Tuesday, December 23, 2008

CA - Lt. Gov. Adviser Admits Possessing Child Porn

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A former Pentagon official from San Diego pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing child pornography.

According to court records Wade Rowland Sanders, 67, admitted that on or around May 2nd, he had a computer which he knew contained more than 600 images of minors, including a 21 minute video. In the video, several prepubescent girls were engaged in sexual conduct with an adult male and performing oral sex on one another, according to U.S. Attorney Karen P. Hewitt.

At the time of his arrest, Sanders was the Senior Advisor for Veterans and Military Affairs to Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi. "Retired Navy Captain Wade Sanders resigned on November 8, 2008 as senior advisor for military and veterans affairs after he was booked on the charge. This type of behavior will not be tolerated in this office," Beth Willon, communications director for the Lieutenant Governor said.

Sanders provided expert commentary for many media outlets, including NBC 7/39. Watch Sanders on KPBS Full Focus (Also below) discussing the militatry's role in the post Cold War era.

Sanders is a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam war. He has received several honors including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.

In a telephon interview Monday night, Sanders told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he had downloaded the files as part of his research on an article on the sexual exploitation of children in foreign countries. The article quotes Sanders as saying "I have no sexual attraction to children whatsoever."

Sanders told the paper he didn't realize federal laws barred downloading or viewing the material even by researchers.

Sentencing for Sanders is scheduled for March 30. The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supevised release and registration as a sex offender. Under a plea bargain, prosecutors have agreed to recommend a prison sentence of five to six years, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Read the U.S. Attorney's Office press release (PDF)

Skip forward to about 09:00 to see him

IN - Sex registry law not retroactive

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USA .v. Dixon and Carr | Download



A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled Monday that an enhanced federal sex offender registry law cannot be applied to those who violated the law before it took effect.

The ruling was good news for Valparaiso-based attorney Bryan Truitt and his client, Marcus Dixon, who will be released from custody four years earlier than expected.

The ruling also could have a ripple effect on as many as 1,000 similar cases across the country, Truitt said.

"This thing could have a nationwide impact," he said.

Dixon was found guilty a year ago of failing to register as a sex offender when he cut an electronic monitoring bracelet off his ankle and moved from South Carolina to Michigan City during May 2006. He was sentenced to 55 months in prison under the enhanced penalties of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, which took effect a few months after his offense.

The act requires sex offenders to keep their registration current no matter where they live and carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years, as compared to 90 days under South Carolina law and up to one year under the former federal law.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals did not go so far as to uphold Truitt's challenge to the constitutionality of the federal registry law. Truitt had argued in part that the law illegally treads on rights reserved for the states.

MI - Internet sting tactics challenged

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By Tony Tagliavia

Defendant snared in GR predator bust

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP (WOOD) - A man who prosecutors say drove from suburban Chicago to Grand Rapids Township hoping to meet with a 14-year-old girl for sex will go to trial.

But an attorney representing _____ questioned the tactics used in the sting conducted by the Michigan Attorney General's office and the volunteer group Perverted Justice.

Two West Michigan men -- _____ of Byron Center and _____ of Kentwood -- waived their preliminary examinations Monday. Their cases will go to trial in Kent County Circuit Court as well.

24 Hour News 8 captured footage of _____, of Addison, Ill., in mid-October when he arrived at the decoy home used in the sting. In court Monday, the woman who posed as 14-year-old "Jordyzbored" in a chat with a man by the screen name of "_____" testified that the man knew her age and almost immediately began discussing sex, and a visit to the 14-year-old's home for it.

"He says, 'But I'm only going to go up there if for sure I'm going to get sex," Perverted Justice volunteer Nanette Parnham told the court, reading from chat transcripts.
- Perverted-Justice has said, the number one profession they bust are teachers. And guess what, Nanette is a teacher (Sixth, Seventh & Eighth Grade Science). So I guess it takes one to know one? She also admitted in court documents, to posting atleast 13 photos of penis' in the PJ Wanker forums. Is this a teacher you'd want teaching your children?

Those logs show the man in the chat went into graphic detail about specific sex acts. But he did express concern about the decoy's age.

"I'm just a little scared that someone would find out and I'd go to prison or something like that," Parnham said, again reading from chat logs.

Investigators from the Attorney General's office testified _____ admitted he came to West Michigan to meet an underage girl for sex -- bringing condoms and marijuana with him.

_____' attorney, Mark Satawa, raised questions about how the volunteer and her group operate.

Parnham testified that Perverted Justice volunteers do not start conversations and will not bring up sex unless the target does first.

