Wednesday, November 28, 2007

MO - Interview With An Admitted Sex Offender

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11/28/2007

(KSDK) - He is an admitted sex offender and he is partly responsible for the State of Missouri removing thousands of photos from the Sex Offender Registry.

Now he's fighting to have thousands of names removed as well.

You may not want to read or see his story.

You may be angry we're giving him airtime. But as journalists, our role is to present all sides of an issue, no matter how controversial. As investigative reporter Leisa Zigman explained, this is one side most people never heard.

Last May, John Doe, as he is known, e-mailed me an angry note after I exposed how dangerous sex offenders were illegally living near schools. And, prosecutors were doing nothing about it.

He wrote ...." Grandstanding, self promoting, moronic legislators and the worthless media just keep this frenzy stirred. .."

I wanted to interview him ever since. It turns out, John Doe is the CEO of a Missouri Corporation.

He agreed to share his story, if I concealed his identity.

He started by saying, "This is just a modern day witch hunt. That is all it is."

The interview shot in shadow can't mask John Doe's anger about Missouri's Sex Offender Registry.

"They think you're some sort of monster lurking behind the bush waiting for some kid to come by. You know, that is all you're doing...Waiting there to pounce," he said.

In 1994, Doe pleaded guilty to one count of sodomizing his six year old step-daughter. While he claimed innocence his attorney advised him to take the prosecutor's deal. It was a suspended imposition of sentence. After three years on probation, his record would be wiped clean.

"At the time I didn't have the money...The (estimated) 30 to 35,000 to fight it. Nor was I going to put a six year old through the court system with the beating that goes along with it."

When he agreed to plead guilty Missouri lawmakers had not established the sex offender registry. Had he known he would have to register every 90 days and that his picture and address would be placed on-line, he would have fought the sodomy charge in court.

Zigman asks, "What is wrong with a mom saying not in my neighborhood? What is wrong with that?"

Doe replies, "That is not how America is set up. Once you serve your time, your time is over."

In 2006, Missouri's Supreme Court agreed with John Doe and ten others.

The justices' ruling meant 4000 sex offenders convicted prior to 1995 would no longer have to register.

Soon after the ruling, law enforcement created a separate but equal list called the exempt list. Here you can still find John Doe's name but not his address or photo.

Doe said, "It's humiliating." Some say they have little sympathy about whether a sex offender is humiliated.

Others argue the state should have removed not just photos, but the "names" of all those convicted before 1995.

Scott Holste is Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon's spokesperson.

He said, "If the supreme court had intended to say that, then the supreme court could have stated that in its ruling."

Zigman asks, "But isn't that just semantics?"

Holste responds," That is why we've got appeals courts and other challenges to it."

Holste explained, the Attorney General's Office is appealing to have the photos that were removed, placed back on the exempt list.

Holste said, "We believe its a public safety issue."

Clinical Psychologist Helen Friedman believes, "It (the registry) is a flawed system." She has been treating sex offenders for more than a quarter of a century. Dr. Friedman argues, someone who molests a family member is not a danger to the general public. And she says, most victims know their attacker.

Dr. Friedman said, "The research shows only 10-40 percent re-offend and of those who do get treatment, 90 percent do not re-offend. This is the story that doesn't get told."

Sex offenders like John Doe use those stats to argue there shouldn't be a registry. But if there is one, lawmakers should also make a registry for murderers, wife abusers and drug pushers."

"It's a scarlet letter, he said."

"When you use that registry to get someone fired, or kicked out of school, all these soccer mom types....you're a vigilante. I don't care what you say, at that point you become a vigilante."

The Western Missouri Court of Appeals is deciding whether to have sex offender photos placed back on the exempt list.

The ruling could come next month or early next year.

Some states have changed their registry to reflect different levels of danger.

The violent sexual predator who raped and kidnapped a child, has a different ranking than the 18 year old who had consensual sex with the 15 year old he's been allowed to date. Currently, Missouri and Illinois lump all offenders together, regardless of the risk they may pose.


NJ - Parole Board restricts sex offenders' Internet use

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If their case did not involve the Internet, then this is wrong. If I lived in that state, I'd take it to court. Everyone needs to do this, swamp the court system and overload it with cases...

11/28/2007

TRENTON - New Jersey's 4,400 convicted sex offenders are no longer allowed to use the Internet to socialize.

The Parole Board voted unanimously Wednesday to impose the new restriction.

