Wednesday, January 7, 2009

IL - Aurora attorney gets 4 years for child porn

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01/07/2009

By MATT HANLEY

An Aurora bankruptcy attorney was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison for his second child pornography conviction.

However, he could serve less than a year with good behavior.

Ken Mateas, 59, of Aurora, pleaded guilty to nine counts of felony reproduction of child pornography in October.

In his first case, in 2000, felony charges were dropped when Mateas agreed to serve jail time and undergo psychiatric evaluations.

By 2003, Mateas had completed his sentence of 45 weekends in the county jail and 24 months of probation.

On Nov. 23, 2004, federal investigators seized a computer and dozens of CDs. According to prosecutors, a forensic examination revealed that Mateas had downloaded tens of thousands of images and movies depicting child pornography. Police recovered two bankers boxes filled with more than 100 folders, individually labeled with children's names.

"The Aurora police did a phenomenal job," said Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Justin Fitzsimmons. "The amount of detail that they went to on the search warrant (was a key)."

Prosecutors had asked for Mateas to be sentenced to eight years. But Mateas was sentenced to four years with credit for four days he spent in jail and 551 days he spent on home monitoring.

Prosecutors were disappointed with the sentence, especially since they presented evidence that Mateas had gone to a workout place where children were present while on home monitoring.

"He is more of a danger to society than he portrays himself to be," Fitzsimmons said.

When he is released from prison, Mateas will serve one year of probation and register for life as a sex offender. He also will have to undergo counseling. His law license was suspended previously.


WI - Village considers sex offender residency, loitering restrictions

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01/07/2009

By MARY BUCKLEY

The Thiensville Village Board will consider two ordinances that would both limit the available residences for sex offenders within the village and prohibit loitering by sex offenders in child-safe zones.

Meeting as a Committee of the Whole, the board discussed the proposals Jan. 5.

Village Attorney Michael Hebrand said the residency ordinance is similar to one adopted in Franklin. Under the ordinance, a convicted sex offender would not be allowed to live within 2,000 feet of schools, parks or other places where children congregate.

Because Thiensville is 1-square mile, the proposed residency restriction would eliminate all but 3 percent, or roughly 50 households, in the northeast corner of the village. A restriction of 1,500 feet would eliminate all but 10 percent of the village, but trustees indicated a preference for the broader restriction.

Hebrand said there would be some exceptions to the proposed ordinance.

“Minors can live anywhere,” he said.

A sex offender already living in the village would not be required to move after the adoption of the ordinance, another exception.

The loitering ordinance would prohibit sex offenders from hanging around areas where children congregate.

“We know they like to do this from past experiences with them here in the village,” Police Chief Richard Preston said.


DC - Porn industry seeks federal bailout

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01/07/2009

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Another major American industry is asking for assistance as the global financial crisis continues: Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis said Wednesday they will request that Congress allocate $5 billion for a bailout of the adult entertainment industry.

“The take here is that everyone and their mother want to be bailed out from the banks to the big three,” said Owen Moogan, spokesman for Larry Flynt. “The porn industry has been hurt by the downturn like everyone else and they are going to ask for the $5 billion. Is it the most serious thing in the world? Is it going to make the lives of Americans better if it happens? It is not for them to determine.”

Francis said in a statement that “the US government should actively support the adult industry's survival and growth, just as it feels the need to support any other industry cherished by the American people."

“We should be delivering [the request] by the end of today to our congressmen and [Secretary of the Treasury Henry] Paulson asking for this $5 billion dollar bailout,” he told CNN Wednesday.

Flynt and Francis concede the industry itself is in no financial danger — DVD sales have slipped over the past year, but Web traffic has continued to grow.

But the industry leaders said the issue is a nation in need. "People are too depressed to be sexually active," Flynt said in the statement. "This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex."

"With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind. It's time for congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly."

So far, there has been no congressional reaction to the request.


UK - Newspaper barred from printing sex offender's photo

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01/07/2009

A judge in the North has barred a newspaper from publishing photographs of a convicted sex offender.

He said publication would have disrupted his private life and he had a right to privacy.

Mr Justice Stephens ruled the Sunday Life newspaper cannot publish photographs of convicted sex offender _____, aged 40.

He was sentenced to life 10 years ago for bludgeoning Carol Jane Gouldie, 21, and sexually assaulting her as she lay dying at her Belfast home.

During a pre-release scheme, Callaghan brought the action against the newspaper group after he discovered it intended to publish photographs of him.

