Sunday, November 30, 2008

Would you be a sex offender today, if the government makes the sex offender laws retroactive back 100 years?

Here is one example, and I am sure there is thousands, if not millions of other people out there who would/will be a sex offender, is the government gets their way! So do you really think these people are a threat to society?


Criminals for Gun Control

This is why we DO NOT need a gun control law. It's a Constitutional right to own a gun, and if the legislature get their way, well, you can understand what that would do, just watch the videos!




The Tangled Web of Porn In the Office

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11/29/2008

By Anna Kuchment and Karen Springen | NEWSWEEK

Jenna Jameson now has a 9-to-5 job. Fully one quarter of employees who use the Internet visit porn sites during the workday, according to October figures from Nielsen Online; that's up from 23 percent a year ago. And hits are highest during office hours than at any other time of day, reports M. J. McMahon, publisher of AVN Online magazine, which tracks the adult video industry.

What's driving workers to get their kicks on company time? It's one more thing we can pin on the slow economy. "People are looking for an escape," says Steve Hirsch, CEO of Vivid Entertainment Group, an adult online-video provider. And rightly or wrongly, they think their bosses are too busy to notice, says Dawn Adams, CEO of Wisconsin consulting firm HResults. "Managers are dealing with so many issues right now," she says, "that sometimes people are able to hide out and no one knows what they're doing." AVN's McMahon attributes the rise in workplace porn to the proliferation of free Web sites, such as ________, that allow users to quickly log on and off. But a larger factor is the evolving sense—not universally shared—that porn is no big deal. "You're looking at a younger consumer who has grown up with pornography being out there in the pop culture," McMahon says.

Some can't seem to stay away from it. Earlier this year, nine Washington, D.C., city employees—including at least one from Child and Family Services—were fired for viewing porn sites thousands of times while on the job. The worst offender reportedly logged an average of one hit every 2.5 minutes.

The threat to companies isn't just the lost hours of productivity and the risk of sexual-harassment lawsuits. Adult sites also expose computers to viruses, adware and spyware—though such ills can serve as smoking guns. At her last job, Adams fired an executive for spending hours a day on adult sites. "His computer was always crashing," she says. "That's how we found out."


MO - Man Wants Cop Fired

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This article doesn't say which year it's from, so I am assuming this year.

10/16/2008

Reported by: Aaron Keller - keller@nbcactionnews.com

LEE'S SUMMIT -- A man who spent five years behind bars after a detective accused him of sexual abuse now wants the detective fired.

Ted White, formerly of Lee's Summit, convinced a federal jury that the detective, Richard McKinley, violated his civil rights. White found out McKinley had been having an affair with his wife, which White believes led to the abuse accusations, according to court documents.

Thursday, White went before the Lee's Summit City Council to demand action against the detective.

The city responded by saying it has the detective's employment status under review.

Mayor Karen Messerli did not attend the council meeting, even though White had agreed to address her over the issue.

A federal jury awarded White $16 million over the wrongful conviction. The city will have to pay $14 million of the total award, if McKinley does not win an appeal.


NC - New North Carolina laws go into effect December 1st... including Jessica's Law

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North Carolina General Assembly

Wow, a one day notice.  I hope the registered sex offender in North Carolina were notified awhile back, and if not, then this shows it's their intent to not notify offenders, so they get violations and can send them back to jail and/or prison.

11/30/2008

Starting Monday, the citizens of North Carolina will have several new laws to follow which cover a wide array of issues--- everything from election procedures to handing down stiffer penalties for abusers in domestic violence cases.

Newschannel-36 checked the list of new laws and here are a few the of rules that go into effect December 1st:

  • The North Carolina street gang suppresion act hands down harsher punishments to anyone involved in gang activty.
  •  
  • Hospitals have to report serious non-accidential injuries they find on children to law enforcement.
  •  
  • And Jessica's law goes into effect. The legislation helps to protect children from sexual predators. Now certain child sex offenders will have to serve at least 25 years, if convicted. Governor Mike Easely signed the new law back in July. The law is named for Jessica Lunsford who used to live in Gastonia. The 9-year-old was raped and murdered three years ago by a sex offender in Florida.


