Sunday, September 16, 2007

NY - White Plains to revisit sex offender notification

View the article here | Mt. Vernon PD Web site | Bad New York Cops

09/16/2007

WHITE PLAINS - A neighborhood uproar over not being informed that a Level 3 sex offender was living near a busy school bus stop has prompted the police to reconsider their notification policy.

"In response to the concerns of the community, we're taking a look at a number of options in conjunction with the Mayor's Office and the city corporation counsel,'' said Deputy Public Safety Commissioner Daniel Jackson.

Jackson would not elaborate and referred questions to Mayor Joseph Delfino's office. Calls to that office seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Several residents of the Battle Hill neighborhood appeared at Monday's Common Council meeting and demanded a policy change after The Journal News reported that the White Plains Police Department does not inform the school district or neighborhood residents of sex offenders who move into the city.

Most other police departments in the Lower Hudson Valley do, a survey last week found. In many instances schools, police or both agencies use a variety of methods to notify neighborhood groups, immediate neighbors and organizations that deal with children.

Under New York's version of Megan's Law, local police departments are not required to disseminate information to the public on registered offenders who move into their communities.

The state sex offender registry is available online or by calling a toll-free number at the state Division of Criminal Justice Services. Still, most police departments in Westchester, Putnam and Rockland say they do tell the public.

"We want to give the benefit of the doubt to possible victims as opposed to the offender," New Rochelle police Lt. Chris Hearle said.
- Why not the benefit of the doubt to ALL citizens? You people are dehumanizing sex offenders, and this is NOT a good thing to do. Cops think all criminals are scum! Why don't you check out the link above, and see all the PERVERTED and CORRUPT cops in New York.

New Rochelle police make annual mailings to all residents, listing the names, addresses and crimes of all Level 3 offenders in the city, along with their photographs. For Level 2, or "medium risk'' offenders, the mailing lists a ZIP code but not the offender's specific address. If an offender moves in during the year, the department sends a mailing to specific neighborhoods.

"We sent out 26,000 letters this year,'' Hearle said. "We want people to be aware, not alarmed. The more people who know, the safer they'll all be.''

Kent police said they also notified schools and neighborhoods about Level 2 and 3 offenders.

"We always err on the side of caution," said town police Lt. Alex DiVernieri. "We make as much notification as can be made by law. We're not going to take any chances."

Many police departments, including Orangetown, Spring Valley, Clarkstown, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Peekskill, Westchester County and the Putnam County sheriff just pass sex offender information along to school districts, which in turn alert residents.

"We're certainly not in the business of protecting sex offenders,'' said Mount Vernon Police Chief Joseph Pizzuti. "We're in the business of protecting the public."
- Why don't you just say something like "We're certainly not in the business of protecting JEWS, We're in the business of protecting the public!" And you are the CHIEF of Police. Nice to know you are representing the public with your BIGOTRY!!!

Mount Vernon police send a letter to the Board of Education listing the names and addresses of all Level 3 offenders, along with photos and crime information. Photographs, crime information and ZIP codes are provided for Level 1 and 2 offenders. The department also lists the information on its Web site.

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said her office frequently helps train police officers on aspects of Megan's Law, which, among other things, requires convicted sex offenders to notify the police of any change of address after being released from prison. Providing information on sex offenders to communities, she said, helps residents keep their families safe.

"I think community notification is a very important crime-prevention initiative,'' DiFiore said.

As in White Plains, police in Port Chester do not notify residents about sex offenders.

"At this point we don't notify,'' said village police Lt. James Ladeairous. "We only have one Level 3. We know exactly where he is, and he hasn't been in any trouble.''

Still, he said, "we are reviewing the policy ... . We're in the midst of discussing a policy change with the legal department."

The White Plains controversy erupted last week when Battle Hill resident Agostino "Augie" Zicca, a Republican candidate for the Common Council, learned from the state sex offenders registry that Jose Rivera, 45, was living at 169 Chatterton Parkway. That's near a bus stop that serves elementary, middle and high school students.

Zicca then informed residents through the Battle Hill Neighborhood Association. Rivera, considered a high-risk offender, was convicted in 1997 of raping a 5-year-old girl in Ossining.

On Monday, the bus stop was moved about two blocks to Alexander and Putnam avenues.

Residents who ask the White Plains Police Department about sex offenders are referred to the state Web site and telephone number. They can also make a written request and then are invited to police headquarters to see the information.

"I'm amazed that White Plains doesn't notify residents about these predators,'' said Battle Hill resident Sara Cheitel, a mother of three children who use the bus stop. "A lot of people spoke up about it at the Common Council meeting, and the mayor said he would take care of it and get the policy changed. People are concerned about this. I hope it's not an empty promise.''

