Friday, November 9, 2007

NY - Helping Juvenile Sex Offenders

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I wish, when reporters or anyone cites statistics, they'd provide a link to where they got those statistics! Who knows, they could've just made them up to ratings! If you know it's 40%, then you apparently read it somewhere, unless it's made up, so provide a link!

11/09/2007

Rochester - Many people worry when they learn someone is a sex offender. But what if the sex offender is a child?

Over the last two decades, children are performing more acts of sexual assault, rape, and molestation on other children--increasing 40% nationwide.

Social worker Carl Christensen has spent those two decades treating hundreds of juvenile sex offenders.

"For many years, cases like this were swept under the rug," Christensen said. "The good news is that we're asking about it, and we're able to face it...as a community. The bad thing is that I think there are a lot of terrible stereotypes about offenders."

Christensen cited two of those stereotypes. The first is that juvenile offenders are likely to repeat their crimes; the second is that they need to be tracked for life.

Christensen claimed the officially recorded rate for teen offenders repeating their acts is slightly under 11 percent, as opposed to 35 to 40 percent for adults.
- Where did you come up with these statistics? They go against the Bureau of Justice statistics and many other state specific studies I've read.

"The fear is kind of irrational," he said. "And also...the fear is based on sort of a misperception. And the misperception is that the children in our community are at risk for being sexually abused by known sex offenders."

Christensen said that the community should worry more about the unknown sex offenders.

Monroe County echoes nationwide statistics when it comes to the gradual growth in numbers of juvenile sex offenders.

Since 2005, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office has arrested nearly 40 children, ages 10 to 16, for sex crimes. Those numbers don’t include the kids police have sent straight to Family Court for prosecution.

Christensen said, "The pathway to offending is much more diverse than we ever thought."

Years ago, it was widely believed that juvenile offenders were "that way" because they were abused as children.

Yet, it didn't always hold true in recorded cases, especially since most children who were abused never went on to abuse others.

Characteristics of offenders run the gamut; some are angry, some are anti-social, and some are extroverts who have supportive families.

Christensen said increased exposure to sexual images and pornography over the years is also a contributing factor in the rise of sex crimes committed by/to juveniles.

What youthful offenders do have in common is their likelihood of being rehabilitated through individual, group, and family therapy.

"My biggest concern about the anger in the community," Christensen said, "is that it's going to have an unintended consequence of suppressing the reporting."


GA - 46 Investigates: Off The List

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Notice the scare technique this reporter uses? Also, by posting peoples addresses of those who are no longer on the registry is breaking the law, they are breaking these peoples privacy rights. Email this lady and express your concerns!!

11/09/2007

Because of the sensitive nature of this story, the following is a verbatim copy of the on-air script.

By Wendy Saltzman

A CBS 46 News Investigation has discovered hundreds of people charged with sex crimes have been removed from Georgia's Sex Offender Registry. They are accused of crimes like rape, incest and even child molestation, and they're living in our communities, undetected.

"It's several hundred. You can't say it's just a few. As many as 600 or more have come off," according to John Bankhead, a spokesperson for the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.

Like Sylvester Cheek. In 2001 he pled guilty to molesting 3 young girls. But just 6 years later his criminal history has disappeared. Investigative Reporter Wendy Saltzman asked Cheek, "When I look on line, I cannot find you as a sexual offender." Cheek responded, "Well, that's the law."

Another woman's 11 year old son was molested by Ronald Floda. "He's a monster, a complete monster," she says.

Floda pled guilty to 3 counts of child molestation for fondling three different Fulton county boys. The victim’s mother continued, "This man is never going to stop. In court he admitted to doing this for 18 years, and that was 5 years ago. He has done it his whole life. He is never going to stop."

Floda petitioned to be removed from the registry. Now he has gone underground, listing a post office box in Duluth as his only contact address. "I'm furious, I can't even believe it," the victim’s mother responds.

According to Georgia Sex Offender Review Board member, Captain Tony Ranieri, "When they come of the registry that's it. It's over with. We don't know where they are at. You don't know what you've got living in your communities then." Ranieri warns, "It's an endangerment to the community."

More than 600 people have been taken off the registry over the last 16 months for a variety of reasons; mostly because they were sentenced as first offenders, even in cases where there were multiple sex crimes. Ranieri’s response: "It is beyond us why they are allowing this to happen."