WI - Sex offenders: Who are they?

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11/30/2008

By Eric Litke

Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part series examining sex offenders and their impact on victims.

They number 272 in Sheboygan County.

They share a simple label — sex offenders — but they range in age from 18 to 84 and have been convicted of 30 different offenses dating back as far as 1971. Online registries show what they look like, and local ordinances increasingly control where they live, but who are they, really, and what danger do they pose?

Experts say there is no simple answer.

"There's just not one kind of sex offender," said George Limbeck, a Sheboygan defense attorney who represents child sex offenders in about one-fourth of his cases. "They could be everyone from the stereotypical creepy guy who preys on children to the kid next door that makes a mistake of having a girlfriend who's a little too young, and everyone in between."
- So then, there is NOT just one kind of sex offender, and by saying this, you are perpetuating the myths and adding to the disinformation already out there.

Sex offenders land on the state registry for offenses that include underage sex, forcible rape, possession of child pornography and exposing a child to sexual material. But known offenders are responsible for only a fraction of the sexual assaults committed.

Eighty-four percent of sexual assault victims do not report the offense, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Center for Sex Offender Management. One in six women and one in 33 men in the U.S. will experience an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime, the center reports.

"A lot of times people like to think it doesn't happen in our community because we're a family community, we're a church community," said Mary Fontanazza, director of advocacy for Safe Harbor, which provides shelter and support for Sheboygan-area victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. "They don't realize it happens everywhere."
- Yeah, and studies show, that 90% or more of all sexual crimes, occur in the victims own home, by their own family or close friends.

And Sheboygan police say sexual assaults happen — or at least are reported — with increasing frequency in Sheboygan. The number of sexual assaults reported in Sheboygan through the end of September rose 15 percent from the same period in 2007, and the number of sex-related crimes, which include lewd behavior and child pornography, soared by 70 percent.

"I don't believe the community is panicked about sex offenders, but I think people are very well aware of what sex offenders can do and the damage they can do to a community," said Capt. James Veeser of the Sheboygan Police Department.
- Well, this officer has not been reading the news on TV and online, nor seen the increasing vigilantism towards sex offenders, or those who someone "suspects" as being a sex offender.  He needs to stop eating so many donuts, and read my blog a little.  Hell, a lot of his co-workers could be committing the crimes, just look at the Corruption link, and then select the Police section.

Residents are more aware than ever of the sex offenders in their midst — online registries and resources such as The Sheboygan Press sex offender database show what offenders look like, where they live and what they've done — but Fontanazza warns the information can also be misleading.
- So if it's misleading, fix it!

"So many assaults are unreported," she said. "People need to be aware and on guard and (not think), 'We're safe in this neighborhood because there's no sex offenders living there.' There probably are."

Differentiating sex offenders

The state sex offender database — created in 1997 and maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections — reveals Sheboygan County sex offenders are typically middle-aged white males, but experts warn against stereotyping.

"Sex offenders can be smart or not smart, they can be rich or not rich, they can be employed or not employed, mentally ill or not mentally ill," said Dr. Charles Lodl, a Mequon-based psychologist who has worked with sex offenders and testified in their court proceedings for 25 years. "There is no standard profile that in some way, shape or form indicates that an individual will be more likely to act out sexually in an abusive way."

The most common thread lies in the offenses, as 187 Sheboygan County offenders, or 69 percent, committed crimes against children. Sixty percent of those offenders — 112 people — were convicted of the same charge: second-degree sexual assault of a child between the ages of 13 and 15.

But that offense includes boyfriend-girlfriend encounters that were consensual in fact, though not in law, as well as sexual assaults by older perpetrators, a distinction Lodl said is crucial.

"Even though legally an 18-year-old having sex with a 17-year-old or 16-year-old is designated a sex offender … psychologically, that's not the case," he said. "There is usually nothing in that kind of scenario that really warrants any real kind of psychological intervention."

At least 45 of the county's 272 sex offenders were convicted when the offender was 20 or younger and the victim was 13 or older, though not all sexual encounters were consensual, according to accounts in court records and Press archives.

Judge Timothy Van Akkeren said the inclusion of these cases in the sex offender registry can lead to incorrect assumptions about the young offenders.

