Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stand By Me Playing For Change Song Around the World PAISOLA

Do you ever TAKE A STAND IN LIFE? Do you ever go "Against the Grain"?? Do you know what you want but seem to have a difficult time getting to the goal? Then watch this Video and always know that This is an amazing story of how people can come together in times of need. No matter where you come from, where you have been... or where you are at... there is always someone to STAND BY YOU Robert Paisola reports live.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Child pornography "He was just looking at pictures. There's no victim."

Child pornography "He was just looking at pictures. There's no victim."

That, in a nutshell, is the argument for why people caught with child pornography should get off with (relatively) light sentences.

Don't buy it.

People found guilty of having, making or distributing pornographic pictures or videos of children deserve harsh sentences. And society deserves the protection that approach gives its children.

This isn't somebody else's problem. There have been, in the last year, arrests for child porn in Gloucester and James City and York counties, in Williamsburg, Hampton and Newport News. And those are just the cases we know about.

Having child porn is not where it stops. Local children are being abused to make pornography, according to the Peninsula Innocent Images Task Force.

A recent Hampton case illustrates this well. Ronald Ray, who was sentenced to life terms last week for sexually abusing three girls, made pornographic pictures and videos of them and posted some of them on the Internet.

Pulling from the FBI, other federal agencies and local law enforcement, the local task force brings more resources and expertise to the important job of finding child pornographers in this area. Having the feds involved is particularly helpful, because federal courts hand out appropriately long sentences, stretching as long as 20 years when the volume of images is large, or the content particularly vile.

Republican Bob McDonnell made this a signature issue when he was state attorney general, so expect to hear about it as he runs for governor. Rightly so. It's also a good thing that the General Assembly found money for Internet Crimes Against Children task forces that work statewide.

There are several reasons why it's vital to flush out people who make, share and enjoy child pornography:

• Because for every picture and every video, there is a victim, a child used and abused. FBI Special Agent Paula Barrows of the Peninsula task force refers to the image as "a graphic depiction of a crime scene, of a child being sexually assaulted." You probably don't want to know that some of the children in these "crime scenes" are babies, but you should know. And you should push for the people who put them there, or enjoyed seeing them there, to get every last year of punishment they have coming.

• Because pornography can be a taste that, indulged, only grows. That helps explain why many of the raids have uncovered stashes that number in the thousands of images. The Internet has unlocked a torrent of child porn, turning it into a multibillion-dollar, global business. The Justice Department figures that the proliferation and easy indulgence has reset where the limits used to be, leading to "an escalation in the severity of the abuse depicted." By providing supply, pornographers incite demand. Which means more children victimized to make the porn, and more at risk from people who turn from the virtual to the real thing.

• Because "just looking at pictures" sometimes — often, even — doesn't end there. Taboos erode, and with them, the hurdle between thought and action. Many consumers of child pornography aren't just curious bystanders, but active participants in the sexual abuse of children.

No one really knows how common the crossover is. Some studies estimate that 30 percent to 40 percent of those arrested on child porn charges also molest children. In a study released last year, psychologists at the Federal Bureau of Prisons reported that the vast majority of the prisoners they were treating, who were serving sentences for possession or distribution of child porn, had also sexually abused children — most of them many children — but hadn't been caught.

None of this convicts any individual collector of child porn of child rape. And we can't punish people for something they haven't done, by escalating child porn sentences because of the fear of other crimes. But we can reckon that the thing people caught with child pornography have done — create demand for an industry that abuses children — deserves real punishment.

Because the children in those photos and videos are real victims.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Discussion: Definitions / Uses / Misuses of Sex Offender Terms, Posted By Robert Paisola

Special thanks to our friends at The News and Noteworthy Site for its help!

Discussion: Definitions / Uses / Misuses:

Accordingly, it is appropriate to learn the definitions of words and phrases, and to use them appropriately. Words and phrases associated with sex offenders are usually defined by the realm (community, industry or group) that uses them; often two communities will use the same word, and each having its own meaning (see sidebar "child"). Thus in this light, the realms normally defining and using these words are:

1) the Legislative & Law Enforcement Community (criminal justice);
2) the Psychological Community (mental health);
3) the Research & Statistical Community;
4) the Religious Community;
5) the Media; AND
6) the General Public.

Today the media and many folks indiscriminately use words and phrases, for sales effect, attention getting, in anger, or because they really don't know the correct meaning, or haven't taken the time to learn the meanings. Far too often these words are used in a libelous or slanderous manner to defame persons or put down this group of offenders.

They fail to consider that, it causes confusion, hysteria and even harms folks by applying unwarranted and hurtful labels. That harm is also transferred to persons close to the offenders. The general attitude has been, who cares. Society needs to care, because negative attitudes can backlash on society, constantly putting the class down could cause relapses; recidivism caused by overbearing laws and attitudes has been recently recognized by a federal judge!

Terms most used are Sex Offender, Child Molester, and Pedophile which ARE NOT synonymous, and sometimes Ephebophile, Hebephile or Gerontophile also not synonymous. It should be noted that the words "Child, Minor and Adolescent" are words that often have their own meaning depending on the State you are in, and the area of law being addressed (see sidebar "Child," "Adolescence," and "Age of Majority or Consent").

You may scroll down or click on a word to jump to it:

Choice of Words, Terms or Phrases:
Frequently, the media, public servants, in politics, and especially on the Internet, folks allow -emotions to control- their choice of words. Folks must be very careful choosing words, so that, they DO NOT add to the existing confusion and hysteria. It is usually easy to tell a person's focus (FACTUAL, EMOTIONAL or VINDICTIVE) by their choice of terms and the context they are used.

Further, there are words that are most often used in the context of the "medical field" that have been grafted to an improper negative connotation when used referencing sex offenders. i.e., "no cure," and "pedophile" are two.


Attractions and Desires:Some of the words we will encounter (ex: pedophile, ephebophile, hebephile and others) speak of attractions and desires, and until a person acts upon those -improperly- they are not an offender! Part of today's hysteria is, the automatic assumption of "offender" when a person's circumstances somewhat resemble known taboos.

We need to remember that, people are naturally attracted to certain things, example pets (ex: cats, dogs, fish, etc.) but that does not make them guilty of bestiality. A person's employment desires may reveal a preference or attraction to something as well; teachers to children, nurses to medical profession etc. The facts must be analyzed before jumping to conclusions or mislabeling a person.