Officials discovered hundreds of profiles registered to sex offenders under Parole Board supervision when they subpoenaed social networking sites.

The Attorney General's Office subpoenaed several Web sites, including Facebook and MySpace, for lists of users who had been convicted of sex crimes.

Capt. Anne McGrath, who oversees the Parole Board's Sex Offender Management Unit, said offenders would be notified of the ban on Thursday.


NY - Missing Pennellville man found dead

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Why when a sex offender is found dead, it's usually a short article? Was it a suicide or a murder? What is the evidence to support suicide?

11/28/2007

John J. Jennings, a level 3 sex offender from Pennellville who had been missing since early Sunday, was found dead today in a heavily wooded area along county Route 54 in Schroeppel, state police said.

Troopers said they believe Jennings, who would have turned 52 next month, committed suicide.
- Care to elaborate on why you believe this?

State police and Department of Environmental Conservation officers helped in the search. Members of the Pennellville Volunteer Fire Department assisted after the officers found Jennings' body.


WI - Sex offender ordinance gets stringent adjustment

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11/28/2007

REEDSBURG - The Reedsburg Common Council voted unanimously Monday to set a public hearing for a proposed ordinance restricting where sex offenders can live.

The bill, which was passed earlier in the evening by the ordinance committee, could potentially face a challenge in court. Similar measures are currently in litigation. However, city administration is pressing on in an effort to keep Reedsburg's children safe from predators.

"In my professional opinion, we should not postpone a decision until a court case is finished," City Administrator Lori Curtis Luther said. "That could take years. We'll always have an opportunity to adjust the ordinance."

The ordinance committee decided to increase the required distance between a convicted sex offender's residence and public facilities used by children to 1,500 feet. This leaves the area south of Main Street, east of Dewey and west of Golf Course Road and a handful of lots on the north side as potential locations for them. The committee had originally proposed 1,000 feet, but Police Chief Tim Becker was concerned that this would leave too much of the city available.

"I just think it might be too many lots," he said.

City Attorney Jim Gerlach said he would defend this in court if necessary.

"If the chief and you folks feel more comfortable with 1,500 I'm not here to put a roadblock in front of that," Gerlach said. "The City of Franklin case will be a good barometer for us."

The City of Franklin, Wis. has filed a lawsuit against a convicted sex offender who moved nearby a middle school after the city passed an ordinance stipulating that sex offenders must live 2,000 feet from such facilities. The case has yet to be resolved. This month the judge refused a temporary injunction requested by the city to allow it to evict the man.

The 17 sex offenders currently residing in the City of Reedsburg will be grandfathered in. However, should they change residences, they could be subject to the ordinance should it be approved by the Common Council next month.

Sex offenders in the city would have limited access to any public facility, usually having to give written advance notice of their arrival and be approved by whoever is in charge of said facility. This includes public parks and trails, libraries, playgrounds, schools, houses of worship, movie theaters, daycare centers, golf courses and swimming pools. Also, any sex offender not previously a resident of Reedsburg would not be allowed to move to the city.

"At least it takes away the immediate risk of having it right there and accessible," ordinance committee member CareeAn Fuhlbohm said.

Not all sex offenders would be affected, only those convicted of violent sex crimes or those against children.

"This is not impacting a statutory rape case," Luther said. "This is not what this is addressing."

The committee voted 4-1 to pass the amended ordinance. Alderperson Jerry Hollendyke cast the sole vote against it. "What you're essentially doing is stacking them in a confined area," he said.

The public hearing is set for Dec. 10.


FL - Artimus Pyle arrested again for failing to properly register

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11/28/2007

ST. AUGUSTINE - Former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle has been arrested a second time in St. Johns County for failing to properly register as a sex offender, sheriff officials said.

The 59-year-old, whose real name is Thomas Delmer Pyle, was arrested Tuesday at one of three addresses he gave to county authorities, Sgt. Chuck Mulligan said. He was being held in jail Wednesday on $50,000 bond, Mulligan told The Florida Times-Union. Jail records do not show whether he had a lawyer.

His recent arrest was the result of not registering a new permanent address. The address on Pyle's driver's license no longer belongs to the musician, Mulligan said.

Pyle was free on $10,000 bond after being arrested on the same charge Nov. 19.

He said Pyle has a home in North Carolina but has told authorities he wants to register at a Florida address.

