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Vigil Held for Sex Offender Who Died of Hypothermia
WWMT.Com ^ | March 22, 2009 - 2:07 PM | NEWSCHANNEL 3

Posted on 03/23/2009 12:59:06 PM PDT by MaryFromMichigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A candlelight vigil was held Saturday night to mourn the death of Thomas Pauli.

Authorities say he died of hypothermia in January after two downtown shelters wouldn't let him inside. The shelters say they were just abiding by the law.

Pauli's past criminal record kept him out, the 52 year old man was a sex offender.

"The law states they can't reside within 1000 feet of a school," said Rev. Ralph Collins of Mel Trotter Ministries.

Marge Palmerlee of Degage Ministries says it's the wording she'd like to see changed.

"Staying at a mission is not actually residing, it's just staying overnight," said Palmerlee.

Pauli wasn't turned away from Mel Trotter Ministries that night but Reverend Collins knows the law well.

"If they're caught they're arrested," said Rev. Collins.

Several downtown shelters are within 1000 feet of a school and legally they're forced to turn sex offenders away.

"They're trying to have safety for kids and I understand that, but the way it is now it's there has to be a better option," said Palmerlee.

A hundred people gathered Saturday night night to silently remember Thomas Pauli. Silently reminding people that even though it's warmer out now there's bound to be a similar situation next winter.

The group walked five blocks without saying a word. Holding signs and candles to remember a man they say shouldn't have died that cold January night.

"Just a quiet, respectful way of remembering his life and having the spotlight on a situation a lot of people tend to forget about," said Palmerlee.

Saturday nights vigil ended in the 600 block of Division, it's where Pauli's body was found back in January.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: grandrapids; michigan; wwmt
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The law states that sex offenders can't reside within 1000 feet of a school.
Two downtown shelters wouldn't let him inside.
Thomas Pauli froze to death.
A hundred people gathered together Saturday night to hold a vigil.
"Just a quiet, respectful way of remembering his life and having the spotlight on a situation a lot of people tend to forget about," said Palmerlee.
1 posted on 03/23/2009 12:59:07 PM PDT by MaryFromMichigan
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To: MaryFromMichigan

Did the heat from the candles revive him?


2 posted on 03/23/2009 12:59:56 PM PDT by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th)
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To: WayneS

Oh man, I laughed. I would love to read a little about the dude’s sex crimes.


3 posted on 03/23/2009 1:01:22 PM PDT by Luke21
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To: WayneS

He’ll warm up plenty when he reaches his final destination.


4 posted on 03/23/2009 1:01:24 PM PDT by BipolarBob (When do we call Obama "Dear Leader" and learn the new salute?)
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To: MaryFromMichigan
Pauli wasn't turned away from Mel Trotter Ministries that night...

Then him freezing to death had NOTHING to do with his "being turned away" from shelters, did it?

This story makes no sense. Either he was turned away or he wasn't!

5 posted on 03/23/2009 1:02:18 PM PDT by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th)
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To: WayneS

Candlelight vigil usually means this to me: mobs of insane people running amok and playing with matches.


6 posted on 03/23/2009 1:02:29 PM PDT by Califreak (111th Congress: Destroying America With Reckless Abandon)
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To: WayneS

Sometimes, unintended results are a good thing, but we shouldn’t let this success go to our heads.


7 posted on 03/23/2009 1:02:54 PM PDT by jonascord (Hey, we have the Constitution. What's to worry about?)
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To: grellis

Michigan ping.
I can’t whip up sympathy for the man, but I thought it was an interesting story.


8 posted on 03/23/2009 1:03:14 PM PDT by MaryFromMichigan
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To: Califreak
Yeah. REAL vigils use torches and pitchforks...
9 posted on 03/23/2009 1:04:38 PM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 63 of our national holiday from reality.)
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To: MaryFromMichigan
"They're trying to have safety for kids and I understand that, but the way it is now it's there has to be a better option," said Palmerlee.

I totally agree...Execute them?

10 posted on 03/23/2009 1:04:43 PM PDT by Onelifetogive (Let's get to altering or abolishing!)
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To: MaryFromMichigan
"They're trying to have safety for kids and I understand that, but the way it is now it's there has to be a better option," said Palmerlee

yes--the there are two additional options... he stays locked up for life for his crimes, or he receives the death penalty for his crimes... sex offenders are right up there with murderers...

11 posted on 03/23/2009 1:05:32 PM PDT by latina4dubya ( self-proclaimed tequila snob)
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To: MaryFromMichigan

actions have consequences. Liberals would like to change that. Unfortunately, all we get when liberals change that are different headlines.

