When probation officers searched the Miami home of Andrew Calderon on May 18, they found no drugs, no guns, no porn. In his room, they did find the familiar tokens of male adolescence: a sexy calendar, a racy poster, and a few copies of Maxim magazine. To probation officials, those items were far from innocent, reports the Miami Herald. They locked up Calderon, saying the 23-year-old sex offender violated paragraph 30 of his probation agreement by having ”sexually stimulating” material. He spent six days in jail before a judge ordered his release.
He was snared as part of the Florida Department of Corrections’ increasingly aggressive ”zero tolerance” policy. After two notorious Florida murders last year allegedly committed by suspects on probation, the Department of Corrections began to drag offenders to court throughout the state for even the smallest transgressions. The scrutiny may be even greater for sex offenders, who are typically barred from possessing ”obscene, pornographic, or sexually stimulating” material under standard probation agreements. But defense lawyers say this is a dangerously vague rule for probation officers to enforce. In today’s sex-drenched culture, what constitutes sexually stimulating material? “A beer commercial could do it,” said Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein.