Megan's Law: Should he go free?

mistatt2

Megan's Law: Should he go free?

Postby mistatt2 » 2007 Nov 05 14:42

My brother has been targeted by Megan's Law. I uphold that this law is a GOOD law and used correctly will keep many sex offenders off the street. As it stands, my brother John Guscatt seems to be making a great news story.

All information has not been printed. I'd like to correct a few things.

1. He is a diagnosed schizophrenic who is being held, questioned AND tested WITHOUT his medication.

2. It took many many years to finally understand why my brother did the things he did. Now that we have a diagnosis it is useless unless he gets his medication.

3. These two girls had alcohol when my brother showed up at a party in which he also brought alcohol. He DID have sex with a minor and has served his time for it. He did NOT know the age of the girls at that time.

4. He has NEVER had a fake ID claiming his name was John Montgomery. He has looked like he wasn't a day over 15 till he turned 25. If anything he would of tried to get an ID saying he was older than he was. He's always hated looking so young.

5. Megan's law was supposed to be about violent sex offenders of which my brother is NOT. Nor was he incarcerated for any kind of offense involving underage girls.

6. After he served his time, he would not speak to a woman without seeing their ID. I was with him several times and thought he was being ridiculous. Now I see he was not.

7. He was not told he was to be incarcerated for a longer amount of time until he was transfered to another facility when he thought he was headed home.

8. After the incident with the girls that has been printed in The Advocate, he has NEVER been involved with an underage girl.

9. I feel he is being made an example of because of his diagnosis. The Advocate goes as far as calling him "not retarded but a country boy who likes to drink." I am from the same area and I'd like to shake the hand of anyone who didn't do the same things as a minor. Since when has being from the country been associated with being retarded? He DID like to pary.

10. His parents were told NOT to get a lawyer. His probation officer sit at my mother and fathers kitchen table and told them he did not need a lawyer. I myself was told by the counselor who was testing him, on the phone, that "it is just a formality, he did not need a lawyer unless it goes farther." I was told it was not an exact science and it was "up to the testing". Yet he was tested without his medication.

11. My brother would NEVER hurt an animal. He may hurt someone who does hurt an animal. He has the softest heart of anyone I know when it comes to them.

12. He has not been guilty of every charge that was brought up. He was called in and questioned when anything happened in Buena Vista due to his reputation. I would of done the same thing if I was a police officer. He was charged several times until they found out his alibi or the responsible party. He should not be held accountable for those things he did not do.

13. I feel this law should be used for those who need it. It's a waste of time and nothing but a political use of a law to gain votes, recognition, and prestige. I also feel that it is a misuse of what could be an outstanding law.

14. As it stands, my brother who is awaiting trial has yet to speak with his court appointed lawyer or his lawyer that was hired by my family. The system only works when the right amount of money is waved in certain faces.

15. If you were being held without a possible date of release and your life was ripped out in front of you, do you think you would have trouble sleeping, get teary eyed, and show mild depression? He was incarcerated for stealing a car and served his time. He was held in a cell for a LONG time before he even knew why he was there. No one can see him but his mother and father. He can't even call the rest of his family. Justice? I laugh!

16. What is not printed is the classes he has taken to better his life when he gets out. He has spent the majority of his time studying, working and getting certificates (including his GED) so he could build a life on the right side of the law on his release. What a joke, he doesn't get even get a chance to be released!


I cannot possibly believe that this has gone as far as it has but I best wake up and sniff reality. It seems Rockbridge County will never change. It continues to do as it wishes and bend the laws to serve the needs of those who want votes. How can you prosecute a man who was schizophrenic and just diagnosed no more than a year, then not give him his medication and hold everything he said or does against him??

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fangz1956
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Re: Megan's Law re:Should he go free

Postby fangz1956 » 2007 Nov 05 15:54

First of all, I am sorry for the treatment that your brother seems to receiving at the hands of the State. Second of all, this is not a local law that we are talking about here. This is a Federal Law designed to protect children from sex offenders. Sorry, but any sexual act with any minor IS a crime. Rape is considered a crime of violence and it then stands to reason that statutory rape would fall into the same category. It matters not that the mInors were drinking......they are still minors by legal definition. So yes, the crime falls under this law and your brother should have to stand trial and be prosecuted for the act or acts of which he stands charged.

