Sex offender list needed now

| 04/11/2011

Sex_Offender1 (268x300).jpg(CNS): Local activist Sandra Catron says the latest sexual assaults demonstrate the need for a sex offender’s register in Cayman. She said the latest victims of suspected serial rapist Jeffery Barnes could have been saved if the register had been in place. Catron said that, given his distinctive look, if the victims had been armed with more information they may have been more vigilant and alert to the danger he posed. “This particular suspect already has several convictions for sexual offences and would have been the ideal candidate for the registry,” said the activist, who has campaigned for the register for several years.

The public register that Catron has envisioned would include sex offenders’ photos, descriptions, identifying marks and previouscrimes.

“The idea is that the registry provides needed information on offenders and arms the general public with the knowledge of who these people are so that they can be avoided, as knowledge is power,” Catron said. "I just that I hope that this case will be the catalyst to finally let the authorities see the usefulness of a sex offenders registry and finally it will be picked up by the MLAs.”

Earlier this week in the wake of Barnes’ arrest, Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden said the RCIPS was in support of the sex offenders register but it was a policy decision that wasn’t his to make. He said that while the police do keep details of offenders, this is not open to the public.

Catron submitted her petition to Franz Manderson (now the deputy governor) for the register more than a year ago in October 2010 but says she has heard nothing since. She believes, however, that there is still overwhelming public support and hopes any objections can be overcome and the register finally established.

Although the register has gained support there are still concerns that identifying the offenders may also identify victims as most cases of sexual assault in Cayman occur between relatives. While Catron admitted that on an island this small it’s a possibility, she believes educating the public about not stigmatizing victims could address that issue.

She also noted that some of the suggestions on the petition regarding the issue were adopted into the last Children’s Law amendment, such as mandatory reporting.
Frustrated by the unexplained hold-up, Catron says she can see no legal block to creating a register with just convicted offenders as all of that information is already public and merely needs to be collated.

“It’s ironic to ask the public to help the police on the one hand but then seemingly advocating a cloak of silence on the other,” she added.

During the most recent attacks, Catron said, every woman in the community was at risk, even young children, and she urged the authorities to establish the register and begin education campaigns.

“The scourge of rape and sexual abuse does not stop with the one victim but has lasting implications for all members of our community and we have to take a proactive approach to stopping this violence in our community,” Catron added

Category: Crime

Comments (25)

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  1. Alan Nivia says:

    A sex offenders list will have no positive value.  This lists are base and populist – so great for the bandwagon "local campaigners" of the world.  But they do nothing to prevent crime, undermine rehabilitation efforts thus leading to the risk of more crimes and increases the risks of violent incidents involving attacks on those on the list.  The reality is that these lists increase crimes and do nothing to protect the vulnerable.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree that there should be a register for sex offenders in Cayman.  I would also hasten to add that counselling should be given to all offenders primarily those who were themselves victims of such a violent act.  I am comforted by the knowledge that our government is doing everything in their powers to keep young offenders in a separate unit and no longer house them with older hard core offenders.  In many instances young men sent to prison were abused by older prisioners and when they are finally released into society they carry that hurt and anger out on the street to terrorize people as they had been terrorized.  We as a society had better wake up and address the real issues before it's too late.

  3. Loopy Lou says:

    More crass opportunism.  No register would have had any effect on these crimes.  Tying the two together is a disgrace.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ok a list is ok….But what purpose would it serve? So you know their name….Then you know where they live too? Do we get to know what they look like? Then are they monitored by a bracelet for their movements? How do we know these individuals aren't lurking arounds the preschools, primary and high schools? How can the list resolve that?

     

    I personally believe that the Cayman Prison system is not fit to deal with Sexual Offenders and should not have to deal with them.  I believe that these offenders should be dealt with by our mother country.  If they want to impose all these requirements on us, then by gosh get mother country to deal with our problems.  If that means shipping them off island, then so be it!

    • Anonymous says:

      What happens when mother country says no – deal with your own criminals?

      • Anonymous says:

        Then we should create harsher laws.  If the mother country does not want to help does that mean we can bring the death penalty back and hanging? 

        Make it public hanging.  Charge the public to see it happen, that way you could fund the prison through the ticket sales of the community paying to see the people hanged. 

        A gruesome idea, but it is an idea.

