Tuesday, May 13, 2008

From flash mob to lynch mob

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Sounds like some people I know.

(CNN) -- A Korean woman receives death threats because she wouldn't clean up her dog's mess on the subway; a Chinese man suspected of philandering is besieged by angry emails and phone calls; an American college student caught plagiarizing online is turned in by incensed bloggers.

Forget Big Brother, it's the Internet mob that's watching you...

It's a long time since the Internet was populated purely by geeks and freaks. Our personas in virtual space are increasingly integrated with our "real life" identities; a growing number of people have Facebook profiles, blogs and Flickr accounts.

And our physical and virtual worlds are meshing, too. "Flash mobbing" is one of the Internet's stranger crazes. Groups of people organized by Web sites, email and text message descend on public spaces to take part in bizarre demonstrations of performance art.

The first Flash mob took place at Macy's in New York City in June 2003 when over a hundred people converged in the rug department.

The phenomenon has spread to flash parties on subway trains and silent flash raves in train stations in Great Britain; flash pillow fights in Toronto; zombie flash mobs in San Francisco; and a flash proposal of marriage to one girl in Beijing.

Flash mobbing is seen at worst as a nuisance that can delay commuters and other travelers who encounter mobs in action. But groups of people have been harnessed via the Internet for purposes other than entertainment -- and one of these phenomena, known as "mobbing," is more sinister.

In 2005, a woman known as "Dog Poop Girl" became the victim of an Internet shame attack when, after refusing to clean up after her dog on a South Korean subway train, another commuter posted her picture on the Internet. She was quickly identified, her personal details were posted online, she was subjected to harassment and she even received death threats.

In a recent article for TIME magazine, web guru Jaron Lanier wrote, "Collectives tend to be mean, to designate official enemies, to be violent, and to discourage creative, rigorous thought... We might be genetically wired to be vulnerable to the lure of the mob."

And Lanier thinks it could go further. "What's to stop an online mass of anonymous but connected people from suddenly turning into a mean mob, just like masses of people have time and time again in the history of every human culture?"

Some say it's already happening.

Internet mobbing is most prevalent in South East Asian countries, where social norms are strict yet perceived as under threat. People are targeted when they are thought to have deviated from those norms. Along with Dog Poop Girl, vigilantes have pursued other targets with menacing enthusiasm.

It took just five days in 2006 for vigilantes to track down the "Stiletto Kitten Killer" -- a Chinese woman who was videoed crushing a kitten's skull with her high-heeled shoe. Both she and the man who filmed her had their personal and contact information posted across the Internet, along with Internet "Wanted" posters. They lost their jobs and had to issue public apologies, a stern punishment in a country where animal protection laws do not exist.

The same year, a manhunt was on to catch the "Shanghai Sex Blogger", a Western expat who detailed his dalliances with numerous Chinese women. Chinese bloggers raged against him. One, a professor of psychology at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, called for an "Internet hunt for the immoral foreigner" and called repeatedly for the man to be "found and kicked out of China!!!"

In another well-known Chinese case, an angry husband who suspected his wife was having an affair with a college student she'd met in an online game asked for help tracking him down. The Associated Press reported that the student, who denied the accusation, was bombarded with harassing and threatening e-mails.

This vigilante action might be prompted by understandable moral outrage, but some are concerned that the headline-grabbing witch-hunts have been vastly out of proportion with the original transgressions.

Vigilantes have not stopped at reprimanding their quarry: They have shamed them publicly in front of thousands of people; their identities and personal details have been posted for all to see, making them vulnerable to fraud and identity theft; they and their families have been harassed.

A director at South Korea's Ministry of Information and Communications, Oh Sang Kyoon told the International Herald Tribune, "Victims cannot live a normal life. They quit jobs and run away from society. They even flee the country. It's like lynching victims in a 'people's court on the Web.'"

It's hard not to feel sympathy for some targets of mobbing. An American college student known as "Laura K. Krishna" (not her real name) was caught out when she offered a stranger $75 via instant messenger to write a paper for her.

Unfortunately for her, the person she approached, comedy writer and blogger Nate Kushner, accepted her offer and blogged about it, hoping to teach the plagiarist a lesson. But the story was seized by enraged bloggers and quickly span out of control: They flooded her home and college with emails and phone calls, demanding she be kicked out of school.

Laura K. Krishna quickly became the butt of McJob jokes and her long-term employment prospects suffered (ask any employer who Googles a potential recruit before hiring; her real name is still easily obtainable online). There's no doubt that plagiarism is wrong, but was the punishment meted out to her appropriate for her crime?

A commenter posting as "Joanna" thinks not. She wrote on Nate Kushner's blog, "I felt slightly sick when I read that, apparently, a fair number of people on this thread want to see 'Ms. Krishna' expelled, publicly flayed, drawn and quartered, et cetera.

"As a college student working my a** off for an English degree, I have no respect for this girl ... but she is, above all, just a stupid kid who did a stupid thing."

Once they're targeted, there's little that people can do to remove details about them online. Information travels fast and can be replicated with ease. Nate Kushner removed Laura K. Krishna's name and college from his site at the request of her mother, but her details remain on other sites. It would take remarkable concerted effort -- and co-operation from Web site owners -- to expunge her information from the Internet.

This is partly because the Internet is not regulated by any one set of laws. It transcends national boundaries, and makes recourse to legal avenues complicated, expensive and questionably effective, as Brazilian model Daniela Cicarelli found when she tried to use the law to remove YouTube videos of her romping in the sea with her banker boyfriend.

As fast as YouTube took down the videos, they were re-posted, while the press coverage of the lawsuit simply sparked more interest in the footage, plus a whole host of spoof tributes.

