Here in the north country there seems to be a pattern of of affording those accused of touching or having sex with children, low bail and light sentencing. Just recently a man in Dexter, Roy A. Watts Jr. was afforded a bail of $500 after being accused of forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child. It is alleged that on two seperate accations he subjected a 12 year old girl to sexual contact.
This is just one of many cases where sex offeders have been let off easy here in northern New York. In the case of Massena man, James A. Anagnos, 38, of 18 Parker Ave, he was sentenced to serve 270 days in St. Lawrence County jail in Canton, in June 2009 after he admitted he had child pornography on his computer. He initially had been charged with two felony counts of possession of a sexual performance by a child. This of course is after a 2000 conviction of raping a 16-year-old girl . Anagnos, classified a Level 3 sex offender, was sentenced to only 2 to 4 years in state prison for that case.
In another case a Theresa man, Karl L. Finley,23, of 36563 Schell Road was sentenced in Jefferson County Court to 10 years' probation for having sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl. He plead second degree criminal attempted rape.
Sentencing guidelines for sex offenders in New York are somewhat unclear and even with the implementation of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 there has been instance after instance in norhtern New York where the crimes have far out wieghed the sentences. And the bail given to suspected child molesters, rapists, and those held on offenses related to sexual contact with children under age has in many cases been laughable.
In comparison the New york state sentencing guidelines for marijuana possession for 25 g or less (3rd offense) states that the most a person can recieve is 5 days in jail and/or fine $250. Yet here in the jefferson county it is routinely reported that much longer jail sentences are handed down than the state law requires. However, it seems that it is just the opposite for child molesters.
This irony is not lost on many Jefferson County residents. A posting on Facebook regarding the Roy Watts Jr. case has recieved many responses. All express outrage at the handling of this case and other's like it by the courts in northern New York. In many cases the offenders are treated as though they have a disease in which they can not control their behavior. This hypothosis has never been conclusively proven and according to the American Medical Association there exists no such disease. but that doen't stop New York State Department of Corrections spends milions of your tax payer dollars a year on psychiatric treatment, behavioral modification classes, and living skills seminars in order to coddle these offenders who in many instances are repeat recitivists.
New York State does have the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking. Which does an excellent job of not only keeping tabs on those convicted sex offenders that have been released on parole. However, there is no oversite for local sentencing of these same offenders. City, town and county judges seem to have given cart blanc' as to sentencing of sex offenders. In most cases that would be acceptable if it weren't for the fact that in northern New York they are basically given a slap on the wrist and let back into our communities.