Your comment about what was written in The Advocate baffles me. The quote stated that your brother is NOT retarded but rather a country boy who likes to drink. I don't see any parallel being drawn in that quote that being country equals retardation. If that's true, then most of my friends would fall into that category. i hardly think that the editor of The Advocate is a narrow-minded or judgemental person.

While I have deep compassion for the situation regarding your brother's mental health, I am also the mother of a 15 year old daughter. If he can do the crime, he can do the time.


:2cent:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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fangz1956
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Re: Megan's Law re:Should he go free

Postby fangz1956 » 2007 Nov 06 08:36

http://www.sexcriminals.com/megans-law/us/virginia/

FYI......a nice overview and description of the law and the offenses that it covers. The downside is that I have not been able to access Virginia's database of registered offenders with the link from this site or any other site. Hmmmmmm........... :wink:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

mistatt2

Re: Megan's Law re:Should he go free

Postby mistatt2 » 2007 Nov 06 09:25

He payed the piper alreay. He had just had his 18th birthday when this happened. He is now 28 years old and has to go back and pay again. With up to a life sentence no less. These two girls are notorious for showing fake ID's and sleeping with older men. One had a child by a 35 year old man before she was 18. They convicted 3 others that I know of for the same offence. He went to jail for something not involving anyone else, much less minors. And ten years later AFTER he payed the price, he has to pay with his life.

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fangz1956
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Re: Megan's Law re:Should he go free

Postby fangz1956 » 2007 Nov 06 10:48

There seem to be some inconsistencies in your posts. You say he has paid the piper and has to pay again......yet you say the offenses for which he has served time did NOT involve minors. Which one is it?
I also have my suspicions as to why a man who supposedly had no offenses against minors would ask for the IDs of females after his release. Hmmmmm.........doesn't quite add up. And yes, the age of 18 legally makes him an adult in the eyes of the justice system. And even if, at the age of 18, he engaged in consensual sex with a minor, it still qualifies as statutory rape, carnal knowledge, and contributing to the deliquency of a minor.

One other observation: Anti-psychotic drugs and booze are a deadly mix. Either one alone is pretty heavy stuff but the two together.........run the other way just as fast as you can. :craz:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

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Wise One
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Inspector Javert is Everywhere

Postby Wise One » 2007 Nov 06 14:38

I do not know enough to have a strong opinion about this particular case. However, I do confess that the information presently available smells bad and there seems a strong possibility that an injustice has been done here.

Let me move away from this particular case to a more general observation. I am appalled that the law has lately changed so that some kinds of nonviolent offenses must condemn the guilty party to a lifetime in prison with no hope of redemption, forgiveness, or paying for the crime. An unproved allegation that all such offenders are "incurable" is the most frequent argument, but I will not believe it until somebody can produce objective evidence. To me, this excessively punitive and intolerant approach indicates an Inspector Javert mentality that is inconsistent with our democracy.

There are some kinds of crimes for which a lifetime in prison without hope of release is appropriate. But politicians nowadays keep out-promising each other with ever-more-brutal punishment for less and less serious crimes. We now have simply awful laws on the books, and this needs to change.

I have no problem with catching, arresting and punishing people who commit real crimes but it creeps me out when I see pathetic nobodies tackled violently by masked thugs, tasered, arrested and jailed on "To catch a predator" -- after being entrapped into a simulated "crime" that injured nobody.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

dw

Re: Megan's Law re:Should he go free

Postby dw » 2007 Nov 06 19:15

While I don't know any particulars about this case, I do know how our justice system works. First, police and Commonwealth Attorneys have the legal right to lie to anyone to get information. Any deal, any statement made by them is not to be considered truthful and they are not there for you or your best interests, even if you are just a witness. They are there to produce results and push people through the system the fastest way possible. Guilt or innocence doesn't really matter if it goes against the results they want. Always consult a lawyer and find out what you are really up against.