Once a first offender’s sentence is complete, their records are completely cleared, and they are no longer tracked by anyone, including law enforcement. "What's to say that they are not going to do this again?" Ranieri questions.

"When someone goes after a 3 year old, that's babies. She was still in diapers," says another victim’s father. Kevin Moss pled guilty to molesting his 3 year old daughter, and of committing the same crime with a 7 year old boy. The victim's father responded, "He should be on that registry. He was supposed to be on that registry for life. If the state is not doing what it is supposed to do, that's a problem."

"Where should somebody like this be?" Saltzman asked House Majority Leader Jerry Keen. "In prison," Keen replied. "Should this person be on the streets?" Saltzman asked. Keen responded. "No."

Representative Keen passed a bill last year to prevent people charged with sex crimes from being removed from the sex offender registry. "It's extremely disturbing to know this has happened," he says.

But that law does not impact people who have already been sentenced and released. According to Keen, "Right now this person has free access to any child in the state, at a playground, at a swimming pool, at a church."

Like John French who has 3 separate convictions including aggravated sodomy, kidnapping, and child molestation.

One of his victim’s mothers tells us, "She was just a vulnerable child." French’s convictions reach all the way back to the aggravated sodomy of her daughter in 1975. "Definitely he was a predator. And I remember years later seeing his name in the paper again," she says.

When Saltzman asked French’s mother if she could tell us where to find her son, she said "No. I don't know where you can find him. That's all finished." Once people are removed from the registry there is no way, even for law enforcement, to track them.

Only CBS 46 Investigates has created a map of their whereabouts, to show you exactly who may be living in your neighborhood. Click here to see who has been "Removed From The List."

If you wish to consult the Georgia Sex Offender Registry maintained by the Georgia Bureau of investigation, you can do so by going to the GBI website at www.gbi.georgia.gov and clicking on the sex offender link there. WGCL-TV has no connection with this governmental website, and has not confirmed the accuracy of any of the information on it.

Before you consult the sex offender registry, you should read the FAQ associated with it. Also, you should heed the GBI’s statements on the limitations of the website information, including the warning that, “As the information is provided by other agencies and entities and is continuously changing, the GBI makes no promise or any express or implied guarantee concerning the accuracy of this information.”

They need to also place the following warning on their registry web site:





The reasons for removal according to the GBI are as follows:
  • Deported - 21
  • First Offender Act Completed - 265
  • Deceased - 101
  • Court Order - 39
  • Entered In Error - 13
  • Sexual Battery - 13
  • Misdemeanor - 23
  • Juvenile - 7
  • Duplicate - 6
  • Other - 133


OH - Groups testify against sex offender plates

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This is the same stuff the Nazi's did, see the following Wikipedia article, notice the green colored badges people had to wear? Coincidence? I don't think so!

11/09/2007

Law enforcement groups, others cite fear of vigilantism, road rage and giving false sense of security.

COLUMBUS — Ohio isn't likely to become the first state in the union to require sex offenders to have special, fluorescent green license plates on their cars or trucks.

The Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, Buckeye Sheriffs Association and Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police all announced their opposition to the idea, citing concerns about vigilantism, road rage and giving children a false sense of security.

Each group testified this week against a bill sponsored by Sen. Kevin Coughlin, R-Cuyahoga Falls, that would mandate the green plate for rapists and pedophiles on the sexual offender registry.

Other groups opposed to the plates: the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies.

The bill is supported by a Wooster family whose 14-year-old daughter was abducted, raped and murdered by a sex offender living in their neighborhood. They believe green plates would alert Ohioans to dangerous people leaving among them. A similar bill is pending in the House.

The green plates would be required of people who commit certain sex crimes after the law passes. It would not be retroactive to cover the 16,260 sex offenders currently on Ohio's registry. The same idea was floated two years ago — requiring pink plates. The legislation died after making headlines.

Ohio already mandates yellow plates for nearly 5,000 motorists convicted of drunken driving.


WI - Alleged explicit sex discussion gets mom probation

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In other words, don't teach your kids about sex, or you will be a sex offender.

11/09/2007

A Pardeeville mother accepted a plea agreement on charges she had a sexually explicit discussion with her two sons, even while she maintained she did nothing wrong and that she didn't understand why she was charged.

Amy J. Smalley, 36, said in court Thursday that she accepted the plea agreement in part because she thought it would be in the best interest of her sons, ages 12 and 16, in that it would spare them from testifying in court.

