[hackerspaces] Sex Offenders at a 'Space

Ben Brown ben at generik.ca
Tue Feb 17 14:31:43 CET 2015

Speaking from an organization's standpoint, that sounds like a liability
lawsuit waiting to happen -- admitting someone who is a known
recently-paroled sex offender, volunteering to 'police' them
(essentially taking responsibility for their behaviour), and if
something bad does happen, your directors and your space are totally

Usually I'm one of the first people out of the gate for giving people a
second chance, but at times I believe the risks outweigh the benefits.
Our space allows members as young as 16, and we have numerous public
events involving kids. In this guy's case, it doesn't sound like a
drunken public piss or a couple teetering on the age of consent. If our
BoD didn't have a problem with that (and I highly doubt they wouldn't),
our membership certainly would.


On 2/17/2015 7:33 AM, B F wrote:
> That echos my feelings exactly.  I won't get involved in nitty-gritty
> of the discussion of who to or not to admit because it's outside my
> experience.
> However I know of a case from twenty or thirty years back (which was
> BEFORE things really got out of hand), in which a man ALMOST got in
> trouble because a girl he was tutoring mentioned to someone, "He
> touched me."  He HAD touched her -- on the HAND!  Fortunately, he was
> able to dodge that bullet.  (This is not apocryphal.  I know the names
> involved, but, of course, won't repeat them here.)
> Child molestation is a real problem.  I, for one, would probably have
> the gut reaction of lynching someone I caught molesting a child.  I
> think children (especially) need ample protection against predators. 
> But what our society has only recently come to realize it the "con
> man" (or child molester in this case) is the person you LEAST suspect
> of it.  He (or she -- to be clear) is not the ugly, dirty, disgusting
> person of the movies, but rather the church deacon, the camp
> counselor, the scout leader -- the person you trust your child to. 
> (This is not to say all such people are child molesters, of course.) 
> Child molesters gravitate to positions of responsibility over
> children.  That SHOULD have been a no-brainer, but when people see a
> wholesome, clean-cut person, somebody "just like you and me," they
> assume that he is safe to leave in charge of one's child.
> My point is that if there are child molesters in your space, you
> probably won't know it soon enough to matter.  When a person is a
> known child molester -- and I don't mean a person caught peeing in a
> back alley, or falsely reported for an amber alert -- you have a head
> start.  I would think it perfectly appropriate to admit that person
> but to inform him that he is NEVER to be alone with children in your
> space, and to enforce that.  Since his record is public, it would be
> acceptable to inform everyone in your space of the fact.
> - BF
> On Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 6:14 AM, ITechGeek <itg at itechgeek.com
> <mailto:itg at itechgeek.com>> wrote:
>     Actually I feel the same about the sex offender registry laws as I
>     do about the tax laws, both need MAJOR overhaul.
> -- 
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