View Full Version : Coos County second highest per capita for sexual predators

06-03-2005, 12:44 PM
Hundreds of sex offenders living in Coos County; 16 are predators Carl Mickelson and Dan Schreiber, Staff Writers

Coos County is home to 249 convicted sex offenders.

Of those, 16 are designated by the Oregon State Police as predatory, ranking Coos County second highest per capita for sexual predators. The county ranks 14th for total sex offenders, predatory or otherwise, among Oregon's 36 counties. And under state law, residents have a right to know who they are and the towns in which they live. According to the latest figures, there are 10,311 registered sex offenders in the state. In order to be classified as a registered sex offender, a person must have been convicted of any degree of rape, sodomy, unlawful sexual penetration or sexual abuse.

According to Coos County community corrections director Roy Wright, predators display unique characteristics.

"He's young. He's unstable. He's never formed a long relationship with any other human," Wright said, adding that there are only a handful of female sex offenders in Coos County - none of whom are predators.

Mike Crim, a parole officer, oversees the 70 offenders on county supervision. He said there's a distinct difference in the behavior of predators.

"A predator is more likely to recitivate - to re-offend," Crim said. "They are criminally inclined and not stable."

The designation is lasting. Predatory sex offenders are required by law to register with authorities for the rest of their lives, Wright said. After 15 years, sex offenders can appeal to the state, so they don't have to register with local authorities anymore.

Wright said it's not the crime itself that necessarily will catapult a sex offender into predatory status, but rather how he scores on a standardized corrections test. The higher the score, the more likely an offender is to be labeled a predator.

Scores increase outright if an offender is less than 25 years old and has victimized males, strangers, or those unrelated to the perpetrator.

"The stranger-offender is the least likely offender," Crim said.

More points on the test are added if the subject hasn't lived with a sexual partner for at least two years, was convicted of violent crimes, committed prior sex offenses, or has been convicted of a sex offense following a court imposed no-contact order.

Those orders are aimed at keeping sex offenders from re-entering the penal system. When a sex offender is released from prison, he's given a wide range of rules to follow called the "sex offender package," Wright said.

The package can sanction no contact with the victim - or any minors - restriction of Internet use and, in some instances, a curfew. All sex offenders must submit to periodic polygraph tests and are prohibited from driving if sex crimes involve vehicles.

Wright said the idea is to impose maximum restrictions, then scale back as the offenders are perceived to have progressed.

All sex offenders are supervised for a minimum of 18 months, Wright said. That time period increases significantly for convictions such as first-degree sex abuse and first-degree sodomy - Measure 11 crimes - offenses for which offenders could be supervised for up to 12 to 15 years.

In 1994, Oregon voters passed Measure 11, which set long mandatory prison terms for 16 designated violent and sex-related offenses. Wright said there is a very "small minority" of sex offenders in Coos County who are supervised for the lengthy period. He could not determine exact figures, but said more and more Measure 11 criminals have served their sentences.

And when they are released, the supervision begins. It has three segments: psychological treatment, polygraph tests and oversight by a parole officer.

Offenders are required to attend individual and group therapy sessions and undergo tests every six months (sometimes more if they are suspected of violating the terms of their parole).

All offenders also are required to pass a "full-disclosure polygraph test," in which they are asked whether they have committed any offenses since their release and if they might have committed any offenses before their initial sex offense conviction.

"Until the full-disclosure is made, there is no contact with any minors," Wright said. "The reason we do that is because often there was only one event that was reported, but there was more contact with the victim, or other kids. We want to know who you were before (the crime was committed)."

The polygraphs don't test intent, Crim said.

Sex offenders also are subject to unannounced home and office visits by authorities.

"We can walk through," Crim said, adding that with probable cause, authorities can search their homes or vehicles.

Offenders foot the bill for their own specially assigned rehabilitation programs, which can cost up to $3,200 per year, Wright said.

The state parole board decides what restrictions are imposed on offenders upon their release, and it can vary case by case, Crim said. Though the state does not set out rules in statutes for where sex offenders can live and work, generally, in Coos County, predators are not allowed to live within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare center, library or work in any such places.

Vi Beaty, manager of the Sex Offender Registration Unit of OSP in Salem, said offenders must update OSP with their registration information within 10 days of their birthdays and when they move to new residences. She said the compliance rate statewide is at about 85 percent. OSP alerts local police and sheriff's departments through flyers, and it's up to those agencies to disseminate the information.

Many sex offenders end up working in the food-service industry, in places they may have incidental -albeit lawful - contact with children, Crim said, adding that in most cases, those jobs are sought out for lack of other opportunities.

"Most of them obviously have circumstances where they can't be around children as stipulated in their probation," Beaty said. "Stipulations are attached solely to court proceedings."

Background checks on sex offenders are left to the discretion of individual employers, Beaty said, and the state does not determine where they can, or cannot work.

The family life of sex offenders is often affected, too, especially because about 80 percent of sex crimes in the county occur between family members, Wright estimated.

"Whatever family structure they had, they can't have contact until way down the road," he said, adding that the county works to eventually restore family connections. "It takes a long time."

Eden Compost
10-15-2006, 10:04 PM
I hate wasting words is anyone here ? does the idea of Eden Compost mean anything to people who want to live on Earth after the ugly is over ~~~?~~~ but in the mean time wher's the best usage of intelligence to be found ? I like this post I'm responding to, it's important for others to be able to perceive a sex offender as still having human worth. I say Ditto to that three times ~~~!~~~