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Unread 12-18-2009, 04:31 PM   #1
rockin'robin
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Sex Offender Removes Signs From Yard

Deputies Say Signs Warning Community Of Man's Past Have Been Taken Down

BAKER COUNTY, Fla. -- Baker County deputies said Felix Torres is really trying hard to hide his past.

He's a registered sexual predator, arrested in 1997 and charged with sexual battery on a 1-year-old.

Deputies said they've put up a sign 10 times to warn neighbors about Torres, and all 10 times the sign was taken down.

The last two signs were put in his yard near the road in concrete. Deputies said the final straw was when they saw Torres in action removing the sign.

"He thinks he can circumvent the law and he can be the only one," Sheriff Joey Dobson said. "We have five predators in Baker County. All of them have signs in front of their houses, and he is no different. He is going to have a sign in front of his house."

Karen Balas, who lives with her children right next door to Torres, said she only knew about his record after she saw the sign in his yard, and she wants it back up.

"I wouldn't have known unless the sign was up. Nobody would have known," Balas said. "I think it's a good idea, I really do. I don't see why someone wouldn't keep them up. People should know that live in the neighborhood."

Dobson said people will know. He said another sign will go up next week, and it will also be placed in concrete.

"We have made the decision that the signs are the best way to notify the community," Dobson said. "We've done that for years and it's worked properly."

Sex Offender Removes Signs From Yard - Jacksonville News Story - WJXT Jacksonville
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Unread 12-18-2009, 05:55 PM   #2
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People have a right to pass out notice and warn the neighbors of sex offender living in their area. They also have a registry that they can look up to seek out sex offenders. but to sit and post a sign right in the mans yard is wrong.
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Unread 12-18-2009, 06:31 PM   #3
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If it's not required by the law for the deputies to post a sign on his property, then they are breaking the law, not him.

Deputies shouldn't be taking the law in their own hands.

But of course, that's if it's not the law.
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Unread 12-18-2009, 06:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banjo View Post
If it's not required by the law for the deputies to post a sign on his property, then they are breaking the law, not him.

Deputies shouldn't be taking the law in their own hands.

But of course, that's if it's not the law.

Good question Banjo...


I'm not sure if it is the law or not. But I know the sex offenders are required by law to register at their local sheriff or probation office and with the local Drivers license office.. meaning their picture and info will be in the online sex offender Data base and on fliers all over.
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Unread 12-18-2009, 06:54 PM   #5
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It is probably a city ordinance which BB can look up on the Internet; any of us can, probably.
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Unread 12-18-2009, 07:07 PM   #6
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did a little research.

FDLE Florida Sexual Offenders and Predators
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# If I receive a flyer on an individual, may I pass it out in my neighborhood?

Sexual predator and offender information on the FDLE public sex offender registry/website is public record in Florida.

Regarding predators, Florida Statute 775.21(7)(c) holds that FDLE shall notify the public of all designated sexual predators through the Internet. This statute also requires the Sheriff or Chief of Police of jurisdiction to conduct community notification of the presence of a sexual predator.

Regarding offenders, Florida Statute 943.043(1) holds that FDLE may notify the public through the Internet of any information which is not confidential and exempt from public disclosure. Additionally, the Sheriff or Chief of Police of jurisdiction is authorized but not mandated to conduct community notification for the presence of an offender.

Please note that positive identification of a person you believe to be a sexual predator/offender cannot be established unless a fingerprint comparison is made between that person and the person in the state registry. In other words, because your website results are based upon data, such as name, date of birth, and other identifiers that are not necessarily unique, we cannot guarantee that the information you obtain through the website pertains to the person for whom you are seeking information. Additionally, because the registry and website are updated daily on an ongoing basis, please consider that any information you print out from the website will only be as current as the date and time at which you printed it.

If you decide to pass out flyers, please note that it is illegal to use public information regarding a registered sexual predator/offender to facilitate the commission of a crime. Generally, anyone who misuses public records information related to a sexual offender or predator, or who knowingly distributes, publishes or materially alters public record information with the intent to misrepresent the information, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree. This would include any changes, additions, or deletions made to an FDLE sexual offender/predator internet flyer or search result page. See F.S. 775.21(10)(c) for more information.
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# There is a sexual offender/predator in our area, but I was not notified. Can you tell me why?

Under Florida law, the Sheriff or Chief of Police of jurisdiction shall notify the community of the presence of a sexual predator, and in the case of an offender the Sheriff or Chief of Police is authorized, but not mandated, to notify the community. It is up to the individual agency to determine who is included in the "community" notification and how notification will take place. See Florida Statutes 943.043 and 775.21(7) for more information.

