Friday, April 3, 2009

DC - Chief justice blocks release of sex offenders

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04/03/2009

By MARK SHERMAN, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John Roberts has granted the Obama administration's request to the Supreme Court to block the release of certain sex offenders who have completed their federal prison terms.

The federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., had earlier invalidated a law allowing the indefinite commitment of "sexually dangerous" prison inmates.

Roberts, in an order Friday, says as many as 77 inmates can continue to be held at a prison in North Carolina at least until the high court decides whether to hear the administration's appeal of a ruling by the federal appeals court.

The Justice Department said the sex offenders could have been released as early as next week without the court's intervention.

"That would pose a significant risk to the public and constitute a significant harm to the interests of the United States," Solicitor General Elena Kagan wrote in court papers filed Friday.

It is possible, however, that state laws allowing civil commitments of sex offenders could be used to re-imprison the men.

The administration is appealing a ruling of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Congress overstepped its authority when it enacted a law allowing for indefinite commitment of sex offenders.

The challenge to the law was brought by four men who served prison terms ranging from three to eight years for possession of child pornography or sexual abuse of a minor. Their confinement was supposed to end more than two years ago, but the government determined that they would be at risk of sexually violent conduct or child molestation if released.

A fifth man who also was part of the legal challenge was charged with child sex abuse, but declared incompetent to stand trial.

Civil commitment was authorized by the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which President George W. Bush signed in July 2006.

The act, named after the son of "America's Most Wanted" television host John Walsh, also establishes a national sex offender registry, increases punishments for some federal crimes against children and strengthens child pornography protections. Those provisions were not affected by the ruling.

The administration is arguing that the law does not violate the Constitution and was well within Congress' power.
- It does, but when you have a corrupt government, who are abusing their power, and eradicating the Constitution, this is the kind of BS laws you get.


Networks Peddle Online Predator Panic

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Enhancing Child Safety and Online Technologies
50,000 online predator?
The "1 in 5" number

Listen below!

04/03/2009

Scour the news about online child predators, and you’ll hear that sexual predators are everywhere, increasing in number, and ready to lure your child. Take this local CBS news website headline: “Internet Crimes Increase, While Law Enforcement Budgets Decrease.” One number that has been repeated on network news is that “50,000 predators” are trolling the Internet at any given time, a number quoted by former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. But a new study by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire concludes that while there has been a significant increase in the number of arrests of young adult sex offenders, overall sex crimes against children have declined nationally. The increase in arrests is the result of more enforcement, not a rise in the number of offenders. There is big money to be made in exaggerating the numbers. The NBC show To Catch a Predator, rakes in high ratings as it teams up with a vigilante group called Perverted Justice to lure offenders using online decoys. It makes for sensationalist television: an act of creating the news rather than reporting on it, according to Steve Rendall of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.

GUEST: Steve Rendall, Senior Analyst at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, and co-host of FAIR’s radio show, Counterspin, heard Fridays at 3 pm on KPFK, Janis Wolak, Senior Researcher at Crimes Against Children Research Center, University of New Hampshire

Find out more about the Crimes Against Children Research Center at: http://www.unh.edu/ccrc/.

Read Steve Rendall’s article here: http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3752.

Playlist Link


GA - Senate OK's $500K Payout For Georgia Man Cleared Of Rape

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Related Article #1, #2

As one commenter said at the article, it's time to make false accusations a felony, for all those involved.  The accuser, DA's, etc!


04/03/2009

ATLANTA - The Georgia Senate approved $500,000 for a Georgia man who spent almost three decades in prison for a rape DNA tests later showed he didn't commit.

The Senate voted 29-21 on Friday to award the money to John Jerome White.

He had initially been set to receive $709,000 but lawmakers reduced that amount after it was revealed White had a separate conviction on a burglary charge. Critics charged Friday that the state should not be compensating a "career criminal."
- One crime doesn't make someone a "career criminal!"  The other crime was false, thus the award money!

The 48-year-old White was convicted in 1979 of raping a Meriwether County woman. He was released in 2007 after DNA testing exonerated him.

The House must now approve the amended resolution.

The state has paid out $3.9 million to four other inmates cleared through DNA evidence.
- More tax payer dollars going down the drain, due to arrogant, egotistical DA's, and others who are hell bent on a conviction, even without evidence.