The judge said there was no evidence a photo would lead to a real and immediate risk to his life, but the paper's articles had been hostile and lacked balance and a photo would disrupt his home, his private life and his family.


GA - Middle School Teacher Charged With Sex Crimes

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01/07/2009

GARDEN CITY -- A school teacher in Garden City is facing sex charges following her arrest for child molestation.

Garden City Police said 28-year-old Erika Simmons was arrested Tuesday.

Garden City Police Chief David Lyons said Simmons, a paraprofessional teacher at Myers Middle School, is accused of engaging in a sexual act with a 15-year-old student in Nov. 2008.

He said both Simmons and the boy confessed to the relationship. Simmons was also charged with statutory rape and enticement of a child for indecent purposes.

She was placed in the Chatham County Jail where she awaits an arraignment hearing Wednesday.


NE - Bruning joins anti-gang push

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I wonder if all these gang issues also include the gangs running the government?

01/07/2009

LINCOLN -- Ways to reduce gang violence will get a full hearing this year in the Nebraska Legislature.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning on Tuesday joined Omaha mayoral candidates and at least one state senator in unveiling a proposal to combat gang-related crimes.

Bruning's plan would increase prison sentences for a number of gun-related offenses and create the specific crimes of "unlawful gang recruitment'' and "application of graffiti.''

"Forty-six states and the District of Columbia have some sort of gang legislation,'' Bruning said at a morning press conference. "It's time for Nebraska to do something.''

State Sen. Brad Ashford (Email) of Omaha has already unveiled a package of proposals that would lengthen prison terms for gang related crimes, as well as focus on counseling and other measures to prevent the cycle of gang violence.
- Any what kind of counseling do sex offenders get, to prevent the cycle of abuse?  Almost none!  And when they do get treatment, it's usually AFTER prison, and not while in prison, and they must pay for it.  Many cannot afford to pay for it, so what then?

At least 11 of the 44 homicides in Omaha last year were linked to gangs. Fighting gang violence and other crimes has emerged as a leading issue in the mayor's race. All three major candidates say they'll have plans.
- And how many homicides did you have committed by sex offenders?  None, I bet!  So, IMO, there are other criminals, who are more dangerous than most sex offenders, and yet they are not on a registry, why?  Maybe, like the sex offender registry, it would be used by other gang members, to find people, and kill them, thus becoming a state mandated hit-list?  Well, the same is done with sex offenders as well.

"We're going to get a chance to discuss all of these ideas,'' said State Sen. Mike Friend (Email) of Omaha, who will introduce Bruning's anti-gang package in the Legislature. "I think we'll come up with something pretty solid.''
- You say that with all laws passed, then are inundated with law suits.

The attorney general said his focus is to keep the worst offenders, who commit most of the crimes, off the streets longer.
- That is what they said about sex offenders, yet the registry doesn't tell you who is most dangerous or not, they are all lumped in and treated the same.

"This is to take the Ruckers off the street,'' Bruning said, referring to Albert Rucker, who was on probation when he shot and killed Omaha Police Officer Jason Tye Pratt in 2003.
- Why don't you investigate why people join gangs in the first place?  Work on prevention instead of just locking them up for awhile, and then letting them back out where the cycle can repeat itself, thus keeping the prison in business.

The state doesn't have the money this year for costly counseling programs, as proposed by Ashford, Bruning said.

Along with gang violence, Bruning's 2009 crime-fighting proposals include:

A child protection bill, which would make it illegal for registered sex offenders to use social-networking Internet sites. Some probation sentences already include such a ban, but this would put it in state law. Bruning posted a conversation between a State Patrol investigator posing as a 14-year-old girl and a convicted sex offender. The conversation escalated from idle conversation to "u like to do sex'' and more descriptive sex acts. "This is the kind of disgusting stuff we deal with every day,'' Bruning said.
- Ok, this is one example, but how many sex offenders use these services, and do not engage in this activity?  I am willing to bet most!  But, you pick one or two cases, like usual, to make it look like all sex offenders are doing this, which is not true.

Incorporating dating-violence education into the health curriculum for sixth through 12th grades to combat domestic violence. Rhode Island has a similar measure, which Bruning said has a broader purpose of stopping domestic violence.

"Modernizing'' state statutes concerning white-collar crimes. It would create the crime of identity theft. About 800 Nebraskans were victimized by identity theft last year, Bruning said.

