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By Trevor Maxwell Portland Press Herald Staff Writer
A former state corrections officer was indicted on Friday on four charges of gross sexual assault. The indictment was handed up by the grand jury in Cumberland County.
Bradford Howard, 36, of Lyman, pleaded not guilty in May to the initial complaint against him, which alleged that he had sex with a prisoner.
Howard was a corrections officer at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, beginning in July 2006. He resigned from his job earlier this year.
If convicted, Howard would face a maximum of 10 years in prison for each felony charge.
Friday, July 11, 2008
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View the article here | AB-579
Maggie McLetchie, Staff Attorney, ACLU NV
... on the ACLU's challenge to a new state law that reclassifies sex offenders and whether this should have been decided months ago rather than right before the election.
View the article here | His Blog
Former guard compelled to write about it, and it’s not pretty
The inmates run this place. Not the staff. That’s the reality of it.
That’s the graduation speech Dahn Shaulis says he got at Nevada’s prison guard academy. Manage the unmanageable, they said. Learn to provoke power, to play with the “politics of the fist,” to control inmates by pitting them against one another, to perfect benign neglect. This is how Shaulis sucked up “40 hours of purgatory and a paycheck” every week for seven years. He worked for Nevada’s overcrowded, understaffed prison system, the ever expensive thorn in the side of state lawmakers who have been arguing about whether to close some prisons to absorb the blow of the budget shortfall.
He walked into the job with a Ph.D. in sociology and left in July with a binder of bitter stories. While working as a corrections officer and a caseworker, Shaulis carried a notebook everywhere, and not for writing infractions.
He worked Death Row, maximum security, minimum security, gang units, administrative segregation, and as he spent more time inside, his stories changed. At first, they were the restrained observations of a book-bred sociologist. Then they started to sound as if they were written by someone who had bought into the program. In the end, however, they came out as the cries of an angry critic — a man with an eye so jaundiced the world was yellow.
When Shaulis slept, he dreamed of beating up the warden.
Stories from Shaulis’ final phase were published this month in the spring issue of Justice Policy Journal, edited by UNLV criminal justice professor Randall Sheldon.
The stories paint a bleak picture. At times, the view peering into the prisons seems almost as bad as it must be from behind the bars — and Shaulis isn’t shy. He calls Nevada’s prison administration “morally corrupt.” He calls America’s prison system “Pri$neyland.”
Shaulis, 47, who quit the Nevada Corrections Department to teach criminal justice at the College of Southern Nevada, says it was no secret he was writing about his work. The prison administration saw his notebook, knew he had poems published, and never said a word to make him stop. He became a corrections officer only because he couldn’t make ends meet, after all. He was working as a substitute teacher for the Clark County School District, and when the jobs didn’t come fast enough, he decided to sign on with the state prison system. Once he left, he published poetry in newspapers and magazines about the job, and started a blog, Vegas Quixote, where he does more of the same: tell stories about prison.
Excerpts from these stories, as they appear in Justice Policy Journal, appear below. Privately, some prison employees have accused Shaulis of making it all up. Or at least taking liberal creative license.
He says the stories are true, though some names are changed and some characters are composites, based on what Shaulis saw and still can’t shake.
On applying to be a corrections officer:
“There was a physical agility test, an interview, a physical, and a urinalysis, but it seems that almost everybody was hired, even if they didn’t quite pass. There was no psychological testing. There was a background check, but apparently it wasn’t thorough enough for some of the criminals and sadists that were hired.”
On learning how to manage inmates:
“It seemed like we were being given two messages. The formal message was don’t use excessive force, be ‘firm, fair and consistent.’ The second message, the informal message from several staff, was that inmates are bad people, ‘scum,’ and we needed to ‘keep them in line.’ ”
“There are the planned gang assaults, hits, we rarely see, except for the aftermath. And there are acts of extortion, drug deals, assaults on staff, excessive use of force by staff, rape, mail scams, inmate demonstrations, cellmate murders and escape attempts. Seems like I’m always somewhere else when things happen.”
On staff relations:
“Collins (a corrections officer) tells us that there are cell phones on the yard, and lots of drugs, sex, and gang activity ... He jokes about putting inmates in the hole, and getting sued for doing his job. He smiles as he talks about accidentally injuring an inmate while he was restraining him.”
“An inmate may get four-pointed: systematically gang-rushed by five officers in riot gear, placed in one of the two seclusion cells, stripped naked, and held face-down in soft restraints. Some inmates appear to enjoy the drama as if it were a form of entertainment.”