The most concerning aspect of mobbing, though, is the way large groups of people can be mobilized to attack a perceived transgressor without their accusers providing any real evidence of their guilt. On the Internet, the mob can be judge and jury.

One American blogger, Jason, has touted the use of mobbing as a tool to hold public officials accountable for their actions. "Isn't the threat of hundreds of people calling you during dinner to tell you what a jerk you are seem like it would make you tone it down a bit?" he wrote. "When I see an infuriating story crop up on Digg, I'm going to dig for personal information about the offenders and post it to the comments," he continued.

But while Jason's intentions might be to protect the public, can mob rule be a viable option for any society? Some argue that virtual lynchings will only turn transgressors into victims. Even online, as the saying goes, two wrongs don't make a right.

In the meantime, those thinking of the Internet as an idyllic place for freedom of expression would be wise to take heed: say what you like, but remember that the mob is watching you...

The Peverted Founder & the Peverted world of Perverted Justice

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JUDGE: Perverted Justice Founder Solicited child molestation
- John Cook, Radar Investigates

The pudgy, pasty, and creepy founder of Perverted Justice, the online vigilante group that NBC News pays to lure in gap-toothed perverts for Dateline NBC's "To Catch a Predator," narrowly escaped a taste of his own medicine last week. On August 10, a judge in Oglethorpe County, Georgia, issued a previously unreported order finding that "there is probable cause to believe that Xavier Von Erck solicited ... child molestation, statutory rape, or attempted child molestation or attempted statutory rape."

The case stems from a rather novel legal theory pursued by Robert E. White, whose son Robert Gerald White was arrested for attempted child molestation and attempted statutory rape after a Dateline sting in Harris County, Georgia, last year. The elder White thinks that Von Erck, by posing as a 15-year-old girl during online chats with his son, actually solicited the younger White into showing up at the Dateline house for sex. And in Georgia, solicitation is a crime.

Robert E. White's attorney, Gary Gerrard, went to a Georgia state judge last month seeking a warrant for Von Erck's arrest for criminal solicitation, and the judge, by and large, agreed: He issued an order stating that "there is probable cause to believe that Xavier Von Erck communicated with Robert Gerald White with intent that Robert Gerald White would engage in conduct constituting a felony." In other words, Von Erck wanted the younger White to break the law and tried to get him to do so, behavior that is usually considered criminal in Georgia. But the judge declined to issue the warrant, finding that there was no way the younger White could have actually committed the crime that Von Erck was soliciting him to commit—there was, after all, no 15-year-old girl to molest.

But it might not be that simple. Gerrard and other sources familiar with Georgia criminal law say the judge plainly got it wrong.

Georgia law clearly states that "it is no defense to a prosecution for criminal solicitation that the person solicited could not be guilty of the crime solicited." So if Von Erck were prosecuted for solicitation, he wouldn't be able to argue that he knew all along that no actual 15-year-old girl was going to be molested.

"The law says the impossibility of committing the crime is not a defense," says Gerrard.

What's more, White was charged with attempted molestation, a crime that he actually committed by showing up at the Dateline house. And that crime, the judge's order says, was solicited by Von Erck.

"It seems clear here that Von Erck did intend for this man to commit a felony," said Robert D. Leonard II, a Georgia criminal defense attorney who maintains a blog on Georgia law. "The felony would be attempted child molestation."

Gerrard says he is considering his options and may appeal the order.

In a statement, NBC said, "We believe our newsgathering and activities in connection with "To Catch a Predator" fully complied with Georgia law."

E-mailed for a response, Von Erck replied, "Thanks for contacting us for comment. You're just a rather scummy fellow who writes for a tabloid rag. Other than being told that you're a scummy hack who resembles a stalker more than a journalist, we don't have any comment for you on this issue or any other issue."

Woa! Did you see this coming? Sadly, I did. I have a theory that I have seen proven RIGHT many times in my life. More often than not those who go to fanatical extremes for misguided moral crusades are doing so to cloak their own demons. They do this to mislead the public and for those who feel guilty, do it to mislead themselves.

Of the dozens of guys I've met in my life who expressed an all out hatred and malice towards homosexuality, two out of three of them had later asked me to have sex with them. (I'm a guy).
I have seen the same true with people who are just as holy about pedophiles. One dude up my street likes to prank call local sex offenders. I tested my theory and without surprise found his scruffy face on the state sex offender list.

And who can forget ole Congressman Folly. The leading crusader and champion against child abuse who resigned his seat in congress following aligations that he was soliciting sex online with a page-boy.

So without surprise, I found this article about the founder of Perverted Justice. What I have trouble with, however, is how the media has kept this charge against him so hush hush. Then again, MSNBC didn't have a lot to say about the man who killed himself when Perverted Justice came knocking on his door.

MSNBC does not want to admit to the fact that their Catch a Predator is getting people killed. Luring men to ruin their whole lives is good for ratings, luring them to shoot themselves may upset those precious ratings. They just as much do not want people to know that the group who is responsible for their show's ratings and air time is led by a suspected pedophile himself! Its pretty sad when the press censures issues and needed infromation from the public (Ron Paul). Its a really sad day when the media censures from us their own nasty issues!

In the article I posted here I thought it was funny, and I laughed, that this Von Erck dude defends himself by saying that no actual crime happened because he really wasn't a fifteen year old. Ummmmm....that is exackly what is so wrong about the whole Perverted Justice idea!

Most Americans like myself are all for neat little tactics to catch predators. Yet, most Americans like myself are now starting to catch on that to Catch a Predator is seriously wrong. How can you charge a man with child molestation or even soliciting when he was actually soliciting a middle aged fat man?

