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June 20, 2006

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ToddHenderson

Apparently the sexual offender list in Illinois (and other states?)
also includes those who commit violent acts against children, even if not sexual in nature, as well as those who commit less serious offenses, like say a 18 year-old man having sex with a 15 year-old girlfriend. Illinois is considering a bill to create separate lists for violent criminals, who are much less likely to prey on children than sexual criminals. This raises a question about the signal to noise ratio of these lists: are individual home buyers reading beyond the mere inclusion of an individual on a list? If not, then the impact on home prices seems like a strong argument in favor of this proposed Illinois law, since less-threatening individuals may nevertheless destroy home values.

priscieve

Is it possible that there is a general sensitivity to the issue & people know they can bargain in those neighborhoods?

geoff manne

Lior: You suggest that

"These findings, in conjuntion, present something of a puzzle. I know of no reliable data indicating that sex offenders disproportionately prey on their immediate neighbors, as opposed to neighbors living a few blocks away or across town. While sex offenders would find it easier to access their immediate neighbors, offending further away from home probably reduces the likelihood that a sex offender would be recognized and apprehended."

But perhaps people generally and correctly figure that the one effect dominates the other -- that ease of access increases the likelihood of sexual predation much more than the threat of recognition decreases it. And such a conclusion is in fact bolstered by a throw away line in your post:

"The lion's share of sex offenders victimize their own family members."

There may, of course, be other reasons than ease of access that offenders tend to victimize their own family members, but ease of access is surely part of it. What's more, that data point suggests that fear of recognition doesn't loom large in the offenders' concerns. And finally, even if the analogy between offenders' families and neighbors is less than perfect, the perception that they are in many ways similar could certainly help explain the otherwise puzzling effect (assuming the data point is generally known).

Of course it may just be (although I have no idea if this is true) that being convicted of a sexual offense is also a good signal that one will possess other undesirable characteristics (like, say, excessive noisemaking, slovenliness or reckless driving), will invite similarly undesirable friends over, and will be more likely than not to live near other undesirables -- all potentially contributing to lower home values.

PD Shaw

I've been contacted by neighbors wanting to review legal options upon discovering their neighbor's girlfriend had moved in and registered on the sex-offender list. The neighbors had looked at the registry before buying their house and easily could see others doing the same. This was in a "young family" neighborhood. They ended up getting a new job within weeks and sold their house apparently without any problems.

This was Illinois (see previous comment), so there was a lot of uncertainty about what she had done or was capable of doing.

Carl Smith

Please look at www.sentrypredatorlocator.com this site allows you to search for predators radially in your neighborhood. If you suspect someone of being a predator you can search also by approximate height and age and search a very large radius but only have to review a small number of pictures. I found this site very useful.

Bruce

"These findings, in conjuntion, present something of a puzzle."

It could be that prospective home-buyers are searching by street name or ZIP code, so if the offender lives nearby but on a different street or in a different ZIP code, then they wouldn't pop up in the home-buyer's search and the effect would drop to zero.

Eh Nonymous

I'm not sure I really understand what's a "puzzle" about this.

People don't buy homes solely based on evidence. People buy homes based on the products of reason, as filtered through emotional perception.

The existence of a potential SVP (sexually violent predator) across the street casts a dark shadow - with a very limited range.

Who would want to move in next door to a possible molester?

Contrariwise, even knowing that living with a mile and having your children go to the same playground would increase their risk, how many people will really focus on whether to buy a home based on the existence of a predator a mile away, in densely settled areas?

If some people are resistant to buying a particular house, the demand is lower, and so the price necessarily drops. That the observed effect is very, very low-radius tells us something about people's perceptions, and that's it.

Peter Makka

This is untolerable. If sex offenders are this dangerous, they should be in jail for the rest of their life. I always use the registry, for instance, to identify these criminals and create situations which would ensure their timely removal from our neighborhood, in most cases returning them to jail. That is the ONLY solution we should be focusing on: jailing these heathens for life, instead of worrying about home values or child abductions.

On a similar note, how about a lawsuit that asks for damages from the offenders for the reduction in house values? That is only fair...

Amanda Rogers

I am the author of the article linked below as well as the owner and webmaster for operationawareness.com.

Take a look at this. America's new "Face of Danger" This is a growing trend in America and it is shameful.

actual letters from real life "children" who have been swept up in the sex offender net. Who is the victim in cases like this? AND is this the best and only way to stop underage sex by forever destroying once promising young lives? The numbers of children being prosecuted, as ADULTS, for sex crimes is growing at an alarming rate. Is this what you would want for your son or daughter?

