Thursday, February 19, 2009

Facebook Killed the Private Life


CA - Former Rohnert Park police officer sentenced

View the article here

02/19/2009

SANTA ROSA (AP) - A former fire captain and Rohnert Park police officer accused of secretly taping teens having sex is going to jail.

A Sonoma County judge sentenced 34-year-old Matthew David Phillips to 2 years and 8 months in prison Thursday. Phillips pleaded no contest in September to six felony charges, including three counts of surreptitiously filming people engaged in sexual activity.

Phillips, a former Bennett Valley volunteer fire captain, was accused of taping teenage boys having sex with their girlfriends. Authorities say the girls were unaware they were being filmed.

The boys were in a training program Phillips coordinated for teens interested in pursuing a career in firefighting.

Phillips will have to register as a sex offender after his release.


NY - UN consultant pleads guilty in child porn case

View the article here

02/19/2009

NEW YORK - A United Nations consultant has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography found in his luggage as he was boarding a flight from New York to Bangkok.

Prosecutors said Thursday that Clarence J. Dias pleaded guilty in Queens Criminal Court to one count of possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child.

Prosecutors say the 65-year-old is expected to be sentenced next month to a conditional discharge and ordered to register as a sex offender. A message left with Dias' lawyer was not immediately returned.

Dias is the director of the International Center for Law in Development. His office is in the U.N. headquarters.

He was arrested last month at John F. Kennedy International Airport after authorities said they uncovered a DVD in his luggage containing images of sexual acts between a prepubescent boy and a man.


DISCRIMINATION BASED ON A LABEL AND NOT BASED ON ACTIONS!


Various web sites, like MySpace and Facebook, and discriminating against sex offenders, simply due to a label. Now, let's look at the definition of discrimination from Merriam-Webster:

Definition:
1) A: the act of discriminating B: the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently

2) the quality or power of finely distinguishing

3) A: the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually B: prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment (racial discrimination)

And here is what is said on Wikipedia:

Discrimination toward or against a person or group is the treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit. It is usually associated with prejudice. It can be behavior promoting a certain group (e.g. affirmative action), or it can be negative behavior directed against a certain group (e.g. redlining). The latter is the more common meaning.

And the legal definition says that discrimination is based on Race, Age, Gender, etc.  But, IMO, discrimination,  regardless of Race, Age or Gender, is still discrimination.  And sites are now discrimination against sex offenders, simply due to a label, and not on the merits of if the person is actually doing something wrong.  If an offender was actually doing something illegal, and talking with children in a sexual manner, then I would have no problem with kicking that person off the site.  This is the same discrimination that has been used against many dispised people, like Blacks, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hispanics, you name it.  DISCRIMINATION IS DISCRIMINATION!

So, based on this, and what these sites are doing, what site will be affected next?  When will it stop?  When they come for you, what will you say then?


MT - Bill would allow MT counties to vote on sex-offender placement

View the article here

02/19/2009

A bill brought before the Montana House Judiciary committee on Thursday would give counties the right to refuse taking sex offenders into prerelease centers.

House Bill 552 would give county commissions the chance to vote on whether or not to allow the placement of sexual offenders at prerelease centers in their counties.

MT State Representative Robert Mehlhoff (D-Great Falls) said that his bill adds oversight where there currently is none: "The only oversight that's being done is by an un-elected board that is arranged by the pre-release center, and I just think that we need a publicly-elected body to make sure that what Corrections is saying, they live up to."

There were no proponents at the hearing today but a few opponents spoke against the bill.

Mehlhoff said that Cascade County Sheriff David Castle could not be at the hearing but did send a letter of support.

You can read the full text of the bill right here.


NC - Facebook has removed 5,500 sex offenders since May

View the article here

Discrimination, due to a label. Just because sex offenders may be using some web site, doesn't mean they are there to hunt for children to molest. This is just typical fear-mongering, IMO.  Instead of kicking thousand of people off, who may not be doing anything wrong, why don't they create a site specifically for kids?  But, that would be too obvious, like maybe this social networking site.


02/19/2009

By MARLON A. WALKER - Associated Press Writer

RALEIGH - Facebook has removed more than 5,500 convicted sex offenders from its social networking Web site since May, Connecticut's attorney general said Thursday.
- So were they doing anything wrong?  Or are you just kicking them off (discrimination) due to a label?

Richard Blumenthal said the world's largest social networking site, which claims to have more than 175 million active members, reported to his office that 5,585 convicted sex offenders were found on the Web site and removed between May 1, 2008, and Jan. 31, 2009.

"The message in this number is Facebook has an equal stake in solving this problem of protecting children," said Blumenthal, who along with North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has led an effort remove sex offenders from the social networking Web sites.
- This is just pure BS!  So what web site is next?

"They have an equal stake in the predator problem and its solution."
- Look, sex offender and predator does not mean the same thing, so stop spreading lies.  Just because a sex offender may be using the site, like millions of others do, to keep track of family and friends, doesn't mean they are trolling for someone to molest.  That is just pure profiling, and discrimination, period!

