Tag Archives: Ankle Monitor

GPS Sex Offenders

Sex Offender Arrested After Removing GPS Unit

A Pasco, WA high-risk sex offender has found himself in a bit of trouble after cutting the $1,400 GPS tracking device off of his ankle and then refusing to return it to authorities despite their multiple requests. Jerome Lionel Pleasant, 22, went before the Franklin County Superior Court and pleaded his innocence to the charges of second-degree theft. His trial is set for August 29.

 

Although Pleasant is from Pasco, court records indicate he is a transient. He was classified as a Level 3 sex offender, which labels him as “highly likely to reoffend,” due to a 2006 first-degree child molestation conviction along with a 2011 conviction for failing to register as a sex offender.

 

In an affidavit written by community corrections officer Charles Dorendorf, with the state Department of Corrections, Pleasant was fitted with a GPS locator ankle bracelet back on April 23, which was placed on his right ankle. He was also given a charger for this GPS device, and Pleasant signed a form pertaining to the care and use of the device. When signing the document, Pleasant told Dorendorf that he “fully understood” his responsibilities and that he was fully aware new charges could be brought against him if the device was lost or damaged, according to the affidavit.

 

On May 15, Pleasant neglected to charge the GPS device while at the Crazy Moose Casino in Pasco, leading to the device dying. Officials were unable to contact Pleasant from this point forward, which led to a warrant being issued for his arrest on May 18.

 

Pleasant turned himself in June 5 to the Benton County jail, but officials noted the bracelet was no longer on his ankle, according to court documents. He was released from jail on June 8 and taken to meet with another community corrections officer at the Department of Corrections field office in Pasco.

 

Court documents state he admitted to cutting the GPS device off of his ankle prior to turning himself in at the jail. At this point, officials told him to return no later than June 12 with the device in hand, or else criminal charges would be recommended to Franklin County prosecutors. He still did not show by the deadline, and a new warrant was issued.

 

In the affidavit, Dorendorf wrote that the cost of a replacement GPS device would be $1,400 as well as an additional $59 for the wall charger.

 

On June 19, Pleasant appeared at the Pasco office and was taken into custody. When he was asked what happened to the device, he replied “I don’t know where it’s at. I don’t give a (expletive) about no GPS unit. I should pawn it,” according to court documents.

 

He is being held on $5,000 bail at the Franklin County Jail, as well as a state corrections hold.

criminal-justice

Is GPS Monitoring Enough?

In the summer of 1976, three men committed a crime that rocked the California community of Chowchilla. Now, 36 years later, the youngest of the convicts is being released on parole to be monitored for life through the use of a GPS tracking device.

 

The Crime
Richard Schoenfeld along with his older brother and a friend hijacked a school bus filled with 26 children and their bus driver who were returning from a summer swimming trip. The children ranged in age from 5 years old to 14 years old, boys and girls. The men ditched the bus and transported their victims by van to the Livermore rock quarry. Here they locked them in a moving van and buried them alive. The bus driver with the help of the older children was able to make a way of escape while the kidnappers slept. All made it to safety unharmed while the men were captured, tried, and convicted. Richard Schoenfeld was only 22 years old at the time.

 

The Case
All three suspects pleaded guilty to the kidnapping charges and were sentenced to life in jail. With good behavior and rehabilitation, all three came up for parole over the years but all were denied until last year when the Board of Parole Hearings granted Richard Schoenfeld a release date of 2021. He appealed the decision, seeking an earlier release time since he had in fact been found eligible for parole and not a threat to society. The California court system ruled in Schoenfeld’s favor and demanded his release, stating that the later release date was unfair. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation tried to take the case to the California Supreme Court, but the highest court refused to hear the case. Authorities had no choice but to release Schoenfeld.

 

The Condition
Although Schoenfeld has been released, he is by no means free. The condition of his parole is 24-7 monitoring through the use of a GPS tracking unit strapped to his ankle. He is living at home with his mother under the constant surveillance of the police. He will maintain other typical stipulations of parole, but he will serve out his life sentence under virtual house arrest.

 

GPS monitoring of parolees has been around for some time now, but is it enough to allay the fears of those living in the communities of these former convicts? GPS tracking devices can certainly act as a deterrent to recidivism, and society recognizes its use for sex offenders, gang members, and perpetrators of domestic violence. The question remains on the efficacy of using GPS technology to monitor those sentenced for life.