Pyle must register at a permanent address in his current state of residency or be subject to arrest, Mulligan said.

He pleaded guilty in 1993 to charges of attempted capital sexual battery by an adult on a victim younger than 12 and principal to lewd and lascivious on a child younger than 16. The charges involved two Jacksonville Beach sisters. He was sentenced to eight years of probation as well as getting the sex offender designation.

According to the Lynyrd Skynyrd's Web site, Pyle joined the band in 1975 and left in 1992.


MD - City man jailed for sex offense

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11/28/2007

A 24-year-old Cumberland man was sentenced in Allegany County Circuit Court to serve six months after he pleaded guilty to third-degree sex offense of a 10-year-old girl. Jason Michael McCown was sentenced to four years with 3 1/2 years suspended by Judge Gary Leasure following a plea agreement with the State Attorney’s Office. McCown will be under supervised probation for three years and must register as a convicted sex offender, submit to DNA analysis, attend treatment for sex offenders, have no contact with the victim and no unsupervised contact with minor children. Allegany County State’s Attorney Michael Twigg said the offense occurred at the victim’s home between Sept. 1, 2004, and Aug. 31, 2006, while McCown was a guest of the victim’s mother. C3I Detective Israel Sibley was lead investigator for the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorney Jacqueline Brandlen. Attorney James Malone represented McCown.


CA - Internet bullying turning increasingly dangerous

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11/28/2007

Bullying is, sadly, a part of growing up. Most everyone was picked on as a child. The embarrassing nicknames and pulls of pigtails have grown with our ever-changing high-tech society.

The Internet has brought an entire new dimension to bullying that most kids could not have ever imagined in their worst nightmares. Hateful websites, such as the ones discovered after Columbine, raised the popular questions: Where are their parents? How could their parents be unaware of what their children were doing?

Yet, so many parents seem to be absolutely blind as to their children's online lives.

The news special "To Catch a Predator" has become a joke in popular culture, ignoring the seriousness of the problem our children face against online predators.

Online predators take many forms and are no longer simply sexual predators. MySpace and similar websites make bullying easier than ever. Bullies of all types now have an open forum to humiliate, insult and degrade their targets.

Recently, the suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meiers raised the attention of cyber-bullying. Meiers killed herself after an online relationship with a 16-year-old boy went sour. The terrible twist to the story was that the boy did not really exist.

Lori Drew, the mother of one of Meiers' former friends, was actually pretending to be the boy. The family would have to accept that this cyber bully was a fellow neighbor, parent and friend.

The Meiers family is now devastated and there is no clear way to punish Drew for her actions. Drew was harassing Meiers, which led to her suicide. Though she more than likely did not intend for her harassment to lead to Meiers' death, she should be held accountable for her actions.

Parents not only have to worry about other children, but other adults who could be bullying their children. Obviously, it is much easier for an adult to manipulate a child and even go as far as humiliating and degrading one.

Unlike annoying pop-ups, this is something that will need more action than a simple spam blocker. At one time, home was the safest place for your child to be. Now it could actually be the most dangerous.

In the fight against online bullying, we need the law on our side. In the cases of Internet harassment that lead to death, there are no clear ways to punish these so-called bullies.

Internet harassment of any form needs to be stopped and laws punishing this behavior need to be clearly defined to discourage it in the future. If passing more Internet harassment laws could prevent even one death, then the goal will have been met.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it really does. Parents, siblings, friends, mentors, neighbors and, yes, even the parents of other children need to become a support system for the youth of today.

This would be ideal but, sadly, we need better laws to save our children from ourselves.

© 2007 Daily 49er


CA - Police Chiefs Leader: Jessica's Law for Sex Offenders "Flawed"

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11/27/2007

When California voters overwhelmingly approved Jessica's Law last November (70.5 percent vote "yes," 29.5 percent voted "no"), their intent was clear. They wanted to make penalties for sex offenders more harsh. The law, named after a Florida girl raped and murdered by a convicted sex offender, called for longer prison terms. Also, once released, sex offenders would have to wear GPS monitoring devices and live at least 2,000 feet away from schools and parks.

But in the year since Proposition 83 was passed, large parts of it are yet to be enforced.

"I think it's a good law. It's well-intentioned," said Vacaville Police Chief Richard Word and president of the California Police Chiefs Association. "But we probably need to revisit it."

One of the few law enforcement officials who has raised questions, at least publicly, about Jessica's Law, Word is concerned over the legalities and feasibility of enforcing some provisions.