“Sex offender caught molesting child after being allowed to stay in shelter” comes to mind.


12 posted on 03/23/2009 1:06:06 PM PDT by wombtotomb
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To: MaryFromMichigan

POS will thaw fast where he’s going. Good riddance.


13 posted on 03/23/2009 1:07:13 PM PDT by AirForceMom (Locked and loaded, and sharpening my pitchfork.)
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To: MaryFromMichigan
From this link:

Pauli was convicted in 1991 of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a child under the age of 13 in Grand Traverse County.

14 posted on 03/23/2009 1:08:36 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: MaryFromMichigan

“.....A hundred people gathered together Saturday night to hold a vigil....”

And where were they when he needed a warm place to stay? Oh, I know, it’s not their problem, it is a problem government must address.


15 posted on 03/23/2009 1:10:20 PM PDT by Islander7 (If you want to anger conservatives, lie to them. If you want to anger liberals, tell them the truth.)
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To: MaryFromMichigan

That’s right. It is society’s fault that the child rapist froze to death. The implication is that is society’s fault for convicting him of rape and sending him to prison. In fact, society’s mistake was in releasing him.


16 posted on 03/23/2009 1:10:34 PM PDT by iowamark (certified by Michael Steele as "ugly and incendiary")
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To: iowamark

you are correct.

if he is released... then he is no longer a danger to society, right? he’s paid his due, right?

if that is the case... then why hound him for the rest of his life?

either keep him in prison or forget about him once he leaves.

i wonder where this will lead. tracking ex-cons and dictating where they can work and live. where does it end? speeding tickets? (after all... most accidents start with speeding) it all seems like another mechanism to get the sheep use to more controls and oversight


17 posted on 03/23/2009 1:15:31 PM PDT by sten
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To: MaryFromMichigan

Maybe these vigilers could put their names on a list of persons willing to take in someone like Pauli.


18 posted on 03/23/2009 1:15:50 PM PDT by texas_mrs
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To: All; jonascord

I like the way you think!
Send People Like Michael Jackson To Halfway Houses in Alaska by Alan Srout
http://www.useless-knowledge.com/1234/may/article120.html


19 posted on 03/23/2009 1:16:29 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (In honor of my late father-Gysgt/Comm. Chief, USMC WWII, Korea 1925-2002)
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To: MaryFromMichigan
Liberal bleeding hearts. Maybe they should put up rapists and child molesters in their own homes if they're so high-minded. Stop kvetching and set an example, damnit! Its about time!

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

20 posted on 03/23/2009 1:18:51 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: sten

One the surface it sounds like he was a very bad person but the article does not go into detail about his crimes. There have been cases where 18 and 19 year old guys had consensual sex with girlfriends who were a couple of years younger and got labeled as sex offenders though they did not do anything heinous. If it turns out this guy committed violent acts though then it is hard to have sympathy for him.


21 posted on 03/23/2009 1:21:09 PM PDT by TNCMAXQ
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To: MaryFromMichigan

Okay, I may be a bad man, but for some reason, my mind started playing “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm”.


22 posted on 03/23/2009 1:21:40 PM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: WayneS

Maybe some of algores’ glo-bull warming could do it.


23 posted on 03/23/2009 1:21:59 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Socialism is the belief that most people are better off if everyone was equally poor and miserable.)
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To: MaryFromMichigan

Hell just got a delivery of frozen Paulicicles.


24 posted on 03/23/2009 1:23:16 PM PDT by reagan_fanatic (FOBO)
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To: MaryFromMichigan

How would the people at the shelter know he was a convicted sex offender?


25 posted on 03/23/2009 1:24:02 PM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: MaryFromMichigan

Some guys can’tget no love. This sex offender died from over-exposure to the cold and can’t find a place to be buried - I guess we’ll leave him out for wild pigs to feast on.


26 posted on 03/23/2009 1:26:12 PM PDT by Professor_Leonide (I said to the young man who showed me a photo, "Who can ever be sure what is behind a mask?")
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To: TNCMAXQ

true... at which point, don’t let him out of prison in the first place.


27 posted on 03/23/2009 1:26:26 PM PDT by sten
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To: MaryFromMichigan

"Pauli wasn't turned away from Mel Trotter Ministries that night..."

Interesting little gem buried way down in the story.
28 posted on 03/23/2009 1:27:44 PM PDT by earlJam
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To: sten
Execute him the first time. And I'll never tire of telling liberals it would be "all for the children!"

