Sex offenders living under Miami bridge to be moved

A homeless person walks to a tent under the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Miami, Wednesday, July 22, 2009. Homeless advocates say they are working to relocate over 70 registered sex offenders living under a bridge in Miami and that eight camp dwellers will be moved to a private apartment in coming days.

Some don't want new housing, saying being told where to live and with whom reminds them too much of jail


Maimi — Associated Press


Homeless advocates and county officials intend to move a group of registered sex offenders living under a bridge to private housing this week amid growing criticism, and lawsuits, over the county's ordinance that they must live at least 750 metres from places where children gather.

But some offenders are reluctant to move, saying that being told where to live, and with whom, is similar to the prison terms they have already served.

“I'm not in prison any more,” said Reg, a 44-year-old offender who served six years behind bars for molesting a minor. He declined to give his last name for fear he may lose his job as a cook. “I'm a taxpayer, I'm on probation and I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I don't want to be told to live somewhere.”

He is one of about 70 registered offenders living in tents or makeshift huts near a busy bridge that connects Miami to Miami Beach. In the past three years, it's become a shantytown of men on probation who struggle to find affordable housing that doesn't violate Miami-Dade County's strict ordinances against sex offenders living too close to schools, parks and other places frequented by children.

The bulk of the felons living under the bridge, and in tents lining the side of the causeway, in full view of tourists headed to the beach – are on state probation. Department of Corrections officers have been unable to find housing for them, in part because of affordability and the local ordinances, and the men have been ordered to live at the bridge so they don't run afoul of the law.

However, this week the chairman of the county's Homeless Trust said the group will move eight offenders off the property and into an apartment. It's unclear how far the apartment is from the bridge – officials won't say – but several men there said Wednesday that a location in Homestead, some 56 kilometres south, was under consideration.

“This is the most movement we've had in three years,” said Ron Book, the trust's chairman. “But this isn't a long-term solution. The state's got to come to grips that we've got a growing population coming out of the prisons.”

Howard Simon, of the American Civil Liberties Union, said it's great that the folks living at the bridge will soon get homes, but questions whether this will solve the overall problem.

“It's like dealing with the symptoms and not the cause,” he said. “It's only a matter of time before there will be another shantytown.”

Rigoberto Gonzalez, a 57-year-old who served 16 years in prison on multiple child-rape and molestation charges, shrugs when asked where the state should send him. He's been living in a tent under the bridge since he was released in May, and is aided with food and water from friends. Mr. Gonzalez has no family – they are all in Cuba – and says he can't work because his green card was taken away when he went to prison.

“If the government pays for an apartment, I'll go,” said Mr. Gonzalez, in Spanish. “I would prefer to work and pay for an apartment myself. All I ask is that they treat us like people, not animals.” Associated Press






7/24/2009 4:39:23 PM

The Globe should visit Ontario Family court where Corrupt Family Court Judges are engaging in similar tactics.

Any woman in Ontario can gain a restraining order on the barest request and get incredible conditions such as, Banishment from an entire City FOREVER and, the victim father will NEVER be able to ask the court to vary the order.

The only person who can vary that order is the MOTHER.

Judges like Allan Sheffield and Denis Power issue these orders for other reasons, such as, not liking another judges orders for an emergency trial, so to prevent another judges order, these judges simply issue restraining orders that are effectively DEPORTATION orders from Canada.

The British Empire used to engage in a similar practice, it was called Transportation, at least those victims generally got improved lives out of the deal.

Not so for the citizens of Ontario who by accident of birth were born Male and had the misfortune to end up in family court in front of one of the most corrupt examples of humanity, an underbelly of the Ontario Superior Court Family Court where injustice and obstruction of justice , fabrication of evidence result in the complete removal of all legal rights.

Ontario Courts are an insult to justice.



James Cyr,
Did it every occur to you that many of those convicted may actually be innocent? Even if the convictions were correct, were all to be classed as high risk offenders and a danger to society?

When is it appropriate for experts to make that determination?

Canada increasingly treats those with criminal convictions as animals to be exterminated, and attitudes like yours are part of that problem.

More disturbing, is that any red necked local corrupt official, lawyer or judge can cause any man, of impeccable reputation to be vilified to society, the criminal charges are often dropped, but the fact that the fabricated charges were laid by a corrupt official or dealt with by a Corrupt Judge of the Ontario Superior court can and does permanently destroy many innocent men.

Its that vile anti-male hatred that permeates our courts and leaves a trail of destruction.

Frequently is a deserving loving father who ends up the victim of a vindictive mentally ill woman who fires off what is called a "silver bullet" of childhood sexual abuse, the damage is lifelong , and unfortunately, its encouraged by red necked politically correct attitudes that have a lynch mob mentality that excludes logical or legal reasoning.