Earlier this month, rival networking site MySpace announced it had removed 90,000 sex offenders in a two-year period.
- And how many were actually doing something wrong?  Why don't they show you those stats?  Because it would show they are fear-mongering, IMO.

Last year, the attorneys general got both sites to implement dozens of safeguards, including finding better ways to verify users' ages and putting limits on older users' ability to search the profiles of members under 18.
- So what if a parent wants to search for their own childs facebook page?  Now that can't?  Is that what this is doing?

Chris Kelly, Facebook's chief privacy officer, said the convicted sexual offenders on the site were found through user reports, working with local law enforcement agencies and using the national sex offender registry.

He said Facebook's focus on members using their real names and identities helps discourage sex offenders, and even more is being planned to prevent them from registering. Earlier this month, Facebook officials said policy dictated that no convicted sex offender be allowed to keep a Facebook page.
- Discrimination based on a label.  So what is next?  No blacks on Facebook?  Or no Jews, or some other group?

Kelly said the company has pitched a proposal to attorneys general around the country to develop a real-time system cross-checking available outlets and "block any registration from the get-go."

"Our policy has been to remove convicted sex offenders when they are reported or identified through any means," Kelly said.


TX - New laws would make life harder for registered sex offenders

View the article here

Just more people using sex offenders as their scapegoat to look like they are actually doing something.

02/19/2009

AUSTIN -- State and federal legislators have introduced new legislation that would require registered sex offenders to also register their cell phone numbers, e-mail addresses and social networking site identities.

According to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (Contact), the new legislation has been spearheaded by U.S. Senator John Cornyn (Contact) (R-TX) and U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX).

Cornyn introduced the Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today's Youth (SAFETY) Act of 2009. Smith, a former Texas legislator, sponsored companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to a release from Abbott.

The release quotes Rep. Smith as stating only 2,100 children have been identified from the more than 600,000 images that have been reported to federal law enforcement agencies.

"Federal, state and local law enforcement officials have reached a digital dead end in their battle against the online sexual exploitation of children," said Smith. "They need the assistance of Internet Service Providers to identify users and distributors of online child pornography."

Abbott said he also supports similar legislation in Texas introduced by state Sen. Florence Shapiro (Contact) (R-District 8) and Rep. Aaron Peña (D) that would update state sex offender registration laws.

"With sexual predators increasingly using new technology to prey upon children, it is critical that law enforcement stay ahead of the criminals," said Abbott.

According to the release, Senate Bill 689 and House Bill 1239, would upgrade state sex offender registration laws to reflect modern technological innovations and communications platforms. The bills would require convicted sex offenders provide their e-mail addresses, mobile telephone numbers, social networking aliases and other electronic identification information to the Department of Public Safety's sex offender registry.

If enacted, the Internet SAFETY Act would:
  • Create a new federal offense for the financial facilitation of child pornography;
  • Create a new federal offense for facilitation of child pornography or child exploitation by an Internet content hosting provider or e-mail service provider;
  • Require the U.S. Attorney General to promulgate regulations regarding the record retention of subscribers' Internet Protocol addresses or user information by Internet Service Providers;
  • Increase penalties for sexual exploitation of children;
  • Increase penalties for activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of children, and those constituting child pornography; and,
  • Provide $30 million a year over five years for the Innocent Images National Initiative.


WI - Green Bay Alder Questions Value of Sex Offender Residency Law

View the article here

02/19/2009

By Jenn Karlman

The City of Manitowoc is going back to the drawing board to look for ways to handle sex offenders living in the community.

Wednesday night, a panel of city leaders rejected a plan to limit where offenders can live.

The Department of Corrections says a residency ordinance makes it more difficult to keep track of offenders and therefore monitor their behavior.

Several local communities already restrict where sex offenders can live. Green Bay raised the bar two years ago by saying sex offenders cannot live within 2,000 feet of places kids hang out.

But authorities say the city is not any safer.

Jerry Wiezbiskie was one of two alders who opposed the law in 2007. He said he believed people like Tom Smith from the Department of Corrections who told leaders in Manitowoc Wednesday what he told leaders in Green Bay.

"They come into law enforcement to register out of good faith and say, 'I'm a sex offender, I'm moving into your community, and this is where I'm going to be living.' They're told you can't live in our community because we have a residency restriction, do you know what happens? We no longer hear from those people again," Smith told the Manitowoc committee.

And he had statistics to back it up. In Brown County, the number of offenders who go "underground" -- don't tell the DOC where they live -- doubled in a year, from 14 in 2007 to 31 in 2008.

"Tells me it's not working very well, just like I predicted," Wiezbiskie said.

Some city leaders who originally voted for the ordinance are no longer on the council, but Wiezbiskie says some who are still on the council are now second-guessing their support.

Action 2 News repeatedly tried getting a hold of those current council members but no one returned our calls.
- Nobody wants to talk to the biased media, who are wolves in sheep's clothing!

Local law enforcement wants Green Bay to reconsider the ordinance, saying monitoring sex offenders is part of their rehabilitation.

"If they can't place them into a job where they can be self-sustaining, that just means more burden on the taxpayers because we have to pay for them," Captain Dave Konrath of the Brown County Sheriff's Department said.


