Shasta Groene pushes for One Strike law for sex offenders

Shasta Groene pushes for One Strike law for sex offenders
Law enforcement officers and the father of murder victim Dylan Groene were among the first of 90 witnesses prosecutors started calling to the stand at Joseph Duncan's sentencing in Boise Thursday morning.

The lone survivor of an attack that killed her family wants the state of Idaho to move to a “one strike and you’re out” law for sex offenders.

Shasta Groene was just eight years old in 2005 when Joseph Duncan, a convicted sex offender, attacked her family outside Coeur d’Alene. Duncan killed Shasta’s mother, step-father and 13-year old brother Slade. He then kidnapped Shasta and her nine-year old brother Dylan and kept them for weeks in the mountains in Montana. While there, Duncan killed Dylan as well.

After six weeks in the mountains, Duncan brought Shasta to the Denny’s in Coeur d’Alene. Patrons and employees immediately recognized the little girl from the missing persons fliers and called police, who arrested Duncan.

Duncan was a sex offender who served prison time in Washington before moving to North Dakota. He jumped bail on a sexual molestation charge there, then headed west towards Washington. Along the way, he spotted the Groene children playing in their yard near Interstate 90 and made his decision to attack the family.

Since his arrest, Duncan has been implicated in the deaths of other children, including a young boy in California and two sisters in Seattle. He is currently on federal death row in Terre Haute, Indiana.

In a petition online, Shasta writes about Duncan and the impact he has had on her life and family. “He was charged many times before my situation and was let out again and again,” she wrote. “I would like this petition to change that. 1 strike for a sex offender should be enough.”

She goes on to say that Duncan and other sex offenders should never be allowed back on the streets.

“This isn’t a disease,” she writes. “Its [sic] a sick twisted person who cannot be helped or fixed. The system failed me and my family and im going to do whatever it takes to put an end to the psychos running the streets.”

The petition currently has more than 1,400 signatures and will be delivered to Governor Butch Otter, among others.

Shasta’s father Steve Groene tried a similar effort in 2008.