Sex Offenders

  • Sex abuse is not a little thing—in either the cost to society, or the cost paid by the victim.  Victims will suffer physical and emotional damage and live with the profound effects the rest of their lives.  
  • Sex offenders are designated Level 1, 2 or 3.
A level 1 sex offender is the least likely to re-offend.
A level 2 sex offender is considered a moderate chance to re-offend.  
A level 3 sex offender is the most likely to re-offend.
  • A pedophile is an adult who has sex with a child age 13 or under.
  • Statutory Rape.  Our society says an adult cannot have sex with a 16-yr old in the State of Washington, regardless of consent.  This is called statutory rape.  
  • Many sex offenders have been found in our schools, where they have easy access to children.  People who prey upon children seek legitimate access to children where they can reach children in the most risk-free way.
  • Sex offender registration laws are necessary, because sex offenders pose a high risk of re-offending after release from custody.  The privacy interests of persons convicted of sex offenses are far less important than the government’s interest in public safety.  Release of certain information about sex offenders to the general public will assist in protecting the public safety.  
  • Awareness is one defense to protect you and your family.  Parents must be allowed to know everything about someone who is spending time with their child.  
  • Remember—many sex offenders are females.

Statistics
  • There are 1,400 registered sex offenders in Spokane County. They are all tracked and monitored daily.  (Sept. 2011) 

  • The Spokane Sheriff's office manages a sex offender registry online, where you can track offenders living in any neighborhood in Spokane County.  Many offenders live near parks and pools where children play.  A map of the areas in which they live can be found at this website:   http://www.icrimewatch.net/index.php?AgencyID=54488
  • Police only know where 75% of the sex offenders are in our nation.  The other 25% have disappeared, failing to report new addresses, now hiding in unknown neighborhoods.
  • Joseph Duncan was released from prison with a medium risk of re-offending.  87% of people with psychological scores similar to Duncan’s committed another crime within 6 years. 
What You Can Do
  • If you are being sexually abused by anyone, find one person you trust, and tell them.  
  • Help establish and enforce a “Community Standard of Decency.”  Pornography drives sexual deviancy, violence against women, and child sexual abuse.  
  • Check the sex offender registry in our community.  A release from prison does not indicate a convicted sex offender has been reformed.  After serving their time, many are released with the confidence that the offender is at a high risk to re-offend.  
  • The majority of sex offenders are Level 1 (not likely to re-offend).  Find out how many sex offenders live in your neighborhood, and then re-check this information periodically.
  • View the list of state offenders at the Washington State Sex Offender Information Center at http://ml.waspc.org.   
  • Sex offenders must register where they live.  The local sex offender registry will contain photos of the offenders.  Warn your children to report any suspicious behavior. Visit http://SpokaneSheriff.org to learn about the Registered Sex Offenders in Spokane. 
  • Teach children and students to tell a trusted adult.   Teach children and youth to be “watch dogs” for the police.  They can also help protect other youth by telling a trusted adult.    
  • Talk to your children about using the internet safely.  Know their passwords and how to sign on.  Monitor all internet activity in your home.  Set limits—hours and time of day kids can be online, and put all family PC’s in a place where they are easily visible to others.
  • Learn why internet porn and predators pose a risk to both your children and your marriage.  (see “Pornography” under the “Addictions” topic on this site.)  
  • Make sure background screening is done for all those who work with children.  Many accused sex offenders seek jobs where they can work closely with children.  Citizens can have background checks done through local law enforcement for coaches, business personnel, and neighbors…including both felony and misdemeanor sex offenses.  Misdemeanors can include exposure, touching inappropriately, and getting a young girl drunk.   
  • Sex Offenders in our Schools.  Washington State’s Superintendent of Public Instruction maintains a database of licensed teachers with complaints about sexual misconduct and another about teachers accused of looking at internet pornography.  The database includes a summary of the complaint and of the findings.  This information is available through a public records request.   
  • Ask schools to teach the legal consequences of illicit sex—consequences for both youth and adults, for incest, rape, the age of consensual sex, molesting a child, sending/receiving nude pictures over the internet, etc.  
  • Just knowing where sex offenders are does not tell authorities what they are doing.   Long prison terms may be the only solution.  Tracking them with GPS monitors is only part of the solution.  Some will respond to treatment to reduce re-offending.  On the other hand, doctors who have studied high level sex offenders say that treatment programs are so ineffective, that as many as 95% of sexual predators will re-offend.  Some research shows that the most reliable deterrent is age—the older the offender, the lower the risk.  
  • Citizens can help law enforcement track sex offenders.  Call law enforcement if you think registered sex offenders are doing something wrong, or if you think they are getting too close to children, or not living where they are supposed to be living.  Law enforcement cannot do it all.  
  • Cash Rewards.  Secret Witness is a civilian organization that pays cash rewards to individuals for information that solves Spokane-area crimes.  If you suspect abuse or neglect, call the tip-line at (509) 327-5111.  Callers do not have to give their name to collect the cash reward, but should leave a code name or number with the operator.  
  • Call, write, and urge all legislators to enact tougher laws for sex offenders.  
  • Learn about social networking sites such as MySpace which are of particular concern because kids can, and do, post personally identifying information that a predator can use to actually locate a child.  See Project Safe Childhood’s commercial “Everyone knows your name” at http://projectsafechildhood.gov.  
  • Secret Witness is a civilian organization that pays cash rewards to individuals for information that solves Spokane-area crimes.  If you suspect abuse or neglect, call the tip-line at (509) 327-5111.  Callers do not have to give their name to collect the cash reward, but should leave a code name or number with the operator.  
  • Learn what other States are doing.
    • Texas recently proposed that sex offenders who are twice convicted of raping children under 14 get the death penalty.
    • Connecticut recently proposed that sex offenders be required to register any e-mail addresses, instant message addresses, or other Internet identifiers with the state police; and those who do not report the information would face up to 5 years in prison.  They also wanted to make it a felony for any person to misrepresent his or her age on the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.
    • In some states, showing up to have sex with a minor after soliciting them online is a felony.  The group at http://PervertedJustice.com will set up decoys and do sting operations.  They are an online watchdog group which catches internet sex predators and exposes them.  They go into chat rooms and pose as 12-15 year olds home alone and interested in having sex.


