View the article here | Wikipedia | Exposing WWASPS camp abuse
MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! LISTEN TO THESE VIDEOS!!!!! SICK BASTARDS!!!! AND PEOPLE WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO CONTROL AND HELP THEM???
"While at the camp, students are monitored 24 hours a day, are not allowed to speak or move without permission, and are subject to a rigid disciplinary system. Punishment at Tranquility Bay includes being forced to lie on the ground for months without moving or speaking, being sprayed in the face with pepper spray, or having your arms and limbs twisted into unnatural positions - the idea being to cause extreme pain without leaving marks. At other WWASPS camps, students have been beaten, put in dog cages and starved. Teenagers who cooperate with the program rise in a complex system of internal ranks, eventually becoming enforcers against new students. In so-called "group therapy" sessions, students are punished if they do not hurl abuse at one another, reveal personal information and proclaim their salvation by the program.
Child abuse has slowly grown out of the family sphere and turned into an industry.
Even normally "defiant" teenagers are often unable to resist the camp's methods of indoctrination, and the Web is overflowing with testimonies from parents whose son or daughter was transformed into a "perfect" child, instinctively obedient and brimming with filial devotion.
These camps are not an aberration in a culture that fetishizes law and order above individual liberty, is unreasonably terrified of rebellion, drug use and teenage sexuality and is absolutely unwilling to believe that giving unrestrained power to fanatical conservatives could result in genuine atrocities. Both Republicans and Democrats are aware of these camps, but with the exception of congressman George Miller of California, none of them have tried to do anything about it. It's taboo to question the absolute rights of parents in this society.
Several institutions run by the organization in Latin American countries and elsewhere have been shut down, but for the most part they continue to operate, and are expanding. Sending your son or daughter to one of these camps is very expensive, and WWASPS has become a multi-million-dollar organization, with thousands of staff and a network of Web pages online designed to spread misinformation about the programs and convince desperate parents to send their children into the system.
But very few people even know about the issue, to a large extent because the camps are run privately rather than by the government. Letters have been sent to congressmen, court cases have been fought and articles have been published, but there are at least as many people working to support these camps as there are working to shut them down."
Sunday, January 20, 2008
View the article here | Wikipedia | Exposing WWASPS camp abuse
View the article here
I cannot believe my ears!! They should compensate people they've put in prison when they did not do the crime. But, most states have immunity, which is BS IMO.
TALLAHASSEE (AP) -- Alan Crotzer is working at a landscaping company, hoping one day to be compensated for the 24 years he spent in prison for a rape he didn't commit.
Florida lawmakers have for a couple years failed to pass a bill to pay him -- and he's again asking the Legislature for $1.25 million for the two decades of freedom he gave up.
It's too bad for Crotzer that he doesn't live somewhere else. Several states have automatic compensation for people who have been wrongfully imprisoned and then released -- something that's happening more and more because of increasing use of DNA to prove innocence.
But Florida remains one of 28 states that don't guarantee compensation for those who spent precious years behind bars for something they didn't do. Nine men have been freed by DNA in Florida in recent years, but only one has received money.
Crotzer, 47, is seeking money for himself -- but he'd rather the state make money available for anyone in his situation. He said most men released after years behind bars -- especially those who were, like him, young when imprisoned -- have a hard time starting over without help. They're usually broke, and most have no job prospects. All they really know is prison life.
"I don't have any education, I don't have any real job skills. So I'm doing what I can," Crotzer said in a recent interview. "I went on public assistance.
"They really need to put something in place," for compensation, Crotzer said. "How can you take more than half a man's life and expect to do nothing for him?"
In 1982, Crotzer was convicted of robbing a Tampa family and kidnapping and raping a 38-year-old woman and a 12-year-old girl at gunpoint during the crime. Crotzer said he was nowhere near the scene and witnesses corroborated that, but he had a previous robbery conviction when he was 17 and a witness picked him out of a lineup. He was sentenced to 130 years in prison.
Years later, another man convicted in the robbery told police that Crotzer wasn't with them that night and revealed the real rapist. DNA testing along with the other evidence then convinced prosecutors that he wasn't involved. He was released in 2006.
People getting out of prison usually have extraordinary needs, said Jenny Greenberg, policy director for The Innocence Project of Florida, which helps prisoners who claim to be innocent get DNA testing.
"All of these guys suffer from features of post-traumatic stress disorder. They all need immediate mental health care," Greenberg said.
Many need other medical care too, after sometimes going years with inadequate treatment in prison, she said.
The state has immunity from large lawsuits so exonerated prisoners must go to the Legislature and ask for compensation. Lawmakers can pass a special "claims bill" that pays people back for wrongs by the government.
But only Wilton Dedge has managed to get such a bill through the Legislature. Dedge spent 22 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit and in 2005 lawmakers awarded him $2 million.
Dedge didn't just take his money and forget about it. He recently wrote Gov. Charlie Crist urging compensation for the others.
"Anyone who suffered as I did deserves compensation," Dedge wrote. "It's not like the money magically dissolves all the pain and trauma and restores our stolen years and lost family, but it is critical and the very least that our state can do."
