Friday, February 1, 2008

FL - URGENT - Julia Tuttle Causeway banishment appears to be underway

This was posted in another forum, and I'm posting it here to show the people how evil "The People's Governor" Charlie Crist can be.

Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com Governor
aronberg.dave.web@flsenate.gov Senator Aronberg



Hello all,

Some of you may know what is occuring at the Julia Tuttle Causeway bridge. I know ____ has posted what is happening in the news section and may have been overlooked. This all started on Tuesday, the 29th. This is the first post from ____:

Many of you have seen some of my postings with regards to the "JULIA TUTTLE CAUSEWAY". I go by the name ____. My name is ____! And I am one of the residents, from under the Julia Tuttle. Every now and then, when an insident happens with regards to the causeway. Or with Miami Sex offender issues, I try and keep everyone updated as best as I can! Under my current diposition.

I am here today to ask everyone! To please help me! Be it by, contacting the state probation office... City Of Miami Police... The Senator... the media. Whatever means necessary to be heard! Because our voices alone will not be enough for this fight.

Last week I believe Zman posted an issue about 4 or 5 sex offenders living in Davie, Fl. whom were told, they had to leave the causeway they were living under or face being arrested so they had to move to a rural area near or in the Everglades.

Well I commented to that posting. Predicting we would be next in line!... And my friends, my worst nightmare has come true. Today 6 probation officers came to give the 30 sex offenders that live under that causeway the bad news, that they had 72 hours to vacate the causeway and all their belongings or they would face arrest! Not to mention.... have their probations violated. The orders came from all the way up top..."Tallahassee". We live there due to the strict Miami Dade County ordinance. That requires us to live at 2500 feet from a school. When we asked senior officer Benito Casal where do we go???....He simply said.... there is no place for you guys to go! I am trying to advise the guys that we all need to show up at the courthouse and demand an emergency hearing. So that a judge may put a hold on this order to vacate for the time being. I will keep everyone posted as to what transpires should you have any advise please let us know.

Thank you all God bless....


The article ____ is referring to is this one:

http://www.local10.com/news/15107218/detail.html

A snip fom the article:

WESTERN BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A group of registered sex offenders and convicted felons who were told by the Department of Corrections to live under a bridge in Fort Lauderdale have been chased away by neighbors, police and the Department of Transportation.

On Friday night, police officers posted "No Trespassing" signs underneath the Oakland Park Boulevard Bridge over the intracoastal and told the former felons that if they didn't leave they'd be arrested. The group packed up their things and headed west.


____ sent me a message last night letting me know that they were given until 8:00 PM Friday night, 2/1/08.

Today we recieved these post from ____:

Post 1:
This is what has been overheard and has transpired today, since last nights posting. One of the residents that stays under the Julia Tuttle Causeway did another resident offender the favor of taking said offender to report to his probation officer as is mandated every month. While there, he overheard his officer commenting to a supervisor at the time that the orders to force everyone from under the bridge, came and was signed by governor Crist. And had been requested by senator Aronberg for aproval. "Once" AGAIN THIS WAS JUST OVERHEARD"....

Post 2:
I just got off the phone with Isaiah Thompson the reporter that did the recent article about the offenders under the bridge, see below. And he contacted the Florida department of corrections to confirm if this was true. They confirmed that they have orders to enforce the issue......see the story below.

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2007-12-13/news/sex-offenders-set-up-camp/


I was on the phone all day talking with Rep. Taylor and Sen. Aronberg's office. Rep. Taylor's office forwarded my request for action to James McFaddin of the governor's office. If what ____ has said is right, I wasted the day talking to the people that are responsible for the upcoming Julia Tuttle Banishment.

I have advised ____ that he needs to contact the Public Defenders office immediately. The judicial branch seems to be the only place to turn since it seems the legislative and executive branch seem hell bent on exiling the weakest among us. We can only guess which of us will be next.

We could try to get help from the media. I plan on contacting Isiah Thompson, the reporter from the Miami New Times that did the article on them. The last thing the state probably wants is light shined on what they are doing.