"I think this is what I'm going to have to do to make everyone happy," she said.

According to the charges filed against her, Smalley last year told her sons about several sexual experiences she had. She also allegedly described performing oral sex and also showed the two a sex toy.

"That is what I'm being charged with, but that is not what I did," Smalley said. "I believe I'm not guilty."

Smalley's attorneys unsuccessfully argued in court in July that the charges should be dismissed as the discussions should be protected as free speech between a parent and her children in the vein of sexual education.

Smalley said the charges were filed after she brought her sons to counseling in an attempt to help them from getting into trouble. One of her sons told authorities he did not think the discussion was appropriate.

"This whole thing's been like a nightmare for me and I can't understand it," she said.

In the agreement, Smalley pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of exposing a child to harmful material in exchange for the dismissal of a felony charge of exposing a child to harmful descriptions.

Columbia County Circuit Court Judge James Miller accepted the agreement and sentenced Smalley to a year of probation in addition to counseling — following the recommendation of Assistant District Attorney Crystal Long.

The felony charge could have levied a sentence of more than three years in prison and fines up to $10,000.

If the trial moved forward, Smalley's sons almost surely would have been required to testify.

"That would cause a great deal of additional pain and discomfort," Maura Melka, Smalley's attorney, said. "This is an internal family matter. ... Having the children testify would just be so hard."


VT - Former Guard Volunteer Sentenced for Child Sex Assault

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11/09/2007

A New York National Guard volunteer has been sentenced for abusing a child in the corps of cadets.

In August, 39-year-old Donald McCarthy, from Champlain, pleaded guilty to sexual assault. He admitted he befriended the 12-year-old boy. and convinced him to engage in sex acts while McCarthy video taped him. Police also claim they found hundreds of images of child pornography on McCarthy's computer.

He was sentenced to serve 6 to 18 years in prison.


HI - Suit alleges sex assault at Hawaii youth prison

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11/09/2007

Another lawsuit alleging sex assault of a minor girl by a guard at Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility has been filed in court, three months after the state agreed to pay $350,000 to settle similar claims filed by the foster parents of another girl held at HYCF.

The new suit was filed in federal court by a young woman who claims she was assaulted by an HYCF guard in mid-2002 when she was 16.

The plaintiff's lawyer, Susan Vo Hansen, said yesterday that her client did not report the assault at the time it occurred.

"When children are sexually abused, they frequently don't talk about it," Hansen said.

"Later events can trigger memories of what happened and that's the case with my client here," she said.

The HYCF guard who allegedly committed the assault was never charged with an offense and is no longer working at the facility.

Toni Schwartz, spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services, which oversees HYCF, said the department had not been served with the suit and would have no comment.

Attorney General Mark Bennett also declined comment on the suit.

Hansen was the lead attorney in another lawsuit filed against the state and former HYCF guard Lia Olione which was settled August 1 with the state agreeing to pay $350,000 to the victim and Olione agreeing to pay $7,000.

Olione was a correctional officer at HYCF from 1995 to 2003, when he sexually assaulted a teenage ward at the facility.

The girl reported the assault and Olione was placed on leave while a criminal investigation was conducted. He fled to American Samoa after he was indicted on charges of first- and second-degree sexual assault of a minor, kidnapping and terroristic threatening.

He later pleaded guilty to three felony charges and was sentenced in July 2004 to 15 years in prison by state Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto.

Bennett said yesterday that the settlement agreement with the victim and her family, reached in August, must still be approved by the Legislature.

"We at the state do apologize for what happened to this girl. It was a terrible thing and she was very brave to come forward and report what had been done to her," Bennett said.

For years, HYCF has been the target of civil rights complaints, federal investigations and repeated reports of inadequate staffing.

Since last year, a special monitor appointed by the U.S. Justice Department has been assessing state efforts to remedy major safety and health care violations found by federal inspectors in 2004.

Bennett said yesterday conditions at HYCF "have greatly improved."

The facility is "still far from perfect, but it's a better place than it was four, five or 10 years ago," Bennett said.

Olione, the former guard now serving time for sex assault, last month filed a lawsuit of his own against the state, claiming that overcrowding and understaffing at HYCF caused him to be "excessively overworked."

He claimed that physical and mental exhaustion, stress and sexual frustration "resulted in (Olione) sexually assaulting a minor female ward at the HYCF."