Senate President Ken Pruitt said this week that compensation for the wrongfully convicted is one of his priorities for this year.
"Government gets it wrong sometimes, and when we do, we must take responsibility," said Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie. Crist has also said the wrongly imprisoned deserve compensation.
State Sen. Arthenia Joyner is sponsoring a bill to provide most exonerated inmates $100,000 for every year they spent behind bars. For Crotzer, that would mean more than $2 million. It would also provide free education -- something Crotzer said he'd particularly like to have.
"What as a just and noble society should we do when we've locked someone up and they've spent a significant portion of their lives behind bars when it was wrong?" asked Joyner, D-Tampa. "We have a responsibility to do the right thing."
Leaders in the House and Senate say, however, that some lawmakers would only vote for compensation legislation that limits eligibility to people who have never committed any crimes.
Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, who is working on the measure in the House, said government has a moral obligation to compensate people who are "completely innocent."
"I'm hard-pressed to sell to the public that if somebody has committed a rape, that for that second rape that they didn't commit we're going to compensate them," Bogdanoff said.
Bogdanoff said even with an automatic compensation law, ineligible people -- as Crotzer would be -- would still be able to seek a claims bill, and tell lawmakers why they should be compensated.
Crotzer said that's great, but that process hasn't worked well for him -- he's in his third year trying to get money from the Legislature. And just because he committed a crime when he was young, doesn't make it OK that the state deprived him of more than two decades of his life for something else he didn't do, he said.
"What they're doing is trying to find a reason not to do what's right," Crotzer said.
"I can understand not wanting to compensate someone who has habitually committed crimes," he said. He noted that many wrongfully convicted prisoners are black men who have come into contact with law enforcement before, which sometimes makes them more likely to be suspects in crimes when they weren't involved.
"Legislators can look for reasons why not," Crotzer said. "They should look for reasons to do the right thing."
GA - Instinctive, ill-advised - Reinstating work, residency rules on sex offenders will force predators underground
View the article here
I don't know of anybody who wants a child to be harmed in any way, but these laws do not protect anybody, they punish and torture thousands, if not millions, violate the Constitution, the list is endless. This just makes me sick, that the people we voted into office do not give a rats a$$ about your rights or the Constitution.
The sexual abuse of children provokes two responses: an instinctive, blindly emotional reaction of anger at the victimization of an innocent child, and a more rational reaction designed to prevent such heinous acts from happening in the future.
In voting to reinstate blanket residency and work limits on all sex offenders, a legislative committee has succumbed entirely to the first response and ignored the second, more productive reaction. The results, if approved by the Legislature as a whole, would be counterproductive for children.
Under previous Georgia law, one of the most restrictive in the country, all those convicted of sex-related offenses were treated as sexual predators. They were forbidden to live near parks, playgrounds, skating rinks, neighborhood centers, gymnasiums, school bus stops and community swimming pools. They also could not legally work near a child care facility, school or church.
After those limits were struck down by the state Supreme Court in November, the Legislature was given a chance to revisit the state's approach. But House Bill 908 — approved by the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee on Wednesday — repeats mistakes of earlier laws and will leave many sex offenders homeless and unemployed, fueling the instability that increases the risk of repeat crimes.
The House committee shrugged off the testimony of six legal and behavioral experts who warned that the draconian restrictions would cause offenders to go underground, drop out of treatment and stop registering their whereabouts with the state, the worst-case scenario for keeping kids safe.
- Typical! They don't want to listen to experts, but think they know what is best. They don't. These laws prove that. They don't want to look like they are pro-sex offender or have the balls to stand up for the Constitution or Human Rights. So when you are faced with such issues, you can bet they won't care about you or your rights either.
"The more stable the offender, the less likely they are to commit new crimes," researcher Kevin Baldwin said.
- I think they personally want to cause chaos, so they can pass more laws to remove peoples rights. That seems like what they want to me. Why do they not listen to experts?
"More than a score of states have tried residency restrictions, and there is still no proof they work," psychologist James E. Stark testified, adding that Georgia law already requires that sex offenders meet with probation officers, undergo home checks and polygraphs and get treatment.
- If they would go after the truly dangerous, then they'd work, but they lump everyone into one category, thus making everything worse and harder to keep track of. If this is how the people who are suppose to represent the people work, then the whole state and country is in danger.
Nor was the committee fazed by the fundamental unfairness of a law that would subject someone convicted of consensual sex as a teenager to the same restrictions applied to a 35-year-old who preyed on 11-year-olds.
- It's because they are "holier than thou" and think they know better than experts in the field. INSANE!!
For example, student Narada Williams, 21, cannot live in his college dorm because of a day-care center on his campus. Why? Because at age 17, Williams engaged in oral sex with a willing 15-year-old, which at the time was a felony under Georgia law, requiring that Williams register as a sex offender. The offense has since been reduced to a misdemeanor with no requirement to register, but the change was not retroactive and Williams still wears the sex-offender label.
"It is a scarlet letter that follows him everywhere," says his father, Robert Williams. "I have always been raised to believe that molesting a child is worse than murdering someone. For such a young man to have that on his shoulders for an act with a peer is hard for me to digest. It seems like something out of a third world country."