"In some cases, I think legally a guy may have to move if he lives near a park. Is that right? I don't know. It's consistent with the law but it's difficult. There are some flaws," said Word.

Under that provision, Word said some cities like San Francisco, saturated with schools and parks, would be totally off-limits to sex offenders, meaning they would have to move to another community. Word questioned if that was fair to the community where the offender would be relocated.

There is also the issue of cost. While state officials estimate annual costs of implementing the law at about $200 million, there is no indication of the cost to local police and sheriff's departments. And those bills could be extensive.

When violent sexual predator Patrick Ghilotti was paroled to Vacaville in 2004, a judge ordered that he wear a GPS monitoring device so law enforcement could keep track of him 24 hours a day. The state paid for a private company to do that monitoring.

"Some (local) jurisdictions can't afford to do that," said Word. "I don't think we can. I'd like to, but I don't think we could afford it at this time."

Aware of the costs, some taxpayers say the safety of the community should come first.

"I think that would be one measure of raising taxes that people might actually vote for," said Sandra Cances of Vacaville.

Currently, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reports that only two out of every three sex offenders that are suppose to be wearing tracking devices actually are. A state commission is looking into the law and should have a report in early 2008 as to how to better implement it, if it can be.

Meanwhile, the public appears steadfast in its determination to have violent sexual predators kept under close watch.

"We should definitely keep them separated from society," said Chuy Maldanado of Vacaville. "They break the laws and hurt children so they should be segregated from society."

Copyright 2007 News10/KXTV . All Rights Reserved.


NJ - It's a crime what America's correctional systems are getting away with

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11/28/2007

It seems America is becoming one big prison.

The U.S. Department of Justice says that prisons and jails were busy last year, locking up almost 2.2 million people. That's close to putting all the residents of Wyoming and West Virginia behind bars.

In a way, you're glad you live in New Jersey.

The states with the highest rates of lockups were Louisiana and Georgia, with more than 1 percent of their populations behind bars. Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas round up the top five lockup states.

Although New Jersey is losing residents to other states, its prison population has more than doubled over the years.

The Garden State's prison population, according to published data, jumped from 6,017 in 1977 to 27,891 in 2002.

In 2006, about 26,746 offenders were locked up in New Jersey, with Middlesex County contributing 1,408 inmates.

Essex and Camden counties were home to 4,400 and 3,580 inmates, respectively.

The prison system, we agree, is keeping the public safe from psychopaths such as Jesse Timmendequas — the sex offender who was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka. Timmendequas' crime, for those unaware, inspired Megan's Law, which requires residents to be notified when a convicted sex offender moves into their neighborhood.

In fact, nearly 40 percent of all inmates in New Jersey were locked up for crimes against people, and that includes homicide, sexual assault, aggravated or simple assault, robbery and kidnapping.

These are terrible crimes. And the perpetrators deserve to be behind bars.

But what bothers me is that we're busy turning crime and punishment into a thriving industry.

Why? In 2001, correction departments nationwide spent nearly $38.2 billion to maintain the system.

And, again, with 47 privately operated jails that are seeking more business, competing with county and municipal jails that have won lucrative contracts to hold inmates, business must be good!

It's an open secret that counties too are out of control with new facilities to house state and federal inmates, collecting millions of dollars as revenue. Middlesex County earned $6.1 million for holding federal detainees in 2006.

As much as we want to keep the public safe, we've got to find a way of stopping the culture of turning crime and punishment into a profitable business.

Erick Wakiaga may be reached at (732) 565-7330 or at ewakiag@gannett.com.


GA - Banishment of Sex Offenders is Unfair and Ineffective

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11/28/2007

When Georgia's legislature drew up a list of places where sex offenders were not allowed to live, the majority leader of the state House said he hoped the restrictions would be so intolerable that sex offenders "will want to move to another state." By overturning those restrictions, the Georgia Supreme Court has created an opportunity to reconsider the mindless harsher-is-better approach they exemplified, which is neither fair as a matter of criminal justice nor sensible in terms of public safety.

Despite all the talk of protecting children, registered sex offenders are not synonymous with predatory criminals, let alone child molesters. In Georgia, they include many people who were guilty of nothing beyond consensual sex as teenagers.

