[hackerspaces] Sex Offenders at a 'Space

Red Davies noiddicle at gmail.com
Tue Feb 10 22:16:49 CET 2015

Let me run a scenario past you.

You let him in.  Someone's kid makes an accusation.  Charges are filed,
lawsuits ensue.

"Mr X, is it true that you were notified that person Y had a conviction for
"Is it also true that you permitted them to become a member, knowing full
well that you had children on the premises."

Yes, but... <interrupoted> "that's all".

A jury won't care that you required children to be supervised the whole
time.  They'll just hear that you intentionally let a sexual predator into
the presence of minors.

Sucks for you... Sucks for him, but there are organizations that are
specifically designed to help with people in that situation.  If you allow
children on-site at all that's incompatible with helping him.

It sucks, but it's the way it is.

Remember - nothing actually needs to happen - the accusation is enough to
bring hellfire raining down upon you and your organization.

On Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 4:04 PM, Wilco Baan Hofman <wilco at baanhofman.nl>

>  Hi,
> My first question would be if he was 27 at the time, or 27 now. 2007 is 8
> years ago and people at 19 are very different from 27, plus the age
> difference would smaller and it would be easier to accept that the person
> changed by now.. I might want to talk with this person to find out how he
> feels about this issue and see if this person would even be a fit for a
> hackerspace..
> If this happened at 27, then my answer would be no, not welcome.
> It would be difficult to trust somebody like that with 24/7 access to the
> space either way.
> -- Wilco
> On 10/02/15 21:23, Steve Bowman wrote:
> Hi there,
>  The board of our 'space has recently received a notification from a
> Parole Officer (PO) that a sex offender is interested in visiting and
> possibly joining our organization. We asked for further clarification on
> the crime and the response was as follows (some info redacted for privacy)
>  In regards to the offense that he is on supervision for, it involved Mr.
>> XXX (27 years old) inappropriately touching a 13 year old female neighbor.
>> This occurred on several occasions in 2007 before he was arrested.  He is
>> required to register with the XX Sex Offender Registry Program for his
>> entire lifetime.
>  Our organizational structure allows us to refuse admission to a new
> member for any reason. This option has never been exercised before.
>  Based on the size of our organization, and local statistics (Sex
> offender/unit population), it's likely that we have a few sex offenders in
> our membership already - statistically at least. We haven't and do not plan
> on conducting background checks The only reason this topic is being
> discussed is since we received notification from the PO, which is legally
> required from them based on the nature and severity of crime.
>  A few details specific to our organization that may be important to this
> discussion. We do not allowed members under 18. But many members bring
> their kids with them. The kids must always be supervised but, being kids,
> do get away once in a while. All members have 24/7 access to our facility
>  So my question is - *have other 'spaces dealt with this situation in the
> past? If yes, how? Or if does come up, how would you deal with it in the
> future? *
>  *If we do let this person in, should we notify all members? *That might
> start a witch hunt or get this person treated in a unfair manner. Unfair is
> obviously open to individual interpretations.
>  I welcome and appreciate feedback from past experiences and/or personal
> opinions.
>  Thanks,
>  Steve
>  P.S. Is there way to search this mailing list archive so I can consult
> previous discussions on this and other topics. I can download the archive
> and implement a search function but maybe there is a better way already...
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