“The only way to make it work, at all, is to circulate inmates. There is no choice other than to let some inmates out of lockup, even if it may cause another assault. Not surprisingly, we also have had more assaults for the last few months, about one a week.”
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And yet another perverted cop from Florida, which appears to be saturated with sex offender cops.
OCOEE — A central Florida police sergeant is free on bond after being charged with stripping, fondling and spanking a woman against her will.
Ocoee police Sgt. Thomas Maroney was released from the Orange County jail late Thursday. His alleged victim told investigators the assault happened during a party earlier in the week. The woman said she and Maroney were walking around an apartment complex pond when he asked her for oral sex, pulled down her pants, touched her genitals, pinned her across his legs and spanked her on her bare backside with his hand -- then a leather belt.
A sheriff's report says Maroney admitted he spanked the woman but said it was consensual.
The woman's attorney, Mark Lippman, disputes that, saying: "He brutalized her."
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By BILL RANKIN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 07/11/08
Wendy Whitaker's name may be on Georgia's sex offender registry, but her offense suggests she is no predator.
At age 17, while a high school sophomore, Whitaker had oral sex with a 15-year-old male classmate. In 1997, she pleaded guilty to sodomy and got five years' probation.
Whitaker, 28, has already moved twice because of the sex offender law's strict residency restrictions that say an offender cannot live within 1,000 feet of places where children congregate. But Whitaker was recently told by her sheriff she has to move again because her home is within 1,000 feet of a church.
"It's a recurrent nightmare," Whitaker said Friday. "It's like a roller coaster. One minute, I'm okay. The next, I'm not. This time, I really thought everything was going to be all right."
Whitaker is the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit filed in Atlanta that seeks to have the residency restrictions found unconstitutional. Whitaker and her husband, Michael, purchased their home in Harlem in January 2006, but her name was not put on the deed until 2007.
This is a potential problem under S.B. 1, the sex offender law passed last session to address a decision by the Georgia Supreme Court. In November, the court struck down residency restrictions that applied to homeowners, saying that making them have to abandon their homes was an "illegal taking."
S.B. 1 maintains the residency restrictions but says they cannot be enforced against offenders who bought homes before July 1, 2006.
This week, Columbia County Sheriff Clay Whittle, after finding Whitaker's name was placed on the deed in 2007, ordered her to move within 48 hours.
Whitaker said Friday she has had ownership rights to the home, even if her name was not on the deed. "We've been married eight years, and everything we have we have together," she said.
Whitaker's lawyers asked Whittle to not enforce the residency restrictions against the woman while the federal suit is pending. The sheriff agreed. The matter is now pending before U.S. District Court Judge Clarence Cooper, who is overseeing the federal case.
But on Thursday, the state Attorney General's Office filed a motion stating that if Whitaker actually has a property interest in the home, she should seek relief from being evicted in the state courts, not the federal court, the motion said.
"Assuming there is actual enforcement of an existing provision of the sex offender statute, [its] purpose...is to protect the most innocent of victims, Georgia's children," the motion added. "There is indisputable evidence that convicted sex offenders have a propensity to re-offend."
- This is a myth spread by idiotic news media and politicians. See here, here, here and here. This is the problem, these laws are passed based on false info and myths!
Whitaker's lawyer, Sarah Geraghty, said the state should let the matter rest until the federal suit is over.
"Wendy Whitaker is not now and has never been a threat to anyone," she said. "The state of Georgia has better things to do than to evict a woman from her lawfully purchased home because she had sex as a teenager."
Augusta lawyer David Hudson, who represents Whittle, said the sheriff wants direction from the courts. If Cooper denies Whitaker's request, the sheriff "will enforce the law."
As for Whitaker's case, Hudson added, "My personal opinion is it seems to be costing the state of Georgia a lot of time and effort because of a law that reaches out to place these onerous burdens on offenders who are not predators."
Here is some more insanity on how cops get away with stuff they should not get away with. This was sent in via email. You can see more here and here.
- Accused cop resigns; charges still possible
- Friday, January 19, 2001
- ... department effective today.Detective Vinten Hartung, 42, sent a resignation lett ... ent effective today.Detective Vinten Hartung, 42, sent a resignation letter to Sh ... ay, Undersheriff Richard Winget said.Hartung, who was with Metro for about 11 yea ... ves are still interviewing teenagers Hartung coached on a baseball team and their ...
- Detective won't face sex charges in relationship with 16-year-old
- Friday, January 12, 2001
- ... Vinten Hartung, 43, remains under investiga ... Hartung, 43, remains under investigation for ... 16-year-old boy.Narcotics Detective Vinten Hartung, 43, remains under investiga ... r-old boy.Narcotics Detective Vinten Hartung, 43, remains under investigation for ...
