Sunday, February 5, 2012

NY - NYPD auxiliary cop (Daniel Sayers) busted for child porn

Daniel Sayers
Original Article

02/03/2012

ORANGE COUNTY (WABC) - An NYPD auxiliary officer was arrested in Orange County Thursday for allegedly having a huge collection of child pornography.

Police say Daniel Sayers, who is listed on the auxiliary website as a captain, had hundreds of photos of boys under the age of 16 engaging in sexual acts. The pictures were discovered in two raids.

Sayers had also received an award sponsored by President Barack Obama for his services.

Sayers was a 20-year resident of Blooming Grove and was in the process of moving to a rental property in Greenwood Lake. Police say his landlord saw some of his moving boxes and noticed disturbing photos before contacting authorities.

Sayers has been suspended by the NYPD and is being held at the Orange County Jail.


Give child offenders chance at rehabilitation

Original Article

02/04/2012

By LucyLu

(NewDesignWorld Press Center) - Last summer, Andrew, a 14-year-old boy from Pennsylvania, engaged in inappropriate behavior that put him before a juvenile court judge. Andrew (a pseudonym) pressed his bare buttocks against the face of a 12-year-old boy, against the 12-year-old's will. In juvenile court, the judge decided that Andrew's actions qualified as aggravated indecent assault, a sexually violent offense.

If the Virginia General Assembly passes Senate Bill 127 or House Bill 624 as either bill looks today, a Virginia child in Andrew's shoes would probably be required to register as a sex offender and remain on the registry for at least 15 years — possibly for the rest of his life. The child would be required to re-register every 90 days and to be photographed every two years. If he failed to re-register, he would be committing a felony. The only significant difference between the bills is that the Senate bill allows for the juvenile to be listed on a private, law-enforcement-only registry.

Both of these bills are intended to bring Virginia into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act (AWA) and its section on sex-offender registration, known as SORNA (Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act).

Virginia should not move in the direction of treating child offenders the same as adult offenders. Instead, the state should stand by its commitment to offer young offenders a chance at rehabilitation and reintegration into society. The Virginia Rules website hosted by the Office of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli describes this commitment well: "There is a juvenile justice system that treats juveniles differently than adults because our society believes juveniles are different from adults, both in terms of level of responsibility and potential for rehabilitation. Although there is concern with public safety and holding juvenile offenders accountable for their actions, there is greater emphasis on rehabilitation than on punishment in the juvenile justice system. 'Rehabilitation' means to restore someone to a useful life through therapy and education."

Current law in Virginia related to juvenile sex offenders recognizes that young offenders should be treated differently than adults. Judges already have the discretion to place a young offender over age 13 on a registry, but only after taking into account things such as the age and maturity of the young offender, the degree of use of force, prior criminal history, and other aggravating and mitigating factors. SB127 and HB624 take away that discretion.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently discussed the difference between adults and young offenders in the case of Graham v. Florida. The court found that the sentence of life without parole for young offenders who have committed non-homicide-related offenses violates the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment. In its decision, the court noted the "fundamental differences between juvenile and adult minds" and that the actions of a juvenile are less likely to be caused by an "irretrievably depraved character." While young offenders, the court noted, are not necessarily absolved of responsibility for their actions, their acts were simply not as "morally reprehensible as that of an adult."

Internationally, the distinction between punishing adults and children is also well established. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international treaty ratified by every country in the world save the United States and Somalia, states that every child accused, brought before a judge, or convicted of an offense should be "treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child's sense of dignity and worth," taking into account "the child's age and the desirability of promoting the child's reintegration and the child's assuming a constructive role in society."

Other U.S. states have rejected the idea of prolonged or lifetime registration for young offenders. Both Texas and New York have chosen not to comply with the registration provisions of the Adam Walsh Act. In its letter to the Justice Department explaining why, Risa Sugarman of New York's Office of Sex Offender Management wrote: "New York has a long-standing public policy of treating juvenile offenders differently from adult offenders so that juveniles have the best opportunity of rehabilitation and reintegration. The federal requirement that juveniles be placed on the Sex Offender Registry under AWA is in direct conflict with that public policy."

