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Community Has Right to Know About Pedophiles - Rudd

Pedophiles shouldn't be able to hide - Rudd.
Kevin Rudd has said people should be told if pedophiles are moving into their communities.
With controversy raging over the release of notorious child abuser Dennis Ferguson, Mr Rudd said: "My general view is that the community has a right to know."
Ferguson was effectively run out of town last night when a crowd of about 80 locals protested at his Queensland bolthole.
He has now been moved by police to an undisclosed address.
Mr Rudd today did not comment specifically on the Ferguson case, but said: "I believe that this is a most sensitive, difficult area and these are sensitive, difficult decisions to be made by the authorities.
"But I think as a general principle the community does have a right to know."
Ferguson had been living on a rural property near Miles, about 120km northwest of Dalby, following his release from custody on Tuesday night.
He asked police to move him after placard-waving locals turned up on his driveway.
He had been due to stand trial next week for allegedly sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl at her home in Dalby, west of Brisbane, in November 2005.
But Ferguson was set free after District Court Judge Hugh Botting dismissed charges against him, partly on the grounds that his high profile meant he would not receive a fair trial on the sex charges.
Attorney-General Kerry Shine has launched an appeal against the judge's decision.

AAP (4-7-2008)

MAKO/Files Online.. Listing Australian Convicted Paedophiles/ Sex Offenders/ Child Killers.. FREE Public Service..


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.


Community Notification - Since 1998 MAKO has notified many Australian communities of paedophiles living secretly nearby. Many of the offenders were within 500 metres from a school/ day care centre/park etc. One notification we did in N.S.W springs to mind, where the convicted child sex offender was living next door to a primary school in Canley Vale..???
(Offender Abrahams - see MAKO/Files Online)


Call For Megan's Law-style Queensland Pedophile Register

QUEENSLANDERS have been urged to campaign for a public register of serious sexual offenders as the furore continues over where to house Dennis Ferguson.
One of the country's leading barristers said the rights of children outweighed the rights of pedophiles and every parent deserved to know whether a sexual offender lived in their area.
Peter Faris, QC, said measures such as jailing offenders until they died and counselling didn't work. He instead urged the adoption of the Megan's Law public register, which operates in the US.
"Parents want to protect their children and another way to increase protection of children is knowledge," Mr Faris said.
"If you choose to sexually assault children, having people know who and where you are should be one of the consequences of your conduct."
Megan's Law was introduced in the US after the 1994 rape and murder of seven-year-old Megan Kanka by a known child molester.
US law enforcement authorities now have to make information available to the public regarding registered sex offenders.
Mr Faris said it was time for Queensland to do the same.
But he also warned authorities they needed to suppress names of known sex offenders if they re-offended to avoid another Ferguson scenario and ensure justice is done.
Authorities have pleaded with the community not to run Ferguson out of another home, after he was moved from Miles, in southwest Queensland, to Carbrook, south of Brisbane.

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23990312-3102,00.html

MAKO/Files Online.. Listing Australian Convicted Paedophiles/ Sex Offenders/ Child Killers.. FREE Public Service..


On The Trail of Molesters

IF Dennis Ferguson had committed his crimes in California, residents and his victims would know exactly where he was living thanks to Megan's law.
Thanks to the US state's so-called Megan's Law, passed in 1996, Californians only have to go to their computer and click on their mouse to find out whether a convicted sex offender is living next door.
The naming and shaming of pedophiles and rapists and publication of their addresses was introduced following the 1994 rape and murder of New Jersey girl Megan Kanka, 7, by a known child molester who had moved across the road from her family without their knowledge.
All US states have some form of Megan's Law requiring sex offenders to register with law enforcement agencies.
But, in California, the law was expanded three years ago to include a registered sex-offenders database which the public can access online. Previously, information on sex offenders was only available at police stations or sheriff's offices, or by ringing a hotline.
Now, Californians use their state's Department of Justice's Sex Offender Tracking Program to keep tabs on pedophiles' movements. Registered sex offenders have to update their details on the database as often as every 30 days, and within five days of moving.
The website shows their offences, mug shot, address, age, description and any distinguishing features such as tattoos or scars.
But California's Megan's Law website also carries a caveat: "The law is not intended to punish the offender and specifically prohibits using the information to harass or commit any crime against an offender."
Last year, a Megan's Law proposal by the NSW Opposition was rejected after legal and civil rights experts said it would lead to vigilantism and mistaken identity.
The British Government has rejected Megan's Law-style legislation but police are compelled to inform families about pedophiles who may pose a specific threat to their children.
Earlier this year, Britain announced plans to extend satellite tracking of pedophiles, subject them to lie-detector tests and trial chemical castration.