But Satawa noted that Parnham did start a second conversation with _____ two days after their first chat.

"Your intent was to give him an opportunity to talk about sex, right?" Satawa asked. Parnham later stated that was one of her motives but not the only one.
- What other motive could there be?

The attorney suggested that volunteers' actions encourage suspects to go forward with meetings. And he asked the volunteer about a sting in Texas involving Perverted Justice that ended with an accused predator committing suicide.

"Where Perverted Justice came under criticism for perhaps not releasing full information, complete copies of chat logs?" Satawa asked Parnham.

The attorney said that in his client's case, the "chain of evidence" wasn't clear. He said there was no proof that what was turned over to the Attorney General's office was a full and complete record of the chats between Parnham and _____.

Satawa also noted that the chat log printed and entered into evidence was the type of computer file that can be easily manipulated, as opposed to encrypted versions of the documents maintained by Perverted Justice.

_____' attorney also argued the charges against his client were not valid because the potential victim was not in fact a minor. Assistant Attorney General Andrea Bailey pointed to similar cases in which such charges were allowed to stand.

Judge Sara Smolenski ruled that a person's intent was the deciding factor in whether the charges were relevant. In other words, did the suspect intend to have sex with a minor?

The judge ruled that issues relating to records kept by the group and actions undertaken by the volunteers may be an issue at trial but were not an issue for Monday's preliminary examination.

CA - Child porn investigation catches California lawyer

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(CNN) -- A lawyer who served in the Clinton administration and more recently was an advisor to California's lieutenant governor pleaded guilty to a child porn charge in a San Diego federal court Monday.

Wade Rowland Sanders admitted to having 600 images of minors on his computer, including a video depicting "several prepubescent females engaged in sexual conduct with an adult male and performing oral sex on one another," according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Karen Hewitt.

FBI agents raided Sanders' home last May after they suspected his home Internet service account was used to download several pictures and a video showing underage girls having sex with adult men, according to an investigator's sworn statement.

"Sanders admitted that he had downloaded child pornography using the program Limewire but that he deleted the files once he noticed that they had been downloaded," FBI Special Agent John Caruthers said.
- Limewire is a peer-to-peer sharing program, click here.

A search of Sanders' computer found the child porn files saved on his hard drive in two "My Documents" folders, Caruthers said.

At least one of the young girls in the photos was identified and is a "known victim," the investigator said.

When Sanders, 67, is sentenced on March 30, he could get up to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine. The minimum sentence for the charge is five years with supervised release for his lifetime and registration as a sex offender, the prosecutor said.

FBI agents discovered the illegal downloads as part of a nationwide initiative called Project Safe Childhood. The multi-agency program, which began in 2006, is "designed to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse," the U.S. Attorney's statement said.

Sanders was a U.S. Navy Swift boat captain during the Vietnam War, where he earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He retiraed from the U.S. Navy as a captain.
- So?

Sanders was chosen by fellow Swift boat veteran John Kerry to introduce him at the 2004 Democratic Convention, when the senator accepted the presidential nomination.

He briefly entered the 2000 congressional race in a San Diego district, but withdrew citing lack of funding. He ran as a Democrat.

Sanders served as the senior advisor to California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi for Veterans and Military Affairs until the time of his arrest, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. He was also in the Clinton administration as a deputy assistant secretary of the Navy.

When Garamendi's office announced Sanders' appointment in July 2007, it said he was a practicing lawyer and a community activist.

"He is a member of the San Diego Police Department Senior Oversight Committee and has served on many non-profit boards," the lieutenant governor's office said.
- So?  Why are you mentioning all this?  Who cares! 

Sex Offender Interviews

I will add the other videos as they are posted online.

This is a 3 part series concerning approx. 50 interviews of different individuals showing how a nations lopsided view over the last decades has force sex offenders from jobs, homes, and without regard for anyone bankrupting a country in the name of morality putting our entire nation at risk to predatory groups of sit at home cyberspace cops with names like bunnyeyes13_69 wondering why someone might answer their string of entrapment's yet unable to ascertain what might be wrong with that legally. The threat has been disguised but as the Vail is pulled back the real monsters emerge and they are not sex offenders.

TX - States wrestle with how to fund federal sex offender law

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By DIANE JENNINGS / The Dallas Morning News

An effort to create uniform nationwide standards for how to keep track of sex offenders has stalled largely because states being asked to comply with the new federal guidelines can't or won't pay the costs.

After Texas legislators convene in January, they'll have to decide whether to comply with a new federal law that came without funding, or to stick with existing state statutes.