Also, certain states have achieved compliance with SORNA without requiring prolonged or lifetime registration. Maryland, for example, has created a system of registration for young offenders that sets time limits, allows them to petition for removal from the registry, and automatically removes them from any registries at the age of 21. This system, according to the Justice Department, complies with the AWA.

Virginia legislators shouldn't turn away from the state's sensible policies. They should closely study the issue of AWA compliance and the effect it would have on the young offender and on society as well. Legislators should not pass any law that would hold a 14-year-old to the same level of culpability and stigma as an adult.

Antonio M. Ginatta is the advocacy director for the U.S. Program of Human Rights Watch.


ND - Not all sex offenders deserve scarlet 'S' for life

Original Article

02/05/2012

By Roland Riemers

In Texas, public urination also has led to sex offender status. And regardless of legal guidelines, if an underage male has sexual contact with an underage female, the male is likely to be rated as a high-risk sex offender and pedophile.

GRAND FORKS — The Herald ran a story recently about my decision to let a high-risk sex offender into my home as a guest until he could find permanent housing and thus not lose his job (“Man takes in sex offender, address ends up on registry,” Page B1, Feb. 1).

The offender was 15 years old at the time of his offense, and the incident took place at a wild drinking party of mostly adults at the home of a 30-year-old woman. Under the law, juvenile records can only be exchanged within the law enforcement community, so the public never will know the full story.

The offender admits he made a bad mistake. He has completed offender classes and has no new sexual offenses.

In the sexual predator game, age is no defense, and children as young as 9 have been registered as high-risk sex offenders. Some states even have declared that minors may be required to register as high-risk sex offenders even for non-sex crimes.

In Texas, public urination also has led to sex offender status. I have listened to state psychologists testify their view that masturbation is a sexual abnormality worthy of commitment.

Regardless of legal guidelines, if an underage male has sexual contact with an underage female, the male is likely to be rated as a high-risk sex offender and pedophile. Nationally, 26 percent of sex offenders are listed that way because of sexual contact between teenagers.

Nationally as well, there are 500,000 registered sex offenders and 100,000 unregistered sex offenders. Most sex offenders know the victim, so public notification does not make the public safer.

On the other hand, people on the sex offender registry have been murdered just for being on the list. A sex offender also was sentenced to life in prison because he was unable to register an address as required, and he was unable to register an address because no one would rent to him.
- More examples here (Blog) and here (YouTube).

The court review has been a mixed bag. The lists have been upheld only if used as a civil procedure and if they disclose already-public information. In North Dakota’s case, the registry is regulated by criminal law, and confidential information is disclosed. So, I have my doubts as to whether the North Dakota law would pass objective court review.

As for juvenile offenders, there is no valid standard for determining whether they will re-offend, and generally they are less likely to do so than adult offenders.
- True, and if you look at the facts, adults already have a low recidivism rate, from 3.5% and up.

Nationally, all sex offenders are less likely to than other criminals to re-offend. The best treatment to keep them from re-offending is to get them back to the normal restraints of the community and get them into useful work and housing.

Local treatment for sex offenders includes weekly confessions that they are worthless perverts, popping ammonia capsules under their nose at the first thought of sex, and frequent lie detector tests.

Frankly, I view the sex offender lists similarly to the Nazis putting the Star of David on all Jews so that “dangerous population” could be watched and sent off to work camps for rehabilitation.

All humans are capable of becoming saints or bloodthirsty killers. We should encourage goodness and rehabilitation, especially for youthful offenders, as the Christian and moral thing to do.

I would encourage others to support the rehabilitation, if possible, of all criminals.

Riemers is a former candidate for Grand Forks County sheriff.


How the CDC is overstating sexual violence in the U.S.