TN - Former officer indicted on sex charges

View the article here

And we are told to trust police?  Yeah right!

02/19/2009

By Linda Womack

A former Cleveland police officer, already facing charges related to the shooting of another officer last year, now stands charged with three counts of statutory rape, one count of especially aggravated sexual exploitation, one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to District Attorney Steve Bebb.

Former Cleveland Police officer, Dennis Hughes, 33, turned himself in at the Bradley County Jail this morning. His bond was set at $50,000. As of press time, he had not made bond.

A second former officer, Nathan Thomas, 37, is under scrutiny related to the alleged sex offenses a search warrant executed by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation indicates.

The search was conducted at the home of Thomas and on the Hughes' vehicle.

The investigation stemmed from an incident on Jan. 5 when Hughes was arrested on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a 16-year-old girl, who was reported as a runaway.

Hughes was reportedly observed leaving Thomas' home at 152 Winding Glen Drive N.W. at 12:40 a.m. with the 16-year-old girl in his vehicle.

Bradley County deputies initiated a traffic stop at the intersection of Lauderdale Highway and Mouse Creek Road. When deputies searched Hughes' vehicle, they allegedly found numerous empty and full beer bottles and prescription pill bottles. Deputies also detected both Hughes and the girl had a "strong smell of alcohol about their person."

According to the TBI's search warrant, after the girl was apprehended, she was taken to a hospital for a rape examination.

The examination was reportedly conducted at the request of her parents.

During the examination, the girl reportedly admitted that in the past she had sexual intercourse with Hughes; however, the female said there had been no sexual contact at the time of his arrest Jan. 5.

Through the search warrants, agents with the TBI confiscated a cell phone and computer from Hughes' vehicle. According to the TBI's search warrant, agents performed a forensic examination of the cell phone and "found three pictures of an underage and under-developed female in the nude."

During an interview with Cleveland Police Detective Suzanne Jackson on Jan. 12, the girl reportedly told Jackson the cell phone pictures found in Hughes' possession were allegedly taken by Hughes in a bathroom at Thomas' residence on the night of Jan. 4.

According to the TBI's search warrant, during the interview with Jackson, the girl alleged that on Jan. 4 she and a 17-year-old girl were at the Thomas home. The 16-year-old girl reportedly told Jackson she engaged in oral sex with Hughes and the 17-year-old engaged in oral sex with Thomas. The 16-year-old reportedly told Jackson she and the 17-year-old were under the influence of alcohol during the incident.

During the search warrant's execution at Thomas' home, TBI agents photographed Thomas' bathrooms to compare with the background of the nude pictures of the 16-year-old girl.

Hughes and Thomas continue to be investigated by the TBI, Hughes in connection with the shooting of a city police officer and Thomas for selling prescription painkillers.

According to reports, on Nov. 30, 2008, city police officer Chris Mason and former city police officer Jonathan Hammons, 23, -- who were on duty -- were at the home of Hughes, who was off duty, shortly before midnight.

The men were reportedly looking at a .38 caliber revolver which was possibly for sale. During the handling of the firearm the gun discharged and struck Mason in the hand, Cleveland Police Chief Wes Snyder said in a December 2008 statement.

The incident was initially reported as an accidental shooting; however, after further investigation it was determined Hammons and Hughes allegedly gave investigators false information.

Hammons was arrested Dec. 17, 2008, and was charged with aggravated perjury and filing a false report in connection to the shooting.

Hughes was arrested Dec. 18, 2008, and was charged with two counts of reckless endangerment, aggravated perjury and filing a false report in connection to the shooting.

On the night of the shooting, Nov. 30, 2008, officers found a prescription pill bottle with Thomas' name in Hughes' personal vehicle.

As a result of the shooting investigation, Hughes resigned from the Cleveland Police Department in December 2008.

Hammons and Thomas were dismissed from the department in January.

Thomas was arrested Jan. 5, in connection with a two-year investigation by the 10th Judicial Drug Task Force.

As a result of the investigation, Thomas was charged with prescription fraud, possession of Schedule II and III narcotics for resale and simple possession of a Schedule V narcotic.

According to reports, the Drug Task Force's investigation alleges Thomas was a patient of Dr. James Wallace Sego. Thomas was allegedly prescribed 6,000 oxycodones, 1,100 hydrocodones and 790 Xanax within one year's time by Sego.

Thomas is being accused of selling the prescription painkillers.

Sego practices internal medicine and pain management at Bradley Executive Plaza located at 1510 Stuart Road N.E.

Sego was also arrested Dec. 18, 2008, and charged with felony counts of illegally selling prescription painkillers and other drugs.

Agents with the 10th Judicial Drug Task Force served a search warrant for Thomas' residence on Dec. 12, 2008.

According to the inventory on the search warrant, agents found "a large cardboard box with extremely large amounts of various drugs, samples, etc. (too numerous to list individually)," weapons, syringes and cell phones.

"One white plastic snorting device (ink pen) with yellow residue" was found in the master bedroom in a decorative drawer near the top of the dresser, along with several other items, such as "one prescription box w/1 glass vial inside labeled DEPO-Testosterone."