Olione said in the suit that his problems first surfaced in 1996, when he "made verbal statements of a sexual and/or abusive nature to minor female wards" at HYCF, but the state took no action against him.

Because of understaffing, Olione claimed he "often times" worked from 24 to 48 hours in a row at HYCF.

Bennett had no comment yesterday on Olione's lawsuit.


CA - Carson sheriff's deputy arrested in predator sting

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11/09/2007

The 31-year-old was taken into custody in a Hawthorne child predator operation. Authorities said he arrived to meet with a 13-year-old girl he met in an Internet chat room. The girl was an undercover officer. He was released on bail.

A Carson sheriff's deputy was arrested during an Internet child predator sting in Hawthorne, police revealed Thursday.

Joseph Carlos, 31, was taken into custody during the operation conducted in March and April, Hawthorne police Lt. Mike Ishii said.

Sheriff Lee Baca moved Thursday night to fire Carlos, Baca's spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

Carlos allegedly arrived March 31 in Hawthorne to meet with a 13-year-old girl he met in an Internet chat room. But the child actually was an undercover law enforcement officer working with the South Bay Internet Predator Task Force, a conglomeration of officers from Hawthorne, Palos Verdes Estates, Gardena, Culver City, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo and Inglewood, Ishii said.

No information about the sting was revealed after the operation, apparently because it was filmed for a Court TV special set to air soon.

Fifteen men were arrested during the operation conducted March 21 to April 7, Ishii said.

Baca on Wednesday watched video of Carlos' arrest and immediately opened his own department's investigation, Whitmore said.

The sheriff sent a letter Thursday to Carlos "that will indicate it is our intent to terminate him," Whitmore said.

"The sheriff wants this thing wrapped up," he said.

Carlos, a deputy for seven years assigned to the Carson station, has a right to appeal.

During his Internet chat, he arranged to meet the child "for the purposes of lewd or sexual acts," Ishii said.

Investigators did not know Carlos was a sheriff's deputy until after his arrest, Ishii said.

Carlos was arrested and released on bail.

The Sheriff's Department immediately placed him on paid administrative leave, Whitmore said.

The District Attorney's Office's Justice System Integrity Division is reviewing the matter to determine whether charges will be filed.

Whitmore said the Sheriff's Department does not usually begin its own internal affairs investigations until the district attorney has filed criminal charges.

Like any citizen, law enforcement officers are not required to talk with police investigators when suspected in a crime. They are, however, mandated to speak in internal investigations.

Once Baca saw the video, however, he initiated the investigation, concluding it Thursday, Whitmore said.


VA - Dinwiddie deputy charged with sexual battery

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11/08/2007

A Dinwiddie County sheriff’s deputy has been fired and is facing charges of sexual battery. Investigators say 48-year-old Alvin Jones invited a woman into his car, then touched her inappropriately.

Her name is Roxie Novak she says she was leaving the Dinwiddie County Jail after visiting an inmate.

“He asked to speak with me and told me he could get me longer visitation,” Novak said. “He asked me to sit in his truck.”

Roxy Novak is talking about Alvin Jones, a former corrections officer at the Dinwiddie County Jail now charged with sexual battery.

“I sat in his truck,” she said. “I trusted him because he’s a deputy he’s in uniform.”

Novak says the assault happened moments after she got into Jones’ vehicle.

“He grabbed my breast like that and I did like this,” she said, covering herself with her coat. “I froze and I said I have two little girls.”

Novak says Jones grabbed her breast a second time before she could get away.

Novak filed a report with the sheriff’s office, prompting an internal investigation. Authorities say there is evidence supporting Novak’s claim.

“Through the investigation, I had to terminate him,” said Sheriff S.H. Sands. The sheriff says Jones had been with the department for two years.

Novak says she came forward for one reason: “Because it was the right thing to do.”


TX - Sawyer police chief indicted for sexual assault

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11/08/2007

MUSKOGEE - A southeast Oklahoma police chief has been indicted on sexual assault charges.

A federal grand jury in Muskogee indicted Sawyer Police Chief Coke Makerney on counts of deprivation of rights and possessing a firearm while committing a felony.

Makerney is accused of assaulting a Texas woman during a traffic stop in May and has since been placed on administrative leave.

Sawyer is on U.S. Highway 70 east of Hugo in Choctaw County.


