This e-mail is to inform you that DAMIAN BERNARDO GARCIA , DOB: 02/15/1982 has been removed from the Florida Sexual Offender Registry
By Chris Joseph
By Chris Joseph
By Allie Conti
By Chuck Strouse
By Chris Joseph
By Chris Joseph
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
On a blue, sun-soaked Saturday in December 2007, Valerie Parkhurst's white Suburban took the asphalt at a purposeful creep past the blocks of modest ranch homes between Griffin Road and 595. The city of Davie was still blue-collar at the core, but the edges were going. Here, you'd see an unruly lawn; there, a jaundiced house front crying out for a new coat of paint. Back when Parkhurst was a single mom in the '70s and '80s, it was all good ol' boys, pickups filling every driveway. Everyone knew everyone — or at least thought they did. That was before the sex offender registry revealed the boogeymen down the street.
The same cheap real estate that lured young families had also brought the "freaks," "the sick fucks," and "the worthless examples of human DNA," as Parkhurst would call them. Rapists. Child molesters. Kiddie porn fiends.
Parkhurst had anointed herself a one-woman line of defense for the 33314 ZIP code. "I didn't choose this fight," she was fond of saying. "It chose me."
It didn't have exactly the same adrenaline kick as her usual sport, knocking through the Everglades harpooning gators. But every morning, she scrolled through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's sex offender database to see whether any criminals had been released into her neighborhood. She checked news stories about offenders striking again. In her mind, every name was a possible time bomb ticking down to the next boom. Her job was to publicize where these scumbags lived so good people could steer clear.
She pulled into the parking lot of a yellow two-story apartment complex and killed the engine. Dressed in cotton drawstring capri pants and a white T-shirt, Parkhurst, then 52, moved from car to car, slipping fliers underneath windshield wipers. They warned neighbors that Dale Weeks had been convicted of sexual battery and imprisonment in 1995 — the latest entry in a criminal career including battery and grand theft. He was such a sicko that he requested the police evidence photos of his victim's genitals.
A chunky Hispanic woman approached Parkhurst and asked what she was doing. Parkhurst spotted a husky guy with graying hair pop out from one of the apartments — Weeks. Parkhurst sensed the two were an item. "I'm just telling you," she said in her tough-gal voice, "that we want him out."
Two hours later, Parkhurst was hunting a Davie side street for another bad guy. In her rearview mirror, she noticed a Chevy Lumina riding her bumper. Weeks was riding shotgun; his girlfriend was behind the wheel.
Oh, Valerie thought, they wanna play.
The street dead-ended. The Lumina behind her, Parkhurst was trapped. She tossed the Suburban into park and hopped out.
"Are you following me?" she shouted. "Move your fucking car! You're a convicted sex offender. You'll go to jail for this shit."
"You no good fucking bitch," Weeks growled and moved from the car, Parkhurst remembers.
Her 9mm Glock was tucked on the floor, as always. She ripped it from the Velcro holster, squared up in a two-handed range stance, a trigger pull away from standing her ground.
Weeks' woman was pulling at his side. When the two retreated back to their car and inched it back, Parkhurst did the same. But the Lumina halted. The passenger door shot back open.
Oh fuck me, Parkhurst thought.
This time, she emerged from her car with a 20-gauge Remington automatic shotgun. "I've got no problem killing you," she announced.
By the time officers arrived to cuff Parkhurst for aggravated assault with a firearm and carrying a concealed gun without a license, both parties had cooled and were sitting in their vehicles.
This high-noon suburban standoff caused a minor rumble in the local media. But to a small but intense niche scattered across the country, it gave Parkhurst hero status. In online forums where they religiously gathered, vigilantes and sex offender watch groups cheered Parkhurst by her online handle, "the Valigator." She'd faced down the bad guy without blinking. "I should have put a bullet through his head," she'd say later.
But for every one of these hardliners, there was an equal and opposite force. Another group was emerging — people who dared to stand up for sex offenders, arguing that they'd done their time and paid their price to society. Yet the sex offender registry — an indignity faced by no other type of criminal — left them ostracized, sometimes unfairly and often for life. It eliminated any hope of rehabilitation or reintegration into society. The registry needed to be reformed, they argued.
Both the hardliners and the reformers say the current system of sex offender management is flawed — but they have radically different ideas about what should be changed. These opposing groups are embroiled in an intense, ugly face-off about whether the lowest of society's low should have more rights — or almost none at all.
Only 40 miles to the north of the Valigator, another suburban mom was quickly becoming a flag bearer for the opposite team.
Gail Colletta, a blond marketing executive, hadn't even had time to change out of the oversized T-shirt she wore to bed when the knock came at the door of her Boynton Beach villa in July 2009. Her husband, Julius, was in the shower. After a tense run of sleepless nights, Alex, her 21-year-old son, was finally passed out in bed. She saw a caravan of police cars. One of the neighbors must need help, she thought.
Half a dozen cops in black protective vests streamed into the house. One spat lingo at her, words like "search warrant," "IP address," "guns or ammunition." One phrase stuck out.
" 'Child pornography'?" Gail repeated. "Are you kidding me?"
From his bedroom just off the front hallway, Alex shouted: "It's on my computer!"
As his parents anxiously sat at the kitchen table, Alex was locked away with detectives in the spare bedroom. The student admitted that for the past four months, he'd been using Limewire to download music onto his Dell laptop. Over three days in late May, he'd used search terms like "4yo" to hunt out child pornography. After a few clicks, the program piled the files into his default download folder. With titles like "MafiaSex.Ru_Children_Kids_Hards_000293_ChildPorn_Collection_1_Pussy_Illegal_Preteen_Underage_Lolita_Kiddy_Child_Incest_XXX_Porno_Gay_Fuck_YOUng_Naked_Nude_Little_Girl(1).jpg," the items were already logged in the Internet Crimes Against Children database. Palm Beach County law enforcement easily tracked the content to the family's IP address. Alex was booked on 49 counts of possessing photographs of sexual performances by a child.
