Thursday, March 27, 2008

FL - Lunsford Wants Sheriff To Admit To Mistakes

Mark Lunsford
Mark Lunsford
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I guess Mark needs to admit his mistakes as well, like not being there for Jessica for her entire life, until this tragedy occurred, and also the night before, leaving to go over to his girl friends home and leaving the doors unlocked. And also what about the child porn that was found on your machine when they did the investigation?

03/27/2008

JACKSONVILLE -- Mark Lunsford's lawyers have asked the Citrus County Sheriff to meet in Jacksonville Friday, but only if he's willing to admit he made mistakes in the investigation involving his daughter's death.

Sheriff Jeffrey Dawsy says there's no way he's going to admit he made mistakes.

Lunsford, the father of Jessica Lunsford, the 9-year old murdered 3 years ago by John Couey, is threatening to sue the Citrus County Sheriff's Office. He says investigators made mistakes that could have prevented his daughter's death.
- And if Mark would've stayed home and locked the door that night, she'd also be here today... You've had your 10 minutes of fame Mark, let Jessica rest and get a life...

Shock Jock 'Bubba the Love Sponge' blasted Lunsford's potential lawsuit on his radio show but then Bubba's lawyer tried to bring the two sides together for mediation.

Wednesday the Sheriff's office released a letter from Bubba's lawyer which said Sheriff Dawsy will sit down and talk with Lunsford, but only if he drops the threat of a lawsuit.

The letter gave Lunsford a Friday deadline to respond the same day as the proposed meeting in Jacksonville.


IA - Iowa Woman Jailed For Violating Sex Offender Rules

View the article here

This shows how absurd these laws are. No matter what you do you will be in violation. See the video here.

03/27/2008

ATLANTIC -- Iowa's sex offender residency law has landed an Atlantic woman back in jail.

Jennifer Lower was convicted of a misdemeanor sex offense in Ohio seven years ago. After moving to Iowa, and then moving her family to a town with no schools or day cares -- which she can't live near under Iowa law -- she's learned that she is still in violation of the law.

From the Cass County Jail, Lower, 29, said she's frustrated. Lower is a married mother of three. She already moved her family to try to comply with Iowa's sex-offender residency law that bans sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or day care. She said she can't find a home that complies.

"It's not fair. My rights are basically gone, it seems like," Lower said.

Forced out of Atlantic, Lower and her family moved 5 miles west to Marne, Iowa. There are no schools or day cares in Marne, so Lower said she thought she and her family were safe.

Then Marne passed a new ordinance, making it illegal for sex offenders to live within 2,000 feet of a park or school bus stop. Lowers' home was a couple blocks from the park and less than a block from a bus stop, so once again, a court ordered Lower to move.

She refused and a judge put her back in jail.

"My landlord don't even think I'm a threat," Lower said.

This time, she's lost her children, who are now in foster care.

"The only thing I need to get my kids back is have a stable home," Lower said.

Cass County Attorney Daniel Feistner said Lower's sex crime was a misdemeanor and she may not be much of a threat to the community, but he said he has to enforce the law consistently.

"Unfortunately, as a prosecutor, I don't have the luxury of looking at her individually and say I can apply the law to her or not to her and to someone else," Feistner said.

The Iowa Legislature has discussed revising the law to focus on true predators, but no revisions are expected any time soon.

To get out of jail, Lower must find another new place to live.

"Hopefully, somebody will see this and help us find a house or something so I can be with my family," Lower said.

The judge sentenced Lower to 30 days in jail and told her that if she finds a suitable place to live, he'll review her sentence and possibly let her out early.

She is due back in court on Thursday.


DC - John Walsh: It’s Time For A National DNA Data Bank

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So Mr. Walsh, when are you going to submit your DNA? You said you had a sexual addiction before, and if we must get DNA or some, then we need DNA of ALL citizens. It should be all or none. I am all up for submitting DNA, but only if you, the president, and everyone else does as well.

03/27/2008

A serial predator is on the loose in Reno, Nevada. He’s already murdered one young victim – 19-year-old Brianna Denison – and DNA evidence connects him to at least two other sexual assaults.
- Here they say they have his DNA and it connects him to these cases, yet below, they are working to identify the "monster" so which is it? Do they know who he/she is or not?