Also, people are starting to learn the true extent of how low Perverted Justice will go to fish in mentally ill, haven't-been-laid-in a long time chat room low lifes. Those people with Perverted Justice for several hours instant message as many men out of the blue as possible. Then, for days on end these entrapers will speak to the entrapped as sexual and suggesting as possible, all but begging (and moaning) for the person to visit.

The argument can be made that these guys shouldn't travel to meet an underage girl. True that.

Yet, some of these guys, under normal circumstances would not go that far. I am positive some of them resist the requests and suggestions and pleas until their imagination gets ahold of them or they are just not strong enough to say no to the entrapper following repeated and insistant pressure.

The whole Dateline thing and Perverted Justice just seems gross and dirty.

Personally I think that Von Erck is not the only one at Perverted Justice who gets off acting like underage girls and getting sexually graphic about it. There is just something really wrong about men who sit at their computers and role play as a 15 year old nymph sex addict with hundreds of males across the country!

But Chris Hansen gets payed.

Is Perverted Justice a non-profit group set out to save all the children of the world? No. The founder himself, Von Erck racks up hundreds of hours role playing more sexually graphic than any actual underage girl would be (except in his imagination). And for his fun, Von Erck recieves 120,000 a year.

Perverted Justice indeed.

Howard's Notebook - Perverted Justice

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Perverted-Justice is the organization that sets up the perverts for NBC's Dateline segment "To Catch a Predator" and I checked out their web site.

I been on line a long time and I got a pretty good nose for things that are not right. I been fooled a few times. I think we all have been at one time or another.

But when I look at the Perverted Justice web site I get the feeling I want to wash my hands and take a shower. They just don't feel right. You know when you get that feeling that someone is just bad. That is the feeling I get from their site.

They are "non-profit" and they brag about that..I wonder how much money they are making and who is getting the money. They sell t-shirts, mugs and hats and other stuff. They now offer "training" for police officers and they do not mention how much that will cost police departments.

I suspect that the people doing the "training" of police officers are not going to be telling them about the Bill of Rights or protections of the rights of citizens.

I also wonder how many of the people working for Perverted-Justice are perverted sex predators them self? Let me see if I were a pervert were would I like to be working? Let me see how about a home for boys? How about the boy scouts? I know how about the Perverted-Justice site? They get to about sex all day in chat rooms and do IM messages all day. They get to see child porn photos and videos. Plus if anyone finds out they can say they are working with the police and NBC news. That sounds a great job for a predator.

My buddy "JC" made a comment about my last post on the this subject and he expressed just the point that I was trying to make ...that people hate these on line sexual perverts and if someone says your one or you get arrested your f---ed. Your not going to get a fair day in court. Your f---ed if your charged. How do you defend yourself. Everyone wants you f---ing dead and buried first.

I do not know if this will work or not but let me try and show you why I think what they are doing is not right and fair. Let me use JC as an example.

Let us say that JC loves movies. Let us say he goes to a movies chat room and is in the chat room discussing movies. Let us say that I am a police officer or maybe someone working for some movie company or video company.

I go into the chat room and I say I just say the best movie of all time. We will say it is called "X-Men III" and I will go on about it. Well JC loved the other X-Men movies and he then gets me in private chat and he says he never heard of "X-Men III" and I tell him it is brand new and I got a copy from a friend that works for the movie people.

JC says "My God I cant' wait until it is out and I can see it." I say..hell man your a buddy of mine come on over to my house and you can watch it my big screen system here. I tell JC that I will order pizza and that when we are done watching it I will burn him a copy.

JC says well he is not sure that is a good idea because of the copy right laws and everything..I tell him it is a f---ing great movie and no one will know or care. So agrees to come over to the house. When he gets to the house.. I meet him and say oh here is a copy I burned for you right now before we watch the movie. You do want to watch it right. He says yes and I had him the DVD. Then the police step out and arrest him.

That is how I see this NBC TV show and the Perverted-Justice group.

Now you may say..hell I don't care about movies..

Are you a video game player? What if someone lead you to believe that they had a copy of some great video game that was brand new and cost a lot of money and they would burn a copy for you. You might even say..no I will wait and pay for it when it is out. But I would send you a GIF or two of the game and tell you how fast it is and how great the video is and the great new features it has in it. Then I talk you into letting me send you a DVD copy of the game. The mail man brings it to your door a few days later and you sign for it and then the FBI come around the corner and put handcuffs on you and NBC is video taping it for their TV show.

I am not sure these examples get my point across but maybe you can see where I am coming from.

MO - JWF: Sex Offender Zoning Laws Don't Work At All

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That's from Nancy Sabin, Executive Director of the Jacob Wetterling Foundation (www.jwf.org).

I spoke with Nancy after last night's Extra aired. If you haven't seen our story about sex offender zoning laws, surf over to the "Extras" portion of kare11.com, or paste this address in your browser:


As you may know, the Jacob Wetterling Foundation (JWF) is a Twin Cities based organization whose mission is to protect children from sexual exploitation and abduction. Nancy had a number of thoughts about the laws we discussed in last night's Extra -- laws that restrict where convicted sex offenders can live.

"It is one of the poorest uses of our resources, vigilance and supervision," she said.

Here's why, according to JWF:

  1. Nationwide, there are no known cases of children being exploited in the "safety zones" created by these laws, i.e., within 2000 feet of a school, day care center or playground
  2. Most of the people convicted of sex crimes -- 92 percent -- are first-time offenders. In other words, they would not have been subject to the restrictions laid out in these zoning ordinances in the first place.
  3. Of the 400 cases presented to JWF in the last 5 years, fewer than five percent of the alleged molesters are convicted sex offenders
  4. Most sex crimes are happening "under our noses, in our own homes." In other words, as KARE reported last night, most attackers are related to their victims or know them well.