OR - Woman who used 'Google Hello' to share images sentenced in child porn probe

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You will notice, another woman, no picture.  If this were a man, there would be a picture.

04/03/2009

This is a press release courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A Springfield, Ore., woman was sentenced today to four years in federal prison and 15 years of supervised release for possessing child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Rebecca Marie Stubblefield, 22, was living with her boyfriend in Issaquah, Wash., when he became the subject of an ICE child pornography investigation in 2007. During the course of that investigation, ICE agents seized a computer they shared.

Stubblefield later contacted ICE to reclaim the computer. During questioning by ICE agents, she eventually admitted to using “Google Hello”, an online, photo-sharing program, in order to trade child pornography with users.

While conducting a forensic review of the computer’s hard drive, ICE agents discovered that in addition to the images downloaded by the original target of the investigation, Stubblefield had also downloaded more than 600 images into a user-created file named “Becca’s Stuff/Puppies.”

According to statements made during the sentencing hearing by the defense attorney and prosecutor, Stubblefield not only possessed the illegal images, but she sexually molested the 3-year-old daughter of an acquaintance. Stubblefield will be required to undergo sex offender treatment while in federal prison.

“This case illustrates how innocent children suffer at the hands of those who trade in the underworld of child pornography,” said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of ICE’s Office of Investigations in Seattle. “ICE maintains its resolve to bring to justice those who seek to sexually exploit society’s most precious gift – our children.”

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,000 individuals.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.


WA - Ex-cop accused of molesting girl gets 30 days in jail

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04/03/2009

By Chris Bristol

YAKIMA - A former police officer accused of molesting a 10-year-old girl from Zillah pleaded to a reduced assault charge Friday and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Scott Douglas Laws, 47, also was placed on one year of probation for his plea in Yakima County Superior Court to a felony charge of third-degree assault.

Laws entered a modified guilty plea known as an Alford plea, meaning he did not admit guilt to the assault charge but conceded that a jury was likely to convict.

Laws was accused of molesting the girl, who was not related to him, during the summer of 2007. A jury in January deadlocked on the sex charges, leading to the reduced assault plea Friday.

Attorneys in the case said Laws once worked for the Toppenish Police Department in the 1990s but was no longer an officer at the time of the allegations.


FL - Mark Lunsford - Calling it quits?

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ALERT

Thanks to all those who have supported the JML Foundation! Our efforts would have not succeeded without all of you.The foundation has now been closed. We have not stopped our efforts by any means. You can continue to support Jessie's Law & Mark Lunsford in his pursuit for justice for our children at the new C4 group Support Jessie's Law. Or by contacting Mark Lunsford. Thanks to all.

Also, please continue to support all child advocacy centers such as Jessie's Place.

Again, a heartfelt thanks to all from Mark and the JML foundation.

Mark Lunsford PO Box 4019 Homosassa FL. 34447

(352)302-4372 mrklnsfrd@yahoo.com

webmaster@jmlfoundation.com


CA - Hypocrite Senator George Runner says "Public policy should be guided by facts, not propaganda"

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Read all the other "California" articles, and you can see the hypocrisy of his statements. Prop 83 and the sex offender laws, are one example of laws made using propaganda and bogus "facts," as well as ineffective. Maybe he should start there?  You see, he says things, but doesn't practice what he preaches, so he expects you to do this, but not him.

01/22/2009

With the seemingly insurmountable budget challenges that face California government today, the many interest groups that depend on government funding are making their case to lawmakers on why they should be exempt from funding cuts. Unfortunately, due to the budget situation, the state can not be all things to all people.

As policymakers, the first programs to cut should be those that are ineffective, duplicative or inefficient.
- Like the ineffective Prop 83!

Scarce resources should not be spent on government excess or ineffective programs, especially when we face such a huge budget deficit. Before making important and far reaching decisions regarding funding, lawmakers need to have accurate information. Which brings me to the recent Education Week figures that place California at 47th in the nation in per-pupil funding? (Education Week is a teacher union friendly publication that distributes this report annually.)

The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office was concerned with the way Education Week calculated the index, and was not confident that these figures accurately reflected California’s per-pupil funding compared with other states. The information that determined how the index was calculated was not available. These figures cannot be taken at face value if the criteria used are either questionable or simply unavailable.

