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I went to the Megan's Law website a couple of days ago and found
out that there are two registered sex offenders living very
close to us - one lives right across the street and one lives
somewhere next to us (exact address was not given but the
location on the map was right next to us - even after zooming in)
Suddenly everything feels very different about living on our
street. I am a single mom with an eight year old daughter. We
had actually become friends with the man across the street. He
and his girlfriend bought the house about 18 months ago and they
have been the nicest neighbors. We had gotten to the point where
we take care of each other's cats when we are out of town. We
talk almost every weekend when out in the yard and my daughter
sometimes walks over to them to visit the cat or bring them a
cookie. I am so shocked to find out that he is a registered sex
offender (and the crime involves a child under 14)
I dont' know who the other offender is, but the fact that he
lives within just a few houses and is in some kind
of ''violation'' scares me.
I need some kind of perspective here. What do I do? Do I move as
quickly as possible? Am I putting my child in too big of danger
by staying here? Do I try to collect additional information and
then do some form of risk assessment? And where would I get
additional information? Or am I totally blowing it out of
proportion and I have to come to terms with the fact that sex
offenders live everywhere. (it is scary to see how many blue
boxes (locations of sex offenders) appear in the East Bay) I am
teaching my daughter the general precautions about predators but
is this enough with two offenders so close to us?
Any advice would be so appreciated.
[editor] Megan's Law website: http://caag.state.ca.us/megan/
I think that my viewpoint may be unpopular, but even people with sex offense
crimes in their history need to live somewhere and be given the chance to make a
good and useful life for themselves. Being ostracized and harrassed (not saying that
this is your intent) does not help them grow and progress. They are human beings
with a very big problem to struggle with. There are plenty of sex offenders and child
abusers who never get caught, never have to answer for their crimes, never get help
for their problem, and never show up on Megan's list.
That said, yes I would get additional information (sorry but I don't know where you'd
go to do that, maybe the probation board), and having done so would sit down with
your neighbor and his girlfriend and honestly talk about your concerns. Give him a
chance to speak for himself, and weigh his responses, Maybe make a date to talk
with him again after you've both had some time to consider further. Be completely
honest and decide what you need to do.
How scary!! I can't believe they let these guys out, much less
let them live near children. I just looked and saw that there
are at least 4 registered sex offenders living in our otherwise
nice neighborhood in Berkeley.
I am planning on calling the Berkeley Police and asking to speak
to our beat officer. Hopefully he/she can tell us what is being
done to keep on eye on these scum.
You might it helpful to try to learn more about the offender's
crimes. All opinions are available for free at
http://www.lexisnexis.com/clients/CACourts/. If he didn't
appeal, you're of luck, but it might be worth a shot. Speaking
as someone who has worked with a lot of these cases, there are
offenders and then there are offenders. Have you thought of
asking your neighbor? He is likely to be aware of the fact that
he is on the website and might welcome having a chance to talk.
As a dad and criminal defense attorney, I am conflicted about
Megan's Law. I think it is bad policy and would vote against
it, but I have also visited the website to see if there are
registered sex offenders in our neighborhood. My reaction to
your question is that you should understand that one of the
most persistent criticisms of Megan's Law is that it is
overbroad - many, many people have to register as sex offenders
for committing crimes that would not otherwise conjure up an
image of ''child molester'' in your mind. For example, a 16 year
old boy who has a sexual relationship with a 13 year old girl.
Not a good thing, sure, but much different than a 55 year old
man who molests an 8 year old girl. So the first thing I would
do is go to the courthouse where your neighbor was convicted
and ask to see his court jacket, which is public information.
Find out what exactly he was convicted of - that will make it
much easier to decide what to do next (nothing, move, confront
Well, after reading your comments. I decided to go on the site
myself. I had the same results. I found that because I entered
my address, it only showed my address on the map. What you have
to do to properly get the results you are looking for is to type
in your zip code only. Then it will display the names, pictures,
info about the crime, if they are in violation again, AND their
Living in constant fear can tear you apart, and cause a lot of
stress. The fact is that sex offenders do indeed live just about
everywhere, and the database only has those who've been caught
The truth about sex offenders is psychology has not been able to
cure them. What previously was thought of as ''curing'', turned out
to be repression that would last, on average, 10 years before
offenders started violating/predating again. The recidivism rate
is extremely high, and many of them do not believe it is wrong
(the less-brutal offenders think it's love, or they think
children have the capability to give permission). Smart offenders
learn how to say the right things to the
authorities/psychologists to be considered safe again. I feel
sorry for them, because they just do not seem to be able to rid
themselves of this curse (and thus, are a ongoing risk to others).