I've never been one for conspiracies, but the events seem to dictate a plan by the state. First the Oakland Ridge Blvd. bridge, now the Julia Tuttle Causeway. It does seem to be systematic. I will let Martin Niemoller explain:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;

Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;

Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.


If we do nothing, there is nothing to stand in their way.

Video showing some of the conditions. This was when about 2 or 3 people lived there, now it's about 30 or more, who are being forced to leave!


Behind the numbers

View the article here

By Dimitri Vassilaros
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, February 1, 2008

Ask the next hundred people you meet if child sexual abuse cases are increasing nationwide and don't be surprised if everyone says yes. Lisa Jones wouldn't be surprised, even though she knows cases have decreased 49 percent since 1990.

This surprisingly good news could be very bad news for posturing politicians trying to use scare tactics to limit personal freedom.

If the bogeyman is only half the man he supposedly was, citizens would be less likely to support demagogues wanting to police the so-called back alleys of the information superhighway or to impose new taxes or draconian zoning restrictions on adult bookstore-type business.

Ms. Jones is a research assistant professor of psychology at the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. The center focuses on child abuse and neglect and how communities should respond to those most helpless of victims.

"There is not enough media attention, even though for 15 years there has been an unmistakable downward trend," Jones says. Big Media's focus on sexual predators, including those trolling the Internet, and programs such as "To Catch a Predator" on NBC might have created a skewed image in people's minds, she suggests.

In most cases, the victim knows the perpetrator (roughly half are family members), she says. "Strangers make up the smallest group of predators, from 7 percent up to 25 percent, depending on the study," she says. To catch a predator, some families only need lure the relatives over for dinner.

But what about critics who believe all data are suspect because it can be so difficult for young victims to "disclose" and since each state could have its own system to collect data and crunch numbers?

Jones concedes that many cases probably do go unreported. But the so-called iceberg analogy takes that into account, she says. For example, say there were 100 cases reported for every thousand people in 1995. However, by 2005, only 50 per every thousand were reported. "We have no reason to believe the iceberg has changed," Jones says.

For Pennsylvania, sexual abuse cases identified by child protective service agencies declined from a rate of 15.3 per 10,000 children in 1992 to 9.7 per 10,000 children in 2005 (the most recent year for which data are available), for a total decline of 37 percent over 13 years, she says. The largest part of the decline occurred in the mid-1990s.

The statistics for this commonwealth, and for the other 49 states, are reported annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families.

"The numbers are pretty accurate," Jones says.

Jones concedes that the fear of losing funding might be why agencies serving child sex abuse victims might downplay the tremendous success in the ongoing battle.

However, she believes as more funders learn that the problem can be cut down to size, they will be more likely to fund agencies that are making a difference by prevention and intervention.

There's a wealth of free information at the center's Web site -- unh.edu/ccrc -- about the untold success.

People who now pay closer attention to little victims when they decide to disclose also should pay closer attention to what the studies disclose.


WI - Ex-prison staffer to stand trial on charges of having sex with inmates

View the article here

01/31/2008

A former Oshkosh Correctional Institution staff member will stand trial for sexually assaulting two inmates after she waived her right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Becky J. Bathke, 37, of Oshkosh is charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault by a correctional staff member and delivering illegal articles to an inmate. If convicted, Bathke faces 83 years, six months in prison and $210,000 in fines.

Bathke was working as an office operations associate in the prison's education department at OSCI, which is when she is accused of engaging in sexual activity with inmates Ryan K. Rowe, 30, and Mark E. Prevatt, 45.
- I guess she was teaching "sex education?"

According to the criminal complaint, Bathke and Rowe engaged in sexual activity on three occasions in closets during a two-week period in September 2007. The final incident was when Bathke brought a condom to the prison and the two engaged in sexual intercourse in the education office closet. Bathke engaged in a sexual relationship with Prevatt between the summer of 2005 and spring of 2006.

Bathke, who had been working for the Department of Corrections since 1996, has resigned from her job, said DOC spokesman John Dipko.

Winnebago County Circuit Court Judge Karen Seifert released Bathke on a $5,000 signature bond. Seifert also ordered Bathke not to have any contact with OSCI, Rowe or Prevatt.

