Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sex for Oil? Reports Blast Interior Dept.

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Follow Up Article

Put them all on the sex offender registry! They have betrayed this country, IMO. While we all suffer due to high gas, oil and food prices, they are out partying, having sex, doing drugs, and who knows what else! They should all go to prison!

09/10/2008

Inspector General Calls Out 'Culture of Ethical Failure'

By LISA STARK, THERESA COOK, KATE BARRETT, JASON RYAN and JACK DATE

Officials charged with ensuring that American taxpayers receive their share of revenue from oil and gas companies drilling on federal lands reportedly engaged in a "culture of ethical failure," one plagued by sexual relationships with oil industry employees and improper acceptance of dinners, gifts and travel, according to a series of Interior Department inspector general reports released today.

The investigation "revealed a relatively small group of individuals wholly lacking in acceptance of or adherence to government ethical standards; management that through passive neglect, at best, or purposeful ignorance, at worst, was blind to easily discernible misconduct," Interior Department Inspector General Earl E. Devaney wrote in a letter accompanying the reports to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne.

The two-year, $5.3 million investigation targeted the department's Minerals Management Service and several of its subsidiaries and officials.
- This is $5.3 million flushed down the toilet!  If they were doing their job, this investigation would not have been needed.

There was a party atmosphere at the key Royalty in Kind (RIK) program office in Denver, investigators say.

Devaney said in his letter that the probe uncovered a "culture of substance abuse and promiscuity" in the RIK program, noting that "several staff admitted to illegal drug use as well as illicit sexual encounters."

The office, which manages the sale of commercial oil and gas commodities, averages approximately $11 million in business per day, according to the report.

Investigators also say they confirmed allegations that Gregory W. Smith, the former head of the Royalty in Kind program, "engaged in outside employment that conflicted with his RIK position, that he accepted gifts from the oil and gas industry and that he engaged in sex and drug use with subordinates."

The report notes that Smith retired before the investigation was completed and that earlier this year the Justice Department declined to prosecute him for the activities alleged by investigators.
- Got to protect the "good ole' boys!"

The Associated Press contacted Smith, who told the wire service that he had not seen the report and therefore could not comment on the allegations against him.

Another report targeted Smith's former employees for alleged conflict-of-interest activity.

Between January 2002 and July 2006, "19 RIK marketers and other RIK employees -- approximately 1/3 of the entire RIK staff -- had socialized with, and had received a wide array of gifts from, oil and gas companies with whom the employees were conducting official business," the report claims.

When investigators zeroed in on several individuals, they found that, among that group, the dollar amount of the gifts received was less than $1,000 per employee but that "the frequency of the gifts was quite disturbing," including two individuals who received gifts "on at least 135 occasions from four major oil and gas companies."

But the employees didn't display much remorse, according to investigators.

"Our investigation revealed that many RIK employees simply felt that federal government ethics standards and DOI policies were not applicable to them because of their 'unique' role," the report stated.

"The activities at the RIK office are so outlandish that this whole IG report reads like a script from a television miniseries -- and one that cannot air during family viewing time," House Natural Resources committee chairman Nick J. Rahall, D-W.V., said in a statement that accompanied the report.

"This is unheard-of conduct, it is beyond any ethical lapse of memory or conduct," Rahall told ABC News. "We always suspected a cozy relationship between RIK employees and the oil industry."
- Unheard of?  Who are you kidding?  Corruption runs rampant in this world!

Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, told ABC News that it "was almost impossible to use hyperbole in this case."

"I would have been embarrassed to have my teenagers acting this way," she said.

The department promised to take action to ensure this never happens again and insists there's no evidence taxpayers lost any oil and gas revenue as a result of the alleged wrongdoing.
- So how are they going to "ensure this never happens again?"

"We take the report seriously," Randall Luthi, director of the department's Mineral Management Service, the parent division of the programs involved in the report, said today.
- Well, if you do take it seriously, these people will be sentenced to prison for their deeds!

"We believe we've made a lot of progress. Fourteen people, I don't think, represent the culture when dealing with an agency of over 1,700 people."

"But I will say, we've lost in the public trust," Luthi said. "That's what we've got to regain."

As many as seven employees implicated in the report still work for the Department of Interior. Devaney's recommendation is to consider terminating some employees singled out in the report and for the department to consider banning them from ever working for the RIK program.

The four energy companies that allegedly plied government employees with gifts were Chevron, Shell, Hess Corp. and Gary-Williams Energy Corp., but they do not face any penalties.
- Why not?  They helped orchestrate all this! Oh yeah, got to protect the "good ole' boys" so they do not raise oil prices!