My name is Joshua ADC# 177322

I was born July 9, 1982, I’m 23 years old. I’m Incarcerated For Attempted Sexual Misconduct with a minor cr#99-014730.

I committed my offence when I was 15 years old (victim was 14) Investigated at 16 ½ And questioned but without nobody present ( Parents or legal Counsel).

Arrested by Phoenix Police undercover During school in front of class.....

Read full article here:
http://www.operationawareness.com

Jan

As a homeowner who cannot sell a home due to a next door neighbor who is a sex offender I am looking for some help. Does anyone have any information on the possibility of a lawsuit against a registered sex offender for loss of property value? We are DESPERATE!!

Illinois realtor

As a realtor I have encountered properties that did not sell or sold for less after a long time on the market because of a registered sex offender in the area. In two cases the "sex offender" has since cleared his name and has been dropped from the sex offender list! Because someone is on the list, it does not mean that they pose a danger. People are on the list for many reasons, some of them not connected to a what the public thinks of when they hear the term "sex offender." In one state you can be on the list for public urination - even if you are a woman! Others are falsely accused (and convicted), some during a custody battle and a bitter divorce!
I know one person accused of sex abuse because he tickled his 12 year old daughter (which was a Saturday morning "time to get up" ritual) and her cousin who was spending the night(touching no inapropriate areas). Her cousin's mom did not like him and reported him to DCFS! It took a high priced criminal attorney to successfully defend him. I've seen statistics showing as much as 80% of reports to be unsubstantiated! We need to be careful in our assumptions. The majority of people on the sex offender list are not a danger to their neighbors. Those who are, are easily identifiable and should be severely restricted in where they live.
We need separate lists and separate consequences, directly related to the nature of the crime. not a one size fits all solution.

Which brings me to the posting by Eh Nonymous
who said he/she "create(s) situations which would ensure their timely removal from our neighborhood, in most cases returning them to jail." Eh Nonymous is breaking the law
and should be prosecuted. Read the warning on the sex offender registry which prohibits using the list to harass anyone on it. By
"creating situations" he is doing just that!

Eh Nonymous

I am the poster of the earlier message regarding the need to create situations to ensure the timely removal of sex offenders from our neighborhood. How am I breaking the law? You legal professionals and practitioners should KNOW better. In fact, there is NO statement in the registry as to harassment or other interruptive nature (in our state), but I was not referring to such methods. The methods I meant were as follows:

1. Frequent mailers and phone calls to all the neighbors and the local schools about the presence of the offender.
2. Posting of signs in the neighborhood indicating the presence of an offender. Private property would be optimal and not involve the necessity of permits.
3. Contacting the landlord of the property (if the offender rents) and state that their (the landlord's) name will be publicly posted as to profiteering from their insistence on harboring the sex offender.
4. Taking frequent pictures of the offender as he comes into the yard or moves about in public.

Now, these are ALL LEGAL...and CANNOT be considered harassment as they are completely within the realm of first amendment privilege. Their convictions and their registration ARE a matter of public record, so even if the registry itself says that the information can only be used for information purposes only, the obvious way around THAT trifle is to simply state that the offender's record is in other public arenas such as court records and newspaper articles of the court case.

The bottom line: rather than worry about the feelings of these monsters, we need to use the registry to identify those heathens and then take measures to ultimately return these domestic terrorists, for life, back to prison. And THAT is the ONLY WAY...BAR NONE...to return sanity back to our justice system and, of course, returning normal property values back to good working folks in their neighborhoods.

Note to Amanda Rogers: follow the above recommendations and you will be pleasantly surprised as to how fast your problematic pervert will disappear. Have no fear of being cited, either, as NO decent person (and potential jurist) would ever fault you for protecting your children and your home investment. If you would like to be assured in any case, go to your local police station or county attorney's office and state what actions you will be conducting and get the real dope from them as to its legality.

We Buy Houses

We have found that these "bargains" are short lived because the "offenders" rarely stay in an area once they've been "tagged".

They move on and housing prices go back to normal.

Nonetheless, there are real estate bargains to be gotten because of peoples over-reactions.