Among the weapons were two .22-caliber Glenfield rifles, one with a serial number and one without, and a Sig Sauer P2229 .40 caliber.


FL - Former cop caught in Internet sting

View the article here

Yep, another perverted cop, and from where else? Florida!

02/19/2009

By: Lisa Freeman

Pinellas County - A former police officer from Oklahoma was arrested in Pinellas County in an Internet sex sting.

Detectives say 58-year-old James Edward Sanders thought he was going to meet an adult woman who had agreed to give him access to her two children. The children were both girls: one under the age of 12, the other under the age of 16. According to detectives, it was the suspect's intent to engage the girls in sexual activity.

The "adult woman" was actually an undercover detective assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit. The suspect first communicated with the detective via the Internet on January 7.

Detectives say Sanders moved to Pinellas County from Oklahoma to meet with the parent and two children.

Sanders is a former Oklahoma law enforcement officer. He worked for both the State of Oklahoma Park Services and Cleveland County Sheriff's Office.

He is jailed on $25,000 bond.


UK - Man jailed for attacking sex offender

View the article here

02/19/2009

A man was today jailed for seven years for a vigilante attack on a convicted sex offender in Telford. The victim was slashed with a craft knife in the attack.

John Webb, 41, was jailed after admitting unlawfully and maliciously wounding _____ with intent. Ricky Briffa, Webb’s son, was given a suspended sentence for his role in the attack.

Webb, of West Street, St Georges, slashed at Mr _____ with a craft knife during an attack at his home on June 17.

Mr _____ suffered a cut to his nose and a 30cm slash to his back and needed surgery in hospital.


NY - Albany judge says sex offender law usurps state

View the article here

So here, we have the country making federal laws on sex offenders, and the states make their own.  Now the counties are wanting their own laws.  This is just pure madness!

02/19/2009

By JORDAN CARLEO-EVANGELIST, Staff writer

ALBANY -- A City Court judge has dismissed a charge against a convicted sex offender accused of violating a county law that limits where sex offenders can live, ruling the county's law usurps state authority.

The decision this week by Judge Thomas K. Keefe runs counter to one by his colleague, Judge Rachel Kretser, last summer and would seem to deepen the legal uncertainty surrounding more than 80 similar laws that have popped up across the state.

A constitutional challenge to the Local Law No. 8 of 2006 is pending in state Supreme Court. On Jan. 22, a judge struck down a nearly identical measure in Rockland County for the same reasons as Keefe.

Keefe's decision cites the Rockland case and echoes that judge's view that the state has already made clear its intent to regulate where sex offenders can live.

The decision also refers to efforts in Colonie to evaluate whether the town should pass its own law to prevent clustering of sex offenders in motels.

Albany County's law bans Level 2 and 3 sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools and day care facilities. It was under that statute that _____ was charged last May. His attorney, assistant public defender Julianne Girard, moved to dismiss the misdemeanor on the grounds that the county law is pre-empted by state authority. Keefe agreed.

Last July, Kretser upheld the charges against four men in a similar situation to _____, finding the county law "has not been pre-empted by the New York law, either expressly or by implication."

The conflicting decisions from the same court could send mixed messages to city police.

Attorney Terence Kindlon, whose firm is suing the county pro bono, said he believes it would be "more intelligent than not to refrain from prosecuting these cases."

"I don't think the police are going to be playing judicial roulette here in an effort to convict half of the people all of the time," Kindlon said.

Detective James Miller, a spokesman for the Albany Department of Public Safety, said officers in the city will keep making arrests.

"Until told otherwise, we'll continue to enforce it," he said. He echoed the position of the district attorney's office, which will continue to prosecute "unless and until the law is changed," said spokeswoman Heather Orth.

Mary Witkowski, a county spokeswoman, declined to comment on Keefe's ruling but reiterated the county's stand that residency restrictions need to be addressed at the state level.

The residency issue is unlikely to be resolved before heading to an appeals court.


FL - Man pleads guilty to killing child molester

View the article here

02/19/2009

By Molly Moorhead, Times staff writer

DADE CITY - Luis Angel Rivera, accused of killing a convicted sex offender in Lacoochee in 2006, pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Authorities said Rivera (pictured), 26, killed 72-year-old _____ in a robbery sometime between Aug. 27 and 31, 2006, at _____'s Lacoochee home, then stole his pickup. _____ was on probation at the time for his conviction in 1989 on four counts of a lewd and lascivious act with a child under age 16 in 1980s. He was incarcerated until 1995.

He worked on cars in his yard, keeping cash and valuable parts around. Authorities said he was often the victim of thefts. He died of knife wounds and blunt trauma.

Rivera faced a first-degree murder charge. He pleaded to second-degree murder in a deal negotiated with prosecutors.


GA - Update: SB 157, Proposed Changes to Sex Offender Law

View the article here

Good news for a change!