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

29 posted on 03/23/2009 1:29:31 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: MaryFromMichigan
Did the "oh so concerned" liberals hold a vigil for the raped children?

I doubt it. We know where liberal sympathies lie...

30 posted on 03/23/2009 1:29:51 PM PDT by GOPJ (Dem's are making *an example of AIG - business will fall in line or else. (*Easier to "shake-down"))
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To: earlJam
"Pauli wasn't turned away from Mel Trotter Ministries that night..." Interesting little gem buried way down in the story.

I think it means that Pauli didn't try to go to that particular mission ... but that, instead, the Trottermission was holding the vigil.

31 posted on 03/23/2009 1:33:10 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: earlJam
In other the liberal cowards weren't willing to follow their conscience when they could have saved him. They didn't need the government's permission to exercise it. Its a little too late for the crocodile tears and sorry excuse for a contrived dog and pony show now!

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

32 posted on 03/23/2009 1:33:34 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Luke21
Oh man, I laughed. I would love to read a little about the dude’s sex crimes.

2nd degree sexual offense with a child under 13 committed in 1991. What the heck is a "2nd degree sexual offense" anyways? And the fact that this crime happened 18 years ago makes this a very questionable case, IMHO.

33 posted on 03/23/2009 1:35:00 PM PDT by LuxAerterna
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To: Luke21
You might not laugh if it happened to someone in your family I know of a person age 18 who had consensual sex with a 17 year old and is now listed for the rest of his life as a sex offender.In some states 16 is legal others older I believe a standard has to be set for all states. This guy who is older probably was a sex offender but laws such as what caused his demise are a little foolish I think.
34 posted on 03/23/2009 1:38:39 PM PDT by bikerman (Obama lied;the Country died.)
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To: TNCMAXQ

Well, yet another story says his offense occurred 20 years ago, so he would have been a man in his 30s molesting someone under the age of 13. A child younger than 13 cannot have “consensual” sex. No one celebrates this death, but actions have consequences, and sometimes those consequences are fatal.


35 posted on 03/23/2009 1:42:13 PM PDT by La Lydia
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To: latina4dubya

As a victim of childhood sexual abuse, I can say confidently that the abused suffer for the rest of their lives. Why should the abuser not meet a similar fate.


36 posted on 03/23/2009 1:42:26 PM PDT by BruceysMom
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To: MaryFromMichigan

I for one will say a prayer for this poor man.

Letting him freeze to death in the snow isnt what we should wish on this guy, who apparently had sex with a 12yo and served 11 years for it. What he did was wrong. What was done to him was wrong as well.

Society should either never let the man out of prison, or allow him to make a new life after prison if the man is willing to make an effort to walk the straight and narrow.

Flame away if you must


37 posted on 03/23/2009 1:47:58 PM PDT by Smedley (It's a sad day for American capitalism when a man can't fly a midget on a kite over Central Park)
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To: MaryFromMichigan
"The group walked five blocks without saying a word. Holding signs and candles to remember a man they say shouldn't have died that cold January night."

And where were they when he needed food and shelter, or better yet, what would they have done it it were there child who was molested or wife/mother/sister/loved one, raped. No sympathy, other than I am sorry that Thomas did not show the compassion to the defenseless and left them alone. Very sorry for that
38 posted on 03/23/2009 1:49:16 PM PDT by BornToBeAmerican (Freedom is not free)
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To: MaryFromMichigan

No sympathy here, let them all freeze to death. Would greatly reduce the burden of the tax payers.


39 posted on 03/23/2009 1:55:24 PM PDT by Frogtacos (Breasts: We got 'em, men want 'em)
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To: bikerman

Illinois actually has a LAW that mislabels thousands of convicts as sex offenders who are NOT and whose offenses have had nothing to do with sex crimes.

I didn’t read this article and don’t know what the details are, but I am disappointed that so many FReepers are so quick to jump on the bandwagon and seem to be happy that someone has frozen to death.


40 posted on 03/23/2009 1:56:24 PM PDT by NEMDF
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To: MaryFromMichigan

Not sure how I feel about this, particularly since I don’t know what kind of ‘offense’ the guy perpetrated. I hate that he froze to death, but I know the laws were put into place to try to protect kids.


41 posted on 03/23/2009 1:58:05 PM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: MaryFromMichigan

And, turning the situation around, lets just say that a shelter let him in and he molested a kid. The same busybodies who had plenty of time to mourn this POS would be calling for the shelter director’s head, I’m sure.