In addition to the allegations that employees cozied up to the oil industry, a Justice Department criminal investigation has been opened into the matter.

"The [Justice] Department can confirm we have received one or more referrals related to matters referenced in the Department of Interior inspector general reports publicly released today," said spokeswoman Laura Sweeney. "We are unable to comment any further on those referrals, however you will note Jimmy Mayberry, referred to in one of the reports, has pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the conflict of interest law."
- So why did she single out this one person?  She should have either shut up or named all involved!

Mayberry, former special assistant to the associate director of Minerals Revenue Management, entered his plea last month in U.S. District Court in Washington.

The charging papers against Mayberry, filed in June 2008, claimed that he and Lucy Querques Denett, his supervisor, struck an arrangement so that he could be brought back to work as an independent contractor. Devaney noted in his letter that the Justice Department declined to prosecute Denett.

According to the court papers, in January 2003, while still employed by the Interior Department, Mayberry created his own set of proposals and bid evaluation process. A month later, after he retired, Mayberry submitted a bid for an Interior Department contract.

Among the numerous bids and the four final contracts, Mayberry "was the only bidder to receive a grade of 'excellent' on all the requirements for the position and was awarded the contract in June of 2003."

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers who have long called for greater scrutiny of the Minerals Management Service were quick to react.

"This isn't about a few renegade individuals," said Sen. Ron Wyden (Contact), D-Ore. "It's about a government agency fostering a culture of disrespect for both the public's resources and trust. It's time to clean house at the Minerals Management Service."

As leaders of the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (Contact), D-N.M., and Wyden asked the inspector general to examine these issues last year.

"The improper activities detailed in this report are extremely troubling," said Bingaman, chairman of the Senate panel, in a statement today. "From my vantage point, this investigation raises very serious questions about management and organization at the Interior Department. American taxpayers deserve to have confidence that their interests are being protected when it comes to collecting royalties from the production of public oil and gas resources, especially given the potential for expanded domestic drilling."

Sen. Chuck Schumer (Contact), D-N.Y., chairman of the Senate Joint Economic Committee, said in a statement, "Unfortunately for U.S. consumers, this IG report has it all -- sex, drugs and Bush administration officials once again in cahoots with Big Oil. The Department of Justice and the Interior Department should prosecute those involved in this unseemly case to the fullest extent of the law. It is a flagrant abuse of the public trust."


IL - Former penitentiary guard gets 60 days in jail for sexual assault

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09/10/2008

MURPYSBORO — A former Marion Federal Penitentiary guard pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual assault Monday and was sentenced to 60 days in the Jackson County Jail.

Richard Nutter, 36, of Du Quoin admitted to sexually assaulting his victim from 1998 to 2003, according to Jackson County State’s Attorney Mike Wepsiec who noted the female victim was between the ages of 10 years old and 14 years old during the period of abuse. Wepsiec would not comment on the nature of the relationship between the victim and Nutter. Her identity was not disclosed.
- So why is this sexual assault and not child molestation?  It's both basically!

In accordance with the guilty plea, Nutter received 60 days incarceration in the Jackson County Jail, starting Sept. 22. He was also mandated to pay $2,500 in court costs, restitution to the victim, ordered to have no contact with the victim, and will submit a DNA sample to the state lab.

Nutter will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and was ordered to attend a sex offender counseling program.

Wepsiec said Nutter was originally charged with predatory criminal sexual assault, predatory representative of the age of the victim. That charge was later amended to aggravated criminal sexual assault to allow for the plea bargain.

Jackson County Court records show three charges under the disposition for Nutter’s sex crimes, filed in 2007.

One charge of predatory criminal sexual assault and two charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse/family are listed on his record. One of the aggravated criminal sexual assault charges and the predatory charge were dismissed by a state motion, according to online records.
- So from the statement above, like most sex crimes, this was not a stranger danger issue, but a family member!

“I think it was resolved to the satisfaction of the victim in the case,” Wepsiec said. “After a consultation with the victim, assessment of the case and assessment of the evidence, it was in everybody’s best interest for the plea to happen how it turned out.”

The state’s attorney said the family of the victim was happy with the guilty plea and subsequent sentencing because the age of the victim and nature of the abuse would have made for a difficult jury trial.

“It would have been very difficult for her to come and testify,” he said.

If Nutter had gone to jury trial, he could have received between six and thirty years for the sex offense, Wepsiec said.