Even if they have never demonstrated a propensity to abuse children, the 10,000 or so sex offenders covered by the registration requirement have to regularly report their whereabouts to local law enforcement officials, who in turn make the information publicly available. Failure to report triggers a prison sentence of at least 10 years.

Yet, until the Georgia Supreme Court intervened, sex offenders also had a strong incentive not to register since doing so enabled the government to enforce residence restrictions that made nearly all locations in urban areas off limits. The penalty for violating those restrictions was the same as the penalty for failing to register.

Georgia's law barred sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, church, daycare center or any other location where children might congregate, including parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, skating rinks and school bus stops. Even if a sex offender managed to find a legal place to live, he could be ordered to move again and again, depending on how his neighbors decided to use their property.

Anthony Mann, the registered sex offender who successfully challenged Georgia's law, bought a house in Clayton County with his wife in 2003. At the time, it was a legal location. But then a daycare center opened nearby, rendering it illegal.

"Under the terms of that statute," the state Supreme Court noted, "there is no place in Georgia where a registered sex offender can live without being continually at risk of being ejected." Concluding that the law "precludes appellant from having any reasonable investment-backed expectation in any property purchased as his private residence," the court unanimously ruled that it violated the Fifth Amendment's ban on uncompensated takings of private property.

Georgia's law also prevents Mann from working at the barbecue restaurant he co-owns since it's within 1,000 feet of a daycare center established after the business was opened. Because Mann did not present enough evidence of economic harm, the Georgia Supreme Court did not overturn the work restrictions, which have been challenged in federal court as well.

Constitutional issues aside, closing off employment opportunities for sex offenders, who already are handicapped by criminal records, is not exactly conducive to rehabilitation. Nor is forcing them to cluster in the boondocks, far from employers and treatment programs, or encouraging them to go underground.

In Iowa, which bars sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools or daycare centers, police and prosecutors have concluded that such residence restrictions do not prevent recidivism since people can readily travel beyond their immediate neighborhoods, and that they discourage registration. After Iowa's law took effect, the number of sex offenders whose whereabouts were unknown more than doubled.

Last year, the chief sponsor of Iowa's law, state Sen. Jerry Behn (R-Boone), conceded that he may have gotten a bit carried away. "If you draw a map, pretty soon you can make it so no area in town is available to live in," he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It would have been better if we had put it at 1,000 feet."

But who can be bothered to look at a map when there's important grandstanding to be done? "The bottom line," Behn explained, "is it's all about protecting children." Or seeming to.


Mr. Sullum, a nationally syndicated columnist, is a senior editor at Reason magazine, and his work appears in the new Reason anthology "Choice" (BenBella Books).


NY - Banning Predators From Emergency Shelters

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11/28/2007

The importance of protecting children and families from violent sexual predators is something that everyone seems to agree upon. But the introduction of piecemeal legislation at the local level to control sexual predators on the New York State Sex Offender Registry who are under "civil commitment" is drawing fire these days.

Two new pieces of legislation introduced in October to the Suffolk County Legislature by Legislator Kate Browning (WF-Shirley) are a case in point. Browning, who has been in the forefront of sexual predator legislation in the county in recent years, this week put on hold one of her resolutions after being advised that the matter could be handled administratively.

And while the second proposal passed through public hearings without testimony in opposition to it, some of Browning's colleagues are expressing reservations about the wisdom of putting it into law.

The first resolution, an act to expand the sex offender notification requirements to include public libraries, was recessed by Browning after she spoke with a representative of the county's Sex Crimes Unit. "Rather than do a bill and legislate expansion of notification to libraries, they can do it administratively," she said.

Her second bill, which would prevent sex offenders from being housed at general population emergency shelters, is expected to pass through committee and receive the support of the full Legislature. However, at least two of her colleagues have spoken out against it.

"It doesn't sound workable," said Legislator Tom Barraga (R-West Islip). "If you have a hurricane, people will be flooding into these shelters. Now you're going to have to screen people for sexual predators, just trying to get out of the way of a hurricane. It doesn't sound workable."
- Then don't vote for it!

Legislator John Kennedy (R-Hauppauge) called the resolution another example of piecemeal legislation. "When you keep doing this, you run the risk that something will be challenged, and having everything thrown out," he said. "We're sworn to uphold the Constitution. As much as I want to protect people from sexual predators, we need to take a comprehensive look at the issue, not do it piecemeal like this."
- Then don't vote for it!

