT allow informing employers. Concerns over confidentiality breach problems.And one of the main reasons Europe does not already have Europe-wide registries is because many individual countries oppose centralizing information about their citizens on a data base.
    Concern # 3: The U.S. DOJ reiterates the need to unify and gain cooperation, but other countries definitions of sex offences and punishments may differ completely between countries. They also fear vigilantism and mistaken identity.

    The Paper will teach you the fallacy of IML
    Additional note: The exception is England/Wales.They may be heading dangerously toward public notification.

    • Joe

      There is no passport renewal limitation in this bill. This bill is a far cry from the original IML that was proposed now 5 years ago. All this bill does is legalize the status quo.

      https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/515/text

      There is no such thing as a sex offender registry in most countries. The countries that follow the US most closely are the English speaking countries (CA, UK, IRE, AUS). Here is an excellent synopsis.

      https://all4consolaws.org/2014/06/international-megans-law-rso-travel-issues/

      Yes, the UK is getting closer to the US every day. They will also have referendum to leave the European Union in the next year or two. They have never been fully committed to Europe. There is strong sentiment on the continent to cut them loose and “become the 51 State of the USA”.

  8. Molly

    I think I found the source of his 80% comment. It’s from a 2007 article.

    …about 80% of sex tourists coming to Costa Rica are from the United States.

    And you will love this, straight from his Congressional testimony:

    Citing the International Labor Organization, ILO global estimate of forced labor: results and methodology (2012) p. 13

    “There are currently an estimated 20-30 million modern day slaves worldwide. People taken or lured into servitude and held against their will”

    And what the International Labor Organization, ILO global estimate of forced labor: results and methodology (2012) p. 13 actually says:

    The ILO estimates that 20.9 million people are victims of forced labor globally, trapped in jobs into which they were coerced or deceived and which they cannot leave.

    Do you have to swear to tell the truth when you give testimony in front of a congressional sub-committee? Do we know anyone in Utah we could work with on this?

    The two sub-committee members from California are Rep. Ami Bera (CA) representing Sacramento County and Rep. Karen Bass (CA), Ranking Member, representing the Culver City area.

  9. Molly

    check out http://www.packerchronicle.com/Utah_AG_Scandal.html

    It’s a long report but an eye opener about AG Reyes and his association with “Operation Underground Railroad”

  10. Harry

    Are there any RC position reps participating in these hearings? Do we have any contact information for House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee members, so we can write letters?

  11. Clark

    President Kennedy addressed and gave a speech to the international audience at the United Nations and stated to them ….”Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”

  12. j

    Sorry if I am redundant but we need laws to protect the US Citizens and the US Constitution from Reyes and his ilk. They are a greater danger to all in that big wad of ignorance and hate packaged into what is loosely termed a “law maker”…

  13. The Anon

    Ok, let’s just assume for a minute that Americans commit 80% of these sex tourism crimes or whatever they care called. I’d like to see some statistics on how many of them are already on a registry.

  14. USA

    Well, I bet the Attorney General is Mormom 20/1! Every time I visit Utah, I can’t tell you how many polygamy homes and people I see. Maybe he should focus upon bigger issues!

  15. David

    It seems to me that if it were true that Americans commit 80% of all Sex Tourism Crimes, then many countries would already have 100% travel bans on ALL Americans!

    • Tired of hiding

      Just remember that 70% of statistics are wrong and the other 60% and false. The point is that statistics can be manipulated to say pretty much whatever you want them to say.

      It all depends on the quality of the data to start with and most of the time the data that politicians use is pulled directly out of their asses!

  16. mike r

    This is just a precursor to a one world order where the US forces their moral standards and beliefs on the rest of the world. I don’t condone sex trafficking some cultures beleive having consensual sex with sexually mature people acceptable.

  17. mike r

    This is what I sent this reporter and will continue to send to every report I find a email to.
    In reply to your international Megans law story. I really wish the media and reporters would stop publishing or producing these reports and opinions from law makers that use false statistics and pure myths to further their personal agendas under the guise of protecting children. None of these failed policies have achieved any positive results in the US and in fact are destroying the lifes of thousands of innocent children’s lifes because one of their parents is on such a registry. As a reporter you should have enough integrity to investigate your story before you publish it and be sure that there is some credibility to it and not just a platform to exploite children for a law makers personal gaines or your own. Here are some facts at what a failure these registration laws are in the US.

    These laws are unreasonable and don’t achieve any legitimate legislative purpose or objectives of increasing public safety, preventing recidivism or reducing sexual abuse as demostrated in the following reports from some of the leading authorities on this subject.

    California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13)

    Under the current system many local registaring agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the lifes of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernable benefit in terms of community safety.

    The full report is availible online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231

    National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America.

    The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses.

    The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=247350

    The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483

    Conclusion.
    The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates.

    The full report is availible online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483

    These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community.

    People including the media should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators as to the need for the laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. You should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following.

    California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB)

    Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% (page 38)

    The full report is available online at.
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_Research_Branch%2FResearch_documents%2FOutcome_evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei=C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ

    Bureau of Justice Statistics
    5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE
    WASHINGTON, D.C.

    Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today.

    The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm

    Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013

    Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up
    The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates.

    The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf

    Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy.

    A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7%

    Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf

    Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009.

    The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%

    Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf

    Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community.
    No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so.
    It is the definition of insanity to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

  18. Hank NewMexRSOL

    Molly, thank you for checking out the 80% statistic. Debunking stats is always useful to our cause. I think George Bush used it in a speech he gave to the UN in 2003, hence the Republicans regurgitate it. The statement also shows up in the 4/22/2004 issue of The Christian Science Monitor, by Michael Farrell, as: “..but a survey by ECPAT reports that Americans….represent about 80 percent of sex tourists in Costa Rica, and about 38 percent in Cambodia”.

    I can’t find the ECPAT study, but it dates before 2003. “Americans” may turn out to be NORTH Americans. Clearly Bush’s speech writers cherry-picked the two Countries with the highest numbers.

    Regardless, the stats are probably very subjective, and are OUT OF DATE. From my research I know that Costa Rica has really tightened up, but I can’t find newer stats to prove it.

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