Friday, February 27, 2009

IN - Sex offender claims rights violated - Sex offender objects to possible school policy

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Contains two videos at the site, one about the meeting and another from the offender. They are also below.

02/27/2009

By Jessica Hayes

TERRE HAUTE (WTHI) - Donald Hyde served seven months in prison for child solicitation starting in 2002. He then served time in 2003 for parole violation.

Right now sex offenders, like Hyde, cannot legally live within 1000 feet of a school, but the law does not restrict them from going to school events.

Last Monday, the Vigo County School Board moved to restrict sex offenders from all events on school property, including school board meetings.

Now Hyde is speaking out.

"One of the things I did learn was to be careful around children," said Hyde.

Hyde says he's not a danger to anybody, especially children, and he has a right to attend the meetings. He also says people are making assumptions that are not true.

The school board may amend the restriction to allow sex offenders to attend meetings only, but they have not decided yet.

Hyde said he does plan to attend the next meeting on March 9.




TX - 17 from Texas jail charged in drug, sex crimes

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02/27/2009

FORT WORTH - More than a dozen people in a northern Texas county have been indicted on charges involving drugs, sex and other alleged crimes at the county jail.

A Montague (MAHN'-tayg) County grand jury returned 44 indictments Friday against 17 people. A judge sealed the names until they are arrested, but their jobs at the jail and charges were made public.

Former jailers, inmates and a former sheriff are among those facing charges. Bill Keating lost his position as sheriff in the primary a year ago.

County District Attorney Jack McGaughey (mah-GOY') says the indicted inmates are still in custody.

The indictments stem from an investigation that found contraband and dangerous conditions at the lockup about 65 miles northwest of Fort Worth.


WA - Woman Sentenced In Bat Attack On Sex Offender

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I knew she'd get a light sentence, but not this light. She has a history of assaults and violence. More double standard BS! She beat the hell out of a sex offender with an aluminum baseball bat, and if a man had done this, you can bet they'd be in prison for years, not 3 months.

02/27/2009

By Kevin McCarty - KIRO 7 Eyewitness News

TACOMA - The woman who attacked a convicted sex offender with a baseball bat last summer has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for assault.

Tammy Gibson, 40, admitted going after William Baldwin with the bat last June, saying she was angry that Baldwin was seen talking to her daughter (One year before, not the day of the attack). She said she attacked him after she saw a flyer stating that he was convicted of child molestation. In a jailhouse interview after the attack, Baldwin said he had committed his crime as a teenager and was turning his life around. He received minor injuries from the assault.
- And she also admitted she'd do it again.  So what are you going to do, when she kills the next sex offender she comes in contact with, give her a medal?

Gibson became a minor Internet celebrity (Just shows how sick and twisted the general public has become) after granting an interview to KIRO 7 while behind bars. She tearfully claimed she had no regrets for hitting Baldwin, saying she "would do it again" to protect her children. Gibson received offers of support and bail money from people around the country. She pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of third degree assault in exchange for dismissal of first-degree assault charges and felony harassment.

Gibson was booked into the Pierce County Jail following her sentencing hearing to begin serving her term. She is being given credited for eleven days already served.


MI - Cox Calls on Craigslist to Take Immediate Action to Protect Children

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You see... Which web site is next? They get a way with one, then more follow, and you can bet, this won't be the last either.  I'm surprised they have not just made a federal law, and FORCED all sites to comply!  What about all the adult XXX sites?  Why are they not going after them?  Makes you wonder, doesn't it.  Money maybe? They are just creating crime, IMO.

02/27/2009

Undercover Investigation Finds Children at Risk, Results in Seventh Craigslist Predator Arrest

LANSING - Attorney General Mike Cox today announced that an undercover investigation involving the classifieds Web site craigslist resulted in child sex predator charges against a Michigan man and revealed serious holes in craigslist's commitment to protect children against online sex predators. Cox challenged craigslist to immediately address his concerns and create a safer online community.

"We must remain vigilant in the fight to protect our children online because child predators are constantly looking for their next victim," said Cox. "It is time that craigslist makes a real commitment to help protect children from predators."

The investigation involved undercover agents, posing as a boy, a parent, and a teacher, e-mailing craigslist officials and asking for help with a suspected child sex predator encountered on craigslist. The messages reported inappropriate behavior conducted on craigslist, yet were ignored or merely received an automated response from craigslist.
- You could post crap like this anywhere, and someone will take the bait.  So I guess this is their new gimmick to make it look like some site is not "protecting children," so they can go after them.  But again, what about the adult XXX sites, which make billions?

Craigslist also ignored repeated e-mails from Attorney General officials requesting it to place links to the Attorney General's Web site on craigslist so victims may directly contact the office for help.
- So the AG wants free advertisement now?