The measure also would let prosecutors "aggregate'' the small financial losses of several crimes into a felony offense. This proposal addresses a problem uncovered last year when the Attorney General's Office was unable to seek harsh penalties against a northeast Nebraska gas station owner who sold lowercost ethanol as regular unleaded, which typically fetches a higher price.

©Suburban Newspapers 2009


NY - Forum's focus will be on homeless sex offender trailers

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01/07/2009

By Jessica DiNapoli

Three concerned citizens are busy organizing a forum, which will be held next Thursday, January 15, and feature an assortment of state, county and town government officials, to address what they describe as an unfair burden for those living near the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside.

The issue, they say, has to do with Suffolk County’s decision to temporarily house nearly all of its homeless sex offenders in a trailer placed on the grounds of the county jail. A second trailer, one designed to handle overflow from the first unit, is located off Old Country Road in Westhampton.

The forum itself will take place in the Riverhead High School auditorium, located on Harrison Avenue in Riverhead, and will begin at 7 p.m. The event is being organized by Michael Brewer, president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association (FRNCA), Mason Haas, a Riverhead resident, and Andrea Spilka, president of the Southampton Town Civic Coalition.

The trio is advocating the placement of more trailers for homeless sex offenders across Suffolk County, rather than the current set-up in which both trailers are in Southampton Town. Representatives from the county agency that oversees the trailer—the Department of Social Services—will attend the forum, Mr. Brewer said.

In September, a trailer that provides temporary shelter for as many as 20 homeless sex offenders at one time replaced a smaller trailer, which held around 10 offenders, at the Riverside location. The placement of the larger trailer at the site, and the county’s refusal to place additional trailers at other western locations, has upset those living in Flanders, Riverside and Riverhead Town.

The new, larger trailer brought the issue to the forefront of public awareness, Mr. Brewer said, and pushed the group to organize next week’s forum. The event will be attended by State Assemblymen Fred Thiele Jr. and Marc Alessi, as well as Suffolk County Legislators Ed Romaine and Jay Schneiderman.

The Department of Social Services has previously explained that the sex offenders who stay at the trailer overnight must sign an agreement stating they will not leave the trailer. As part of the same agreement, the offenders are transported via taxi at 7:30 a.m. each morning to their respective hometowns. County officials argue that this practice prevents the sex offenders from roaming the streets surrounding the trailer.

However, both Mr. Brewer and Mr. Haas think that the trailer serves as a “magnet” that not only attracts sex offenders to Southampton and Riverhead towns, but encourages them to stay here as well.
- If course it does.  When the very laws passed by the legislature, make it almost impossible to find a home or job, and this is about the only place they can stay, legally, then yeah, many will be coming to this place.  That is obvious!

“If they know they’re staying at the trailer, they’ll go there,” Mr. Brewer said, suggesting that many of the sex offenders staying at the trailer might opt to spend time in downtown Riverhead, which is near schools, playgrounds and a library, instead of going home.

FRNCA members and local residents staged a rally outside the Suffolk County Complex in Riverhead in 2007, following the county’s placement of the trailers in Westhampton and Riverside. However, Mr. Brewer and Mr. Haas explained that next week’s forum will be different in that they hope to establish better lines of communication with the county, and specifically with its Department of Social Services. Mr. Haas described the upcoming forum as a “work session” of sorts.

“We should share the burden,” Mr. Brewer said about the idea of placing trailers across Suffolk County. “It’s the most fair and equitable way to disburse sex offenders,” he added, noting that the county has plenty of vacant land in Yaphank to accommodate the trailers.

Ryan Horn, a spokesman for Southampton Town, confirmed this week that Town Supervisor Linda Kabot will attend the forum to discuss the actions her municipality has taken to address the situation.

“We don’t want Southampton Town to be the only repository for sex offenders, particularly if the sex offenders are not from Southampton,” Mr. Horn said.


NM - New federal laws mandate sex offender registration guidelines

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The title of this article is a flat out lie.  These are suggestions not regulations, big difference.

01/07/2009

By Julia M. Dendinger - News-Bulletin Staff Writer

With the turn of a calendar page, a new year begins. With it come new federal guidelines for the registration of convicted sex offenders in the form of the Adam Walsh Child Safety and Protection Act.

The federal act was passed in 2007, and the final guidelines were issued in 2008, Regina Chacon of the State Department of Public Safety (DPS) said. Now it's New Mexico's turn to come into compliance with the federal statute.

Compliancy with the act includes juvenile registration, retroactive registration and technology enhancements that include mapping of registrants, e-mail notifications of their locations and a link to a national database.