Bathke is due back in court March 25 for an arraignment.


NC - Harnett Woman Gets Plea Deal in Teen Sex Case

View the article here

Yep, definate double standard. If a man did this, they'd be in prison for a long time. Why in the world do we have this double standard? I don't understand this.

02/01/2008

Lillington — A Harnett County woman has been placed on probation after pleading guilty to having sexual encounters with two teenage boys.
- And if this were a man and two boys or girls, he'd be in prison right now.

Crystal Rodriguez, 26, initially was charged with three counts of statutory rape and faced up to 57 years in prison. But she reached a plea deal with prosecutors this week and pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery, a misdemeanor.

Rodriguez was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy and improperly touching his 13-year-old brother. The incidents occurred in 2006 at her home, authorities said.

Superior Court Judge Frank Lanier said he accepted the deal based on the recommendations of the Harnett County District Attorney's office. Prosecutors were acting on the request of the victims and their family, who wanted Rodriguez to get mental health treatment and not jail time.

"The reason this plea was given was because the victims did not want Mrs. Rodriguez to go to jail. The victims were adamant that leniency be shown to Mrs. Rodriguez," defense attorney Jason Wunsch said.

Harnett County Assistant District Attorney Teresa Postell, the prosecutor who handled the case, declined to comment.

Rodriguez will spend at least two years on supervised probation, during which she must complete 48 hours of community service and undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine if she should enroll the state's sex offender program, which would provide counseling.
- If a man did this, the sex offender program would be MANDATORY!

She also must register as a sex offender and will be prohibited from any unsupervised contact with anyone under age 16, except for her own children.
- Most sexual abuse is by family, not strangers. So are we about protecting children or putting men in prison and letting everyone else slide?

Wunsch said he doubted Rodriguez's gender played a role in the plea deal. He noted she had no prior criminal record and is married with two small children.

"This is the first kind of trouble that she's ever faced with the law. "I think, therefore, that the sentence is appropriate and adequate," he said.
-Yeah, but if it's the first time a man is faced with the law, the book is thrown at them. This is just sexual discrimination, period...

"I know that the state's foremost priority was the victims in this case, seeing that they got healing, and I know that the state spent an extensive amount of time talking to the family and that this is what they wanted," he said.

Rodriguez issued an apology to the boys and their family.

"I would like to say that I'm sorry for everything that has happened," she said. "All I really want is to go ahead and start the healing process, and hopefully they'll be able to move on with their lives and I can move on living my life."

Rodriguez said her family has been very supportive, and she thanked prosecutors for offering a plea deal.

"If it weren't for the state of North Carolina, I wouldn't be here with my children right now," she said.


OH - High Cost Of New Sex Offender Law

View the article here

Video available at the site.

02/01/2008

It's a new law which is supposed to keep you protected and, especially, protect your children from sexual predators. Ohio Senate Bill 10 just took effect last month. But critics say the law will not only cost taxpayers millions of dollars, but will actually make things more dangerous.

Local 12 Reporter Jeff Hirsh reports on how a well-intentioned plan may end up backfiring.

It means more paperwork, more computer work.

"It's tripled. The workload for us has tripled."

And because of all that...

Deputy Adam Breeze, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office: "No free time to do anything else. If we need to look at some files, or write a warrant, or investigate some offenders, it really cracks down on our time, in that aspect, with the tripling of our registration with offenders."

Ohio has had a sex offender registration law for a decade, making names and addresses public. But Senate Bill 10 pushes thousands of the lowest level offenders statewide into the highest level ... and adds years of reporting requirements. For example, under the old law, bottom tier offenders registered their addresses with the sheriff once a year for ten years. It went on a website, but neighbors were not notified by postcard. Under Senate Bill 10, most of those offenders now have to register every 90 days for life, with postcard notification of neighbors every time they move.
- Sending out postcards cost tons of money on stamps, paper, etc...

In Hamilton County alone, 600 low level offenders are now high level offenders... same people, no new crime, just a new label.

"The sheriff's office is not taking a position pro or con on the law. They have to enforce it. They're simply pointing out some of the unexpected implications. But there's another organization which definitely has a point of view." "It's political pandering."