Additionally, Cox announced that the investigation resulted in the Attorney General's seventh craigslist-related arrest. Steven Gerard LaJoie, a former teacher and school administrator, was charged with one count of Child Sexually Abusive Activity (a 20-year felony), one count of Using the Internet to commit Child Sexually Abusive Activity (a 20-year felony) and one count of Using the Internet to commit Disseminating Sexually Explicit Matter to a Minor (a 4-year felony). Undercover investigators arrested LaJoie, 49, of Oxford, after he asked who he thought was a 14-year-old boy to meet for sex.

LaJoie reported previous employment at several Michigan schools, including Eaton Academy of Eastpointe, and Notre Dame Preparatory School of Pontiac.

"The arrest of another Internet predator on craigslist highlights the real threat predators pose to our children on this site," said Cox. "While we will continue to monitor various Internet sites for child predators, I am calling on craigslist today to take immediate steps to improve the level of child safety on its Web site."

In a letter sent to craigslist, Cox called for the company to take the following actions:

  • Establish public guidelines on how craigslist will respond to notifications of a crime.
  • Commit to forwarding all alleged crimes to a centralized authority, such as the Michigan State Police and other central law enforcement officials in each state.
  • Designate staff to give immediate responses to law enforcement authorities who contact craigslist.
  • Create and maintain web links to the Michigan Attorney General's office, state police departments, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and any other law enforcement agencies that request to be listed.
  • Provide easier access to the "exploitation of minors" link because it is currently very difficult to locate on the craigslist Web site.

The Attorney General's office has arrested six other men resulting from craigslist investigations. The Attorney General's office has arrested 228 Internet predators since 2003 and was instrumental in working with MySpace and Facebook to remove predators and protect children on these social

networking Web sites. In 2008, Cox signed separate agreements with MySpace and Facebook. Among the conditions in these agreements, the social networking Web sites committed to responding to complaints within 72 hours, providing more staff to review photographs and removing inappropriate material, such as pornographic pictures and links. The Attorney General's office continues to monitor various Web sites for signs of illegal activities.

Cox also created the Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative (Michigan CSI), a national award-winning Internet safety education curriculum taught in schools across Michigan. Michigan CSI teaches children the do's-and-don'ts of the Internet and provides tools to parents for talking with their children about Internet safety.


SC - Former police officer faces child porn charges

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02/27/2009

MYRTLE BEACH - A former Horry County police officer was charged with distribution and possession of child pornography this week, authorities said.

David Courtney Childers, 44, resigned from his position on Nov. 3, 2008, according to Sgt. Robert Kegler. Childers was hired in March, 2006.

Federal investigators said they traced child pornography to a computer last June in connection with an undercover operation in Illinois, according to U.S. Attorney W. Walter Wilkins.

Childers faces 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.


OR - Panty-Peeping Cop To Cost City $100,000

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PORTLAND - Two women who claimed former Portland Police Officer John Wood offered to let them out of a ticket if they lifted their skirts are expected to settle with the city Wednesday and receive about $50,000 each.

In July of 2006, investigators say Wood saw the two women outside a southeast Portland bar and later stopped them on Interstate 205 as they were driving home.

They said he told them if they didn't show him their underwear, he would arrest the driver for driving under the influence.

Police Chief Rosie Sizer said once the two women came forward, the 31-year-old officer was put on paid administrative leave while the department investigated the incident.

An independent police review division spent three months investigating the allegations

The case led detectives to a third woman who said she went through a similar incident with officer Wood.

Wood pleaded guilty to two counts of official misconduct in 2006 and resigned.


OH - New charges against Ohio man in corpse abuse case

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02/26/2009

By LISA CORNWELL

CINCINNATI (AP) — A former morgue worker already in prison for having sex with a body awaiting autopsy was indicted Thursday on two more charges of sexually abusing corpses.

The latest charges against 55-year-old Kenneth Douglas of Cincinnati accuse him of assaulting two women's bodies at the Hamilton County morgue in 1991.

Douglas, an attendant at the morgue from 1976 to 1992, was convicted last year of having sex with the body of a teenage murder victim in 1982. He is serving a three-year prison sentence, which includes 18 months for corpse abuse and 18 months for a parole violation on an unrelated drug conviction.

Prosecutor Joe Deters said Thursday the case is "just beyond belief" and that the new charges are based on DNA testing. He said there is not enough evidence left to determine whether more corpses may have been abused because DNA evidence wasn't saved in many cases.

Deters said he suspects Douglas had more victims during the 16 years he worked at the county morgue. The numbers Douglas gave investigators in interviews ranged from one to possibly more than 100, Deters said.