Chacon said during the January legislative session, which begins its 60-day session on Jan. 20., the act will be introduced to the legislature and the governor will have to sign the bill into effect.

"We have tried to come up with something that will comply with the Adam Walsh bill. We are already compliant with the requirements for our Web site and database," Chacon said. "We will have to start the juvenile and retroactive registrations."

An example of when retroactive registry would happen is if someone is convicted on a burglary charge in 2009, after the act goes into effect, and was convicted of criminal sexual penetration in the first degree in 1975. "They were not required to register then, but they would be now," Chacon said.

She went on to say that with the retroactive registration in place, registered sex offender numbers would increase as well as the research it takes to put them in the state's database.

"We do in-depth research of conviction and court documents," Chacon said. "We will not put someone on the registry until we have absolutely verified the conviction. We will have to get that information from court documents, which, with the older records, those documents are the sole source. That will probably be one of the hardest tasks."

Currently, the state will place a juvenile on the sex offender registry if they are convicted and sentenced under adult sanctions. "A 17-year-old convicted as an adult would have to register," Chacon said. "Under the Adam Walsh Act, they will be registered even if the juvenile is simply adjudicated."

Criticism and concern

Both the retroactive and juvenile registration aspects of the federal law have been criticized, and Chacon says she understands the conflicting feelings.

"You have someone who committed a sex crime 30-some years ago and hasn't been in trouble since. Is that fair, to register them now?" she asked. "But we also see studies and research that shows with the majority of predators, for every crime they are caught for, there are several others they aren't ever caught for."

In regards to juvenile registration, Chacon questions if it is fair for an 18-year-old to have to register for the rest of his or her life because of a mistake or mental illness.

"But we have seen a situation where a foster child in Texas molested his sister and brother. Nobody knew because the matter was adjudicated," Chacon said. "He then comes to New Mexico and is seeking treatment, which is admirable, but he molested again. He had been molesting children since he was 12 but the matter was always adjudicated.

"We know the bullying that can happen because of something like this, the psychological impact of registration. We are trying to come up with an alternative that will meet our needs as a state, but we have to err on the side of caution and believe in the registry."

Chacon went on to call the registration an "excellent tool" saying the purpose of the new federal legislation is to enhance the registry.

"There is the possibility that there will be ramifications from state to state that were not anticipated," she said. "It's up to us to create something that will benefit us as a state."

Three-tier system

The federal act also establishes three tiers of registration time periods - 15 years, 25 years and a lifetime. A Tier 3 crime such as aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact or the kidnapping of a minor by someone other than a parent or guardian would warrant a lifetime registration and a renewal visit to the local sheriff's department every three months.

A 15-year registration is for Tier 2 crimes such as sex trafficking, coercion and enticement or transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. A Tier 2 sex offender must renew their registration every six months.

A Tier 1 offender is anything that is less severe than a Tier 2 or 3 crime. Their registration lasts 15 years, and they must renew their information with the sheriff's department annually.

Det. Sgt. John Gordon of the Valencia County Sheriff's Department is the officer tasked with tracking and monitoring the sex offenders living in Valencia County. He is hopeful the new federal law will streamline the various state registration systems.

Gordon said, for example, if a sex offender moves to New Mexico, he or she has 10 days to notify the department of public safety. However, in Las Vegas, Nev., offenders have 72 hours to notify authorities.

"If you are convicted in Wisconsin, you have to register there even if you are living in New Mexico," Gordon said.

Chacon said DPS felt that the 10 days allowed in New Mexico was reasonable. "They have to establish a residence, make an appointment with the sheriff's department and go register," she said. "The federal act says three days, so we'll put that in and see what the final decision is."

NM registration and notification

New Mexico isn't alone in registering sex offenders. According to Chacon, federal law requires all 50 states to have a sex offender registry.

"Federal law requires the 'sending' state to notify the 'receiving' state of a move by a sex offender," Chacon said. "The state the offender was convicted in notifies New Mexico, and we notify the sheriff's department of the county the offender is moving to. In New Mexico, offenders currently have 10 days to register with the county sheriff's department.

"If they do not register within that timeframe, the department will go out and try to locate the offender."

When an offender registers with a sheriff's department, he must provide his legal name and any aliases, date of birth, Social Security number, current address, place of employment, the sex offense convicted of and the date and place of the conviction.

With little exception, that information, plus a physical description including scars and tattoos, is put into the online database the state maintains of all the registered offenders living in the state.

