Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Please Read This

This is not a post I want to do. No, I take that back, I want to do this because if I didn't and looked the other way I couldn't live with myself.

Today my husband Chuck was at work Life guarding on our city beach. He called me and asked if I remembered a man from a few years ago? His description rang a bell right away.

"Well" said my husband, " I think he's back".

This man is a convicted Sex Offender. He'd been arrested on our beach and as far as we knew, we'd seen the last of him.

Chuck told me he was keeping an eye on him. And he did. But then, he got up and swam out to one of the floats that the City puts out every summer for recreation. They are popular with kids who love to swim out and sit on them.

Chuck watched him in his binoculars, but he had to keep his eyes on his part of the beach also so he had to look away for brief moments. Then he saw a group of 9 or 10 little girls swam out. When this happened the man got up and sat in the middle of them, watching their every move. So Chuck called the Police.

When the Police arrived they took down all the information on the guy and went back to check him out, running a check on his license plate.

It was him. In the meantime it had been going on three hours that he had been on that float staring at all the many children coming and going. Chuck asked what they could do. He was told nothing. His probation is over. So the Law can't do anything until he does something again.

Do you see the error of this? Chuck was outraged. He said he wanted to get on the bullhorn and shout to all the parents on the beach, " There is a convicted Sex Offender!" and point him out. But he couldn't.

In the State of California there is Meagan's law:

Megan's Law is an informal name for laws in the United States requiring law enforcement authorities to make information available to the public regarding registered sex offenders. Individual states decide what information will be made available and how it should be disseminated. Commonly included information includes the offender's name, picture, address, incarceration date, and nature of crime. The information is often displayed on free public websites, but can be published in newspapers, distributed in pamphlets, or through various other means.

Megan's Law provides two major information services to the public: sex offender registration and community notification.

Effectiveness of Megan's Law
A December 2008 study by Kristen Zgoba Ph.D., Philip Witt Ph.D., Melissa Dalessandro M.S.W., and Bonita Veysey Ph.D. found that Megan’s Law has no effect on community tenure (i.e., time to first re-arrest), showed no demonstrable effect in reducing sexual re-offenses, has no effect on the type of sexual re-offense or first time sexual offense (still largely child molestation/incest), and has no effect on reducing the number of victims involved in sexual offenses. Wikipedia

What this means is WE, the parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles, guardians, we are responsible for our children's safety. Megan's Law only tells us that an offender lives on our street. And that would be information any parent would want to be aware of yes. But what about when your in a public place like the beach today? Would you be ok with some strange man sitting near your child? watching them? Do you know the difference between a kind person and someone who commits heinous crimes?

Parents, right now I am speaking strictly from my husbands point of view. He felt helpless today and he told me that if even one parent came up to his tower and asked about that strange man out there on the float, he would have told them. He would have said what he knew. The police didn't say he couldn't do that. But nobody came. Not one person. I know if I were healthy, I would have swam out there and acted like one of the Mom's. I would have let this man know that I am watching him.

It is summertime here in the Western Hemisphere, there are crowds everywhere, at our beach's, parks, most public places. Please, for the sake of your child,
at all times, BE AWARE.

p.s. Tommorrow I will go back to the joyful celebrating of the new babies that just arrived, Angela's new granddaughter, Miranda's first child, but for today I had to say this very important message. We have to keep the children safe.
Thank you for reading.


  1. aargh, awful! can;t understand laws which allow monsters who have the capacity to destroy the innocent, the future, in this despicable way....very poignant post lori. thank-you! xxx j

  2. Makes feel nauseas for the children.xx♥

  3. I absolutely agree with Janelle.I guess as parents we have to be alert all along and protect our kids.Hope he gets caught!!!Thanks for sharing Lori.