Nancy went on to say there "is not one piece of research that supports zoning laws," which have been passed in the Minnesota cities of Wyoming and Taylors Falls.

"We need to do a better job, as a community, of reporting these crimes," she said. The zoning laws provide a "false sense of safety."

I'm happy to include your thoughts in this space -- drop me an email at sgoldberg@kare11.com

WI - Salem considers barring sex offenders from town

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SALEM - Concerns from a resident have the Salem Town Board considering a town ordinance barring sex offenders from entering the town.

Sheila Erickson told the Town Board Monday that she learned second hand that a man who moved into a home across the street from her was a registered sex offender under monitoring by the Department of Corrections.

"We as neighbors were never publicly notified that a registered sex offender moved into our neighborhood," she said.

However, satisfied that the man was being monitored, Erickson's family accepted the arrangement - until he later moved to Antioch, Ill., about 10 minutes away.

It's his frequent visits to see family at his former Salem home - out of the purview of the monitoring - that has Erickson concerned.

"He is here on a consistent basis to visit his family and basically has the right to go wherever he chooses without being monitored," she said.

The problem stretches beyond Salem, Erickson said. More than 500 registered sex offenders live in Lake County. Of that number, 48 live in the Antioch and Lake Villa areas.

"I am being honest; I don't know what exactly we should do as a community," she said. "However, I believe that this issue needs to be addressed."

Town officials said enforcement for any such ordinance could be problematic. In particular, a town ordinance violation is not the same as breaking a state law, said Public Safety Officer Josh Cooper.

"Basically, a town ordinance doesn't make it a crime," he said.

Town Board members said an ordinance violation could by noted by an offender's parole officer.

Town Chairwoman Diane Tesar said she favored an ordinance similar to one enacted recently in Somers. The Town Board there put strict restrictions on where sex offenders could live, citing health concerns.

"I think it's a good way to start, to get it off the ground," she said.

However, the window for similar ordinances in other towns may be closing. A bill introduced Jan. 17 would prohibit municipalities and counties from enacting similar ordinances. The bill currently sits in the state Assembly's Committee on Judiciary and Ethics.

Tesar said town officials hope to consider an ordinance proposal at the June 9 Town Board meeting.

WI - Man collects $6,000 for jail worker's mistake

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By Judy Wiff (regional@rivertowns.net)

St. Croix County's insurance company has paid $6,000 to a man erroneously identified by jail personnel as a registered sex offender.

In March 2006 a jail log released to local media indicated that Jeremy P. Gruwell, 22, River Falls, was booked into the St. Croix County Jail. The reason for the booking was given as "sex offender registration."

Sheriff Dennis Hillstead said Gruwell had been ordered by his probation agent to report to the jail to provide a DNA sample.

The department had been getting so many sex offenders coming in to register that the deputy recorded Gruwell's information incorrectly, said Hillstead.

"It was a pure mistake on (the officer's) part," said the sheriff.

A correction was subsequently printed in a community newspaper that published the information.

In June 2006, Gruwell, 1010 Sunset Lane, River Falls, submitted a claim to the county saying reports prepared by Sheriff's Department personnel were "false, erroneous and defamatory." He asked for $50,000 for "pain, emotional distress and damage to reputation."

The county rejected that claim, and in January 2007 Gruwell filed a civil lawsuit against the Sheriff's Department and the county.

According to the civil complaint, in March 2006 and at other times Gruwell had "official contracts" with the county and county officers.

But, according to the complaint, Gruwell "is not now, nor has he ever been, a registered sex offender as that term is defined by Wisconsin Statute or by its plain, understood meaning."

Trial was set for April 28, but the parties reached a settlement agreement earlier that month.

The release of claims signed by Gruwell and his attorney last month stipulates that payment of the $6,000 "is not to be construed as an admission of any liability whatsoever by or on behalf of (the county, the Sheriff's Department or Wisconsin Municipal Mutual Insurance Company), by whom all liability is expressly denied."

CA - Pomona Effectively Bans Sex Offenders

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POMONA (AP) -- It's now nearly impossible for registered sex offenders to move into Pomona

The City Council has unanimously passed an urgency ordinance that essentially blocks additional registered sex offenders from moving into the eastern Los Angeles County community.

Assistant City Attorney Andrew Jared says about 260 registered sex offenders already live in Pomona.

The ordinance is fashioned after a Long Beach law that takes advantage of wording in Proposition 83, also known as Jessica's Law. It allows cities to craft residency restrictions for registered sex offenders.

LA - Sex offenders face tougher penalties

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Louisiana lawmakers turned up the heat on convicted sex offenders living in the state in 2008, adding a slate of requirements offenders must meet to avoid returning to prison and paying fines.

Lawmakers have also written bills for the current session of the state Legislature ending June 23 adding further requirements offenders must fulfill.

Sex offenders have long had to register with the sheriff's office of the parish where they live.

"As of Jan. 1, '08, there have been a few changes made," said St. Mary Parish Detective A.J. Jackson. "A lot (of offenders) have come out of the woodwork. They come in to register and ask, 'What do I need to do?'"

Beginning this year, offenders who have committed aggravated sex crimes - those involving weapons or especially severe force - need to register for life in person every 90 days, said detective Lieutenant Cher Pitre, who heads the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office's sex offender and domestic violence unit.