"I'm sure there are more," he said. "I'm certain of it, but we'll never be able to prove it."

Douglas' attorney, Norman Aubin, said he hadn't seen the new evidence and would confer with his client after he studies the charges.

A grand jury indicted Douglas on two counts of gross abuse of a corpse for allegedly sexually assaulting the bodies of Charlene Edwards, 23, and Angel Hicks, 24, both of Cincinnati.

Edwards was strangled in October 1991. Mark Chambers, convicted of voluntary manslaughter in her death, was released on parole in 2000.

Hicks died of a blunt impact to the head. Her death was ruled a homicide, but the defendant in that case was acquitted at trial.

The first corpse abuse case against Douglas involved 19-year-old Karen Range, who was murdered in her Cincinnati home. David Steffen, a door-to-door salesman, was convicted in 1983 of rape and aggravated murder.

Steffen acknowledged stabbing Range but denied that he raped her, saying he attempted to but was physically unable. A DNA test — not available at the time he was tried — confirmed in 2007 that he had not raped her.

Meanwhile, Douglas was convicted of a drug trafficking offense last year and was ordered to provide a DNA sample, as required by Ohio law. That sample matched the 1982 sample from Range, prosecutors said.

Steffen has been on death row for the 1982 killing. Earlier this month, though, a judge ordered a new sentencing hearing, agreeing with the defense that his death sentence should be reconsidered now that he has been exonerated of rape. The state has appealed that ruling.

The maximum sentence Douglas could receive if convicted of the new charges is 18 months on each count.


MA - 12-14-Year-Old Boys Face Child Porn Charges

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02/27/2009

This time it's in Massachusetts (CNN, 2/16/09). The last time it was Pennsylvania. This time a boy took a phone photo of his partially clad 13-year-old girlfriend and texted it to his friends. Now he and they are up on charges of distributing child pornography. If convicted, they'll be labeled sex offenders, possibly for the rest of their lives. In the Pennsylvania case a few weeks back, it was the girl who texted her photo to the boys, but they were still charged. What the girl's involvement was in the MA case, if any, is not clear. Did she cooperate in what her boyfriend did or not?

In a sane world, we'd know this for what it is - immature boys and girls being immature boys and girls. And we'd punish their behavior accordingly. Chances are we'd let their parents do it, depending on the circumstances. It's interesting that, at least in the video linked to above, it's the parents who understand that this should not be viewed as a criminal matter.

But nowadays, possession of a photograph of a naked or partially naked person under a certain age is deemed to be a serious crime, irrespective of the circumstances. Some people can't seem to tell the difference between adult perverts pimping children to other adult perverts, and children 'sexting' other children. The laws may have been passed to catch the former, but they end up catching a lot of the latter as well. The DA? Chances are he/she just wants another scalp. And if it has to come from a child, well, asi es la vida.

And another thing. Hasn't this all come about in part because of the Great Internet Sex Predator Scare? You remember the one that was designed to terrify police, parents, teachers, legislators, etc. into believing that online pervs lurked behind every PC and Mac.

Sure enough, a police captain in the Pennsylvania case informed us that sexting is "very dangerous. Once it's on a cell phone, that cell phone can be put on the Internet where everyone in the world can get access to that juvenile picture."

That's the same Great Scare that was investigated thoroughly and found, to far less fanfare, to be essentially non-existant. (I reported on that in the blog post "Why Did We Already Know This," 1/25/09) Yes, those photos could be posted to the Internet and that could be embarrassing for the person in the photo, but we now know that there's little danger.

And it looks suspiciously like the ones most in danger of having 'sex offender' slapped on their records are males. It's a lot like marijuana laws in that way. About equal numbers of men and women use pot, but men are far more likely to go to prison for it. And so it is when boys and girls send each other photos of themselves. They both do it, but my guess is that the ones who stand to lose their freedom, future jobs and career opportunities are mostly the males.


FL - Florida sex offender policy puts inhumane nightmare under bridge

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02/27/2009

By Hilde

Still there . . .

No, you think. That can't be. Not after two years. Makes no sense.

But they're still there, a bedraggled colony of outcasts, consigned to the bowels of the Julia Tuttle Causeway -- as a matter of public policy.

No, you think. That's impossible. Last winter, state officials promised they'd solve the legal conundrum and international embarrassment that forced 19 sex offenders to live like rats under the concrete support beams of a causeway bridge. The camp's still there. Only the Tuttle bridge population has since grown to 48 men, crammed together in a nether existence of the Kafka kind.

Officially, of course, the state of Florida would never compel ex-offenders to live in unsanitary conditions in the dank underbelly of a freeway bridge, in tents, shacks, cars and two rusting campers. Yet parole officers have made it clear to ex-sex offenders who've served their prison sentences that they have no other options.