- Felony sex crime charges against detective dropped
- Thursday, January 11, 2001
- ... not prove a felony against Detective Vinten Hartung, 42, during a meeting to dis ... ve a felony against Detective Vinten Hartung, 42, during a meeting to discuss the ... or two, Deputy Chief Ray Flynn said.Hartung could not be reached for comment thi ... be reached for comment this morning.Hartung was served with a temporary restrain ...
- Officer probed in stalking of teen
- Wednesday, January 3, 2001
- ... ice officials told the Sun.Detective Vinten Hartung, 42, was ordered to stay awa ... icials told the Sun.Detective Vinten Hartung, 42, was ordered to stay away from t ... l reviewing the case to determine if Hartung will face criminal charges from the ... al charges from the relationship.Now Hartung is accused of going over to the boy' ...
- Detective allegedly had sex with teen
- Thursday, December 7, 2000
- ... told the Sun this morning.Detective Vinten Hartung, 42, has been on administrat ... he Sun this morning.Detective Vinten Hartung, 42, has been on administrative leav ... ation of the sexual activity between Hartung and the teen. Police believe Hartung ... Hartung and the teen. Police believe Hartung met the teen over an America Online ...
- Metro is reviewing recommendation after cop acquitted
- Friday, January 26, 2001
- ... mony from the case's lead detective, Vinten Hartung, who quit the department las ... om the case's lead detective, Vinten Hartung, who quit the department last week b ... y, said a subpoena wasn't issued for Hartung. He avoided saying why Hartung wasn' ... d for Hartung. He avoided saying why Hartung wasn't subpoenaed.Brown's attorney, ...
- Metro narcotics officer put on leave
- Tuesday, November 21, 2000
- ... internal affairs unit last week against Detective Vinten Hartung, 42. Lt. Tom Monahan of the sexual assaul ... l affairs unit last week against Detective Vinten Hartung, 42. Lt. Tom Monahan of the sexual assault unit i ... ill not elaborate on the nature of the allegation.Hartung was put on administrative leave with pay. ...
- Officers to be honored for outstanding service
- Thursday, April 30, 1998
- ... ith Carter, and officers Thomas Harber, James Larochelle, Leonard Lorusso, Vinten Hartung, Bret Empey, Christopher Bunn, John Turney, and Christopher Marlah ... ter, and officers Thomas Harber, James Larochelle, Leonard Lorusso, Vinten Hartung, Bret Empey, Christopher Bunn, John Turney, and Christopher Marlahan.Offic ...
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Like many have said before, those who scream the loudest, usually have something to hide themselves. See this article as well.
This may come as a shock, but a prominent anti-homosexual Republican attorney general has apparently been caught having homosexual sex intercourse with his homosexual gay male assistant. Bonus: The dude’s wife caught him, in their bed. This is the rumor that the AG’s office has officially denied, so now of course everybody is spilling the sordid details.
AG in question is Troy King, who, of course, is only interested in outlawing homosexuality and sex toys. His gay lover is either a college “buddy,” or a very young youngster and “Homecoming King” from Troy University. What are the odds of a dude named Troy King getting caught in bed with a Homecoming King from Troy University? This seems like a wacky sitcom plot, on a gay porn channel. (Is this what that Will & Grace was about?)
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These people clearly do not read the news on the Internet. These very laws are making it impossible for sex offenders to live anywhere, and I am willing to bet there will be protests no matter where they decide to put this place. Watch and see. It's a proven fact that therapy does help sex offenders. Not all, but those who want to change, it helps them tremendously, and brings down recidivism rates, which are already low, unlike what the public thinks. Lower than any other criminal, except murderers, which is obvious why.
HELENA (AP) - The Department of Corrections is moving forward with plans for a sex offender treatment facility.
The 116-bed program was authorized by the Legislature last year.
The Department of Corrections says it will being seeking bids for the program starting next month. Those submitting bids will have to find a community that is willing to accept such a facility.
The agency says it wants to expand treatment options for jailed sex offenders so they are safely returned to the community. The agency says those who are treated are far less likely to re-offend.
- Even if they get treatment, once on the outside, with the registry, fliers, and everything else, safely returning to society is not going to happen. All thanks to the media and politicians for spreading lies about recidivism rates and anything else to do with sex offenders. The registry has become an vigilante hit list. Just read all the news articles on my blog under the Death, Arson, Harassment and Vigilante labels. Why do they NOT get treatment while they are in prison? Then these facilities would not be needed, thus saving MILLIONS if not BILLIONS of dollars. Prison is a business and business is good!