Patty Cantu, president of the neighborhood association, said she was sure Delfino would follow through on the policy change.

"The mayor is known for being on the side of children, and I'm sure he'll make sure that the change is made.'' she said.


OK - City land purchase could drive sex offenders from Town West

View the article here

This is wrong and total BS! The sex offenders were there first. You should NOT be allowed to buy land or open a day care and force these people from their homes, you should not open either near sex offenders. These offenders, who were here first, should be allowed to stay, since they were there first, before this place was even thought about being purchased and a new park placed there, a place they cannot go. Total BS!

09/15/2006

The Sapulpa City Council will meet Monday night to discuss an issue that will greatly affect sex offenders residing in the Town West area.

The council will vote on whether to approve the acquisition of a piece of property currently owned by Cherokee Hose and Supply on Old Sapulpa Road.

The property, if approved for purchase, will be used to build a new park for the Town West area.

“We hope to have the park up and running before November,” said City Manager Tom DeArman.

“The city has already ordered the equipment for the park and will install it as soon as the property is purchased.”

DeArman also said that the money for the project has been set aside and that he doesn’t foresee any roadblocks to the city’s plans.

According to Captain Mike Haefner of the Sapulpa Police Department, a registered sex offender cannot live within 2,000 feet of a school, registered day care or park.
- So they buy the land and open a park, the one thing the offender cannot be around. These people are just plain evil!!!!

“We have looked at putting this park in place for some time,” said Haefner.

“We met with the Tulsa County District Attorney about how to proceed. We are going to send out letters to the sex offenders that are currently residing in the Town West motels and they will be given a reasonable amount of time to move.”

Haefner said that once the grace period of time has passed any sex offender still in that area will be considered in violation of the law.

Haefner also said that this park and the laws governing sex offender living restrictions will prevent offenders from moving in at all.

“The police department is looking out for the best interests of Sapulpa,” said Haefner. “We want a safe community for our citizens.”


CA - State appeals court rules against Oakland police officer

View the article here

09/14/2007

A state appeals court ruled Thursday against an Oakland police officer who filed numerous suits challenging the city's investigation and legal representation of him in a case that led to a $95,000 payout to a woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her.

The city agreed in December 2004 to pay the money to Griselvia Castaneda, who accused Officer Frank Morrow Jr. of trying to force her to orally copulate with him on a remote Orinda road while he was on duty.

Castaneda said she had asked Morrow for help near Oakland Coliseum early May 12, 2001, after another officer had her car towed.

Morrow wasn't charged with a crime and denied wrongdoing. He filed several lawsuits in state and federal court accusing city officials of mishandling the case.

The city at one point filed a cross-complaint against Morrow for damages, accusing him of engaging in serial litigation.

In a ruling on Morrow's suits Thursday, the state First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco sided with the city. The court noted that Morrow had made his claims to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, both of which rejected them.

"The judgments are final and may not be re-examined," Justice Patricia Sepulveda wrote for the appeals court.

Morrow, 40, remains on the force but is on leave. He said he had not seen a copy of Thursday's ruling and had no immediate comment.

The officer is facing another lawsuit for an off-duty incident in which he allegedly punched a man in the head and brandished a handgun after the man tried to intervene in a dispute Morrow was having with his daughter, then 17, in Brentwood.

Morrow has denied the allegations.


WI - Sheriff's deputy gets jail time for assault

View the article here

09/14/2007

Attack occurred in courthouse

Delano Terrell, a Milwaukee County Sheriff's deputy convicted of plotting to have a female inmate brought to the courthouse, where he sexually assaulted her, was sentenced Friday to 6½ years in prison followed by 2½ years of probation.

Terrell, 45, denied guilt and frequently quoted Scripture before he was sentenced by Circuit Judge Joseph Wall.

Terrell said he forgave Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., who had called him a rogue and condemned his behavior as boorish.

"I've ministered to you," Terrell said in reference to Clarke. "I pray for you daily and I have forgiven you."

Wall noted that it was difficult to reconcile Terrell's character with the crimes he was accused of committing.

More than a dozen letter writers told of Terrell as a dedicated husband and father, an active member of his church, a talented musician who played professionally and a reliable friend who helped others.

A jury convicted Terrell last month of two counts of misconduct in public office and one count each of third- and fourth-degree sexual assault. According to court records, he had the female inmate, who is now 24 and in jail, brought to the courthouse, where he worked as a bailiff. She testified that he took her into a restroom adjacent to an empty jury room and committed sex acts on her after declaring his affections.

The woman, handcuffed and in jail garb, appeared in court Friday and told the judge, "I trusted him to protect me and he violated me."