With this in mind, I wouldn't treat your neighbors as evil
weirdos. They are probably ''great guys'', who have a sickness. Try
to view their sickness as neutrally as possible, and know that
you must be responsible and cautious with access (however you do
not have to be in fear). Your daughter should never be alone with
these men, but you don't have to make a big deal about it - you
don't even have to let on that you know of their tendencies,
unless you want everything out in the open. Just turn down any
babysitting offers, and never complain about lack of babysitters
in their presence.
One other piece of advice - women involved with men like this,
even though they may not know CONSCIOUSLY, are also poor choices
for babysitters. They can unwittingly become enablers to their
boyfriend's behavior. Many women involved with abusers have
tendencies to turn a blind eye. Predators know who they are safe
with, both as adult partners as well as children who will remain
silent. They have an intuition which allows many of them to
fulfill upon their urges and not get caught.
This is a nice eye-opener, because you truly never know who has
the urges. I'm sure there will be other men [don't mean to have a
gender-bias, but sexual violation is primarily perpetrated by
males] in your daughter's life here and there who will have the
urges, but have never acted on them or been caught. So this is
the time to map out a plan for how you will deal with access to
your daughter - particularly access to her alone without others
around. To phrase it in ways that are age-appropriate, you might
create a rule for your daughter that she is not allowed to be
alone with any adult male, or whatever other rule seems
appropriate without giving her fear programming.
As someone who was molested by a neighbor as a young girl, I
would say that you should confront this person with the
information you found. Then tell him that you do not feel
comfortable socializing with him anymore, and that you don't
want him interacting with your daughter in ANY way in the
future. DO NOT accept any explanation he has for you about
being framed, being innocent, etc. Remember that 12 jurors
found him guilty. I would not necessarily move. Right now you
have the advantage of KNOWING he is a sex offender. You could
move into the unknown - more sex offenders that just haven't
been caught. This is a good reminder that you can't trust
anybody around your kids. I know I will be overprotective of
my kids - but the stigma attached is worth it to me. My kids
are worth it to me. Back to confronting your neighbor -
remember, he gave up the right to be treated like a decent
person when he did small kids. He's a sicko and should be
treated like it.
I am no expert on this, but a couple of responses: 1) You
mentioned your don't know the identity and exact address of the
second offender. My checking of the website for our neighborhood
showed that if you click on the blue locator dot shown on the
map, a box with name, mugshot, exact address, the crime, etc.
pops up (and yes, there are a few past offenders in our area as
well.) 2) I don't know if you own or rent and how you feel
otherwise about living there, whether this could tip the balance
for you to move, but being a homeowner in a neighborhood we like
and can afford, I would personally choose to be vigilant,
minimizing my daughter's contact with the man accross the street,
not leaving her alone, etc., without uprooting myself. I mean,
the man is likely to be reformed, and besides, nowhere is
completely without risk. But one has to watch over one's child...
Life is complicated, isn't it?
You're not alone. We just made the same unhappy
discovery--there are three just a block or so (in each
direction) away and one around the corner. My husband
and I had already decided to relocate to New England for
better schools anyway, but since our child is only 19 months
old we thought we had some time. Now we are planning a
hasty retreat because of this and other crime in our area.
Our view is that things will not improve here and there's no
reason to stay. Other places (outside of CA) are more
affordable, have better schools and over-all quality of life.
Consider the following:
First, acknowledge that such information is scary, but do not freak out.
Second: If you don't know the exact nature of the crime, then do not let
your imagination run.... just yet.
Third, if you feel you have a good enough relationship with him and his
girlfriend, sit down with them in an non-confrontational way and let them
know you saw the site. Surely, he knows this information is publicly
available and should expect neighbors to question it. His own
explanation may calm your nerves and if not, then you will at least be on
better footing to make a decision.
Fourth, be mindful that a conviction doesn't always mean that the person
committed the crime (and anyone who thinks it does is probably not a
person of color); be open to the fact that he may not have done it.
Fifth, both people did their time.