As investigators worked to identify this monster, they ran into a huge roadblock. Detectives thought that there might be more attacks linked to the same suspect – and that the predator might be someone who already has a criminal record. In Nevada, as in most states, every convicted felon must submit a DNA sample. But here’s the problem: in Washoe County, where Reno is located, an estimated 3000 DNA samples were sitting on a shelf, waiting to be analyzed and added to the database. Lack of funds to do all the work had created the backlog. Whether the killer’s DNA was among those 3000 samples – or if they contained evidence matching him to yet another case – the police had no way of knowing. Private citizens, unwilling to accept that, helped raise $160,000 so that the backlog could be cleared. Unfortunately, the answers police needed weren’t in there.

Even more unfortunately, the situation in Washoe County is far from unique. The Justice Department recently admitted that the FBI has a huge backlog of DNA from convicted criminals waiting to be tested – nearly 200,000 samples. And the backlog is growing. There’s no question that the FBI needs more funding for this important job, because I think that we need to expand the bureau’s nationwide DNA data bank, known as CODIS, even further. I’d like to see every state have mandatory collection of DNA from everybody charged with a felony, not just convicted of one. I’d like all of that information in CODIS, so that every law enforcement agency in the country has access to it.
- Why just every body charged with a felon? Why not every body? Then you will have it already on file. Why not collect this at birth? Otherwise, if you collect it for felons, what if someone who has no record commits a crime? Then you are back to square one.

Imagine if there was a national DNA data bank that was up-to-date, not years behind in its work. It would help solve hundreds of crimes – and it would help absolve many accused people of crimes they didn’t commit. We need to be uniformly collecting DNA profiles from both convicted AND accused criminals across the country. And we must make sure that everyone involved, from the FBI to local law enforcement, has all the resources they need to make that happen.
- You need to collect DNA from every body, period, not just criminals.


KY - Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Cybersafety Legislation

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03/27/2008

Attorney General Jack Conway (Email) Thursday, thanked the Senate Judiciary Committee for unanimously passing House Bill 367, legislation that he drafted, which was sponsored by Rep. Johnny Bell (Email), D-Glasgow, that strengthens Kentucky laws prohibiting internet child predators, cybercrimes and other modern law-enforcement challenges.

"I want to thank Sen. Robert Stivers (Email), R-Manchester, the chair of the Judiciary Committee, for his leadership from day one on this important issue," Conway said.

"Thanks to his leadership and the support of Sen. David Williams (Contact), R-Burkesville, we have a chance to bring our laws up to date with changes in technology and put together a bill that will help keep Kentucky families safe. I appreciate the good faith and bipartisan manner in which this bill was handled. It’s simply about protecting children in every corner of Commonwealth.

House Bill 367 will now be considered by the full Senate."

House Bill 367 prohibits registered sex offenders from using social-networking Web sites that are frequented by minors, like MySpace and Facebook. Passage of this bill will allow Kentucky prosecutors to criminally charge sex offenders removed from the sites.

Since May of last year, MySpace has removed the profiles of 40,000 sex offenders; 350 of those were from Kentucky.
- So how many were trolling for kids? Or were they kicked off simply because they are labeled a "sex offender?" Just because they are labeled as such, doesn't mean they are using these sites to find children to molest....

The legislation also requires that sex offenders update their email addresses and online identifiers with the registry in a similar fashion as they update their physical addresses. The email addresses and online profiles will be available in a searchable database that will be accessible to the public.

Email addresses will be removed from individual pages on the registry because of the concern that sex offenders may use these email addresses to communicate with each other or create online communities. These changes will bring the registry into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.

The bill amends Kentucky’s stalking statute to include cyberstalking, recognizing that threats or harassment can take place online and in person.

The the loophole in current law by clarifying that is a crime for a person to transmit live sexually explicit images of themselves to minors over the Internet via Web cam or other technological devices.

Police will also be able to seize personal property, such as a computer or car, which has been used in the commission of online sexual offenses against children.

In addition to the cybersafety legislation, Attorney General Conway has pledged to create an Internet Crimes Unit that will be operational this spring. The group will investigate crimes committed online, from scams to solicitation of minors.