“If he fails probation he still could go to prison for three to seven years,” Wepsiec said. “Just because he’s on probation doesn’t mean he has escaped prison. He has escaped prison temporarily.”
- Oh, he will screw up, mark my word on that, and will wind up in prison.  These laws set you up to fail, so he will.

Nutter’s attorney, Thomas Mansfield, couldn’t be reached for comment at a Du Quoin or Murphysboro office Wednesday afternoon.’


SC - Former Lee Co. deputy accused of sexual conduct on minor

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You will notice, they say he is already a registered sex offender, but because he is a cop, they do not post his photo.  Well, there is only one Wayne Atkinson on the SC registry, so maybe this is him?

09/10/2008

MAYESVILLE (WIS) - A former Lee County sheriff's deputy has been arrested and charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

According to SLED, 56-year-old Wayne Atkinson of Mayesville is being accused of holding a gun to a 9-year-old's head and making her perform sexual acts on him on or about July 24, 2008 to Aug. 18, 2008. Atkinson was also previously convicted as a sex offender.
- So you see, here we have a KNOWN sex offender, who happens to also be a cop, or was, and none of these laws, restrictions or registry prevented him from committing another crime, now did it?

The allegations stem from an incident that happened in a bedroom in Atkinson's home.
- So did he kidnap a child?  If it's in his own bedroom, then either he did, or this is a family member.

He's also accused of threatening the child not to tell anyone what happened.

Atkinson's girlfriend, 51-year-old Shirley Jackson is being charged with unlawful conduct toward a child. Authorities say Jackson would drive the child to Atkinson's home, placing her in his care.
- So this sounds like, either she kidnapped the child, or this is a family member, or she is baby sitting someones child.  I wonder if she will get a stiff sentence as well for putting this child in harms way?  I doubt it, she is a female, and we all know they get slapped on the wrist.


AR - Lonoke County Sheriff Proposing Additional Sex Offender Identification

Lonoke County Sheriff Department
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09/10/2008

Lonoke County Sheriff Jim Roberson is attempting to initiate a proposal concerning the immediate identification of sex offenders to assist law enforcement officers.

The proposal suggests an identification code or symbol be placed on a registered sex offender’s driver’s license. The code could consist of a letter or number or a symbol.

In the event a law enforcement officer initiates a traffic stop or is in the process of checking on a suspicious vehicle or person near a child care center or school, the officer by checking the subjects driver's license will be able to identify the subject as a registered sex offender.

Sheriff Roberson says the idea would also enable the employers of a day care center or school to identify possible job applicants.

Once a person is convicted of a sex offense, their driver’s license will be suspended until they report to drivers control to have their license coded.

If a registered sex offender fails to comply with these procedures and is stopped for a traffic violation, there should be a criminal offense for failure to comply.

Sheriff Roberson says his office is in the process of sending letters concerning the proposal to Arkansas Drivers Control, ACIC, and State Representatives.

He says while some people may see this as an infraction of their rights, every step should be taken to protect children.


FL - More lawsuits filed against billionaire Epstein

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09/10/2008

WEST PALM BEACH --Two new lawsuits are being filed against billionaire, Jeffrey Epstein, for allegations of sexual abuse against two girls approximately 13 and 16 years old.

The 13-year-old victim is believed to be the youngest of the reported victims to file a civil lawsuit against Epstein.

A Miami attorney will announce the lawsuits at a press conference in West Palm Beach Wednesday.

In June 2008, Jeffrey Epstein plead guilty to felony solicitation of prostitution and procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution. He was sentenced to jail and ordered to register as a sex offender.

According to complaints, when the victims were approximately 13 and 16 years old, respectively, they were recruited to give Epstein a massage for monetary compensation. Allegedly, they were brought to Epstein’s mansion in Palm Beach and introduced to Sarah Kellen, who led them to a room with a massage table. The victims claim they were directed by Epstein to remove their clothes and give him a massage while Epstein masturbated. The victims were allegedly paid by Epstein for the massage.
- So is Sarah Kellen being charged with anything?  She helped with all this!


MT - Federal Judges Disagree on Sex Offender Registry

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09/10/2008

BILLINGS – Two district judges in Montana have reached opposite conclusions about the constitutionality of a federal law that requires sex offenders to register with local authorities when they move to another state.

District Judge Richard Cebull in Billings ruled Friday that the Adam Walsh Act and the included Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) are constitutional. But District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula ruled in June that the act didn't pass constitutional muster.

The contradictory rulings mean the U.S. 9th Circuit Court will have to resolve the matter.