If none of this is helpful and you've decided to high-tail it out of your
neighborhood, consider the following:
1. Are you prepared to move each time a sex offender enters your new
2. Are you going to let your choice of neighborhoods, schools,
playgrounds, churches, synagogues, and other locations be governed
by this website? Because in truth, if you are afraid of the unthinkable,
couldn't it happen anywhere?
3. Does moving give you a guarantee that the person you're next door
to isn't a sex offender who hasn't been caught?
Regardless of your decision, now is the time to educate (not scare) your
children, if you have not done so already. If you have, then perhaps a
refresher course. Role playing, perhaps. Make up special ''codes'' for
friends and tell your daughter not to trust anyone who doesn't say the
code. Make up rhymes that she can remember (''if my mom's not home,
call the police on the phone,'' or ''if I'm grabbed in the night, scream and
put up a fight.'' I know those are bad, but my mom wasn't a poet.). Make
a list of ''nevers'' and stick to it: never enter an elevator alone if there is
someone else in it -- say you're waiting for a friend and let it go. Never
walk alone when it's dark, always ask a friend for a ride or escort. Never
leave home without a ''mommy-dollar:'' dollar in change to make a
phone call, etc.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that we all have to do whatever we can
to protect our children, but we cannot run away from the problems of this
century. Sex offenders are required to register, but think about the types
of former criminals who have no such requirement. Trust your gut.
Educate yourself and your children. Be cautious. React, but don't be
reactionary. Good luck.
Do you know when the crime was commited? He could have been 18
dating a 14 year old and convicted of statutory rape.Or into
boys only. I would call your local police department and see
what they can tell you about him. If it came down to it I would
go up to him and tell him flat out that you saw his name on the
megans law site and ask him about it/tell him you are conserned
about your daughters safety. At least that way he knows your
guard is up. One way or another it sounds like you need to talk
to your daughter and make her be careful not to be around him
without you. I'm sure there are nice teenage girls in your
neighborhood for your cat-sitting neccessities.
Sorry for your scare,
I am in a similar situation. I read your message, went to the
web site and discovered that my next door neighbor is a
registered sex offender. After completley freaking out, my
husband and I decided that the way to handle this was to first
talk to our neighbor with whom we have a very friendly
relationship. He was very forthcoming, told us that it
happened nearly 30 years ago, he didn't do it but he was tried
based on the testimony of the woman, his first trial ended in a
hung jury, his second trial ended in a mistrial, and the 3rd
time he could no longer afford an attorney and was convicted.
He served 3 years in prison. I still want to check his story
out but I thought he was a good person the day before I found
this out and I would like to think he still is a good person.
If his story is true then it breaks my heart that he has gone
through this. I am alarmed at the number of offenders in my
neighborhood and short of moving I just don't know what to do.
But my advice would be to talk to your neighbor and find out
the whole story.
another concerned mom
I wouldn't worry /too/ much about having sex offenders in your
street or neighborhood (and there are 36 of them within a mile of
my house, including on my street). You can move to a
neighborhood with a lower concentration of them, but you can't
guarantee that it won't be full of child molesters that hadn't
been caught yet. Most of the child molesters in my neighborhood,
and I think in general, were not convicted of child rape so it
seems unlikely that they pose that type of danger to your child.
The real danger is that they befriend your child with the purpose
to molest her. I think that's what you really need to worry
about vis a vis the neighbor you know. I would have a talk with
my child about the danger he presents and not let her go to his
house unsupervised. Personally, I would break all contact with
him - perhaps after informing him why - but you can also try
asking him about it. Of course, a man who seduced a child is
likely to be a good liar.
I found out that I have one registered sex offender on my street
(and three others within a two mile radius). The nearest offender
had apparently had forced sex with a minor under 14 as well. The
others were similar sexual violations including a rape and a
penetration with a foreign object. Definitely not the neighborly
thing one wants to see, I know.
I told my husband and of course was in panic mode, ready to hit
the road and move. He was more level headed and we decided to
drive by the homes to see where they were and then we also
printed the pictures of the offenders for our own use, just in
case one of them approached our child or a neighbors. We live
about 10-houses down from a junior high school as well, and I
thought it was illegal/wrong for such violators to be smack dab
next to children like that.
I am not going to draw attention to these guys or stake out their
homes, but I am being a bit more cautious and I can say for
certainty that we won't trick or treat there.