"It'll look like a very serious sexual assault" on court records and sex offender registries, the judge said. "An employer will say, 'I don't want this person on board.' … The person may have used some poor judgment, but they're not likely to engage in sexual contact with another person without that person's consent."

It's a different story for the more serious offenders, those who molested younger children or raped adults, said Joseph Henger, who runs sex offender treatment programs in Sheboygan County and throughout southeastern Wisconsin,

"This is about having extreme, distorted thoughts about what they're doing, plus they develop deviant (sexual) arousal," said Henger, of Milwaukee-based Henger Enterprises.

The making of a sex offender

Lodl said there is some evidence that pedophilia is rooted in genetics, but Henger said the sex offenders he sees are typically products of their environment and experiences.
- Rooted in genetics, yeah right.  This is the same crap where "scientist" say someone is "born gay!"  I don't believe that for a second.

"People aren't born this way," Henger said. "They unwittingly evolve and condition themselves into it."

Patricia Brinkman, a therapist at Northshore Clinic of Sheboygan who has worked with juvenile sex offenders for about 20 years, said many offenders have parents who provide little accountability, are poor models and make excuses for the child's behavior.

"A lot of times sexual offenders don't have real healthy home lives," she said. "Children that are more easily treated (in therapy), they don't come often from real bad situations. The more serious offenders, probably their structure, limit-setting, maybe modeling — usually that was more of a problem."

While Lodl warns against profiling, he said offenders who commit certain crimes do have some similarities in their personalities.

Offenders who commit forcible rapes are likely to have anger management problems and difficultly developing and maintaining relationships, Lodl said. They may rape someone out of sexual desire or simply anger. Child molesters are often looking to fill an emotional and sexual need rooted in social disorders that prevent the offender from finding more appropriate people to meet those needs.

Henger said offenders know their victims in about 85 percent of cases.

Brinkman said teenagers who molest young children often do so out of what she termed "inappropriate curiosity."

"For young men that either are shy or embarrassed or not as popular as some of the other kids where they wouldn't have a girlfriend, they'll experiment on children," she said.

Recidivism after conviction is rare

Experts say sex offenders often victimize multiple people, but registered sex offenders likely pose less danger since recidivism rates drop dramatically after conviction.

"If we hear about some type of sexual crime, that's a high priority for us just because … the history of sexual predators is that they have more than one victim," said Veeser, the police captain. "If we can prove a case against a sex offender, it might help someone in the future or someone who is involved with them right at that time."

Van Akkeren, the judge, said few sex offenders return to his courtroom for a second sexual assault case.

"As a result of the punishment they've received they (may) have been dissuaded … or it could be they've gotten more sly and they haven't been caught the second time," Van Akkeren said.

Lodl said sex offenders re-offend at lower rates than many other criminals. More than 50 percent of those convicted of crimes such as burglary and battery are convicted later of a similar offense.

"The recidivism rate after a fellow has been caught is somewhere around 13.5 percent," he said. "Before they're caught, that's a different story. Especially with incest offenders, the likelihood is they're going to keep doing what they were doing if there's no intervention."
- This recidivism rate of 13.5% is only one persons view, I have more studies here which say it's lower, around 5.3% or less.

One study found less than 15 percent of sex offenders committed another sex offense within five to six years of their release from prison, according to the Center for Sex Offender Management. Another study showed recidivism rates of 20 percent after 10 years and 24 percent after 15 years.
- Again, see the other studies I have linked above.

Brinkman, the therapist, said offenders are more likely to re-offend if they've had multiple victims, refuse to take responsibility for their crimes or employed force or threats in a sexual assault. She estimated more than 10 percent of sex offenders she sees as juveniles fit into this category.

"It depends a lot on … how much they've done it before, what age they're caught and whether they go through treatment," Brinkman said. "(If) their conscience is questionable or it's not very strong, they don't have a lot of remorse for what they did … then we're starting to get more into the sex offender that's always going to be a sex offender."

Sex offenders sentenced on individual basis

Van Akkeren said every sex offender in his courtroom must be considered individually, though most face similar charges.