For the Collettas, the arrest was the latest terrible flare-up of the mental health issues Alex had been wrestling for a decade. An adoptive child growing up in Boca Raton, their boy had been a slightly geeky teacher's pet. But when Alex was 16, Gail and Julius divorced. During a six-week stretch in 2004, Alex tried to kill himself three times. The doctors diagnosed him with bipolar disorder, and Alex was handed a pharmacy shelf of medications.
The pills didn't work. Eventually, the family transferred Alex from Boca Raton High School to a tough-love-style military school in Utah. He graduated, but the manic-depressive seesawing continued.
In September 2008, Gail and Julius reunited, bought the house, and brought Alex home to live while he took biotech classes. That helped — his moons of depression had been coming less and less.
Following the arrest in July 2009, news crews were at the gate asking for interviews. Alex's mug shot — showing a handsome kid with a shaved dome and jutting ears — was plastered in the newspapers. Family members slept on his floor at night, scared he'd make good on a fourth suicide attempt.
Alex claimed the download was a one-time, sleep-deprived whim. Gail knew he was just a troubled young man, not a predator. So when the prosecution offered a deal — five years of prison, five years of probation — the family balked. They figured the judge would show mercy — maybe give him house arrest and treatment.
She hated the idea of a son stuck on the registry. The person disappeared behind the label. It was a lesson she personally learned. Between 8 and 14, Gail had been sexually abused by members of her family. She coped by refusing to let one piece of her experience — her victimization — define her. And here her son was facing a punishment that could strip him clean of everything except the fallout of a single mistake.
It seemed like a safe enough bet. A risk assessment concluded: "Available information indicates that Mr. Colletta will present minimal risk to the community." But in the end, it was naive thinking.
"We have all this evidence that there's no risk here, that this isn't a guy who's going to go out and rape a child," Gail says. "I thought they were going to send him home for a year of house arrest and send him to counseling."
On October 29, 2010, in a Palm Beach County courtroom, Alex pleaded guilty, hoping for leniency. Judge Amy Smith handed Alex ten years in prison followed by 15 years of probation — still less than the 16 to 150 years he might have faced at a jury trial. As with anyone convicted of a sex crime, the sentence came with an automatic lifetime on the sex offender registry. When the words hit Gail, she lunged at the victorious prosecutor. Julius had to hold her back. Gail fainted in the courthouse hallway.
She took to bed for the next five months. When she finally found the strength to get up, Gail began making phone calls trying to find a way to get justice for her son — who'd made a mistake, yes, but received the same punishment as a violent offender. She discovered the Florida Action Committee, a support system for families of sex offenders. Members mostly laid low; activism could cost them jobs or put them in the crosshairs of vigilantes.
But Colletta didn't have much to lose. Her family name had already been splashed across the nightly news. In July 2011, she became the group's president and began knocking on the doors of legislators.
Specifically, Colletta wanted to see more latitude in the punishment of sex offenders. Based on individual risk assessments, judges should be able to exempt low-risk offenders from the registry, she argued. Also, there needed to be more education — computer users needed more warning that a one-time download of child porn could ruin a person's life. And anyone who felt a sexual attraction to children ought to have access to therapy.
But in a tough-on-crime land like Florida, Gail's pitch was a tough sell.
"She's a sex offender diva," Parkhurst says of Colletta. "She's got her son who went down for child porn, and then now all of a sudden, she's an expert on sex offender crime? What school did she go to other than the raid on her house?"
Parkhurst dismisses anyone pushing for reform of the sex offender registry — the "pro-offender divas" or "registry abolitionist" crowd. She says the only sympathizers are convicted criminals and their girlfriends.
"It's a motley crew of slithering sex offenders and the girls who are banging them," Parkhurst says. "They're self-serving for doing it. They don't like the punishment. As far as I'm concerned, the registry is a fricking Christmas gift to these guys. They could be sitting in a five-by-seven cell."
Sex offender registries began with the 1994 Jacob Wetterling Act, a federal law that directed each state to keep a list of sex offenders for law enforcement. 1996 saw the passage of Megan's Law, which mandated states share these lists with the public. Florida was the first state to put the information online, in 1997.
Under Florida's law, people convicted of sex crimes are split into two group, predators and offenders. "Predators" include repeat offenders, or those convicted of violent first-degree crimes like kidnapping, false imprisonment, sexual battery, lewd/lascivious offenses on someone under 16, or selling or buying minors for child pornography.
All other sex crimes — for example luring or enticing a child, unlawful sexual activity with certain minors, procuring a person under 18 for prostitution, and child pornography — are classified as "offenders."
As of April 2011, of 55,847 sex offenders on the state registry, 16 percent were classified as predators and 84 percent as offenders. Under the Jimmy Ryce Sexually Violent Predators Act, some predators that the Department of Children and Families deems a continuing threat to society may be civilly committed to a treatment center even after finishing their sentences. (This portion of offenders was the focus of a Sun-Sentinel series this week.)
Once released from prison, offenders must update their information — add current photos, update their workplaces — on the registries two times a year, predators four. Both groups are required to register for life. Getting removed from the list is almost impossible, except in some instances in which sex offenders hit with certain charges go 25 years without reoffending.
Many local governments in turn passed ordinances that prevent sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a school, park, or bus stop. As of 2011, there were 140 local ordinances in 44 Florida counties.