MD - Homeless Sex Offender Registry Bill

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03/27/2008

Sex offenders in Maryland have to tell authorities where they live. But what if they're homeless?

A committee in the state Senate is scheduled to start work today on a bill that would address that problem and create a registry of homeless sex offenders.

The measure would require sex offenders with no set address to register in person and check in monthly in the county where they spend most of their time. If a homeless sex offender moves or gets a permanent address, the offender must register within five days.

Similar bills have been adopted in other states to address the problem of sex offenders with unknown whereabouts. The proposal has already passed the House in a unanimous vote. The proposal also includes several other measures to improve tracking of sex offenders.

On the Net:

Read House Bill 1450: http://mlis.state.md.us/2008rs/billfile/hb1450.htm

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


PA - Buffalo Township limits where sex offenders can live

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03/27/2008

If a registered sex offender wants to find a new home in the township, he -- or she -- will have to choose it carefully.

Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance at their meeting Wednesday night that limits where sex offenders can live in relation to schools, day-care centers, public parks, recreation areas and community centers.

The ordinance doesn't apply to anyone who moved to a protected area before passage of the ordinance or if the protected area comes along after the sex offender moved there.

The ordinance states that any sex offender found living within 2,500 feet -- or about half a mile -- of protected properties will get a notice to move within 45 days. The distance is measured from property line to property line.

Those who don't move could incur a $500 fine and spend up to 45 days in jail for each day they are found to be in violation.

The ordinance was intended to supplement state and federal laws -- collectively referred to Megan's Law -- that govern the registration and monitoring of sex offenders.

According to research township officials did to prepare the ordinance, Megan's Law does not mandate the distance an offender can live from schools, day-care centers, parks or other areas where children congregate.

The measure was a precaution, according to Dan Przybylek, supervisors chairman.

According to the state Megan's Law Web site, there are no sex offenders living in the township.

The ordinance was modeled after similar ordinances passed recently by Allegheny County and O'Hara, supervisors said.

The ordinance requires that borough records be cross-referenced with state police records on sex offenders every six months.

By May 1, supervisors will create and put on display a map illustrating where sex offenders can't live within the township's 24.2 square miles, including three schools and several day-care centers.

Resident Paul Schmidt said he approved of the ordinance, but that local ordinances like it might not be necessary if the state enforced the sex offender registration and supervision mandates of Megan's Law more strictly.

"I wouldn't want one of them living next to me," he said. "Would you?"


OH - Female sex offenders target kids, helpless

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03/27/2008

Sex offender.

Those words usually bring to mind a picture of a domineering man who pushes himself on a woman against her will.

But women are also capable of committing such offenses. In Erie County alone there are five registered female sex offenders. That number may seem small compared to their male counterparts -- 153 in the county -- but the crimes aren't any less severe.

Three of those women were convicted of offenses against children, said Erie County Sheriff's Capt. Steven Westcott.

Three of the women were also convicted of sexual battery, meaning they abused a position of trust with the victim, Westcott added. Most of those women are also Tier III sex offenders, or the most severe offenders by classification, and must register with the local sheriff's office for life.

In 2005 about 140,000 men were incarcerated for sex crimes nationwide, compared to 1,500 women, according to statistics gathered by the U.S. Department of Justice Center for Sex Offender Management.

In Ohio, there are 26,410 registered male sex offenders and 710 females, said Jennifer Brindisi, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.

"Just like male offenders, there is a range of offenses that are quite common for female offenders," said Anna Aylward, program administrator for Washington State Department of Corrections.

Many sex crimes committed by females are against children and teenagers, Aylward said.

"There are people who are with children for less than good reasons," she said.

Just this month Sandusky resident Heather L. Fox, 34, was indicted on charges of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Fox is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old boy, police said.

The reason for the crimes can differ for women compared to men. Men often commit the crimes out of sexual desire.

Women, on the other hand, may act out from substance abuse issues or because they, too, were victimized at one time, Aylward said.

"They tend to be less categorically violent offenses, but that doesn't mean to that person it's any less violent," she said. "Any time you're assaulted that's traumatic and awful, and especially so when it's someone that you know."