So, I say be cautious, but not alarmist. Keep in mind too, that
recently in Citrus Heights (near Sacramento) a concerned neighbor
printed the info s/he found on-line about her registered sex
offender neighbor and passed it to every neighbor within a two
block area. Police were not amused by the tactic and are now
looking for that person, saying that s/he had violated the civil
rights of the offender. So, remember that these folks have rights
as well, even if they are registered sexual violators.
concerned, but not manic
I don't know what town you live in but in Alameda we have at
least one full time police officer assigned to track/deal with
all the Megan's law registered offenders. I would start by
having a conversation with that person (the police officer) and
go from there.
Wow....Thanks for posting your question. Because of your post
(and the moderator's addition of the web page) I checked my
neighborhood and found that a renter across the street from us
is a registered sex offender. So here is what I plan to do.
I will tell my partner and my immediate neighbors who have
children. I will be as cordial as always (say ''hello'' on the
rare occaisions when I see him). As we never go to that house I
will do as always and continue to not go, and will never invite
him here. I will tell babysitters and friends who may watch my
children for me here or nearby. And, I will be interested in
reading what others have to say. I am glad that photos are
provided with most of the offender's profiles. I am glad that
this web page exists. Thanks again for your posting.
- watchful mother
This is a very serious issue and you could not possibly be over-reacting. I was
sexually assaulted by a neighbor when I was five. Everyone thought he was the
nicest man. Anyway, my advice is that you and your child should take the Kidpower
International class. You will never be able to make sure that you or your children are
no where near any predatory people. However, you can make sure that you and your
children know how to protect themselves and prevent harm being done to them.
Kidpower is a fabulous organization that teaches kids, teens, adult and seniors how
to avoid becoming victims and how to fight back should avoidance fail. Also, I
advise being somewhat (but not totally) truthful with your children. It would be fine
to say to your daughter, ''You can never be alone with Mr. Whateverhisnameis and
are not allowed in his house.'' If you do it without communicating fear or anger in
your voice/body to your daughter she will not be unecessarily afraid. If she asks why
just tell her it's because it's not safe. Also, you can
practice by pretending to be the neightbor, ask your daughter to come inside the
house. Then have her practice saying, ''No, I can't without my Mom/Dad.'' That by
itself, would make your daughter a lot safer. Children do what they practice not
what they are told. Anyway, look into kidpower at www.kidpower.org
As a survivor of childhood molestation, I went to the Megan's Law
website immediately to see whether one of my molestors was
listed. No such luck. In my case, molestation began with my
grandfather, continued with a nanny, an aunt, a male family
friend and also a male neighbor. I often thought something was
wrong with me, why was I preyed upon so much?
I'm sharing this with you because I believe that most of the
time, a child is hurt by someone they know and the best
protection can be open, honest lines of communication with your
child. There are ways to approach this and I'm sure someone can
direct you to books that deal with this topic.
Please keep in mind that although the website lists known,
convicted sex offenders, there could be others out there who have
stayed under the radar screen.
As much as I have been hurt, I never lost my trust in people
(only my self-confidence, unfortunately) and think that I kept my
sanity because of it.
I looked at the site for my own area and I didn't find any near
me, maybe one or two a few blocks away - I probably wouldn't
recognize them if I saw them on the street and I personally
wouldn't want to look for them. I do plan to speak again with my
son (8) about inappropriate touching, etc.
I'm glad you mentioned this. It's always good to remember to talk
to your children about life's hazards...
Sometime ago, I read Gavin de Becker's ''Protecting the Gift,''
when he was making the rounds and his book was garnering a lot
of attention. ''Protecting the Gift'' is essentially a treatise
on childrearing in the age of the internet, molestators, Amber
Alerts, and the like. The essence of this book, or at least
what I recall from its many pages in their most distilled form,
is, as a parent, ''TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.'' You are in a tough
situation, and do not mention what other options are available
to you in the way of living situations and/or moving, but
knowing what you know, I would put all other considerations as
secondary to the health and safety of my daughter and my own
peace of mind. We need to handle so many risks as a parent,
why tolerate something so very dangerous in your own front
yard? Best of luck with your decision and best wishes for your
safety and that of your daughter.
thanks for sharing your situation
Given how much contact you currently have with your neighbor, I
would call the local police asap, if you haven't already and
talk with them about the person's crime such as when the crime
happened and any other important information/details. Ask the
police - are we in danger given what you know about this
individual? You have a legal right to know more - and more
information is public just not on the web site. If the police
won't help you much over the phone (which I would find
surprising), it may take a trip to the courts to look at
records, which are public. And then you might have to deal with
the information you learn, such as talking to your neighbor or
severing the relationship. Tough stuff.