"There's really no set way that all the ordinances are written," says FDLE's Adam Moses. "Some are written based on the victim; some cover all offenders regardless of the age of the victim." Although sex offenders may be monitored by probation officers, it falls to local police departments to enforce these city and town residency restrictions.
In South Florida, there's hardly any developed land that isn't near a school or park, so sex offenders who've served their sentences have almost nowhere they are legally allowed to live. In Miami-Dade, there was a notorious case of released offenders living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway. In Broward County, 97 percent of developed land is covered by restrictions.
The setup is met by the mainstream mostly with relief. But some have begun to question its effectiveness.
Critics argue that a person who actually groped a kid is far more dangerous than a person who clicked on a picture of child pornography, so it's unfair to classify offenders into only two berths based on their crimes without considering the individual's situation. Advocates like Gail Colletta say some might deserve heavy-duty monitoring, while others can be rehabbed.
Dr. Jill Levenson, a professor at Lynn University who has studied sex offenders, echoes the idea. "For the low-risk offenders, we want to avoid creating such obstacles in their life that they're never going to succeed. That is not a good formula."
In 2006, Congress passed the Adam Walsh Act. It required states to implement an offense-based approach to who's put on the registry. With a few easy tweaks, Florida was able to come into compliance. But it's one of only 14 states to do so. Minnesota and Washington have pulled away from the offense-based approach. They assess individuals and put only the riskiest ones on the state registry. This comes with a penalty. Noncompliance with the Walsh Act costs them 10 percent of their Department of Justice grant money.
Hardliners see reform only as a dismantling of the already-flimsy defenses people have. The Valigator says there are two main problems with the registry: Not enough people use it, and police fail to enforce it.
"The difference between me and the pro-divas is they want to minimize the dangers, whereas I want to maximize the dangers," Parkhurst says. "When I get bombarded with those kinds of alerts every day, I realized what a bunch of sick freaks there are actually walking around out there. You have to go with the premise that they're all dangerous."
Parkhurst's light-bulb moment came in the early '80s, when she was raising her only son, Justin, in Davie. She'd heard about sex offenders nearby, so the concerned mom mailed away to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for a list of offenders in her ZIP code. A whopping 64 names came back.
Already a right-leaning Republican with a soft spot for capital punishment, she began relentlessly tracking offenders in her neighborhood and broadcasting their crimes and whereabouts. The online registry made the work easier, and with a Davie ordinance creating a 2,500-foot residency restriction, she could often report violators to police and push for them to be booted from the neighborhood.
When the cops were ineffective, Parkhurst resorted to shaming landlords.
When a convicted rapist named Ricardo Eire moved into a rental unit in violation of the city ordinance, Parkhurst fired off anonymous letters to property owner Paul Roseman and to all the addresses surrounding Roseman's own house in a gated community. "It is intolerable that Persons as yourself feel you can rent to the lowest of the low in a vulnerable neighborhood while disassociating yourself in a more affluent one," the letter read.
Roseman says now, "I understand, the person is a sex offender — you can't take a chance. We don't want these kind of people. The man should have been removed, and he was removed. But the nasty, threatening way it was put to me — I would have liked to have seen a signature on it."
Ingo Lang received a similar letter in early 2012 after renting to an individual who was arrested after allegedly attempting to abduct a Boca Raton 3-year-old using ice cream and candy.
"As a landlord, you need to understand that Davie does not appreciate 'our area' homeowners who 'rent' on the warm body theory," the letter read. "It is incumbent on you to be responsible as to who inhabits your property."
"I had nothing to do with him," Lang says, adding that the letter "made me look bad. They just assumed I'm the guy with the money and I live the good life and I dumped the trash in their neighborhood. And that's not the case."
Even after Parkhurst moved into a Fort Lauderdale gated community and kept the Davie house as a rental, she kept at it. After her 2007 arrest for aiming a gun at Dale Weeks, Parkhurst stopped fliering and moved much of her activity online. Going by "Valigator," she patrolled the comments section of practically any article about sex offenders. She started a blog (http://sexoffenderissues-valigator.blogspot.com/), where she bashes "pro divas" like Colletta and champions the "anti" cause.
Parkhurst has company. Fellow vigilantes include David Rowe, an Orange Park man behind No Peace for Predators, an aggressive activist group with the stated goal of having sex predators "Exposed, Exiled and, ultimately, Extinct." Rowe has pushed for tougher sentences on sex offenders and successfully pressured a Jacksonville-area offender to sell his ice cream truck in 2011. Barbara Ferris, an Orlando housewife behind the group Bee Aware, posted videos of her confrontations with offenders who put up holiday decorations on their apartments — to lure children, she worried. Web pages such as "Evil Unveiled" and "Absolute Zero United" publish the personal details of reformers — home addresses, phone numbers, emails, and screen names.
"Nationally, there are about 20 of us," Parkhurst explains, describing her online cohorts. "What we do is try to make as much noise about this issue as possible."
Derek Logue has felt their wrath. At 24, the Alabama native served three years in prison for the sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl. As a registered sex offender now based in Ohio, he's become one of the loudest online advocates for reform. "Over the years, I've had [someone] describe my apartment building, tell me I'd never see him coming, told me he'd cut my head off and fuck me in the ass. Fine outstanding pillars of the community here," he says sarcastically.
But the scurrilous banter flows both ways. Counter sites like "Evil Exposed" and "Absolute Zero Unites" call out the bullies who harass offenders who have already done their time. Parkhurst is the target of at least two web pages devoted to personally trashing her, including digs about alleged alcoholism and paranoia. They say she's from "Crazie Davie," even stooping to say she's lesbian.