- I just don't understand this mentality of "sexual abuse being worse than murder". The last time I checked, murder was final, and I am not condoning sexual abuse, but at least you can still live and have somewhat of a life, get therapy, etc.
View the article here
As state legislatures begin their 2008 sessions, lawmakers will need to decide whether to comply with the federal Adam Walsh Act on sex offenders or lose federal money for law enforcement. The choice for states is to dramatically increase their registration and community notification requirements for convicted sex offenders by 2009 or lose significant federal law enforcement grant money.
It doesn't seem like a difficult choice. Who wouldn't want to support laws targeting convicted sex offenders and be paid for it? Yet legislatures from Arizona to Illinois to Rhode Island are leaning against implementing the law. Because once you get past the painful emotions and look hard at the problem of child sexual abuse, it turns out that sex offender registration and community notification laws might not actually prevent sexual violence.
Sex offender laws are based on two popular myths about child abuse: that children have most to fear from strangers, and that sex offenders will repeat their crimes. In fact, more than 90 percent of child sexual abuse is committed by someone the child knows. And authoritative studies show that three out of four sex offenders do not reoffend within 15 years of release from prison. In fact, 87 percent of sex crimes are committed by people with no previous sex offense convictions.
The Adam Walsh Act doesn't tackle the real dangers to children, and contains disturbing provisions. It requires states to register and identify online children age 14 and older who commit sex offenses.
Many states treat child sex offenders differently than adults, exempting them from community notification. They understand that child sex offenders respond well to treatment and have an excellent chance of rehabilitation -- and that crimes they committed as children should not haunt the rest of their lives. Thus the Illinois legislature, knowing it was acting in conflict with the Adam Walsh Act, recently overrode the governor's veto of a law exempting child offenders from online registration.
In the past, federal law required only that states register sexually violent offenders for 15 years. The new act requires states to register virtually anyone convicted of a sex offense. This would force some states to significantly expand their registries. While it may seem a good idea to place all convicted sex offenders on a registry, law enforcement officials and child safety advocates say that expanding the registry to include all offenders reduces its usefulness in helping law enforcement to identify and monitor individuals considered a real risk to the community.
The Adam Walsh Act also extends from 15 years to 25 years or life the time someone is on a registry and subject to community notification, without the possibility of petitioning to be removed. If Congress had consulted experts on sexual violence, it would have found that the longer a convicted sex offender lives offense-free in the community, the less likely he is to re-offend, which is why experts often advocate giving convicted sex offenders an opportunity to be released from registry requirements upon a showing of rehabilitation.
Implementing the changes required by the act will cost states a lot of money. At a legislative hearing in Arizona, witnesses testified that the state would lose between $700,000 and $800,000 in federal law enforcement grants if it didn't comply with the law -- but that it would cost millions of dollars to expand the state's sex offender laws to comply with the Adam Walsh Act.
And there are other costs to implementing the act. Subjecting convicted sex offenders to community notification for the rest of their lives may do great harm -- both to the individuals and to community safety. Offenders included on online sex offender registries endure shattered privacy, social ostracism, diminished employment and housing opportunities, harassment and even vigilante violence. Their families suffer as well.
Unnecessarily expansive community notification laws may drive more offenders underground, away from supportive services like treatment, and away from the supervision and monitoring of law enforcement. Harsh enduring consequences also provide little incentive for former offenders to live without re-offending: as one registrant told Human Rights Watch, "No one believes I can change, so why even try?" Every child has the right to live free from violence and sexual abuse. Promoting public safety by holding offenders accountable and by instituting effective crime prevention measures is a core governmental obligation. But states can address the real problem of sexual violence by refusing to adopt the Adam Walsh Act -- and then limiting their registration and community notification laws to individuals identified as posing a real risk to the community.
About the writer:
Sarah Tofte is a U.S. researcher for Human Rights Watch and the author of "No Easy Answers: Sex Offender Laws in the U.S." Readers may write to her at HRW, 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10118-3299; Web site: www.hrw.org. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
View the article here
Stop the games!!! Repeal the law, fix the law so it doesn't violate civil/human rights or the Constitution, then pass the law. Stop the BS! You are playing with peoples lives as well as their families and children!
Too confusing and too broad — that’s how local prosecutors and defense attorneys describe Georgia’s sex offender law.
On Wednesday, a state House panel approved a revised version of the state’s sex offender registry law. Late last year, the Georgia Supreme Court said the law cannot apply to those who own their homes, saying if the sex offender owned a home before a church, school or day care was built within 1,000 feet of their property, he or she doesn’t have to move.
- Renters have rights as well, and the law should not be retroactive violating the constitution, period.
The state’s sex offender law, passed in 2006, required those convicted of certain offenses not to live within 1,000 feet of church, school, day care or anywhere where children congregate.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys said they have problems understanding the law and, even more importantly, the law doesn’t do enough to make sure the most dangerous offenders stay away from children.
Mike McCarthy, chief public defender for the Conasauga Judicial Circuit, which includes Whitfield and Murray counties, and District Attorney Kermit McManus said there should be a distinction between “sexual predators” and other offenders.
- Also, you need to look at how the determine someone is a predator.