Montana U.S. Attorney Bill Mercer said that, in the meantime, his office would continue to prosecute sex offenders who fail to register in the Montana divisions where the act has been ruled constitutional, including Billings and Great Falls. No new cases will be brought in Molloy's division in western Montana, Mercer said.

Molloy's opinion came in a case against 58-year-old Bernard L. Waybright, who had been convicted of a misdemeanor sex offense in West Virginia. He didn't register as a sex offender when he traveled to Montana and was indicted for violating SORNA.

After determining that Congress exceeded its authority under the Interstate Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Molloy dismissed the charges against Waybright. That case has been appealed to the 9th Circuit.

Cebull refused to dismiss similar charges against Jesse Lee Vardaro, who was convicted in Texas nearly 20 years ago of indecency with a child younger than 17. He violated conditions of his 10-year probation in 1998 and was sentenced to state custody.

Vardaro registered with local officials when he moved to Michigan in 2004. But when he recently began work in Glendive, he didn't notify Montana authorities.

Vardaro was charged by federal indictment with failure to register as a sex offender. He had asked Cebull to dismiss the indictment, saying Congress exceeded its powers under the Commerce Clause and a conviction would violate due process of law because he wasn't notified that he was required to register. He also argued that SORNA violates states' rights by compelling them to accept federal sex offender registrations before any states have decided to implement the requirements.

Cebull's ruling against Vardaro said "the threat posed by sex offenders traveling in interstate commerce is precisely the type of peril that Congress may address utilizing the Commerce Clause."

Every state had registration laws before the Adam Walsh Act, which sought to standardize the system and make information available across state lines.


NV - Judge stops state from applying new sex offender law retroactively

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09/10/2008

A federal judge issued a permanent injunction today that bars the state of Nevada from applying its new sex offender law retroactively.

U.S. District Judge James Mahan said the law, as applied to 12 sex offenders represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, is unconstitutional.
- If it's unconstitutional for one, it's unconstitutional for ALL!

"We respect the ruling of the court, and we will review our options after we see the order," Deputy Attorney General Binu Palal said after the hearing.

The new law would change the way Nevada classifies sex offenders.

Mahan declined to rule on whether the law may be applied to those convicted of sex offenses in the future. That issue is pending in state court.


NV - Federal Judge Stops New State Sex Offender Law

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09/10/2008

A federal judge Wednesday put a stop to a new state sex offender law. The law would have reclassified sex offenders putting them in categories based on the crimes they committed.

Opponents say the new system is unfairly targeting non-dangerous offenders.

It means sex offenders who committed crimes years ago, and served their time, will not have to worry about their past resurfacing.

"It is an impossible law that they are trying to impose on people." People like Cameron Wolten. He is a registered sex offender.

"I was charged with a sex crime against an adult. I did my time -- 22 years -- and now in the state of Nevada they are trying to implement sanctions which would make it impossible to live," said Wolten.

Lawyers representing the Attorney General's office and those working with the ACLU both explained to a federal judge why the new law would work -- and why it doesn't.

The state says the new law would increase public safety.
- How? Maybe provide a "false sense" of security, but that is all it does!

Maggie McLetchie with the ACLU argued the law once again punishes sex offenders who have already served jail time. "You were throwing all kinds of people into this sex offender group -- anybody. Number of people could have qualified as sex offender under the definition. It made no sense. It would not have furthered public safety."
- And punishing someone twice for the same crime, violates double jeopardy in the constitution.

McLetchie says it would ruin hundreds of lives. "It would have put them at risk of losing their jobs, put their families at risk of violence."

Wolten says some sex offenders are considered more dangerous than others. And this is why the new law was challenged.

"Sex predators, you're mixed in the means with people that are killing and molesting children. I have an 8-year-old daughter. I don't have any issues like that. I don't want to be in that factor," said Wolten.

He says he has paid his dues and now he just wants to live his life.

"We are disappointed with the Court's ruling this morning and will be reviewing our options after receipt of the Court's written Order. We will do what is necessary to protect the citizens of our state," said Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto.
- And sex offenders are citizens also!  So do you mean you will protect only some of the citizens or all of them?

The judge made it very clear his decision Wednesday has no affect on existing laws when it comes to sexual crimes against children.


ME - Sex Offender Registration Causing Problems for Agencies

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09/10/2008

MACHIAS/BANGOR (NEWS CENTER) -- The state's online sex offender registry is filled with more than 3,700 names. Each of those offenders is required to register with the local police or sheriff's office when they move to a new community.

Local law enforcement agencies say there is a benefit to registering these offenders, but they say keeping tabs on them is taxing their departments' resources.
- Why aren't they only keeping track of the most dangerous offenders?  That would help!  Instead, they track and treat all offenders the same, which is the problem, and will not help until they see this as a fact!

