October 28, 2011

More control of sex offender coaches?

Only a fool can think lawmakers can force registrants to reveal their past to private citizens. There is a point where lawmakers go too far, this would be it..
10-287-2011 Michigan:

Sen. Rick Jones drafting a bill for stricter rules

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - A Target 8 Investigation has prompted a state lawmaker to start working to create a law that would force convicted sex offenders to tell parents about their criminal past.

The investigation revealed that Paul Hagan, a convicted sex offender, isn't breaking the law by coaching gymnastics at Aerials and Baranis in Plainfield Township. Even after a 1994 conviction for inappropriately touching a 13-year-old gymnast, he is legally allowed to coach.

But some officials said that current laws governing registered sex offenders should be more stringent.

Larry Burdick, president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, watched the Target 8 investigation and supports change.

"This is one area from this case that gives you cause to pause," said Burdick. "Maybe the laws do need to be tightened up in that regard."

State Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) also supports a change -- and he's drafting a bill to make it happen.

Jones said he was "shocked" after watching the Target 8 investigation. He is now working to draft a bill that would force offenders to tell parents they are on the state sex offender registry if they are going to work with children.

Currently, it's up to parents to do their homework before trusting someone to work with their children.

"I think it's important that people bring this to our attention so that we can act and plug the loopholes ... I want to change it so that a parent knows exactly what's going on," said Jones.

But while Burdick supports tougher laws, he said it's also important not to step on anyone's constitutional rights, including those of convicted sex offenders. ..Source.. by Marlee Ginter

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