The parents of 7-year-old Megan Kanka of Hamilton
Township,did not know that a twice convicted sex
offender was living across the street until that
neighbour was charged with the brutal rape and
murder of their daughter.
Megan Nicole Kanka Foundation
Parents For Megans Law
Megan's Murderer - Pleads for His Life
U.S. Supreme Court lets stand Megan's Law
Clinton signs Megan's Law
Clinton Signs Tougher "Megans Law"
Christopher’s Law (Canada)
A bold measure in community safety.
The Ontario Sex Offender Registry (OSOR) was created as a result of the abduction and
murder of 11-year-old Christopher Stephenson by a convicted sex offender on June 18, 1988.
Following the Coroner’s inquest into Christopher’s death, it was recommended that the Solicitor
General of Canada, in conjunction with the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General, police and
other appropriate bodies, establish a registry for convicted, dangerous, high-risk sexual offenders,
and require each offender to register with police in the jurisdiction where the offender will reside
or is residing.
Sarah's Law (UK)
Sarahs Law was created as a result of the abduction and murder of Sarah Payne, 8, in July, 2000.
Sarah's law is a legal right for UK parents, which grants them a right to do a child abuse report check
on their child handlers and caretakers. The law is supposed to protect the child from pedophiles and molesters,
especially those child offenders with previous child offense or abuse convictions.
MAKO has notified over 60 communities around Australia.
MAKO/Files online -
Listing Australian sex offenders
Who's Megan? -
Megan Kanka, 7, was killed in July
1994 in Hamilton Township,
New Jersey. Jesse Timmerndequas, a twice-convicted sex
was sentenced to death for Megan's murder and rape. Megan's
parents lobbied for state and federal laws requiring officials to
ways to warn neighbors when known sex offenders move into a
neighborhood. In May 1996, the Federal Megan's Law was signed
by President Clinton, requiring states to disclose to the public,
information about sex offenders.
(also known as the Sexual Predator Notification Law) -
The parents of 7-year-old Megan Kanka of Hamilton, Township
did not know that a twice
convicted sex offender was living across the street until that
neighbour was charged with the brutal
rape and murder of their daughter.
The crime - occurring only months after a similar incident in
County - prompted passage of state laws requiring notification
offenders who may pose a risk to the community.
New Jersey's law, commonly known as "Megan's Law,"
sex offenders to register with local police,
Megan's Law also establishes a three-tier notification process
information about offenders to law enforcement agencies and,
appropriate, to the public. The type of notification is based on an
evaluation of the risk to the
community from a particular offender. The Attorney General's
Office, in consultation with a
special 12-member council, has provided county prosecutors,
who must make that evaluation, with
the factors to be used in determining the level of risk
posed by the offender,
Equipped with the descriptions and whereabouts of high
risk sex offenders, communities will be
better able to protect their children.
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A
Internet users flock to Megan's Law site.
Sex offender database visited 33 million times since debut.
Interest in the Megan's Law Internet site has soared
since the state unveiled the site Dec 15, allowing Californians
easier and more detailed access to information about the state's
most serious sex offenders.
As of Thursday morning, the site — at www.meganslaw.ca.gov — had more than
33 million hits as people looked up sex offenders in their neighborhoods.
Before the new site was launched, parents and others would have
to visit their county sheriff's office or participating police
departments to access the information.
One reason that law enforcement officials have welcomed the wider
access is the ability to give people, especially parents, another
way to safeguard their children.
"It gives parents another tool to keep an eye out on their neighborhoods,
on the schools their kids are going to," said Fresno County sheriff's Lt. Robert Kandarian.
"Many kids walk to schools, and this way, parents can
even check the paths their kids walk to school to see if
there are any sexual predators who may be living (in the area)," Kandarian said.
The state site lists information about more than
63,000 registered sex offenders, with addresses of
the 33,500 most serious offenders.
As of this week, the Web site listed 3,384 registered
sex offenders in the six-county central San
Joaquin Valley: Fresno County, 1,632; Tulare County, 724; Merced County,
507; Madera County, 268; Kings County, 216; and Mariposa County, 37.
Some people have expressed concern that easier access to information,
including home addresses, could trigger incidents of vigilantism.
At the least, they say, the site may include inaccurate information or
be unfair to those rehabilitating themselves.
Law enforcement officials emphasized that vigilantism is illegal and
inappropriate use of the information. They said that if questions are
raised about inaccuracies, they are checked out and forwarded to the
state Department of Justice, which updates the site daily.
Nathan Barankin, a spokesman for the state Attorney General's Office,
said the goal is simply to "arm the public with information they need
to protect themselves, not to affirmatively take matters
into their own hands."
Barankin also said that the information is public, and the site just
makes that information more accessible.
The site had more than five million hits in its first six days and at
times froze because of overwhelming demand, Barankin said. "We were
preparing for an onslaught, and instead we got deluged."
He said the site has been beefed up, and few people should experience
Viewers can search the site by city, county, ZIP code or name.
They also can search by typing in the name of a park or school
to locate sex offenders living in the area.
Information provided includes name, aliases (if any), age, gender,
race, physical descriptions that include scars and tattoos, a photograph
if available, descriptions of the criminal convictions that required the
individual to register, and the county and ZIP code where the individual
The site also will state whether the individual is in violation of his or
her registration requirement.
Some believe the Web site provides another opportunity for parents to talk
to their children about protecting themselves.
The state Web site includes tips for parents, though Barankin said parents
must decide how to handle the topic.
Lori Reynolds, a detective with the Fresno Police Department's sex offender
registration unit, said parents should talk to their children about what is
good touching and bad touching. And, she cautioned, it's not just strangers
who can be offenders — it can be friends or relatives, too.
"If someone touches them and it's uncomfortable, they
should know they have someone that they can ... tell,"
Reynolds said. "It can be another family member, a police
officer or a teacher."
She said it's important that a child, with adult supervision,
see what is on the Web site.
"Not all of them look like monsters from a fairy tale," Reynolds
said. "They look like ordinary people."
Felicia Cousart Matlosz / The Fresno Bee (31-12-2004)