Chacon said Social Security numbers aren't put on the Web site, and it is up to the department as to whether the sex offender's place of employment is listed.

"We report the offender's workplace if we feel that they will come in contact with children, and there are very few places where they won't," she said. "They would literally have to be on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean. A plumber, a handyman, working at a fast-food restaurant - they probably will."

Chacon went on to say that if a sex offender is retired, unemployed or is on disability or Social Security, they don't post that because there is no need. The department does post the residential address of the registered offenders.

"We review every single registration, and the final determination is up to us," she said. "We also rely a lot on the local sheriff's department to let us know what kind of business it is the offender works at. If it isn't a recognizable name, we don't know if it's a tire shop or a pizza place."

Gordon said each time an offender renews his registration, he signs a form acknowledging the New Mexico sex offender registration and notification statute.

According to Chacon, New Mexico is unique and special in that it registers all offenses against a minor or adult.

"The act focuses on violence against children," she said. "It includes kidnapping and false imprisonment of a child by someone other than a parent or guardian."

According to the state's registration and notification act, an offender must also disclose his status as a sex offender in writing when he begins employment, begins a vocation or enrolls as a student at an institution of higher education in New Mexico to the county sheriff for the county in which the school is located and to the law enforcement entity and registrar for the institution of higher education.

Offenders must also disclose their status in writing when enrolling as a student in a private or public school in New Mexico to the county sheriff for the county in which the school is located and to the principal of the school.

The act stipulates that an offender must "disclose his status as a sex offender in writing to his employer, supervisor or other person similarly situated, when he begins employment, begins a vocation or volunteers his services, regardless of whether the sex offender receives payment or other compensation ..."

If an offender's employment or enrollment status changes, he must again notify those same people in writing of the changes.

Changing information

When an offender notifies the local sheriff's department about a change either in their residence, job or school location, Chacon said the department notifies the state.

"We update our database no later than 24 hour after they give us the information," she said. "The database automatically updates the Web site every six hours."

In order to change an offender's information, be it a new home address or change of employment, there has to be an authorized document with the changes, Chacon said.

"The sheriff's department can't just call us. There has to be written notification from the offender with their new address," she said. "There is a process in place for verification."

If the offender notifies the sheriff's department and state that they are moving out of state, Chacon says DPS gives the offender all the information about the new state's requirements.

"We then notify the new state that they are coming. We give them a couple of weeks and do a follow-up to make sure they registered," she said. "It is a fourth-degree felony to not register. If we find out they lied to us and didn't register, we have a warrant issued."

Criminal background checks

To further protect the population, Chacon said DPS could conduct a background check of a person's criminal history in New Mexico for a $10 fee.

"In New Mexico, conviction records are open records," Chacon said. "As a good place to start, we recommend checking www.nmcourts.com." The Web site gives summaries of criminal cases throughout the state.

To do a criminal background check, Chacon says DPS needs an authorization for release. "An employer asks a prospective employee to sign what is basically a waiver," she said. "DPS is the central depository for criminal records, so first we do a name comparison. If there is no record, then that's that. If there is a hit, then we run the name, date of birth and Social Security number."

Chacon goes on to say that, if there is a record, the employer can see arrests and convictions for the individual requested. "We only release the records if all the information matches," she said. "If the person believes we are wrong, we will do an identification fingerprint for verification purposes only. In the nine years I've been with DPS, I've only seen one time when it was the completely wrong person."

In the case of many non-profit groups, such as YAFL and Little League, Chacon said DPS would usually waive the fee.

The state's sex offender database is also available for people to check for free via the Internet. "Business owners should be doing that anyway," Chacon said. "They should know who are the offenders around their business especially if they have a business aimed at children."

Roberta Scott, the director of the county's Small Business Development Center at the University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus, also recommends utilizing the state's database. If you are unsure, check the state's sex offender database," she said. "It's the least you should be doing. Plus it's free and public knowledge."


TX - Federal judge indicted on additional sex charges

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01/07/2009

By JUAN A. LOZANO, Associated Press Writer

HOUSTON – U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent, the first federal jurist indicted on sex crimes, is now facing more serious charges.

Kent was set to be arraigned Wednesday, a day after a federal grand jury in Houston added three new charges to the indictment it issued in August that accuses him of making unwanted sexual advances toward his former court case manager.