As for the neighbor who is ''in violation,'' it's unclear to me
what that means. They are supposed to register every year. Maybe
the person did something wrong. But the fact that you only have
a zip code and not a street address means that the state
believes his crimes were less serious or he's less a threat.
I feel your pain. Like many who live in the more ''affordable''
areas of Oakland/Berkeley, we too discovered we have a lot of
sex offenders in our neighborhood, more than the two we knew
about on our street. Move? Not an option for us. From looking at
the maps and what I know of real estate, I think it would take
at least 700K to buy a house in a neighborhood in the
Oakland/Berkeley area that doesn't have a hefty concentration of
Besides, the group Parents For Megan's Law remind people that
kids are most likely to be abused by trusted adults, not
stranger abductions. And for many of the people listed, the list
itself may act as a deterrent - they know you now know (although
I'm unaware of any studies on this).
We decided to be more aware, more cautious and raise our kids
with skills for steering clear of bad situations.
I looked up Meghans Law online as well. I discovered a
registered sex offender living down the road from a friend (as
well as an elementary and high school). I immediately notified
my friend who was fully aware of the situation and the story.
Turns out he had a relationship with his step daughter over 20
years ago (he is now long time married but a very suppotive
wife, never offended since). Not ideal but also not the
pedeophile I immediately assumed.
You could try asking your neighbor his story.
Your email kind of freaked me out! Thanks for posting the
Megan's Law website so I could take a look at my East Bay
If I was in your situation I would gauge my response by what
you have a sense of - has your male neighbor taken an unusual
interest in your child, long stares, comments made etc. Then I
would NOT have this person feed my cats/be in my home when you
are not there. I would make mention of the situation in an age
appropriate way with your child, and give her the ''talk'' (no
one should ever touch you, your private parts are yours, etc.).
Do you feel comfortable raising the subject with his wife? With
him - letting him know that you know? You could say, ''a friend
pointed out the web-site and your home address/area on it...
and it looks like you are a registered sex offender.'' Then wait
for him to reply. Be straightford, and clear about your intent
(you know, and you have clear expectations).
Your daughter's well-being could be at stake, and you never
know what could happen if you DIDN'T say anything.
I wish you all the luck in figuring this situation out.
The sex offender thing sounds very scary, and it is a good thing
to know. Don't get too afraid, though. The one has been a
neighbor and it sounds like one you have liked. Guess what, sex
offenders are people too. How do I know? I was married to one.
Loved him dearly - still do. If this is a registered offender,
you can feel safer than if it was just your neighbor, or your
husband, that you knew nothing about! It means that offender is
in the system, has been charged with a crime, has been in
counseling, is still under the scrutiny of authorities and
conscious of his inappropriate actions. I would think it might
be a good idea to be open with these neighbors about what you
know. Maintain a friendly relationship. Ask about it. If you
have anger about any of your own past experiences, express it. I
know that in the case of my ex that he is trustable. One of his
greatest supports in healing and overcoming his unfortunate
attraction to children has been a loving community of support.
Believe me, this guy didn't choose the attraction. He did choose
the action, however, and must be made accountable. This does not
make him a monster, however, as long as he is available to be
honest and clear. There is a huge range of offenders. None of
these offenses are good. Nonetheless, there is possibility for
healing and correction. I believe, after my own experience, that
it is necessary to acknowledge the individual as a whole - the
bad and the good. Think about how you could have actually liked
someone who could be guilty of such a thing. Realize that there
is likability and goodness and worthiness there. Do not be blind
or ignorant, just open. I hope this is helpful.
In response to one of the many responses (parents of 19 month
old moving to New England): Moving to New England (or anywhere
else for that matter) does not mean you are moving away from sex
offenders, or potential sex offenders. California's law merely
makes us more aware of SOME of them - and I feel that is a good
thing. So move if you'd like, but don't kid yourself. (And I
won't even get into a discussion about your comments on the
relative quality of schools and life - as you can read that
discussion in other entires on this list serve).
