Lawmaker Who Proposed Sex Offender Bill Under Scrutiny
Joyce Foster's Brother-In-Law Is Sex Offender
Last Updated: 1099 days ago
There is controversy brewing over an amendment to Colorado's sex offender law.The governor hasn't signed it yet, but if he does, it will allow sex offenders to choose their own treatment.The senator who sponsored the bill, Joyce Foster, (D) Denver, has a brother-in-law, Julian Newman, who is a registered sex offender.Foster admits the amendment came about in part because of conversations she had with her brother-in-law."Many years ago my brother-in-law, in the state of Wisconsin, who is a physician, had a sexual relationship with an adult patient," said Foster. When her brother-in-law moved to Colorado he registered for treatment.Foster said her brother-in-law was convicted of a misdemeanor, but she said the system, treated him no different than a hard-core felon and repeat sex offender.Her bill would allow her brother-in-law, and other Colorado sex offenders, to select counseling and treatment providers that best fit their level of offense.Foster said in the past, misdemeanor offenders, like her brother-in-law, were treated just like felons."He's not a pedophile. He had no relationship with children," said Foster.But Greig Veeder, executive director of the treatment center Teaching Humane Existence, disagrees with the amendment."These are individuals who have been making bad personal choices, being allowed to make another bad personal choice," said Veeder.Foster said her brother-in-law did complain about the treatment he received at Teaching Humane Existence, or THE.Foster argued Veeder stands to lose a lot of money if offenders are given the right to choose. Veeder said that's not true."If she's feeling unfairly hammered on this issue, it's because she drove the nail down on this issue before anybody else could talk about it, that wasn't in the legislature," said Veeder.Asked if he thought Foster was doing this to protect a family member Veeder replied, "Well, you're asking me to assess her motivation and I've never been invited to talk to her."Incest victim Michelle Ravelo disagrees with Foster's amendment."I suffered far more than my father ever suffered to this day," said Ravelo. "And in this whole process everybody's forgetting that the victim had no choices.""Some say you have gone too far and you perhaps should have abstained from this issue. Your thoughts?" asked 7NEWS reporter Russell Haythorn of Foster."Absolutely not. Absolutely not. With my understanding and my background, it made me realize what was happening in this state was wrong," said Foster.Critics believe Foster crafted a tailor-made bill to protect a family member."This creates a loophole in accountability," said Veeder. "It should be up to probation officers to decide what kind of treatment a sex offender needs. And it should be in that person's hands and nobody else's."Veeder said 95 percent of sex offenders who come through his office cannot be cured, only treated, which speaks to the public threat."This is, in the end, a public safety issue," said Veeder. "These people are consistently trying to manipulate the system. They say, 'That was then and this is now.' They are deceptive by nature."The governor is now facing pressure from group's like Veeder's not to sign the bill."Why would someone who had urinated publicly on someone's lawn be in the same group as a serial rapist?" Foster asked. "I sponsored this amendment so we treat serial rapists and hard core pedophiles much differently than all of the others."Veeder said the bill was passed in last-minute fashion without any public testimony a day or two before the end of the session last Friday."It's the community that's going to be losing safety. This is an absolutely ludicrous idea," said Veeder. "I can't see much transparency that's taken place throughout. And she's dead wrong on this.""They will use this to manipulate their treatment and the system even further," said Ravelo.