Cannot be cured / Can't be rehabilitated / etc.Society has believed that sex offenses are committed by persons whose human condition is somehow sick or diseased. Hence, the medical term "cure" and the belief that their human condition cannot be cured (a factoid). Yet, for the rest of the people in the world, including those convicted of other crime types, there are shades of gray for their human conditions.

"Cure" is actually a defined medical term meaning "a remedy, a treatment" one that is a recovery or relief from a disease; something (as a drug or treatment) that cures a disease; a course or period of treatment (take the cure for alcoholism); a complete or permanent solution or remedy.

However, where sex offenders are concerned, society has narrowed that meaning of "cure" to, "a complete or permanent solution or remedy without the possibility of reoccurrence," and if that standard cannot be met then there is "no cure." .

The inherent problem lies in the without the possibility of reoccurrence extension to the definition of "cure," this is the sought after "magic pill" to make it go away and never ever return.

The reality is, when dealing with human conditions, nothing can be "cured" every human condition is subject to reoccurrence, excepting a condition where that part of the human body can be severed. Only then is that human condition cured.

Name the human condition, whatever it be, a doctor or psych will tell you, it is -possible- for it to return. There is no "magic pill" to "cure" any human condition, so that it will never return. Holding sex offenders to a "mythical standard" that is both illogical and unattainable in a "magic pill" sense, is unconstitutional!

The worst part of the "cannot be cured" mythical standard is, that every time legislatures redefine, sex offenses, or require a new group of offenders to a register, a whole new group of people become incurable. Many never knew they had a problem.

Note: If you were to replace "human condition" with "behavioral problem" then "cure" is even less applicable because "behavioral problems" are not cured they are managed, the same as medical conditions are managed. Cure is an improper term applied to this circumstance, unless the political winds need such for votes.
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This normally neutral word can take on a whole new meaning not found in dictionaries in the realm of sex offenders. Is it "grooming" for paedophiles to make toys to give to children? see "Scotland's most notorious prison in break for the modern age" 9-19-2004. The article shows they are in prison and the toys are sold to guards or given to adult family members.

"Grooming is the process whereby a child sex offender creates the opportunity to sexualise contact with a child and takes steps to prevent the behaviour being discovered or disclosed. Grooming may involve the offender identifying and exploiting vulnerability in a child." (England: The Lucy Faithfull Foundation and NCH, the Children's Charity)
England enacted a new criminal offense of "Meeting a child following sexual grooming," wherein the House of Commons defined grooming as "[the offender] must already have met or communicated with [the child] on at least two previous occasions," any form of communication, and required being convicted of another sex offense as a precursor. They were addresssing Internet and Sex Tourism issues.

Grooming is not limited to communications, it could be purchasing gifts, taking the child to movies or playgrounds, etc., and all sorts of other acts or communications. However, they must lead up to a victim, without which, they are nothing but innocent acts or communications, a distinction also recognized by the House of Commons.

However, in Scotland their proposed version of the English "Grooming" law is being heavily criticized. see "Charities denounce ‘knee-jerk’ grooming legislation" 9-26-2004:
"As part of the child protection package, the Bill proposes allowing chief constables to apply to the sheriff court for a Risk of Sexual Harm Order to restrict the activities of individuals who have displayed inappropriate sexual behaviour towards children - even if they have not been convicted of an offence. This means that potential sex offenders could be banned from contacting children or loitering near schools and childcare centres." see Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences Bill:
The slippery slope here is, who decides what is inappropriate, and what is the standard? Neither are defined within the proposed law.

Grooming can occur with either, a child or an adult victim, but always requires a careful review of what is being termed as "grooming" to prevent misconstructions.

Grooming Misconstructions: The belief that anything done by a previous offender is grooming! If a parent went into their child's bedroom to give them a kiss goodnight, and that parent is a previous offender, that doesn't make the kiss "grooming."

Adolescents regularly go out on dates with the opposite sex, should one of them become a sex offender, those previous dates cannot be viewed as grooming without some connection to the victim of the charge, and then a careful review of what is being called "grooming."

Sex offenders, like everyone else, can have platonic relationships, be friends, establish commeraderies, share activities, all can take place with a person of any age or sex.

When is the term "grooming" proper?
__Do grandmothers "groom" their grandchildren to spend vacations or holidays with them? __Do social workers "groom" children to testify in court? __Do politicians or the media, "groom" the public into believing all sex offenders are violent, or predatory, or all pedophiles?

The term "Grooming" has its proper place in the realm of sex offenders, but should not be misconstrued as applying to all social interactions of an individual or the entire class of offenders!


Non-Offenders / Victim & Offender In One Person:Our reference to "non-offenders" will probably generate more discussion than the rest of this work. So in explanation, every human being, males and females at varying points of their lives, are attracted to or desire the opposite sex, or the same sex (read carefully -attraction or desire- does not necessarily infer sexually), perfectly normal and part of being human. Improper actions make offenders!

Examples of non-offenders: Sometimes crimes are committed by multiple persons, yet within the major crime (lets say robbery) one of the offenders commits an additional sex crime, but his/her co-defendants did not take part in the sex crime. Under the laws of some states, all defendants are required to register as sex offenders, even though one was only present when the other committed the crime.

Further, in some cases there may be a plea bargain, where the initial charge was a sex offense and later, through the plea bargain, the defendant pleas to a different charge. The reasons vary, from lack of evidence, to the facts simply do not amount to a sex offense as defined by the law, etc.. In some states these folks must also register, but are not sex offenders.

Now, we all think that a victim is always a non-offender, but there are cases where the victim is both, a victim and the offender! Examples: Teenage girls who took naked pictures of themselves and in one case: "put it on the Internet"; and in another case: "Two girls sent naked pictures of themselves to their boyfriends (also underage) in an e-mail."

There is also a Wisconsin case, where minor teens, who had consensual sex resulting in a baby being born, and both were charged with crimes. See Right hand column of: "Teens who have sex charged with abuse: DAs are prosecuting even when both consent!"

In yet another Tennessee case, an 18-year-old and a 13-year-old were legally married in Mississippi with parental consent, and returned to Tennessee, the 18-year-old boy is being considered a sex abuser by the state. See "DCS lists teen dad-to-be as sexual abuser because of age gap"

Its not hard to see there are people forced to register that simply do not belong there.


Romeo and Juliet Cases:
Consensual sex when both parties are minors (under that state's law), -OR-, consensual sex where one party is a minor (under that state's law) and the other very close in age but considered an adult. The key here is that the parties had a consensual relationship going, and one or both parties were charged with a crime arising from the relationship.