Additionally, the local Sheriff's Office and Police Department are required to notify each school and licensed day care center of any sexual predators living within a 1 mile radius of that school or day care. They must do so within 48 hours of being notified by FDLE of the sexual predator's address. See Florida Statutes 943.043 and 775.21(7) for more information. This requirement does not hold regarding the presence of sexual offenders.

You may wish to contact your local Sheriff's Office or Police Department to determine the community notification process for your area. A listing of Florida law enforcement agencies and their contact information may be found by going to FDLE Florida Sexual Offenders and Predators - Links or clicking on Links from the Sex Offender/Predator website to find contact information for Florida's Sheriff's Offices and Police Departments. Top
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Unread 12-18-2009, 07:11 PM   #7
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I have googled and searched. Nothing says anything about the law is allowed to post signs on the Offenders yard.

The only thing I saw in the google search is that the sex offender does and is required to do on Halloween, by law (in the state of Florida) Is to post a sign that says NO CANDY HERE.

Other than that. You have to seek the owners permission to post any type of sign on their lawn.
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Unread 12-18-2009, 07:15 PM   #8
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I've never seen any "signs" in Duval County where I live.....this was in Baker County....where another sex offender killed a child. And was subsequently executed...

I'm questioning whether it's legal or not also! Seems that if the predator owned the property, then it would be illegal...so he must just rent and the signs were allowed by the Landlord ??....Or a City Ordinance was passed by this city to post signs of warnings to the neighborhood....

I agree that most people can just go onto the net and find sex offenders near ur home and anyplace in the US that they live...but sex offenders do move around a lot, and it takes awhile for their location to be updated.

But, all in all I have no sympathy for the man, he committed and was convicted of a horrific crime against a 1 year old child. He may have served his time, but his past will always follow him, he needs to get out of Baker County!
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Unread 12-18-2009, 07:26 PM   #9
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I've never seen any "signs" in Duval County where I live.....this was in Baker County....where another sex offender killed a child. And was subsequently executed...

I'm questioning whether it's legal or not also! Seems that if the predator owned the property, then it would be illegal...so he must just rent and the signs were allowed by the Landlord ??....Or a City Ordinance was passed by this city to post signs of warnings to the neighborhood....

I agree that most people can just go onto the net and find sex offenders near ur home and anyplace in the US that they live...but sex offenders do move around a lot, and it takes awhile for their location to be updated.

But, all in all I have no sympathy for the man, he committed and was convicted of a horrific crime against a 1 year old child. He may have served his time, but his past will always follow him, he needs to get out of Baker County!

And go where?? To Duval County??

I agree no one wants a predator in their town. Especially one that preys on young ones.

That is the whole point of the justice system being screwed up.
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Unread 12-18-2009, 07:58 PM   #10
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And go where?? To Duval County??

I agree no one wants a predator in their town. Especially one that preys on young ones.

That is the whole point of the justice system being screwed up.
Hopefully not! to Duval County. We already have a city full of 'em......so does Clay County....We get flyers via the Post Office warning us of Predators, dunno if it's a city ordinance either.....

Justice system screwed up? Yes it is....
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Unread 12-18-2009, 08:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rockin'robin View Post
Hopefully not! to Duval County. We already have a city full of 'em......so does Clay County....We get flyers via the Post Office warning us of Predators, dunno if it's a city ordinance either.....

Justice system screwed up? Yes it is....

It is screwed up in many ways. For the offender, and for the public.
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Unread 12-19-2009, 11:38 PM   #12
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I think in most states if the offender is moving they must notify their probation officer of the move 30 days PRIOR to the move and must disclose their future address so that they can be registered at the new address when they move in. Failure to do this often results in a return trip to prison.

I'm not sure what the rules are in a case of emergency eviction or severe damage to the residence rendering it uninhabitable. But I think that sexual predators should not be allowed to reintegrate to society because no one can be 'completely cured' of it. They should be forced to live in fenced in tent cities and wear pink underwear for the rest of their lives. And get fed only one bologna sandwich and water per day.