The program is similar to treatment programs established for meth addicts. In both cases, contractors are responsible for building and operating the facilities.
About one out of every three inmates is in Montana State Prison due to a sexual offense.
- I do not believe this. Where is the study to prove this? Or the facts? Anybody can just come up with some numbers out of their head, but where is the info to back this up?
The agency is also seeking bids for a new prerelease center in Kalispell.
View the article here
Albany County may not have been itching to crow about its victory this week when an Albany City Court judge upheld the constitutionality of a county law banning some sex offenders from living near schools and day care centers, but County Legislator Gary Domalewicz (Contact) was.
Domalewicz, an Albany Democrat who was one of the law's authors, said he was thrilled but not surprised to see City Court Judge Rachel Kretser reject several legal challenges to the 2-year-old measure, which is also being challenged in state Supreme Court.
He said one of the reasons it took a year to get the law passed after it was introduced in 2005 was that it was created to mirror other laws that had already survived court challenges.
Part of the compromise, Domalewicz said, was a reduction by 1,000 feet of the buffer zone where sex offenders would be banned from living.
- You see how these people work? They make the buffer zone so large, 2,500 feet, because they know it will be shot down, then they can reduce it to 1,000 and they know it will then pass, thus getting what they wanted in the first place, but, if the 2,500 is passed, that is even better for them.
Keeping that buffer at 2,000 feet, he said, would have made it virtually impossible for offenders to live anywhere in Albany, rendering the law vulnerable in court.
Schenectady County passed a law with a 2,000-foot buffer, a move that inflamed suburban and rural leaders who believed the law was pushing predators into their towns. The measure loomed large in the special election last summer to fill the seat in the 105th Assembly District vacated by Democrat Paul Tonko. Then-Democratic County Legislator Ed Kosiur backed the Schenectady law and was punished for it at the polls in the Assembly race, which he lost to Republican George Amedore.
All this was not lost on Domalewicz, who observed this week: "If Schenectady had copied mine, Amedore wouldn't be an Assemblyman right now."
- All these laws are political fodder to get votes and brownie points. See below, it's election time, and they exploit sex offender issues for their own personal gain. True deception and corruption, IMO.
Gillibrand ballot line
U.S. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-Greenport, may find her efforts to win support rejected by the Independence Party.
Campaign staff and volunteers for the congresswoman collected approximately 2,300 signatures from voters enrolled with the party, but that doesn't guarantee she will see her name on the ballot.
The party's state executive committee makes that call, and it does not look like Gillibrand will like the decision.
In 2006, Gillibrand sued and lost when the party would not allow her on the ballot. The majority of the Independence chair people around the district endorsed the incumbent Republican John Sweeney.
This time around the rules are slightly different, but the picture isn't any rosier for Gillibrand. If she is not allowed on the line, she will have to gather opportunity-to- ballot signatures and enrolled Independence Party members will likely have to write in her name at the voting booth -- not the easiest way to win the line.
"The state committee will make a decision Saturday or Sunday to allow either or neither Gillibrand or (Sandy) Treadwell on the ballot," said Andrew Trombley, committee chairman in Warren County.
Trombley acknowledged "in interest of full disclosure" that he carried petitions for Treadwell.
What a mess
Inside Politics doesn't often weigh in on the affairs of school districts -- a shame, maybe, because school board elections tend to be some of the most personal and closely followed in any community.
By now you've no doubt heard about the cyclone enveloping the Guilderland School Board over the reassignment of two popular high school social studies teachers -- Matthew Nelligan and Ann-Marie McManus -- and the tizzy that has ensued.
Students are protesting, town officials with no clear connection to the spat are weighing in and talk radio has crusaded onto the scene.
Lay down your swords, take a deep breath and forget for a moment who you think is right or wrong in this mess. And make no mistake, it is a mess.
One of the most striking elements to this whole story is how completely and overwhelmingly outflanked the school board found itself, even though its members are by definition veterans of at least one successful political campaign.
To use a summer analogy, Nelligan and McManus did the equivalent of a cannon ball, creating a wave of support that crashed down on the board and new Superintendent John McGuire.
Most school districts prefer to handle just about everything quietly. No matter who is right, if Guilderland officials were wagering that Nelligan and McManus would go quietly, most would agree that was a fool's bet.
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View the video here
<--- Click the image to enlarge it.
