Face the Facts
Face the Facts
The Sensible Sentencing Trust is calling on the Government to face the home truths about the Sex Offenders Register. As a huge debate surfaces over allowing the public access to the information, SST is furious over comments made by members of parliament in relation to the register.
“It is simply preposterous that this register will not be made public,” Nadia Crighton Spokesperson for the Prevention of Child Abuse says. “The fact is America has been operating a public register for nearly 20 years with success.”
Crighton is referring to ‘Megan’s Law’ that came into affect in 1996 by President Clinton after seven year old, Megan Kanka, was raped and murdered by her neighbor Jesse Timmendequas, who had been previously convicted of child-sexual assault.
“Are we really waiting for another horrific child murder for things to change?” Crighton asks. “It’s not acceptable that the lives of our children are put at risk until our government makes a stand to protect them at all costs.”
Timmendequas had two previous convictions for sexually assaulting young girls. In 1979 he pleaded guilty to the attempted sexual assault of a five-year-old girl and again in 1981 he pleased guilty in regards to the assault of a seven-year-old girl, and was imprisoned at the Adult Diagnostic & Treatment Center (ADTC) for six years. Upon his release he raped and murdered Megan.
“These people reoffend.” Crighton says. “It is time we put the safety of our children before the rights of these criminals.”
In the US, because of ‘Megan’s Law’ you can search the Internet and look up state registers that contain lists of convicted child-sex offenders, their names, photographs, addresses and crimes. There is also an application available that can show you how many sex offenders live in your neighbourhood.
“This system works, this system has been trialed, this is the system NZ needs and our children deserve before anymore children die or are abused at the hands of a convicted and released child sex-offender.”
The SST volunteers run an offenders’ database currently. You can search by numerous parameters here: www.sst.org.nz/offenders-database