Wall acknowledged that Terrell's prison time would be more difficult because he had worked in law enforcement. Terrell has been held in solitary confinement in the Ozaukee County Jail for his own safety, Wall noted.

Nonetheless, the judge said, Terrell's position as a deputy made the gravity of his offense much worse. Wall also said he was not "boxed in" by the jury decision.

"If anything I am boxed in by the overwhelming facts," Wall said, praising the investigation conducted by the Sheriff's Department and Assistant District Attorney Paul Tiffin.

Wall said Terrell's sentence was sending a message to all law enforcement officers and the community that such misconduct would not be tolerated. Giving Terrell probation would depreciate the seriousness of the crime, Wall said.

"It would be a mockery of our law, our system of justice," Wall said.


WI - Guest column: Leadership crisis starts with each one of us

View the article here

09/16/2007

How many of us have sat back, looked around and said, "What is happening to my family, my neighborhood, my city, my country, the world?"

Every day, I see people waiting to be saved by someone or something outside of themselves: the rules, laws, policy, aldermen, lawyers, lawmakers, police, prisons, the government, the president. Have a problem? Make a law. Have an issue? Call your government representative (if you know who he/she is). Have a disagreement? Call your lawyer (we all know who our lawyer is). Whose responsibility is this? Who is to blame?

By sitting back and waiting for someone else to solve our problems, we ensure that the responsibility or blame for what is happening to our neighbors and ourselves lies outside of ourselves. This is a defense mechanism; this is fool's gold. The reality is that by doing this, we are ensuring that our society will degrade, go downhill or "to hell in a hand-basket," (or whatever your favorite phrase may be). The question then becomes not if we will suffer as a society, but when, and how severe will the consequences be.

We are becoming experts at attacking the effects of a problem rather than the cause. If we are fearful of a sexual predator attacking our children, the solution would seem simple: Make a law saying they can't live near us.

Logic would dictate, however, that this is not a solution, but rather a temporary reprieve for our worries: fool's gold. What is preventing said sexual predators from driving through our neighborhoods, having a picnic in our parks, or taking a long power walk?

The "solution" to problems is never as simple as making a law or a rule about it. Why do sexual predators exist? What is the cause? Are we taking a problem on by the root, or are we simply trimming some unsightly branches off of it?

This is only one example of what has become an epidemic in our society. Look around you.

So who is responsible for what is happening in our neighborhoods? Who is to blame for problems we may suffer? Who will fix what is ailing our cities, our states, our country, our world? Look in the mirror. Tell your neighbors to look in their mirrors. Lead; take ownership over what affects you. Stop waiting for someone to fly in and fix our problems.

We are the leaders in our own lives; we are responsible for what happens to us. Stop waiting, pointing, blaming and attacking the effects. The problems are already enormous. The situation is already advanced beyond the point of simple solutions. We can't afford to sit back and wait for others to solve these problems. We must embrace the power given to us by our rights as American citizens and our natural rights as human beings. If we do not, these rights will surely be taken from us.


CA - San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy facing sex, bribery charges

View the article here

09/08/2007

VICTORVILLE - A San Bernardino County sheriff's is accused of sexual battery and soliciting bribes from women.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Arden Wiltshire says deputy Matthew Linderman was arrested early yesterday.

She says Linderman faces several charges, including sexual battery by restraint, soliciting another to engage in lewd conduct and soliciting bribes.

If convicted, Linderman could be sentenced to more than 30 years in prison.

Wiltshire declined to discuss specifics of the case but says the department began investigating Linderman after receiving a complaint.

The 30-year-old deputy has been with the department since 1998 and had been working out of the Victorville station as part of a unit investigating retail theft.

Linderman could be arraigned as early as Monday.


Rep. Rob Briley - Worked on harsher SO laws, busted for DUI!!!!!!!!!!!



Rep. Rob Briley was a sponsor of the harsher sex offender bills.

Looks like we need a DUI Registry and harsher laws in Tennessee with his ugly hypocritical face on it, not allowed to live XXXX feet near a liquor store and lose his license to drive. He could've killed someone. Get off the road you drunkard!

News Articles:
http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/2007/03/bills-to-toughen-child-sex-abuse.html
http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/2007/02/tennessee-legislators-looking-to-expand.html

Videos of DUI arrest:




Teachers Who Have Been Accused Of Sleeping With Students


GA - Attorneys decry child molester law

View the article here

09/16/2007

Tougher penalties lead more suspects to pick trial over plea, prosecutor says

AIKEN - It seemed like a good idea: a law that would harshly punish child molesters, especially repeat offenders.