The first factor with these cases is, the law says, minors cannot consent to sexual acts (the law either, presumes the minor to be coerced or forced into sex; -or- that the adult should have known the law). Accordingly, the adult party is charged with a crime.

Yet, there are cases where both parties are minors, and both are charged with a crime. In these cases the circumstances have been something unusual. A review of them will show that, the spirit of the law was ignored, over the technical wording of the law. In other words, the parties were convicted for unintended consequences of the original law, sometimes later modified by the legislature.

However, when it is the adult party being charged, it is usually because the parents of the minor want the person charged and the prosecutor goes along with that, because the law would support the conviction. Other times, if the girl is afraid of what her parents will think, or becomes pregnant, she may claim rape when it really was consensual. Finally, no consideration is given to the consensual relationship that the parties had, or any feelings that may be harmed, and sometimes these folks get married later on.

Miscarriages of justice abound in these cases. Further, there are folks who claim this is a very rare occassion, these are the same folks who fail to read the teen pregnancy statistics. In today's world to believe that teens are not sexually active, and each subject to being a Romeo & Juliet case, is to be blind to reality.

It is prosecutors who decide -who to charge-, motivated by politics, parents, or let the court figure it out, and fail to recognize that the very presence of unintended consequences found in laws, will convict someone and violate the spirit of the law.


Lolita and Gigolo Cases:In the book itself, "Lolita" is specifically the name of the girl, and "nymphet" is the general term for the type of young girl to whom Humbert is attracted. The name "Lolita" was made popular by the Story of Amy Fisher (dubbed: The Long Island Lolita) Effectively this is when the girl attracts an older adult into a relationship not permitted by the law.

A recent case was in Michigan (dubbed: The Sex Diaries Case) although it was never claimed to be a "Lolita" type case. Notice the victim's comment: ... the girl conceded that she was a predator and a victim: "I declare I am both. Yes, I'm a victim. I was a victim who was deceived by my own emotions and ignorance, of misplaced confidence, a victim of my own fantasies . . . Yes, predator for I chase people who themselves were victims of misplaced confidence."

A "Gigolo" case would be similar to the Lolita case, but the aggressor would be the male. We are reviewing a few cases that may fit the circumstances and will post them if appropriate.


Sex Offender:Sex offender is the broadest term possible. It is important to understand the distinctions between the persons whom this term may apply to, especially since it can mean the difference between a proper or improper labeling of a person which can cause significant harm to an innocent person and/or their family.

The broadest misuse of this term: Occurs when this term is used to describe, BOTH, persons who are currently offending, -and-, persons who have a sex offense in their history. Current offenders are not law abiding, while former offenders are law abiding and certainly deserve different treatment.

Persons accused of a sex offense: Persons accused, whether arrested or not, are usually labeled a sex offender immediately. This goes against our legal system which requires proof before conviction.

Persons adjudicated: Persons who are "adjudicated of a sex crime" (which is not a conviction) are usually called sex offenders. Adjudicated persons most often are juveniles, or were juveniles (or young adults) when the adjudication occurred.

Persons present when someone else committed a sex crime: Persons who were present when a sex offense was committed by another person, a co-defendent in another crime committed at the same time as the sex offense; often these folks are called sex offenders and required to register.

Sex Offender Registration:
When legislatures enacted these laws you will see they have used "Sex Offender" to refer to all persons, registered or not registered. This is the single biggest reason for the broadest misuse of this term. Legislatures have failed to distinguish between those persons. Registered persons are registrants, or registered prior offenders (RPO).

Registries includes offenders who have committed crimes against either, children or adults, and offenders who have committed crimes against NEITHER! In fact, registries include crimes where there is no human victim. i.e., some Internet crimes (entrapment - talking to police when person thought it was a child), urinating in the park type offenses, and several others.


Child Molester:
Child molester like "sex offender" is the broadest term. Given it uses contexts of both "child" and "molest[er]" (see sidebar), one can only tell if it is applicable to a specific offender, if the facts of that case are known, and the state in which the crime was committed.

However, we must address the word "Molest." Molest is a word having many meanings (see sidebar), some violate laws and some are mere annoyances (ex: he called me a bad name), for our purposes here we use it in the sense of someone who has violated a law. Whether the facts of any specific case, actually is or isn't a molestation, that is an issue for the courts.

A few subtle valid observations:
If an offender's victim were an adult, then that offender cannot be called a child molester. Registries do not distinguish between adult and child victims, therefore it is impossible to tell who the child molesters are. Sometimes based upon the state statute the offender was charged with, if shown, you can determine if the victim was a child, but that is not the rule.

OK, now registries also contain offenders who have not committed a crime against either a child or an adult, and registries do not indicate who the victim is. Ex: entrapment, urinating in the park, present at a crime when someone else committed a sex crime, and other such crimes, so none of these folks can be called a child molester, no child involved no child molester. If "would be" -or- "could be" were the standard, then everyone in society should be registered.

Another major concern, the definition of "child" between states. See Age of Majority (Consent). A child molester in one state may not be such in another state. In the same vein, is the age of majority (consent) between males and females; as of this writing note: Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Also note, male-male and female-female sex, differences in age of majority in a few states. Registries abound with errors due to actual age of victims and state laws.


Pedophile (Pedophilia): History, Clinical, Legal, Public BeliefsHistory:
Let us explore where "Pedophile" originated from, two Greek words: pedo (child) and philia (love). This has been the general published origin of the word, but, as shown, it could mean a parental love for their child. So we must look deeper into the Greek meanings of love.

Ancient Greek, the language the Bible was first written in, distinguishes between the different boundaries of love. Greek used the words eros (romantic; adult sexual love between sexes), storge (affection, familial love. Parental love for their children), philia (love between friends. Hugging, kissing, handshakes, etc.), and agape (unconditional love - God's love for mankind).

Only two of those boundaries meant a physical love, eros and philia. Accordingly, to signify an improper physical relationship between a child and adult, "pedo" was combined with "philia" hence, pedophilia or pedophile.

Two important primers are relevant here: Dr. Fred Berlin, M.D., Ph.D., John Hopkins Center for Sexual Health and Medicine: Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit; -AND- Frans E.J. Gieles, Ph.D., educator! He discusses the "Concepts and Definitions," and how the meaning of the word changed over time.