The felony counts involving sex with a minor carry high maximum penalties — up to 25 years in prison for second-degree sexual assault, the most common charge — so judges have flexibility in sentencing, Van Akkeren said.

"We have what essentially are statutory sex offenders" in teen sex situations, and on the other side of the spectrum, "those who are the real threats to the community," the judge said. "We need to be sure that we deal with things appropriately."

A father convicted of molesting a child may face substantial prison time, while a teenager charged with the same offense from a consensual encounter may receive probation or a deferred conviction agreement that dismisses the charge if no further crimes are committed for a year or two. The judge also has the option to not require sex offender registration in boyfriend-girlfriend cases.

"I think we do a good job in this county of distinguishing between the various kinds of sex offenders," said Limbeck, the defense attorney.
- Well, you need to read more of this blog.  Many kids in consensual situations are being labeled sex offenders for life, and though they may get probation only, the label itself is life ruining!

He said Sheboygan County judges take sexual assaults more seriously than they did a decade ago.

"Nowadays when you have a real significant age difference between the defendant and the victim, the likelihood of a prison sentence has increased," Limbeck said. "The criminal justice system has kind of grown with the community in general as we've become aware and better educated about the crimes that are being committed."

Reach Eric Litke at (920) 453-5119 and elitke@sheboygan-press.com.


FL - Man posing as teen girl explains role in Dateline sex sting

View the article here

11/29/2008

By FRANK FERNANDEZ -Staff Writer

BUNNELL -- A hardware store manager discussed his role posing as a "standard teenage girl" for the Dateline NBC TV's "To Catch a Predator Sting" in Flagler Beach during a recent court hearing.

Eric Joseph Walker, who manages an Ace Hardware store in Fort Walton Beach, talked about his decoy duties in the case against Stephen Holt of Orlando.

Holt was among 21 men who police said followed up sexually explicit online chats with decoys posing as children by driving to Flagler Beach to meet the "children" during the sting, which ran Dec. 8-11, 2006.

Holt, 21, faces charges of attempted lewd or lascivious battery, computer pornography, child exploitation, and transmission of harmful material to a minor.

Walker discussed his role via speakerphone as part of the hearing in which Holt's attorney, William Jay, sought to have chat logs and other evidence thrown out. Circuit Judge Kim C. Hammond has yet to rule on Jay's motion.

Walker declined to speak to a News-Journal reporter or provide his age. Public records list an Eric J. Walker who lives in Fort Walton Beach and is 40 years old.

Walker explained his role to Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Carlson. He said he decided to become a decoy -- known as a "volunteer contributor" -- after reading an article about Perverted Justice in February 2004.

He told Carlson he didn't receive any training but did "sign off" on procedures.
- But PJ insists that all their "volunteers" get training.  Well, they do not, and their forums show that, I've seen it myself.  Many go to their forums, join, and after posting a little bit, to get a reputation, then they are allowed to become "volunteers!"  You can read all about this at Corrupted-Justice.com, or even in the PJ forums.

"It's a pretty extensive list of rules of how to conduct ourselves and what you can and can't do in chats," he said.
- But he did not receive any training, so anybody can become a cyber-vigilante, and go around harassing people online, they have done it, and they continue to do it.  So when is the police going to start monitoring them to see their illegal activities, and arrest them?  Many of them hijack web sites, blogs, and much more, which, the last time I checked, was illegal!

"The most important ones are the ones that cover how first contact is made, how we are never to make first contact with the subject," Walker said. "And also how to chat, how we never bring up sexual things or meet, you know, never bring up meeting the person first. That's all left up to the subject."
- Well, you can read Corrupted-Justice.com and see that a lot of what PJ says in public view, is NOT what they do behind the scenes.  This is also obvious by joining and reading their own forums.

He said Perverted Justice administrators generally put out a call for contributors about four to six weeks before an onsite sting.

Walker said he was on his computer at home in Okaloosa County when Holt made first contact on Dec. 2, 2006.

Carlson asked Walker what persona he was portraying.

"A 13-year-old girl, just kind of standard teenage girl," Walker said.

He said Holt saw his decoy profile in a public chatroom and contacted him via an instant message.

Walker said he drove to Flagler Beach for the bust and continued to chat online with Holt from the sting house.

