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Sexual Assault of Minors in Rural Areas: The Role of Departments of Human Services

Dr. PollackAn article, written by Wurzweiler professor Daniel Pollack, JD and recently published in an issue of Policy & Practice, deals with the important issue of Sexual assault of minors in rural areas.

From Professor Pollack:

"I've been involved in nearly seventy-five expert witness cases around the United States,  many in rural areas. It seems that as frequently as we talk about child protection, we rarely do so in a rural context -- even though it is prevalent in these areas as well. It is a difficult truth which requires attention;  most of my current writing stems from the continuing discovery of a compelling reality outside of where we typically look."

Sexual assault of minors in rural areas: The role of departments of human services

by Daniel Pollack

They may not make the national news too frequently, but minors in rural areas are sexually assaulted – very often.

Federal and state legislatures have enacted laws designed to protect minors from registered sex offenders. Adopted in 1996, Megan’s Law created a nationwide sex offender registry.  Every state followed suit. Codified in California Penal Code, §§ 290 et seq. (including a voter-approved measure known as “Jessica’s Law”) regulates the residency of registered sex offenders. It prohibits registered sex offenders from residing within 2,000 feet of a school or park. Another California statute regulates loitering by registered sex offenders. It provides that any §290 registrant who “loiters about any school or public place at or near which children attend or normally congregate” is guilty of a misdemeanor.  Megan’s Law requires both registration and notification. Within a specified time after their release from prison, registered sex offenders must register their addresses with local police; then, the public and past victims are notified of the offender’s presence in the neighborhood.

Read the full article