42 posted on 03/23/2009 2:00:29 PM PDT by wbill
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To: r9etb

There is no evidence that he tried to get into any mission that night. Little evidence that he ever tried to get into a mission (someone thought he might have seen him a couple of weeks before). They aren’t even sure he froze to death.

I’m still curious, how would the people at the mission know he was a convicted sex offender? Do they pull a rap sheet when you try to get in?


43 posted on 03/23/2009 2:04:27 PM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: NEMDF

He was convicted of a second degree offense on a child under the age of 13.


44 posted on 03/23/2009 2:06:10 PM PDT by stop_fascism
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To: MaryFromMichigan

I am just sick and tired of these “vigils” — grotesque public displays of misplaced sympathy designed to make the vigil attendee feel morally superior.

As others have already pointed out, if only one of the vigil attendees had been so concerned about Pauli’s plight yesterday, there’d be no need for a vigil.


45 posted on 03/23/2009 2:06:15 PM PDT by delphirogatio (I am the indication, not the confirmation; I'm the inclination, the determination)
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To: LuxAerterna

Keep in mind that is what he was convicted on. He could have been charged with a lesser charge in order to get a conviction. That happens all the time.


Michigan Penal Code, page 3 of 4

750.520c. Second degree criminal sexual conduct.

Sec. 520c. (1) A person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree if the person engages in sexual contact with another person and if any of the following circumstances exist:

(a) That other person is under 13 years of age.

(b) That other person is at least 13 but less than 16 years of age and any of the following:

(I) The actor is a member of the same household as the victim.

(ii) The actor is related by blood or affinity to the fourth degree to the victim.

(iii) The actor is in a position of authority over the victim and the actor used this authority to coerce the victim to submit.

(c) Sexual contact occurs under circumstances involving the commission of any other felony.

(d) The actor is aided or abetted by 1 or more other persons and either of the following circumstances exists:

(I) The actor knows or has reason to know that the victim is mental incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.

(ii) The actor uses force or coercion to accomplish the sexual contact. Force or coercion includes but is not limited to any of the circumstances listed in sections 520b (1) (f) (i) to (v).

(e) The actor is armed with a weapon, or any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead a person to reasonably believe it to be a weapon.

(f) The actor causes personal injury to the victim and force or coercion is used to accomplish the sexual contact. Force or coercion includes but is not limited to any of the circumstances listed in section 520b (1) (f) (I) to (v).

(g) The actor causes personal injury to the victim and the actor knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.

(h) That other person is mentally incapable, mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, and any of the following:

(I) The actor is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the fourth degree.

(ii) The actor is in a position of authority over the victim and used this authority to coerce the victim to submit.

(2) Criminal sexual conduct in the second degree is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years.


46 posted on 03/23/2009 2:09:54 PM PDT by CajunConservative (F U 0bama)
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To: MaryFromMichigan

S’Okay. He’s plenty warm now.


47 posted on 03/23/2009 2:10:26 PM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: MaryFromMichigan

“...Just a quiet, respectful way of remembering his life and having the spotlight on a situation a lot of people tend to forget about”....

I bet his victim won’t ever forget about him....

With an outcome like this -not to mention the whole “shrinkage” problem-it might not be a good idea for folks like this guy to act out on their impulses up there, eh?


48 posted on 03/23/2009 2:11:07 PM PDT by Mac from Cleveland (How to make a small fortune in the Obama era--first, start off with a big fortune....)
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People who protest this are full of crap until they make room in their homes for sex offenders just like Pauli.

The nearest school is Catholic Central, which is probably well within 1000 feet of Mel Trotter Mission, and is practically across the street from Guiding Light Mission. DeGage’s is a women’s shelter, but a lot of folks go there to eat for nothing, or next to nothing. Folks can earn a meal voucher by volunteering there. DeGage’s is in the old Moose lodge building, cool lookin’ moose heads sticking out from near the roof. Mel Trotter is a big operation, the building covers a block downtown, and gets lots of food donations.

I’m not sure whether I knew the guy slightly , but I’ve known a number of other homeless folks around here who have died — and nearly all of them were not deaths by natural causes, but death by thugs, and/or alcohol-related death (including passing out drunk and dying of exposure, ‘cause that ain’t natural causes, folks) similar misadventures.


49 posted on 03/23/2009 2:16:31 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: MaryFromMichigan

there is another class of law breakers which they all do welcome - I betcha!

the illegal alien


50 posted on 03/23/2009 2:17:01 PM PDT by elpadre (nation)
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