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National

AK: Cyrano’s Theatre Co. will drop an actor who is a registered sex offender after social media backlash

[ktuu.com 12/11/18]

A registered sex offender who performs with Cyrano’s Theatre Co. will no longer be acting with the company.

Jenson Seifert lists Cyrano’s as his employer on the state’s sex offender registry.

He is a former teacher at Birchwood Christian School who was charged, and later served time, for sexually abusing a minor.

At the time, police accused him of molesting a 14-year-old boy repeatedly, including while he was a chaperoning a youth outing.

Cyrano’s says Seifert has been a performer with the company for about a year and that it was encouraged to work with him after he successfully performed at other places in Anchorage.

“He was doing all that was asked of him, which does not negate or condone his crime in any way, and we were very clear in our communications with him, and he also with us, but he has made all of the steps to work toward rehabilitation and second chances,” Teresa Pond, the Producing Artistic Director at Cyrano’s said. “And we felt that warranted an opportunity, again based on the fact that he had already had success working in theaters and being successful, with a second chance.”

But on the theatre’s Facebook page a debate ignited about how transparent Cyrano’s was and if Seifert should be able to perform with the company.

Alaska Theater of Youth, which had a pop-up camp last week at Cyrano’s, says it was unaware of his involvement. ATY says it was assured that Seifert had no contact with any of the children at the camp.

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Join the discussion

  1. Joe123

    Here is what I wrote to the company:

    Hello,

    I had read about the news about removing a successful actor from your show who also happened to be on the Registry. I would like to ask your company a few questions:

    -Is it OK for this person to be victimized after he has served his time?

    -Is it OK for this person AND his family to be victimized by being denied a way to make a living?

    -Is your community safer now that you’ve taken away a person’s stability and income? Please ask your company and your audiences especially this question.

    -Are you still hiring Murders, Arsonists and Bank Robbers, or other Carreer Criminals that are not required to be on any Registry despite them having (emperically proven) exponentially more risk to human beings around them?

    -Would you prefer other companies denying human beings a chance to make a living after paying their dues to society, and then having those people sue the government to remove access to the Public Registry in its whole which would hide the repeat Offenders from public view as well?

    It is unfortunate that people with little to no knowledge about the reality of the registry and the unconstitutional laws get to affect people’s lives in such a negative way.

  2. RegisteredNotAnOffender

    I suggest you guys check out their Facebook page. So many strawman arguments about how the company doesn’t care about children and that its proven sex offenders can’t be rehabilitated (WHAT)

  3. AJ

    Here’s what I sent them:

    I am disappointed to learn your theater has succumbed to unfounded fear and mania in terminating the employment of J_____ S______. Though what he did is certainly reprehensible, he has (supposedly) fully paid his debt to society for the crime. It’s sad the falsehoods about former sex offenders continue to resonate in the public’s mind. Did you know those convicted of sex offenses are second only behind murder for the *lowest* risk of recidivism? Government and academic studies show over and over and over recidivism to be at or below about 5% That means over 95% of those on sex-offender registries will never recidivate. Never. As well, 95% of all sex offenses are done by first-time offenders. And just who are these first-time offenders? Family members, clergy, coaches, teachers, cops. Who are they typically not? Strangers. In truth, research shows that every 5 years the risk of sex offense recidivism halves, and by 17 years, even the “worst of the worst” are statistically below the offense rate of the general public.
    What you’ve done by removing Mr. S______ is continue and contribute to the shaming of people who made a mistake. If that’s the standard, perhaps you should find out who among your troupe has had DUIs, illegal drug use, theft, etc. These crimes all have recidivism upwards of 10x what a sex offense does. Meanwhile, an apparently good actor is prevented from improving his life–and is now at a higher risk of recidivism. In other words, far from helping the “problem”, you’ve worsened it. I don’t expect you to reconsider Mr. S______’s termination, but I do ask you to consider the facts and truth about sex offenses and the overwhelming majority of those who have committed them. When is enough enough?

  4. Ron

    More proof. It doesn’t matter what the law says. Sex offenders are not allowed to be employed.

  5. Facts should matter

    Second chance? Ha! It’s over once you’re publicly listed! We’re immune, exempt and insulated from ANY shot at living a normal life in peace.