But prosecutors in Aiken County say that since Jessie's Law went into effect last year, the tougher penalties have made getting convictions harder.
- This means they are not taking your stupid "plea" bargains anymore, and risking a jury trial, which is exactly the same thing I'd do if in this situation. Plea bargains allow them to get you convicted, and in prison, where they can move on and make more money. Now they will be making less money because they have fewer cases.

Before, accused child molesters would plead guilty more easily, Assistant Solicitor Brenda Brisbin said. That saved victims - often very young children - from having to testify, she said.
- It prevented them the ability to face their accusers, which is a constitutional right. Now they are making use of that right.

But now, defendants often force a trial rather than accept a minimum, mandatory sentence that could put them in prison for 25 years, force them to be tracked by GPS monitoring devices for life or send them to death row.

"When legislators pass these laws, they think they're getting tough on child molesters," Ms. Brisbin said. "That's what they say. But in reality, they're making it more difficult to get convictions on child molesters. We don't want them passing these laws."

In effect since July 1, 2006, Jessie's Law was named for Jessica Lunsford, who was murdered in 2005 in Florida by a convicted sex offender.

It increased the minimum sentence for someone convicted of raping a child younger than 11 to 25 years to life in prison, up from at most 30 years behind bars. Offenders convicted more than once of raping a child younger than 11 can face the death penalty.
- The prison systems are already overflowing, now with all these mandatory minimum sentences for a lot of crimes, they really will be over flowing. I guess that is why Haliburton has been building concentration camps??? So they can put all the undesirables in prison for long time, and hopefully make life easier on anyone, without regard for human rights.

People convicted of committing lewd acts on a minor are monitored by GPS for the rest of their lives, and sex offenders have to register twice a year.
- And who pays for the GPS for life?

Ms. Brisbin said her proof of how the law has affected her cases comes from what defense attorneys tell her.

"I don't have any record of people who say, 'I'm not going to plea because I don't want to wear a GPS device for life.' But we hear that all the time from defense attorneys," she said.

It's the same for people facing a minimum of 25 years in prison or the death penalty, she said.

Even defense attorneys don't like that provision.

"It's a bad thing," said Aiken's chief public defender, Wallis Alves.

If a client was accused of criminal sexual conduct with a minor before, she said, defense attorneys could work out a plea deal with prosecutors to get the charges dropped to committing a lewd act on a minor.

That would be difficult now that the client would have to wear a GPS tracking device for life, she said.

"The clients may not be willing to do that," Ms. Alves said.
- Clients or just people to make everyone else rich?

She said she's OK with other provisions in Jessie's Law - the mistake of age section and the "Romeo" clause, which is meant to protect teens having sex with other teens.

She said she hasn't had one of her cases reach the point where Jessie's Law will affect her defense. But when that happens, she said, it will likely cause her some heartburn.

"Victims didn't have to come to court and testify" with plea bargains, she said. "Not everybody was happy, but now we can't do that."

Ms. Brisbin said that ideally, she would always have enough evidence to guarantee a conviction. But she says it often comes down to what the child says and what the accused says.
- And this is exactly why I'd take a jury trial any day. Let them prove you are guilty, instead of taking some stupid plea bargain, which ISN'T a bargain. They know it would be hard to prove if a jury trial was performed, so they want the plea bargain, so they can put someone away, get rich and move on to the next victim.

"People seldom molest children in front of witnesses," she said. "That is the reality of child molestation. Fondling a child does not result in physical evidence. All you've got is a 5-year-old's word for it. And juries will not convict based on a 5-year-old's word."
- So do NOT plea bargain, it is NOT in your best interest, believe me when I say this.

Ms. Brisbin said that instead of increasing penalties for sex crimes, legislators should ask prosecutors what would really help them secure convictions: the ability to tell the jury when someone has a prior sexual assault conviction.

That's not permissible in South Carolina, she said, though other states allow it and it's a federal rule of evidence that hasn't been adopted by South Carolina.

Ms. Brisbin isn't convinced the harsher penalties will deter child molesters.
- It won't. When will people ever realize no matter how tough on crime, all the zero tolerance, all the registries in the world will not prevent a murderer from murdering, a thief from stealing, a dealer from dealing, a user from using, a rapist from raping? Accusations on any sex crime, child abuse, or domestic violence will literally nail your butt to the wall! No DNA has to be present, No violence has to be present..... HEARSAY ALONE IS LITERALLY NAILING THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TO THE WALL BECAUSE THESE LAWS ARE BIASED.

Statistics show most children don't report the abuse right away, if at all, she said, and most children are abused by family members.

That's why she also doesn't put much faith in sex offender registries.

"It provides a very false sense of security for people," she said, "because the fact is, few children are molested by the stranger down the street."


