David Allyn Dokich - Serial Child Rapist / High Risk Sex Offender

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Legislature Sends to Governor Bill Requiring Notice of Registered Sex Offenders Living in Nursing Homes

Legislation that will require California nursing home staff and patients to be notified of any registered sex offenders living - or soon to be living - in their facility has been sent to Governor Schwarzenegger for his signature.

AB 217 – authored by Assemblyman Juan Vargas (D-Chula Vista) – was introduced in response to a recent report by a non-profit nursing home advocacy group showing hundreds of registered sex offenders living in hundreds of long-term care facilities all over the country.

'A Perfect Cause' – based in Oklahoma but with an office in Southern California – located 380 registered sex offenders living in 289 nursing homes in 37 states. According to the group’s study, California had the second-highest number of sex offenders living in care facilities; 66 offenders living in 57 homes across the state. Other states with high populations of registered sex offenders in nursing homes are Texas (with 70 offenders), Illinois (with 57), Missouri (with 35), Florida (with 30), and Ohio (with 30, including three offenders listing two nursing homes as work addresses).

The report exposed cases of sexual assault by violent offenders living in nursing homes outside California, but one report told of a sex offender registered in California who allegedly assaulted two residents at a Nevada facility where he was living.

Assemblyman Vargas says it’s frightening to think that there are registered sex offenders living in these nursing homes, and the staff and the people they care for may not know it.

“You could have a sexual predator in there who’s very, very dangerous and yet the person running the place, or the person in the next bed - or the next room – doesn’t know about it,” said Vargas. “So, I think it’s appropriate and absolutely necessary to give everyone notice.

“Just think about it,” Vargas continued. “You take your mom to one of these nursing homes thinking it’s the safest place to be and the person right next door can be a sexual predator. Let’s say your mom is frail – all of a sudden it’s a real problem for her because she doesn’t know (about the sex offender), and all of a sudden she’s defenseless.”

Specifically, AB 217 would require any one in an official capacity who is in charge of the confinement of a registered sex offender scheduled to be released to reside at a long term health care facility, to notify the facility – in writing – of the sex offender’s release to the care home, at least 45 days in advance. The bill also requires the sex offender to provide the facility with written notification that he/she is a sex offender and will be living in the facility, and he/she must show proof of registration as a sex offender. As soon as a facility receives this news, it must immediately notify all full-time employees, residents and/or residents’ families and guardians.

'A Perfect Cause' disputes the assumption that if these sex offenders are living in a nursing home, they must be so old or disabled that they are no longer a threat to others.

In fact, the group discovered that of the registered sex offenders reported to be living in the nation’s nursing homes (whose ages are listed in their profiles), 44 percent of them are under 60 years of age, 65 percent are under 70, and of the six offender listed as in their 90’s, four of the predators' most recent sexual offenses occurred when they were in their 80’s.

“It could be a person who’s very elderly, a person who’s immobile and at the point of dying who has this very violent sexual past, or it could be someone who is very ambulatory, someone who has the strength, who is still running around, who’s in the home recuperating, but he’s there,” explained Vargas. “It runs the gamut.”

State of California officials and nursing home lobbyists have been quoted in newspaper reports claiming that there have been no reported sexual assaults by registered offenders living in state nursing homes, and that they already notify nursing home administrators of sex offenders coming their way. But Assemblyman Vargas says that’s not what he’s heard, and he adds that if the heads of these facilities are indeed aware, the news isn’t trickling down to the staff and patients.

“That’s not true,’ Vargas says. “We don’t know that information, and my understanding is the heads of these homes don’t know it. Sometimes the State moves a person in and doesn’t tell anybody so these nursing home operators, they may not even know that this particular resident is a sexual predator. So, all of a sudden you bring in this person with a very violent sexual past, he’s a predator; I mean, this is what this person has done pretty habitually, and all of a sudden he’s got all these prey, all of these people…many of them who are really defenseless.”

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