“Our criminal structure is so broad and so all encompassing that it includes people that are not predators but who fall into that category because of the definition of the crime,” McManus said. “Restricting them the same as a predator is unnecessary, but we don’t make that distinction.”
For example, if a 19-year-old has consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old, under the current law, he or she should be charged with aggravated child molestation. Aggravated child molestation is defined by the law as an act of child molestation that involves sodomy or injury to the child.
“But if a 42-year-old man snatches the 12-year-old kid off the playground, the sentence is the same, even though the crimes are horribly different,” McManus said. “They are both looking at 25 years without parole, minimum.”
Prosecutors will often reduce the charges.
“The criminal courts are looking foolish,” McManus said. “We have these horrible crimes by name. The fact that I can prosecute (that 19-year-old) and send him away for 25 years without parole is not the right thing to do. I am forced to go to plea bargaining and reduce the charge. That’s just wrong.”
“We need to look at individuals and make a distinction between a 19-year-old boy who falls in love with a 15-year-old girl and a child molester,” McCarthy said. “We put judges in place for a reason. If we don’t trust the judges, then let the juries decide.”
For a sex offender to be considered a predator, local prosecutors have to submit the case for review before the state Sexual Offender Registry Review Board.
- And the state has not done that to anybody that I am aware of. They are just making everyone the highest level so they can be done with it.
Under the version of the law approved by the House panel on Wednesday, someone who is considered a sexual predator will not have to move if he or she owned their home before the school, church or day care was built.
- So what about renters? What if they lived in a hotel/motel or house, and now a new church or day care pops up? They are forced to move. This is wrong as well. The day care should not be able to open near a sex offender, if they were there first.
“If (a sexual predator) bought a house out in the Beaverdale community in 1995 and apparently if he is living less than a 1,000 feet away from where they are building a new school he doesn’t have to move because he was there first,” McManus said. “It doesn’t make me feel very good about the kids that are going to Beaverdale School and riding the buses.”
- So basically, if you owned a home before July 1st, 1996 and are rich enough, you can stay, otherwise you have to keep packing your bags over and over and over again. Renters have rights as well.
And while there have been a few cases of sex offenders moving in hopes of getting closer to children, those cases don’t happen very often, McManus said.
“In my opinion most people who don’t follow the rules do it out of ignorance,” McManus said. “There are a few cases where there has been a concern that they were trying to move to a location that puts them in proximity with children, but those are rare.”
- How are they suppose to know what is legal or not? They are not land surveyors!!!
“It trips up people who are trying to abide by it,” McCarthy said. “And you can get life in prison for a second offense.”
- That is their whole intention, to lock everyone up, period. Don't believe me? See this article from a DA in California (here).
“You can’t get life in prison for almost any other crime in the state of Georgia,” McManus said.
Some attorneys are often not sure who has to register and for what crimes.
“The sex offender registry law is without any question the most complicated, difficult to read and understand law that we deal with in the criminal courts bar none,” McManus said. “And it has been changed almost every year or every other year since 2000. ”
- I agree. I've asked several cops about this law, and they say it's a mess. Even lawyers have no clue what the law covers and doesn't cover, so I'm sure the people making these laws have no clue either, they probably don't even know what is in the laws, they just see "sex offender" and pass it without reading it. And how can you legally keep changing the rules of the game?
McCarthy agreed with McManus that the law needs to be simplified.
“I would hope they (the Legislature) would repeal the whole law and start over and make one that someone with a high school education can understand,” McCarthy said.
- AMEN!!! The legislature are apparently brain dead! Read the Constitution, go back to school!
McManus said the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council, which represents district attorneys across the state, was not consulted when the sex offender bill was passed in 2006.
- Of course not, they knew you'd probably oppose the law, so they sneak it through, they are good at doing that.
“We were shunned,” McManus said. “We were shown the bill in advance but we were told, ‘This is the way it is going to be.’”
State Rep. Tom Dickson (Email), R-Cohutta, a former school superintendent, agrees there laws should be more specific in detailing the different types of offenses.
“I do have concerns about the severity of the restrictions and punishments mandated in this law, but only as it relates to very youthful offenders for whom it may not be an indication of a lifelong addiction,” Dickson said. “Of course the problem is being able to distinguish who is the serious offender.”
- Again with the word "punishments!" Everybody like Jerry Keen says it's NOT punishment, but restrictive. This is total BS. It is all about punishment, that is clear from his own quotes. And if it's punishment, it is unconstitutional, period... Here is the bill (HB-1059) itself. Count how many times you see the word PUNISHMENT in the bills text. So is it punishment or not?
Underneath all the political haggling lies real concerns about sexual predators gaining access to children.
“There are no safeguards that are too small in my opinion for those individuals,” McManus said. “I am in favor of the current legislation because it gives the greatest security we can provide from sexual predators. It’s too broad a stroke and it encompasses far more people than it should. But it covers everybody. Until we learn how to distinguish (sexual predators from the others), the others are going to get caught up.”
- Why don't you tell the review board who categorized people to get off their rearends and get the job done, then you can make the law for predators only, those likely to reoffend.