PA - Lawyer Found Naked With Teen Enters Plea

View the article here

09/11/2007

PHILADELPHIA — A defense attorney who was found naked with a 14-year-old girl in a courthouse pleaded no contest Monday to charges of sexually assaulting her and five other girls.

Larry Charles, 50, entered the pleas the same day his trial had been scheduled to begin. Charles' bail was revoked and he was sent to prison, pending his sentencing on Dec. 20. Prosecutors said they plan to recommend a sentence of 25 to 50 years in prison.

Authorities have said a sheriff's deputy making his rounds in the courthouse on Jan. 15, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, looked into a lawyers' lounge and discovered Charles and the girl. Charles often worked in the courthouse as a criminal defense attorney.

After his arrest, five other girls, now ages 11 to 17, came forward and said Charles assaulted them. Some of the girls testified they were assaulted multiple times from 2000 until Charles was arrested.

Charles was charged with counts of rape, sexual assault, corruption of a minor and other charges. He pleaded no contest to all counts.

Three of the six girls are sisters, one girl was a cousin of theirs, and the two other girls are sisters, prosecutor James Carpenter said.

"The defendant befriended their families and started gradually conditioning them to be molested" and eventually escalating to rape, Carpenter said.

An attempt to reach Charles' lawyer, Angelo L. Cameron, for comment was not successful.


Public willingly lets stings erode their rights

View the article here

09/16/2007

Once again, police stings are in the news. Nassau County's spectacular arrest of 21 Web-trolling sexual predators has shared headlines with Idaho Sen. Larry Craig's public humiliation in an airport men's room, and both raise questions about the ethics of deceptive law enforcement methods that embolden targets to break the law.

But compared with past episodes - notably the 1978 FBI Abscam sting that sent one U.S. senator and five congressmen to prison for bribery - protests have been muted. This is because the deceptive technique, which raised questions of entrapment in Abscam, has been a standard police tool for more than 30 years; Americans are used to it, and they accept it.

The public also finds stings entertaining. But none of this means that these practices are necessarily fair or right.

The law is certainly supportive. The U.S. Supreme Court gave its stamp of approval in 1973, with the majority arguing that without such procedures it would be impossible to obtain convictions in cases where offenses were carried out in secret. Chief Justice William Rehnquist declared that deception by law enforcement in such situations is "one of the only practicable means of detection."

But it is less the Supreme Court than popular culture that has built support for stings ... that catch someone else, naturally. The Abscam videotapes of former New Jersey Sen. Harrison Williams stuffing cash into his suit had the public chuckling even before YouTube. The television cop drama "Cagney & Lacey" sought and found hilarity by having the two women police detectives dress up as prostitutes to nab naughty businessmen. Gradually, hidden-camera shows became meaner and more common. In the series "Punk'd," for example, these sting operations aim for embarrassment and humor rather than arrests, but the principle is the same: fool people into "being themselves," as the original "Candid Camera" practitioner, Allen Funt, used to say. If "being themselves" means being crooked or corrupt, all the better.

Most popular of all is the sting that makes someone look ridiculous. Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's hit movie, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," was essentially a feature-length sting designed to expose racists, bigots and fools in the Heartland of America. A regular feature on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" is for a cheeky comic to interview some clueless extremist or oddball with questions crafted to expose the subject as deranged, silly or both.

Now that Americans consider such cruel tricks standard entertainment fare, why would we be outraged at the circumstances of Craig's arrest on charges of disorderly conduct in the Minneapolis airport men's room, which involved both law enforcement and, in the eyes of many, hilarity?

It's no surprise either that the critics of Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice's North Merrick operation are focused on the possibility that neighborhood children could have been exposed to sexual predators lured to the address. That police officers posed as underage girls to induce the arrests at the sting house does not seem to be an issue.

Indeed, sexual predator stings are now prime-time television programming, thanks to NBC's "Dateline." In its "To Catch a Predator" segments, Internet stalkers of underage girls set up what they believe are sexual liaisons, only to discover that they have been duped by a journalistically questionable alliance of "Dateline" reporters, paid adults posing online as eager Lolitas and local police.

Chris Hanson, the show's host, has piously argued that the purpose is to educate the public about the dangers in cyberspace. But the show would draw far fewer viewers if so many people didn't greatly enjoy watching embarrassed middle-aged men, including lawyers, accountants and even a rabbi, try to explain to Hanson - who typically bursts into the designated tryst locale with a full camera crew - that they really are innocent victims of a "misunderstanding." What a hoot!

The Fox network added a dash of celebrity to the mix when Miss America posed as a minor in a Suffolk computer crimes unit sting in Bay Shore last spring - an operation that was filmed for "America's Most Wanted."