Another shocking fact, remembering that pedophilia is a psychiatrically diagnosed label, study the psychiatric criteria, specifically "Over a period of at least 6 months ...." What if a person has not had the criteria for a longer time frame, although once did have the criteria, do they still suffer from pedophilia or are they still a pedophile? The DMS-IV states:
"Severity and Course Specifiers (pg 2): A DSM-IV diagnosis is usually applied to the individual`s current presentation and is not typically used to denote previous diagnoses from which the individual has recovered. The following specifier indicating severity and course may be listed after the diagnosis: Mild, Moderate, Severe, In Partial Remission, In Full Remission, and Prior History."
If the public refers to a person's cancer as being "in remission," why is it that the public cannot recognize "the offender's pedophilia is in remission or is in his prior history," if we accept the psychiatric community labeling by diagnosis, then we must also accept its rules of diagnosis.

A shocking fact about the words "Pedophile" and "Pedophilia," generally states will not convict a person of being a "Pedophile" or having "Pedophilia." Why, because they are psychological terms and not a criminal charge (more recent we have seen some states changing the definitions of their crimes to include pedophile designation to cross the boundaries between law and psychology, actually that usurps psychology).

While folks may say that, many persons convicted of a sex offense are pedophiles, or suffer from pedophilia, these are labels indiscriminately assigned by the general public without knowledge of the person or the circumstances, only with a belief that a child is somehow involved in a sexual way. The problem with this is, the word has many definitions, often with more facts one learns that a person (first believed to be a pedophile) is really not such a person.

There are only two ways one can be given these labels, by a psychiatric diagnosis, -or- by the person him/her self by reviewing the psychiatric criteria for Pedophilia. A third party could, if all facts are known, perform the same review and be reasonably sure as well. However, merely a finding of the person having the criteria (feelings, desires & attractions), does not make that person a sex offender, no victim no offender.

The Media, Politicians and the Public Belief: The primary problem is, everyone thinks any accusation, arrest or conviction involving anyone under 18, is committed by a pedophile. This assumption is made without consideration of the above mentioned criteria. Hysteria and Panic reigns.

The media uses the word for headlines, the politician uses it to win votes, the general public follows the media and the politicians. Until the public forces the media and politicians to prove what they are saying, the hysteria and panic will continue.

The word "Pedophile" has become the "She is a Witch" phrase of the Salem Witch-Hunt days. No facts or proof is needed, and a mere accusation involving someone under 18, and the public is ready to burn the person at the stake. There is a way that this can be turned around, the folks that are indiscriminately using the word need to be required to provide information, more than boilerplate generalizations, to prove what they are claiming.

While the legislators write new laws to exclude (or isolate) those registered in every fashion possible, under the pretext of public safety, these are walls, and walls which not only exclude the prior sex offenders, but walls that encircle communities, corrals. These corrals prevent interactions between people, and society will become like the Indian tribes of yesterday, each having its own reservation and never the twain shall meet.

It is going to take folks with vision to stop the building of -Legislative Corrals-, remembering that they are caused by misinformation, and people misusing the information which was intended to protect the Public. Fences do not make good neighbors, and they do nothing to resolve the issue, they are nothing more than pushing the issue elsewhere!

Legislative corrals are a terrible example to set for children, and they long term effect on them will be disastrous. Children will grow up not facings issues, instead putting them off because that is what they learned from their parents.

A review of registries today, will show, they speak in the present day sense, and fail to tell the truth to the public. If registries showed the -date of first registration- along with -dates of any crimes convicted of- then it would be possible to know whether labels are appropriate or not!


Violent Sex Offender:
A term loved by many, but it means? Starting with what "violent" is commonly understood to mean (see sidebar), why should it be automatically combined it with "sex offender" without reviewing the facts of that person's case? Many legislatures (in spirit the voice of the people) (i.e., Michigan) have automatically labeled, specific or all, sex offenses as violent. When facts are ignored, then one must read them as acting on emotion or vindictiveness!

So, is it Legislative violence for the legislature to declare a person violent without reviewing the facts of his case, maybe not, but, that legislative act is at least a violation of the Separation of Powers Clause, because the jurisdiction of "the facts of a case" is with the Judiciary not the Legislature.

OK, so the media prints an article about a "violent sex offense" committed by XXX (ex: when XXX (18 yrs old) is merely in love with an underage girl (16 yrs old)). Therein is the catch, XXX is now a violent person to the public (by dictionary definition), when in fact, whatever he did is unknown, and he is only violent by legislative decree; the perception of violence.

True, not all cases are like our example, but far too many are considered violent without supporting facts. Finally, when the perception of violence is present, then the punishment is frequently enhanced by the court. The cycle is complete, and no clear definition is present, just a perception.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sexual Predator:
The premier term used to get your attention, and place your mind into fear-mode, all ears perk-up and listen. Do sexual predators exist, most certainly, but not to the extent that the media, politicians and others (web sites included) would have you believe. Lets look closer.

Start with the common definition of "predator & predatory," see sidebar. Hunts, preys, victimizes, all terms that infer multiple occurrences, usually used with respect to animals, but for this discussion we will accept the analogy to humans and to those who commit multiple sex crimes. Megan's law (the federal guidelines, 14071. Jacob Wetterling Act, (a)(3)(e)) has already established a definition for "predatory:"
Definition: "The term 'predatory' means an act directed at a stranger, or a person with whom a relationship has been established or promoted for the primary purpose of victimization."
Can you automatically label a person as "predator" if they commit one-sex-crime, NO, at least not without knowing more as to how the crime was committed. A "predator" label can be attached to any crime type, example, stalking (hunting-preying) maybe of women for the purpose of stealing their purse, or car.

Predatory, by virtue of definition, requires a multiple factor. However, even when the multiple factor is present, that may be insufficient to attach a "predator" label: Consider crimes within the family unit (i.e. opportunity). Predator is mostly attached when the victim is a stranger. Even choice of victim (i.e.,child, adolescent, adult, male, female, elderly) alone is insufficient, other predatory characteristics must be considered.

Can you determine from a Sex Offender Registry, who is a "predator," -No- you cannot, unless that registry is one where a court has determined the person to be a predator. The court having reviewed the person and his/her criminal history. Sometimes the predatory label is attached by a state's sex offender board, or local police review, and even then it can be incorrect, consider a reviewer's biases and/or prejudices tainting the process, even faulty risk assessment tools.

Registries today have evolved into lists of persons who have committed crimes against, adults, children, no one (entrapment), urinating in the park, boyfriend-girlfriend (juveniles), streaking, and many other types of offenses; registries are virtually useless today, but they sound good, and are now Cottage Industries (income producing by charging registrants fees) for police and others.

When Sexual Predator is asserted, and you are placed into fear-mode, first, consider the source, are they selling you something or trying to get your vote, ask for the facts, then determine if that label is warranted. Remember, Federal Guidelines for Megan's law tried to establish a standard definition but states have perverted that!