"The reason they throw so many stones at me," she says, "is I am a force to be reckoned with."
Or a force that doesn't pull punches. "It's about time we start finding the bodies of sex offenders on the side of the road," she says and repeats often online. "And not the bodies of kids."
For the second time in as many minutes, a low-flying jet screaming away from Miami International Airport completely blows out all other sound in the River Park Trailer Park off SW 27th Avenue. Here, accommodations look like they were handed out by an NGO in a war-torn country. Stationary trailers hammered together from construction-site leftovers are subdivided into cramped units that rent for $500 a month. Drugs are openly sold. A prostitute seems to sleepwalk among men squatting in tree shade.
About 90 sex offenders live in the trailer park — or did live there. On August 2, they were all swept out in a mass eviction.
Since Miami-Dade passed a law requiring a 2,500-foot buffer in 2007, River Park was one of the few places offenders could live. But in late July, the residents were blindsided: Somehow officials suddenly realized there was a small school in the zone, the Miami Bridge North School, a seventh- through 11th-grade school. Probation officers began telling their guys to move. (Calls to federal and county probation offices for this article were not returned.)
Evian L. White, an attorney with Legal Services of Greater Miami, tried to help the residents but couldn't find a legal recourse. "The government agencies tell you you have to live here because basically you're a pariah and can't live anywhere else," she says. "And now you have to go."
Antonio (who asked that his real name not be used) had called this blasted piece of Miami home after serving five years on a federal child porn charge. He claims he was caught looking at pictures of "teens, 16, 17, 18 — not the 7-year-olds. But they don't care. They throw me in the same boat with someone who probably raped a 9-year-old."
Residency restrictions are a joke, Gail Colletta says. They "don't prevent anything. They're about where a sex offender sleeps, where he is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. So what's the difference if my address is across the street from a school or 2,500 feet away from a school? If I am hell-bent on kidnapping a child, do you really think it matters to me where I live?"
As often as possible, Colletta makes the 500-mile trek up the Panhandle to the Calhoun Correctional Institute, where her six hours allotted per weekend with Alex are spent at a plastic table in a frigid visiting room.
Back on the other side of the barbed wire, Colletta rolled that heartache into her work, the phone calls to legislators, the sitdowns with sex offenders. "I can't stop," she says. She brushes off nasty comments from the Valigator as needless fearmongering and instead tries to persuade people with research, facts, and compassion.
Since taking over the presidency of the Florida Action Committee, she has made herself a fixture in Tallahassee, hauling carloads of sex offenders to meetings with representatives. She's published op-eds. Colletta has even forked over her own money to create a public service announcement about how a curious click of child porn can land a person in serious legal trouble.
From her home in Boynton Beach, Colletta worked the phones, trying to bring attention to the River Park evictees. She blasted out four news releases, but hardly anyone covered it. "Apparently, the South Florida news community had 'bigger fires' to report on," the last release snarled.
Ninety minutes up I-95 from River Park in Lake Worth, Damian Garcia puffs on an electronic cigarette while his 3-year-old son wobbles about the lawn. He outlines big plans for the backyard — a pergola, a movie projector. As his pretty wife, Angelica, comes out to the porch with dinner, Garcia beams. "I really don't feel like I live the life of a typical sex offender."
But Garcia could be booted in two weeks. When he was 18, Garcia had what he claims was consensual sex with a girl he met at the beach. She said she was 17 but was actually 15. He was charged with lewd or lascivious battery. Eventually, Garcia accepted a withhold of adjudication, a legal option that meant he would not be found guilty of a felony but did include three years of probation. Tagged on was the registry.
"If I was any other criminal, my sentence would be done," Garcia says. "Say you're a prospective employer and you're looking at my background — this doesn't come up at all on a background check. But if you do a Google search of my name, you'll see me on the registry."
It got worse. A 2007 Florida law allowed "Romeos" in statutory rape cases (sometimes called "Romeo and Juliet cases") like Garcia's to petition off the registry. Garcia met all the criteria, except that, to save money, he got his psychosexual evaluation from a therapist other than the one chosen by the court. A judge denied his petition. The law allows Romeos just one shot to get off the list — and his was blown.
Despite his label, Garcia has been able to make a good living working small-time finance jobs. But after filing this new address with the registry, the phone call came from local police: His new home was 1,500 feet from a school bus stop, a violation of Lake Worth's ordinance. Move or face arrest.
"I don't even know where the bus stop is," he says. He couldn't even contest the case until school began for the fall because administrators were unavailable to confirm bus routes.
Stories like these are why some experts like Levenson feel residency restrictions and the sex offender registry fail to prevent sex offenders from committing more crimes. Rather, the tough, one-size-fits-all stance makes life so shitty for low-risk offenders that it raises their chances of acting criminally again. And wasting resources on low-risk offenders stretches the system too thin to closely monitor the highest-risk criminals, they argue.
Last November, Lynn University's Levenson and a team of researchers looked at the recidivism rates of sex offenders. Nationally, they reoffended an average of 5.1 percent after five years and 10.3 percent after ten years. If Florida's tough approach were working, you'd expect those digits to be lower than the average, but actually the state's rates are 5.2 and 13.7 percent, respectively.
The study also found no correlation between residency restrictions and a lower rate of recidivism. The restrictions seem to push more offenders to homelessness.
In fact, 60 of the 90 offenders who were bulldozed out of River Park are now living near the rail tracks on 71st Street and 37th Avenue.
Detective Adam Granit, a stocky sex crimes officer from the Davie Police Department, stands at the front of the room. The audience is mostly concerned moms. As if they were handing them out at the door, the same tight frown is etched on each face. For tonight's monthly neighborhood crime meeting, the topic is sex offenders.