While all parties acknowledge the problems that face our state’s public education system, policy decisions cannot be made based on union propaganda. The LAO places California at the more realistic rank of 25th in the nation. Even accounting for cost of living expenses in California, per-pupil funding would not fall to such an exaggerated level.
- Wow, but isn't that what Prop 83 and all other aspects of the sex offender laws were based on?  I think so!

Accurate and reliable information needs to be used, not sensational figures meant to grab headlines and skew public opinion, especially when dealing with such an important public policy issue as education. While principled philosophical differences abound, we should always rely on facts when making a case for change in public policy.
- I agree, so stop doing so!


CT - Woman Admits Taping Sex With 8-Year-Old

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04/03/2009

BRIDGEPORT -- A Georgia woman has pleaded guilty in Connecticut to federal charges of producing child pornography.

Federal prosecutors say 53-year-old Laura Culver who lives in Gray, Ga., is facing up to 20 years in prison after her guilty plea Thursday.

Court documents dating back to 2001 show that Culver allegedly worked with 52-year-old Edgardo Sensi to videotape him having sex with an 8-year-old girl.

Sensi's case is still pending but Culver faces sentencing on June 19.


VA - 'Sexting' Hysteria Falsely Brands Educator as Child Pornographer

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Jim Plowman = Mike NiFong!

04/03/2009

By Kim Zetter

It was an incident that began innocently enough, but nearly ruined the life and three-decade career of a veteran high school teacher and administrator.

Rumors had been flying at Freedom High School in South Riding, Virginia that students were distributing nude pictures of each other on their cell phones. It's a phenomenon, known as "sexting," that's become increasingly worrisome to educators across the country, and _____, a 60-year-old assistant principal at the school, was tasked with checking it out.

The investigation was inconclusive, but led to a stunning aftermath: _____ himself was charged with possession of child pornography and related crimes -- charges that threatened to brand him a sex offender and land him in prison for up to seven years. Transferred from his school and isolated from colleagues, _____ spent $150,000 and a year of his life defending himself in a Kafkaesque legal nightmare triggered by a determined county prosecutor and nurtured by a growing hysteria over technology-enabled child porn at America's schools.

"The heaviest burden is the [label] of 'child pornographer'," _____ says. "It just hangs so heavy around me. How you ever recover from that I don't know. "

On Tuesday, _____'s legal nightmare ended when a Virginia judge threw out the case. But as the educator begins piecing his life back together, similar tragedies are unfolding across the country. Reacting to the phenomenon of underage "sexting," prosecutors in at least a dozen states have resorted to arresting or charging kids for possession of child pornography. In a recent case in Pennsylvania, six teens aged 14 to 17 were charged with creating, distributing and possessing child porn. And this week a judge in a separate case in Pennsylvania temporarily barred a prosecutor from charging three teens for taking photos of themselves in their bras and a towel.

Even in this environment of prosecutorial excess, _____'s case stands out as likely the first to entangle an adult who came in possession of an image that even police admit wasn't pornographic, and who did so simply in the course of doing his job.

"These charges are so toxic and incendiary," says Diane Curling, a former teacher and _____'s wife of 35 years. "Children need to be made aware of the dangers of sexting, but to intimidate public education officials and try to make it a felony to even touch something like this is terrifying. . . . If we are not careful, we will find ourselves with a new McCarthy era. "

_____'s problems began in March of last year, when his investigation of sexting rumors at Freedom High led him to a 16-year-old boy. _____ and the school's safety and security specialist met with the student to ask if he knew anything about the photos.

"He says, 'Oh yeah, I've got one on my cell phone,'" _____ recalls.

The image depicted only the torso of a girl -- later determined to be a 17-year old student -- wearing only underwear, her arms mostly covering her breasts. The boy claimed he didn't know who sent him the photo or who the girl was.

_____ says he showed the image to his boss, Principal Christine Forester, who told him to preserve a copy on his office computer for the investigation. A computer neophyte, _____ didn't know how to transfer the image from the boy's cell phone, so the teen sent the picture to _____'s phone, and told him how to forward it to his work e-mail address. When the process was complete, _____ instructed the student to delete the image from his phone.

_____ and the school security specialist interviewed more students, but were unable to find additional pictures or identify the girl in the photo. _____ concluded she probably wasn't a student at the school. Relieved, he says he reported his findings to the principal, thinking the matter was done.

He couldn't have been more wrong.