View the article here
HAMMOND - Though their crime may be heinous, every person convicted of soliciting sex from young children over the Internet might not deserve to spend a full decade in prison, one local judge argues.
"I happen to think a 10-year minimum is too high in these cases. There has to be more leeway," U.S. District Judge Philip Simon said in Hammond federal court earlier this month. "I just think it's out of whack, and I think Congress has it flat wrong."
Simon made the statements recently during the sentencing of Matthew Hensley, a former assistant Andrean girls' basketball coach convicted of using multiple online identities to find young girls for sex. Simon actually sentenced Hensley to slightly more than the 10-year minimum but took the opportunity to criticize the mandate nonetheless.
In a federal district that has taken an aggressive approach to Internet enticement cases, other observers of the 10-year mandatory minimums for Internet child enticement could not be more opposed to Simon.
"The way you create deterrence is to increase the penalties," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip Benson, who has prosecuted many such cases in the past year. "The mandatory minimums for these Internet child-enticement cases are entirely appropriate."
- Increasing penalties NEVER has stopped criminals, they don't think about the consequences. This is just total lies which has no real facts to back it up. Does the death penalty stop people from killing? Nope!
Until summer 2006, federal law required that people convicted of using Internet chatrooms to convince young children to expose themselves or meet for sexual liaisons serve at least five years in prison.
That changed July 27, 2006, when the president signed the Adam Walsh Act, forcing judges to impose a minimum 10-year prison sentence for the same crime.
One month later, federal prosecutors in Northern Indiana brought charges against 24 men for Internet child enticement.
A Times review of those cases found that 13 of the men were sentenced to 10 or more years in prison, with virtually no difference in sentences between those who pleaded guilty and those who forced the government to put them on trial.
Eight of the cases are pending, and three were dismissed for reasons of mental competency.
None of the men have been acquitted.
David Capp, the acting U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Indiana, said potential offenders and their defense attorneys can expect to keep seeing child-enticement indictments come before the court.
"We are going to continue to take an aggressive posture on these cases because these individuals are dangerous predators, and they are attempting to prey on children," Capp said.
Benson said sexual predator cases are different because of the high level of recidivism among offenders. And if more prisons have to be built to accommodate the mandatory minimums, most people would think that's a good use of taxpayers' money, he said.
- What a load of lies. Why doesn't this man look at the many studies done to prove he is wrong. Sex offender recidivism is the lowest among criminals, see for yourself here and here. There are MANY studies, and recently one for all 50 states, which say this is wrong. Where does it say they have a high recidivism rate, which comes from professionals who deal with offenders, and not some company with an agenda?
"Our children are our greatest resource, and no one has a right to destroy that," Benson said.
View the article here
This should have been done a long time ago, and I am all for this. People should not be able to post child porn or information about kids. Yes, it's freedom of speech, but it's morally wrong, IMO.
It gets easier every day to track down someone in cyberspace.
You can find lost friends and make new ones with the likes of MySpace, Match.com, YouTube and good old-fashioned Google.
On the repulsive Web site run by former Arlington resident Jack McClellan, you can learn where to go to watch little girls.
McClellan is the self-described hands-free pedophile who's become a celebrated pariah no one can figure out how to lock up.
He loves to discover where best to sit and stare at young girls. He shares his experience online and until recently included photos.
It started at a home in Arlington a couple years back. Hounded by public exposure, he moved to a suburb of Los Angeles and then last fall to Portland, Ore.
No matter where he settles and no matter how closely law enforcement watch him -- from Snohomish County deputies to Portland police -- he's yet to be charged with a sex crime.
His Web site's stated purpose is to "promote association, friendship and legal, nonsexual, consensual touch (hugging, cuddling, etc.) between men and prepubescent girls."
While he said he does not practice "sexual touching," he provides links to sites that do.
It is all very icky and very legal.
California legislators tried without success to pass a law criminalizing the behavior of him and his ilk as surrogate stalking.
This Wednesday, Washington's Legislature pursues a different tack when the Senate Judiciary Committee goes after the intent in spreading the information.
Senate Bill 6301 would make it illegal to publish specific details on where and when to find children "for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person."
Sen. Eric Oemig (Email), D-Kirkland, a father of two young children, is the author.
He was alerted to McClellan's Web site by a constituent in 2006 and checked it out.
"I was just appalled," he said. "What this sick pervert was doing was imperiling these children by putting a sign up in cyberspace that here they are, come and get them."
The challenge is crafting legislation in line with the U.S. Constitution.
"If someone wants to talk about pedophilia as a lifestyle choice on a Web site, it is protected speech," he said.
Publishing specific times and places to find little girls is not protected, he contended.
It won't be an easy sell to legislators concerned this well-meaning effort unintentionally curbs free speech rights.
Sen. Val Stevens (Email), R-Arlington, is trying from another angle.
She's introduced legislation to make it a crime for someone to publish personal information about a child, including where the child might be at a certain time, if they know doing so will put that child in danger.
She said it's based on a law protecting cops from having their personal information published.
"If we can do it for police officers, we can do it for children," she said.
View the article here | Another Article
ROCKLAND COUNTY - Booze, bongs. boys and Beth.
