OP-ED: SEX OFFENDERS RESURFACING
Repeat Child Sex Offenders are resurfacing. Many sex offenders are deeply rooted into unaware families, friends, neighbors, employment and villages. A majority of sex offenders will re-offend because the opportunities are always ripe.
No one is paying attention to them and there is no reason to suspect them. I would say sex that offenders/pedophiles who have immigrated here, are still under the radar due to our lack of a Sex Offender Registration Notification Act network to connect with the US and the entire Pacific.
Without an active network with the U.S., Upolu and Savaii, Pago Pago will always be the playground for sex offenders and pedophiles.
The current statute protects sex offenders from the community by stating only those with the need to know have the right to see the Sex Offenders Registry—i.e. the Dept. of Human and Social Services, Homeland Security, Dept. of Education, Dept. of Public Safety and the Attorney General’s office. All others must submit a letter and are subject to be denied per the need to know basis only.
A trusting and uninformed community is at high risk for having their children molested or raped by a predatory sex offender. Being unaware, parents cannot protect their children. The sex offender is free to go and live anywhere he pleases, to prey upon the unsuspecting families and communities.
Therefore I am very grateful for Chief Justice Michael Kruse, urging prosecutors to present to the Legislature and revisit the current Sex Offenders Registry. His concern is that the current statute is not well enforced and recognizes the need for the public to be made aware of sex offenders. (SamoaNews 10/7/2013)
If not for an alert and concerned grandmother, another innocent and helpless child would have been raped while being molested by her neighbor with a history of sexually abusing an 11 year old in 2005. He served four of his five-year conviction.
Assistant Public Defender Michael White stated that sex addiction is a sickness. He reaffirms the need for professional counseling programs to be made available for sex offenders. (a program we still lack despite the increase of incarcerated sex offenders.)
The Sex Offender Registry Notification Act (SORNA) bill has passed before the Senate and House of Representatives. Unfortunately it was not able to make the special sessions on time. If there is no other special session then it will wait until the next session in January 2014.
I am grateful and proud of our legislators who have have considered this bill favorably.
Reporting sexual abuse or violence is not something to think about until you have the courage to report. It must be acted upon immediately. The longer you think about it, the longer the victim, who too often is a young child, will have to endure the abuse.
Call DPS 911, Child protective services 633-2696 or Crisis hotline 633-7500
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