PORTLAND -- Washington County deputies are trying to find out who is responsible for distributing fake sex offender fliers to people in a Portland neighborhood.
Deputies said the notices named a man who not only has never been listed as a sex offender, but has never committed a crime.
The fliers were distributed to homes in the Cedar Hills area of Portland.
Deputies said the notifications weren't created by a Washington County official and the information in the fliers is false. They also said criminal charges will be considered against the person or people who distributed the fliers.
The name of the victim in the case isn't being released.
The notices were distributed on the night of June 29 and the early morning of June 30. They appeared to be printed on Washington County letterhead and read:
"For the public safety and future security of residents, Washington County is notifying all neighborhoods of resident sex offenders. Hereby, a sexual predator, under the name of: [ name removed ] rents in this vicinity. (Region: [ removed ] )
The exact address will not be given due to extraneous circumstances protecting the individual's right to privacy. A press release, 7/28/2008, will be publiczed and televised notifying neighborhood offenders in all outlying areas.
For more information, contact the Washington County Community Corrections Department (WCCC) at 503-846-3400 or visit our website: www.co.washington.or.us/ or fax us at 503-846-8951."
Detectives are asking anyone with information on who distributed the flyers to call 503-846-2704.
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Officials of the Nevada Department of Corrections report that Robert Cecil was arrested by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Wednesday afternoon.
Mr. Cecil was a Correctional Officer with the Department for approximately 11 years. He has been charged with one count of preparing/advertising/distributing pornography and 10 counts of possession of child pornography.
He is currently in custody at the Clark County Detention Center pending a hearing on July 11.
A correction officer finds himself on the other side of a jail cell after being arrested Thursday for possessing and selling child pornography.
45-year-old Robert Cecil worked for the Nevada Department of Corrections for 11 years. Investigators found video tapes in his home showing sexual photos of children ranging from ages three to 15-years-old. Police do not believe that any of the children on the tape had been in his care or his custody
Cecil is expected to appear in court Monday.
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Man, his own flesh and blood. This world is definitely evil, plain and simple.
A MAN who murdered his brother because he believed he was a sex offender has been given a life sentence at the High Court in Glasgow.
- Good. Sad for the mother/father and any other family members though. Now they've lost two people.
David Thomson, 38, admitted killing 35-year-old John Thomson at the home they shared in Carstairs Junction in January.
He strangled his brother with a boot lace and stabbed him 15 times after an alleged confession to a sex offence.
Thomson was told that he would serve a minimum of 14 years for the murder.
- You see, you can kill someone in cold blood and get less than a sex offender. The law is backwards...
The court heard John Thomson had allegedly sexually abused a young girl 20 years ago.
Defense QC Neil Murray told the court that Thomson claimed his brother, who had always previously denied the allegation, confessed to him that night that he had committed the offense.
- Now you know why he denied it all this time!
The defence lawyer said Thomson, who described his brother as “his best friend” was profoundly upset by his death and “accepts what he did was totally inexcusable”.
- He killed his best friend and brother. So he should be in prison until he dies.
Judge Lord Mackay of Drumadoon told Thomson that the only possible sentence was life imprisonment.
- What about 5,000 years like some sex offenders get? Life means he will be out in no time.
He said if it had not been for his early guilty plea he would have fixed the punishment part at 17 years.
View the article here
We all know, those who scream the loudest, usually have something to hide. It is my proposal, that every American citizen get a lie detector and Penile plethysmograph done, then we will all know who the "closet" pedophiles, and perverts are. If it will save one child, it's worth it, right? Either put up or shut up, or are you afraid of what might be found out about you?
MONTPELIER — Gov. James Douglas (Contact) said Thuotday the state should consider all the options in reforming its sex offender laws, including chemical castration and reinstating the death penalty.
Douglas, a Republican up for reelection this year, said he would immediately call for a special legislative session if he believed lawmakers would seriously consider a package of possible reforms in how Vermont prosecutes and retains sex offenders.
- Well there you go. Up for re-election, so bust out the sensitive issues to help him get elected again. I think this in the Bible explains it all. Read it very carefully.
- (Click to listen) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
- For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
- Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
- Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
- Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
- For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
- Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
- Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
- But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their's also was.
- But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
- Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
- Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
- But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
- But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
- And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
- All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
- That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
But he added that he hasn't called for that special session because he believes the Vermont Legislature, which is controlled by Democrats, would not consider the reforms he wants on the table.
"If I thought that the Legislature would seriously consider a package of reforms, I would have them here tomorrow," Douglas said at a Montpelier press conference early Thursday afternoon.