Courier Mail (1-11-2007)
Greg Stolz
http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,22681196-5017590,00.html

Megan's Law Can Work in Queensland

DEPARTING Queensland Family Court judge and child protection advocate Tim Carmody has called for convicted pedophiles moving into communities to be publicly identified.
Mr Carmody, SC, who retired from the Bench earlier this week, said states and territories needed to agree to a uniform version of the US-styled Megan's Law.
"I think there's a compelling argument for it in 2008, in the case of some offenders," he said.
As the former head of the now-defunct Queensland Crime Commission, Mr Carmody was responsible for investigating organised pedophilia in the late 1990s. During five years presiding in the Family Court, he specialised in cases involving allegations of serious sexual abuse.
"In relation to children, you don't want a cure (for sexual abuse) because it comes too late. You want to prevent. And the only way you can prevent is to monitor (sex predators in the community)," Mr Carmody said.
"While someone presents as an unacceptable risk to the safety of children, their rights are going to have to be curtailed to the extent needed to protect children."
Yvonne Hughson, who was sexually abused as a child, says she supports the introduction of something like Megan's Law.
Now a mother of four and a grandmother of one said within reason, everyone had the right to know if there was a pedophile living in their neighbourhood.
"It's not always strangers that are pedophiles and not all of them looked like Dennis," she said.
Megan's Law arose out of the kidnapping, rape and murder in 1994 of New Jersey girl Megan Kanka, 7. Megan's killer was a neighbour who had been previously convicted of serious sexual assaults on young girls.
Under resulting changes to US law, details of sex offenders, including their photographs, offences, and residential addresses, can be accessed by the public often through an internet register.
In Queensland, furore over pedophile Dennis Ferguson, freed last week after District Court Judge Hugh Botting said he would not get a fair trial over new child sex charges, has fuelled debate over the introduction here of Megan's Law-type legislation.
Mr Carmody took specific aim at pedophiles whose sentences were not remitted because they refused to undergo rehabilitation and treatment programs in jail.
"Some just refuse to accept (treatment) or just don't seek it because it's admission (of guilt)," he said.
"They're the ones who are a risk because they don't have any follow-up supervision from the parole board because they're not on parole. They've done their full time, but they come out untreated."
Mr Carmody said neighbours should be made aware when this class of offenders settled into communities. But he was uncertain as to how far a Megan's Law should extend.
"There should be some limits in the public accessibility," he said. "The tricky bit is giving people enough information to protect themselves without giving them so much information they pose a risk to the offender."
He said he could see nothing in Australia's Constitution that would threaten the passing of Megan's Law.
"I'm sure there'd be a constitutional argument over the implied right to privacy (of sex abusers)," he said.
"But whether it would succeed on the balance of public rights over private rights . . . I don't think it would."
Mr Carmody added that a national approach would have to be taken on the new laws to achieve "uniform, coherent policy".
"Otherwise, if I'm a pedophile and I'm going to be named in Queensland, I'll just move to a less regulated state," he said.
Mr Carmody is the second top-flight legal figure in recent days to voice support for Megan's Law legislation after Melbourne criminal barrister Peter Faris, QC, claimed every parent deserved to know when sexual predators lived in their area.

The Courier Mail (10-7-2008)
Tim Carmody
http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23995183-5017590,00.html

Call For Megan's Law-Style Queensland Pedophile Register

QUEENSLANDERS have been urged to campaign for a public register of serious sexual offenders as the furore continues over where to house Dennis Ferguson.
One of the country's leading barristers said the rights of children outweighed the rights of pedophiles and every parent deserved to know whether a sexual offender lived in their area.
How Megan's Law works to identify pedophiles Poll: Do we deserve to know? Peter Faris, QC, said measures such as jailing offenders until they died and counselling didn't work. He instead urged the adoption of the Megan's Law public register, which operates in the US.
"Parents want to protect their children and another way to increase protection of children is knowledge," Mr Faris said.
"If you choose to sexually assault children, having people know who and where you are should be one of the consequences of your conduct."
Megan's Law was introduced in the US after the 1994 rape and murder of seven-year-old Megan Kanka by a known child molester.
US law enforcement authorities now have to make information available to the public regarding registered sex offenders.
Mr Faris said it was time for Queensland to do the same.