02/19/2009

Friends,

We write today to provide you with an update on SB 157, the bill pending in the Georgia General Assembly that makes changes to Georgia’s sex offender law. The bill (which is detailed below) was discussed in the Senate Judiciary Committee today and passed unanimously. The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote. If the Senate votes in favor of the bill, it will go on to the House to be voted on there. We want to make it clear that at this time, SB 157 has not been passed by the General Assembly nor has it become law. Only if it becomes law will these changes be implemented. We will be sure to keep you posted about any new developments on the progress of this bill.

SB 157 details:

Georgia Senate Bill 157 – Revisions to Sex Offender Laws

Georgia Senate Bill 157, if passed, will fix several of the many problems with Georgia laws for sex offenders. While not eliminating all problems, the bill addresses several areas including:

Volunteering at Churches Would Be Allowed in Many Circumstances

While SB 157 retains the prohibition on being “employed” at a church, it narrows the restrictions on “volunteering” at a church to prohibit (1) helping minors as a teacher or teaching assistant or (2) volunteering with minors in an unsupervised atmosphere. The revision specifically allows volunteer activities in worship services and engaging in religious activities with persons over the age of 18. While not perfect, this provision represents progress over the existing law being challenged by SCHR.

Disabled and Elderly Persons May Be Relieved of Residency Restrictions

SB 157 permits a Superior Court to release a person from the residency requirements if the court finds that the persons does not pose a substantial risk of future sexual offenses and the sex offender resides in hospice, a skilled nursing home, residential care facility for the elderly, nursing home, is totally/permanently disabled, or is seriously physically incapacitated.

Homeless Sex Offenders Reporting Requirements

Under SB 157, homeless sex offenders may now identify the place where they sleep “by a street address or other description.” A homeless sex offender has additional reporting requirements including identifying the place where they sleep within 72 hours of release, and reporting weekly to their sheriff’s office. This change was necessitated by a successful challenge to the laws impact on homeless sex offenders last year in the Georgia Supreme Court.

Private, Unlicensed, In-Home Day Care Facilities Not Included

SB 157 eliminates private, unlicensed, in-home day care facilities from the definition of a child care facility for the purposes of the employment/residence restrictions.

Passwords Would Be Private

SB 157, still requires people on the sex offender registry to divulge e-mail addresses and user names, but allows them to keep passwords private.

Other Important Procedural Changes

SB 157 includes several procedural changes including:
  • New rules for appeals of decisions by the Sexual Offender Registration Board.
  • Sentencing changes that explore the likelihood of re-offense in determining the level of risk classification.
  • New and more-sensible limitations on sex offender registration requirements for certain offenses including kidnapping, misdemeanors, and proceedings in juvenile court.
  • Changes in reporting requirements for release and renewal.
  • Allowing sex offenders to seek an order releasing them from the registration requirements after completing their sentence (including parole and probation). The current law has a ten-year delay period after release before one may seek such an order.

All the best,
Sara, Sarah, Gerry, James and Mica

Mica Doctoroff
Southern Center for Human Rights
83 Poplar St.
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 688-1202 -phone
(404) 688-9440- fax
mdoctoroff@schr.org


PRISON IS A BUSINESS AND BUSINESS IS BOOMING! WATCH, LEARN & THINK!










TX - Justice delayed

View the article here | Video

You would think, that with the advanced technology (or so they say), that we have, and DNA was around 6 years ago, that innocent people would NOT be going to prison. I thought DNA was flawless? If it is, then why are innocent people going to jail? It's because the system is corrupt, and it's a money making business, and they have to keep the business going some how. So, innocent people must pay the price, and this is just one of the many examples out there. Once you get accused of a crime, whether you are innocent or not, then you will understand what many have said over the years. That the system is a money making machine. They use an innocent child, and on words alone, not evidence, they convict you, and put you into their system. Then, around and around you go...  Just wait, until you are in the system, then you will understand.  The longer people are in the system, the more money the system makes.  Just think about it!  You should all read the book entitled "Satan's Silence: Ritual Abuse and th emaking of an American Witch Hunt," then you will understand, they can convince a child of anything, and once that is done, they can get anyone convicted of a crime, but don't believe me, read the book.  Also, read into the "Day Care Sex Abuse Hysteria," which is another example of justice gone mad, or the "Satanic Ritual Abuse" that you are all familiar with, or the following on Moral Panics.  It's all a scam.  DA's want convictions, quickly, so they can keep money in the system, and move on to the next victim.

02/18/2009

What’s taking so long?

Finally, the man whose DNA links him to the crime for which an innocent man spent six years in prison has been identified. Last Friday, the Chronicle’s Roma Khanna reported that the Houston Police Department confirmed, along with other sources, that a registered sex offender, _____, is their primary suspect and is expected to be charged soon.

The sooner the better. It’s difficult to understand why the charge could not be expedited to at least bring some closure to _____, who was freed last December after spending six years in prison, wrongly convicted of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old boy.

It seems like just one more in a ghastly series of mistakes, oversights and omissions by which police, prosecutors and a defense attorney failed in their duty to see that justice was done. Those failings include the following:

_____ was convicted on dubious eyewitness testimony: A day after the attack, the victim’s mother took her son and his friend to where she had seen _____ riding his bike earlier and asked them if _____ was the attacker.