The Ohio Justice and Policy Center is suing to get Senate Bill 10 thrown out. The suit challenges retroactively changing someone's offender status But the group also says upgrading low level offenders adds fear, without adding safety.

Margie Slagle, Ohio Justice & Policy Center: "What the politicians don't tell folks is that most of the people on this list are not child molesters."

"Now they're being told that they're the worst of the worst, and threats to children, and that's ludicrous."

Until the lawsuits are resolved, Hamilton County is not sending out postcard notifications for low level offenders who've been upgraded. But if the law stays the same, postage costs will more than triple to half a million dollars yearly, because hundreds of notification cards are sent out per offender.

Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann (Contact) and the sponsor of Senate Bill 10, Senator Steve Austria (Email) of suburban Dayton, have both said the measure is constitutional and will be effective in protecting children.
- It's not constitutional and won't protect children, you are arrogant and ignoring the facts so you look good to the public, that is all.


OH - Strip search of woman by Sheriff's Deputies called outrageous

View the article here

See video below. This lady was reporting being abused, and she winds up getting abused a second time by police, who violated their own policies. You will never understand until you come face to face with corrupt cops... And then, it's your word against theirs, and you know who they are going to believe.. This just angers me so much!!!

02/01/2008

CANTON -- Hope Steffey's night began with a call to police for help. It ended with her face down, completely naked and sobbing on a jail cell floor.

Steffey says Stark County sheriff's deputies used excessive force and assaulted her during a strip search 15 months ago, according to a federal lawsuit.

Stark County Sheriff Timothy Swanson denies the allegation.

Steffey's attorney says her clothes, including her underwear and bra, were stripped from her body by at least seven male and female sheriff's deputies and jail workers. She lay face down in handcuffs at the time.

"Hope begged and pleaded with her ... assailants to stop," the lawsuit says. "There was no forcible penetration but Hope felt as if she was being raped."

The sheriff denies this was a strip search.

The sheriff's policy requires officers conducting any strip search to be of the same sex.

Her attorney, David Malik, said Steffey, 41, was never asked to voluntarily remove her clothes.

In an e-mail, Swanson said Steffey was asked to remove her clothes but refused. He said deputies took them off for her own safety.

Swanson declined to comment further, saying the details would come out in court.

Channel 3 News obtained exclusive video of Steffey's night in the Stark County jail cell. You can click the link at the bottom of the page to view it. A warning: it is difficult to watch.

Steffey declined to be interviewed for this story. But her husband, a high school educator, talked to Channel 3's Tom Meyer.

Greg Steffey said his wife is still traumatized. But the couple wants the story told to prevent it from happening to someone else.

"This could be your wife or anyone's wife," Greg Steffey said.

He said he still can't believe this happened to Hope, a 125-pound woman who, earlier that night, turned to police for help.

"You don't treat people like this," Greg Steffey said. "I don't think murderers are treated like this much less people charged with disorderly conduct."

Steffey's ordeal with the Stark County Sheriff's deputies began after her cousin called police for help.

In a 9-1-1 call, her cousin said Steffey had been assaulted by another cousin.

When a Stark County deputy arrived, he asked for Steffey's driver's license. She accidentally turned over her dead sister's license, which she said she keeps in her wallet as a memento, the lawsuit says.

The deputy refused to give the license back and told Steffey to "shut up about your dead sister," according to her attorney.

The sheriff denied that in a written response to the lawsuit.

Eventually, Steffey was arrested and taken to the Stark County Jail. She was later charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

After her clothes were removed, she was locked in a cell. To stay warm, she wrapped herself in toilet paper. She remained in the cell for six hours.

During that time, she was not allowed to use a phone or seek medical attention for injuries she suffered that night, including a cracked tooth, bulging disc and bruises, the lawsuit says.

The sheriff denies that.


Tale of Two Brains

A little humor for you.. This is so very true..


TX - Former Deputy Sentenced for Molesting Girl

View the article here

02/01/2008

GILMER — Once entrusted with the public’s safety, a former Upshur County Sheriff’s deputy will now reside behind prison walls after pleading guilty to molesting an 11-year-old girl.

Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd said 29-year-old Richard Louis Bridgewater was sentenced to eight years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison system. He must also register as a sex offender and has permanently surrendered his peace officer license.

Byrd said the case came to light late last year when the victim made outcries and statements to her friends at school.

The child later told a forensic interviewer that Bridgewater inappropriately touched her “up to 20 separate times” at his home, the prosecutor said.

Bird said after his office was notified by Child Protective Services, he contacted Sheriff Anthony Betterton and the Texas Rangers.

“We wanted the Rangers to do the investigation so there would be no appearance of impropriety, since he was a deputy,” he said.

Bird said Bridgewater was placed on administrative leave in December and when asked to give a voluntary statement, he drove to meet Texas Ranger Ronny Griffith. It was during this meeting that Bridgewater admitted to touching the victim.

He was later arrested after an arrest warrant was secured and he was placed in the Titus County Jail, where he remained until he was sentenced.

Bridgewater served as a jailer in the Upshur County Jail before being put on street patrol one month before his arrest.

Byrd said the case moved quickly after the investigation, and he felt justice had been served in the case.

“When you have young victims like this the entire situation is hard for them to handle, even more so than adult sexual assault victims,” he said. “With the plea agreement, the lifetime registering as a sex offender and the surrendering of his peace officer’s license I feel there is justice in this case.”

Byrd said Bridgewater must serve at least four years before being eligible for parole.
He added the past few months had been hard on the law enforcement community in Upshur County with Bridgewater’s arrest and conviction, and the arrest of a former juvenile probation officer last month on felony drug charges.

“Anytime one of your own in law enforcement is accused of any type of crime, it is very discouraging. When these cases arise, we prosecute them just like everyone else,” he said.


IL - SIC hosts talk on child sex offenders

View the article here

It is about time someone is doing this, but, when are the people making and passing these draconian laws going to listen to these experts? By not doing this, they are ignoring facts and not protecting anybody. Nobody wants another child to be harmed, but by ignoring facts and not listening to the experts, you are putting children and everybody else in harms way.

01/31/2008

HARRISBURG - Gary Lemmon would rather have been talking about growing strawberries or playing bluegrass, but after working with victims and child sex offenders for more than 30 years, he said the issue can't be avoided.

"Isn't it a sad thing that 120 people are here ? to talk about something as heinous as children being sexually abused," said Lemmon, a senior clinician of Gary L. Lemmon & Associates, Inc. in Norris City. "We didn't do this 25 years ago, but we have to today."

In a presentation this week at Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg, Lemmon talked about "Child Sex Offenders: What we know, what we don't know and what we thought we know, but were wrong about." It is his hope and belief that if professionals can learn why individuals sexually offend, they may be able to prevent the crimes.

Looking at a sex offender's drive, inhibitors and opportunity to commit the crime can be a fairly accurate method in predicting whether the individual will offend again, Lemmon said. Examining those three factors can also help professionals determine what keeps offenders from offending again, like morals or fear of being caught.

"The ones who don't get caught will continue. There is something about being arrested that makes them less likely to do it again," Lemmon said, citing a 2004 study stating that 15 years after an arrest, 73 percent of sex offenders had not been arrested or charged with another sexual offense.

More than 100 professionals in the field, ranging from lawyers and probation officers to child and victim advocates, attended the day-long seminar, which was co-sponsored by the Egyptian Health Department. Some said they wanted to learn more about the offender and others wanted to know what the effects on the victim were.

Harrisburg Judge Walden E. Morris said he was interested in getting any insight and understanding to help him properly deal with sex offender cases that come before him in criminal court. Lemmon said his agenda starts with public safety and is followed by healing the victim and then justice, which he said is sometimes societal vengeance.

Even after 30 years in the field, Lemmon said it's a complex topic and deserves more attention and more state resources.

Southeastern Illinois College is offering a free workshop on sex offender notification and registration laws, which will take place at 1 p.m. Feb. 21. Registration is due by Feb. 14. For more information, contact the college at 252-5400 or toll free (866) 338-2742.