Prior to 2008, people committing aggravated sex offenses registered for 10 years.

"Every 90 days, we have to make sure where they're living, where they're working and who they're living with," Pitre said.

Most forms of rape and sexual assault on people having infirmities trigger registration for life every 90 days. Offenses that are aggravated requiring lifetime registration include crimes against nature, incest and kidnapping a child.

Three other new requirements, Pitre said, were added to Louisiana law this year: the amount of time sex offenders are allowed to register with sheriff's offices was reduced from 10 days to three business days and offenders now have to register with the sheriff's office of the parish where they work, if they reside in another parish.

"If you live in Lafourche but work in Terrebonne, you have to register in Terrebonne," your place of employment, she said.

And beginning this year, the length of time to register for people committing sexual offenses against minors was increased from 10 years to 25 years. Those offenders have to show up at the sheriff's office every six months.

All four new bills were authored by then-state Rep. Don Cazayoux of New Roads, who was elected last week to the U.S. House from the Baton Rouge area, and signed into law by the governor.

Cazayoux said the new laws help to bring Louisiana into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, entitling the state to receive more federal dollars.

Longtime provisions

In addition to the new requirements, sex offenders have to be fingerprinted yearly by the sheriff's office, send postal notification to nearby residents, publish their photo in a specified newspaper for two days, notify the school board and recreation department of the parish where they reside and pay an annual $60 fee to defray processing costs. Landlords also need to signify approval with the sheriff's office.

If they move out of the parish, offenders have to notify the sheriff's office and the Louisiana Department of Corrections that they are moving, then register anew where they are living with the sheriff's office and the department.

At least once a year, offenders are also sent a registration card by the Louisiana State Police, who are notified when offenders register at sheriff's offices.

Expenses associated with these requirements often are a problem for sex offenders after their release from prison, said Bill Nuell, a specialist who handles sexual and violent offenders with the Houma sub-office of the Probation and Parole Division of the state Department of Corrections.

"People coming out of prison don't have money to get that done," Nuell said. "It's okay after they solve the financial part. Most abide by the rules."

"The problems come not with reoffending," he said. "They come with using drugs and alcohol or they don't notify us. Not registering will not be tolerated. They have to tell us before they move, they have to register in the other parish, have their picture in the newspaper, notify the schools again."

"If they don't register, there's a new charge," he said.

(A first conviction for failing to register carries a two- to five- year sentence. A second one can carry up to 20 years.)

The state places the phrase "sex offender" on their driver's licenses in orange. Pitre said offenders often cover up the phrase using a black marker or try to scratch it off the license.

Tracking offenders

Probation and Parole's main office covering Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes is in Thibodaux. The office assigns five sex-offender specialists to Terrebonne and two to Lafourche. St. Mary Parish is part of the division's New Iberia office.

Officers read the sex offender contract to the offender, informing him that he cannot live within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, daycare facilities and youth centers. He also cannot live in the same residence with the victim of his crime.

"We have to approve the address," Nuell said. "If we don't approve it, he stays in jail until we do."

Sex offenders in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes must attend counseling sessions at the Thibodaux office or see approved private counselors. Offenders must also report once a month to the Houma or Thibodaux office.

Nuell said the division will eventually attach ankle bracelets to all sex offenders, but law enforcement officials in the Tri-parishes have not indicated they are experiencing any real increase in problems keeping track of sex offenders.

Sheriff's offices communicate with each other regularly to track offenders.

"There are a lot of people coming in from out of state because of Katrina," Pitre said. "It's hard because they can just pick up and leave."

"We have to know where they are," she said. "They have to let us know they are moving, then it ends. I verify with the state or parish that they have moved there. I spend a lot of time with Lafourche verifying if they are registered there."

"When sex offenders do leave another jurisdiction and move into Lafourche, the sheriff's office is usually notified by the state," said Sergeant Dennis Gordon, director of the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office's Sex Offender Accountability Program.

"And sometimes the jurisdiction the sex offender is leaving will inform the sheriff's office that they are moving in and we just follow up on it that way," he said.

"But if someone takes off for another jurisdiction, changes their identity or what have you, you really don't know where they are," he said. "They can go anywhere. Until they pop up back in the system, you just have to wait."

In St. Mary Parish, Jackson has been the sole officer handling sex offenders for the sheriff's office, but more officers are expected to be assisting him soon.

"To keep up with the work is difficult," he said. "I go through the requirements with (offenders), they sign a packet. If they miss a date to report, I explain the consequences. So far, everyone's cooperating."

Jackson works out of the sheriff's office in Franklin and at substations in Centerville and Morgan City. Sex offenders register at the Centerville office.

"When a sex offender notifies me he is moving, I send the information to the parish or county (where he is going)," he said.

Sheriff's offices also relay information concerning sex offenders to the Louisiana State Police, the U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, and vice versa.

Lawmakers want more heat

Gov. Bobby Jindal is urging lawmakers to place further penalties on sex offenders in Louisiana during the current regular session of the state Legislature - especially Internet solicitation - and so far they seem to be complying.
- Yeah, this is the Nazi bastard who wants all sex offenders living in Angola!!!

State Sen. Jody Amedee of Gonzales has faced no opposition to a string of bills he sponsored increasing restrictions on offenders.

By far the most wide-ranging one would make all sex offenders register for life, but Amedee has pushed through several other weighty bills.

One proposal doubles to 2,000 feet the distance that offenders have to maintain away from schools.
- Why don't you just make it 50 miles?

The bill applies to those convicted of offenses against children 13 years old and younger. Another increases the minimum sentence for offenders molesting 13 to 18 year olds from one year to five years.

