Appeals Judge Lifts Stay
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ A convicted child molester has complied with a judge’s order by posting a sign on the door to his room saying he’s a ″dangerous sex offender,″ his probation officer said today.
Richard Bateman put up the sign after the Oregon Court of Appeals on Thursday lifted a temporary stay of the judge’s order.
Bateman has been living in a Portland-area rooming house since his parole last week and posted the sign only on the door to his room, said probation officer Tom Grinnell.
Grinnell said he believed Bateman didn’t have to put signs on the outside doors to the rooming house, but that he had asked the judge who issued the order for clarification.
″He did it immediately upon learning of the appeals court refusal to (continue the) stay,″ Grinnell said of Bateman. ″... He did it. We didn’t provide any of the materials.″
Multnomah County District Judge Dorothy Baker ordered the twice-convicted sex offender to post signs on his house and car, with letters at least 3 inches high, reading ″Dangerous Sex Offender. No Children Allowed.″
Bateman is appealing the order, which is a condition of his probation, and the appeals court said Thursday it would expedite the process and hear oral arguments Dec. 24. Under the court’s normal schedule, the appeal would not be heard until February. case.
The order to post signs on his car is moot because Bateman’s driver’s license is suspended, Grinnell said. Bateman has applied for an occupational license.
The 47-year-old drywall installer has not yet found a job, Grinnell added.
Batemen pleaded no contest in the spring to two counts of sex abuse involving 5-year-old children and was sentenced to jail and five years’ probation.
″He is only a vehicle for an issue,″ Ms. Baker said following the appeals court’s ruling. ″He was not the worst I’ve seen. He was appropriate because of his individual circumstances.″
″I hope,″ she said, ″that the press and the courts will look at the bigger issue, which is the public’s right to know when someone dangerous is being placed in their midst.″
″That means the signs go up now,″ said Marla Rae, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer.
The attorney general’s office had argued the appeals court had no authority to suspend probation conditions while they are being appealed.
Bateman says that requiring the signs as part of his probation amounts to unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment.
Diane Alessi, a deputy state public defender who represents Bateman, declined to accept a call seeking comment on the case, her office said Thursday.
Bateman is living in an undisclosed location in the Portland area.