Douglas suggested several options he thought should be considered, including Jessica's Law, civil commitment, strengthening the state's sex offender registry, the return of the death penalty to Vermont and chemically castrating sex offenders.
"I think all of those ideas should be on the table," Douglas said. "We need to look at all the options."
- Because I need to look good to the sheeple, so I get voted back into office again.
Douglas' statements Thursday were probably his most forceful following the death of 12-year-old Brooke Bennett, the subject of the state's first Amber Alert who was found dead in about a week after she went missing.
Her uncle, 42-year-old Michael Jacques, has been charged with her kidnapping and faces the death penalty in federal court if convicted. Jacques, a registered sex offender, allegedly tried to coerce the girl into a child sex ring.
The Vermont Department of Corrections admitted this week that a probation officer argued in favor of Jacques' early release from probation in August 2004. A representative of the department had earlier stated it did not support the early end to his probation for a 1993 conviction for kidnapping and sexually assaulting an 18-year-old female.
Corrections Commissioner Robert Hofmann said Thursday there was confusion over the department's position because it had opposed Jacques' request in March 2003. Douglas has ordered an internal review of why Jacques was allowed off probation early and to determine if further changes to the state's treatment approaches might be needed.
"We made a mistake," Hofmann said. "He obviously should not have been let off probation."
There is doubt that two of Douglas' proposals — civil commitment, which would allow the state to hold offenders after their sentence ended if they are determined to be a threat to society, and Jessica's Law, which imposes a minimum 25 year sentence for sex offenses against children — would not have affected Jacques' case.
- Why don't they get treatment in prison, not after the fact?
Hofmann said he didn't want to speculate if those two proposals would have prevented Jacques from allegedly abusing again and Douglas said Thursday the Bennett tragedy offers an "opportunity for Vermont to have a serious discussion" about sex crimes.
Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin, D-Windham, said Thursday he was surprised Douglas did not reach out to lawmakers if he desired a special legislative session.
- Well, it wasn't election time, not that it's coming near, he needs to bust these issues out to look good to the sheeple for votes. These people are so corrupted, it isn't funny!
He added that he will order the Senate Judiciary Committee to meet at least six times in the coming months to determine why Jacques was allowed off probation early, how his case would be handled differently under current law and if further reforms should be made. He said the committee will have a report on its findings by Nov. 15.
"If Jessica's Law had been in place here in Vermont, it would not have stopped Jacques from abusing his niece," Shumlin said. "We need to be asking what went wrong within the Department of Corrections."
House Speaker Gaye Symington, D-Jericho, who is challenging Douglas in the race for governor, said his assertion that lawmakers are not interested in serious reform is "another example of [him] passing the buck" for the Correction Department's support for ending Jacques' probation.
- This is why this country is falling. United we stand, divided we fall!!
"He's the Chief Executive Officer of the state and he is blaming a legislative body for a decision that his Department of Corrections made," Symington said. "That just doesn't make any sense."
Symington would not directly address Douglas' suggestions of reinstating the death penalty or allowing for chemical castration, but said if elected she would launch a "thoughtful review" of the state laws regarding sex offenders.
- More political grandstanding for the sheeple!
Vermont stopped using the death penalty in 1964 and the Legislature formally repealed the statute in 1989. Jacques may face the death penalty because he is being prosecuted by federal authorities, as his alleged planning of Bennett's kidnapping crossed state lines since it relied on telephone and Internet communication.
"Someone who is put to death instead of being put back on the street is not going to re-offend," Douglas said when asked if he thought the death penalty is a deterrent to crime.
- And neither is someone put into prison for life. Murder is murder, doesn't matter who does it, it's still murder.
At least six states have chemical castration laws for some sex offenders, with Louisiana most recently approving a law allowing judges to use it as an option in sentencing rapists. For chemical castration, offenders are given regular injections of a drug to reduce their sexual desires.
- And not all sexual crimes are about sex, but power. But, who cares what the experts think?
If Vermont puotued the death penalty or chemical castration options, it would likely face legal challenges, according to Allen Gilbert, executive director of the Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. He said both options raise serious constitutional concerns, including that both are deemed as "cruel and unusual punishment."
- Of course it will face legal challenges. It's unconstitutional, and the people who are SUPPOSE to be representing us and upholding the Constitution, are not doing so, so IMO, they all need to be fired! Can't you people see how CORRUPT the system is? Do you even care?
"I'm not surprised that people are stuck on feelings of vengeance toward a person accused of a horrible crime," Gilbert said. "But these seem to be political responses to vexing problems."
Contact Daniel Barlow at Daniel.Barlow@timesargus.com.