City and county laws have created so many overlapping forbidden zones -- 2,000 or 2,500 feet from schools, day cares, parks, playgrounds, school bus stops -- that the middle of Biscayne Bay has become an ex-offender's only allowable address.

''They check us here every evening. We've got to be here or we go back to prison,'' said M.C., 48, who was banished to the bridge after his release from prison two years ago.

DESPERATE CONDITIONS

They live in unlivable conditions. No water. No toilet, other than a jerry-rigged privy M.C. built with scrap wood, a plastic bucket and a tattered sheet for privacy.

The parolees are required to live in a place without electricity and to keep their electronic tracking devices charged. Before they pooled their money to buy a $300 generator, that meant a miles-long walk to find a convenience store electrical outlet.

Bushes along the bay shore have been littered with trash and human feces. M.C. said, ''I begged them to give us a trash dumpster. We could keep this place clean.'' But a dumpster would be tantamount to an official admission that these ex-prisoners have become permanent inmates in another setting, condemned to finish out their lives under the Tuttle Causeway.

They can't have a dumpster, toilet or running water because the state clings to an official pretense that their camp is only a transient aberration, instead of a permanent menace to public health.

`ENDANGERS COMMUNITY'

''It's horrible. It makes no sense,'' said Dr. Joe Greer, Miami's indefatigable public-health advocate. He visited the bridge settlement and was aghast at what Florida has created. ``Not only does that camp endanger the community, but it's inhumane.''

Greer talked of how men there, two of whom are in their 80s, are exposed to heat, cold, rain and mosquitoes, and have no fresh water or toilets, making them ripe for both communicable disease and psychological deterioration.

Perversely, Florida's ill-considered residency laws not only fomented this health hazard, they offer no real protection to children. Untethered to an actual home, ex-offenders become more difficult to supervise.

No one defends their unspeakable crimes. But residency laws that condemn them to live out the balance of their lives like bridge trolls aren't about protecting the public. As Greer said, this is really just revenge masquerading as public policy.


TX - Lawsuit Cracks Open Online Anonymity

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02/27/2009

By KI MAE HEUSSNER

Shortcomings in the Law Allow Cyberdefamation Campaigns, Legal Expert Says

Steven Jones is an opinionated guy.

And when he reads something online that strikes a particular nerve, chances are he'll speak up.

So, when the 54-year-old from Texarkana, Texas, came across an article about a couple in neighboring Clarksville who were charged with sexual assault, he decided to throw in his own two cents.

Using the screen name "Wounded," Jones posted one of thousands of anonymous comments about the case. Others went further, linking the couple to perverted sex acts, drugs and other crimes.

Big mistake.

Earlier this month, Jones, a disabled truck driver, logged on to learn that the Clarksville couple, cleared of the charges, had turned around to file a lawsuit of their own -- against 178 anonymous commenters, including Jones, who they claim posted defamatory comments on the Web forum Topix.com.

Now that a Texas judge has ordered Topix to release identifying information for the posters by March 6, Jones, who revealed himself to ABCNews.com, is preparing to meet the couple in person -- in court.

Small Town Gossip Mill Explodes Online

Early last year, Mark and Rhonda Lesher, along with a man who works on their ranch, were accused of sexual assault by a woman in their small northeast Texas community.

But before they had even been indicted on the charges, a steady stream of attacks on the Web forum Topix.com started to flow.

The Leshers and their accuser live in the rural Texas town of Clarksville, population 3,500. Because talk of the trial -- online, at the local Dairy Queen and behind closed doors -- had set off such a stir, it was moved to a county a few hours away.

In January, a jury found the couple and their ranch hand not guilty on all charges.

But because reports of the rape allegations had begun to surface last year, the "conversation," rife with snarling anonymous commentary, exploded online.

More than 25,000 comments, on about 70 threads related to the trial, now live on Topix message boards for anyone with a search engine to see.

Rhonda runs a successful day spa. Mark's a prominent attorney. But if you Google "Mark and Rhonda Lesher," brace yourself for a storm of smut.

"Child molesters." "Rapists." "Drug dealers." "Herpes infested." And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The couple feels vindicated by the jury's verdict. But "not guilty" means nothing to the Internet, where dirty laundry lasts forever, especially if it isn't true.

'Nine Months of Torture'

"The one thing we have is our reputation and credibility," Mark Lesher told ABCNews.com. "From the time I was indicted in April, my business fell off to just almost zero. It really just went to zero. I mean who's going to hire someone accused of rape?

"But it's not just the indictment itself," Lesher said.