Two bills deal with computer-related sex crimes against juveniles. One raises the minimum penalty for computer-aided solicitation of minors and another prohibits adults from contacting minors by telephone whom they have solicited online. The Governor's Office says no state law exists outlawing that conduct.

All of Amedee's bills passed the Senate 38 to 0 or 36 to 0, except the one increasing the distance to 2,000 feet, which still needs to be voted on by the full senate. The bills are currently in the House Criminal Justice Committee.

Lafourche Parish state Rep. Jerry Gisclair wants to use polygraph tests on sex offenders to try to prove they have not gone near schools and playgrounds. However, other state lawmakers have questioned the reliability of the tests.

The measure was approved by a House committee and will proceed to a House vote.

Terrebonne has a higher number of sex offenders living in the parish than Lafourche and St. Mary. The TPSO's Web site lists 428 sex offenders (.41 percent of the parish's population) living in Terrebonne. A Louisiana State Police Web site lists 300 (.29 percent of the population). St. Mary Parish contains 120 registered sex offenders (.22 percent of the population) and Lafourche has 164 (.18 percent).

Feds Accuse Student Of Terror and Espionage For Talking About Constitution

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And people still think we are not heading down and dark and scary path? WAKE UP PEOPLE! They WILL come for you one day!


East Texas pastor threatened by anonymous men in dark suits for giving talk to Boy Scouts about bill of rights

A student of a large bible college in east Texas was accused by federal agents of committing an "act of terror and espionage" after he gave a talk to a group of Boy Scouts in which he encouraged them to educate themselves about the U.S. constitution.

Jeff, who wishes to remain anonymous at present, is a student of the college and an interim pastor of a small church in Mount Vernon, Texas. He appeared today as a guest on the Alex Jones Show to relate what took place.

As part of his duties as an advisor in the college office, Jeff was tasked with the role of giving a short speech and a tour to a group of Boy Scouts that were visiting the college, with a focus on how patriotism and liberty are emphasized in the teaching style of the university.

Jeff said he told the boys, "It's going to be you who is going to take this country and either make or break it - you need to get back to your constitution, you need to get to know your bill of rights and you need to stand up for them."

Jeff also mentioned that the freedoms enumerated in the bill of rights were fast being usurped by the government and he briefly talked about the USA Patriot Act.

"I said they're stripping us of what we know to be America, what you need to do is re-orient yourself to the constitution because that is the very founding basis of our government and it is the supreme law of the land," he added.

The next day Jeff was called into the main administrative office of the university where he was met by college officials and two men wearing dark suits and sunglasses who did not identify themselves. A state trooper was also guarding the door to make sure everyone stayed inside the office.

Jeff was asked by the men if he talked to the Boy Scouts about the constitution the previous day. Jeff was then shown a transcript of what he said and asked to fill in the blanks.

"I saw the transcript of what I said and every word that those boys had said," stated Jeff.

Jeff speculated that the recording of his talk with the Boy Scouts may have been made by a scout master who looked like a Marine that was taking the tour with Jeff.

After asking the men where they were from, Jeff was told he was committing "acts of terror and espionage" by talking to the Boy Scouts about the constitution and the bill of rights.

Jeff was unable to ascertain exactly where the feds were from but university officials later indicated that DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and the FBI were involved.

Jeff said that the two men told him, "If you say anything, do anything, continue to talk about these kind of things, we can have your head on a silver platter and the University's head on a silver platter and all the programs they've got going on."

Jeff said that a high level college official who was present during the meeting, himself an ex-Marine Vietnam veteran, was extremely nervous and "shaking" as Jeff was being lectured by the two men.

"I went to my room and I broke down in tears," said Jeff after the meeting was finished, "That's it - our country's gone," he added.

Click here to listen to Jeff's interview with Alex Jones.

To have secret police threatening bible college students for talking about the constitution is the most disturbing and un-American scenario one can possibly imagine, but it's not a new phenomenon.

This is just the latest shocking example of how federal agents and authorities across America are targeting people who discuss the U.S. constitution and the bill of rights and accusing them of engaging in political terrorism.

Alex Jones' 2001 documentary film 9/11: The Road to Tyranny featured footage from a FEMA symposium given to firefighters and other emergency personnel in Kansas City in which it was stated that the founding fathers, Christians and homeschoolers were terrorists and should be treated with the utmost suspicion and brutality in times of national emergency.

The lecturer identifies George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers as "terrorists".

View the "Patriot Act" (HR-3162) here

In 2001, housewife Abbey Newman was assaulted and arrested by police at a checkpoint for exercising her 4th amendment right. Cops looked through literature which included a copy of a pocket constitution and debated whether or not the material was illegal.

In 2004, Kelly Rushing was charged with making "terroristic threats" after he handed out Alex Jones' videos and recordings of a Congressman Ron Paul speech on C-Span to Lyon County, Kentucky officials and Kentucky State Trooper Lewis Dobbs.

A jury later ruled in favor of Rushing but he continues to be harassed by authorities and local law enforcement.

In October last year a Michigan man was harassed, handcuffed, assaulted, branded "unpatriotic" and subjected to an unconstitutional search of his vehicle during which drugs were allegedly planted, before being ticketed by a police officer for the apparent crime of freely distributing DVD's about 9/11 truth.

We have highlighted previous training manuals issued by state and federal government bodies which identify whole swathes of the population as potential terrorists. A Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Law Enforcement pamphlet gives the public characteristics to identify terrorists that include buying baby formula, beer, wearing Levi jeans, carrying identifying documents like a drivers license and traveling with women or children.