If the primary purpose is really to apprehend predators and educate people, the deception - and the creation of a situation without which the particular crime would not otherwise have occurred - may seem like a fair means to a just end. But if the motive is primarily ratings, ad revenue and yucks, then the suicide last year of a Texas assistant district attorney who had been "caught on camera" and confronted by "Dateline" can't be justified. Is putting stings on television that critical to law enforcement? I suspect more predators could be uncovered if there weren't such a high-profile reminder that the sting operation was ongoing.

Certainly the undercover officer who arrested Craig in Minneapolis was not interested in TV ratings, but the lack of questioning about the tactics seems to arise less from a careful balancing of the ethical trade-offs involved than from the public's comfort level with the ethically messier "Dateline" and "Borat."

In Craig's case, some accept the sting method for political and social reasons unrelated to whether it is fair. The left wing relishes seeing another "family values" Republican exposed as a hypocrite. The right wing finds Craig's conduct so "disgusting" (Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's immediate description of his loyal political ally) that it is not inclined to question the means by which he was exposed. In the general population, it's fair to say that many find sexual predators so scary that how they are caught doesn't really matter.

So we know stings are popular, effective and legal. But are they morally right?

Entrapment - inducing or tricking someone to break a law when he or she has no natural inclination to do so - is clearly unethical. But when furtive and serious crimes require an undercover observer to detect and stop them, Rehnquist's reasoning is unassailable: Deception serves an important public purpose. The ethical transgression of dishonesty by law enforcement pays sufficient dividends in the public good.

Three guidelines must be part of the moral calculation. First, the reasons for using such an otherwise dishonest method must be justifiable in ethical terms: The good must outweigh the harm. Second, those who use this deceptive but effective tool have an ethical obligation to minimize the damage caused by it. Finally, there must be recognition that any measure that is so close to the ethical margins must constantly be monitored so it does not become used for increasingly dubious purposes even as the public's tolerance for it grows.

It is apparent these guidelines are not adhered to. "Dateline" is blatantly ignoring the obligation to minimize damage, as it needlessly maximizes public humiliation of those caught by its deceptions (of course, the spectacle of humiliation does bring in revenue).

Yet, if we so uncritically accept unethical conduct from television producers and comics - turning private humiliation into public sport - the temptation will only become stronger to give police a pass on the abusive bending of ethical standards in the pursuit of public safety.

Undercover operations like the one that Craig encountered are close calls ethically, but I believe that they violate the guideline that good must outweigh harm. A sexual encounter in a public rest room does not rise to the level of inherently harmful and serious conduct that must be exposed using otherwise unethical means. It is not like selling, purchasing or using illicit drugs, or taking bribes or fencing stolen goods, another common target for stings.

If, as in the Craig case, the intended unlawful conduct is discovered or witnessed, it can and should be reported and acted upon. But if it is not witnessed or discovered, the public harm is negligible; it is not substantial enough to warrant crossing the ethical lines required for a sting operation.

Neither is the goal of getting people to laugh at Borat's unwitting victims, or "The Daily Show" dupes. The public's obvious delight at seeing bad, flawed or unconventional human nature exposed through deceptive means has dulled ethical sensitivities that citizens will need to stop the abusive stings and protect their individual rights.


Men: guilty until proven innocent

View the article here

John keeps sticking his foot in his mouth. He says to not hire male baby sitters, they are a risk, and also, he admitted he had a sexual addiction to women, so therefore, STAY AWAY FROM KIDS MR. WALSH, YOU ARE A DANGER. You hate males, because who you think killed your son was a male, now you say this. So I think that makes you a danger yourself to kids, so you should not be allowed to be a father, like it says in this article, IMO. You have a sexual addiction and you are male, so guilty until proven innocent.

09/16/2007

Child advocate John Walsh advises parents to never hire a male baby sitter.

The host of Fox's "America's Most Wanted" wants to help other parents protect their kids. He's advocated for missing children since 1981, after his son was killed by a stranger.

So when the topic of male nannies - mannies - came up in a conversation with friends, I didn't think too long before voicing my take on the trend.

I actually said - aloud - something to the effect of: "Even if we could afford it, I'd never hire a mannie. Too risky that he'd turn out to be a predator.''

My fears sounded reasonable. After all, in the majority of reported sexual abuse cases, the predators are male.

I was just being an informed and cautious parent. Right?

Not quite. Some argue, quite reasonably, that my response is male profiling, no worse than authorities pulling people over for DWH: "Driving While Hispanic." Or singling out Muslims on airplanes.