The comments, which have no basis in fact, Lesher said, accuse the couple of murder, encouraging pedophilia, drug abuse and other "horrendous" crimes that materially attack their characters.

"The people who have hid behind the anonymity of the Internet need to be held accountable and brought to justice," Lesher said.

The 62-year-old lawyer said that he and his wife, 49, have been active members of the Clarksville community for years, recently lobbying to make the town's Main Street a historic landmark.

But "these nine months of torture" have taken their toll.

"My wife said she's lost her joy," Lesher said. "She held her head up high, but it's hard. When things get repeated over and over and over again, people say it's got to be true."

Targeting the 178 Posters

In their 365-page lawsuit, the Leshers name the 178 pseudonyms that posted the most defamatory messages. But because of the way Topix is set up, they believe it's entirely possible that far fewer than 178 people were actually responsible for the posts.

Anyone can post on Topix without giving up any personal information. That makes it very easy for commenters to impersonate one another or for one to adopt several names.

Commenter's named "lou," "Hellcat," "ilbedipt" and "Awareness" appear to be among the most prolific and vicious. But the same person could potentially be behind all the pseudonyms, or several people could be behind each.

The Leshers and others familiar with their initial trial say several of the Topix posters seemed privy to information that could only have been known by the accuser, her husband and law enforcement in Red River County. Before the Leshers were even arrested and before they were formally charged, the Leshers said people on Topix.com seemed to already know what was happening.

And, they continue, they don't think that's by coincidence.

State of Texas Vs. Lesher, McCarver

In early 2008, Shannon Coyel, 38, accused the Leshers and McCarver of sexual assault after the Leshers had tried to help her divorce her husband, Jerry Coyel, 62, and gain custody of her 14-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son from a previous marriage.

Mark Lesher said he tried to help Shannon Coyel retain legal counsel to pursue her divorce and file a complaint against a local judge whom she said was close to Jerry Coyel and had awarded him temporary sole custody of her daughter, despite at least one report of child abuse filed with Child Protective Services.

According to the 2007 complaint filed with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, Shannon Coyel claimed that her husband "is very wealthy, but he is also very possessive, demanding and a sexual pervert." In the same document, she also said that Jerry had abused her daughter.

In 2007 court proceedings to determine who should gain custody of the children, Jerry Coyel denied mistreating his stepdaughter.

When ABCNews.com contacted the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to determine the status of the complaint, a spokeswoman for the agency could say only that it had taken no public action against the judge. She also said that as of Dec. 31, 2008, the judge had become a senior judge and no longer active in district court.

But when Shannon and Jerry Coyel decided to reconcile later that year, she retracted her abuse charges against Jerry and turned against the Leshers.

In her testimony in January, she said that the Leshers had given her pills that "just made [her] crazy." She admitted to calling Child Protective Services in Oklahoma and Texas to report the abuse charges against her husband but said she did it because the Leshers had drugged her.

Who Dunnit?

Through her husband, Jerry Coyel, Shannon Coyel declined to speak to ABCNews.com.

But Jerry Coyel spoke to ABCNews.com on several occasions. When asked if he knew who was behind the posts on Topix, he said he had "no idea." Coyel said he was "computer illiterate," had only been able to obtain access to the site with the help of his daughter and never commented on anything on the site.

Later, however, Coyel backtracked. He acknowledged that he might have posted on Topix but emphasized that he used his name and did not post anything derogatory about the Leshers.

"I believe I'd gone on there one time. I'm not positive about it," he said. "It's a freedom of speech blog."

But although Coyel said he himself had not posted negative comments on Topix, he acknowledged recognizing at least one of the posters.

According to the Leshers' lawsuit, a poster who identified himself as "Budweiser" made several disparaging comments about the couple on Topix.

On one occasion, he wrote: "I personally talked to D.J. An 11 year old boy and he tole me about the dope you gave his mother and the perverted stuff you wanted him to say."

On another, he posted: "When the gloves come off you will be the first to know ... Me and Pick got a present for you that will lite up your perverted life …"

Although Coyel said he had not seen Budweiser in years, and denied knowing his real name, he said that the two were acquaintances and he'd known him for years.

"He's a junkyard dog. He's a supernice guy, but he'll do anything if somebody pisses him off. He'll do anything. He's crazy," Coyel said.

He said that if the Leshers' lawsuit confirmed that the poster was indeed Budweiser, he wasn't worried. The one who should be worried, Coyel said, is Mark Lesher.

"He's fixing to be in a world he has no knowledge about," he said.

Piercing the 'Veil of Anonymity'

For those who frequent the threads of online forums and comfortably post comments behind the shield of anonymity, the Leshers' suit might sound surprising, or even alarming. But their lawyer, William Demond, told ABCNews.com that their actions are not unprecedented.