A Virginia training manual used to help state employees recognize terrorists lists anti-government and property rights activists as terrorists and includes binoculars, video cameras, paper pads and notebooks in a compendium of terrorist tools.

Shortly after 9/11 a Phoenix FBI manual that was disseminated amongst federal employees at the end of the Clinton administration's term in office caused waves on the Internet after it was revealed that potential terrorists included, "defenders of the US Constitution against federal government and the UN, " and individuals who "make numerous references to the US Constitution."

To have secret police and federal authorities target people who discuss the very document that they swore an oath to uphold and protect is a chilling prospect and rivals anything that was a pre-cursor to Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia.

The precedent of treating a knowledge of the U.S. constitution and the bill of rights as suspicious and possibly a sign of terrorism can only be linked to careful preparations for martial law which are now public.

A shocking KSLA news report last summer confirmed the story we first broke in 2006, that Clergy Response Teams are being trained by the federal government to "quell dissent" and pacify citizens to obey the government in the event of a declaration of martial law.

In May 2006, we exposed the existence of a nationwide FEMA program which is training tens of thousands of Pastors and other religious representatives to become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to "obey the government" in preparation for the implementation of martial law, property and firearm seizures, mass vaccination programs and forced relocation.

A whistleblower who was secretly enrolled into the program told us that the feds were clandestinely recruiting religious leaders to help implement Homeland Security directives in anticipation of a potential bio-terrorist attack, any natural disaster or a nationally declared emergency.

The first directive was for Pastors to preach to their congregations Romans 13, the often taken out of context bible passage that was used by Hitler to hoodwink Christians into supporting him, in order to teach them to "obey the government" when martial law is declared.

It was related to the Pastors that quarantines, martial law and forced relocation were a problem for state authorities when enforcing federal mandates due to the "cowboy mentality" of citizens standing up for their property and second amendment rights as well as farmers defending their crops and livestock from seizure.

It was stressed that the Pastors needed to preach subservience to the authorities ahead of time in preparation for the round-ups and to make it clear to the congregation that "this is for their own good."

Pastors were told that they would be backed up by law enforcement in controlling uncooperative individuals and that they would even lead SWAT teams in attempting to quell resistance.

The chilling preparations for martial law and the targeting of Americans who merely talk about the U.S. constitution should act as a wake-up call and prompt more people in different levels of authority throughout religious and educational establishments to go public and expose similar examples of this unfolding tyranny.

MI - SHOCK: Magistrate Tells Man to Kill Himself

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She should be fired!


Court officials in Novi say a magistrate “could have chosen better words” when she told a man convicted of drunk driving and other offenses that he should commit suicide by jumping to his death or slitting his wrists in a bathtub.

52nd District Court Magistrate Judith Holtz made the shocking statements during a hearing on April 10 as she was sentencing 20-year-old Michael Robert Dickey on a charge of Minor in Possession of alcohol. Dickey had two prior convictions for drunk driving and, according to the court, “had failed to comply with his bond conditions to remain drug and alcohol free.”

According to court transcripts obtained by WXYZ, Dickey admitted to Holtz that he’d “made a lot of mistakes” -- and that’s when she unleashed from the bench.

“I don’t mean to be offensive, but you have two Operating While Intoxicated convictions and then you blow a .223 and you’re still not twenty one?, Holtz said.

“Here is my suggestion to you, Mr. Dickey, climb up on the roof of your house and jump off; either that or get in a bathtub filled with hot water and slash your wrists; then you will be dead; it will be cheaper; it will be faster and in the long run it will be less painful to anybody who cares about you, because that’s where you’re headed now, and the best part of it is you won’t take somebody else with you.

“Who do you think you are? You don’t have the right to go out there and endanger innocent people and you know it. And you have had two convictions for drunk driving and you’re not twenty one and you still drink.”

Holtz is a veteran magistrate who joined the court in 1992 after practicing law for 18 years. She declined to talk with WXYZ about the tirade, but 52nd District Court officials offered an explanation late Monday.

“The words chosen by the Court’s magistrate to convey the seriousness and severity of the defendant’s actions and crime could have been better chosen,” the court said in a statement. “The magistrate was attempting to convey, through an analogy, that the defendant’s actions and past behavior has continually put the community at risk.”

The court’s statement to WXYZ also sought to prove Dickey remains a risk to the community. “It should also be noted that Mr. Dickey, at a probation appointment on May 12, 2008, tested positive for cocaine, marijuana and amphetamines in a urine screen.” Dickey has been sent to a rehab program.

WA - Investigators: Sex offenders have a hard time finding homes

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Video is available at the site. This is just pathetic. And we call ourselves a Christian, caring, civilized society? I think not. This just makes me so angry... This protects nobody and just puts everyone in even more danger. Hell, just fire up the concentration camps and ovens. You might as well, just so everyone knows the evil you are doing to human being. We are living in a third world country now. And people wonder why crime is so rampant? When you are forced to live like this, what do you expect?


SEATTLE – Exactly three weeks ago, the Washington state Department of Corrections assigned a bridge as a home for a Level 3 sex offender. It was a place for David Torrence to sleep and meet up with his parole officer.

It turns out the state is forced to assign many sex offenders to all sorts of bridges and more.

"It's extremely hard to find housing for sex offenders, period," says parole officer Mary Rehberg.

Her caseload is made up mostly of sex offenders, including Torrence. He escaped within a few days by removing his Global Positioning Satellite bracelet. He finally surrendered last Friday in Arkansas.

She worked for months to find him housing, but wound up assigning him a patch of dirt under a bridge.

"I had nowhere else to put him," said Rehberg.

Many people were shocked to hear about that bridge, but they shouldn't have been.