Two weeks later, the boy caught with the photo was in trouble again -- he'd pulled down the pants of a girl in class. The school suspended the student for 10 days. But when the boy's mother learned from _____ about the earlier photo incident, she was outraged that _____ hadn't reported the picture to her. She called his house at 7:00 a.m., screaming at him that the suspension had to be revoked.

When _____ refused, the woman went to the police about the photo. Sheriff's investigators came to the school, ostensibly to investigate the sexting issue. They helped the technologically-challenged _____ recover the photo from his cell phone and later determined the girl in the photo was a student at the school.

A month later, the first charges were filed against _____: failure to report suspicion of child abuse, a misdemeanor. The charge alleged that _____ had a legal duty to report the girl's photo to her parents, and to state agencies or law enforcement.

"First of all, nobody thought this was reportable," _____ says. "Who would have thought this was suspected child abuse?"

_____ also hadn't known the girl's identity and therefore wasn't able to notify her parents.

The prosecution looked like an error right out of the gate. The photo didn't show sexual activity or genitalia, and even the sheriff's office conceded it was "inappropriate" but not "criminal" -- making it unclear what the "child abuse" was supposed to be. In any event, as a matter of law, _____ was only required to report suspected abuse to his principal, which he'd done. It was then Forester's job to report it to authorities if needed. _____ said Forester didn't step in to defend him to authorities. (Forester didn't return phone calls for this story)

But rather than drop the misapplied charge, Loudoun County prosecutor James Plowman upped the ante.
- This man is a jerk!  Just another Mike NiFong hell bent on prosecuting someone!

Plowman had been swept into office as Loudoun's Commonwealth's Attorney in 2004, following a lively campaign in which he accused the incumbent prosecutor of turning Loudoun into "one of the softest counties in Virginia on crime." In 2007, his tough-as-nails image won him re-election with 80 percent of the vote.

The prosecutor gave _____ an ultimatum: resign, or see his misdemeanor charge bumped up to a felony. "We just feel very strongly that this is not someone who should be in the Loudoun County school system," Plowman's assistant explained to reporters. _____ refused, and on August 11, a grand jury indicted him for possession of child porn, a crime that carries a possible sentence of five years. The misdemeanor charge was dropped.

And so it was that _____, a Quaker of Chinese and Dutch descent, a former Fullbright exchange teacher, Peace Corps volunteer and 30-year veteran educator, was arrested nine days later at school.

_____'s world changed overnight. He was released on his own recognizance, and the district reassigned him to a job at the county testing center, away from students. A parent that _____ encountered away from the school avoided eye contact with him, and his colleagues at the school were advised not to contact him. The day after his arrest, _____ was on a treadmill at the gym when his face suddenly appeared on two large TV screens broadcasting the news.

"There I am, big as life," he recalls ruefully.

An exerciser on the treadmill next to him glanced his way.

He lost 15 pounds, and couldn't sleep. _____ resigned from his position as president of the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans of Virginia so the organization wouldn't be tainted by his legal troubles, and took out a second mortgage on his house to cover legal costs. His wife, already struggling with a serious physical health issue, became paranoid.

"We had to tell all our friends when they sent us e-mail that police could seize computers at any time so anything they wrote us could be accessed," Curling says. "Any phone call they made to us could be recorded."

Warned that their house could be searched, Curling went through the family photos to see if there were any baby pictures of their now-grown children in a state of undress. "Heaven forbid that a parent might think it was cute for a baby to play in a bubble bath and there might be an inappropriate part showing," she says. "Luckily all of our rubber-ducky baby photos had the children covered in bath bubbles or something."

After planting her garden with flowers, she saw people looking up at the house and pointing. "I was wondering if they were neighbors saying, 'Oh, that's where the pervert lives,' or complimenting me on my choice of Chrysanthemum colors," she says.

Four months later, Plowman charged _____ with two more misdemeanor counts for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, claiming _____ broke the law when he had the 16-year-old boy send the photo to his cell phone and advise him on how to then forward it to his desktop computer. Each count added another year to his possible prison term. "The December charges really felt like piling on," _____ says.

When things looked darkest, the family found an unexpected wellspring of support.

The Loudoun Education Association and Virginia Education Association came to _____'s aid with loans and grants that covered about 30 percent of his legal costs. Then dozens of current and long-lost friends from the family's Quaker community and elsewhere -- including former students and friends they'd been out of touch with for decades -- started appearing to offer support. _____ went to court for a pre-trial hearing, and found 38 supporters crammed into the gallery pews.