  4. A very, very important post, Lori...and a salutary warning to all. Thank you very much for bringing this to light.

  5. Oh, I get all fiery when I only THINK about these matters! Yes, Lori, I think I would have done that, what you said if you were healthy: swim over there, telling that man he was being watched and the police was informed that he was seeking the closeness to young children...and I surely would have added if he was not taking therapy?!!!!! Yes I KNOW it doesn`t help, and there are many of this kind - think of all the children abuse websites on the internet, there are many customers or they would not exist! And where do these men all live? In OUR vicinities! So what we as parents or child carers DO? Be with our children at all times? Well, what our elementary school kids already learn here (as sad as it sounds) is to be AWARE! To not trust everybody, to NOT go close to a car when a man is calling them, to SHOUT when someone tries to touch them. They even have courses for the children to practice these things. I think it takes away some of their innocence, but if it saves one life, it is worth it!
    Thanks Lori and Chuck for this warning!

  6. Urgh. I hate that. Can you not put posters up on the lifeguard tower with the information on?

    So angry. I hate that.

  7. This is very sad. At least you can recognize him! There are more than one guys with dubious reputation around us both in USA and in Europe. Unfortunately laws cannot always protect us. For example in my country many embezzlers are free enjoying their vacations just because there is no evidence...

  8. Great post Lori - we all know about these things but it is good to be reminded and to be extra careful. This post was very timely as we are planning a beach vacation soon.

  9. This is really scary - at least you have awareness and ways of addressing the issue of sex offenders.

    I won't even open the can of worms on sex offenders in my sunny SA!! It's sickening right through my soul.

  10. Oh Lori, thank you.

    I feel so sick reading this, and so grateful for awake and aware people such as you two.

    We have a convicted sex offender a block away. The school notified us. We, the neighborhood parents, all know who he is. And we're watching.

    Some great books to this affect are "The Gift of Fear" and other titles, by Gavin De Becker. they really opened my eyes.

    Thank you again.

  11. Very frightening!

    This is a good reminder for us all that not all adults are capable of offering our children a safe and healthy environment that they deserve. Some are simply too sick to be near them.

    So not nice Lori.
    What an awful position for Chuck to have been in.
    I'm a crap swimmer, but I probably would just have run up and down the beach shouting.... "I know what you do and who you are!!!"

    sorry to read that you're still unwell.
    Hope you feel 100% again soon.
    Blessings to you

    xx Ribbon

  12. Unfortunately things are no better in Canada. *sigh*

    I live in a 'beach' community (on a lake albeit). We see the same sort of thing.

    Good to know your Chuck has his eyes on this guy though... we all should.

  13. Lori...thanks so much for posting this. As a resident of "your town" with two kids of my own, I am reminded that even in the places we think are so safe in our little beach town, that I am still justified in being the hawk eye that I am. I am going to pass this on to the many parents I know in Carp and when we get back from our vacation I am going to pass this message on to my kids...

  14. My daughter is so friendly, the 'never met a stranger' type. Which scares me silly in these times. Thank you for this post. I already watch her like a hawk but this serves as a reminder why.

  15. Dear Lori Ann, as a mother and grandmother I don't think we can ever say too much about protecting our children. Thank you for a very timely post ~ especially during summer when kids are wearing warm weather clothing, swim suits, having fun and feeling totally carefree.

    I also loved reading your 100 things post ........

  16. How peadophiles think that their behaviour is acceptable is beyond me.
    How horribly impotent Chuck must have felt, almost enough to send for you and get you to casually mention to a passing mum....
    Do hope your starting to feel better BTW

  17. I am not a parent, but friends of mine are, and we should all help to protect "our" children. We should never look away when a child is in need of protection!
    Thank you for this very important post!

  18. My text messages aren't arriving, I think, because I'm getting replies to old ones... anyway: this is horrible news. Wait 'til I swim out to the raft and I'll give all ill-meaning weirdos some serious Italian mama attitude. Our first California night went OK, now I need to plan my journey to your neck o' the woods.

    big huge hugs,

  19. Lori, this is good advice and a timely reminder for all of us to protect our children.

  20. Maybe what Chuck could do is to also make his co-workers aware of this knowledge if he hadn't already done so. Or, post a picture in the Life Guard house. The Catch 22 here is that the perp now has more rights than the victims. It's a no win situation. I'm sure your husband did the right thing by keeping the situation under controlled surveillance preventing it from escalating into something much worse. Something tells me this is not the last you will hear of this guy. Somehow, people have to make this guys life very uncomfortable to want to be hanging around that area. Sad...very sad!