While I am severely against anyone who harms a child in any way, shape or form, there are many men serving time for false accusations by someone with a hidden agenda. Problem is that even if a victim recants, there is nothing that can be done and there is no longer any parole so these guys sit and waste. Don't get me wrong, a good majority of the guys in prison deserve to be there, but there is no reason for them to improve or any means for them to rehabilitate. But that is another topic. :hammer:

mistatt2

Re: Megan's Law re:Should he go free

Postby mistatt2 » 2007 Nov 07 05:37

5. Megan's law was supposed to be about violent sex offenders of which my brother is NOT. Nor was he incarcerated for any kind of offense involving underage girls.

He was guilty of having sex with a minor, tried, convicted, and served his time 10 years ago. He is not in jail now for the same offence nor has he been since then. The girls recanted their story too late. Doesn't matter, he was already sentenced. He SHOULD of known better than go by what age she LOOKED. He payed for his mistake and learned a valuable lesson from it.

If you had pulled a year or more for thinking someone was older than they were and jailed for it, you probibly would ask for an ID from then on out?

My brother WAS NOT on mediation at the time of the offence, he was only 18 years old. He is now 28. No one is upholding the fact that drinking is good. But it has NEVER been a factor for him to want to sleep with teenagers. He has been clean for going on 4 years. He is being held under Megan's Law for what he did 10 years ago AFTER he already pulled his sentence.

If you care to discuss it and have any questions, I'd be glad to answer, other wise it looks like your mind is already made up.

A life sentence for something he did 10 years ago at 18 years old is way out of line. If he would of forced his self on anyone, I wouldn't be typing this now. End of story.

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fangz1956
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Re: Megan's Law re:Should he go free

Postby fangz1956 » 2007 Nov 07 08:34

Actually, I gained access to the State's sex offender registry last night and was able to find what brief information is available about your brother. It seems that the charge is carnal knowledge of a minor age 13-15. I have spent time researching newspaper archives from Roanoke to Staunton and have turned up nothing regarding this case. I reasearched using various key words as well as your brother's name.

So, the only thing I have to go on is your version of events versus the State's charges. One thing life has taught me is that there are three sides to every story......his side, her side, and somewhere in the middle lies the truth.

Based on the limited factual information and my own knowledge of the powerfully destructive force of alcohol, I have to stand by my original statement. Alcohol is a major factor in more crimes than the public is willing to acknowledge.......far more than crack, heroin, or methamphetamines. Nevertheless, that fact does NOT relieve the culprit of personal responsibility for their illegal acts. If it did, we would have to abolish all laws pertaining to DUI.

Rather than your version of the story, show me the facts in black and white.

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Wise One
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Second Chance?

Postby Wise One » 2007 Nov 07 08:50

New York Times Editorial, today wrote:A Second Chance for Ex-Offenders

If past patterns hold true, more than half of the 650,000 prisoners released this year will be back behind bars by 2010. With the prison population exploding and the price of incarceration now topping $60 billion a year, states are rightly focusing on ways to reduce recidivism. Congress can give these efforts a boost by passing the Second Chance Act, which would provide crucial help to people who have paid their debts to society.

Newly released inmates are often driven right back to prison by difficulty in obtaining jobs, education and housing, as well as by the social stigma that comes from having been in prison. In addition, many of these people suffer from mental illnesses but have no access to treatment. Some states have begun offering assistance in these areas, but much more needs to be done.

The Second Chance Act would add to what the country knows about the re-entry process by establishing a federal re-entry task force, along with a national resource center to collect and disseminate information about proven programs.

The bill would broaden access to high-quality drug treatment, which is in scarce supply almost everywhere. It would also encourage states to work harder at reuniting families, which are often torn apart when a parent goes to prison.

The country worsened the recidivism crisis when it killed off many of the in-prison education programs that have a strong track record of helping released inmates live crime-free lives. The bill would begin to reverse that destructive trend by providing grants to improve academic and vocational education behind bars.