"Listen, let me start off by saying I might not agree with the rules, but those are the rules I have to go by," the cop says.
One mom asks which offenders are allowed into public parks.
"You're not going to like this answer," the cop says, but offenders with adult victims are "all allowed to go to parks." State law prevents sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a park if their victim was a child, and Davie's local ordinance makes that buffer zone larger: 2,500 feet. State law also forbids offenders with child victims from going within 300 feet of places where children congregate.
The conversation hovers on familiar neighborhood characters. William Sears was convicted of sexual battery in 1996. According to police records, he forced anal sex on an adult woman in the back seat of a parked car. Today, neighbors say he throws trash on adjoining properties and lets his angry pit bulls run without a leash. But because his victim was an adult, he's free to hang out in the park.
"I understand nobody wants any of these people in the neighborhood," the police officers sighs calmly. "Especially him."
"Especially him," Valerie Parkhurst echoes forcefully from the back row. Still wearing medical scrubs from her day job as a dental assistant, she sits with her legs crossed, fingers wrapped around a piece of junk mail on which she's scribbled notes.
"It's just such a disconnect that there are some guys you can hold accountable and keep away from parks and schools because their victim was a child and then there's other guys who are the worst of the worst — rapists, batterers, maybe they've killed — but their victims were not listed as a child [and] they get free rein," she says, nods breaking out in the audience. "It's almost insane."
Luis Andino was another neighbor who had the room's attention. In 2005, the then-54-year-old Puerto Rico native pleaded guilty to lewd or lascivious molestation. Andino rubbed his crotch against the behind of a 10-year-old girl he'd lured into an empty apartment at the complex where he worked as a maintenance man.
He lives near a park. Detective Granit explains he's allowed to live there because of an old exemption in the law for sex offenders who owned their homes: Even if the home happened to be near a school or park, they could live in it if they owned it prior to committing their crime. A statute sutured up the loophole in 2009, but the timing of the ordinance creates a gray area in Andino's case.
The fact that each city and county has different restrictions creates a Balkanized landscape where both offenders and residents are confused. But even common-sense measures are a tough sell in Tallahassee if there's a sense they're lenient for sex offenders.
"I had a bill that was ready to pass when I was in the Legislature about five years ago that would have made sex offender registry restrictions more standardized," says Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg. At the last minute, a group of Miami-Dade and Broward legislators killed the bill by accusing Aronberg of being soft on crime. "In reality, it was tougher," he argues, because with less confusing restrictions, fewer offenders would register as homeless, which makes it hard to keep track of them at all.
Colletta says she's now a familiar face with legislators in Tallahassee — but so far, none of them wants to be publicly tied to her cause. "I won't give you any names right now," she says, "but there's one legislator we have who may help us present some legislation."
After the meeting, Parkhurst drags on a cigarette and offers clarification. "I can overlook some things. Why turn a guy's world upside down when he seems to be walking the straight and narrow?" she asks. Parkhurst supports allowing low-risk Romeos off the registry. "Then there are other things I cannot overlook. Sears is one of them, but my hands are kind of tied with him."
(Sears, reached by phone, says, "I completely understand people being concerned about me in their community," but he adds, "I have no intention of doing anything like that again.")
Like a gun moll in a film noir, she shoots smoke from her mouth into the rainy night. "Andino? I'm not overlooking Andino. I'm getting his ass out."
Parkhurst boasts that she's pressured hundreds of sex offenders out of the neighborhood over the years. Today, the offenders database lists only 11 offenders in the 33314 ZIP code. (For comparison, nearby 33317 has 37.) Davie Police did not return calls about Parkhurst's rogue approach, nor did the department offer data about the number of sex offenders found violating its residency restrictions.
About a week later, Parkhurst's white Suburban again tools through the quiet side streets of Davie, checking up on offenders.
"Do I hate them?" she muses."I wouldn't invite them to Thanksgiving dinner. When I can look up the criminal history of William Sears and see that this guy should be sitting in a five-by-seven and not breathing the same air as me, then yeah, I hate him. And that drives my passion. It makes it easier for me to pull out all the guns — pardon the pun."
Following her 2007 showdown with Dale Weeks, Parkhurst began having second thoughts about waging her fight. But months after the incident, Weeks was arrested for armed robbery. (He's currently in prison.) Charges against Parkhurst were dropped. Claiming she had only been acting in self-defense, she filed a civil suit for wrongful arrest. The parties settled before the case was set to go to trial in 2012. Parkhurst declines to say how much she was awarded.
The Suburban jams to a halt near the cracked asphalt of a single-hoop basketball court. "This is a little-known park that I use," Parkhurst explains. "It's very strategic for these scumbags over here."
She pulls out one of her hand-scribbled envelopes, then points to a name: Hammoudeh Safi, a Guatemalan native with a 2003 conviction for gross sexual imposition of someone under 13. "He was just put on the registry yesterday. He is [at] 3672 SW 60th Terrace." She pilots the truck around the corner to a crumbling unit in a single-story row of apartments. It looks to be within the 2,500-foot distance from the park.
Parkhurst's lips hitch up into a wide smile. "So tell me, is my sex crimes officer doing his job?"
This e-mail is to inform you that DAMIAN BERNARDO GARCIA , DOB: 02/15/1982 has been removed from the Florida Sexual Offender Registry
i just want people to know that are reading this that the statements Parkhurst makes are incorrect. The state of Florida does still arrest teenagers for consensual sex because the Romeo and Juliet law is not an automatic thing - a judge has to grant it. That is just one of the things she is wrong about - there are people that accidentally end up with child porn (which is anyone under 18) but she also stated that they don't arrest the 'casual' CP viewer but only the hard core manufacturer are on the list - you are SO VERY wrong about that - thousands of the people on the registry are just those people that had a few images on their computer - please learn the truth and do not buy into her rhetoric. if these people are so bad and dangerous why do you feel you have to lie about it?
