Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 5/20/2005 2:40:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/20/2005 2:44:14 PM EST by deej86]
If you were Six Flags? Would you turn away sex offenders...even if the crime happened 19 years ago and they were "reformed"

Six Flags Turns Away Sex Offenders
Linky
(05.19.05- AP) — Bob Levan bought season passes to Six Flags Great America for his daughters and their best friend, but he's worried that he won't be able to ride the roller coasters with them because he's a convicted sex offender. Six Flags added wording on the back of season passes to all 30 of its U.S. amusement parks this year stating it reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone convicted of a sex crime or required to register as a sex offender, though it has no plans to check every person entering the park.

One of Levan's two daughters first saw the words about two weeks after he bought the tickets online, and she was visibly upsejavascript:document.frm.submit();
Submitt, he said. "My 13 year-old girl read this on the back of the pass and said, 'Now daddy, does this mean you can never take me to Great America?"' Levan said. "I am 350 percent for protecting children, and that just bugs me."

Debbie Nauser, a spokeswoman for Oklahoma City-based Six Flags, said the wording provides "an extra level of protection" for park visitors. Asked why the change was made this year, Nauser insisted the company was simply responding to legal advice. "We were advised by our outside attorneys that it was advisable to add that language and that it was perfectly within our right to do so," Nauser said.

Six Flags drew attention in 2000 when a 19 year-old ride operator at Great America was sentenced to four years in prison for molesting three young girls while strapping them into Yogi Bear's Yahoo River boat ride. The arrest prompted a lawsuit that resulted in $1.4 million payments to two of the victims.

U.S. amusement parks have long restricted what guests can bring into the park and reserved the right to toss out anyone caught misbehaving, but specifically reserving the right to prohibit convicted sex offenders from even setting foot inside an amusement park is unusual.

Opponents say it illustrates the day-to-day obstacles recovering sex offenders face after they've been convicted. Levan was convicted of molesting an 8 year-old relative when he was 16 years old. He served a brief jail sentence and underwent treatment in a mental health facility.

Now 35, the divorced information technology worker is trying to raise a family in a northern suburb of Chicago. He has come to terms with having the stigma of being a convicted sex offender, but he questions why the language is needed if amusement parks like Great America in Gurnee already have the authority to remove people for criminal or otherwise questionable behavior. "If anything, it is making them more liable. They are basically saying they've created a sex offender-free environment," Levan said. "I understand we are in a litigious society and people like to sue for no reason, but stupid wording like that is not going to protect someone from a lawsuit."

Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers President Andrea D. Lyon said the language does more harm than good because it sends the message that the offenders are social outcasts despite whatever steps they might have taken to rehabilitate themselves. "It just seems to me that, to some degree, it's public grandstanding to make people feel like Six Flags is safe: We can send our kids there because they are going to throw out the sex offenders," Lyon said. "If they are not going to do a background check on everyone walking through the door, what's the point?"

Six Flags is the first chain of U.S. amusement parks to specifically state on its passes or tickets that sex offenders can be denied entry or removed, said Beth Robertson, a spokeswoman for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. Robertson said all of the parks have policies generally stating they can remove anyone who exhibits unsafe behavior. "They have always had that right, so this is not anything really different," she said. "All it does is really clarify their language."

Six Flags performs background checks on employees but not season pass holders, Nauser said. Park visitors seen acting inappropriately, however, could be subject to a background check under the new policy. "We're no different than your local mall or local venue where families come to have some form of entertainment. We welcome thousands of guests every day and it's just a way to have an extra level of protection," she said.

This is not the first time questions have been raised about a Six Flags security policy. Last year, the company agreed to pay $5.6 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed in 2001 by minority parkgoers who alleged they were subjected to racial profiling and improperly searched under an anti-gang policy. Six Flags admitted no wrongdoing in the case.

This time, recovering sex offenders like Levan say Six Flags' policy helps foster a culture of discrimination that makes potential repeat offenders reluctant to register with local authorities. "The guys who have convictions aren't the ones you have to worry about, it's the ones who aren't on the books," Levan said. "It's the guys who are pre-conviction who are the most dangerous because they are still active."
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 2:42:39 PM EST
I know I shouldn't laugh, but the sentence: "molesting three young girls while strapping them into Yogi Bear's Yahoo River boat ride" is just funny.

G23c
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 2:43:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/20/2005 2:44:33 PM EST by Barrelburner]
It's private property.

And why is he bringing this attention on himself? It's not like they are going to do background checks on people entering the park.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 2:48:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By deej86:
"The guys who have convictions aren't the ones you have to worry about, it's the ones who aren't on the books," Levan said.