Maine's Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act was signed into law in 1999. The state began requiring local departments to register offenders in 2006.

Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith has only 8 patrolmen to cover more than 3,200 square miles. Smith said the sex offender registration are cutting into the time his staff spends out on the roads. He said it usually takes about 40 hours per week.

"We collect the $25 dollars and send it to the state," Smith explained. "It's become a concern because we lack resources to begin with. This is an important part of what we do, it has to be done it's a large county, but a small community."

There are 100 registered offenders in Washington County. Maine State Police maintain the online registry, but it's up to local departments to keep track of offenders in their communities.

Smith takes that role very seriously.

"The last thing I want as Sheriff is that we failed to check on someone and they've re-offended," Smith said in an interview at his Machias office. "That is the worst case scenario."

The city of Bangor monitors more than 220 registered sex offenders who live, work and go to school in the queen city. Police Chief Ron Gastia says that's more than any municipality in the state.

"We're not getting any support from anybody for this," Gastia said. "This is entirely the responsibility of the city of Bangor, we're mandated by the state. We're responsible for finding the funding and manpower to go out and do this. It's been very much a challenge and very taxing on us."

Both Gastia and Smith say the state mandate should be accompanied by some additional funding.

State Representative Pat Blanchette (Email) (D-Bangor), a member of the criminal justice committee, say she doesn't expect that to happen.

"No!" Blanchette exclaimed. "We are not going to be able to fund municipalities for what they are doing because they are going to get some funding through the Adam Walsh Act which is a federal act."
- If you expect money from the AWA, you will be waiting a long time.  Why don't you read the news and see that other states, are NOT getting this money!

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act became law in 2006. It ranks the severity of sex offender crimes. Blanchette says the state still hasn't committed to following that legislation. And that leaves departments to foot the bill on their own.


IL - Lawmakers call attention to holes in sex offender registry

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This is not a "loophole," but something to not violate ex post facto of the Constitution.

09/10/2008

By Dave Dahl and Dara Brockmeyer

Law enforcement officials say Illinois’ sex offender registry has some holes in it. For one, offenders whose crimes happened before 1996 don’t have to sign up. That’s how a Springfield-area man was able to run a day care center despite a record of having sex with kids.
- Yeah, it's called "not violating the constitution - ex post facto, double jeopardy and due process!"

Stacy Loyd looked up her day care provider’s name on the sex offender registry and found it was not there. His conviction was before 1996, and the man, referred to as “Grandpa,” did not have to register.

Representative Raymond Poe and State Senator Larry Bomke (Email) are calling for a tightening of the rules. They want the Illinois Sex Offender Act expanded to require all sex offenders to register.


POLAND - PM Wants Child Abusers Castrated

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WOW, the ignoring of the constitution sickness is spreading around the world!

09/10/2008

Prime Minister Donald Tusk has pledged a law providing for the chemical castration of pedophiles. Such legislation, which contravenes human rights standards, exists nowhere in the civilized world, and is not allowed by the Polish constitution either.

'I know the human rights organisations will criticise me for this. But I don't think you can call these creatures "humans"', Mr Tusk said. He added that several months ago he had talked to Health Minister Ewa Kopacz about a 'preliminary draft of a law on chemical castration of, for instance, recidivist child abusers'. "I'd like to see chemical castration introduced in Poland not on demand, but as a legal punishment', he said, asked about the recent case of father who had for several years abused his daughter.

A similar idea - obligatory chemical treatment of sexual offenders - was floated in parliament in 2005, but nothing came out of it. The main obstacle to the introduction of such legislation is the fact that both Polish law and international standards prohibit the medical treatment of anyone against their will. Unless, because of a mental illness, mental disability, or, for instance, being unconscious, they cannot agree to treatment. In such a case, however, the sole purpose of treatment must be the patient's welfare, rather than that of his family or the community. The administration of castrating medicine could be considered treatment if the sexual offender were legally recognized by the court, on the basis of expert opinions, to be unable to control his own behavior, that is, insane. That would mean putting him for life in a mental institution, and the decision to administer testosterone-blocking chemicals would be made by doctors. Such a system is in place in, for instance, Scandinavia and some US states.

If chemical castration were to be considered not a medical procedure but a legal punishment, another problem arises: do we accept punishments that maim? Or at least corporal punishments, impairing the organism's normal functions? The answer is no. The Polish constitution prohibits corporal punishment.