What's not true? that in many states all that is needed is an accusation? Or that the registry lumps all offenders together? Both are true.
My loved one was accused and tried with only the accuser's testimony...NO actual evidence. No eye-witnesses, no DNA, or other physical evidence.
And there are lots of crimes that person should be put away for a long time, and when they get out they should be on probation, but beyond that, if they've served their time they shouldn't continue to be punished...not according to our Constitution anyway
As always, your info is "bass ackwards." I have never hidden my offense. I discuss it in my book and on my website. I don't care what Dr. Drew's panel thinks, they are paid to chatter about topics outside their field of expertise. The only expert on this topic on the segment was me. I said what I needed to say and whatever they say is irrelevant.
You know as well as I do you are intentionally lying here. I was classified the way I was Ohio was the result of coming from Alabama, a lifetime reporting state. You know all this, yet you are willing to lie about it just to take a jab at me. No wonder no one believes you.
Sometime being overly vicious on sentencing and consequences has unintended results. Just like jailing people for drug possession many times makes them into hardened criminals, forcing people to live like animals under bridges may cause them to ACT like wild animals. Besides the fact that sex-offender designation ISN'T just child molesters, sometimes it is people who were under the influence or took a plea to avoid a longer sentence. I guess too many of you people are totally innocent so you walk around with a bucket full of stones to throw at others.
so.. ruin a victims life by doing something that will probably effect every decision they make for the rest of their lives and the offenders think they can go on living their lives unfettered? hell no, you better wear that scarlet letter forever. i have no sympathy for sex offenders.
After reading the article my view is: let the punishment fit the crime. There's a difference between someone who stupidly downloaded some child porn pictures and someone who maliciously raped an 8 year old girl. Both are very wrong. But they don't fall in the same category.
1. sex offender registry exists so government can control and restrict lives of citizens
2. child porn laws exist because cp accusation is easy way for govt to get rid of people they dislike
it would be ironic and hilarious to see that bitch parkhurst's son end up being in the registry, and she herself gets killed by one of the offenders she stalks
Lets not forget that Valerie is a vigilante who has threatened people with guns in the past, was arrested for it, as she should've been, charges were dropped and she won a settlement from the corrupt state of Florida.
She, in our opinion, should have her license revoked, but since Florida is so corrupt, we doubt that will ever happen.
What is she so afraid of? I don't think anybody will be sexually assaulting her any time soon!
She's nothing more than a redneck, gun waving vigilante piece of White Trash.
God Bless her though, like all narcissistic, psychopathicegomaniacs, she tries to make herself look so good, like a hero, but winds up looking more and more psychopathic.
Also, the title of the article is misleading, as usual, and the article doesn't say anything about rights. All it does is glorify a psychopath!
I am listed on big government's Sex Offender Registry. I know for a fact that it protects no one.
This article referred to me as "scumbag" and "lowest of society's low". Those are absolutely blatant lies. I am a good person. I am a good person to and for many people. However, I do feel like the Registries have given me carte blanche to treat people pretty much however I feel like it. They have given me complete permission to call anyone names, exploit them for money, force them from their jobs and homes, be completely antagonistic to them, etc. I don't have to treat people who support the Registries like real people.
The Registries could have been somewhat useful and not so completely counterproductive if it were not for complete idiot criminals like Parkhurst and the scum like her. They seriously need quality lives of their own that they can concentrate on.
The Registries were created on the huge lie that people would read them and be "informed". Then the idiots got hold of them and destroyed them. Being "informed" just wasn't enough, they had to harass people. That's when the Registries went from being a tool to being a weapon of civil war. There are no Americans who support these big criminal governments forcing people from their homes. Please show me one decent American or person who supports people listed on the Registries being homeless. There aren't any. The "people" who think that is okay have shown their true characters and the fact that they are scum.
I will try to be brief. I have been listed on the Registries for a very long time. I have ensured that with respect to me, they are worse than worthless. I do everything possible that is legal to retaliate for their existence and it is a lot more than nearly anyone would imagine. A person can be quite disruptive when they put their minds to it.
I am around children all the time. Very few families that I interact with know that I am Registered. I do all that mostly simply because I live a normal life but I also do it because that is the proper response to the Registries. There are no laws that can be passed that will ever change that.
I never help employees of our criminal regimes with anything, especially law enforcement employees. I do not allow them to interact with me. There is no "monitoring" of any sort going on. Anyone who believes the lies of the nanny big governments otherwise, is a naive fool.
I use my businesses to cost the criminal regimes as much money as possible. All legally, of course.
I locate offensive terrorists who support the Registries and I do what I legally can to disrupt their lives. I find terrorists like Parkhurst and I buy the property next door to them so I can move Registered people in there. I have multi-unit properties where I move Registered people in and without fail, some other people living there think they can do just whatever they want and break legal contracts. I have sued all of them and won every time. They may not be terrorists like Parkhurst, but they still support the vast stupidity. They all have to pay.
It's a much longer story but in short, I'm going to have my rights and have a good life. There is nothing the terrorists can do to stop it. All they are doing is preying upon people who are usually weaker than they are or are in a temporarily weakened state. Real pillars of the community, those terrorists. It would be stupefying if they had enough sense not to brag about it.
