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IL: Starting over – Task force examining sex offender laws

At the end of June, ____ ____ will mark the 20th anniversary of two life-changing milestones: the year he was convicted at 21 of sexually abusing a teenage girl, and two decades without an arrest for another sex offense.

____ spent 60 days in jail and served two years’ probation for aggravated criminal sexual abuse in 1997. His identity also was included on a statewide sex offender registry for 10 years. Removal from the registry made it easier for ____ to start over in the community.

But in November 2011, ____ attendance at his son’s Boy Scout meeting at a District 87 school landed him back in the criminal justice system and onto the state registry — this time for life. Full Article

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  1. AJ

    This is a very good article in our favor! Very nice to see. I really like that they (obliquely) mention the 80% lie from 30 years ago and then give more recent, correct information on recidivism. Even more pleasing is that they are looking at risk-based assessment instead of the “alphabetical listing” that’s the norm across the spectrum.

    I find it highly ironic that the same IL county (McLean) that has a case pending for cert with SCOTUS also has their State’s Attorney (DA) on the State Task Force to look into changing their draconian SOR laws. That IL, which seems to have some really bad laws for RCs, is even *looking* at change is one more step ahead for every one of us.

    I know some of you will once again scream that registries need to just go away. Reality is that they won’t, especially with Smith and CT DPS long ago decided. The best case I can see ever happening is that only high-risk RCs are known publicly, and the rest will be known only to LE. Such a system already exists in a number of non-SORNA states, and they have no statistical difference in recidivism versus SORNA ones (likewise presence & residency restrictions). It’s only a matter of time until that fact defeats the frenzied, rabid fear-mongerers.

    Reason does seem to be slowly creeping into some States. Praise to God!

    –AJ

    • Timmr

      Maybe you can clarify one thing. The RC in the article was off the registry after 10 years. After that he appears to be arrested for attending a boy scout meeting. So in Illinois, you can be off the registry and still have presence restrictions against you? Then you are not really off, or what? Very confusing.

      • commenter1

        All Illinois restrictions apply for life if you are convicted of a sex offense involving a minor. Under current laws they aren’t tied to registration and in fact aren’t part of the registration law.

        Here’s a summary of IL laws:
        http://www.ilvoices.com/il-law-summary.html

        Most of the restrictions are listed in 720 ILCS 5/11-9.3 and 9.4-1, the registration law is in 730 ILCS 150 and the community notification law is listed in 730 ILCS 152.

        • Timmr

          That’s interesting, but in some ways it makes sense. Here in California the restrictions apply to those on the registry, and the registry is based on the offense. In Illinois, the restrictions are based directly on the offense.
          In California, the registry is the vehicle to implement further restrictions. If you get rid of it, all the restrictions would go. In Illinois, if you somehow were able to abolish registration, the restrictions would still be there.

      • Marie

        Yes. In IL the presence and residency restrictions apply to ‘all convicted’ of crimes not ‘those required to register’.

        I was off the registry when my oldest was 4 but still unable to go to parks, playgrounds, hiking trails or dog parks (if owned by a city-which they all are in IL). I also couldn’t go near school ground without prior written consent from the school super intendent or school board and then you have to be escorted. Legally you have to be able to attend conferences but you need to tell them in advance and be escorted. They can deny everything else including picking up a sick child or attending a graduation.

        Also- no celebrating holidays unless done so in your house with only family present. No Fourth of July parades or fireworks (most are done by parks and you can’t be in 500 feet of parks so fireworks are out). No birthday parties at Chuck E Cheese or anywhere besides your house with no other kids than your own. No Halloween. No Christmas parties if kids will be there.

        In IL if a parent leaves their kid with you – even if it’s a neice or nephew – the parent can be charged as well as you. No driving kids other than your own. No taking pictures of kids (even in public places, even eith other parents permission) other than your own.

        The zoo, the museums , Soldiers Stadium (where the Bears play) are all owned by city/county agencies and off limits.

        No talking to kids other than your own.

        One wrong step and you’re in jail.

        And these restrictions are for life once convicted. Even after being off the registry.

        I celebrated being off the registry until I realized I was still not free to parent my kids.

        These restrictions remain for life and would apply to out of state offenders even if they were in the state to visit for a day or two and not required to register.

        • AJ

          @Marie
          Holy sh*t, to say the least! How have these blatantly unconstitutional items gone unchallenged in the courts? I’d get in touch with the Chicago law firm that took down Pleasant Prairie, WI, and see if they’re up for this BS. Where’s ACLU-IL on this?

          Can’t take pictures? Can’t be in ANY publicly own venue, ever? Can’t be anywhere anyone under 18 is or may be? I’m truly, literally shaking my head in disbelief (though I do believe you)! Wow, wow, wow.

          If any situation calls for a Bill of Attainder suit, this one sure does. And that’s coming from someone quite pessimistic about the chances of a BoA suit being successful.

          I’d like to see the State defend these things even under rational basis review. The State must have a study or two they’ve done on RCs showing recidivism and such, don’t they? Or has the legislature been too busy bankrupting the state while gov after gov goes to jail?

          –AJ

          Edit: What about this, from Feb on here? https://all4consolaws.org/2017/02/il-court-strikes-sex-offender-park-ban/

        • commenter1

          The park ban was struck down by a state appellate court but the state is appealing to the IL Supreme Court. We are waiting now for the state to file its brief sometime in the next 4 weeks.

          The attorneys suing in Wisconsin have brought 3 suits against the state of IL and will probably be filing more:
          http://www.ilvoices.com/legal.html

          The law regarding pictures says this:
          http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K11-24.htm
          It is legal for a child sex offender in IL to take a photo of a minor if he/she has the consent of the parent or guardian of that minor.

        • Timmr

          Thank you for the clarification. They basically don’t want you to have a life. I am so sorry.
          I used to love going to the Museum of Science and Industry and seeing the fountain as a kid visiting my cousins. Now I could get arrested for just being in these places it seems.

      • Michael

        To be precise. They are not a condition of registration, but a consequence of being convicted of an enumerated offense in the Illinois School Code.

        ….

  2. Michael

    Obviously the problem with these laws, and the state of IL, is that sex offenders don’t get the same treatment as anyone convicted of any other felony. Laws like this *SHOULD* violate the equal protection clause. Once a person has “paid their debt to society,” be it prison or probation, the offender is entitled to a restoration of his rights, with the exception of the Second Amendment [which should also be debated].

    Also an issue is that “once a sex offender, always a sex offender” justification for these laws.

    Reputation is a fundamental right protected by the constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Added protections of this clause include a version of due process called the irrebutable presumption doctrine. Juvenile appellants have successfully argued that sex offender registration laws deny a person their right to reputation by presuming that a conviction for an enumerated offense means they are likely to sexually recidivise. That presumption is not universally true. Commonwealth v. Muniz, Commonwealth v. Gilbert, and Commonwealth v. Reed are cases that have recently challenged SORNA based on that fundamental right. After watching a video of oral arguments in Commonwealth v. Reed, it seems most justices agree, and some even seem to believe that incarcerating a person for failing to register is punishment, therefore it violates the ex post facto clause.

    ….

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