Rehberg took us to a swampy piece of land under a bridge near Everett. A Level 2 sex offender calls it home.

"If they tell the law enforcement or DOC that this is where they're going to be staying, then this is where they are expected to be," said Rehberg.

She also took us to a mall parking lot, which is home to a Level 3 sex offender. Level 3 means most likely to re-offend.

Frame: "How do you live in a parking lot?"

Rehberg: "Where else do they live if they have no other resources."

We also checked out a makeshift encampment. A Level 1 sex offender used to live there before getting into trouble and getting arrested again. Some Snohomish County sheriff's deputies happened to be in the area when we showed up. Rehberg let them know the offender may be coming back after he gets out of prison.

Deputy: "So when might that occur?"

Rehberg: "Oh, probably eight months. We'll let you know."

Other offenders are living in tents, under trees and on brushy hillsides.

"If they're lucky enough, they have a tent. If they not lucky enough, they find a bridge, a dumpster, anywhere where they can find a location to live. They're survivors, I will give you that," said Rehberg.

A Level 2 sex offender KING 5 ran into lives out of his tiny car.

"Up in the woods on the weekends and in the Wal-Mart parking lot if it's too dark or cold," he said.

He's been searching for a place to rent for a year. Dozens of landlords have said he can move in until they find out he's a sex offender.

"They just say no. And if you try to give them an explanation, they don't want to hear it," he said.

Sex offenders are the modern day lepers. No one wants them on their block. Of the 34 most dangerous sex offenders recently released in our state, 15 of them, about half, walked out of prison homeless. That's about average.

According to those who look after them, it's the worst scenario for public safety.

"When a sex offender doesn't have a good stable house, he is more likely to re-offend because he has nothing. No stability," said Rehberg.

A Level 3 sex offender KING 5 interviewed, who does have a home, hasn't been in any trouble since getting out of prison three years ago. He's fortunate. A landlord gave him a break.

"If you're living under a bridge or in a car, it's too easy to get drugs, alcohol, get into just garbage," he said.

Rehberg is working hard to find housing for three more sex offenders about to get out, but there's nothing yet. She doesn't want to put another one under a bridge.

"They have committed crimes, yes, but the more stable they are, the least likely they are to commit crimes," said Rehberg.

In addition to communities not wanting sex offenders around, there is no funding through the Department of Corrections for housing. That was cut off two years ago, but there are a few pilot projects underway to try to get more sex offenders out from under a bridge and into a stable home.

NV - Contact 13: How Likely Are Juvenile Sex Offenders To Repeat The Crime?

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It is a crime few people talk about, children who molest other children.

Chief Investigator Darcy Spears first reported in April that although the Clark County School District knows when they have a juvenile sex offender in their schools, the information is not getting to those who say they need it the most.

Action News has a follow up to how likely those child criminals are to re - offend.

Amanda Ansorge's 4-year-old daughter is lucky to be young enough so that she just might forget that she was repeatedly sexually abused by a 16-year-old boy.

A boy who according to some officials perfectly fits the profile of a typical juvenile sex offender.

"He is male. He is usually the good kid, the one you would not expect this kind of behavior from. He usually is good at sports or a good student, the kind of kid parents are usually proud of," said Jonathan Vanboskerck.

"He knew right from wrong and for him to tell my daughter that if she told anybody that he would kill me, that tells me that he knew what he was doing was wrong," explained Amanda.

He is like most other juvenile sex offenders in the sense that he knew his victim.

"It is a neighbor, it is a cousin or it is somebody in the family. It is a known association," said Phil Karpinski.

In Amanda's case, it was a roommate's teenage son.

"I think that is also what hurt me so much is because he is the last person I would think would do this," said Amanda.

Statistics show her daughter will most likely be the last person he will do it to.

Fritz Reese runs the county's juvenile probation department.

"Our recidivism rate is under 5%, which is outstanding," said Fritz Reese.

The juvenile court system is based on treatment and rehabilitation instead of focusing on punishment.

"Youth really respond to treatment. Many times they were abused themselves so they are being reactive," said Fritz.

"Can we tell you if we have rehabilitated a kid? Probably not," explained Jonathan.

That leaves officials with a delicate balancing act of helping troubled kids while at the same time protecting potential victims.

Adult sex offenders are much more likely to re - offend, that is why states place restrictions on where they can live and work.
- Not according to all the studies out there, if you'd look for them.

They are also required to register so law enforcement and the public know who they are and can take appropriate precautions.

FL - Detective Used Internet To Seduce Cadet

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A Lake Wales police detective was arrested Thursday night on charges that he used the Internet to entice a former juvenile police cadet to have sex, according to police officials.

Robert Hendrix, 24, was charged following an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, according to Lake Wales Police Chief Herbert Gillis. He was immediately suspended without pay. The exact charges were unavailable as of Thursday night.

Gillis said there is also an ongoing investigation involving a fire that destroyed Hendrix's house in October. At the time, Hendrix, who was a detective in the street crimes unit, said he returned home to find someone had spray-painted gang graffiti inside his garage.

Shortly after midnight the fire was started, apparently in the garage area, Kevin Shireman of the State Fire Marshal's Office has said. Shireman said the fire was "classified as an arson."

Hendrix was reassigned to administrative duty.

On Thursday he was placed on administrative leave without pay pending the completion of the criminal and internal investigations. Hendrix was hired by the City of Lake Wales on Jan. 26, 2004, and is paid $39,574 annually. He was assigned to the Investigations Division.

Hendrix is currently in the Polk County Jail awaiting his first court appearance. His bail amount was unavailable late Thursday.