If they want to get it on with each other for gratification, then fine it is their consenting choice to do so, at least they will not be preying on innocent children and people.
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Unread 12-19-2009, 11:48 PM   #13
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Let's just hope that 1 year old child doesn't remember the incident. I sure don't remember being one!
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Unread 12-19-2009, 11:55 PM   #14
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I doubt the child will remember the incident, however the child may have physical complications from it later in life.
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Unread 12-20-2009, 01:15 AM   #15
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Felix Torres Brother Responds

19 Dec 2009 posted by the brother of Felix, Josue Torres on Sex Offender Removes Signs From Yard - Jacksonville News Story - WJXT Jacksonville

"ok let me go ahead and let all u idiots know something...the person in the picture felix torres, my brother is not hiding from his past. The problem that has risen from this is incident isnt that the he took a sign down from in front of his house saying that he was a sex offender, trying to hide his past,its the fact the the allegations that the news has posted about him are false. He never did anything to a one year old that is just insane. I makes me said that half of you idiots have know idea what you are commenting on and say that he should get the death penalty. im sure that a majority of you wouldnt even have the balls to pull the trigger, flip the switch or inject the fluids.the fact of the matter is that yes he is a sex offender but not to a baby, and he was convicted as a sex offender as a juvenille. Aslo the police have no authority to place signs up in anyones yard.. look up the law on google, it simply show that a sex offender has to notify the police department of the address change once they are in the city. There is nothing stating that they have to have signs posted up. I know that when all this is said and down, all of you will look at yourselves and realize how ignorant you all are, and when this goes to court for harassment and defamation of character i want to see how many of you will post a comment claiming some ridiculous accusation.

.. but you are talking about someone that committed a crime at 16 and has been payin for it ever since...

Felix was 16 and (Victim) 12 those were the ages and just like someone posted it should be a public record. Just like i explained people have gone to jail for many years for rape because of that 6 months. If the victim had been 13 he would not be considered a predator but an offender. and what he did is irrelevant to the claims that are being posted. (MEDIA LEFT OFF THE "2" IN AGE OF "12")

everything that everyone is saying is all speculation. Everyone does need to face the music but u being in the military you should know that the law is put out there just for this. He has faced the music he did his time in juvenile detention and all that jazz the was deemed appropriate by the law. but we are talking about a person that comitted a crime and 16. not 25 or 35 but 16. The victim and the family have since talked mended wat needed to be mended and moved on.I still talk to the victim whenever i come home to visit. she is living lif has a husband and kids.

(Brother in the military, currently stationed in Spain)

i dont need to score brownie point lol it just showing how little people pay attention to the facts. Im not defending what he did, but the facts are the facts. 16 and 12 those are the facts. not 17 and 1 yrs old. and if you read the 775.21 it clearly states the facts. That a person is deemed a sexual predator for sexual battery on a person 12 yrs or younger. It is almost the same as saying that a person who is 18 and has sex with a person that is 17 can go to jail for rape if the other person testifies that they were raped. Also a the sherrifs department can not legally post any signs on the property. But if you watch the video that is linked about you will clearly hear the sheriff state that they posted them in his yard. See the best part about our court system and those who are in trusted to carry them out is that a majority of the time they do there job and do it well but then there is always that small percent that always mess it up, and from the looks of it that is what has happened here. the sherrifs office or the sheriff is making up his own laws from the looks of things and just because the other 4 just rolled with the punches does mean that it is right. the law can be a very interesting animal.

and thats the problem hippiegurl this happens all the time. Not just with this situation. And if your family member was being patrayed as an animal you would be disgusted at what people have to say. I have spent the last 6 years in the military going to war and fighting for the freedoms that most of you take for granted. I would think that you and everyone else that posted a comment would have the descensy of at least gathering all the facts before throwing your 2 cents out there. In the end, when the truth does come out how will you feel about yourself, knowing that all you did was make a fool of yourself by posting."

The posters on the above media website were quite vocal in their responses to this story. I share his brother's response to this story FYI. I will post my feelings next. Brother was bashed over and over in this forum. I commend him for taking the time to respond to questions, etc. We were definitely misinformed of the facts of this case (once again, by the media we trust to accurately report the news)
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Unread 12-20-2009, 01:28 AM   #16
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Baker County Sex Offender Ordinance 2 June 2009

County increases sex offender boundary to 2500 feet
Written by Joel Addington Thursday, 18 June 2009
reporter@bakercountypress.com

About four months ago convicted sex offender Allen Bennett was set to be released from prison. This troubled County Commissioner Michael Crews because Mr. Bennett’s female victim, still under 12 years old, lives across the street from the man’s former home in Sanderson. “He was going to come back and live at his home,” said Mr. Crews. “She’s going to be waiting for the bus while he’s on the porch in the morning drinking coffee.” Mr. Crews feared that facing her molester, day after day, would re-victimize the girl. He hoped to find a way to stop that from happening.

“I’ve always been real sensitive toward victims that are minors or children, especially with sexual molestation,” said Mr. Crews, the father of two daughters and one son. “I don’t think the laws are restrictive enough.”