Scapegoat:The word is more widely used as a metaphor, referring to someone who is blamed for misfortunes, generally as a way of distracting attention from the real causes. Another term for scapegoat is fall guy.

When used as a metaphor, a scapegoat is someone selected to bear blame for a calamity. Scapegoating is the act of holding a person, group of people, or thing responsible for a multitude of problems. This is also known as a frameup. Scapegoats can also be referred to as patsies or whipping boys.

Scapegoating is an important tool of propaganda; the most famous example in recent history is the Jews being singled out in Nazi propaganda as the source of Germany's economic woes and political collapse. Scapegoating is often more devastating when applied to a minority group as they are inherently less able to defend themselves. A tactic often employed is to characterize an entire group of individuals according to the unethical or immoral conduct of a small number of individuals belonging to that group, also known as guilt by association.

Coined Terms & Phrases
HALLOWEENITIS:Halloween-itis is a coined term used to describe a mental abnormality often occurring in public servants and politically aspiring persons who can pass this psychological disorder onto others, generally occurring around holidays and elections.

The disease is characterized by abnormal delusional visions of perceived horrific events creating an aura of public fear; these doomsayers get their rewards by painting a picture of "the sky is falling" and alienating the public.

Significant harm is caused by people so afflicted because the objects of their obsession are persons which society already looks down on (including their family members), and the collateral harm caused society is truly a tragedy.

Halloweenitis is a subset of offenderitis, and both are incurable social diseases because these people refuse to face reality, or facts and statistics which prove them wrong, they discount these facts and statistics because in their minds they only see horrific events in everyday life circumstances.

Those afflicted with Halloweenitis, fear based, focus on denial of civil rights of other persons under the pretext of public safety.

OFFENDERITIS:Offender-itis is a coined term used to describe a mental abnormality often occurring in public servants, politically aspiring persons, and others who can pass this psychological disorder on.

People so afflicted perceive that, others who may or may not have a previous criminal conviction are all highly dangerous to the general public. The disease is characterized by abnormal delusional visions of perceived horrific events creating an aura of public fear; these doomsayers get their rewards by painting a picture of "the sky is falling" and alienating the public.

Significant harm is caused by people so afflicted because the objects of their obsession are persons which society already looks down on (including their family members), and the collateral harm caused society is truly a tragedy.

Offenderitis is an incurable social disease because these people refuse to face reality, or facts and statistics which prove them wrong, they discount these facts and statistics because in their minds they only see horrific events in everyday life circumstances.

Those afflicted with Offenderitis, which is fear based, focus on denial of civil rights of other persons under the pretext of public safety.


--- Legislative/Law Enforcement Community ---

This community is comprised of those who make the law (Legislative), and those who enforce the law (Courts and Law Enforcement- Police).

Legislators may or may not define sex laws using the term "Child Molester." States have various reasons for their personal systems. States that use the term "child molester" in the definition of their sex laws, will have more sex laws than other states, because they are defining at what age a person is considered a "CHILD" for the purposes of criminal law. These states will have separate laws governing adult crimes.

For the purposes of our discussion, the law enforcement community is responsible for the apprehension, prosecution and imprisoning of offenders who commit sexual offenses. Then when the sex offender is released, law enforcement is responsible for maintaining sex offender registries.

The Law enforcement community uses "Child Molester" and "Sex Offender" in the course of their work. Rarely do you find that, those terms are defined, however, in the book, Child Molesters: A behavioral analysis for law enforcement officers investigating cases of child exploitation (PDF file), is a Definition of Terms section, in defining it states:

CHILD MOLESTER: "... For the purposes of this book, a child molester will be defined as a significantly older individual who engages in any type of sexual activity with individuals legally defined as children. When using the term child molester, no distinctions will be made between male or female, single or repeat offenders, or violent or nonviolent offenders. No distinctions will be made as to whether the child victims are prepubscent or pubescent, known or unknown, related or unrelated to the offender. Although such distinctions may have important legal and evaluation significance, they have no bearing on whether or not an individual is labeled a child molester. For law enforcement purposes, a child molester is simply an individual who engages in illegal sex with children. ..."
Their explanation clarifies why the Law Enforcement community ignores the distinctions between sex offenders. Law enforcement really has no need to break down those two terms any further.


--- Psychological Community ---

The Psychological community accepts the legislative / law enforcement general definitions. However, their focus is diagnosis and treatment, so they have a need to further define "child molester" and "sex offender" to be able to diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment.

Now, here is where things get a bit muddled, the psychological community uses --ITS OWN-- definition of ""Child and Minor," (different from the legal definition). Here they use physical ages of the victims because it is relevant to the course of treatment that will ultimately be provided.

While this is not a precise rule, generally a victim of 13 and younger is considered a "child," and greater than 13 to 18 is an adolescent. The offender of those victims is then either a "pedophile" or an "ephebophile" respectively. Further, victims of either type of offender are considered "minors" because of the age cutoffs.

Therefore, using the psychological community definitions, a child molester is a pedophile, but a ephebophile is not a pedophile. Remember, in the law enforcement community a child molester can be either, a pedophile or an ephebophile (blending psychological and legal communities). The age of the victim (i.e., definition of child) defines which is correct.


On a side note: Can pedophilia be caused by a brain tumor?
See Crime Times: Brain tumor leads to pedophilia.


--- Research & Statistical Community ---

Researchers follow no standard definition for the terms they use, but there is a very good reason why. These folks are usually delving into new areas and in that pursuit creating new definitions for words and term used.

Most researchers will use commonly accepted meanings for the terms they use, and will specifically redefine any which they are delving into as part of their research. So it is important to cite the research correctly so folks can see what the researcher meant by a phrase or term.

Statistical outcomes (e.g. recidivism rates) are based upon two things, what you start with (the target population) -AND- the calculation method used to arrive at the outcome. When statistics are created for one purpose they are sometimes misleading if used for another purpose. ex: Lets say, for bugetary reasons, a local jail needs to calculate "inmate space needed" for next year's budget. They would add the number of folks ARRESTED, say for the past 5-years, and divide by 5, giving them the AVERAGE "inmate space needed" for next year. Now, that outcome, good for its intended purpose, would not be good for figuring recidivism, because it is made up of two target groups, those who have committed new crimes, and those who have committed another crime (recidivists).