I for one am glad we have people willing to stand against these deviants.In the last week articles profiling how the worst of the worst are free-ranging our society is enough to warrant citizens awareness and if that is what it takes then I say Go for it. Do what it takes to get the job done. I just wish she lived in my neighborhood!
The trouble with the "sex offender" label is that it's applied too broadly. A drunk guy who pees in public is not the same as a pedophile. A rapist is not the same as a 17 year old who has sex with a 16 year old. The pedophile and rapist can be shot as far as I'm concerned but the drunk and the 17 year old shouldn't have their lives ruined because of something minor.
Here is something Valerie wrote a few years ago:
Posted by Valerie on Dec 08, 2005 03:37 PM | Also by Valerie
Gender: Female, Age Bracket: 50 - 59, State: Florida, Country: United States
I have to tell you a quick story, I was out at the rental cleaning it up prior to a tenant moving in. My son who was I think about 25 at the time and he is a big boy...my car was parked in the swale, 2 houses down across the street was a basketball hoop with maybe 10 kids playing in the street. I heard the ball hit my car and nicely came outside and asked them to be careful with my car and I would move it if they needed me too..Now that was nice right? One kid, took the basket ball and threw it right at my side panel..I proceeded to go after that kid and quite frankly if I would have gotten a hold of him would have done some damage...I mean the rage that came over me in a split second was incalculable..my son proceeded to fly by me..and I knew then the kid would get hurt....now a neighbor who was there with me, grabbed my son who is a very big guy and said " dont the kid is a minor, man" if you touch him you'll go to jail...so the moral of the story is, if not for the grace of the neighbor I am not so sure my son would not be in the same boat as you...and all it takes is split seconds....
I'm amazed Valerie Parkhurst (Val03) hasn't gone off topic yet and started mentioning her racist and anti-immigrant rants. Someone should ask the gun nut about her support of the Sons of the Confederacy sometime.
This was directed to val03, Valigator. It seems the MNT deleted her ad hominems, thankfully. Valerie is a disease for which there is no cure, and should be contained, preferably in a civil confinement center.
I hate to be the one to break it to you,,but No Offender stupidly downloaded PORN, The CPTF will tell you right off the bat they only take to prosecution a 4th of the traders and users of CP. They dont have the resources to take every perv down trading in Child porn.. The only guys taken down prosecuted and land on the registry are those deemed a huge threat that are trading with the worst of the worst. Gail Colletta and others want the public to believe some idiot accidently stumbled on a child porn site and fell victim to the system.. Doesnt happen and no CP task force will knock on anyones door unless They have a guy who is a danger to society and the harddrive to prove it,, There is no "accidently"landed on a gaming site and fell into the feds hands..go ahead ask them!!!
@Jeff Wilder: You are right. I committed a fairly minor sex crime well over a decade ago. I paid my legally required punishment for it. I will accept no more. I will not accept harassment. I will not accept "collateral consequences" that harm my family. And I will do anything legal to retaliate directly against individuals who will not stop harassing me, including many criminal legislators.
@Joe Mason: Allow me to give you a line from my post below: "I'm going to have my rights and have a good life."
And there is nothing that harassing terrorists like yourself can do about it.
"SO Issues" is the absolute worst of the worst when it comes to superfreaks.. they umbrella anything with SO status and thier hero is Avendora a freak who likes toddlers up to 4 year olds and swear toddlers consent and genuinely like allowing these pervs to sexually abuse them. Avendora is RSOL aka the NEW Nambla which encompasses Gail Colletta.
@RodTemple If I had the resources I'd move to Davie FL just for kicks. That town needs to be liberated from a valigator (Elmer Fudd) infestation. I can envision Valerie going around al day saying something like "ooof those wascawy wejistwants!"
@Jimmo Only an idiot would support someone like Valerie Parkhurst. But then again, you also think the Sons of the Confederacy, a group with a longstanding problem with racism, is okay, so it is obvious you are indeed an idiot.
@Jimmo There is no one standing up to anyone. Terrorists like Parkhurst are simply making it more likely that the people she harasses will commit crimes. There are no experts who agree with the idiotic BS Registries.
A lot of people need to get lives instead of trying to make big government bigger. Take care of yourselves.
you keep telling yourself that awfkiwhister, the worst of the worst are being released daily in Florida and we havent prosecuted 17 year old consentual sex in over 7 years.. tell that story to people who dont know better..I know better..
My mothers neighbor's son is on the registry. due to sex with a minor. He seems nice enough, but I'm also glad to know his background.
pissing in public, or sex with a minor (assuming consent), should not be ground for a life branding as a sex offender.
On the other hand, child porn, and rape, should earn a tattoo on the hand (or face) as a sex offender, so everyone knows not to trust them.
I am sure that story equates with a freak like you who decided his neighbors 4 year old was free sexual game when the mothers back was turned..gwarthock.. go ahead give your bullshit story story of your conviction ..it ceratinly is more interesting than a bunch of gang members looking to take my side panel out..
Why dont we get this on the table again Derek, I have no tolerance for a bunch of immigrants (illegals) who look to tear our families apart with sex crimes. Illegal immigrants have 4 times the amount of sex crimes than homegrown offenders and you know why?? They have no skin in the game and our government doesnt have the balls to deport them.. If that make me racist? I'll own it..
are you the sex offender mentioned in the article? Sure sounds like it. Maybe you should learn to keep your hands off little kids. Whats wrong with the Sons of the Confederacy? Thier history is alot more noble than yours is.