What evolved over the next few months was the county’s first sexual offender ordinance, which the Baker County Commission adopted June 2 (2009). It prohibits sexual offenders from living within 2500 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds or other places where children regularly congregate. Florida statutes bar sex offenders from residing within 1000 feet of such places. The 56 registered sexual offenders now residing in Baker County will not be subject to the tighter restriction, nor can they be penalized if a day care center or school opens up within 2500 feet of their home. Rather, the ordinance will impact sexual offenders who come to Baker County in the future or those who change their place of residence.

Sex offenders are required by state law to report to the sheriff’s department annually with their permanent address, which local law enforcement is tasked with verifying quarterly to ensure they comply with residential restrictions. If they do not, they can be arrested or have charges filed against them with the state attorney’s office. “We just finished that up,” said Maj. Gerald Gonzalez, the department’s operations chief, regarding the quarterly address checks. Violation of the 2500-foot prohibition is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine, but for offenders on probation after release from incarceration, a violation could mean additional prison time. “That’s where I think it’s most effective,” Mr. Crews said of the new law.

He’s a former sheriff’s deputy and head of security at Northeast Florida State Hospital, which houses 14 local sex offenders, four of whom have been deemed sexual predators. That designation is reserved for repeat sex offenders, those that used violence or whose victims were children. Mr. Crews says he is disappointed, however, that the new law isn’t more restrictive. “The ordinance didn’t accomplish the main thing I wanted — that once an offender is released, they cannot move or live within a certain distance of their victim,” he said. The sexual offender that prompted the ordinance now lives in Jacksonville as a requirement of his probation, but the man could eventually return to his family’s home in Sanderson. “[Probation] is preventing it now, but he can come back,” said Mr. Crews.

He said that when researching how restrictive the ordinance could be, the county’s attorney Terry Brown discovered the Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sexual offenders from residing within 1000 or so feet of bus stops. Baker County’s ordinance is as restrictive as possible without conflicting with legal precedent, said Mr. Crews. The new law also includes a provision to penalize property owners who knowingly rent residences to sexual offenders in violation of the 2500-foot restriction, which Maj. Gonzalez said will be difficult to enforce. “There’s no requirement for the offenders to report [their status] to their landlord ... It’s one of those deals you can’t prove,” he said. “That’s going to be an issue — enforcing the penalties against landlords.”

Anyone interested in searching for sexual offenders in their neighborhood can go to FDLE Florida Sexual Offenders and Predators.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 December 2009 )
The Baker County Press - The circulation leader - County increases sex offender boundary to 2500 feet
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Unread 12-20-2009, 02:51 AM   #17
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I think that all sex offenders need locked up or have long term therapy (mandatory, required by court), also need have testicle removed for men or have tube tied for women so permanently so no need to register for sex offender and would restore to normal life but cannot interfere with children.

Strict regulation is needed so badly.

I don't want live in neighborhood that closer to sex offender or I will kick their ass.
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Unread 12-20-2009, 01:13 PM   #18
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I personally believe everyone affected or effected by a any decision should have a voice in that decision.

The neighborhood should have the right to refuse him readmitance to their neighborhood. I would want him to sell his house and move somewhere else where he was accepted. I remember a couple of cases in the past where ex-felons could not find a neighborhood that would accept them.
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Unread 12-20-2009, 03:31 PM   #19
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Here's one from Wisconsin:


Board Rejects Sex Offenders 2nd Appeal

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A convicted sex offender continues to search for a place to live after the Green Bay Sex Offender Residency Board turned down his second attempt to move into the city.

Geitano Schmidt's appeal was denied Friday afternoon.

This was his second appeal to the city of Green Bay but the third address in to which Schmidt, 50, tried to move.

Last month he had a lease for an apartment in De Pere, which the landlord revoked following a public outcry.

Schmidt was convicted in 1986 of first-degree sexual assault of a child.

He's been living at the Brown County jail, searching for a place to live for about five months.

Before Friday's vote, residency board members said they were concerned Schmidt was not yet ready to move back into society and they were worried he hasn't yet owned up to his actions.

Schmidt's frustration was obvious following the board's vote.

"How am I ever going to get out of jail then, if I can't live anywhere? How am I going to get into life if I can't get out of jail? This is what my problem is," he said.

"We're saying, you're going to have to live somewhere else than Green Bay," residency board member Renee Keehan said.

Schmidt will remain living in the Brown County jail for now. He can appeal to live in the city of Green Bay as many times as he wishes.

Residency Board Rejects Sex Offender's Second Appeal - WBAY-TV Green Bay-Fox Cities-Northeast Wisconsin News
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Unread 12-20-2009, 04:46 PM   #20
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Thank you.
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