The Constitution does allow rights and liberties to be restricted for the sake, for instance, of public safety. Only such a punishment wouldn't guarantee that safety. Chemical castration reduces sex drive, but not always significantly enough for the criminal treated to no longer represent any risk. The same applies to surgical castration, that is, removal of the testes. According to research recently published in Sweden, the risk of recidivism falls from 45 to 5 percent, but these figures have been challenged. Besides, sex therapists point out that in some cases, castrated sex offenders switch to other forms of violence. And finally, there's reportedly an antidote: steroids are said to neutralise the effect of anti-androgens.

Chemical castration is used as an experimental method in the treatment of sexual offenders in many countries, such as France, Sweden, or Italy, but usually during imprisonment and always at the offender's consent. Sometimes it is one of the conditions of parole. In the UK, regulations have recently been adopted that make it a standard procedure of criminal rehabilitation programs. While the idea of compulsory castration has surfaced in various countries over the last couple of years (in 2005, for instance, Swedish police demanded it), it has never been made into law.

A more popular method of controlling sex offenders are location-monitoring electronic bracelets. In the state of Louisiana, for instance, the court can sentence a pedophile to wear such a device for life. Another idea are online databases where everyone could check whether a convicted sex offender isn't a resident of their neighbourhood. Such databases have been legalised for the first time by the court of New Jersey. In 1998, the US Supreme Court ruled them constitutional. In the UK or France, the government keeps records of sexual offenders, but only law enforcement agencies and prosecutors have access to them. In 2000 and 2001 the British tabloid News of the World published a 'list of shame', containing the names, photographs and believed whereabouts of 49 convicted sex offenders. Two persons from the list consequently committed suicide. A similar campaign was carried out by the Italian newspaper Libero.


UK - Adults who work with children 'guilty until proven innocent'

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Yep, it's coming.  One day, we will all be tracked!  Now everyone is a suspected pedophile!

09/10/2008

All adults who work or volunteer with children must have abuse allegations made against them investigated by council officers and kept on file until they retire, even if they are totally groundless.

Local authorities around the country are setting up databases to hold records of accusations made about anyone from teachers and doctors to Scout leaders and private tutors.

They are employing staff just to look into the claims - which can be made anonymously - who are required to contact police, social services or the adult's employer and then keep track of the case.

Details of the allegation will be kept on the accused's personnel file until they retire so they can be seen by potential employers, and in a reversal of the basic tenet of English law they will only be deemed innocent if they can prove it.

The system was introduced in the wake of the Soham murders to make sure authorities keep track of anyone suspected of child abuse.

But critics claim it gives too much power to unaccountable council officers, creates extra red tape for bosses and will lead to innocent professionals having their careers blighted by malicious allegations.

They also warn it will drive people - particularly men - out of working with children for fear of being labelled a paedophile. Already just 2 per cent of teachers of the youngest primary school pupils are male.

It comes on top of the new vetting system being implemented for everyone who works with under-16s, the Independent Safeguarding Authority, which will lead to 11.3 million adults having their backgrounds checked.

Professor Frank Furedi, a sociologist at the University of Kent, said: "Those who are accused may become the lifetime victims of these allegations."

"It then creates an incentive to make those sorts of accusations by people who know it can affect someone's career."

"This will play into the hands of those who believe there is no smoke without fire."

John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, added: "There's got to be a balance between child safety and the duty to look after employees.

"There are certainly a disturbing number of allegations which have to be dealt with, and they are very difficult things for headteachers to look at."

Councils, police and employers have long held files on allegations made against employees.

But the investigation into the killings of schoolgirls Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells by Ian Huntley in 2002 uncovered flaws in how the information was being used.

He had been suspected of carrying out a string of sex offences but was allowed to work as a school caretaker, befriending the girls he went on to murder, because police and council bodies had neither kept nor shared relevant information on him.

Following the Bichard inquiry into the murders - which called for the creation of the new nationwide vetting body - the Government published guidance which told local authorities to do more to investigate allegations of harm of children.

Since then they have been recruiting Local Authority Designated Officers whose job it is to record and monitor allegations of abuse.

They must investigate any claim that an adult who works with children - whether self-employed, business staff, volunteers or public sector employees - may have harmed a child or committed a crime against them.

The LADOs have to tell the employee's manager about the allegation, as well as the complainant's parents, and decide if police or social services should get involved.

They track the claim to ensure it is resolved, and record whether it has led to disciplinary action, dismissal or a criminal prosecution.

Councils are told to keep a "comprehensive" summary of the allegations, which should be given to the accused as well as "kept in a person's confidential personnel file... at least until the person reaches normal retirement age".

