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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, August 13, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesWhat Happened to the Bill to Combat Sexual Crimes?

What Happened to the Bill to Combat Sexual Crimes?

Dear Source:
The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children And Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act was passed on 9-13-94. The territory has received federal funding since 1994 for a mandated public online access to registered sexual offenders. The entire act/bill can be viewed on the U.S. Department of Justice website.
The Source published an article in May of 2001 outlining a passed bill allowing (passed at the eleventh hour by the 22nd legislature) the online site and keeping the federal money flowing for site 'maintenance'. The link to the article can be accessed here
It would seem a project with an act passed in September 1994, and mandated completion September 1997 to avoid losing federal funding would be completed 12 years later, especially since a bill was passed mandating such.
Senator Davis presented a bill, and the bill ultimately passed in the 27th Legislature, for an additional $100,000 to accomplish the site/task. In November 2008 the DOJ received $679,000, of that $194,998 was earmarked to fund the 'The Sex Offender, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking Office'. In accordance with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, the grant was to provide for the 'enhancement' of the territory's current sex offender registration and notification programs that support compliance with the Sex Offender Notification and Registration Act. According to AG Frazer (AVIS article March 19 2008 and in sworn testimony on the Senate floor March 17 2008) his 'hesitance' in the past to make a sexual registry an available document is a result of the ambiguity of the statute and that his intent is to make an open and full access list through a clear and understandable law. Frazer also stated the Adam Walsh Act requires that every state and territory create public access to their on line registry by July of 2009. Please note, this site, once available on line will also be utilized for identifying incoming registered sexual predators entering the territory. We have seen evidence in several extraditions of predators getting into the territory and being caught only after they prey on our children in the territory.
I have been in contact with Attorney Monica Carbon from the Ag's office who has been hired to work with the board in ironing out the current Sexual Offender Registration Law. She has told me we will not be in compliance by the July 2009 mandated date.
I am asking the Committee on Public Safety, Homeland Security and Justice in addition to the chair on Appropriations and Budget, to follow the money trail as to how much was received in a 12 year period and if it was used for what the money was intended and identify where we need to be on this process to assure compliance for future funding and to make the on line access a reality for all in the territory. I am asking our Governor to appoint two members to the board so it may function as intended.
Bottom line, who is it exactly we are protecting?
Jill Lange
Christiansted, St. Croix

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to visource@gmail.com.

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Dear Source:
The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children And Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act was passed on 9-13-94. The territory has received federal funding since 1994 for a mandated public online access to registered sexual offenders. The entire act/bill can be viewed on the U.S. Department of Justice website.
The Source published an article in May of 2001 outlining a passed bill allowing (passed at the eleventh hour by the 22nd legislature) the online site and keeping the federal money flowing for site 'maintenance'. The link to the article can be accessed here
It would seem a project with an act passed in September 1994, and mandated completion September 1997 to avoid losing federal funding would be completed 12 years later, especially since a bill was passed mandating such.
Senator Davis presented a bill, and the bill ultimately passed in the 27th Legislature, for an additional $100,000 to accomplish the site/task. In November 2008 the DOJ received $679,000, of that $194,998 was earmarked to fund the 'The Sex Offender, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking Office'. In accordance with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, the grant was to provide for the 'enhancement' of the territory's current sex offender registration and notification programs that support compliance with the Sex Offender Notification and Registration Act. According to AG Frazer (AVIS article March 19 2008 and in sworn testimony on the Senate floor March 17 2008) his 'hesitance' in the past to make a sexual registry an available document is a result of the ambiguity of the statute and that his intent is to make an open and full access list through a clear and understandable law. Frazer also stated the Adam Walsh Act requires that every state and territory create public access to their on line registry by July of 2009. Please note, this site, once available on line will also be utilized for identifying incoming registered sexual predators entering the territory. We have seen evidence in several extraditions of predators getting into the territory and being caught only after they prey on our children in the territory.
I have been in contact with Attorney Monica Carbon from the Ag's office who has been hired to work with the board in ironing out the current Sexual Offender Registration Law. She has told me we will not be in compliance by the July 2009 mandated date.
I am asking the Committee on Public Safety, Homeland Security and Justice in addition to the chair on Appropriations and Budget, to follow the money trail as to how much was received in a 12 year period and if it was used for what the money was intended and identify where we need to be on this process to assure compliance for future funding and to make the on line access a reality for all in the territory. I am asking our Governor to appoint two members to the board so it may function as intended.
Bottom line, who is it exactly we are protecting?
Jill Lange
Christiansted, St. Croix

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to visource@gmail.com.