John

1Freedom_Slave

Someone obviously posted only part of what was listed on one of my web page. An individual have sent me an e-mail concerned about his property value due to a registered sex offender living nearby. This was my response:
This is MY opinion. Please don’t construe it as legal advice. Your best bet is to sue the state, for passing these laws without any forethought or statistical data. I don’t think you would have a problem winning a negligence claim against them for that. Again, this is my opinion. These laws should be narrowly tailored to pertain only to those most dangerous offenders, who, in my opinion should not be out on the streets in the first place. As it is now, the category of offenders subjected to registration is too overbroad. Statutory rape cases where the sex was consensual are one example. Another is children who were caught playing doctor or putting nude photos of themselves up on the internet.
The type of situation you describe is one example of the inherent and obvious result of "Feel Good" legislation. It is ill thought out and designed only to win votes for politicians. It has very little if anything to do with protecting children. 95% of new sex crimes are committed by someone who is NOT a registered sex offender. This is according to the Department of Justice. Therefore, how is the registry really keeping us safe?
The sex offenders themselves did not pass these laws, the state did and so thereby, in my opinion, they are liable for damages. The "right to know" comes with a price tag. Unfortunately it is your neighbor paying the price.
Sincerely,
Amanda Rogers
http://www.operationawareness.com

Anonymous

Look I have a friend who was 18 yrs old at the University of Delaware and he met up with a girl he thought was 16, but she turned out to be only a week from 13. He did not have sex with the girl, but the prosecutor tried to push attempted statutory rape and during this time frame his father lost his job. He took a plea to USC 2nd because he did not have the money to fight it and is now on the sex offender registry. He is 24 now with an associates degree and a bachelors degree, a member of various honors programs, a regular volunter for Habitat for Humanity. Fuck the prices of homes going down, if someone is viewed as a dangerous sex offender don't even let thm out of prison. My friend was 18 and made a mistake the girl even said that she lied and said she was 16, but in the state of Delaware " Ignorance of age is know excuse". Another point I would like to mention is that my friend was looking for a pardon to get on with his life and the secretary of state told him that he had to get off of the registry. There are too many fucked u rules. I feel that if you are a threat to society then you should have to spend the rest of your life in prison. Those young people who make mistakes should not be punished. Girls should stop lying about their ages, these little bitches think they are cute but they end up fucking the lives of many good young men. There should be a way that the fucked pardon board can grant my friend a pardon and get him of the sex offender registry.

Sam

I think it is pretty good that all sex offenders are lumped into one catagory.None of the lists give any information about the case,so how in the hell can you form an opinion? Some are screwed by the court system.

Tainted Home

We purchased our home a year and a half ago in a nice small suburb full of young families like ourselves. We found out 3 weeks after moving in that the previous owners let their brother, a level 3, move in with them & their 3 children. He moved out 4 months before we purchased the home, so he was no longer on the sex offender registry for our neighborhood/address. We had NO idea & have suffered ever since. You see, EVERYONE thinks we are them. Never in my life, did I imagine having to continuously explain who I am to people already assuming the worst of me. Not just me, my entire family; our children. It is a horrible case of misidentity. It turns out our house had been vandalized, the grass being ripped up by tire tracks from people driving thru the yard & throwing feces at our home. (We moved in December -snow), so we didn't see this until spring. There is no law that says the community needs to be notified when a sex offender moves out, just when he moves in. We have blindly moved into a living hell that we didn't create. Worse yet, I'm a home daycare provider, or at least I was. Now that it's been over a year since we moved here, I thought it would be safe to get relicensed for this county & restart a business I was very successful with in the past. I thought most people would know we are a new family by now. So far, it's been 2 months since I became licensed, & I have no children in my care & will most likely have to give up & close soon. As soon as people here our address it's over. Any idea's or help or resources anyone can refer me to?

Jessicah

My story. me and my husband have been together since i was 15 and he was 18 we had a friend also in highschool who was 14 at the time they were alone and got close he started touching her but then thought it could cause trouble and left they never had sex her grandparents were in the same house and never checked on them or anything well next day grandma calls him and screams at him that hes going to jail blah blah blah he gets questioned repeadetly for hours by cops without an attorney then over the next two months gets charged with attempted sexuall abuse of a minor and has to register for 15 years. we are normal he has a very high paying job and we have four children together weve been together for 7 years. im angry with his choice to be there but im more angry about him being put into a catagory with other offenders who have been repeat. why are they out? my husband did not rape or molest a child he should not have this held above his head its ignorant people who have never been in a hard legal situation who feel they can judge and torment other people for there beliefs about sex offenders. what about these girls who act like skanks. and what about parent supervision the best thing you can do to protect your children is watch them, walk them to school pick them up from school stop being lazy, and making money more of a priority then your family. anytime anything happens sexually its always point your finger at this person or that person how about the one who should have been watching them, but chose to go out and drink with friends or left them with a boyfriend theyve known for a week.