Beth Modica is a Rockland County assistant district attorney. Her husband Paul Modica is the police chief in Spring Valley and they are the parents of four children including a 16-year son, a member of the Suffern Mounties ice hockey team.
According to the New York Post, hockey mom Modica, 44, has crossed over to the other side of the law and will be arraigned Tuesday when an indictment is scheduled to be unsealed which contains allegations that she provided alcohol and marijuana to some of her son’s teammates. The Post also reports that Modica allegedly had sexual relations with some of her son’s teammates.
The Post reported that Monica allegedly threw pool parties last summer for her son’s hockey team at their Sloatsburg home which is located about 45 miles from New York City. Monica had worked as an assistant village attorney in Sloatsburg until last month when she was discharged, allegedly due to budget concerns, and was also deputy town attorney in Ramapo.
The allegations against the prosecutor are similar to those lodged against Sandra “Beth” Geisel in 2005, an English teacher at Christian Brothers Academy, a Catholic prep school in Albany.
Geisel, then 42, of Lathan, pleaded guilty in September 2005 to having sex with a 16-year-old male CBA student in May, 2005, on three occasions with his consent, once at her and her husband’s Latham home, once at the student’s Ravena home and once in the press box at the CBA football stadium on campus while some of the boy’s friends, who had taken him to the school grounds to meet Geisel, waited nearby.
Geisel’s husband, Thomas, was president of Key Bank’s northeast region at the time of her arrest. He has since left Key Bank and was recently named chief executive officer of Sun Bancorp Inc. in Vineland, NJ, the parent company of Sun National Bank.
Like the Modicas, the Geisels are the parents of four children.
Geisel served six months in jail after pleading to third degree rape. She has been classified as a Level 1 sex offender, is completing 10 years of probation.
View the article here
ROGERS -- A Rogers police officer was arrested Friday night in connection with felony sexual indecency with a child.
Shane Aaron Knaust, 26, was arrested after a 15-year-old girl identified Knaust as having sexually abused her two to three years ago, according to the probable cause affidavit for bond.
The exact time frame of the incident is still being determined based on further interviews with the girl, said Van Stone, Benton County prosecuting attorney.
Knaust was hired as a dispatcher with Rogers Central Communications on Sept. 11, 2002, and was sworn in as an officer on Nov. 14, 2005, said Chief Steve Helms on Saturday.
The incident comes as a shock to Helms and the department, Helms said. Knaust resigned Saturday afternoon adding it was the best thing for him to do, according to Helms.
Helms said he visited Knaust on Friday night at the Benton County Jail to check on his emotional state. Saturday morning Helms presented Knaust with a official release of duty.
The criminal case will proceed but Knaust is no longer employed by the city and further internal review will not occur, Helms said.
Investigator Jeremy Felton with the Benton County Sheriff's Office was notified of the abuse on Friday and interviewed the 15-year-old and her mother that day.
The girl told Felton that Knaust would visit her residence on a regular basis and forced her to "make out" with him, according to the affidavit.
The mother told the investigator Knaust was confronted at that time and told not to be around youth at his church, which the girl attended.
Helms said he never received reports of problems regarding Knaust and was not informed of the incident involving the girl until Friday.
Knaust admitted to investigators he thought the girl was attractive for her age and developed somewhat of a relationship with her, according to the affidavit.
The two kissed on the couch with groping involved, Knaust told investigators.
Knaust was released on a $5,000 bond Saturday afternoon from the Benton County Jail. A no-contact order was also signed by Knaust to have no communication with the 15-year-old or her family.
Knaust is scheduled to appear in Benton County Circuit Court on March 3.
More than two years ago Knaust was the victim of an attempted robbery in November 2005. Knaust was standing near the curb at 1210 S. 11th St. when a 1995 Ford F-150 pickup struck him, throwing him 20 feet, according to police reports at the time.
Knaust suffered some bruising to his face and lost some teeth but was at work the next day.
The hit-and-run was first thought to be an accident until two boys told police it was intended as a robbery. The boys told police they didn't know Knaust was a police officer.
At A Glance
Sexual indecency with a child occurs when a person 18 years of age or older solicits a person who is less than 15 years old to engage in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual activity or sexual contact. Sexual indecency with a child is a Class D felony and is punishable up to six years in prison.
Source: Arkansas Code 5-14-110
View the article here
As if he were still 9 years old, Steven Levy recalls the kidnapping and brutal sexual assault of a childhood friend who was left for dead.
“Fortunately he did survive,” Levy said of his friend, “but clearly it impacted me and the world that I lived in. I’m going to do anything I can to make sure we protect children."
As a councilor in the small Massachusetts city of Marlborough, Levy proposed an ordinance to bar dangerous sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a host of places where children gather. If passed, it would have limited sex offenders to about 5 percent of the city, mostly along highways and wetlands.
Levy had to settle for a 1,000-foot loop around parks, schools, daycare centers, and homes for the elderly and mentally retarded, a compromise that skipped his own street. But he wanted Marlborough on the growing list of municipalities and states to act in the name of keeping children safe, even if it means outdoing neighbors and banishing registered sex offenders from their borders.
“It keeps them away from temptation,” Levy said of offenders. “Yes, they have to live somewhere, but they don’t need to be living near a playground where children congregate where they have the opportunity to interact.”