Target Population:

REARREST: Rearrest means, a person who was previously "arrested" is now "re-arrested." Simply because a person is arrested for a crime is no proof they were convicted of a crime. Further, rearrest does not necessarily mean for the same crime as previously arrested for. Statistics based up REARREST numbers yield the highest recidivism numbers possible. The presence of Megans' laws as a "suspect list" for police (RSOs will be first arrested in any sweep when there is a new crime), will cause REARREST numbers for sex offenders to be higher in the future, hence distorting recidivism rates for sex offenders!

RECONVICTION: Reconviction means, a person who was once convicted of a crime, is again convicted of another crime. Reconviction does not necessarily mean for the same crime as previously convicted for.

RETURN TO PRISON WITH NEW SENTENCE: This means that a person who was on parole, probation or supervised release committed a new crime and is being returned to prison with a new conviction. Again, the new crime, may or may not be, the same crime as previously convicted for.

RETURN TO PRISON WITHOUT A NEW SENTENCE: This means that a person who was on parole, probation or supervised release committed a technical violation (not a crime) and is being returned to prison to complete his/her sentence.


--- Religious Community ---

Pedophile Priests, a term coined by the media to refer to priests who have abused children. The fact is, this term is -at times- incorrect, and further confuses folks.

You have heard the Church say there are very few Pedophile Priests, then the media reports case after case claiming all to be "Pedophile Priests." With the media claiming the Church has made up words (ephebophilia) to effectively disclaim responsibility.

Well, in fact, the Church -is not incorrect- in their technicality when referring to ephebophilia and ephebopiles (and alternate spellings) instead of pedophilia and pedophiles. What the Church is looking at is, the age of the victims, like the psychological community, and from that deciding whether a priest is a Pedophile or an Ephebophile.

However, the media and others follow with, such a designation is not in the DSM-IV. While it is true that, these terms are not in the DSM-IV they have been around for many years, and we don't know why the psychological community does not include 'ephobphile' in the DSM-IV. However, there just may be an explanation in Greek.

If we look back at the Greek word ephebos (ephebo), then it meant, adolescents and young adults [Greek fighting men up to 20 years old]. This excluded children (pedo) but included men up to the age of 20. Mature adolescents.

Accordingly, it is our belief that, because the specific age cannot be ascertained, and the diagnostic criteria for ephebophilia is not as clear as for pedophilia, the psychological community could not include in their DSM-IV. Yet today, it is accepted that the upper age is 17, probably to keep it within what the legal community considers an adult; 18. Hence ephebophile, meaning offenders whose victims are between the ages of 14-17.


--- General Public ---
___ The Term "Sex Offender/s" ___

The general public hears the words "Sex Offender," "Child Molester" or "Pedophile" and simply goes wild with hatred. The public addresses ALL offenders from the mindset of rage, or the victim, and believes all victims are children or women. Fear and hysteria govern their actions because that is what they have been told through the media, by public servants and by politicians.

There is no doubt that the acts of actual sexual offenses should be hated, but there comes a time when reason must come into play so that folks can live without a cloud of fear. Society needs to sort out the facts and understand the terms associated with sex offenders, and be reasonably vigilant, and most of all remember that, not all sex offenders are dangerous, AND, not all sex offenders recidivate, AND, not all persons labeled sex offender, are sex offenders!

As we have pointed out earlier in this report the term "sex offender" is the broadest term, a catch phrase, encompassing everyone. However, worth mentioning is this, there are sex offender who are still victimizing, and there are sex offenders who are no longer victimizing. This distinction is necessary due to, who the public should be most concerned about, and the way statistics are compiled.

A) Offenders who are still victimizing: for the most part are not included the sex offender registries that exist today. Often, these are people who are close to you, trusted folks. See our Topic Report "Who should parents be more concerned about, someone they know and trust, or the registered sex offender?"

B) Offenders who are no longer victimizing: The term "sex offender" is also used to encompass all of the offenders who have been convicted of a sex offense, no matter what their sub-designation is. For the most part, these are 'registered sex offenders.' These are the folks who are trying to reestablish themselves in the community.

In this report we have had a chance to see the various meanings of the terms related to sex offenders. Each industry groups offenders based upon its own definition.

Accordingly, "Child molesters" pursuant to the law enforcement industry would be a larger group of offenders, than "child molesters" under a psychological industry definition. In reality this is true of a few other words as well.

Now, statistics, we have seen many many different recidivism rates of sex offenders, recidivism rates of child molesters, recidivism rates of pedophiles, recidivism rates of rapists, and so on. The point is, which industry created the statistic? Confusion, yes, the hysteria caused by the published recidivism rates is due to the fact that, there are no standards, in terminology or in calculation methods.

In this report we just want to point out how important it is to understand statistics as they relate to the terms used related to sex offenders. If this report makes you question statistics you read or hear about, that is something you should do before believing them.


--- Conclusion ---


Unfortunately the failure of folks to use proper words results in more community confusion and hysteria, misinformation is a powerful influence. Far too often these terms are used for some personal gain of the speaker or writer. Often the words are used with impunity in a libelous or slanderous manner.

Admittedly, at times it is a simple matter of not realizing the differences due to the industry or realm that is using the term. Definitions are critical to prevent maligning the folks involved. Libelous and slanderous uses seem to be the norm, this needs to change.

In a sad and ironic twist, Society in venting its anger of past sex offenses today uses words & terms in a hateful, harmful, libelous and slanderous manner, and is grooming those who have the potential for criminal acts, to commit them and possibly more violent acts, because they know their fate.


--- Resources ---

Over time we will update this list and report as we receive new materials.

DSM-IV Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth edition;

Black's Law Dictionary Sixth edition;

Psychiatric Dictionary Fourth edition - Hinsie, Campbell;

New Oxford Dictionary of English - Oxford University Press;

The New Oxford Thesaurus of English - Oxford University Press;

Merriam-Webster Online The Language Center;

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children - Child Molesters a Behavorial Analysis: For law enforcement officers investigating cases of child exploitation. (allows you to download a copy, if you do it is a 160 pg PDF file)

A special thanks to the folks at: Male Homosexual Attraction to Minors Information Center (MHMic) for clarifying the "attraction" and "non-offender" issues. See their pages: Attraction to adolescent boys -AND- Attraction to prepubescent children

Posted By Robert Paisola to The Sex Offender Chronicles- Have We Gone Too Far? at 10/04/2007 08:34:00 PM

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cities ZONE OUT Sex Offenders


Given the choice, it’s unlikely anyone would let a sex offender live next door.But those offenders, including the 155 registered sex offenders in Tuscaloosa County, have to live somewhere,The question is where.As one of 18 states that restrict where sex offenders can live, Alabama requires sex offenders to live at least 2,000 feet away from a school or day-care facility.In the past six months, Tuscaloosa and Northport have extended the state restrictions with ordinances giving sex offenders decidedly fewer options in Tuscaloosa and Northport.In Tuscaloosa, sex offenders -- excluding offenders convicted of statutory rape -- cannot live or work any closer than 3,000 feet from a school.