View the article here
BARRE — The local homeless shelter would be off-limits to convicted sex offenders under the new "child protection ordinance" being considered by the City Council, but a local housing complex that is home to more children than any other neighborhood in Barre would not.
Highgate Apartments — a 120-unit housing complex located just off Berlin Street — is on a short list of places where sex offenders would actually be permitted to live under an ordinance that will be the subject of a public hearing later this month.
That ordinance, which was first discussed by the council last week, contemplates the creation of a 1,000 foot "buffer zone" between schools — both public and private — and parks, playgrounds and other "recreation facilities" that are either owned or maintained by the city.
Although Highgate has its own playground — not to mention a children's library that caters to the reading needs of more than 120 young residents — the fact that the city doesn't own or maintain that playground means the ordinance would not prohibit sex offenders from living there.
Across the city, the Green Acres housing complex, which is owned and operated by the non-profit Barre Housing Authority, falls just within the 1,000-foot buffer zone proposed for Barre City Elementary and Middle School. However, based on maps reviewed by the council this week, nothing would preclude a sex offender from establishing a residence right next door to the 47-unit housing complex on Allen Street that is home to an estimated 100 children because its recently upgraded playground is not owned or maintained by the city.
Although the city doesn't own the so-called Bailey Field on Upper Merchant Street, city workers mow the baseball field weekly during the summer months triggering the 1,000-foot buffer zone that encompasses the surrounding residential neighborhood. Not on the list is the North Barre skating rink, which is both owned and maintained by the city.
Police Chief Tim Bombardier, who last week questioned whether Mayor Thomas Lauzon's call for a 1,500-foot buffer zone from all schools, recreational facilities and state-registered daycares would survive an almost certain legal challenge, this week endorsed the proposal that will be the subject of a July 22 public hearing.
"It does not exclude the whole city," he said, suggesting while the ordinance would place restrictions on where sex offenders could live in the future it did not rule out the entire community.
"What's left open I think is reasonable," he said, referring to the map that was presented to the council for its review Tuesday night.
According to that map, sex offenders would be prohibited from living in the heart of the city — including the entire downtown district — if the ordinance is adopted.
Central Hotel on Pearl Street would be off-limits due to its proximity to City Hall Park, as would the Good Samaritan Haven, because the homeless shelter on Seminary Street is located a few hundred feet from the Central Vermont Community Action Council's Learning Together Center at the former Brook Street School.
Sex offenders would be permitted to establish a residence on all or parts of approximately 40 streets — most of them in neighborhoods dominated by single-family homes. Highgate — a low income housing complex that was built with federal assistance in 1971 — is an exception.
Bombardier stressed that passage of the ordinance would not immediately impact any of the 45 sex offenders currently living in Barre — including the 15 whose names are now posted on an on-line sex offender registry maintained by the Vermont Criminal Information Center.
"This ordinance isn't meant to displace anybody," he said, admitting that "through attrition" the targeted buffer zones could eventually become sex offender-free.
"It may take years," he said, explaining that once a sex offender moves or reoffends, he or she would forfeit their grandfathered residency rights.
In addition to creating residency restrictions, the proposed ordinance would, with limited exceptions, make it unlawful for sex offenders "… to be present on the property of any school, recreational facility, or licensed daycare."
Sex offenders would presumably be precluded from attending the city's summer series of concerts in the park, or from visiting the Vermont Farm Show, the Barre Home Show and most other events held at the Barre Civic Center complex.
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OAKLAND -- The city of Oakland is expected to pay $2 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by 16 Asian American women who said they were pulled over for no reason by a police officer who then groped or sexually harassed them.
The city has already paid $190,000 to two other women to settle claims involving former Officer Richard Valerga, who resigned from the Police Department in 2005 and was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading no contest to false imprisonment and civil rights violations, all misdemeanors.
City Attorney John Russo recommended that the city approve the latest payout to avoid a potential loss at trial.
"I found (Valerga's) actions deplorable, particularly given the fact that here was a person who seemed to target immigrants, people who just came to this country to avoid oppression," said attorney Jim Chanin, who along with lawyer John Burris represented the plaintiffs.
City officials have said the Police Department's internal affairs division responded quickly when it learned of the allegations against Valerga. But Chanin said Valerga's sentence in the criminal case was "woefully inadequate."
The women said Valerga pulled them over in 2004 or 2005 in the Fruitvale District and near Lake Merritt and asked them to sit in the front seat of his patrol car. Valerga would then touch or sexually harass them, the suit said.