The media have reported on cases of women, often teachers, involved with juvenile boys. Those cases are not the norm for all female-committed sex crimes, but may just attract more attention.

"I think those are just sexy cases," Aylward said.

Other times women will act out sexual crimes with their partner. For example, a woman may help a man commit an offense against a child or simply be held liable for not stopping the action, Aylward said.

Treatment for female sex offenders varies but can include group therapy, participation in motivation groups, learning to identify future behavior and having a woman admit she has a problem, Aylward said.

Nationwide there are more than 300 such programs for female sex offenders, the Center for Sex Offender Management reported.

Female sex offenders in Erie, Ottawa and Huron counties, and the offenses for which they were convicted:

-- Lundie Luann Godwin, 37, Norwalk, sexual conduct with a minor

-- Suzanne Gaye Neidler, 44, Sandusky, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor

-- Wendy Ann Santiago, 27, Huron, gross sexual imposition

-- Catherine Ann Sorrell, 58, Sandusky, sexual battery

-- Marilyn Louise Varo, 48, Willard, Tier I offender (charge outside of Ohio)

-- Janis E. Wasem, 56, Milan, sexual battery


AL - Attorney General King discusses child Internet safety

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Where is ANY facts to back up what he is saying? Where? Study after study shows this is all BS, here and here. Yes, there is always going to be a few insane people out there to find some way to exploit people, but all this is blown up lies and BS to instill fear into people.

03/26/2008

The Internet opens new doors to child predators, but said Alabama Attorney General Troy King (Contact), the predators are finding new ways to harm our children.

King, in addressing an audience Tuesday night in Elba, opened a forum on child Internet safety and the concerns parents should have if their child is using the Internet.

“We’re not talking about new crimes, we’re talking about re-packaging old ones,” he said. “I believe parents want their kids to be safe, but even the most well-meaning parents believe they do enough to protect their child.”

King said what parents don’t realize is a new language and threat the Internet poses to children.

“Parents have to understand that there is an Internet language, for instance, POS means parents over shoulder, and your child may be responding to someone who says they are 13 or 14 years old, but instead, they are responding to a sexual predator.”
- And in most cases, they are in fact talking with another teen who is soliciting sex... Don't believe me, read the studies at the above links. This is just fear tactics, but, I am not saying you should not protect your child, you should, but this is blown way out of proportion. Ask him where the facts are?

The program, Lost in Cyberspace, was sponsored at the Elba High School auditorium Tuesday evening by the Elba Kiwanis Club. Brandi Dean, president, said, “the top priority here in Elba is to keep our children safe and to assist them in their lives, but we as parents need to understand what is really going on when our children use the Internet.”
- I think his goal is to "look good" to the sheeple, so he can be elected again, when the time comes.

Alabama Department of Public Safety Special Agent Robert Thompson, with the Internet Crimes Against Children unit, presented part of the program and the dangers predators on the Internet have on children.

“Most of the time predators pretend they are around the same age as the child. Then they get the child to trust them and arrange to meet somewhere,” he said. “Parents are usually unaware of what is going on. When the child arrives at a location with the predator, there’s no where to go. The child is now in danger of becoming sexually assaulted, missing or worst, killed by the predator.”
- So what are you teaching the parents? Are you teaching them how to secure their machines, install software to watch their children online? Are you teaching them what to say to their children about any stranger? Stranger danger is very, very rare!!

District Judge Paul Sherling was among the welcoming speakers in the program and said it actually began inside the Coffee County Courthouse.

“We had a brainstorming session and knew there wasn’t anything being done to help protect children from Internet predators,” he said. “There’s been a lot of hard work put into these programs and we want to educate parents on how to protect their children while they’re online.”
- So I'd love to see what you are teaching them? Where is the links on your web site? All I see is stuff about more sex offender laws, but nothing teaching people the FACTS!!!

Troy University’s Chief Technology Officer W. Greg Price also addressed the issue of cyberbulling.

Cyberbulling,” he explained. “is being cruel to others by sending or posting harmful material engaging in other forms of social cruelty using the Internet or other digital technologies. Cyberthreats are either direct threats or distressing material that raises concerns that a young person may be considering committing an act of violence against others or self.”
- Maybe you should also teach Perverted-Justice and all the vigilantes out there this as well!!