Sign me - Watchful mom who likes our schools and quality of life just fine
Ever since moving to North Berkeley I have intended to check
police files on known sex offenders in the area. I did get
around to telephoning the police department, but I was put off
by the process, which seemed a bit bureaucratic. Now, with all
the awful stories of child abduction and abuse in the news, I'm
feeling like I should do my due diligence. I'm wondering if
someone who has sought to obtain information about known sex
offenders through ''Megan's Law'' provisions could tell me: is
the process for obtaining information tedious? Is the
information you got useful and informative? Is it just names and
addresses? What did you do with the information you received?
[no replies received]
There's been some info on the news perhaps 6 months ago concerning
Megan's Law, which allows one to go down to your local police station to
find out the location of sex offenders in your area. On the local TV
news, they announced that this system was now in place. However, my
police station didn't have the info yet available (Orinda) and told me
to obtain the info at the county level in Martinez. In a separate
newspaper article, the listings could be found [I
think] through the Justice Department -- which seemed a little difficult
to procure. The Orinda police said that they thought the Berkeley had
their system up and running. There's some controversy about the
"rights" of privacy for these offending individuals, but with this Law
perhaps you can obtain some peace of mind... If anyone else knows or has
been successful in obtaining info through Megans' Law, I'm sure everyone
at this site would be interested in hearing about it!
To the parent who was looking for Megan's law information: California
has a "Megan's law homepage":
Hope that helps!
After 6 months of putting it off I finally went and reviewed the Megan's
Law database for Alameda County last week (it's a pretty distasteful
experience..) I am an Albany resident, the Albany Police Dept. referred
me to the Alameda County Sherrif's Office in San Leandro. I called the
Alameda Sherrif's number listed in the blue pages, asked about Megan's
Law and they put me through to the right person who gave me directions
and information about hours. I was
interested to learn if there were any "offenders" living near me, as it
turns out the system is more useful if there is a specific person you
are concerned about (and you know their name.) The most specific I
could get about my neighborhood was by zip code -- I learned that there
are 7 offenders in my zip code, their names, offenses, and what they
looked like (color pictures -- very creepy) but not where they lived.
The woman who usually supervises the system was out to lunch, had she
been there she may have been able to give me more tips about how to get
more specific information, but I was told that they do not give out
addresses. At Alameda, be prepared for a frustrating wait, but the
women who finally helped me were very nice. I didn't exactly get the
information I was looking for, but am glad I did it. Plan to do
something fun afterwards, it's a pretty depressing exercise.
Regarding Megan's Law, I was able to access the database at, of all
places, the State Fair in Sacramento. The Attorney General's office had
a booth in one of the exhibition buildings where, after filling out some
paperwork, their staff would help you look up offenders in your zip
code. So I found out there were two in my part of Berkeley; one name I
recognized as belonging to a family at the end of my street! I was able
to find out from the BPD that his offenses were far in the past, which
made me feel much better. It's definitely useful information.
I'm a catching up on some back issues of the UCB Parents newsletter and
wanted to add to the discussion of Megan's Law (keeping in mind that these
are my *opinions* and that many may disagree with them). Megan's Law may
reflect well on the legislators who enacted it but I have to wonder if
these kinds of laws give the public a false sense of security. The fact is,
something like 75%-90% of child sexual abuse is committed by relatives or
friends, not by the big-bad strangers that would be listed in a registry of
known sex offenders. Besides, a sexual predator can easily -- and probably
will -- prey on children outside of their zip code or notification zone.
From what I understand, it is the sexual offenders of the very worst kind
-- the ones deemed by experts as most likely to commit crimes again in the
future -- who must be listed in the registry. One has to wonder why such
individuals are being released into the public in the first place!
Shouldn't our legislators re-evaluate sentencing laws rather than merely
listing felons in a registry? Then there is the issue of cooperation by
convicted sex offenders. Although they are required to do so, not all sex
offenders register. Or if they do, what's to stop the felon from listing a
All of which is to say that the best way to protect our children is to
teach them safety rules in a non-frightening way, to supervise them
apppropriately and to make our children feel that they can be open with us
about their feelings and experiences. Of course, these are very difficult
(impossible?) things to do and may be why something like Megan's Law which
seems so fact-based -- so black-and-white -- offers the community comfort
(false though it is).
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