MA - Ex-cop on trial for rape of a child

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11/08/2007

The trial of a former Somerville cop accused of raping a 23-month-old girl begins this week.

Keith Winfield will go on trial for rape of a child with force, indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and assault and battery with dangerous bodily injury. Winfield became a Somerville police officer in 2000 but was placed on administrative leave from the job in October 2005 when city officials learned he was being investigated for rape of a child. When he was indicted for the crime on August 1, 2006 he agreed to resign. A City Hall source said if he had not resigned Acting Police Chief Robert R. Bradley and Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone were prepared to terminate him.

Authorities allege Winfield, of Melrose, assaulted the 23 month-old victim with a hot object, causing serious burns, which developed over the next 24 to 36 hours. The girl’s mother brought her to a doctor the following day. The doctor referred the girl to a Boston hospital, and police were contacted after doctors there suspected the girl had been sexually and physically abused, according to authorities. Winfield’s indictment came nine months after the incident first occurred. He has pled not guilty.

Curtatone said regardless of what happens at the trial Winfield will not get his job back. “He’s an ex-police officer now. He is no longer employed by the City of Somerville and whatever happens at his criminal trial will not affect that,” he said.

Middlesex District Attorney spokeswoman Meredith Lerner said a jury was being selected Tuesday opening statements are expected to begin Wednesday or Thursday.


WA - Medina Police Officer Admits Having Sex With Minor

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11/08/2007

SEATTLE -- A 27-year-old Medina police officer has been fired after admitting he had sex with a 16-year-old girl he met from an Internet advertisement.

Medina police handed over the investigation to the Seattle Police Department after learning of the incident to avoid any conflict of interest.

The officer was fired a couple weeks later.

Police said the officer’s interactions with the girl were on his personal time -- not when he was on duty.

The age of consent in Washington is 16, so prosecutors are not planning to charge him with a crime related to any sexual encounters with the teen.

But the officer did have a lewd photo of the girl and prosecutors are looking into possible criminal charges for that.

The Medina police chief said behavior of this kind is unacceptable in his department.


AUSTRALIA - Law 'turns boys into rapists'

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11/09/2007

TOUGH new rape laws which make it clear being drunk does not constitute consent have been condemned by barristers, who insist: "It will turn our sons into criminals."

The NSW Bar Associations reckons the "No means no" law goes too far and will lobby Upper House members to vote against it when it is up for debate next week.

The law will define the meaning of consent for the first time, making it clear that being drunk or under the influence of drugs does not mean consent has been given.

It will also introduce an "objective fault test", meaning a man can no longer use the defence that he thought he had consent if the circumstances appear unreasonable.

"It will turn our sons into criminals," new Bar Association president Anna Katzmann SC said yesterday.

"For years women have been insisting 'No' means 'No'. What troubles us about this new legislation is that it introduces a new regime where 'Yes' may mean 'No'."

Ms Katzmann gave the example of a woman on a first date who might not want to have sex but after both she and the man had drunk too much said "Yes".

The next day she feels guilty and tells her mother, who goes to the police.

"That would be rape under the new laws," Ms Katzmann said. "The fact that he was drunk cannot be taken into account. The fact that she was drunk is no excuse for him.

Chair of the Bar Association's criminal law committee Stephen Odgers SC said the law made sexual assault a crime of negligence.

"The stupid, the negligent, the intoxicated, the crazy will be treated as if they are the same as the true rapist, who knows there is no consent to sexual intercourse," Mr Odgers said.

Opposition attorney general, former Crown prosecutor Greg Smith, said the Attorney-General John Hatzistergos needed to spell out the law better.

Mr Hatzistergos said the introduction of an objective fault test was canvassed during the State Government's exhaustive consultation process and had wide support, including police and the Rape Crisis Centre.

"Although Mr Odgers might like to draw a distinction between the stupid or drunk rapist and normal rapists, for rape victims they're categories that don't matter," he said.

"If a person is drunk it does not automatically mean that consent can't be given. What it means is that the onus is on the other person, usually a man, to show he had reasonable grounds to believe the woman had consented.

"It's difficult to take the Bar Association seriously on this matter when, in their own submission, they concluded that just because a woman was asleep or unconscious (it) doesn't negate consent."

Earlier this year The Daily Telegraph launched the Justice For Women Now campaign to give sexual assault victims equal justice and to encourage more women to report assaults.