Puerto Rico: Sex Offender Paradise
Lax laws send convicts to the island
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Sep 9, 2010 11:23 AM CDT
A couple stands on the beach in Puerto Rico in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

(Newser) – Sex offenders are flocking to Puerto Rico, lured by laxer laws that allow them to live a more normal life. Here, they're not barred them from living near parks or schools, and failing to register is a misdemeanor, not a felony as it is in most parts of the US. Federal authorities are currently on the trail of 10 offenders they suspect never bothered registering at all, one marshal tells the AP. “I’m sure there’s a bunch more,” he adds. “The internet is there, and these guys are checking to see where the law is weakest.”

Puerto Rican police say that about a half dozen sex offenders do come over from the mainland and register every month. These offenders say they can do things in Puerto Rico that are nearly impossible on the mainland, like buying property—on the mainland, laws restricting where offenders can live drive many to homelessness. “Guys who come down here know they’re not that strict,” says the federal marshal. He says he doesn’t know of any offenders who’ve committed new crimes here.

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
ShelomithStow
Sep 16, 2010 11:36 AM CDT
Ladies and Gentlemen, PLEASE, before you make comments that reflect what you have "always heard" or "always believed," do some research. Find out from reputable sources, from the Dept. of Justice, just Google "sex offender facts and myths, ANYTHING based on valid research studies, so that you will not continue repeating and perpetuating the erroneous information upon which virtually every law and restriction dealing with sex offenders is based.
lifetime1
Sep 16, 2010 9:37 AM CDT
People really do need to do some research on SO's. Thank you Voixderaison for putting that out there. I read comments everyday and the ignorant people that post ignorant things gets my blood boiling. I say ignorant because they don't care to get educated but they can "troll" the internet all day long. Tell me how would you feel if your daughter/son who was 16 decided to lie to a person 21/22 so they could date and look cool to there friends? Would you pursue the guy? Would you better educate your child/children? Would you still believe that the 21/22 yr old was a "sexual Predator"? Its not easy for some of these guys that have to register. Believe me because I am one. The above is what happened to me. Even on the police report she told the cops that she lied to me and then her High School perused the charges. Now I am all for the "real" sexual predators to have to do what I have to do. As far as the majority of us the punishment for life does not fit the crime. I say good for Puerto Rico. Great for those that move there and that can have a "normal" life.
voixderaison
Sep 14, 2010 12:28 PM CDT
Puerto Rico may be the only sane territory left in the United States. I think it is telling that the Federal Marshal states he doesn’t know of any offenders who’ve committed new crimes [there]. Don't buy what the media says about recidivism - according to the United States Department of Justice, the number of sex offenders who re-offend is below 5%. If you question, do a Google search on United States Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics for Sex Offenders. In short: * 94.7% were NOT rearrested for a new sex crime within 3 years of release * 96.7% of offenders with crimes against children released from prisons were NOT rearrested for another sex crime against a child within 3 years of release from prison Sex offenders were less likely than non-sex offenders to be rearrested for any offense * A 3-year BJS followup of a sample of felony offenders placed on probation found that rapists had a lower rate of rearrest for a new felony and a lower rate of re-arrest for a violent felony than all other felony offenders except murderers Check out this blog post (http://voix-raisonnable.blogspot.com/2006/11/department-of-justice-sex-offender.html) or do your own research - don't let the media sensationalize the issue and scare you.