Then last month, _____'s defense attorney, Steven Stone, filed a motion to dismiss the charges on the grounds that the photo didn't constitute child pornography. In a ruling on Tuesday, Loudoun Circuit Court Judge Thomas Horne agreed. Citing a long history of state appeals court decisions, Horne noted that nudity alone is not enough to qualify an image as child pornography. The image must be "sexually explicit" and "lewd."

"As a matter of law, the photograph does not meet the requirements established by our appellate courts and the felony charge will be dismissed," the judge wrote. "[T]he two misdemeanor counts will be dismissed as well."
- They should dismiss everything, drop all charges and clear his record.  He did nothing wrong, IMO.

Despite the ruling, Plowman, the prosecutor, stands by his initial assessment of the photo.

"The issue of whether it meets the definition under the statute ... goes to whether it is lewd," he says. "This one I felt was [lewd] because of the focus of the picture, which was the private areas ... and the provocative pose she was in. The judge felt it didn't meet the precedent case law for child pornography, but it was apparently provocative enough of a photograph that he saw fit that it should be sealed."
- It's all in the eye of the beholder.  Maybe someone should go to this man's home, and search his photo albums?

Plowman insists he never intended to seek prison time for _____. He would have been satisfied with a fine, probation and _____'s resignation. The case would never have gone this far, he says, if _____ had resigned when asked.
- Maybe you should resign?

"I thought that was a just and appropriate sanction for his behavior," he says. "But he was unwilling to be responsible for any kind of accountability for what he did."

Now _____ is left with the aftermath, including deep debt and a tarnished reputation. Asked about the possibility of suing the prosecutor's office to recover the cost of his defense, _____'s lawyer says it would be difficult. "Prosecutors in Virginia have a pretty solid grant of immunity, so he's going to be up against a lot if we get to that point," Stone says.
- And this "immunity" crap, IMO, should be changed.  They prosecuted Mike NiFong, so why not this jerk?

_____ says he's grateful that the school district never took away his pay throughout the ordeal, but he isn't sure he wants to go back to the school after being abandoned by its principal. Yet he knows that finding another job wouldn't be easy.
- I would not either.  The principal is a jerk as well.  This man did what he was suppose to do, and she abandoned him.

"If someone were to Google me, why would you want to touch someone who had [this trouble], even if I had the charge dismissed?" he says. "I don't think you'd necessarily want that baggage."


NH - House kills trans anti-discrimination bill

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04/03/2009

By STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

CONCORD (AP) — The fear that transgender individuals would be able to use any bathroom prompted state House lawmakers to kill legislation that extended legal protections to them in New Hampshire.

Opponents, led by the Republican Party, had called it the “bathroom bill” based on their argument it would open all bathrooms to men and women. They said women and children would be put at risk if men came into the women’s bathroom.

Peyton Hinkle (Email), a Merrimack Republican said the bill would provide an invitation for predators to enter bathrooms and, when confronted, say they were “just having a transgender experience.”

New Hampton Republican Fran Wendelboe (Email) offered an amendment to make the women’s bathroom across from House leaders’ offices a unisex bathroom. Opponents said it trivialized a serious problem and defeated it 251-79.

Supporters deplored the fear tactics as attempting to paint a straight-forward anti-discrimination bill as something it wasn’t. They said it would protect a vulnerable group who identify with the gender opposite of their birth. They said it would protect them from discrimination by employers, landlords and others.

“A sexual predator in a dress is a sexual predator and subject to prosecution just as any other sexual predator is subject to prosecution,” said Walpole Democrat Lucy Weber (Email).

Harts Location Democrat Ed Butler (Email), a bill sponsor, argued in vain that transgender individuals aren’t covered by the state’s anti-discrimination law and need protections.

Promoting fear is a reprehensible tactic to deny a group of citizens their equal rights,” House Majority Leader Mary Jane Wallner (Email) said in a last-ditch plea to win votes.
- Isn't that ironic?  They say this when it's about transgender people, but when it involves sex offenders?

The House voted 181-149 on March 26 to kill the bill.