Fearing they’ll become the “somewhere,” Marlborough’s neighbors now are lining up to take a stab at keeping offenders out, scared that if they don’t, they could become a haven for predators.
Carol Willoughby, a home daycare provider in bordering Southborough, has written letters and spoken out at meetings -- happy to play the squeaky wheel. She’s scared another sex offender will move onto her block as one did in 2005, scaring away her clients.
“I just jumped on the bandwagon, and I said, ‘Steven (Levy)’s doing it, why not in Southborough?’ There’s many daycares here, many children here, and there are offenders here,” she said. “To have sex offenders living next door even though they say with the statistics they don’t offend near their home, you don’t want to take that chance. I wouldn’t want to take that chance. And I know parents don’t want to take that chance.”
- These statistics are lies. Most sex crimes occur in the victims own home, by their own parents.
Neither do elected officials, scared they’ll be tagged as soft on dangerous perverts.
“The biggest thing is they’re politically easy,” law professor Corey Rayburn Yung said of the offenders. “Until very recently, (laws) were automatically passed without any debate. They allow you to be hard on crime on the least defensible groups of society, even though sex offenders, as a population, are very diverse.”
Yung, who teaches at John Marshall Law School in Chicago and blogs about sex crimes, said standing up against the laws exposes politicians to opponents who accuse them of being soft on those who would hurt innocent children.
“I think a lot of the laws were drafted early on without much thought,” he said. “They were painted with broad brushes by political winners and often driven by particularly sensational crime.”
But the laws vary so much in severity and can be so absurd, Yung said.
In Louisiana, for example, public urination and prostitution are sex crimes that land the offender on the registry for at least 10 years.
All Missouri’s offenders register for life, whether they brutally raped a child, got caught with child porn or had sex with a teenager while teens themselves.
Legislators are beginning to challenge the laws. In Kansas, debates raged for months as lawmakers considered Iowa, where dangerous offenders dropped off the registry rather than conform to strict 2,000-foot laws. Some 400 offenders in Iowa couldn’t be tracked in 2006, compared with 140 a year before.
Lawmakers in Kansas and Colorado eventually shot down efforts to draw such circles around schools and other places where children gather. Kansas even passed a law preventing municipalities from instating local ordinances. Iowa and Georgia have considered repealing their own strict residence laws.
“They’ve started to wonder if it’s a good idea,” Yung said. “The debate’s a little bit healthier these days. But if a politician wants to make it their issue, the public still overwhelmingly supports these laws.”
That’s because legislators are setting policy out of fear, said Corwin Ritchie, head of the Iowa prosecutors’ association, which in 2006 called for the repeal of the 2,000-foot residence ban.
“We still haven’t convinced our own Legislature of our position, and that’s because it is so subject to politics,” Ritchie said. “Every politician in the state is afraid of being painted into a corner that they’re soft on sex offenders.
“When you have an election coming, everyone’s fearful of that postcard coming in the mail a week before the election … ‘Rep. X voted against the strongest child safety measure ever enacted.’”
Cognizant of laws named for terrible child molestation cases - like Megan’s Law, named for a little New Jersey girl raped and killed by a convicted offender - the public still fears children will be snatched from safety and abused or worse. Department of Justice statistics show, however, that such stranger-danger cases are rare, with some 80 percent to 90 percent of kids abused by someone they know.
Longtime Marlborough councilor and mother of two Trish Pope argued against her city’s proposed ban, saying it won’t actually protect kids.
“I do think it’s banishment,” she said. “I don’t think that’s legal. I also think if this is the issue it was painted to be, then it’s an issue with the federal courts, and not local municipalities. If these people are so extremely dangerous, they shouldn’t be let out of prison.”
Pope also said she didn’t know how the city could afford to enforce the ordinance that squeaked by with a 6-5 vote. So she stood up and said so.
“Originally people said this is political suicide,” she said. “Anybody that opposes it, it’s easier just to sit in the room, raise your hand and keep your mouth shut, which some of our councilors did initially.”
But Pope, who’s held a council seat for 10 years, isn’t afraid of losing next time around because, she said, even when the debate got sticky, she didn’t waffle.
“In the very beginning I said what I felt,” she said, “and love me or hate me, you know how I stand.”
View the article here
Female sex offenders first grabbed headlines when 34-year-old Mary Kay Letourneau had an affair with her sixth-grade student.
They became supermarket tabloid sex symbols when Debra Lafave had sex with one of her students.
Here in the Valley, there are more women like them than one might think.
They are daughters, mothers, respected women in the community, and they all crossed the line.
When she was 17, Renee Young molested the boy she was babysitting.
"My victim was 5. I've never denied my crime," Young said.
Young became a sexual predator, going from the girl next door to a registered sex offender with no place to call home.
"I have until 5 o’clock tonight to move out of my apartment," Young told 5i reporter Tammy Leitner. "The new owners of the complex found out that I was a level two."
While males still make up more than 97 percent of the sex offenders in Maricopa County, female sex predators like Young are part of a growing segment of the criminal population.
Counselors of sex offenders fear that that segment is larger than the numbers indicate.