The programs necessary to help former prisoners find a place in society do not exist in most communities. The Second Chance Act would help to create those programs by providing money, training, technical assistance — and a Congressional stamp of approval.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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mistatt2 message

Postby Stonewall » 2007 Nov 08 12:39

mistatt2, please check the e-mail account you used to register here. I relayed a confidential message to you from a viewer of this Rockbridge Forum, one that I think you will find interesting.
Thanks for your posts! Stonewall, your administrator ... just an "empty suit."

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Callyinva
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Re: Megan's Law: Should he go free?

Postby Callyinva » 2007 Nov 09 08:05

I have finally been able to log back on.

Mistatt2 I am confused. You said " Megan's law was supposed to be about violent sex offenders of which my brother is NOT. Nor was he incarcerated for any kind of offense involving underage girls. He was guilty of having sex with a minor, tried, convicted, and served his time 10 years ago."

am I reading it wrong? but isn't sex with a minor the same as sex with a underaged person?

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fangz1956
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Re: Megan's Law: Should he go free?

Postby fangz1956 » 2007 Nov 11 14:33

http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/wb/139329

Hmmmmm........kind of reminds me of the old 38 Special song that says "Hold on loosely but don't let go, if you cling too tightly you're gonna lose control........"

:wink:

This past week, a very wise and knowledgeable friend provided some additional facts and information on this case regarding Mr. Guscatt. Looking at this situation in light of political agendas is beginning to change my concept of this whole thing. I finally accessed the Virginia sex offender registry and looked at ALL of the pictures of offenders from this and surrounding areas. I was shocked at the number of "old men" on the list. What is alarming about this is the fact that my own daughter loves old people and is naturally drawn to them. Hmmm.......more food for thought and consideration.
The photo of Mr. Guscatt reminds me a great deal of my own son's friends. After being provided with additional facts about this case, I really have to sit back and consider this one on an individual basis. It does appear as if an injustice is being done to this young man.......all in the name of political gain.
My own personal experiences of watching an innocent person close to me being drug through the system only serves as more of a catalyst to look long and hard at what Richmond and Washington are really up to. This is beginning to look like a case of the "sacrificial lamb".

More will be revealed.


:wink:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

mistatt2

Re: Megan's Law: Should he go free?

Postby mistatt2 » 2007 Nov 13 08:51

Callyinva wrote:I have finally been able to log back on.

Mistatt2 I am confused. You said " Megan's law was supposed to be about violent sex offenders of which my brother is NOT. Nor was he incarcerated for any kind of offense involving underage girls. He was guilty of having sex with a minor, tried, convicted, and served his time 10 years ago."

am I reading it wrong? but isn't sex with a minor the same as sex with a underaged person?


I had already corrected this in the above response.

mistatt2

Re: Megan's Law: Should he go free?

Postby mistatt2 » 2007 Nov 13 09:12

I work for The Almanac, a newspaper here in Pittsburgh and would never purposely report inaccurate information.

My sister came onto the site and reworded a few thing. Seeing as how upset she was when she was told to "read about the sick bastard" when she was buying The Advocate I can understand her point did not come across well. I'm not sure how she got into my post?

My brother should NEVER drink alcohol. Nor does he ever want any. Even if he was released today, I'm not sure how he'd make it in the outside world. His spirit has been broken. He wouldn't be able to leave the area, he couldn't hold a job, and it would be years and years before he could drive a car to even get to a job because of all the fines. Not to mention all the whispers and pointing when he was around people. Would you want him working for you?

You yourself Fangz assumed the worst. Human nature I suppose.

My brother was guilty of carnal knowledge. He also JUST turned 18 at the time. He wasn't a grown up himself. Every case should be looked at in depth. He is in no way guilty of a crime that would warrant life in prison.

I can give you the name and address of a child sex offender in Va that lives with two step children and one baby of his own. Yet not one person in Va will hear my cries and trust me I cry out often and loud.

My brother has a little girl of his own. She is a beautiful little girl with blond curls and bright blue eyes. I can guarantee you John would never look at a teenager in that way. He was a teenager himself when this took place. He hasn't looked in his little girls face in over two years. Her mother doesn't want her knowing her dad. In some ways I don't blame her and other times I want to scream and shout and point my finger. Injustice comes in many packages and life isn't fair but you should not have to pay with your life for a mistake made as a teen. Especially if you have never repeated the offense.