President Barack H. Obama

January 16, 2013

"And so what we should be thinking about, is our responsibility to care for (children), and shield them from harm, and give them the tools they need to grow up, and do everything that they're capable of doing.  This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged.  And their voices should compel us to change.

"…we must do something to protect our communities and our kids
…We have to examine ourselves in our hearts, and ask yourselves what is important?  This will not happen, unless the American people demand it.  If parents and teachers, police officers, and pastors, if hunters and sportsman, if responsible gun owners, if Americans of every background stand up and say, enough.  We've suffered too much pain, and care too much about our children to allow this to continue, then change will -- change will come.

"Along with our freedom to live our lives as we will, comes an obligation to allow others to do the same.   We don't live in isolation.  We live in a society, a government for and by the people. We are responsible for each other.

" …when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now, for Grace, for the 25 other innocent children and devoted educators who had so much left to give; for the men and women in big cities and small towns who fall victims to senseless violence each and every day; for all the Americans who are counting on us to keep them safe from harm.

"Let's do the right thing.  Let's do the right thing for (our children) and for this country that we love so much." 

(Speaking of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre which took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults, President Obama announced his anti-gun violence plan to curb such violence, and to protect our children.)
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/16/transcript-obama-remarks-on-gun-violence/#ixzz2IAHlzy00
Additional Resources
  • The Spokane Sheriff's office manages a sex offender registry online, where you can track offenders living in any neighborhood in Spokane County.  Many offenders live near parks and pools where children play.  http://www.icrimewatch.net/index.php?AgencyID=54488

  • Secret Witness is a civilian organization that pays cash rewards for information that solves Spokane-area crimes.  If you suspect abuse or neglect, call the tip-line at (509) 327-5111.  Callers do not have to give their name to collect the cash reward, but should leave a code name or number with the operator.  
  • A national sex offender database connects sex offenders in all states, reaching across state lines to allow the public to check for sex offenders by name or zip code. View this website at http://www.criminalcheck.com/
  • The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs web site http://waspc.org includes photos and descriptions of area sex offenders.  
  • Lutheran Community Services.  For information about counseling and treatment for physical or sexual abuse, call Lutheran Community Services.  Counseling and other help for victims of abuse or neglect is available through the Victims Rights Response Team.  The organization has a toll-free, 24-hour crisis line that can be reached at (509) 624-7273.  For more information, contact Lutheran Community Services at (509) 747-8224.