Northport went even further last month, adopting one of the strongest sex offender ordinances in the state. The ordinance requires sex offenders to live and work at least 3,000-feet away from schools, daycares and preschools, after-school programs and public parks. Like Tuscaloosa’s ordinance, Northport’s also excludes statutory rapists. With only seven of the county’s 155 sex offenders living in Northport, city leaders said they want to prevent that number from increasing.While the intent of both ordinances is to make certain areas safer, in effect they could increase the chances in some neighborhoods that a sex offender will move in.The effect of the overlapping restricted zones has been to shrink the areas where sex offenders can live.

The areas that are open to sex offenders within Northport and Tuscaloosa city limits are few, especially in the center of both towns.In the unincorporated areas of the county, the restrictions fall back to the less stringent state code.Effects on home valueFor Jon Anderson, it is comforting to know that sex offenders can’t live in his area. Anderson, president of the East Tuscaloosa Neighborhood Association, spearheaded the effort to strengthen Tuscaloosa’s sex offender law last year after 13 sex offenders were living nearby at the Moon Winx Lodge and Chateau Apartments.“There is no question about it. It is a detriment to have sex offenders live in your area," Anderson said. “There is no magic bullet, and these things are going to happen. But [the sex offender law] clearly makes people feel more safe.

People’s perception is reality."Some residents think the restrictions should be even tougher. Glenn Griffin, who lives in Northport, suggested that neighborhood pools or subdivisions that have private lakes should be added to the list of banned areas for sex offenders. Doing so would protect more “family" neighborhoods, he said.“Pools and lakes are tempting places for people who shouldn’t be there," Griffin said.While stricter sex offender laws may make residents in covered areas feel safer, they could increase the number of sex offenders in other areas. Not only does this give rise to concerns about safety, it also can affect property values.

According to a 2003 study from The Appraisal Journal, property value can drop 17.4 percent when a violent sex offender lives within 1/10th of a mile. When a violent offender lives within 2/10th of a mile, home prices drop by 10 percent, and within 3/10th of a mile, the values drop 9.3 percent, the study found.Even with a low-risk sexual predator, property values decreased by 7.5 percent within 1/10th of a mile.A study published last year by the National Bureau of Economic Research reported similar results, with property values decreasing by 4 percent within 1/10th of a mile of a sexual offender.“From what literature I’ve seen, having a sex offender in residence could obviously have a detrimental effect," said Leonard Zumpano, the Alabama Association of Realtors endowed chair of real estate at the University of Alabama. “How many people do you know who would choose to live next to a sex offender?

"But real estate agents and sellers are not required by law to publicize whether a sex offender lives in the area. It is up to the buyer to do the research and ask, Zumpano said.“If a buyer asks a broker, and if that broker knows it, they should respond truthfully. And if they don’t know, they should say as much," Zumpano said. “There is a certain degree of 'buyer beware’ that buyers have to exercise."Effects on offendersLimiting the areas where sex offenders can live also can be viewed as an infringement on a their basic rights, and could possibly even force them back into that behavior, according to some studies.“If you are going to narrow where somebody could live to the point where they are hunted out of an area or out of a state, it becomes a human rights issue," said Bronwen Lichtenstein, a medical sociologist in the Department of Criminology at the University of Alabama.

“It bleeds over to such things as freedom and liberty, which is guaranteed under the Constitution."According to a 2006 study from the Journal of Law and Health, sex offenders who have a difficult time finding housing or employment often report feeling increased isolation, financial and emotional stress and decreased stability. The study suggested that housing restrictions may inadvertently increase the likelihood sex offenders will offend again.Harrison Taylor, president of the Tuscaloosa City Council, said that Tuscaloosa’s sex offender law is unfair not only to sex offenders, but their families as well.

Taylor was the sole member of the City Council who voted against the ordinance when it was approved in November. His son is serving a six-year prison term for rape.“People do things, and that is a part of life. They pay their price," Taylor said. “But you are trying to push them out of the city and out into the county, and I just think it’s unfair. Everybody should have a decent chance to come back and make a life for themselves."Taylor said he hopes someone will challenge the city’s current law, because it will be a hardship on offenders and their families, as well as neighborhoods that could become overloaded with offenders.Are the laws effective?Laws regulating where sex offenders can live are still relatively new.

In 1994, Congress passed the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Act, which requires states to implement a sex-offender registration program.Congress later amended the act to include “Megan’s Law" which requires states to notify the communities of sex offenders who live or work there.Over the past decade, legislatures have been adding more restrictions on sex offenders, studies show.Lichtenstein said that national phobias arise from time to time in society, and that the fear of sex offenders is at its peak because of national media attention on violent sex crime cases.

The fear has resulted in stricter laws against sex offenders.In Alabama, sex offenders must fill out a verification form after they are released from jail, every time they consider relocating, when they move, when they are considering a new job and when they accept a new job, said Sgt. Abner Green of the Tuscaloosa Police Department. In addition, people convicted of violent sex crimes must verify where they live and work four times a year by reporting to their local law enforcement agency. Non-violent sex offenders must report twice a year.The Tuscaloosa Police, Northport Police and Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office physically verify each person’s information, Green said.But ultimately, the array of restrictions might have little effect.The laws might make people feel safe, but based on the statistics, that’s not necessarily true, Lichtenstein said.According to research from the National Center for Victims of Crime, 90 percent of child sexual abusers are male and have been married.

They are often family members, family friends or acquaintances of those they abuse.“These are generally people who people know," Lichtenstein said.Denise Evans, University of Alabama professor and author of The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia agreed.“Studies show that the laws reinforce the stranger danger myth, which is that the danger of a sexual predator is a stranger," Evans said. “But, in fact, 80 to 95 percent of all sexual offenses against children were from family members, babysitters and childcare givers."While local sexual offender laws are often seen as positive legislation that protects the vulnerable, are they effective enough?

“The law might make people feel safe, but the truth is, child abuse and sexual predation is usually within the family or someone near the family," Lichtenstein said.Reach Lydia Seabol Avant at Lydia.seabol@tuscaloosanews or 205-722-0222.Studies that were used in this report:“The Effect of Proximity to A Registered Sex Offender’s Residence on Single-Family House Selling Price," by James Larsen, Kenneth Lowrey and Joseph Coleman, Appraisal Journal, 2003.“There Goes the Neighborhood?