The Courier Mail (9-7-2008)
Hannah Davies
http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23990312-5017590,00.html

Why We Need a Megan's Law

PEDOPHILES are always in the news. This is because of one thing - a deep-seated fear in every parent that their child could be the next victim.
The public concern is about protecting children from future assaults, not with punishing the pedophile.
Parents do not want revenge on offenders for their past conduct, they want to be absolutely certain that pedophiles will not offend again.
I have practised criminal law all over Australia for the past 45 years and I am strongly of the view that pedophiles are very likely to reoffend.
That raises serious questions about how to deal with them.
First, there is the "warehousing" solution, which would lock them up forever. While this is appropriate for the worst offenders, it cannot be used against most of them. I do not believe that "counselling" works.
You cannot retrain pedophiles or talk them out of further crimes.
And chemical castration has failed.
Supervision orders for a long period after jail release depend upon the pedophile obeying the rules and not being caught in breach of them. It is all very well having a rule that they cannot go within 500 metres of a school but that cannot be enforced every day for every pedophile.
Parents want to protect their children. I can remember the constant anxiety of my wife and I as our two children grew up.
Another way to increase protection of children is knowledge. Knowledge of who the pedophiles are, what they look like and where they live.
Megan's law was created for this purpose. On July 29, 1994, seven-year-old Megan Kanka was kidnapped, tortured, raped and then murdered by 33-year-old Jesse K. Timmendequas, who, over a period of 15 years, had been convicted of serious sexual assaults on young girls in the US. Timmendequas lived with two other convicted sex offenders across the street and lured the girl into his house by offering to show her a puppy. He was convicted and sentenced to death but was saved when New Jersey abolished the death penalty in 2007. He remains in jail.
The grieving parents took action and, by doing so, not only made sure their daughter would always be remembered but also saved the lives of countless other young children. They quickly gathered 400,000 signatures to a petition aimed at the proposition "Every parent should have the right to know if a dangerous sexual predator moves into their neighborhood". Within a short time, the New Jersey legislature passed the law. Now most US states have done the same.
What is Megan's law? Well, it is really quite simple. It requires the authorities to keep a public register of serious sexual offenders, particularly pedophiles. Upon release from jail, the pedophile must register his address and notify of any change. Non-compliance is a serious criminal offence.
The register is made public. A citizen can see the pedophile's name, address, photograph and criminal history. Sometimes the state puts this up on the internet. The best example is California, which has an interactive map which enables you to locate every sexual offender in your neighbourhood and, with one click, to get all their details.
Is this fair to pedophiles? Probably not but that is not the issue. Pedophiles are put on notice that the public believes their crimes to be so foul and the risk of reoffending so high that something must be done. If you choose to sexually assault children, then this is one of the consequences of your conduct. If you do not want to be on the register, then don't do the crime. The protection of children outweighs the rights of the pedophile.
This is why Megan's law has worked in the United States. I ask you to support similar laws throughout Australia to better protect our children.
How does Megan's law help protect children? Obviously, no law can ever prevent pedophilia but what this law does is to give parents knowledge. Knowledge of which pedophiles live near their home or school will greatly assist parents to better protect their children.
For example, if a man is seen frequenting the school at home-time, a parent might be a little troubled, but do nothing about it. But if the parent knows this man is a local pedophile, then he would be reported immediately and charged. Another example is that if a pedophile lives close by, parents may choose to buy or rent elsewhere. Such knowledge is a very powerful thing.
Much more information is available on the internet. I suggest you Google "Megan's law", read the material and then have a good think about your own children.
Peter Faris, QC, is a Melbourne criminal barrister and commentator.