Original Article

01/27/2012

By Christina Hoff Sommers

Christina Hoff Sommers is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Her books include “Who Stole Feminism?” and “The War Against Boys.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a study suggesting that rates of sexual violence in the United States are comparable to those in the war-stricken Congo. How is that possible?

The CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (PDF) found that, in the United States in 2010, approximately 1.3 million women were raped and an additional 12.6 million women and men were victims of sexual violence. It reported, “More than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hailed the report for giving “a clear picture of the devastating impact these violent acts have on the lives of millions of Americans.”

In fact, what the study reveals is the devastating impact that careless advocacy research can have on truth. The report proposes an array of ambitious government-sponsored “prevention strategies” and recommends “multi-disciplinary service centers” offering survivors psychological and legal counseling as well as housing and economic assistance. But survivors of sexual violence would be better served by good research and sober estimates — not inflated statistics and sensationalism.

The agency’s figures are wildly at odds with official crime statistics. The FBI found that 84,767 rapes were reported to law enforcement authorities in 2010. The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey (PDF), the gold standard in crime research, reports 188,380 rapes and sexual assaults on females and males in 2010. Granted, not all assaults are reported to authorities. But where did the CDC find 13.7 million victims of sexual crimes that the professional criminologists had overlooked?

It found them by defining sexual violence in impossibly elastic ways and then letting the surveyors, rather than subjects, determine what counted as an assault. Consider: In a telephone survey with a 30 percent response rate, interviewers did not ask participants whether they had been raped. Instead of such straightforward questions, the CDC researchers described a series of sexual encounters and then they determined whether the responses indicated sexual violation. A sample of 9,086 women was asked, for example, “When you were drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent, how many people ever had vaginal sex with you?” A majority of the 1.3 million women (61.5 percent) the CDC projected as rape victims in 2010 experienced this sort of “alcohol or drug facilitated penetration.”

What does that mean? If a woman was unconscious or severely incapacitated, everyone would call it rape. But what about sex while inebriated? Few people would say that intoxicated sex alone constitutes rape — indeed, a nontrivial percentage of all customary sexual intercourse, including marital intercourse, probably falls under that definition (and is therefore criminal according to the CDC).

Other survey questions were equally ambiguous. Participants were asked if they had ever had sex because someone pressured them by “telling you lies, making promises about the future they knew were untrue?” All affirmative answers were counted as “sexual violence.” Anyone who consented to sex because a suitor wore her or him down by “repeatedly asking” or “showing they were unhappy” was similarly classified as a victim of violence. The CDC effectively set a stage where each step of physical intimacy required a notarized testament of sober consent.

The report also called for more research on “sexism” and urged “collective action” against media messages that “objectify and degrade women.” In the familiar jargon of feminist theory, the CDC said: “It is important to continue addressing the beliefs, attitudes and messages that are deeply imbedded in our social structures.”

Why is the CDC using methods of advocacy research that are anathema to genuine social science? The answer is suggested by a posting on the White House Web site this month by Lynn Rosenthal, a presidential adviser on violence against women:

Early in the Administration, the Vice President convened federal agencies to assess trends and identify gaps in our response to violence and abuse. We identified data collection as one of the biggest challenges we face in understanding and combatting these crime. Thanks to the hard work of [Attorney General Eric] Holder, the FBI, law enforcement leaders, and the women’s organizations who have long advocated for this change, we are one step further towards meeting that challenge.”

While that passage referred to the FBI’s recently revised definition of rape — and not the CDC survey — it shows how the study fits into the administration’s effort to apply the advocacy agenda of the women’s lobby to rape research. That would explain how feminist theory found its way into the report. But why would CDC officials, who are experienced in resisting political pressure, cooperate?

Perhaps they felt the study would draw needed attention to the genuine problem of sexual violence. That is an understandable but recklessly misguided conclusion. Faulty studies send scarce resources in the wrong directions; more programs on sexism, stereotypes and social structures, for example, are unlikely to help victims of violence. Defining sexual violence down obscures the gradations in culpability that are essential to effective criminal law, and it holds up a false mirror on our society. The CDC should recall this study.