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AZ: Stringer fallout halts sex offender registry reform

[ – 4/11/19]


Legislation that would make more people eligible to have their names removed from Arizona’s sex offender registry may end up being an inadvertent casualty of the recent revelations of decades-old sex crime allegations that led David Stringer to resign from the Arizona House of Representatives.

House Speaker Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa, sponsored House Bill 2613, which he crafted with assistance from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. The bill would expand the list of crimes for which sex offenders could petition to be removed from the registry, while imposing new restrictions on people who seek removal.

With a narrow scope and support from tough-on-crime Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, HB2613 was working its way through the legislative process at a steady clip, despite an at times hostile response from criminal justice reform advocates who believe it does little to nothing to help people rid themselves of the lifetime obligation to register as sex offenders.

But the Stringer situation led Senate President Karen Fann to put the brakes on the bill. Fann, R-Prescott, ordered the bill removed from the April 1 agenda of the Senate Rules Committee, which she chairs. The bill was nowhere to be found on April 8 agenda, either.

Fann said it didn’t sit well with her to advance the bill so soon after details emerged about sex crimes charges that Stringer faced in 1983 in Maryland.

“I do know that there’s good reasons behind this bill. Unfortunately, it’s just being muddied with what happened over the last few weeks,” Fann told the Mirror.

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Join the discussion

  1. Facts should matter

    “If we’re going to err on the side of somebody, I would err on the side of the victim rather than on the side of the perpetrator,” Farnsworth said. “We’re trying to find a balance here.”

    Translation: These lawmakers don’t care about “balance,” only what keeps them getting re-elected.

  2. e

    I sent email to Ms. Fann and pointed out how many lives were being affected by her delay in addressing this bill, and that the acts of one person should not be reason to hold up the hopes of others.
    She did respond, repeating what she had publicly stated, but then accused me of be critical, which doesn’t encourage dialog.
    Funny , it seems to me the only dialog they want is that which agrees with them or benefits their agenda. But when you point out that actions they take are counter productive, you are “critical”.

    • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

      Write back to her and tell her that she lacks critical thinking skills.

      • e

        I responded by saying that as a registrant, I know more about mis information than she could ever imagine. that over 1 million people, including registrants and their families are affected by the mis information that politicians and law enforcement use to benefit from the registry. That mis information has put my internet based misdomeanor on the same category as a habitual violent offender.
        That mis information is causing her and other people in her position to make incorrect decisions.

        • James

          Dear e:

          I am very impressed by how you handled this…myself, and I suppose a vast number of us are still hiding in the background, but your calm, rational approach should be a model for a number of us to step forward as you have.

          Thanks for the good example.

          Best Wishes, James

  3. John Smith

    You would think the fact he did not re-offend again and it is this many years since the offense it would bolster the argument!

  4. TS

    What does what happened 35 years ago have to do with this year? At this rate, no one will be able to represent anyone when past matters that have no bearing on today are presented for judgement to the masses. That is my 2cents.

    • AJ

      “What does what happened 35 years ago have to do with this year?”
      During the Kavanaugh dust-up, I recall a pundit saying that there’s a kindergartner on a playground somewhere, ruining his chance at a place on SCOTUS. Sad but true. Gee, isn’t loss of privacy wonderful? I suppose it is for Sergei and Mark…they’re insanely wealthy from it.

      • TS


        I think I remember that or it may have even been brought up here in this forum. However, it is a sad loss. The other thing is the story tied him to his regular job in another part of the state when he was not in session. I hope that does not get impacted by this political stunt in PHX.

  5. e

    I appreciate the comment.
    I have gone through a miriad of emotional states in the 5 yrs since my arrest. Many of them rear their ugly heads when I least need or expect them.
    My life has not become easier or better. What I have done is learn to push the bad moments back into the darkness and quickly think of something that makes me move forward.
    I use those moments to get more active in the process. The one characteristic that keeps me going and being a voice is my belief in myself. I refuse to let these people dictate the terms my life.

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