Link Posted: 5/20/2005 2:50:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By Barrelburner:

Originally Posted By deej86:
"The guys who have convictions aren't the ones you have to worry about, it's the ones who aren't on the books," Levan said.





Doesn't make too much sense to me either.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 2:51:40 PM EST
Sex offenders should never get out of prison and this would be a non-issue.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 2:52:27 PM EST

Originally Posted By deej86:

Originally Posted By Barrelburner:

Originally Posted By deej86:
"The guys who have convictions aren't the ones you have to worry about, it's the ones who aren't on the books," Levan said.





Doesn't make too much sense to me either.



That's because everyone knows there are no repeat sex offenders; none at all. Prison + Probation = upstanding citizen who doesn’t rape and murder innocent children in Florida.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 4:10:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Sex offenders should never get out of prison and this would be a non-issue.


+1
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 4:10:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Sex offenders should never get out of prison and this would be a non-issue.



Amen Brother.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 4:24:26 PM EST
He molested an 8 yr old relative and now he has daughtershock.gifhock.gif

He shouldv'e been castrated back then.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 4:26:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By Demon123:
He molested an 8 yr old relative and now he has daughters

He shouldv'e been castrated back then.



So he mights actually never hurt another person again? I know all of you guys wish he would rape his daughters, but...
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 4:32:00 PM EST

Originally Posted By Demon123:
He molested an 8 yr old relative and now he has daughters

He shouldv'e been castrated back then.



+1.

This is just a "feel good" measure... make stoopid [sic] people think that the park is "more safe" for their kids than the OTHERS who "welcome" child molesters.

Kinda like the "banning assault weapons" makes the stoopids [sic] feel "safer".

AND so anyone that they are made aware of, they can boot if he acts "funny" or anything.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 5:05:55 PM EST
The only rie he should be allowed on is the Electrifying-Penis-Cutter-Offer... I'm pretty sure most Six Flags have this ride now... they just keep it in the back for asshats like this who call attention to their molester asses.
Link Posted: 5/20/2005 11:33:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By deej86:

Originally Posted By Barrelburner:

Originally Posted By deej86:
"The guys who have convictions aren't the ones you have to worry about, it's the ones who aren't on the books," Levan said.





Doesn't make too much sense to me either.



The convicted sex offenders are no cause for worry. It's the people with clean records that are cause for concern
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:28:17 PM EST
Are they prepared to guarantee that there are no sex offenders working for them at any of those 30 fabulous locations. I really doubt it.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:32:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By cableguy221:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Sex offenders should never get out of prison and this would be a non-issue.


+1 +2

Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:38:35 PM EST
If I were in charge of an amusement park, I wouldn't let those kinds of people around children. It's a crime waiting to happen.
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:39:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/21/2005 1:40:11 PM EST by FLAL1A]

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Sex offenders should never get out of prison and this would be a non-issue.



I recently won an acquittal for a guy who was accused of having sex with a 15 year old.

1. 18 months before she met my client, the girl ran away during a visit to her old home in New York and spent 4 days engaged in a threesome with a friend of her family and his wife.

2. 1 year before she met my client, the girl began giving her best friend's father blowjobs every time she slept over at her friend's house.

3. 6 months before she met my client, the girl ran away and spent 3 days in a 3-hole bone-a-thon with a 46 year-old man.

4. 3 daysbefore the girl met my client, the 46 year-old started a 4 year prison sentence for screwing her.

5. She claimed on the internet to be a 17 yo college student.

6. She could easily pass for 17.

7. She engaged in cybersex with my client before they met face-to-face.

8. She called my client incessantly (I have the cell phone records) demanding that he meet her in person.

The State's best offer was 3 years in prison. My client had NO record - other than 20+ years of honorable service in the Navy. Had my client been convicted, he'd have been required to register as a sex offender FOREVER.

Facts 1, 2, 3, and 4 are presumptively inadmissible in Florida courts. 1 through 8 are declared by statute NOT to be defenses to the charged crime. I say quite plainly that had a less skillful lawyer represented him, he'd have been convicted, and his life destroyed.

"Sex offenders should never get out of prison?" Yeah. Right. Maybe "If good sense were a prerequisite to working as a prosecutor, then. . . ."
Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:42:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By jquillen1985:

Originally Posted By Demon123:
He molested an 8 yr old relative and now he has daughters

He shouldv'e been castrated back then.



So he mights actually never hurt another person again? I know all of you guys wish he would rape his daughters, but...




WTF kind of comment is that?

Link Posted: 5/21/2005 1:51:14 PM EST
Top Top