OH - ACLU Urges Prosecutors, State Legislators to Treat Children With Compassion

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04/02/2009

Move to Charge Youth Who “Sext” With Sex Crimes Unfair and Damaging

COLUMBUS - The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio sent letters to all county prosecutors and members of the Ohio General Assembly today, calling on them to respect the role of law and not impose heavy-handed charges on “sexting” teens. Throughout the past several weeks, county prosecutors from around the state have threatened to charge teens with felonies and have them labeled sex offenders if they are caught sending nude or partially nude images to others. State legislators have also discussed possible legislation to address the issue.

ACLU of Ohio Legal Director Jeffrey Gamso said, “Child pornography laws were created to protect child victims from adults who prey on them. In sexting cases, the victim is often also the perpetrator who originally distributed the photo. Local officials are twisting the law to prosecute those they were meant to protect. ”

“A conviction for sexting can do far more than teach a lesson — it can ruin a life. Teens found to have committed a felony or labeled a sex offender could be barred from certain jobs and educational programs, required to register for years with local law enforcement and have restrictions on where they may live. While teens should be educated on the consequences of distributing nude photos, imposing these harsh punishments will only further harm young lives.” added Gamso.

Besides Ohio, other states have begun to grapple with the issue of teen sexting. In late March, the ACLU filed suit against a prosecutor in Pennsylvania because he threatened to charge three girls with sex crimes because partially nude photos of them were found on a classmate’s cell phone. The judge sided with the ACLU on March 30 and granted a temporary restraining order prohibiting the prosecutor from filing the charges.

“We all must do better at educating young people about respecting the dignity and privacy of themselves and their peers. By simply locking them up and imposing punishments, we disregard our duty to engage young people and teach them responsibility. What is even worse is that these punishments could endanger the child’s ability to succeed and overcome their previous misguided decisions,” Gamso concluded.


PA - Police: Mother Drugs Daughter in Attempt to Get Her Pregnant

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04/02/2009

UNIONTOWN - Police say a western Pennsylvania mother drugged her 13-year-old daughter so her boyfriend could get the girl pregnant.

Uniontown police say 32-year-old Shana Brown is no longer able to have children, but wanted a baby with her boyfriend.

Det. Donald Gmitter says Brown and her boyfriend, 40-year-old Duane Calloway, attempted to impregnate the girl on three occasions. Gmitter says the girl prevented the rapes. The girl's paternal grandmother reported the incidents to police.

Brown is facing several charges, including endangering the welfare of children. Brown's attorney Patrick McDaniel did not immediately return a call for comment.

Calloway faces charges of attempted rape. It was not immediately clear if he has an attorney.


MO - Romeo and Juliet: sex offenders?

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04/02/2009

By Bob Priddy

If Romeo and Juliet were teenage lovers today, and they didn't drink the poison, one of them might wind up on the state's sex offender registry. Some state senators who think Romeo would deserve better are hoping to change the law this year.

Here's a real-life situation: Seventeen-year old boy, fourteen-year old girl. They're in love. And one thing leads to another. Her divorced mom knows about it. Her divorced dad finds out, demands the prosecutor file a statutory rape charge. Prosecutor knows about young love and consensual non-violent things and the boy winds up pleading to a misdemeanor sexual misconduct charge.

If Missouri voters change the state's sexual offender law next year, that 17-year old boy, now grown, married,and a responsible citizen, husband, and father, will have to register as a sex offender.

Senator Charlie Shields of St. Joseph thinks the sex offender registry law is so broadly-worded that it can include non-violent people who are guilty of nothing more than teenage backseat passion. He has told the Senate, "When people look at this list it is so meaningless and there are so many names on it and there are so many circumstances...where folks have committed a statutory crime they don't know who to be scared of and who NOT to be scared of."
- Well, statistics show, that you should be scared of those in your own family, since 90% or more of all sexual crimes, occurs by someone the victim knows, not some stranger.  And also, the recidivism of registered sex offenders, is VERY LOW despite what the media and politicians continually spew.  There is many studies out there which prove this.

Shields and others are looking at a crime bill working its way through the legislature as an opportunity to change the law, so that Romeo doesn't wind up on the same list as vicious sexual predators just because he and Juliet thought they were really in love years and years ago.
- Why don't you make a law which puts only Tier 3 sex offenders on the registry, those who have been evaluated as dangerous?  Then remove the Tier 1 and 2 from the public registry and on a registry used by police only?  Then the public might actually know the real danger, and not be scared of everyone!  That only makes sense, but, we don't have much sense in politics, now do we?