Sierra Madre Man Returns From Canadian Prison

Bob Matheson has returned to Sierra Madre - Photo by Terry Miller

Robert Matheson has been Released from Canadian Custody and is now at his Sierra Madre home.

On February 22, 2012, Sierra Madre resident Robert Matheson was released from a Canadian custodial facility after serving time for child pornography-related charges.

Matheson returned home on February 23, 2012 and met with local police officials on Friday morning.

Matheson voluntarily came to the police station and met with Interim Police Chief Larry Giannone. Giannone said “Mr. Matheson voluntarily came to the police station to advise us that he was back at his residence and simply stated; “There are two sides to every story”. The Police Department has confirmed at this time Mr. Matheson is under no obligation to register as a sex offender based on California law.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials were notified that he would be released at the end of February, but were unsure of the exact date. The ICE investigation regarding Matheson is still on-going.

Giannone said “ICE is still actively working on the Matheson case, however it is a lengthy process and I am not at the liberty to discuss details of the investigation. Mr. Matheson is aware of the continuing investigation”.

We contacted Virginia Kice of Homeland Securty ICE on Friday morning and we just received this response from her office:
“In response to your inquiry regarding the status of ICE Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) probe involving Sierra Madre resident Robert Matheson, there is no new information I can provide about the case. HSI agents executed a warrant at Mr. Matheson’s Sierra Madre residence late last year seeking evidence related to this investigation . The case remains pending at this time. The ultimate determination about whether federal charges will be brought in a case is made by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Also, I understand the Sierra Madre Police Department has issued a news release regarding whether Mr. Matheson will be required to register as a sex offender in the United States following his conviction in Canada. To be clear, HSI is not involved in that process. Here is a link to a document on the Department of Justice website outlining the registration guidelines for sex offenders – http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/smart/pdfs/final_sornaguidelines.pdf On page 16, there is specific information regarding the implications of foreign convictions.

Here’s that Guideline as per DoJ:

B. Foreign Convictions
Section 111(5)(B) of SORNA instructs that registration need not be required on the basis
of a foreign conviction if the conviction “was not obtained with sufficient safeguards for
fundamental fairness and due process for the accused under guidelines or regulations established
[by the Attorney General].” The following standards are adopted pursuant to section 111(5)(B):
! Sex offense convictions under the laws of Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New
Zealand are deemed to have been obtained with sufficient safeguards for fundamental
fairness and due process, and registration must be required for such convictions on the
same footing as domestic convictions.
! Sex offense convictions under the laws of any foreign country are deemed to have been
obtained with sufficient safeguards for fundamental fairness and due process if the U.S.
State Department, in its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, has concluded that
an independent judiciary generally (or vigorously) enforced the right to a fair trial in that
country during the year in which the conviction occurred. Registration must be required
on the basis of such convictions on the same footing as domestic convictions.

! With respect to sex offense convictions in foreign countries that do not satisfy the criteria
stated above, a jurisdiction is not required to register the convicted person if the
jurisdiction determines—through whatever process or procedure it may choose to
adopt—that the conviction does not constitute a reliable indication of factual guilt
because of the lack of an impartial tribunal, because of denial of the right to respond to
the evidence against the person or to present exculpatory evidence, or because of denial
of the right to the assistance of counsel.
The foregoing standards do not mean that jurisdictions must incorporate these particular
criteria or procedures into their registration systems. Jurisdictions may wish to register all
foreign sex offense convicts, or to register such convicts with fewer qualifications or limitations
than those allowed under the standards set forth above. The stated criteria only define the
minimum categories of foreign convicts for whom registration is required for compliance with
SORNA, and as is generally the case under SORNA, jurisdictions are free to require registration
more broadly than the SORNA minimum.

February 24, 2012

About Author

tmiller Terry Miller has been in the newspaper business for 35 plus years, following in the footsteps of his father who was a Foreign Correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph when the family sailed to New York from London abroad the Queen Mary. When not shooting pictures, chasing a breaking news story. or playing drums, Miller spends entirely too much time and effort with Little British Sports Cars like his beloved 74 MGB...more like an addiction, says his wife of 22 years.

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