Monday, February 15, 2010

NE: Low-Risk Sex Offender Harassed Low-Risk Sex Offender Harassed.

A man says his neighbors have turned on him after Nebraska's state law changed. The new law requires information about all sex offenders to be made public online, not just those considered high-risk to re-offend. The change in Nebraska law January 4th put Jeff's face on a Web site and it didn't take long for neighbors to notice. “I have a friendly neighbor in the neighborhood and she calls me up and says people are passing your picture around the neighborhood.”

That was just the beginning. In the 45 days since the law has changed, Jeff has come home and found threatening notes taped to his front door. The message was move or suffer. “A couple of other ones were really vulgar, talking about what people would like to do to me, removing body parts.” His teenage children have also found them. “There's my picture off the Internet with a message that's too vulgar to say on TV of what this person wants to do to me because I'm a pedophile in their mind and it's taped to my son's truck."

His situation sums up arguments on both sides of the debate. Some say exposing people like Jeff makes neighborhoods safer. Jeff says the law just makes it difficult to find the most dangerous and he is not one of them.

Jeff has notified the police. He does not know who made the threats and so at this point no charges have been filed. It's illegal to retaliate against individuals on the registry, their family members or employers. The law is very clear about that. Vandalism or threats are illegal and will be prosecuted.