And the local branch of the New York State Civil Liberties Union has spoken out against Browning's proposal, as well. "We're opposed to this on the face of it," said Seth Muraskin, of the Suffolk County chapter of the NYSCLU. "This is double punishment, excessive and going over the top. There are equal protection and unlawful punishment issues. It would seem to be unconstitutional."
- Thus violating the United States Constitution ex-post facto and double jeopardy issues.

Browning's emergency shelter bill would require sex offenders to disclose their status when checking into an emergency shelter. It also would mandate the county to maintain a separate emergency shelter for sex offenders. The cost of such an undertaking was not available at press time.

Browning says that her intent is to respond to incidents that were reported during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. "There was no shelters provided for sex offenders," she said. "With 800 or so sex offenders in Suffolk County, we want there to be a location for them to go to in the event of an emergency."

Working with Fire Rescue and Emergency Services, Browning said, as well as the Probation Department and the Red Cross, a procedure could be put in place for the Red Cross to have a list of names of people from the registry they can cross check, to make sure that sexual predators are not allowed to stay in general emergency shelters.

Adequately protecting the public from convicted sexual predators after they have served sentences is an issue that is addressed in New York State by Megan's Law. In part because violent sexual predators are considered to be at high risk of repeating their offense, New York created the Sex Offender Registration Act, requiring anyone convicted of certain sex offenses to register with the state for either a period of 20 years after conviction, or for life.

According to Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, a lawyer in Manhattan who represents people accused of sex crimes, Megan's Law has resulted in some people getting caught in a web of restrictions that are not necessarily tailored to their situation.

"Sometimes you'll have accusations made during a stormy divorce in order to gain advantage in litigation," Margulis-Ohnuma said. "A person will take a guilty plea, thinking they had to. Then they end up 20 years on the registry. If someone viciously attacks children, [then] of course [the law is useful]. But the problem is that very regular people get caught up in this. And laws like these, when they're not tailored to the situation, do not distinguish between people who are dangerous and are not."

And in testimony in Albany in 2005 at a public hearing on criminal penalties and civil commitment of sex offenders, Robert Newman, a representative of the Legal Aid Society of the City of New York, said that while his organization applauded the strengthening of laws pertaining to sex offenses in the state, and supports continued efforts to protect children and families, any additional legislation must be "practical, effective, fair and constitutional."

He testified that more should be done to treat people who have mental health issues that lead them to become sexual predators rather than give them jail time and then institute civil confinement laws that do not deal with the problem.

"New York already has a procedure, under Article 9 of the Mental Hygiene Law, for the involuntary commitment of persons who suffer from a mental illness and who, as a result of this illness, pose a substantial risk of physical harm to other persons," said Newman. "This statute appears to be applicable to sexually violent predators who are driven by mental illness. Yet to our knowledge, no one has sought to invoke Article 9 to commit a sex offender about to be released from prison. One might suggest that, before finding existing law wanting, we might at least try to use it."
- Ok, if it's a mental illness, then where is the disability checks?


FL - Atlantic Beach cop had child porn on computer, police say

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11/28/2007

ATLANTIC BEACH - A Brevard County undercover police officer who specializes in busting child sex pornography reported finding sexual images of children on an Atlantic Beach police officer's computer.

Atlantic Beach police officer Christopher Lane Crews, 25, was arrested Nov. 20 on 19 charges of possession of child pornography and one charge of promoting child pornography. He was released from jail pending trial on a $105,000 bond.

Crews was placed on administrative duty at the police department so he has no contact with the public and Police Chief David Thompson removed his arrest powers, badge, patrol car and firearm.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Assistant Chief John Hartley said last week that agents seized several computers from Crews' house containing sexual images of boys and girls ages 2 to 9 years old.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office detectives were notified by the undercover detective from the Cape Canaveral area who found child pornography files on Crews' computer, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Melissa Bujeda. She said special software had been used on the computer, letting users share folders containing the images.

Thompson said Monday that co-workers were surprised and shocked by the charges against Crews. In a written statement after Crews' arrest, Thompson said child pornography was "certainly one of the most morally repugnant vice offenses."

"The Atlantic Beach Police Department is embarrassed to have an employee who has been associated with this behavior," Thompson's statement said.

Crews will remain on administrative duty for at least a week, perhaps two, until the internal affairs investigation is completed, Thompson said. State law prohibits supervisors from disciplining an officer, including issuing a suspension, until the internal affairs investigation is finished, he said.