_____’s face had been disfigured by a shotgun blast several years earlier, but the child said nothing about the deformity after he was attacked. The boys later identified _____ as the attacker. During the trial, two jurors questioned the role of the mother in the identification. _____ was found guilty.

Physical evidence was collected at the scene and taken to the police property room, but nobody — not one of the three assistant district attorneys who handled the case before it went to trial, nor the defense attorney — ever asked that it be tested.

_____ was arrested in October 2002, but strikingly similar attacks on young boys continued in the same neighborhood. _____ sent copies of a news story to his attorney about the attacks before his trial, but his attorney declined to follow up.

Police finally “recognized a pattern” in the attacks, they told reporters in October 2003, and a few weeks later, on the strength of DNA evidence, arrested _____. He pleaded guilty to three attacks (not including the one _____ was convicted for) and is now serving a 60-year sentence.

Last year, _____ successfully appealed for DNA tests to be performed on evidence that was gathered in 2002 but never examined. (Less than two months after it was delivered to the police property room, the DNA division of HPD’s scandal-plagued crime lab was shut down.) That evidence, never acknowledged until _____ appealed, was found, still stored in the police property room. When tested, it cleared _____ of the crime and pointed to _____ as the attacker.
- So you see, they had the evidence, but did not use it, and an innocent person spent (lost) 6 years of his life, while the true criminal was out roaming the street.  So I question whether police want to solve crimes, or help them continue and progress, so they can keep the money making machine going?

_____, 51, could be eligible for about $300,000 in compensation if he gets a full pardon, according to state law. And the man who was ridiculed and taunted because of his disfigurement will undergo plastic surgery to restore his face, courtesy of Methodist Hospital and the Agris-Zindler Foundation.

Meanwhile, the police department is conducting an internal investigation, and Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos has promised to take action.

Lykos told the Chronicle on Tuesday that _____ had suffered “a gross miscarriage of justice,” and that she has ordered a “post mortem” on the case, investigating it “from alpha to omega.” She’s also looking carefully at the _____ matter. “Changes will be made,” she promised. “For sure.”
- I am tired of hearing of innocent people loosing years of their lives, and then they come back and say it was all a mistake and a "gross miscarriage of justice!"  So where are the NON-CORRUPT people who are suppose to be working in what they call a JUSTICE system?  It's because it's not about justice, it's about INJUSTICE and keeping the money machine going!

Lykos, elected last November, succeeded Chuck Rosenthal, who resigned in disgrace earlier last year. She campaigned on a pledge to restore public trust and confidence in the district attorney’s office.

No one can restore the six years that _____ lost so unjustly, but promptly charging the attacker would be a start in restoring some of that trust and confidence.
- So they could compensate the person, and prosecute those who handled the case for not investigating evidence that was available.  But, many in the legal system cannot be sued...  And you wonder why?  Again, so the machine can continue to breath!




OH - New bill would apply retroactively

View the article here

Anything done, and made retroactive, is a DIRECT VIOLATION of the US and state constitutions, period.  Why do we even have this document, if it means nothing?  Just eliminate ALL rights from everyone, and be done with it.

02/19/2009

COLUMBUS — Sex offenders would have to move from established residences that are within 1,000 feet of schools, under legislation introduced in the Ohio Senate.

Sen. Tim Schaffer (Email), a Republican from Lancaster, said his Senate Bill 42 would ensure earlier legislation related to where sex offenders live is applied retroactively, regardless of when they were convicted of their crimes.
- So I guess that "OATH OF OFFICE," to "UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION," was a lie?  Sure looks that way to me.

The state Supreme Court has ruled that the residency restriction cannot be applied retroactively, because the law was too vague, Schaffer said.
- But again, any retroactive law, period, is unconstitutional!

As a result of court decisions, “four convicted sex offenders in my hometown of Lancaster were allowed to live anywhere they chose, as they committed their offenses before the effective date [of the earlier law],” Schaffer said. “Since that case, one of the four gentlemen involved in the appeals decision has already re-offended and is in prison for another sex crime.”
- Oh my Lord, someone can live where they want to, got to stop that....  Stop the BS!  People in politics, are scum, IMO.  So, did the person re-offend within 1000 feet of a school?  And this is one person, not all offenders re-offended!  Yet you want to punish ALL offenders as if they did this crime.  HEIL HITLER!

Schaffer’s bill would state that the earlier law applied retroactively, meaning sex offenders could not remain in a residence if it is within 1,000 feet of a school.
- And where is the studies to show how many sex crimes occurred within 1000 feet of a school?  How many?  I am willing to bet, less than 1%, if even that!  Why don't we do this for all crime.  One person drove drunk and killed someone, so treat all DUI offenders as if they killed someone.  Makes just as much sense as this absurd law!


CA - Sex Offender dies in prison - Suicide suspected

View the article here

All these so called "suicides" in prison, I am wondering, are they really suicides, or murders made to look like suicides?

02/19/2009

After almost two months of investigation local police have been given a swift conclusion to the case involving a Batavia man who was indicted on 50 counts relating to child pornography Feb. 4.