"This is not unusual as far as to pierce the veil of anonymity," the Austin-based attorney said. "There are certainly cases out there [although] nothing on this scale. Nothing quite this large."

Last year, lawyers for two female Yale Law School students unmasked anonymous posters who libeled the women on the college and graduate school admissions Web forum AutoAdmit.com.

But in a 2005 case, a Delaware court ruled against unveiling a blogger who had been slapped with a defamation lawsuit by a local councilman.

There's no standardized procedure, Demond said, but if a court finds that anonymous comments meet the definition of defamation, it can instruct a Web site to turn over any relevant information it has about the posters.

Following the Trail of Digital Breadcrumbs

Topix has not yet disclosed the requested information, but is reviewing the Leshers' suit and has indicated that it will likely cooperate.

"It's unlikely I would give nothing to the court," Chris Tolles, CEO of Topix, told ABCNews.com. "We'll try to come up with a reasonable course of action."

Despite its likely decision to comply, Tolles said the company takes privacy rights seriously and was a bit troubled by the large number of names included in the lawsuit and the implications it could have for its business.

"We have a business to run. and that does give people the right to speak anonymously," he said.

But even assuming Topix turns over its information, identifying online commenters is not a simple task. Unless the commenters registered with Topix, which most did not do, Tolles said all the company would be able to reveal about each person is his or her IP (Internet protocol) address, or the unique number assigned to each computer.

Once the couple has the IP addresses, it would still have to go to the Internet service providers (ISPs) to identify the actual users. Assuming Topix releases the IP addresses in March, it could still be months before the ISPs turn over the information they have.

And, even then, the Leshers could find that the long trail of digital breadcrumbs leads them to library and coffee shop computers used by scores of people, instead of those in homes and offices used by an identifiable few.

'I've Got a Right to an Opinion'

But the Leshers, and other local residents familiar with the Topix threads, are convinced that if they get the chance to face their online opponents in court, they'll likely meet the people who pulled them into the courtroom in the first place, and their allies. Most of the posters appear to be in no hurry to unmask themselves. But Jones, the truckdriver who posted under the name Wounded, said he's ready for the March 6 court date.

He said he used to be on Topix "every day, all day long." The comment that has made him a target in the Lesher's lawsuit is one of thousands of comments he has posted on a variety of subjects in the past couple of years.

Compared to many of the other commenters on threads about the Leshers, Jones, again, seems to be one of the milder and less prolific.

But he confirmed that under the alias Wounded, he wrote: "Either way you aren't going to sway my opinion about the DRUGS and the LESHER's."

Jones, however, doesn't regret his comments and said he has a "right to [his] opinion."

Even though he's a target in the Lesher's lawsuit, he said he's actually prepared to stand with the couple against Topix.

The site removed him earlier this year when he started commenting about how the site itself isn't properly moderated and has allowed people to post that they are going to kill him or rape his wife and child, despite Web site guidelines that say such comments are not allowed. He also said his address and directions to his home have been posted to the site.

"They are very angry at me because of [my comments about] incompetent moderators," Jones told ABCNews.com.

And he said he wouldn't be in this position if Topix had been doing its job.

"I just as soon see it fail. If they can't moderate it, they should pull the plug on it," he said.

The Law as an Accomplice

Legal experts, however, emphasized that the law protects Web sites like Topix. Even if the comments are considered defamatory by a court of law, Topix has no legal obligation to take the content down.

Defenders of the legal landscape argue that a change could stifle open discussion and free speech. But others maintain that in stories like this, regardless of who emerges, once the veil of anonymity is lifted, it is the law itself that is a co-conspirator.

"The law as it currently stands is an accomplice because it creates no incentive whatsoever for Web sites to review or police themselves from content that is potentially devastating to real people and real lives," Michael Fertik, a lawyer who specializes in online defamation, told ABCNews.com.

Part of the problem, Fertik continued, is that laws that made sense at the birth of the Internet age have not matured. It takes years to redress online defamation problems under the present regime. But, in the meantime, libelous comments easily found through search engines can sideline both personal and professional lives.

Although privacy and free speech advocates worry that changes to the law could "chill" online speech, Fertik argued that "the law can easily catch up without destroying speech."

But until then?

"The law provides the red dye for the scarlet letter," Fertik said. "It provides the ink for the tattoo that people create on Web sites like this."


GA - Allen Hunt Show - Audio broadcasts about Sex Offender Issues


Allen Hunt Web Site | YouTube Channel

This is a repost. The video links were broken in the original!

The Scarlett Letter - Halloween Version


Should Sex Offenders Be Allowed to Serve in Church
(23 minutes 32 seconds)


Xavier Von Erck AKA Phillip John Eide - President of Perverted Justice Foundation, Inc.