Family Protection Specialist with the office of the Attorney General Jean Davis, said cyberbulling is a huge issue now.
- Is wasn't much of an issue, until the likes of Perverted-Justice, AbsoluteZero, etc came into being.... Now they get off on harassing people online under fake names...

“ Parents need to be aware if their child is involved in being cruel to anyone on the Internet and they also need to know if someone if cyberbullying their child,” she said. “So many of the school attacks that’s happened have begin with bullying at school or cyberbulling on the Internet. Parents need to open the lines of communication and talk to their children on how to use the Internet appropriately. Predators have a tremendous network and use this against children.”
- What a load of crap... This is nothing more than fear-mongering...

Most of the information complied for the program is from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the United States Department of Justice.


CA - New Bill Targets Sex Offender Teachers

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So I hope they do the same for politicians (i.e. Mark Foley and others) who get arrested with a sex crime. If it's good for everyone else, it's good for them as well.

03/26/2008

SACRAMENTO — A state Senate committee on Wednesday approved legislation that would allow California to automatically suspend teachers' credentials when they have been convicted of a sex offense or other serious crime in another state.

The bill by Sen. Jack Scott (Contact), D-Pasadena, passed the Senate Education Committee 6-0. The committee delayed action on another bill that would close certain loopholes in California's teacher licensing system, including one that allows some teachers to remain in the classroom after they have been accused of serious crimes.

The bills by Sens. Jack Scott, D-Pasadena, and Bob Margett (Contact), R- Arcadia, were prompted by an Associated Press investigation last year that found 2,570 educators nationwide whose teaching credentials had been revoked, denied, surrendered or sanctioned between 2001 and 2005 following allegations of sexual misconduct.

The AP's investigation in California confirmed at least 313 cases in which teachers had been punished for sexual misconduct. That included dozens involving pleas of no contest, a common legal agreement that allows a defendant to avoid a trial or civil liability but still leads to conviction.

Teachers who are accused of sexual misconduct in California but enter no contest pleas to a lesser offense can sometimes retain their teaching credentials.

Margett's bill addresses the issue of no contest pleas but drew objections that prompted the committee to request more information.

The bill that passed the committee Wednesday targets a gap in California's teacher licensing system that applies to those who have taught in other states.

It would require the California Teacher Credentialing Commission to automatically suspend a teacher's license if it had been revoked in another state. Credentials also could be revoked after a criminal conviction that limits a person's contact with children.

Scott, the bill's sponsor, said current law allows a teacher to stay in the classroom while the commission investigates an allegation, a process that can take as long as two years.

"The problem we have now is that we have to act after the fact," he said. "I think it's unwise for us to go ahead and hire teachers and place them in the classroom, then it might take a year for a review. And in the meantime, children with vulnerabilities are exposed to that person."

The Teacher Credentialing Commission sponsored the bills after the AP published the results of its seven-month investigation in November.

The Association of California School Administrators, the California School Boards Association and the Los Angeles Unified School District support the bills.

The California Teachers Association, the state's largest teachers union, testified against both of them.

The union's attorney, Michael Rothschild, told the committee that Scott's bill was too broad and could sweep up teachers who have been accused but had not committed serious offenses.

"The teachers association isn't for having bad people in the classroom," he said. "What it's for is for due process."

Rothschild also raised concerns about Margett's bill. It would require the commission to revoke teachers' licenses if they plead no contest to certain misdemeanor assault and drug offenses.

Many of the teacher cases reviewed by the AP involved no contest pleas, which save court and attorneys' fees and spare young victims from having to testify in court.

The credentialing commission's attorney, Mary Armstrong, said current law allows teachers who plead no contest to be treated differently than those who plead guilty. While most offenders are weeded out of public school classrooms, they still can teach if their license is only suspended, rather than revoked.

"They are back in the classroom," she said. "They then have a credential. They can use that in a private school" or to get work as a tutor or in another state.

Armstrong said teaching is the only profession that draws the distinction.

"For the other professions, the no contest plea is treated exactly the same as a guilty plea," she told the committee.

But Rothschild said all kinds of cases involving teachers could be unfairly lumped in with sexual predators and drug abusers.

