Colorado Springs Independent in Colorado-Springs, Colorado 17 Feb 2005
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Colorado Springs Independent (Newspaper) - February 17, 2005, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado a sex offenders face some of the toughest Laws in the country. But How just is the system by Michael de Yoanna Douglas Hugh Chadwick did the unthinkable. The 45-year-old father after a night of drinking got in bed with his 15-year-old daughter at his Colorado Springs Home and sexually assaulted her. He was arrested found guilty and spent five years in state prison. Derick Meggison 19, did something stupid. During a verbal confrontation with three women acquaintances Meggison fully clothed grabbed his Crotch and said something crude. One of the women called the police and Meggison was booked for Public indecency. Meggison and Chadwick share a common Bond they Are convicted sex offenders. By state Law they Are required to Register on Colorado a sex offender registry a list of the 8,173 people who have been convicted of a sex crime. The list includes 7,013 men 967 boys 148 women and 45 girls and represents a figure that has More than doubled since 1998. That year Colorado Laws were dramatically reshaped to create some of the toughest in the nation. Today roughly 1,000 registered sex offenders live in Colorado Springs. Regardless of the severity of their crimes or whether they were sentenced to prison each is subjected to nearly identical rigorous testing monitoring and Public scrutiny. Many of Colorado a convicted offenders have committed heinous crimes notes Colorado Bureau of investigation agent in charge Steve Johnson. And he said with few exceptions they will remain throughout their lives a threat to Public safety and in need of close supervision. A a they re certainly the most High risk offenders in the Community a Johnson said. However a growing number of professionals have reservations about a system that lumps together the most serious offenders with those whose crimes were far less severe. A the net has been cast so broadly that we be snared people who quite honestly be considered sex offenders a said Bill Martinez a Public defender who has represented juvenile sex offenders in Colorado Springs. Denver defense attorney Phil Cherner says the sex offender lists a which Are open to Public scrutiny a Are mean spirited. He notes that there Are no databases stating where Bank robbers shoplifters or even murderers live. A the whole concept is ideological a Cherner said. A there Are so Many sex offenders land you Don t learn anything by finding out where they Are. They re All around Ray Leidig a forensic psychiatrist with More than four decades of experience working with sex offenders in Colorado and Washington likens this states monitoring and treatment regimen of sex offenders to George Orwell a novel about thought control 1984. A the disturbing thing is that the continued on pm. 14 in Independent feb. 17-23,2005
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