Most women who sexually abuse children go undetected, so there's been little research done on female sex offenders.
The 5i Team built a database to help understand what may have motivated these women.
In Maricopa County, 47 percent of female offenders have substance abuse problems; 33 percent were diagnosed with depression; and 49 percent were sexually or physically abused.
Those excuses provide little solace to the victims.
"I don't understand what makes your mind go there," said Alicia Smith, the mother of the boy Young molested.
Smith said she’s found a way to forgive Renee for molesting her son.
"My first reaction was, ‘Thank God that it was a female,’” Smith said.
Smith’s attitude, which is shared by most of society, is part of the problem.
"Our society is really slow to prosecute female offenders," said Dr. Tom Selby, a counselor for sex offenders.
Lorena Hirsch, also a sex offender counselor, said, "I think, as a whole, that we want to see women as nurturing and caring and motherly."
Elizabeth was the ultimate caretaker: a grandmother, mother of six and former correctional officer at the Adobe Mountain juvenile corrections facility.
"I felt very much that I wanted to help kids," Elizabeth said.
She asked the 5i Team not to show her face, because of the stigma attached to sex offenders. Elizabeth had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old Adobe Mountain inmate who was around the same age as her son.
"When did you know what you were doing was wrong?” Leitner asked Elizabeth.
“I knew it was wrong. I knew it was wrong,” Elizabeth said.
“Why didn't you stop yourself?” Leitner asked.
“Because you think you think you're going to get away with it,” Elizabeth said.
The affair lasted only weeks -- a stolen kiss or an intimate encounter.
Like many female sexual abusers, Elizabeth believed she had genuine feelings for her victim.
Now she said she realizes those feelings merely camouflaged her deviancy.
"Do you consider yourself a sexual predator?” Leitner asked.
“Yes. I had to admit that,” Elizabeth said.
While many don’t look at the faces of female sex offenders with the same disdain as male sexual predators, experts say there is very little difference between them.
"Are you capable of doing something like this again?” Leitner asked Elizabeth.
“I don't think I would ever do something like this again. I think I've learned my lesson. But never say never."
Very few female sex offenders end up being prosecuted. For the most part, society doesn't see women as sex predators, and doesn't accept that boys can be the victims of sexual abuse.
Even if the crime is reported, the child is not always believed.
View the article here
Not by me, but this person has some good comments. More kids being ruined for life here.
I have no sympathy for sex offenders—real sex offenders, the kind of ____ that leap to mind when you hear the term “sex offender.” Men that kidnap and rape women, pedophiles that sexually abuse children—you know, people like that. But between voyeuristic crap like “To Catch a Pedophile”—a disgusting television “news” program that makes titillating theater out of the entrapment of sick ____ (and smug furies out of viewers)—and the ongoing efforts to define “sex offender” status down, well, I’m actually starting to feel sorry for sex offenders.
Check out this story out in today’s Chicago Tribune.
If a state law enacted last year is upheld, [a] 17-year-old’s name and photograph could soon appear on the state’s public registry, available to anyone on the Internet—marking him as a sexual offender until he’s 24.
An increasing number of states are requiring that those who commit sex crimes as juveniles be added to public sex offender lists, a move that has stirred juvenile-offender and victim advocates alike. Under the law, some juveniles could be placed on the public lists for the rest of their lives and others for many years, depending on their crime.
What was this 17 year-old’s crime? When he was a 13 boy he rang a doorbell and grabbed the boobs of a 13-year-old girl that lived in that house. He agreed to plead guilty to home invasion and sexual abuse—in part because his family was assured that he would not have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Oh, he had a register as a sex offender—but only for 10 years (!), and only on a restricted sex offender list available “only” to cops, schools, and day care centers. But the law has since been changed, and now this poor kid may have to register on adult sex offender lists with rapists and child molesters. For the rest of his life..
So because this boy groped a 13 year-old when he was a 13 year-old his life is going to be ruined—the “sex offender” tag will make it all but impossible for him to go to school, get a job, or find a place to live. Why don’t we just take him out and shoot him?
Knowing that the term “sex offender” gets slapped on 13 year-old boys that grope 13 year-old girls renders the term all but meaningless. What does the term tell us, what does it communicate, if it lumps a serial rapist in with this kid?
And, ____, I’m glad I’m adult now and not a teenager, since I’m pretty sure me and all friends, gay and straight, would qualify for the “sex offender” label. Still, I seriously worry for my eight-year old kid. What are we going to do when he’s a horny teenager? Besides, yes, urging him not to rape anyone, date rape anyone, grope anyone, or do anything to anyone that could in any way be construed as non-consensual touch. We’re going to have to terrorize him, basically, all through puberty with the horrible, life-long consequences of even a momentary lapse in judgment. ____, maybe we’ll move to Europe when he turns 12, just to be safe.
From the Trib:
For victim advocates, publicizing juvenile sex offender records is necessary to protect the community. But juvenile-justice leaders say laws like Illinois’ lump those guilty of “youthful indiscretions” with serious sexual offenders.
I’m with the juvenile-justice crowd on this. I’m starting to think that “victims advocates” are creating as many victims as they’re helping.