Chances are good the Lone Star State won't be alone if it fails to meet a July 2009 deadline; so far, not a single state has complied with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.

The 2006 law was designed to crack down on sex offenders by requiring minimum standards for public registries, including who must register, for how long, and what information is made public. The law also set penalties for failing to register.

California officials estimated compliance would cost the state more than $21 million, according to Allison Taylor, executive director of the Texas Council on Sex Offender Treatment. The as-yet-undetermined price tag for Texas could also run into the millions.

The next session is "going to be tough as nails" because of the faltering economy, said Rep. Jim McReynolds (Email), D-Lufkin. "You and I are asking the question, 'Do we have the dollars?' "

Other state estimates are lower, but the cost, much of which is technological, would be borne by local as well as state law enforcement agencies, Ms. Taylor said.

Although Texas is ahead of the game because it has already done some of the modernization required by the law for offender registration software, a lot of smaller jurisdictions, such as police departments, "do not have computer technology in place right now, so they're looking at a huge cost to come into compliance," she said.

If states don't comply, they'll lose 10 percent of some federal grant money. In Texas, not complying could cost about $700,000, while complying will cost millions more.

That may make the decision simple, said Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, long an advocate of strong sex offender laws.

"Seven hundred thousand on the one hand vs. $20 million on the other hand? It's pretty easy to resolve," she said. "Our laws are strong, and we don't need to comply."

Laura Rogers, director of the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking, which oversees implementation of the law, said some money has been used to set up the national registry and her office.

She agreed that financing is a "really large issue" but said "there is some hysteria out there, unnecessary hysteria."

"It boils down to whether you're an optimist or pessimist," she said. Some outdated or inefficient programs "could be slightly modified, in a not very expensive way, to meet the minimum standards."

The implementation cost may be the biggest obstacle, but it is far from the only one.

Guidelines for implementing the act were not finalized until July, making it difficult for states to get their new laws passed and implemented.

In addition, some states disagree with the federal provisions for registration of juvenile offenders, retroactive registration and rating offender risk levels.

Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, founded by the parents of Adam Walsh, for whom the act was named, said the law is "of historic importance" because it would bring consistency to state laws regulating sex offenders across the country.
- Yeah, historical important of eradicating peoples God given rights, human rights and civil rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

"Our frustration is that we are nowhere near the point where we thought we would be," he said. "We recognize how difficult this is for states."
- What about recognizing the unconstitutional issues?

Texas leaders are particularly concerned that the new guidelines require lifelong offender registration for certain juveniles age 14 and over.

The state experimented with mandatory registration several years ago, but at the urging of prosecutors, defense attorneys and experts, later opted to leave the decision to judges.

"I want us to go closely and carefully and thoughtfully so at the end of the day, we have the right people doing what they need to be doing and not ensnaring 14-year-olds having to register four times a year for lifetime," Mr. McReynolds said.

But Ms. Rogers said juvenile registration concerns were satisfied in the final guidelines.

Those now required to register are sex offenders in need of monitoring, she said. "We're not talking about kids who are playing doctor."
- I think you are.  Read your own guidelines.

Despite athe changes, Ms. Taylor said juvenile registration remains "a huge sticking point."

Another sticking point for Ms. Shapiro is how far back the federal law reaches in requiring registration. Texas requires registration for sex offenses dating to the 1970s. But she is troubled by the requirement that an offender who completed his sentence and then reoffends with a nonsex crime could be forced to register.
- Going back in time, is called ex post facto (retroactive) and this is forbidden in the Constitution!!!

"Texas always has had retroactivity," said Ms. Shapiro. But the idea that a crime such as writing a hot check "could cause you to go back on the registry, when it's not even a sex offense, makes no sense ... the extent that they go back just makes it untenable."
- And ex post facto doesn't make sense either.  So apparently you are OK that the Constitution means nothing anymore.

Finally, Ms. Taylor said the federal requirement that offenders be assigned a risk level based on a conviction instead of an evaluation may be a deal breaker for Texas.

In the last year or so, Texas, like many states, has moved to "dynamic risk assessments" to determine the danger to the public, she said, but "if you are basing registration on risk level to the community, you would not be in compliance."

Ms. Shapiro and Mr. McReynolds say they'll study the issue carefully.

Ms. Shapiro says she may file a bill asking for an extension to meet the deadline. The federal government has provided for two one-year extensions, meaning final compliance wouldn't be required until 2011.

Mr. McReynolds said he wants to come up with a "sane approach."

"We want to be tough on crime," he said, "but we don't want to be absurd."