The new charges — aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact and obstruction of justice — allege Kent engaged in unwanted sexual contact with a second former court employee and later lied about it to investigators.
"There is a gag order in the case which prohibits the parties from making any sort of comment with the exception of stating without elaboration what the defense is to these new charges," said Dick DeGuerin, Kent's attorney. "They are untrue and we believe the product of intense pressure and threats brought against the complainant."

In a press release, the Justice Department only gave a brief description of the additional charges against Kent.

Kent, who was released on his own recognizance after last year's indictment, is still on the bench.

Jury selection in Kent's trial on the initial charges against him was set to begin Jan. 26. It was not immediately known if the new charges would delay the trial.

If convicted, Kent faces up to life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He is the first federal judge to be indicted in the last 18 years.

Kent initially faced two counts of abusive sexual contact and one count of attempted aggravated sexual abuse following a U.S. Justice Department investigation into complaints by case manager Cathy McBroom.

McBroom accused the judge of physical sexual harassment over a four-year period starting in 2003 when he was the only U.S. District Court judge in Galveston, an island beach town 50 miles southeast of Houston.

The new charges accuse Kent on one or more occasions between January 2004 and January 2005 of attempting to force an unnamed former court employee to engage in a sexual act at the U.S. Post Office and federal courthouse in Galveston.

In addition to the two new sex charges, Kent is facing an obstruction of justice charge.

McBroom has said the alleged harassment culminated in March 2007, when the judge pulled up her blouse and bra and tried to force her to perform oral sex when they were interrupted.

The Associated Press does not normally name alleged victims of sexual abuse, but McBroom's attorney and her family have used her name in publicly discussing the case.

The judicial council suspended Kent in September 2007 for four months with pay. He was transferred to Houston last year as part of his punishment by the judicial council. McBroom was also relocated to Houston after reporting her allegations.


CA - Move Polanski case outside of Los Angeles, lawyers ask

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01/06/2009

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Attorneys for exiled film director Roman Polanski are asking that a judge outside Los Angeles be assigned to decide a motion to dismiss a 30-year-old sex offense case against him, claiming prosecutorial and judicial misconduct.

Polanski's defense team argued in a motion filed Monday that the entire Los Angeles County Superior Court system should be disqualified from the case because of statements made by the court's chief spokesman in response to its filing last month.

Polanski, 75, has lived in exile in France since fleeing the United States in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse. The Oscar-winning director admitted to having sex with a 13-year-old girl, and an arrest warrant against him remains in effect.

The motion for dismissal, filed in December, cited what the defense called "extraordinary new evidence" of "repeated, unlawful and unethical misconduct" by the Los Angeles district attorney's office and the judge in Polanski's case. The allegations are based on details that surfaced in a 2008 documentary for HBO.

The December motion also argued that Polanski should not be required to return to the United States to appear in court for the issue to be considered. The Los Angeles Times quoted court spokesman Alan Parachini the next day saying that "it's been the court's position consistently for several years that in order to pursue dismissal, or sentencing, Mr. Polanski must personally appear."

That statement and others, Polanski's attorneys contend, show the court has prejudged a central issue in their motion.

"In its filing, the DA does not dispute the serious misconduct of the court and the prosecutors, which is at the heart of our request to dismiss the case. Instead, the DA's filing seeks to avoid scrutiny of all the misdeeds by focusing on the single issue of whether or not Mr. Polanski needs to be present for a Court hearing," Chad Hummel, a Polanski lawyer, said in statement Tuesday.

"The Court, through its spokesperson, already improperly ruled on that issue weeks ago, which is why the case should be moved out of Los Angeles County. This case deserves to be reviewed by an impartial judge, who does not have a vested interest in the outcome."

According to the initial motion for dismissal, the HBO film "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired," reveals that a deputy district attorney at the time, David Wells, engaged in "unethical and unlawful" conversations with the late Judge Lawrence Rittenband.

Rittenband was "illegally influenced" by Wells and ignored the terms of Polanski's plea agreement, which required considering counsel argument before deciding on a sentence, the document says. Instead, Rittenband sentenced Polanski to prison, even though the chief prosecutor, a probation officer and the girl's family had recommended the contrary.

Polanski failed to show up for sentencing and never returned to the United States.

"I'm not surprised that he left under those circumstances," says prosecutor Roger Gunson in his interview for the documentary, which is noted in the court document.

HBO, like CNN, is owned by Time Warner.

The director, a native of Poland who resides in France, has continued to direct films in exile. He won the Academy Award for best director for the 2002 Holocaust drama "The Pianist."

His pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, was murdered by followers of Charles Manson in 1969.