View the article here

12/12/2008

The world's leading vigilante group appears to be Perverted Justice in the US, who gloatingly jumped onto the sex abuse moral panic platform to use it as a mechanism for the expression of hatred and sadism. It was a license to express their innate criminality. So bad were their activities, some even with the cooperation of television companies, that a counter group, Corrupted Justice came into being and was joined by former PJ members disgusted by the behaviour they had participated in.

To watch a Youtube video exposing some of Perverted Justice's criminal tactics including the use of real minors as decoys to lure 'would be child molesters'.

To catch a predator raids


The money and deceits behind the raids

And read Perverted Justice exposed.

And read here for More on PJ.

Ironically, Perverted Justice's choice of name turns out to be perversely appropriate because what they and their allies in NBC do in the name of justice is truly perverse.

Do you know the people in NBC most responsible for the 'To catch a predator' travesties?

A rare opportunity to see naked hatred in action

In this short video when Eide, who it seems is 27 or so, is cornered by an older journalist, he quickly turns to attack and personal insult, using the silver-haired man's age for example, saying that after 35 years in the business he had not achieved much. But his hatred is most evident when he says, "Keep your dribble to yourself!" He is young so his disgusting older interviewer is spitting his dribble in his face and he wants him to back off - so it's not that he is avoiding the questions. When we see and hear Eide thus, he could be any little thug in any regime where the state has empowered him. Some older readers from Europe will well remember such bullies.



Sky Keenan

Shy Keenan and her Phoenix organization in Great Britain operate a naming and shaming campaign against convicted and suspected child abusers and all under 18 who have sex or become pregnant. She appears to have no difficulty in campaigning on the one hand for under 18s who engage in sex to be made criminals while on the other painting a hysterically dangerous picture of the likelihood of predatory attacks on children. Her most infamous claim is that the sleight of hand practised by paedophiles in ‘speed assaults’ (such as bumping into them) can be so rapid and invisible that children sometimes do not realize that they have been abused. She warned about the dangers of children sitting on the knees of Santa Claus in ‘sinister’ Christmas grottos. Her main allies in the UK have been the tabloids who love her ranting and the police who have used her in smear campaigns.


NJ - Megan's Law Doesn't Work. Now What?

View the article here

02/27/2009



By Michael Buncher - NJ Voices Guest Columnist

For the past 15 years the public has been left with a false sense of security. A federally funded study has determined that Megan's Law does not work.

Conducted by independent psychologists along with staff from the state Department of Corrections' Office of Policy and Planning, this comprehensive study looked at 21 years of sex offense rates. It confirms in New Jersey what other studies have found elsewhere. Megan's Law "has no demonstrable effect in reducing sexual re-offenses."

Megan's Law struck out on every important area related to protecting the community from sexual offenders. Not only is there no evidence that it reduces sexual re-offenses, Megan's Law fails to positively impact sex offender re-arrest rates, fails to change the type of re-offenses or first time offenses that occur and fails to reduce the number of victims involved in sexual offenses.
As the state agency charged with representing those required to register under Megan's Law, the Public Defender agrees completely with the study's findings and with its ultimate conclusion that "given the lack of demonstrable effect of Megan's Law on sexual offenses, the growing costs may not be justifiable."

What is equally remarkable is that other research cited by the New Jersey study, as well as our own experience, shows that Megan's Law can be "counterproductive." Notification laws have been found to isolate offenders from normal relationships, undercut their opportunities for housing and employment, and subject offenders to threats and assaults.

In some instances, the willingness to obtain treatment can be negatively impacted. As a result of these factors, the study's researchers determined the unintended consequences of Megan's Law may be to increase the risks of recidivism rather than to protect the community.

In the face of overwhelming evidence of the law's ineffectiveness, its advocates now seek to justify its continued use by claiming, as a Star-Ledger editorial put it, that "it was never realistic to think Megan's Law would prevent sexual assaults against children." In fact, the Legislature's stated purpose in enacting Megan's Law was specifically to protect the public from the reoccurrence of such crimes.

The Megan's Law statute states that its purpose is to address the "the danger of recidivism posed by sex offenders." It emphasizes that the danger of re-offense required a system to "permit law enforcement officials to identify and alert the public when necessary for public safety." We were told that the law would provide law enforcement with "additional information critical to preventing . . . incidents involving sexual abuse and missing persons."

The New Jersey Supreme Court relied on these contentions when it upheld Megan's Law as constitutional based on the belief that it was "reasonably designed" to allow society "to protect itself from convicted sex offenders."

In other words, the perceived effectiveness of the law served as a cornerstone to its passage. The recent study's findings require a change in course.