  21. Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments. Chuck did what you said Bogey, alert everyone,thanks for that.

    Today he appeared again. And sat on the float for most of the day. Once moving behind 3 teens that were laying on their stomachs facing the shore. Chuck said he sat there watching him look at them.And the girls were unaware. And we are sick. He can't do anything.

    BUT then one woman came up to report the strange man. FINALLY Chuck told her everything he knew and she ran off to tell her friends.FINALLY. Something has got to happen.

  22. Lori I'm back again and sorry to read that he's still at your beach.

    Big thank you to both you and your husband for being onto this and alerting as many people as possible.

    take care

  23. Very creepy. It sounds like you are already on your way to a solution for your beach. However, if this predator is chased of this beach, he will just move on to the next. And what about the creeps that we have no knowledge of? It really is good for parents to be alert and their children informed to move away from strange men. Thanks for posting.

  24. well said Lori - this chills my soul though; cant you put posters or handouts warning about possible human dangers without naming this man in particular?? its insane that we cant protect the young and a day at the beach takes on a new sinister overtone. what is wrong with these people???

  25. Make my stomach hurt, thinking about it.

  26. Thank you again everyone,

    we are thinking of ways we can bring this to the attention of the most amount of people in the best way. What makes it difficult is the fact that these people have rights.
    The bottom line is we need to protect our children ourselves and teach them to protect themselves.
    xxx lori

  27. how awful...i can't even imagine how your hubby felt. you're absolutely right...we have to be very cautious for the safety of our children and the elderly.

  28. Lori-I totallay understand your concern and don't want to downplay it AT ALL. But I do have a question because of a situation I know of where a teenage boy and teenage girl were involved in a mutual relationship. As a result of their actions, the teenage boy (3 months younger than the girlfriend) could have been on the sex offenders list for life. My question is... do you know what he was convicted of? Was it an adult act, etc. I'm curious to know if that kind of information is given. That said, just the fact that he is out on that float with all the kids is odd and I would be concerned as well.

  29. P L Deere,

    You've made a good point and you are right. That is where Meagan's Law is helpful. It tells everything that's known about offenders. What the crime was, identifying marks, address(if known). It's easy to get to and to search. I feel it's just better to take no chances.
    Thank you for coming over and commenting!
    Ooops Bodaat,

    it's an awful thing to write about, but necessary. And thank you for the good point about the elderly also.

  30. Thank you Lori. I agree totally. Parents need to be very very watchful and do not be afraid to remove your child if you think they need to be removed. We always worry about someone's feelings and that is exactly what these men hope that you do.

  31. Thanks Nancy,

    These are the things we don't want to be reminded of, It really makes me sad. But it's a reality,and so common :(


  32. Wow. I'da drowned the guy. Seriously.

  33. Lori this is so important as I have two sisters whose children have been affected by molesters.

    I thought these people are not allowed to be in the vicinity of children and not go where children would go. As in -- the beach.

    No one is saying that they can't go to a garbage dump and drown themselves in filth, but a beach, come off of it.

    Please thank Chuck for me too.

    Love Renee xoxo

  34. Lori Ann...

    I think this fellow has been arrested! I read in our lovely Coastal View (about 2 weeks ago) that a man fitting your description had been arrested for failure to report a new address (he was living in his car) and was reported to the police by lifeguards!

    I do hope this was him!

  35. mama,

    Yes! it was. i got worried about posting it here because the lifeguard was my husband. but you read it right, he's back in jail. we are all terribly relieved.

    i hope you and your family are having a good, and now one less thing to worry about, summer~


xoxo lori