Valerga told one woman to call his cell phone from her phone so he could save her number, the suit said. He took her picture with his cell phone - after asking her to open the front of her sweater - and "told her words to the effect that she was pretty," the suit said. He let her go without a ticket when another patrol car pulled up, the suit said.
Valerga asked another woman if she was married, told her she had soft hands and asked for her phone number, all while the woman's two children were left alone in her car, the suit said.
He kissed a third plaintiff on the lips twice against her will, called her the next day and "said that he wanted to take her out for lunch," which she declined, the suit said.
The lawsuit is one of two that Oakland officials said Thursday that they were prepared to settle. In the other, the city is poised to pay $1.2 million to former police Lt. Janeith Glenn-Davis, who was denied a promotion to captain in 2001 after she became pregnant.
City officials denied discriminating and said Glenn-Davis had been the victim of a temporary freeze on promotions.
A federal jury awarded her $2 million in 2006, but U.S. District Judge Susan Illston cut the figure last year to $550,000, The settlement is a compromise that would avoid further attorney's fees, Russo said.
Glenn-Davis left the department in October 2002 to become police chief at Cal State East Bay. Her husband, Ron Davis, is East Palo Alto's police chief.
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ALEXANDRIA — An ex-diplomat convicted of having sex with teenage girls in the Congo and Brazil and taping the encounters is asking a judge for leniency, claiming that cultural differences in those countries make sex with girls more acceptable.
Gons G. Nachman, 42, pleaded guilty in April to possessing child pornography after admitting that he had sex with 14- to 17-year-old girls while serving as a consular officer in Brazil and Congo and documenting the encounters in pictures and videos.
The judge has agreed to delay Nachman's sentencing until Aug. 22 so that he can be examined by noted forensic psychologist Stanton Samenow. Defense attorney Stephen Stine said in court papers that a psychological examination might show that cultural differences led Nachman to believe that sexual contact with teenage girls was acceptable, and that should have an impact on what kind of sentence he receives.
- What? It's a moral issue, not a legal issue.
Prosecutors rejected the notion that Nachman's victims somehow deserve less protection because they were not born or raised in America.
"Children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Brazil have the same inherent value as children in the United States," prosecutor Ron Walutes wrote in court papers.
Prosecutors are asking for a 20-year prison term, the maximum he could receive under the law and much higher than the term of nine to 11 years called for under federal sentencing guidelines.
In a letter Nachman wrote from jail to the director of the Foreign Service pleading with him to intervene and get the charges dropped, Nachman explained the cultural differences as he sees them.
"In the Congo, women develop quickly, both physically and emotionally, due to the substantial responsibility society places on them from early childhood," Nachman wrote. "In Kinshasa, the vast majority of teenagers are sexually active with men that are substantially older. ... Their main concern is marrying young girls to men with financial stability, a concern dating thousands of years and cutting across cultural lines."
The case has been unusual on several fronts. It includes allegations that Nachman pressured attractive female visa applicants in Brazil for sex. Nachman admitted that he had sex with two women whom he met in the visa application process, but he denied coercing them and he was never charged in the matter.
Another odd twist is Nachman's prominence in the nudist community: In the 1990s, when attending law school at the University of Pennsylvania, Nachman led several public demonstrations advocating nudity. Nachman now contends that he was targeted for investigation in part because of his well-known affinity for the nudist lifestyle.
In his letter to the Foreign Service director, Nachman says investigators knew of his interest in nudism and illegally searched his apartment with the notion of finding images that, taken out of context, could be used against him.
Nachman says in the letter that he disclosed his activism and lifestyle to the Foreign Service and had no problems receiving a security clearance. State Department spokeswoman Nicole Thompson declined to comment directly on whether an individual's advocacy for public nudity would be a factor in the State Department's hiring process.
Nachman's prominence in the nudist community was such that, even though his activism was more than a decade ago, some nudists feel compelled to distance themselves from him.
In an upcoming issue of N Magazine, a publication of the Naturist Society, an editorial takes a strong stance against Nachman's conduct.
"The severity of what he did is unambiguous. Although his criminal actions were in no way connected with naturism, for many readers of the international news accounts, there will be guilt by association," the society wrote.
Perhaps the strangest twist in the case was Nachman's request that the judge who will sentence him conduct a marriage ceremony for him and his 21-year-old Brazilian fiancee. He wanted to be married before sentencing since he doubted that he would be able to marry once transferred to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons.
U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee rejected the request.
"There is a time and a place for everything. The Court finds that sentencing is neither the time nor the place" for a wedding, Lee wrote.