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Sex Offender Secrets

Sex Offender Secrets: A CBS47 News Investigation

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Updated: 10/30/2008 5:13 pm
Celine McArthur/Chief Investigative Reporter

For 28 year old Amanda Campbell, dragging out the big box of old pictures is agonizing.

While she looks like a happy kid in her photo albums, she says the snapshots are deceptive.

"If they were to tell the truth, the whole story, I wouldn't be smiling in 90 percent of these," says Amanda.
That includes one taken when she was five. It was taken just about the time she was raped by her Uncle Pat.

"He took my childhood away... He took my virginity away," says Amanda.

As punishment, Patrick Henry Waters was sentenced to four years in prison in 1987. However, you won't find him on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's sex offender registry. Waters served his time before Megan's Law was enacted in 1997. That's the one that requires convicted sex offenders and predators to register with police for the rest of their lives.

"We can't go back and ex-post-facto, change the law that existed 20 or 30 years ago," says Alan Mizrhai, Division Chief, Special Assault Division, State Attorney's Office.

That means, you can't know for sure if a rapist or child molester lives in your neighborhood.

"There are a lot of them like that," says Major Gary Seay, Union County Sheriff's Office.

Major Gary Seay with the Union County Sheriff's Office says he tries to keep an eye out on these criminals - including Waters - but admits the community can't rely on that to stay safe.

"As far as him living in this neighborhood, it doesn't bother me, says Bobby Mane.

Bobby Mane isn't bothered because he's Water's cousin and says he doesn't feel threatened. However, Mane's wife, Gerelene, runs an in-house baby sitting service and admits that those babies have contact with Waters!

Here's a transcript of that conversation:

Celine: "What do the parents think?

Gerelene: "Uh, the parents, I've never discussed it with them."

Celine: "Do you think you should?"

Gerelene: "They would trust me. They would trust me to protect their kids."
That's a potentially dangerous safety call. A safety call, Amanda says can make it tempting for Waters - or others who've committed sex crimes - to strike again. Especially when no one's paying close attention.

"If you enjoy it, you're going to keep doing and doing it," says Amanda.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, our FOX30 Offender Alert partner, agrees.

"If you look at the statistics, they do re-offend on a higher percentage and that's what is concerning," says Dominick Pape, Special Agent in Charge, FDLE.

That's why Amanda contacted Governor Charlie Crist. She wrote him a letter, and got a reply from his staff. It says she should take this matter up with her local senator or representative. Not the answer she was hoping for, so she came to us.

"I'm just glad and happy and relieved that we're doing this because I am ready. Someone needs to take a stand."

We attempted to talk to Waters for our story, but his family would not let that happen.

More Information

You can read more about Florida's sex offender laws and the registry, at the links below.

FDLE Sex Offender Registry

http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/


FDLE Registration & Notification Procedures

http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/ogc/legal_bulletins/lb9702_8-22.html
Alan Mizrhai's explanation of sex offender law change:

"The sexual offender law was passed in 1993 and it applies only to people who were convicted after 1993 that were sexual predators, and after 1997 for sexual offenders. So, if a person was convicted before those years, they would not be on that database."

"There is a grandfather clause. If a person was released from prison after 1997 and would be a sexual predator, he would be classified as a sexual offender, even though he was convicted before these laws were in place... If a person was released before 1997, they would not be registered."

Mizrhai adds, "I think parents and people in the community need to be vigilant in taking care of their children, without looking at websites.... The communuity needs to be an advocate for children. If they see people they know have a past, they should not allow them around children. If we catch them doing something, obviously we're going to use the laws in place today to make sure they don't hurt anymore children."
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

church101 - 4/6/2011 11:59 AM
0 Votes
@rso11...I feel your pain and am praying for you, yes things are not fair in this world in whatever category U look at. But being bitter about it is not going to hurt no one but Urself and those who love U. I found peace in completely turning my life over to Christ. He has help me restore my life even better than it was before, regardless of the lawlessness and fear of worldly people. He gave me a hope and a peace in my heart that gave me strength to be able to move forward and fight against unlawful acts. Of course it wasn't easy at first to make the transition from my way to HIS way, but through prayer and determination I have hope for a better tommorrow and a great future. I pray that U learn about HIM and try HIM for Urself.

MaryW - 4/7/2009 7:02 PM
1 Vote
Published statistics state a 5.83% reoffender rate for Sex Offenders, not predators. Several States are going back to ammend their Sex Offender laws as the Sex Offender Registry has become a real "list all" or "bucket list" for offenses that in no way involve a direct communication or contact with any child or children. Megan's mother, is now making appearances and saying Megan's Law has turned into something she never intended to happen and is disappointed that some of the laws added into Megan's Law is very disturbing. I applaud the States that recognize it to be unconstitutional -- The Sex Offender Laws need to be reformed so that people who are on there for offenses that DO NOT involve actual children -- There is a website -- Reform Sex Offender Laws (RSOL.com) with great documentation and a real eye opener on this subject as a whole.

rso11 - 1/9/2009 6:36 PM
1 Vote
"If you look at the statistics, they do re-offend on a higher percentage and that's what is concerning," says Dominick Pape, Special Agent in Charge, FDLE. GET THE FACTS RIGHT!! http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/01/21/protecting-children-sexual-violence-dont-adopt-adam-walsh-act http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2007/09/18/wrong-sex-offender-laws http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2007/09/11/us-sex-offender-laws-may-do-more-harm-good http://www.geocities.com/eadvocate/issues/statistics.html http://www.geocities.com/eadvocate/issues/topic-attacker.html http://www.csom.org/pubs/mythsfacts.html The last link is a study by the Justice Dept. and shows that the rate of recidivism is the lowest for people "convicted" of sex crimes!

rso11 - 1/9/2009 5:47 PM
1 Vote
As a Florida RSO, with no prior and no post- criminal history, that was NOT adjudicated guilty (adjudication was withheld) back in 1993, the state treats me like I raped a child and requires me to register every quarter! If had know then that all of these USELESS laws would be passed that RETROACTIVELY effect me I would have never taken my attorneys advice and accepted the states offer! My attorneys told me that I would be able to have my records sealed and it would be “like it never happened” well it is not so! I didn’t want to accept the offer but I was led to believe that a plea of “Nolo Contendere” with "adjudication withheld" was not an admission of guilt. My life and my family have been destroyed! There was a time when I was a productive, honest, tax paying citizen- not so now. There was a time when I looked forward to moving on with my life- not so now. There was a time when I thought everything would be all right and I would be able to find gainful employment- not so now. My only crime- is bad judgment (doing an unsupervised medical procedure on a patient) and faith in a judicial system (that is broken and responds to public outcry as opposed to fact- can you say Terri Schiavo). What A Fool am I!!! Now I’m considered a MONSTER- maybe I’ll start acting like one.
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