Estimates of the Impact of Crime Risk on Property Values from Megan’s Laws" by Leigh Linden, Johah Rockoff, National Bureau of Economics Research working paper, 2006.“Ohio’s Sex Offender Residency Restriction Law: Does it Protect the Health and Safety of the State’s Children or Falsely Make People Believe So?" by Margaret Troia, Journal of Law and Health, 2006.

Lawsuit: Sex offenders singled out - Inmates say they're targets in jail


Two inmates are suing prison officials for housing them in a cell block known inside the walls as the "Gladiator Pod," where they claim sex offenders are singled out for harsh treatment.One of the men admits he's a sex offender; the other says he's been misclassified as one. But both claim in separate lawsuits that they've been targeted for abuse by inmates and officers.

Tony Ellison, 44, of Exeter and Harvey Pratt, 40, of Massachusetts were assaulted shortly after being moved to the cell block, according to lawsuits pending in federal court. Ellison said he suffered a 3-inch cut to his forehead in September 2006 from another inmate. Pratt said his beating by two inmates in March 2002 left him with a broken nose, broken ribs and a cut above his eye.In their lawsuits, both men describe the "Gladiator Pod," known officially as the C-pod in the Hancock Building, as home to younger, more combative inmates who are especially intolerant of sex offenders.

Ellison said sex offenders who stay in C-pod because they don't ask for protective custody are beaten or have their belongings stolen. In an interview at the prison last week, Ellison said after he was beaten, he buzzed prison staff for help for seven minutes before someone delivering mail noticed he was bleeding from the head and assisted him."It's a young kid pod," Ellison said. "They all want to be gangsters, and they have no respect.

Each pod has its own mentality, and C-pod is among the worst."Prison spokesman Jeff Lyons said he could not comment on the pending lawsuits or the men's characterization of C-pod. He said only that all inmates are given housing assignments based on their behavior, custody level and program requirements and that the prison takes seriously its obligation to keep inmates safe.Ellison landed in the C-pod after declining to participate in a classification hearing where prison officials assess an inmate's behavior to determine housing and programming requirements.

Ellison says he thought the hearing was optional and opted not to go. Before being relocated to C-pod, Ellison had spent more than four years in another housing unit without trouble, he said. He liked where he was living, had had the same cellmate for three years and had a job that allowed him to work double shifts. He wanted to stay, he said.There was no doubt that Ellison was a sex offender when he came to prison in August 2001.

He had pleaded guilty to nine counts of sexually assaulting three relatives, ages 10 and younger, in Rockingham County Superior Court and received a 30-to 60-year prison sentence. He said he will take the sexual offender treatment program when he nears his parole date and becomes eligible.His lawsuit, which was filed this month and includes many other grievances, accuses prison officials of failing to provide security and retaliating against him by housing him in the C-pod, knowing his offense would put him at risk there.

He said he has been labeled something worse than only a sexual offender: a sexual predator.He claims prison officials have also discriminated against him because he molested children. Ellison claims that when he complained to a unit manager about his beating, the manager told Ellison the assault was his own fault "because of what he came to prison for."A federal judge has given Ellison, who is seeking $1 million, until next month to pay a $12.50 filing fee to avoid having his claims dismissed. Prison officials have not yet responded to Ellison's lawsuit ,because it was filed recently.Classification disputePratt went to C-pod, he claims, after a prison official unfairly classified him as a sex offender when he arrived at the prison in 2001.

His case is more complicated because he was not convicted of being a sex offender.Pratt is serving a 2- to 6-year prison sentence for a charge of "interfering with custody." According to court records, he met a 14-year-old girl on the internet and invited her to come to his Quincy, Mass., apartment. He was 33 at the time and denied any sexual or inappropriate interest in the girl. He said he was trying to help her escape a difficult home situation, according to prison records.The victim, however, told the police that Pratt had kissed her and discussed the possibility of sex, according to prison records.

At Pratt's sentencing, Judge Harold Perkins required Pratt to undergo sexual offender treatment program in prison before becoming eligible for parole. And in 2003, parole officials denied Pratt parole because he had not done sex offender treatment.Pratt fought that treatment requirement, and, for reasons that were not explained in available court records, Perkins agreed in 2004 to drop the treatment requirement. But Pratt said he unfairly remains labeled a sex offender by prison officials and is being required to undergo sex offender treatment before he can be released.

Pratt filed his lawsuit in October 2005 and is seeking about $300,000 for numerous claims, including sleep deprivation, denial of due process, unfair disciplinary process and labeling him a sex offender. A federal judge dismissed some of the claims as beyond the statute of limitations but allowed others, including Pratt's complaints about the sexual offender label.Judge James Muirhead wrote in a court order that other courts have found that inmates must be afforded the appropriate means to challenge a sex offender label in certain circumstances.

That was particularly true in one case involving an inmate who, like Pratt, had not been convicted of a sex offense but was labeled a sex offender and required to take sex offender treatment."The court reasoned that 'the stigmatizing effect of being classified as a sex offender constitutes a deprivation of liberty under the Due Process Clause,' " Muirhead quoted in his order.

He concluded that if Pratt can show he was not provided adequate chance to challenge that label and treatment requirement, he may have a claim against prison staff.In their court response, prison officials have denied treating Pratt unfairly and argued that they are allowed to require Pratt to undergo sex offender treatment because while the judge dropped that program as a specific obligation, he did still required Pratt to participate in any counseling and treatment recommended by correction officials.

Prison staff have decided Pratt still remains a candidate for sexual offender treatment.Word spreads fastIn the interview, Ellison confirmed the disfavor a sex offender label brings an inmate inside prison - from inmates and staff. That's especially true for inmates whose crimes have received media attention, he said."It's the most discriminating witch hunt there is," he said. "(Prison staff) tell everybody. I was told within three or four minutes of getting to prison that people knew (of my offense)."Ellison said until he was sent to C-pod, he managed to stay out of harm's way by minding his own business and accepting responsibility for his crime. "I know I have a debt to repay to society. I have great remorse," he said.But he doesn't believe his debt should include the beatings and discrimination he described in his lawsuit.

Ellison is required to share his medical expenses with the inmate who assaulted him. And both were disciplined for the fight, not only Ellison. He doesn't think that is fair.Ellison said he fears more inmates will be assaulted because the prison staff have been shifting more inmates recently and have begun integrating more sex offenders into C-pod."It's a time bomb waiting to explode," he said.