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Callyinva
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Re: Megan's Law: Should he go free?

Postby Callyinva » 2007 Nov 13 18:13

Mistatt2, I owe you an appology. I missed your correction. Sorry.

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fangz1956
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Re: Megan's Law: Should he go free?

Postby fangz1956 » 2007 Nov 14 07:32

mistatt2............

Perhaps I did assume the worst...............INITIALLY. That was based on what was written in the original post paired against motherhood. Sorry if being a protective mother makes me evil in some way.
If you read the entire thread, you saw my position change as facts became available. I spent a great deal of time trying to find information about this case and your brother and it is virtually non-existent. It is rather difficult to form an opinion or view that is fair and unbiased when one cannot find facts to support the statements of a single person.
:wink:
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fangz1956
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Re: Megan's Law: Should he go free?

Postby fangz1956 » 2007 Nov 15 07:20

http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/xp-139832

Is this anything similar to the things your brother is facing? :wink:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?

Charles

Re: Megan's Law: Should he go free?

Postby Charles » 2007 Dec 19 23:44

This is kind of off the subject but on the subject if that makes any sense. I used to be a big supporter of Megans Law I know why it came about who the law was named after and the sad circumstances that created it. I do not however support it any longer. While the idea of having a list of all the "KNOWN" sex offenders is a good idea I think a lot of people including lawmakers have this idea that the people who are on those list are the only ones or there the worst of the worst. I know for a fact that not all sex offenders get caught.

I was a teenager when I was sexually assaulted and the people who are supposed to protect accused me of it being my fault that it happened. Where is the line drawn between consent and Rape? Statutory rape is considered as non-forcible sexual intercourse with someone who is younger than the age of consent. Rape is defined as forcing someone to have any form of sex against there will or consent. Why does law enforcement waste time, money, and resources locking up people who have consented relationships which happens all the time regardless of age? When there are people out there who get away with sexual assault and rape everyday. Why because these crimes are harder to prove because of lack of evidence due to evasive medical procedures involved in collecting the evidence or the fear of victim blaming a lot of people blame the victim because for some its hard to believe such a crime can happen in there community or can be committed by some who is trusted for this reason some victims never come forward.

And sadly law enforcement often times will not investigate sexual assault cases if they can not make a case or prove it happened beyond reason of doubt. People who have never gone through the system and seen how it truly works will never understand why in justice its not always about right and wrong. When people look at Megans Law they see someone who they think is a monster or a pedophile people don't realize some of the who are guys on that list got in trouble for having a consensual relationship which in the eyes of the law was wrong. While most violent sex offenders go free because of the reluctance for some in law enforcement to pursue the case.

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fangz1956
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Re: Megan's Law: Should he go free?

Postby fangz1956 » 2007 Dec 20 01:04

I don't think that you are off topic at all. I appreciate the time you took to write and give the view of someone has been up against the system. The system definitely has huge problems and the biggest offenders generally do evade prosecution and are allowed to keep on with their dirty deeds. Surprisingly (or maybe not), most offenders are friends or relatives of the minor child as opposed to being a stranger on the street. Perhaps that is part of the reason the offenders avoid prosecution..........denial of the family of the victim and denial of the family of the offender. Heaven forbid that the family name would be drug through the mud!!

As far as consensual relations go, I think that is up to the two people involved and no one else. A recent case here involved two teenagers on prom night......alone in a hotel room they had rented for the night of the prom. The male was prosecuted and run through the wringer. Nothing was done to the girl. Sounds like a good old double standard to me. That really shows just how fearful and litigious our society has become. When I was 17 and sexually active, we never gave a second thought to having our co-conspirator prosecuted for having fun on prom night.......it was a teenage rite of passage back in the day........just like having booze for the after-prom festivities and maybe a little pot, too. It is what teenagers did then....and they still do it today.

I think it time to take a serious look at revamping this law.............but ALL political agendas need to be taken off the table first.

:wink:
Ever looked at someone and thought "the wheel is turning but the hamster is dead"?