"We believe the system that is currently in place works, provides due process and is fair," he testified. "You have to trust the trial courts not to reduce something to a misdemeanor if it's truly serious."

Sen. Mark Wyland, R-Solana Beach, a member of the education committee and a former school board member in Escondido, said he considers no contest pleas essentially the same as an admission of guilt.

"I think these licenses ought to be revoked," he said.

California law also prohibits the credentialing commission from revealing the reason teachers who plead no contest lose their licenses. The Senate bills considered Wednesday do not address that issue.

Margett's bill also would eliminate the statute of limitations that is in place for disclosing past teacher misconduct.

Under California law, the results of misconduct allegations are sealed by the Teacher Credentialing Commission after one year. That restricts school administrators' ability to confirm a teaching candidate's full record if they learn later that the applicant lied about his or her background.

In one case cited in the AP investigation, the credentialing commission granted a probationary license to an applicant who had been accused of inappropriately touching students while he was a teacher in Missouri.

The commission granted the license on the condition that he notify any California employer of the past accusations. He didn't do that when he applied at California's Newport-Mesa Unified School District.

By the time district officials determined the teacher had lied, the state had sealed his disciplinary records, making it tough to fire the teacher. He eventually resigned.

The committee delayed action on Margett's bill so he could address the due-process concerns raised by the teachers union.

Copyright © 2008, KTXL


NH - NHCLU sues Dover over sex-offender restrictions

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03/26/2008

DOVER – The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the city yesterday over an ordinance that restricts where sex offenders can live, in a test case that could have consequences for communities across the state.

Enacted in October 2005, Dover city code 131-20 blocks sex offenders who must register for life, which includes those convicted of aggravated rape or a host of offenses involving children, from living within 2,500 feet of a school or daycare center, levying a $500 fine for the first violation and a $1,000 fine for a second.

Franklin, Tilton, Northfield and Boscawen have all passed similar ordinances in recent years, restricting where sex offenders can live, and numerous other communities throughout the state, including Manchester, have considered such legislation.

In a suit filed in Strafford County Superior Court, the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union is asking to have Dover's ordinance invalidated, saying it runs afoul of the state constitution's due process, double jeopardy and ex post facto protections, as well as state primacy for treating sex offenders.

If the ordinance is struck down in the superior court, it would open the door to legal challenges in the four other communities with similar ordinances. A decision against the ordinance from the state supreme court would effectively nullify all of the sex offender residency restriction ordinances in the state.

New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union lawyer Barbara Keshen said the suit is also meant to highlight problems with sex offender residency restrictions, which she says are ineffective.

"I think if these towns studied whether or not these laws were effective in protecting children, they wouldn't pass them," she said. "Most of these towns have had a knee-jerk reaction." The suit was brought on behalf of Richard Jennings, now 41, who pleaded guilty to felonious sexual assault in May 2000 for having sex with a 15-year-old girl and served four years in New Hampshire State Prison.

In October 2007, Jennings moved from Portsmouth to Dover with his long-time girlfriend, but ran into trouble after failing to report with the city.

Police Chief Anthony Colarusso said the department was informed by Portsmouth police and neighbors that Jennings had moved into a Locust Street home and never registered as a sex offender. He said Dover police charged Jennings with felony failure to report, to which he later pleaded guilty and received a suspended state prison sentence, as well as a violation for living in a restricted zone. A large reason for the charges, he said, was that Jennings was living in the home with his girlfriend's teenage daughter.

Colarusso said Portsmouth police also charged Jennings with felony failure to report and that the case is proceeding in Rockingham County Superior Court.

Jennings is currently living with his parents in Epping.

Since Dover passed its ordinance, seven sex offenders have been found in violation of residency restrictions, Colarusso said, and six of those have moved without issue. The city has about 30 sex offenders living in it, he said.

Colarusso said the restrictions will not stop all sex offenses from occurring, but that it is an important part of a larger strategy to proactively protect the community. He noted that the effectiveness of the ordinances is debated, even among law enforcement, but that if even one offense is stopped, it is a success.

"In the big picture, we don't think this ordinance is the end all," he said. "It's just one tool; it's just one additional tool.