Under questioning by Holt's attorney, Jay, Walker said all his directions about behaving online came from Perverted Justice. Jay said since Walker was a private citizen he needed Holt's consent to record their online conversations. Holt didn't consent, Jay said.

Jay added that the only way Walker could record the conversation without Holt's consent was under the direction of law enforcement, but Flagler Beach police do not have jurisdiction in Okaloosa County.

Jay said the sting was not led by Flagler Beach police but rather by Dennis Kerr, an administrator at Perverted Justice.

Carlson countered that Flagler Beach police granted the authority to Kerr, who then gave it to contributors such as Walker.

Carlson said that -- unlike in a telephone conversation -- Holt has no expectation of privacy in an online instant message conversation.

"Mr. Holt didn't know really who he was talking to," Carlson said. "He thought he was talking to a 13-year-old girl. But, as you heard today, he was speaking to an adult male individual."


GA - Sex-offender laws need sensible rewrite

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11/30/2008

Our opinion

Though temporarily stalled, the legal system continues to harass Wendy Whitaker. She's a happily married Harlem woman threatened with a trip to jail or being kicked out of her home because, 12 years ago, she had consensual sexual contact with a fellow teenager.

Want to know why she's being harassed? Take a look in the mirror.

No, this isn't some it's-society's-fault treatise. This is a call for examining the cost of our communal bloodlust, eagerly abetted by pandering politicians seeking votes by appearing to act "tough on crime."

We've allowed those politicians to flex their muscles to the point that the effort has become wrongheaded and counter-productive. Whitaker is the poster-woman for that nonsensical approach to governing.

Should the law be tough on sex offenders? Absolutely. Citizens demand, expect and deserve protection from sexual predators. But true sexual predators - criminals who prey on children with whom they are not already acquainted - are the reason we warn our children about strangers during the day and lock our doors at night.

But they also are exceptionally rare. The overwhelming majority of sex crimes against children are committed by friends or family members of the victim.

Rather than closely examining ways to make citizens safer, acknowledging the relative scarcity of sexual predators and making punishment on those individuals far tougher, lawmakers instead have taken a one-size-fits-all approach to lump every offender into the same basket.
- Also, if sex offenders are lumped into one basket, why aren't all criminals lumped into one basket?  Because each case is different, and should be looked at individually.  But, that takes too much time, and everyone likes the easy way of doing things.  So why not lump all criminals into one basket, and treat them all as if they are sex offenders?  Might as well.  If you do it for one group, then to be fair, you should do it to everyone else as well.  Of course it's not fair, and it's not fair to do it with sex offenders either.  Not all sex offenders are sadistic child killers.

Thus, the sex offender registry and laws restricting those listed on it treat a paroled child rapist exactly the same as a probated teen offender like Whitaker. Both are subjected to harsh requirements for registration and limits on movement long after their actual punishments end.

None of that makes citizens any safer, but that's not the real point: It's all about making politicians look tough by forcing registered offenders back to jail or out of the state altogether. After all, who's going to speak up on behalf of sex offenders to argue against such restrictions?
- Well, I will.  And have for the last couple years, and I will continue to do so, until the day I die!  Not all sex offenders are the same, so why are they all being lumped into one category (sex offender) and all treated as if they are John Couey?  It's not fair, period!


How do we know harassment and exile are the intent of the law? The lawmakers who wrote them, including Harlem's own state Rep. Barry Fleming (Email), admitted as much after the law passed.

Sure, these measures allow lawmakers to act like crime-fighters. But the cost is that minor offenders who are absolutely no further threat to society are treated the same as frightening predators. That undermines support of the law while overburdening law enforcement's ability to police it.

Fortunately, in Whitaker's case, she is being allowed to stay in her Harlem home while some of the new restrictions on registered sex offenders are challenged in court.

But the real fix shouldn't be in the hands of the courts. It should be in our hands as we demand lawmakers quit treating citizens like a bloodthirsty mob, and instead write commonsense law that keeps us all safer.
- I agree, but, like I've said over and over, they can pass 1 million laws, but we will not EVER be 100% safe.  If you believe that, you are not dealing in reality!