_____, 42, was pronounced dead at the San Diego Central Jail at about 9:34 a.m. San Diego, Cali. time Thursday, Feb. 12. According to Bethel Police Officer Shane Bininger preliminary reports indicate that _____ jumped from the second level of a building at the jail while in protective custody, falling to his death. His death is being investigated by the San Diego Sheriff’s Office. No further information is available at this time.

The Bethel Police Department began investigating _____ on Dec. 12 after a Bethel computer repair technician came forward with the allegation that he had found disturbing images on _____’s computer. The Bethel PD along with the Batavia Police Department executed a warrant on _____’s home in Batavia on Dec. 14. The officers confiscated two computers which contained hundreds of images containing children in various states of nudity and engaging in sexual acts.

_____ was located by the Department of Veteran Affairs Police Department when he visited a VA Hospital in San Diego, Cali. He was arrested on Feb. 6 and was awaiting extradition to Ohio when he died.

Bininger said that while the case on _____ will be closed the Bethel Police will continue to work with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigations to determine if there are victims who were involved with _____.

“Unfortunately we’re not going to be able to proceed with prosecution,” Bininger said. “If we are able to determine there were any victims we will work with the agencies that currently have open investigations. Unfortunately at this point we don’t know who the victims are. We are going to continue to do everything within our power, within the power of the state of Ohio to determine who these victims are.”

Bethel worked with with numerous local agencies to analyze evidence recovered from _____’s home in Batavia including the Batavia Police Department, Miami Township Police Department, BCI, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office-Regional Electronics Computer Investigation Unit, Department of Veterans Affairs Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Images recovered from the computers were also sent to United States Postal Inspection Service and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children to investigate whether the children in the images have been involved in past investigations.

“We’re not going to leave any stone unturned,” Bininger said.


GA - After Prison, Few Places for Sex Offenders to Live

View the article here

02/19/2009

By STEPHANIE CHEN

Georgia's Rules That Keep Some Convicted Felons Far From Children Create Challenges for Compliance, Enforcement

CEDARTOWN - After two years of fitful searching, _____ and his family finally found a modest three-bedroom house in rural Georgia. The bedrooms are cramped, the kitchen plumbing leaky. There isn't a neighbor in sight.

But the lonely old house is a last refuge. Mr. _____ is one of nearly 16,000 sex offenders convicted in Georgia who, under state law, can't live or work within 1,000 feet of a church, school, day-care center, skating rink, park, swimming pool or any other place where children gather. Failing to register an address could mean 30 extra years in prison for a convicted sex offender.

The crime that placed Mr. _____, now 31 years old, in Georgia's database of sex offenders was having sex in August 1996 with his girlfriend. He was then 17, while she was 14. Both said the sex was consensual, and they later wed. But state law at the time said it was statutory rape for either an adult or a minor to have sex with someone under the age of 16. After the girl became pregnant, a family member reported the liaison to police. Mr. _____ pleaded guilty and spent three months at a prison boot camp.

He thought he paid his debt to society. But under a 2006 Georgia law, Mr. _____ and nearly every person convicted of any of dozens of crimes considered sex offenses must be listed on a publicly available database. They must keep police notified of their address at all times and can never reside or work near any banned area.

An additional requirement prohibits any convicted sex offender from volunteering at church. Mr. _____ says he skips all church activities -- including a play in which his 11-year-old daughter performed at Pleasant Valley South Baptist Church in Silver Creek, Ga. "I'd rather be able to tuck my kids into bed every night than to have to dream about them from prison," he says.

Laws cracking down on sex offenders enjoy broad public support across the U.S. All states require offenders to report to law enforcement, but Georgia's statute is considered to be among the toughest such laws in the U.S. for its living restrictions and sentences. The law has set off messy conflicts between politicians and others who argue sexual criminals should be aggressively tracked and isolated and those who say lawbreakers -- especially juveniles and nonviolent offenders -- deserve a second chance.

Among the most vocal critics of the laws are police. Some sheriffs say the crackdown on sex offenders forces them to divert substantial resources from investigating active criminals to monitoring and tracking offenders who aren't threatening. Enforcing the additional restrictions from the 2006 law cost sheriffs' offices about $5 million in 2007, says the Georgia Sheriffs' Association.

Some states also object to a recent federal law requiring states to impose strict standards for registering sex offenders, arguing it's too costly and no more effective than their own state laws.

"Oh, my God, it's overwhelming," says Capt. Ronald Applin, who works in the Fulton County sheriff's warrant-service division that tracks down anyone deemed too close to children for comfort. Monitoring more than 1,500 sex offenders in the state's most-populous county requires four deputies full time, he says.

It's not clear whether the laws have had any effect on the frequency of sexual offenses in Georgia. Only 90 of the 15,800 people listed as sex offenders are classified by law-enforcement officials as dangerous "predators," which the state defines as someone who is at risk of perpetrating a future sexual offense. The number of rapes in the state increased slightly between 2006 and 2007, but the laws haven't been in effect long enough to establish clear statistical patterns, experts say.