There is no indication that Crews was involved with any improper activity on the job, Thompson said.

Crews joined the city in 2001 as a part-time employee, handling animal control duties and administrative work for the Police Explorer program. He then became an emergency communications operator, attended the police academy and was sworn in as a police officer in December 2003..


CA - Ex-deputy charged in sex sting

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11/27/2007

A 31-year-old former sheriff's deputy was charged Tuesday with two felony counts stemming from his arrest in an undercover sting aimed at alleged Internet child predators.

Joseph Mican Abadla Carlos is set to be arraigned Dec. 17 in Los Angeles Superior Court on one count each of meeting a minor for lewd purposes and attempted lewd act upon a child under the age of 14, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Carlos, who worked at the Carson sheriff's station, was charged in connection with a sting conducted last March by the South Bay Internet Enforcement Task Force.

The charges specifically stem from Internet contact Carlos allegedly had with a police detective posing as a 13-year-old girl, according to authorities.

Carlos, who had been with the Sheriff's Department for seven years, was put on paid leave after his March 31 arrest. Earlier this month, a department spokesman said Sheriff Lee Baca had started termination proceedings against the deputy.

Carlos, who is free on bail, could face up to four years in state prison if convicted of the charges, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Carlos, who is free on bail, could face up to four years in state prison if convicted of the charges, according to the District Attorney's Office.


NC - Kernersville man dies in Guilford Jail

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11/27/2007

A Kernersville man being held at the Guilford County Jail in High Point died Monday from injuries the sheriff’s office said appeared consistent with a suicide attempt.

Timothy Allen Maynard, 30, was found in his cell just before 4 p.m. The sheriff’s office did say how he was injured and a spokesman could not immediately elaborate on the injuries.

Maynard was found during the normal rounds at the jail. An ambulance took him to High Point Regional Hospital, where he died just after 5 p.m.

Maynard was being held on two counts of first-degree sex offense, three counts of assault on a child under 12, first-degree kidnapping and indecent liberties with a child. He was arrested Aug. 23 and was scheduled to be in court Tuesday. An autopsy is pending.


CA - Psychologist says registry contributed to death

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AMEN!!!!! We have a bunch of cowards in office who don't have the balls to call these laws what they are!

11/27/2007

Thanks to the internet registry, which has done nothing to decrease recidivism, a client of mine is dead murdered in Lake County, simply because he was a sex offender whose name and picture were on the registry.

He had recently been released from the hospital after years of treatment. He had changed his life, and, at age 68, had plans for a positive future, family love and support, a job, etc. A man broke into his trailer, stabbed him numerous times someone he didn't even know, only because he was on the registry.

I am sickened, not only because of his murder, but because we have not condemned the stigmatization of offenders through useless laws which will not decrease reoffense, and may even increase offending.

I am sickened by our lack of humanity. How many more such murders will there have to be? Will no one stand up and change these draconian laws which protect no one, and cause pain, suffering, and even death to persons who have committed no new crimes?

Charlene Steen, PhD

Licensed psychologist

Napa


VA - Bedford boy pleads no contest to molestation charges

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11/28/2007

BEDFORD - A 15-year-old Bedford boy being prosecuted here as an adult pleaded no contest to molesting a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old girl in circuit court Tuesday.

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Wes Nance said the seriousness of the charges justified transferring the case from juvenile and domestic relations court, where minors are usually tried.

“He didn’t think they would remember or be able to tell,” Nance told the court in describing how the boy picked his victims.

Joshua Lovell entered no contest pleas to four counts of aggravated sexual battery. He was indicted on two charges of object sexual penetration and two charges of aggravated sexual battery.

Nance said the first two charges were reduced because of potential difficulty with the age of the victims and their ability to testify.

The first incident happened in early 2006 with the younger girl, the prosecutor said. He told the court the boy’s mother was babysitting the girl and the incident happened while he was changing the toddler’s diaper.

The second happened this year between July and August when Lovell admitted to molesting the older girl during a game of hide-and-seek.

He said the investigation didn’t begin until Lovell admitted his actions to his family and others.

Lovell faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the four charges. Nance said the judge may also sentence the boy to juvenile penalties such as in-patient or outpatient psychiatric treatment or he can put him in the custody of the state’s juvenile justice system.

Judge James Updike ordered the boy to undergo sex offender evaluation before he is sentenced on Feb. 19 at 9 a.m.