Is the no-mannies rule male profiling? Or is it just a precaution, no different than mothers dragging their sons into the women's room with them until the boys are old enough to protest? Or moms standing outside the men's room, yelling inside to their pre-teen sons "Are you OK in there?"

Wall Street Journal columnist Jeff Zaslow wrote recently about how society teaches children to be fearful of men. And how men deal with being cast unfairly as predators.

Zaslow gave example after example of perfectly harmless men who, fearing they'll be suspected of being a predator, give up on volunteering to mentor kids; coach a sports team; lead a scout troop; or even help a distraught child.

A doctor in Austin, Texas, Zaslow writes, came upon a lost child in tears in a mall. The man's impulse was to help, but he feared people might think him a predator. He walked away, Zaslow writes. "Being male," the man said, "I am guilty until proven innocent."

Kris Rice, executive director of the nonprofit Coastal Children's Advocacy Center in Savannah, has been involved in child abuse prevention for decades. She's seen a lot more male sexual abuse predators than female. She, too, never hired a male baby sitter for her two kids and numerous foster children when they were young.

"That was prudent, not paranoid,'' Rice said. "On the other hand, I was delighted when they had male teachers or librarians at their schools because I believe devoutly that all kids, and especially those being raised by single mothers, need positive male role models.''

Refusing to hire male baby sitters is not the equivalent of saying all men are sexual abuse predators. It's about minimizing risk.

But that's not to say only men are high risk.

Sexual molestations committed by women are seriously underreported in this country, Rice said. Such cases often involve adult women having sex with adolescent boys whom they know. Which, sadly, too many people still don't consider sexual abuse, but rather good fortune on the boy's part.

That's why the admonition not to hire male baby sitters makes men's rights activists like Marc H. Rudov livid. Rudov, who runs the California-based relationship and men's rights Web site TheNoNonsenseMan.com, said such thinking is the result of hatred toward men and a distortion of statistics.

"If boys can't be baby sitters, then they shouldn't be allowed to be fathers, either,'' Rudov said in a phone interview this week. "Then you shouldn't let John Walsh near your kids either, because, by his definition, he's dangerous.''

"If men are so dangerous, then you should throw all your brothers, uncles, sons and fathers out of the house,'' Rudov said. He is a frequent guest on cable news talk shows and talk radio (i.e. shoutfests), hence the snappy sound bites. He's using hyperbole to make a valid point: casting all men as villains in the name of precaution isn't fair.

Rudov says statistics about male sexual predators are distorted because sexual abuse by women is not reported or not even considered abuse. He also cites federal statistics that show physically abused children are more often victims of female perpetrators.

This summer, Virginia's Department of Health launched an ad campaign for its sex-abuse hot line in the state where 89 percent of sexual abuse perpetrators are male. Billboards displayed pictures of a man holding a child's hand with the caption "It doesn't feel right when I see them together'' and urged people to report suspected child abuse. Hundreds of men complained.

"Would Virginia post highway billboards of Muslims, exhorting Virginians to report them as potential terrorists? Never,'' wrote Rudov about the campaign. "Would Virginia post billboards of Hispanics, rallying the townspeople to identify them to ICE as illegal aliens and criminals? Never in a million years."

There's no quick answer to the dilemma of how to minimize risk without marginalizing men.

But one thing is clear: we don't want sexual abuse education and awareness to result in fewer male teachers, fewer male mentors, fewer male role models; fewer fathers holding their children's hands.

Instead, we need more fathers and children holding hands.

Tighter than ever.


TX - Police Officer Arrested On Solicitation Of Prostitution

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09/14/2007 GALVESTON — For months, police have heard about a “cool cop,” one who “paid his own way,” in the words of island street prostitutes.

“They all talked about him,” said Galveston Police Department Sgt. Gilbert Gomez, head of the vice and narcotics division. “They’d say, ‘He’s a good guy; he has our backs.’ I just never knew who it was.”

Gomez and a team of vice/narcotics officers arrested a Port of Galveston police officer out of his Ferry Road apartment Thursday afternoon. James R. Chapman, 53, was led away in handcuffs and booked in the county jail Thursday evening under bonds totaling $22,500.

He faces three counts of solicitation of prostitution, and Gomez said more charges could be coming. Also taken into custody Thursday was a woman police found with Chapman when they arrived at his apartment to serve the arrest warrant.

Gomez said narcotics officers were assisting detective Fred Paige with the investigation into the death of Tracey Dulaney Rawls, 45.

A motorist flagged down a patrol officer about 3 a.m. on Sept. 7, to report running over a man’s body.

The man was Rawls, and he had been dead two to three hours at the time of impact, according to an autopsy report that listed his cause of death as strangulation.

Police have questioned a number of people in the case and have been looking for others for questioning.

