In Focus: Should the identities of Level 1 sex offenders be published? Help families to heal

September 15, 2013 

First of all, no, the identities of Level 1 sex offenders should not be published because not all Level 1 sex offenders are predators. They committed sex offenses against a family member for the most part. They aren't prowling parks and other public places for victims. They are not after your family members. But those who request and post publicly the identities and personal information of Level 1 sex offenders are after their family members.

Secondly, it is possible to obtain sex offenders' records that give out the victims' information, too. Yes, it is public information. No, it is none of anyone's business. The problem is the requester is forcing the family to relive the truly painful era in the family which didn't have anything to do with the requester, her family or the general public.

It would be one thing if the information was used for one's own personal use if one were truly worried about those evil Level 1 sex offenders lurking behind bushes and in the alleys, which they usually aren't.

It is the Level 2 and 3 that are more apt to be a danger to people and their loved ones -- and the ones who haven't been caught and convicted yet who are addicted to porn and have started acting out.

It also is incredible how many women take boyfriends into their homes without doing a background check on them, which is possible to do. If they loved their children, they would be more careful whom they let in and spend the resources to perform a background check.

There is an abundance of research showing how harmful it is to children to live in homes with their parent cohabitating with someone who is not committed in marriage to their parent.

I'm not excusing any sex offenses. But sex offenders who offended as children can change. When they are stopped early, punished and encouraged to do right, it isn't the public's self-appointed duty to punish them for the rest of their lives.

Instead of humiliating and shaming the family, my goal is to have support groups for the families of those who commit criminal offenses. I have done research on this topic. Here are two interesting articles, one about how the registry does more harm than good for teen sex offenders, and the other is about how the mothers of sex offenders are affected: tinyurl.com/teen-offenders and tinyurl.com/offenders-moms.

Finally, I am hopeful that this issue of releasing the identities of Level 1 sex offenders will lead to persons who offended sexually as youngsters being able to expunge their records if they genuinely have no intentions of ever re-offending. I hope no one commits suicide or homicide or assault or harassment or fires employees because of this requester's actions. I would be curious to see the effect of this requester's publication of the Franklin County Level 1 sex offender records. I'm not sure if the community is any safer.

-- JEANNINE TUTTLE, Richland

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