Possible outcomes to the claim consist of substantiated, unsubstantiated, unfounded or malicious.

But the definitions make it difficult for an employee to remove all suspicion.

The guidance states that unsubstantiated "does not imply guilt or innocence", just a lack of evidence, while for a claim to be classified unfounded or malicious the council must have "evidence" to disprove the allegation.

The guidance adds: "The purpose of the record is to enable accurate information to be given in response to any future request for a reference."

Hertfordshire County Council, one of the first authorities to create a computerised Allegation Management System, is to hold an open day for nine other councils.

Its two LADOs are dealing with "tens" of allegations every month. They can be triggered simply by an anonymous call to a call centre, as well as by a complaint to an employer or police.

A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said: "It is quite right that records of all allegations are kept on file for an appropriate time.

"This saves the need for unnecessary reinvestigations, and provides concrete evidence relating to an allegation rather than rumour or hearsay.

"If similar allegations arise in the future it might be possible to make the case that a pattern of behaviour is emerging, and that action might then be taken."


UK - Park attendants ordered to interrogate adults spotted without children

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WTF?  Now, anyone in a park without children are suspected pedophiles.  I'm sure that will anger a lot of people!  Notice they say it's a "common sense" approach?  Doesn't sound like that to me...  People have totally lost their friggin' minds!

09/10/2008

Park wardens have been ordered to stop and interrogate anyone who is not accompanied by children.

The visitors who are quizzed have to explain their presence and risk being thrown out or reported to police if their answers are not satisfactory.

The policy has been introduced at Telford Town Park in Shropshire. The council which manages the 420-acre area says it is a 'commonsense approach' aimed at safeguarding children.

But park users accused it of 'authoritarian madness' and said the ruling risked panicking parents about the dangers faced from potential pedophiles.

The policy came to light after two environmental campaigners dressed as penguins were thrown out of the park last month when caught handing out leaflets on climate change.
- This is the reason for this madness?  Give me a break!

Telford and Wrekin Council said Rachel Whittaker and Neil Donaldson were ejected because they had not undergone Criminal Records Bureau checks or risk assessments before entering the park - a requirement under the Child Protection Act.
- Criminal record check for going to a park?  What is next?  Criminal record check to by food, gas or go to McDonalds?

David Ottley, recreation manager at the Tory-run council, said in a letter to a member of the public over that issue: 'Our town park staff approach adults that are not associated with any children in the park and request the reason for them being there.
- None of your business!  I am there because it's a public park!  Go screw yourself!

'In particular, this applies to those areas where children or more vulnerable groups gather.'

Miss Whittaker, 34, from Wellington, near Telford, said the policy carried a 'dangerous implication that if you have a child with you than everything is OK and you won't be questioned'.
- I agree, so if a true pedophile is in the park, and has a child with them, guess they will be ok?

Former childcare social worker John Evans said: 'It is authoritarian madness which can only be based on ignorance. It is absurd, it is insulting and it is dangerous as it panics people about the dangers their children face.'

A council spokesman insisted that only those 'acting suspiciously' would be stopped and questioned.


OR - Ex-Salem cop faces new charge

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09/10/2008

SALEM (AP) - Marion County authorities say a former police officer convicted of sex abuse has violated his probation by failing to re-register as a sex offender.

Former Salem officer Sterling Alexander served 71 days at the Marion County Work Center after his October conviction and then registered as a sex offender with Oregon State Police.

State law requires offenders to re-register every birthday to help officials keep track of them. Alexander turned 41 in July.

A hearing on the charges has been set for Sept. 23. Defense attorney Kevin Lafky says county probation deputies didn't notify his client of the requirement.

A jury convicted Alexander of sexually abusing a 17-year-old girl he met on duty and receiving oral sex from a city employee during a ride-along.


CO - Council may try to restrict where sex offenders can live

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09/10/2008

Greeley City Council is considering prohibiting sex offenders from living near schools.

Only three other communities in Colorado have similar laws keeping the worst sex offenders away from schools and parks.

Those communities are Northglenn, Englewood and Greenwood Village. All the laws were controversial when they were passed, said Greeley City Attorney Rick Brady.

Though the laws haven't been really challenged in court, Brady said there are constitutional concerns with the law that could be challenged in court. Moreover, Brady said any law likely couldn't apply to sex offenders who already live here.

Greeley has 247 registered sex offenders living in the city, 50 of whom moved in this year alone.