Law-enforcement officials say the law has forced many sex offenders to move. According to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal of records compiled by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, more than 8,400 of the sex offenders on the registry, or 68%, moved between June 2006 and November 2008 -- far higher than in previous periods. More than a hundred left the state entirely.
- So you see Jerry Keen, sex offenders are not leaving the state, like you wished, they are fighting you in court!

Still hanging over those listed on the Georgia registry is a provision approved as part of the 2006 law forbidding them from living within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop. But enforcement of that requirement was stayed by a federal judge in response to a lawsuit filed by several sex offenders. If the measure ultimately goes into effect, the vast majority of Georgia would be legally uninhabitable to anyone on the registry, according to sheriffs across the state.
- And that is what Jerry Keen wanted, and when they knocked the bus stop portion of the law down, he was ticked!

Defenders say residency restrictions are one of the few ways society can protect itself from repeat sex offenders. "Nothing is going to be 100% effective unless every single offender goes to jail," says Monica Lukisavage, a day-care operator in Stevens Point, Wis., whose daughter was abducted at age 13 by a neighbor in 1995, held in captivity for three months and repeatedly raped and beaten. "But these restrictions are a step in the right direction."
- But the laws and restrictions (I mean punishment), are not working, nor will they.  And even if you put all sex offenders in jail, more who have not committed a crime yet, or be caught, would follow.  It is a never ending story.  Regardless of what the public thinks, the Constitution guarantees all people, even convicts, who are off probation and/or parole, have rights.  And they must live somewhere, so get over it!

Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan's Law and The Crime Victims Center, based in New York, says employment and residency restrictions are necessary, because therapists and treatment organizations can't guarantee a sex offender won't re-offend. "Residency restrictions can give the community more security and safety when they know offenders are being monitored," she says.
- Well Laura does not know what she is talking about, and she has an agenda.  If these laws are knocked down, she has no company, or job.  So it's all about money.  Nothing will protect you, period.  Even if the buffer zone was 100 miles, if a person is intent on committing a crime, they will.  Laura, why don't you stick with New York laws, and stay out of Georgia's business!

More than 30 states, including California, Michigan and Ohio, already ban sex offenders from residing in certain areas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Several states have also dramatically tightened their registry requirements.
- And yet it's doing no good.  Crimes are still being committed!  This is nothing but forced exile!

Georgia first imposed residency restrictions in 2003, banning sex offenders from living near schools, day-care centers and parks. But the issue only exploded onto the public radar in February 2005, when 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford was kidnapped from her family's home in Homosassa, Fla. The girl was raped and killed by being buried alive just 150 yards from her home.
- And this is why these laws are wrong, IMO.  They are punishing all sex offenders, for the sick deeds of a couple sick people.  That is wrong!

Stirred by the Lunsford case, Georgia State Rep. Jerry Keen (Email) introduced sweeping revisions to strengthen the Georgia registry law. The changes banned offenders from working near those locations and added churches, swimming pools and school bus stops.

But soon there were signs that the newly strengthened law might have gone even further than intended. Law-enforcement officials were required to order hundreds of people to move. The requirements make no distinction between the most heinous sex offenders -- such as child rapists -- and those who had consensual sex with an underage girlfriend. More than 800 of those on the Georgia list committed their offenses before they turned 19 years old, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. Since then, exceptions have been added to Georgia's statutory-rape laws reducing the charges against minors having sex.

Generally, offender names are on the list for life or can't be removed until at least 10 years after probation. It's unclear how many of the nearly 16,000 offenders tried to have their names removed since the law went into effect, but the petitioning process is difficult. Between 2006 and 2008, 70 records were deleted from the registry based on court orders, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. In 2007, Georgia's Supreme Court ruled that the new 1,000-foot restrictions violated property rights. But state lawmakers circumvented the court's decision by allowing offenders who had long owned their property to remain in their homes.

Former Polk County Sheriff's Office Maj. Mike Sullivan says the proximity-based employment and residential restrictions create a false sense of public safety. None of the 78 offenders he was tracking before he retired committed their crimes on victims they lived or worked near, he says. Instead, he worries that the residency laws destabilize past offenders by forcing them to move or lose their jobs and that pushing sex offenders to cluster together in the few livable areas of the state could ultimately encourage illegal behavior.

At the time the 2006 law took effect, Mr. _____, then a truck driver, was busy dropping off loads at Davenport Lumber Company in Rockmart, Ga. After getting divorced from his first wife of seven years, he was raising his newborn son with his second wife, _____. The sheriff told him to stop delivering to the lumber company because its grounds bordered a church. It made no difference that Mr. _____ didn't work on Sundays, rarely was at the lumber yard and had letters from his boss begging a probation officer to let him stay, citing a clean, two-year work history. For the last two years, he has been unemployed the majority of the time, scraping by as a freelance construction worker.

"I'll do any job I can, but the law is forcing me out of the county," he says. "And there just aren't that many job opportunities out here."

It took two years of scavenging real-estate ads and dozens of nights in motel rooms for the _____ family finally to locate and rent a home that didn't violate the sex-offender statute. Mrs. _____ says she is tired of repeatedly uprooting her life to comply with the law. Now, with many acres of wide pastures surrounding the new home, she is hopeful. "This time, it's for real," she says. "We're staying."