         

        That will probably not work.  Maybe we can sell our prisoners to other countries, that need cheap labour…..That may work.  The criminal is transported to purchasing country for the terms of the sentence. Of course it will be hard labour and the purchasing country has to sign that they will do their best to ensure they are returned alive, however it is not necessary……

        • Anonymous says:

          'Charge the public to see it happen, that way you could fund the prison through the ticket sales of the community paying to see the people hanged.'?

          'sell prisoners'?  'purchasing country'? '….they will do their best to ensure they are returned alive….'?

          Who on this earth are you – maybe you are not and should not be on this earth?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the comments that rape has lasting effects on the community.

    I would dare to say rape, especially the rape of children, is the main cause Cayman is the ness it is in today.  We hid the child molesters under the rug and forgave the rapist. But guess what? They did not stop.? They continued and left a path of damage and destruction in their wake. Broken homes, broken spirits, nightmares, panic attacks, whispers behind the survivors back, fear of men (or women), relationship problems, health problems, depression, addiction problems….the list is endless.

    I would love to see some statistics on who many inmates were sexually abused as children.  I bet the number would be high.  And no that does not mean we pat them on the head and let them out and feel sorry for them.  They are adults and are well aware of what they were doing when they did it. In fact, the overseas statistics indicate by the time they are caught that they have raped way, way more that the one they are now in court for.

    Having said that not all survivors of rape turn out to be monsters, some become good parents, productive members of the community, sometimes even advocates for people who were victimized. But look at them good.  They are never the same. Those people live with those memories everday of their lives and it has forever changed the way the look at many things and how they behave.

    So yes, they should at the very lest be put on a registry to have to live with the disgrace of what they did for the rest of their miserable lives. If the victim has to face it everyday so should the rapist. 

    Sick of Cayman's attitude toward rapist.  Seen it too many times and nothing was ever done. There are more rapist on the street who have never been charged than there are in the Cayman prison.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Forget the registry.

    They should be sent on a one way trip to the hangman's noose. 

    A survivor of rape will never be the same.  Some recover better than others but they are never the same.  Something is stolen that will never be replaced.

    You cannot refund a child's innocence by jail time, "I'm sorry", or forgivness. But you can ensure that particular rapist will never bother anyone again, if they are no longer alive. And it let the rest of the scum know what they will get if/when they rape.

  7. Anonymous says:

    —-and the same for tramps and drunks with a tattoo on the forehead.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Presumably the list will include those who are found to have posted sexually offensive websites against individuals they dislike? And another list for those who have threatened childrens’ lives?

  9. Anonymous says:

    The sticking point to Sandra's petition would likely be point 7 on her petition:

    7. Work with international agencies to make sure that all visitors/residents are subjected to both domestic and international policing and checks

     

    To check every tourist arrivng via land or sea would require a worldwide database. I am not sure if that exists at this time.  With more than 200,000 combined air and sea arrivals in peak tourist season is it even realistic to be able to run local and international checks on all of them? Would INTERPOL tolerate about 7000 requests per day to check tourists? A sex offender registry is a noble goal, just not sure that this one particular point could be accomplished at this time.

  10. peter milburn says:

    I do agree with Sandra on this but hasten to add that in many other countries Rape is considered a life sentence for even the first offence as is armed robbery etc.Anything to do with weapons during robbery or rape is life!!!!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    We should also have a registered nuiscance wannabe politician list.

    Yes I am a man

    Sandra Catron please explain how this 'could have prevented' this attack?

    Where is your substantiation for this?

    This is exactly the reason these things must be reasoned taking into account our community.  Just because you say it, does not mean it is true.

    Why stop at sex offenders, why dont we have a list for all ex criminals, gays lesbians or whatever.  And PLEASE dont think it is just women that are abused or sexually harrassed.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Cayman wake up and listen to the words of Mrs Catron. She has always spoke sense and will continue to speak sense. However those in authority run away from the sense and the truth Mrs Catron speaks about. Well done Mrs Catron you are a National Hero for sure.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Seems like a no-brainer to me! What's the delay?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Couldn't we just tattoo "sex offender" on their forheads and prohibit them from wearing hats?

  15. Anonymous says:

    What we really need is much more severe sentences and a 2 strikes and your out policy like the Viewpoint posted yesterday says. That will keep them off the street and provide far more protection that an registry but I do support the registry concept for the period between the first offence and the second when they should go away for life.