What's unclear at this point is exactly where sex offenders would be able to live if a law were passed. During discussion at a Greeley City Council work session Tuesday night, council members expressed desire to restrict only the worst sex offenders -- those who committed felonies -- from living up to 1,000 feet near public or private schools.

Many councilmembers said that whatever they decide, Greeley has to do more to protect residents from sex offenders.

"I'm not convinced we're doing enough," said Councilman Ed Phillipsen.

The councilmembers agreed to continue the discussion and eventually look at a law aimed at the residency restriction.

Councilman Charles Archibeque said that he was interested in continuing the discussion but that Greeley may never get rid of the sex offenders it has.

"They're going to remain there regardless of what you do," he said.

Others said they're committed to ridding the city of the sex offenders.

"We have too many sex offenders in Greeley," said Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner. "I'm for making it more difficult for sex offenders to live in Greeley."

What's next?

The Greeley City Council will collect more data on the proposed sex offender residency restriction at a work session in a month.


GA - Protecting our children from the internet

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09/09/2008

SAVANNAH (WTOC) - The internet, most of us log on just about every day; the World Wide Web continues to grow with more and more information out there. As adults it seems harmless, it's not so harmless when it comes to children.

U.S. Attorney Edmund Booth Jr. said, "71 percent of children who use the internet encounter child pornography and of those 71 percent, 76 percent are ages 13 to 15 and there are some other alarming statistics."
- I find this hard to believe.  Just because he says something doesn't mean it is true.  Where is the study to prove what he says?

Such as, one out of every seven children receives sexual solicitation online; statistics that aren't sitting well with parents.
- I've heard this many times, but they never say if it's from other peers or adults.  Why is that?  Other studies I have seen, says it's mostly peers who are contacting other peers.  But they leave you to ASSUME it is other perverted adults.  Why is that?  Fear maybe?  Check out this, this, this, this and this article for starters.  I did find these publications from Dr. David Finkelhor, but it's only from one person. There is also this study from him and more experts.

Maria Edwards of Richmond Hill said, "I have three girls and it's just a very scary place."

"My son has access to the internet, MySpace all these other pages so it's a big concern," said Douglas Simmons.

Lisa Messing of Savannah agrees, "I want to make sure they're safe because there are a lot of crazy people out there."

That's why all these parents and their children came out Tuesday night to the Back to School Internet Safety Event, to learn from the experts what they need to know and what they need to warn their children about: like being careful what information they give out.

"They can put all the pieces together then find out where you are or where you live," said Messing.

And how parents need to know their children's passwords and frequent their web pages; like Douglas Simmons does with his son Deodric.

Deodric Simmons admits, "I want my privacy but at the same time I want to be protected."

Many of the stories told caught some off guard, but really put into perspective how dangerous the internet can be; which is exactly what Crimestoppers and the U.S. District Attorney's office was hoping for.

"If we save one kid from becoming a victim of a sexual predator, a cyber predator, then this entire environment is worth every penny we put into it," said Demery Bishop with Crimestoppers.

Educating the public, so this crime can be prevented before it ever even occurs.


CA - Psychiatrists and psychologists well paid because of Jessica's Law

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So now I know why so many say nothing about the harsh laws, money and greed! Video is available at the site, and below.

09/09/2008

Tougher sex offender laws have turned into a major payday for psychologists and psychiatrists in the state. Documents uncovered by the LA Times reveal the state is paying some medical professionals close to a million dollars or more to perform sex offender evaluations. A Bakersfield psychologist is among the state's highest paid.

A few months ago, 17 News reported on how local sex offenders are evaluated and put into therapy programs in Bakersfield. Now we learn how profitable it has come for many private psychiatrists and pyschologists.

The state's highest paid evaluator made close to $1.2 million last year in payments from the state. The Times reports that Bakersfield Psychologist, Michael Musacco also made the top ten list at more than $800,000.

Musacco works out of an office on California Ave. He says the state is scaling back. This year, he did only a fraction of the sex offender evaluations.

It all goes back to Jessica's Law, which voters passed in 2006. The law required thousands of additional sex offenders be evaluated for potential hospitalization after being released from prison.

The state mental health department calls this a crisis, saying it went from fifty sex offenders needing to be evaluated each month to 750.

"Certainly, I think more money was spent last year than was necessary because of the Jessica's law thing," said Musacco. He added that Jessica's Law uses resources that could go elsewhere, like treatment.

Other therapists say the law lumps offenders together regardless of the severity of their crime and places unproven restrictions on where offenders can live. "If you are going to make laws, make them for something that works, not fear," said Sex Offender Therapist Carol Atkinson in an April 7 interview.