The Courier Mail (9-7-2008)
Peter Faris
http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23988075-5017590,00.html

Megan's Law Would Tell Parents Where Pedophiles live

FOR concerned parents in the US, protecting children from sexual predators is only a mouse click away. They have the so-called Megan's Law or pedophile register.
Authorities have harnessed hi-tech methods to help families keep tabs on sex offenders in their neighbourhoods.
Concerned parents can now be sent email updates on convicted sex predators moving into their neighbourhood and can search email addresses and chatroom identities to determine if they belong to offenders.
Today, The Courier-Mail opens its pages to debate on the introduction of Megan's Law into Queensland.
While the headline-grabbing disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann in Portugal 14 months ago has prompted little change to laws in Europe, in the US high-profile child abductions and killings have prompted massive and quick change.
Megan's Law was passed after Megan Nicole Kanka was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 1994 by her neighbour Jesse Timmendequas, a repeat sex offender who lived across the street.
Megan's parents Richard and Maureen circulated a petition demanding immediate legislative action to ensure communities were warned about sex offenders in their areas, with the petition garnering more than 400,000 signatures.
The law which supporters argue gives parents the ability to protect their children by making them aware of the presence of convicted sex offenders was enacted in an unprecedented 89 days.
Megan's home state of New Jersey was the first to pass the law in 1994, with federal legislation following in 1995 requiring every state to develop a procedure for notifying the public when a person convicted of certain crimes is released near their homes.
State laws now require people convicted of specified sex crimes to register as sex offenders with their local law enforcement agencies after release from jail or a mental hospital.
The information is made public and can be accessed through local police and each state's Megan's Law website.
More than 614,000 sex offenders are registered across the US.
Each state offers varying information on offenders, with most including a photograph and the offender's criminal convictions.
Some states provide a residential address for the offender, while others only offer a postcode.
Other information that certain states provide range from descriptions of offenders' tattoos and details of their vehicles.
The US also has a system called the Amber Alert which is named after Amber Hagerman, who was pulled off her bicycle in Texas in 1996 when she was nine and later found murdered after sexual assault. If a child is believed to be at serious risk and is suspected to have been snatched by a predator, the story is broken across media instantly.
In some US states, the alert is broadcast through traffic media and on electronic billboards, so commuters can pay attention to what is happening around them.
Several states also have recently adopted more sophisticated electronic tools to protect their children from registered sex offenders.
Residents can register online or at a police website by entering a home address and their children's school information.
They are then automatically alerted when an offender moves into or out of the area, saving parents from having to regularly check the site and re-enter their information.
Florida was the first state to launch email alerts in March.
Florida's Governor Charlie Crist said the new tracking tool was important for helping parents protect their families.
"This system is used to alert millions of Florida families to the arrival of sexual offenders and predators in their neighbourhoods and is truly an example of maximising today's technology to safeguard our citizens," he said.
"We can't knock on everyone's front door but we can deliver information to everyone's desktop."
Florida's database contains data on more than 47,000 registered sex offenders and predators and the website averages more than 500,000 searches a month.
With rising public concern about predators online, three states Florida, Arizona and West Virginia have also added the ability to search online identities to see if they belong to a sexual predator.
People in those states can track email addresses and instant message screen names to determine whether they belong to a registered offender.
Other states are set to follow suit later this year.
Registered sex offenders in the three states are required by law to submit both their email and instant messaging contacts before they are used allowing parents to enter a suspicious screen name and easily see if it appears on the state's sex offender database.
The databases also provide a way for schools, churches, daycare centres and volunteer youth organisations such as sporting teams and Scout troops to screen applicants for positions working with children to assure that they have not been convicted of a sex crime.
The law also enables parents seeking babysitters or live-in domestic help to check applicants against the registry database before offering them employment.
Opponents of sex offender registries argue the law is profoundly harsh on those convicted, with many preyed on by people and five have been murdered since August 2005 after being tracked down using the database.
A spokesman for California's Office of the Attorney General said the law's purpose was not to promote vigilantism, harassment or other illegal acts against registered sex offenders.
"The law is not intended to punish the offender and specifically prohibits using the information to harass or commit any crime against the offender," the spokesperson said.
"It recognises that public safety is best served when registered sex offenders are not concealing their location to avoid harassment."

The Courier Mail (9-7-2008)
Peta Hellard
http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,22681196-5017590,00.html





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