[Hpn] Urinating in public would be a fine, not sex offender rap~New Bill: Take the 'P' out of pervert

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Tue, 29 Jan 2008 09:09:27 -0500


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http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=3D/20080129/NEWS/=
801290405/-1/PUBLICRECORDS05

New Bill: Take the 'P' out of pervert

Urinating in public would cop a fine, not sex offender rap

By Dave Choate
dchoate@seacoastonline.com

January 29, 2008=20
CONCORD - The New Hampshire Legislature is set to review a bill that =
aims to fix a loophole that allows individuals who urinate in public to =
be placed on the state's sex offender registry.

According to the measure's primary sponsor, Rep. Stephen Shurtleff of =
Merrimack, the bill would separate public urination and defecation from =
the indecent exposure provision, elements that heretofore have been =
prosecuted together under state law. Under the proposed law, relieving =
oneself in public would move into the realm of a violation punishable by =
a fine.

Shurtleff said the bill became necessary in his eyes because New =
Hampshire is changing its sexual predator laws to move into compliance =
with federal law. If the bill does not pass, he said public-urination =
offenders could end up on the non-public sex offender registry if =
convicted twice in a three-year period.

"It's about keeping people off the registry that really shouldn't be on =
it. For example, you have some homeless people with varying degrees of =
mental problems who might (urinate or defecate in public) and it's not a =
sexual offense," Shurtleff said. "There's a stigma attached with the =
indecent exposure connection."

Portsmouth Police Chief Michael Magnant said Portsmouth doesn't use the =
state law on lewdness or indecent exposure when someone who urinates in =
public is apprehended, instead citing them for a violation of a city =
ordinance. He noted that the state law requires that those making use of =
the street as a bathroom have to have caused public alarm to be =
convicted under the heading of indecent exposure.

"That adds an extra element that we have to prove in court," Magnant =
said.

The chief said the Portsmouth Police Department monitors sex offenders =
closely and keeps track of where they are living. Partly because of the =
work involved in that, he echoed Shurtleff's view that the registry =
needs to be kept free of offenders who do not deserve the label.

"If you start to clutter that list, you're putting strain on a =
department," Magnant said.

Shurtleff said that, thus far, the bill has seen no opposition in the =
Legislature. He said he expects it to go up for debate on the floor in =
less than a month.


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<DIV class=3DarticleHead>New Bill: Take the 'P' out of pervert</DIV>
<DIV class=3DarticleHead>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV class=3DbdySubTitle>Urinating in public would cop a fine, not sex =
offender=20
rap</DIV>
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<DIV class=3DbylineContainer>
<DIV class=3DbylineText><SPAN class=3Dby>By </SPAN><SPAN class=3Dbyline=20
style=3D"COLOR: #982d01">Dave Choate</SPAN></DIV>
<DIV class=3DbylineExtra><A=20
href=3D"mailto:dchoate@seacoastonline.com">dchoate@seacoastonline.com</A>=
</DIV>
<DIV class=3DbylineExtra>&nbsp;</DIV></DIV>
<DIV class=3DbylineDate><SPAN>January 29, 2008&nbsp;<SPAN></DIV>
<P class=3DarticleGraf>CONCORD =97 The New Hampshire Legislature is set =
to review a=20
bill that aims to fix a loophole that allows individuals who urinate in =
public=20
to be placed on the state's sex offender registry.</P>
<P class=3DarticleGraf>According to the measure's primary sponsor, Rep. =
Stephen=20
Shurtleff of Merrimack, the bill would separate public urination and =
defecation=20
from the indecent exposure provision, elements that heretofore have been =

prosecuted together under state law. Under the proposed law, relieving =
oneself=20
in public would move into the realm of a violation punishable by a =
fine.</P>
<P class=3DarticleGraf>Shurtleff said the bill became necessary in his =
eyes=20
because New Hampshire is changing its sexual predator laws to move into=20
compliance with federal law. If the bill does not pass, he said =
public-urination=20
offenders could end up on the non-public sex offender registry if =
convicted=20
twice in a three-year period.</P>
<P class=3DarticleGraf>"It's about keeping people off the registry that =
really=20
shouldn't be on it. For example, you have some homeless people with =
varying=20
degrees of mental problems who might (urinate or defecate in public) and =
it's=20
not a sexual offense," Shurtleff said. "There's a stigma attached with =
the=20
indecent exposure connection."</P>
<P class=3DarticleGraf>Portsmouth Police Chief Michael Magnant said =
Portsmouth=20
doesn't use the state law on lewdness or indecent exposure when someone =
who=20
urinates in public is apprehended, instead citing them for a violation =
of a city=20
ordinance. He noted that the state law requires that those making use of =
the=20
street as a bathroom have to have caused public alarm to be convicted =
under the=20
heading of indecent exposure.</P>
<P class=3DarticleGraf>"That adds an extra element that we have to prove =
in=20
court," Magnant said.</P>
<P class=3DarticleGraf>The chief said the Portsmouth Police Department =
monitors=20
sex offenders closely and keeps track of where they are living. Partly =
because=20
of the work involved in that, he echoed Shurtleff's view that the =
registry needs=20
to be kept free of offenders who do not deserve the label.</P>
<P class=3DarticleGraf>"If you start to clutter that list, you're =
putting strain=20
on a department," Magnant said.</P>
<P class=3DarticleGraf>Shurtleff said that, thus far, the bill has seen =
no=20
opposition in the Legislature. He said he expects it to go up for debate =
on the=20
floor in less than a month.</P></SPAN></SPAN></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV></BODY></HTML>

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