FL - Sheriff's Demand Snags Lunsford's No-Suit Deal

Mark Lunsford
Mark Lunsford
View the article here
Another Article Here

And the never ending saga continues...

03/26/2008

TAMPA -- A deal intended to stop Mark Lunsford from filing a lawsuit against the Citrus County Sheriff's Office has hit a snag.

Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy has asked Lunsford to drop any potential legal action before they sit down to meet. Lunsford's attorneys, in turn, said they will not withdraw their letter that threatens to sue the sheriff.

Then, they upped the ante: Lunsford wants to meet the sheriff on Friday and will be waiting for him in his lawyers' Jacksonville office.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff said he has not heard Lunsford's request for a Friday meeting and would not immediately comment.

Last week, attorneys for Lunsford and radio shock-jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem announced a deal extended to Dawsy. If the sheriff would meet with Lunsford to discuss law enforcement policy changes that would help find missing children, Lunsford would withdraw an intent-to-sue notice that he sent the sheriff. They also want Dawsy to admit investigative mistakes in the 2005 search for Lunsford's 9-year-old daughter, who was abducted and killed.

Clem, in turn, would cease his on-air criticism of Lunsford.

Wednesday, the sheriff released a letter from Stephen Diaco, Clem's attorney.

In the letter Diaco writes that the sheriff will agree to meet with Lunsford and, at Lunsford's request, officials with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Dawsy would be willing to discuss changes in policy "if needed," Diaco wrote.

Diaco said Dawsy's only request is that Lunsford withdraw his intent to sue before they meet. Diaco asked for a response from Lunsford's attorneys by Friday.

Hours after Diaco's letter was released, Rick Block, Lunsford's attorney, said Friday will mark an important deadline – but not the one Dawsy expected.

Block said he sent a letter to Dawsy, asking him to meet in his Jacksonville law office on Friday.

"We will be waiting on the sheriff with a hot pot of coffee," he said. "We hope he shows up."

Asked if the intent-to-sue notice will be withdrawn by then, Block said "no."

Lunsford, Block said, wants to hear the sheriff admit to investigative mistakes before they back away from any potential legal action.

"When we had our initial press conference we said from Day One: if the sheriff's office will admit that mistakes were made there will not be a lawsuit," Block said.

Block declined to speak further, saying it is unethical and a violation of the rules of professional responsibility for an attorney to speak about ongoing settlement negotiations. He said he was shocked that Diaco's letter was released.

In his letter to Dawsy, Block said, he criticized the sheriff for releasing Diaco's letter. He said the only reason to release it was to "paint Mark Lunsford into a corner."

When Lunsford first announced his plans to sue, Clem lambasted him on the radio. Lunsford's attorney, in turn, sent a letter to Clem, warning him to stop.

Clem, who is on vacation this week, told The Tampa Tribune that his understanding from Block last week was that Lunsford would drop the intent to sue before meeting with the sheriff. When legal action is pending, Clem said, people are much less willing to sit down and talk rationally.

On his end, Clem said he feels betrayed by Block, who announced the original deal on his radio show. Asked whether he will take the high road and quit talking about Lunsford, Clem balked.

"No," he said. "Bubba the Love Sponge doesn't take the high road too often, especially when I've been two-timed and double-crossed."


NV - Police Say Deputy Sheriff Raped Inmate In Nye County

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03/26/2008

The Nye County Sheriffs Office released the following.

On March 25th 2008, it was reported to the Nye County Sheriffs Office General Assignment Detectives that a female inmate was alleging that she was sexually assaulted by Deputy Sheriff Daryal Taylor.

Subsequent investigation identified that this alleged assault occurred during a transport that Taylor had done with the inmate earlier that evening. Allegedly Taylor had deviated from the direct transport he was assigned to for the purpose of committing the sexual assault on the victim. Taylor used his position as a Deputy Sheriff to influence the victim into participation in the sex act. Information was obtained that corroborated the victims account of the incident. Additionally evidence was obtained and is currently being processed by the crime lab relating to this case.

On March 26th 2008 after extensive investigation Taylor was relieved of duty and arrested on the above charges.

Deputy Taylor was booked into the Nye County Sheriff's Office Detention Center and is pending bail.

The investigation continues.