    It doesn’t MATTER the offense, everyone thinks incurable pathological sexual deviancy..

  6. TS

    And from AK comes this, the state that gave us Smith v Doe, 2003. How freaking wonderful. This is also the state that recently gave us Jason Vukovich, the sex offender registry vigilante who earlier this year, Feb 2018, was sentenced to 23 years behind bars. If it is not vigilante justice by a physical person with a weapon, it is vigilante justice mob style by pressuring a business to cease employing a person post-sentence. WTH is going on up there?!

    • Ron

      I agree. It is the modern day equivalent of a mod gathering outside the sheriff’s office demanding a lenching

    • Major

      This sort of thing happens all the time due to the registry. I had been working at a local community theater for 20 years and served on the board. Someone happened to see my name on the registry and insisted that I be taken off the board. She said that she had been molested when a child and did not want me on the board. The President tried to alleviate her fears by saying she had known me for many years and had not seen me do anything out of order and that I was not working with any children as a board member. The other board members decided that “they could not take the risk of having me on the board” and I was asked to resign.
      Being on the registry is indeed a life sentence.

  7. AJ

    On the other end of the spectrum from AK comes a story out of MS (yes, Mississippi!) where a POTR was the Grand Marshal in a small town’s Christmas parade…and his status was already known. Some people there have the proper attitude: “what he has done in the past is not what counts, but what he’s doing now.”

    https://www.wmcactionnews5.com/2018/12/14/sex-offender-named-grand-marshal-sardis-christmas-parade/

    I may reach out to the Chamber and/or the media and give affirmation for their actions. I feel we need not only to complain when the story goes against us, but compliment when it goes with us.

    • TS

      Hmmmm, can’t be heat related issue if they put that person into that parade position. Yes, compliments are needed to them for their thinking!

    • Joe123

      Definitely compliment them!!

    • Michael Saripkin

      I was that grand Marshal. It was the greatest honor that I have had in my 60 years on this Earth. I am blessed by the numerous people in this town of 2,000 who have supported me despite all of the newspaper television and magazine articles in the past four days. For the one person who started this complaint campaign and got all of his friends and Associates to join him, all I can say is” to what end”. I have had no less than 50 phone calls and 20 personal visits from friends, Associates, and strangers. This man who started the campaign against the honor that was bestowed upon me by the Chamber of Commerce does not live in our town nor does he know me personally. I am moved by the show of support and love from the people of this town who believe that a person is chosen as Grand Marshal based on what they have done in the town not what they have done or have been accused of doing in their past. To all of them I offer my eternal friendship and for the one who caused all these problems in the name of whatever God he serves, I am proud that I serve the true God that is loving and forgiving.

      • AJ

        @Michael Saripkin:
        My hat goes off to you. It’s refreshing to see a story of good, redemption, and acceptance. It seems the Sardis in Mississippi is a bit better than the Sardis in Revelation. Thank you for standing up for all of us. God Bless you, sir.

      • Will Allen

        That’s awesome. Congratulations to you.

        But the Registries have taught me that I have no obligation to forgive anyone. So I think I’d have to wage a personal war against the harasser who complained about you. There is no reason to allow harassers to live in peace. They deserve to be taught.

  8. Sammy

    Dept of labor and EEOC plus law suit against fed/state should commence now! And everyone ..this org and all should assist! Anyone losing job, house… business etc. Has every right to fight and be protected ! We must act now! I’m in! What about you and you? Thanks! Happy holidays!!!

  9. Eric

    Ha! I can only imagine how many of the people in that theatre group have used illegal substances, passed them around among other members, how many go out after a show, have a few drinks and get behind the wheel. Oh, the stench of the self-righteous how it lingers in the air.

  10. Formerly letgo

    Get a lawyer. Sure they get half, but most people look to settle if its becuase of a sex offense. At least in California it’s illegal to fire someone strictly due to their megan’s law registration.

    • New Person

      Formerly letgo wrote: “Get a lawyer. Sure they get half, but most people look to settle if its becuase of a sex offense. At least in California it’s illegal to fire someone strictly due to their megan’s law registration.”

      But it is legal for some employers to deny you a job because you’re on the registry, even if it’s not around children.

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