`Offender' poster a phony

Posted: Sunday, February 13, 2000

A poster going up around Juneau apparently has no basis in fact.

The poster, a plan white sheet of photocopied paper, states in large print, ``Warning Sex Offender Alert.'' It goes on in smaller print to name a man, 32, and accuse him of being ``a habitual predatory pedophile'' who currently has access to children through his employment. The man's employer is named, and his phone number and address given.

The Juneau Police Department is aware of the posters, said Lt. Ron Forneris.

``It bears very little connection to anything factual,'' Forneris said. ``We cannot comment on an on-going investigation - if there is one.''

``It's infuriating because it's the same old story,'' Forneris said. ``People can say anything they want; but (police) are constrained to respond in a reasonable manner.'' He said such posters are, fortunately, rare in his experience.

Forneris characterized the poster as ``mudslinging'' and ``irresponsible.''

He added, that if the person behind the poster is identified, the victim named in the poster would have legal recourse to sue for slander.

This sort of accusation does no good on two fronts, Forneris said.

``If there were an investigation going on, (the poster) would tip the person off. If there is no investigation, you have offended someone,'' Forneris said.

Sgt. Lee Farmer of the Alaska State Troopers' Sex Offender Central Registry in Office checked records and could find none under the name on the poster.

``We have no state record of him,'' Farmer said. ``So if he is in fact a child abuser, he is not in our data base. He has no criminal record in the state of Alaska,'' Farmer said. ``Of course, he could be from Outside.''

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