Police have also been investigating drugs as a possible motive in Rawls’ killing.

Rawls had last been seen alive about 10 p.m. Thursday in the 3100 block of Avenue P, which is about a block from Rawls’ home and is also an area of heavy reports of both drug activity and street prostitution. Some area prostitutes had been among those wanted for questioning in Rawls’ death.

“It’s not that any of them are suspected of killing Mr. Rawls, but simply that they might have been with the people who did or might have seen something that led up to the murder,” Gomez said.

Gomez had found one of the prostitutes police had sought on Monday and was driving up to her when a silver Dodge Charger reached her first. She got in, and Gomez followed in an unmarked police car.

“I pulled alongside him, and he just gunned it,” Gomez said.

Patrol officers joined the ensuing pursuit as Gomez held back, rather than speeding through Seawall Boulevard intersections.

Seconds later, they converged on the car, as its driver was exhorting the woman to get out.

As the driver got out of the car to put his hands on the trunk, Gomez said, the man yelled, “Gomez, it’s me.”

Gomez said he cited the man for running a red light and warned him more charges could be coming.

The woman later told investigators the Charger driver was a regular customer, according to police reports.

Two other women police reports identified as prostitutes also said the man was a client when the officers were questioning them about Rawls’ death. Among their claims were repeated reports that the man would take them to buy things at the Seawall Boulevard WalMart Super Center and that he would take them to drug dealers, where the women said they bought drugs with money the man had given them.

Each charge carries a possible jail term of up to 180 days, as well as a fine of up to $2,000. A conviction for Chapman would also mean he would have to forfeit his peace officer’s license and that he could never work as a police officer in Texas again.

Chapman had worked for the Port of Galveston Police Department about five years before being placed on indefinite suspension this week as a result of the charges.


Call For Help

Sgt. Gilbert Gomez, head of Galveston’s vice and narcotics police unit, asked anyone who might have recently encountered James R. Chapman call Gomez at 409-765-3672. Police also renewed their call for anyone with information in the death of Tracey Dulaney Rawls to call detective Fred Paige, at 409-765-3766.


ID - Idaho prosecutor's son indicted on porn charges

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09/13/2007

BOISE -- The son of Canyon County's prosecuting attorney has been indicted on charges of posession of child pornography and destruction of evidence after a year long investigation by the Idaho State Police.

Marcus D. Young, 31, was indicted by a grand jury in Caldwell's 3rd District Court on five felony counts of possession of sexually exploitive material and four felony counts of destruction of evidence, according to documents made public today by Idaho attorney general's office.

Young is a Canyon County computer technician who has been on paid leave since August. He has remained on the payroll, collecting his annual salary of $57,539, plus benefits, said Angie Sillonis, a county spokeswoman.

According to the indictment, Young had five computer images of children "engaged in, participating in, or being used for explicit sexual conduct."

It goes on to allege Young, on Aug. 22, attempted to "willfully destroy and/or alter data" knowing that the data and the computer drives "were about to be produced, used or discovered as evidence of a felony crime, and with the intent to prevent it from being produced, used or discovered."

Canyon County Prosecutor David Young said he believes his son was innocent.

"While the charges are serious, the family is looking forward to seeing the evidence and finding out what is really going on," David Young said in a statement made on Canyon County letterhead. "I also trust and believe in our system of justice and I look forward to a complete exoneration of my son."

Marcus Young is due to be arraigned Oct. 5. He posted a $20,000 bond Thursday and has been released from county custody.

Bob Cooper, a spokesman for the Idaho attorney general, declined to say if the computer equipment involved in the case belonged to Canyon County. He said details about the computer gear's ownership would be made public in court.

Sillonis said she didn't know if the computer equipment belonged to Canyon County or if it was Marcus Young's personal property.

State police investigated Marcus Young starting last year, after a request by the Canyon County Sheriff's office. The attorney general's office was appointed as special prosecutor, at the request of Canyon County commissioners.

"The duration of the investigation leading to these charges was prolonged by the condition of the evidence," according to a press release from the Idaho attorney general.

Possession of sexually exploitative material carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine for each count. On the evidence destruction charges, each count carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.


IN - Former Special Deputy Convicted Of Child Solicitation

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I don't think he's been watching much TV, mainly "To Catch a Predator".

09/12/2007

Police: Man Arrested After Internet Sting

INDIANAPOLIS -- A jury late Tuesday convicted a former Marion County special sheriff's deputy of child solicitation in connection with a 2006 Internet sting.

Blas Garay was arrested in October after exchanging Internet messages with an undercover investigator who he thought was an underage girl, police said.

Garay had been with the sheriff's department for a year at the time of his arrest.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 31.