In 2007, New Jersey reportedly spent $3.9 million with, as the study found, no appreciable benefit to public safety. This money could have been, and now should be, put to much better use to protect New Jersey's children.

We agree with several of the report's recommendations calling for sex offender therapy to be provided in state prisons (which does not occur now), treatment for sex offenders living in the community, and effective parole and probationary supervision commensurate with a realistic assessment of an offender's risk level.

Other interventions known to be effective should be emphasized. We know that making a successful transition from prison reduces sex offender re-offense rates. Resources should be used to assist offenders during their pivotal transition back into the community to find non-transient, long-term housing, employment and services to ensure stability. Other factors that actually reduce re-offense levels should be studied and implemented to ensure public safety. This pragmatic approach is crucial to protecting our communities.

The evidence demonstrates that Megan's Law creates a false sense of security and, in many cases, is counterproductive. While the debate over the value of Megan's Law will undoubtedly continue, we must begin implementing proven strategies that actually contribute to increased public safety and sound public policy.

Michael Buncher is a deputy public defender in the state Office of the Public Defender in charge of the Special Hearings Unit.


NJ - Megan's Law Doesn't Work. Now What?

View the article here

02/27/2009

By Michael Buncher - NJ Voices Guest Columnist

For the past 15 years the public has been left with a false sense of security. A federally funded study has determined that Megan's Law does not work.

Conducted by independent psychologists along with staff from the state Department of Corrections' Office of Policy and Planning, this comprehensive study looked at 21 years of sex offense rates. It confirms in New Jersey what other studies have found elsewhere. Megan's Law "has no demonstrable effect in reducing sexual re-offenses."

Megan's Law struck out on every important area related to protecting the community from sexual offenders. Not only is there no evidence that it reduces sexual re-offenses, Megan's Law fails to positively impact sex offender re-arrest rates, fails to change the type of re-offenses or first time offenses that occur and fails to reduce the number of victims involved in sexual offenses.

As the state agency charged with representing those required to register under Megan's Law, the Public Defender agrees completely with the study's findings and with its ultimate conclusion that "given the lack of demonstrable effect of Megan's Law on sexual offenses, the growing costs may not be justifiable."

What is equally remarkable is that other research cited by the New Jersey study, as well as our own experience, shows that Megan's Law can be "counterproductive." Notification laws have been found to isolate offenders from normal relationships, undercut their opportunities for housing and employment, and subject offenders to threats and assaults.

In some instances, the willingness to obtain treatment can be negatively impacted. As a result of these factors, the study's researchers determined the unintended consequences of Megan's Law may be to increase the risks of recidivism rather than to protect the community.

In the face of overwhelming evidence of the law's ineffectiveness, its advocates now seek to justify its continued use by claiming, as a Star-Ledger editorial put it, that "it was never realistic to think Megan's Law would prevent sexual assaults against children." In fact, the Legislature's stated purpose in enacting Megan's Law was specifically to protect the public from the reoccurrence of such crimes.

The Megan's Law statute states that its purpose is to address the "the danger of recidivism posed by sex offenders." It emphasizes that the danger of re-offense required a system to "permit law enforcement officials to identify and alert the public when necessary for public safety." We were told that the law would provide law enforcement with "additional information critical to preventing . . . incidents involving sexual abuse and missing persons."

The New Jersey Supreme Court relied on these contentions when it upheld Megan's Law as constitutional based on the belief that it was "reasonably designed" to allow society "to protect itself from convicted sex offenders."

In other words, the perceived effectiveness of the law served as a cornerstone to its passage. The recent study's findings require a change in course.

In 2007, New Jersey reportedly spent $3.9 million with, as the study found, no appreciable benefit to public safety. This money could have been, and now should be, put to much better use to protect New Jersey's children.

We agree with several of the report's recommendations calling for sex offender therapy to be provided in state prisons (which does not occur now), treatment for sex offenders living in the community, and effective parole and probationary supervision commensurate with a realistic assessment of an offender's risk level.

Other interventions known to be effective should be emphasized. We know that making a successful transition from prison reduces sex offender re-offense rates. Resources should be used to assist offenders during their pivotal transition back into the community to find non-transient, long-term housing, employment and services to ensure stability. Other factors that actually reduce re-offense levels should be studied and implemented to ensure public safety. This pragmatic approach is crucial to protecting our communities.

The evidence demonstrates that Megan's Law creates a false sense of security and, in many cases, is counterproductive. While the debate over the value of Megan's Law will undoubtedly continue, we must begin implementing proven strategies that actually contribute to increased public safety and sound public policy.

Michael Buncher is a deputy public defender in the state Office of the Public Defender in charge of the Special Hearings Unit.