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Community meets about local sex offenders
SMOKEY POINT Registered sex offenders in Arlington and Marysville were the subjects of a community notification meeting March 22.
Snohomish County Sheriffs Detective David Coleman explained that public meetings on sex offenders are intended not only to protect their neighbors, but also to help the offenders themselves stay on track.
Coleman and other members of the Snohomish County Sheriffs Office and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services met with area residents at Shoultes Elementary School to discuss registered sex offenders Emilio Jacobson of Marysville, and Sabas Cruz, Benjamin Kalata, Darren Law, Clyde Nipp and Jonathan Wienker of Arlington.
Cruz, Kalata, Law, Nipp and Wienker reside on the 18800 block of Smokey Point Boulevard, while Jacobson resides on the 5800 block of 132nd Place NE. Jacobson, Kalata and Nipp are Level 2 sex offenders, while Cruz, Law and Wienker are Level 3 sex offenders.
Coleman clarified that Level 2 sex offenders are considered a moderate risk to reoffend, while Level 3 sex offenders are considered a higher risk to reoffend. Level 1 sex offenders are considered a low risk to reoffend and are not included in community notifications.
Coleman reported that recently passed federal laws will soon require all 50 states to comply to similar laws regarding sex offenders. He elaborated that Washington state has passed legislation that stiffens the requirements for registered sex offenders, as well as the penalties for failing to comply with those requirements.
They used to have 30 days to register, Coleman said. Now, they have three business days. Registration is not punitive because its not furthering their punishment, but if its misused it can be taken away.
Coleman advised citizens that they may distribute sex offender information bulletins from the sheriffs office, but they may not alter those bulletins without incurring civil liabilities. He noted that community notifications have been upheld in the courts because they do not include sex offenders exact addresses, locations of work or vehicle descriptions.
They have the lowest recidivism rate of any convicted felons, Coleman said. About 70 percent are never convicted of a new offense. Between 85 percent - 90 percent of the time, sex offenders are known to their victims. Only 2 percent would qualify as stranger rapes.
Coleman assured area residents that members of the sheriffs office and DSHS conduct regular visits and meetings with sex offenders and want to hear about any suspicious activity on the part of the offenders. At the same time, he acknowledged that law enforcement does not have the power to control the offenders lives, beyond enforcing their court-ordered restrictions and working to prevent them from offending again.
If they have jobs and places to live, that gives them some stability, Coleman said. If instability puts them under enough stress, they run a greater risk of reoffending, so we want them to succeed.