@val03 Oh bullshit! You should be arrested for harassment/stalking! Who the hell died and made you Queen. Grateful I don't have your miserable, pathetic life and have nothing better to do than to stalk and harass people. The only reason charges were dropped against you is because the person you were harassing picked up a conviction for armed robbery. Imagine that for a moment, not a sex crime. There is reason to believe that he may have committed armed robbery because people like you forced him to have to go that direction. He is most likely unable to hold a job and with no where to live well then I say it's people like you creating that for not only yourself, but for those of us your actions affect! Then, you sue for MONEY! Ha Ha. It's all about you now, isn't it? You think you are the judge, jury and executioner and then you join forces with all who sue "because they can" and because they are among other things greedy. You are worse than those you HATE! I consider your actions/behaviors those equivalent to "HATE CRIMES," which often times are extremely heinous and brutal. Reform is necessary and the "one size fits all" is unconstitutional! You have no clue in the fact that each case is unique and has 2 sides to it. Frankly, I am sick of people like you who have no real valid reason to offer other than your inability to control your anger, your insecurities with yourself and the fact that you hate yourself causes you to think you have a license to walk out and behave in the manner you do. The things you say/do are like those idiots who think stricter "gun control laws" will stop a person on a mission to kill. You think they are going to ask YOU THE QUEEN for your permission to have a gun? I think not! I agree with Gail, Rod, Jeff, and oncefallen.com. I could care less if you are a gay alcoholic, what makes your ignorance and paranoia control your useless life is your lack of knowledge and awareness. And your belief that you are our Dictator only compounds the problem rather than working as a whole for a solution that will help victims, the community and yes the offender. Don't you listen when you attend the community meetings to what the officer said? What he said was an offender that remains homeless creates hardship on the community in such a way that THEY ARE HARD TO TRACK! (different words used). Get it? Wake the hell up and either find another way or get the hell out of the way so someone else can! Enough said!
Yes there is Rod I have bantered with you for years and your an angry desperate sex offender who should be sitting in a cell, not free to banter on the internet about how poorly treated you are. I give you a year and you'll be violated for another crime (sex) that is embedded in you as my southern accent is in me..your a freak, a super freak who thinks if he protest loudly enough you'll gain suppoeters, I wouldnt allow Rod Temple within a mile of my kids..
@val03 Hilarious. Avandora doesn't live within a thousand miles of FloriDUH and has not been active in years. Seriously Valigaturd, your gal pal up in Trashville needs to seriously update her woefully outdated resources.
@val03 Don't you wish that were true, liar?
Dreek you can huff an bluff till you think the house will blow down..You wouldnt last a day in my zip code..That I will promise you..
@oncefallendotcom @RodTemple Knowing myself, I think it's about 100% certain that I'll be in Davie in the future. No vigilante will know I'm there.
You can get the resources to do the same thing. Use the Registries and the terrorists who support them as motivation. It can make you rich.
You should be commended for your consistent fighting and control of these cancerous vigilantes. I don't think any intelligent people pay attention to them but it is good to let the stupid people see some sense in contrast. Peace to you and I wish you continued success.
Whose the idiot Derek/ Fallenone? Seriously who is the idiot? Your the one with with a sex crime conviction for raping a child. Your the one whose crime is considered so heinous and your additude so hostile they raised your risk level. Your the one restricted from venues that children congregate in.. Your the one who will never be able to establish a normal relationship with a woman due to your risk factors around children.Your the one who rates highest on the radar from LE in Hamilton County...You cant vote, cant own a firearm and will forever be under the oversight of the state...and who is the idiot?
@val03 Sorry buttercup. Not everyone who hates you is a sex offender. Some people just do not like you because of YOU. Maybe you do not get it yet, but there are people you work with and hunt with who think that your relationship with your son is incestual. Val doll, some people in your life just don't like you.
@val03 "Illegal immigrants have 4 times the amount of sex crimes than homegrown offenders..."
References or GTFO. You had to dig really deep to pull that stat out your ass. If you dig any further you might rip out a tonsil.
@Jimmo I guess that group is right up your alley, since the Sons of the Confederacy love lynching. You are just another gutless wonder with a 90 pound keyboard. So which one of Valerie Parkhurst's idiot friends are you?
@val03 Sorry, liar, I didn't spend any time in jail for my offense and never have since. It's only been 20 years.
Your Registries are worse than just a huge failure. It has made me hate scum like you and I spend a good bit of time making little, powerless people like you suffer. That is what your P.O.S. Registries are getting you. Nothing more. So go F yourself. You and the rest of the un-American scum.
@val03 oh so your a drunk? Oh ya that right we saw you drunk in a bar. It's all over the net.
You got arrested ?
oh wait, why are we even listening to you ?+
@val03 I'd last longer than a day, and if you tried pulling a gun on me you'll be eating your own lead. I won't let a mentally ill drunkard threaten me.
@val03 You mean "who's the idiot." If you are going to try to insult someone's intelligence, learn to use proper grammar.
Error #2: I never "raped' anybody. That's why you should check your own facts instead of relying on that mentally ill woman in Nashville as the source of info.
Error #3: I have no restrictions in Ohio. You don't understand the laws in your own state, so don't try to tell me you know Ohio law.
Error #4: Learn the difference between "you're" and "your."
Error #5: I have a pretty good relationship with an adult woman right now. jealous much, Val?
Error #6: If I rated so high here, then how come they leave me alone so much? They're more interested in your lame attempt at harassing my neighbors last year. The only reason you aren't in an Ohio prison right now is because none of the neighbors kept that letter you sent them.
Error #7. I can vote both in Ohio and Alabama. I don't need a firearm, only scared WASPS like you feel the need to carry one. And these laws are starting to crumble. I'm willing to bet I will see a repeal of the registry in the next decade or two.
Valerie 'Fuddigator" Parkhurst, YOU are still the idiot.