Gator McCluskey

Howdy, folks, just found this site with a Google search. I'm researching the possibility of filing a lawsuit against a guy who is building a house across the street and is a registered sex offender. Has anyone had any luck in that regard.

Gator McCluskey

Amanda Rogers, has anyone given you any ideas about recouping the diminished value of your property?

jg

This is for all of the ignorant, misinformed people claiming sex offenders caused their property value to fall. Get a life! There's no way you could prove this in any capacity, maybe your house just sucks.

If you have so much spare time that you could post signs in your neighborhood, follow around a sex offender to take daily photos of him/her, and harass the landlord or property owner- get a fucking life. Listen to what you are saying.

There are some legitimate threats on the sex offender list but STATISTICS and FACTUAL EVIDENCE show that most sex offenses are between relatives or friends that already come in contact with each other. If you want to do something worthwhile, make sure your cousins, uncles, family friends, and babysitters are not molesting your children since this is the case in most instances.

Get a fucking life for those of you wanting to sue a sex offender for damages. On what grounds? Maybe you could be sued for being ugly, or fat, or having a shitty house in the neighborhood. It's the same thing.

Last I checked, none of you ignorant, narrow-minded, selfish, greedy assholes were perfect. There's a national housing recession and home prices are impacted across the nation, regardless of who your fucking neeighbors are. Remember five years ago when you couldn't sell your house fast enough and there weren't enough to go around, no one said a thing about sex offenders then.

Get a life, stop being greedy, use all your extra spare time to do some research and find out the truth about sex offenders, housing woes, and bad karma.

Gator McCluskey

Ignorant comments, jg. The negative effect on selling prices for real estate located near known sex offenders has been documented in at least two studies, one by a Columbia economics professor, and the other by some professors at Wright State:

http://www.wright.edu/cgi-bin/cm/news.cgi?action=news_item&id=310

Kinda makes me wonder if YOU are a sex offender...

ak11

Enjoyed reading all the comments here. Some truly off base, others more in line with my thinking. Currently living with a situation where a convicted Sexually Violent Predator wants to reunite with his wife and children (young girls) in our neighborhood. His crimes were manipulative in nature, soliciting girls on the internet and bringing them to his home for indecent acts which were video taped. We have had many negative comments by those outside our neighborhood and have already experienced a decreased quality of life as a result of his attempts to return. Our homes are worth upwards of $650K and our area has not been terribly affected by the downturn in the market. He is from a prominent, wealthy family here and I see no reason why my family should pay for his crimes. I'm sure the neighbors could file a civil suit and at least hope that the publicity would be enough to have him reconsider.

Jeff Donner

In Miami, they live under a bridge due to 2,000-feet-from-school local ordinances and the geography of Miami Beach (a narrow island), even when they have family members willing to take them in. See www.miaminewtimes.com. This is after they have served their sentences for their crimes. This amazing fact poses too many constitutional issues to list here.

For example, these local government ordinances are imposing second-sentence criminal penalties, aggrandizing the state's (State of Florida) power to set criminal sentences. After the convicts have served their time, they have a right to a roof over their heads if they can afford it or otherwise can legally obtain it (friends; relatives).

If local government politicians feel that the sentences for certain crimes are not stringent enough, their proper constitutional role would be to lobby state legislatures for stricter sentences in the first place, no? Instead, in South Florida they have enacted unconstitutional local ordinances that essentially provide that these post-sentence folks cannot live anywhere. We have cases where folks' mothers were ordered by the government to drop them off at this spot under the bridge, even when they were welcome at their mothers' homes. It will likely be a good Hollywood movie one day.

A concerned mother

It seems that most of us agree that the sex offender restrictions and laws do need to be tweaked. Far be it from any of us to think they are fair in their entirety. But I remember when sexual crimes were dirty little secrets people only whispered about. We see what grew out of that, children who grew into adults to perpetrate on others what was done to them. Plus Uncle Charley who liked kids was still left in the neighborhood because no one knew what to do with him. If the laws and restrictions against these types of crimes are now mind-bending on these guys, well we are overdue in my book.Perhaps we will ultimately come to a common ground on legislation. But think of this.If one child has to be spared the anguish of a sexual assault, because the guy thinks twice on the consequences, then I say (ok with me.)

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