Tuesday, April 14, 2009


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CA - Visalia woman who pleaded guilty to sexual relationship with boy, 12, sentenced to 3 years in state prison

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A Visalia woman who, at age 19, engaged in a continuing sexual relationship with a 12-year-old boy was sentenced to three years in state prison today.

The woman, _____, now 21 , was also sentenced to a year in the Tulare County Jail, time she already has served, and she must register as a sex offender.

Prosecutors said she would not be eligible for parole until she has served 85 percent (or 30 1/2 months) of her three-year state prison sentence.

She had pleaded guilty in Tulare County Superior Court to two counts of lewd acts with a child under 14 and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

_____ was arrested in 2007 after the boy ran away from home. His mother reported him missing, also told police she was concerned about the age of his girlfriend, whom she believed was 14 when the woman was actually 19.

When police found _____ and the boy, both admitted they were involved in a sexual relationship.

WA - The girl suspended from school - and threatened with expulsion - for taking her birth-control pill...

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A teenage girl has been suspended from school for drug-taking, and recommended for expulsion - because she was seen at school taking her birth-control pill.

"I realize my daughter broke a rule," the mother told the Washington Post. But "the punishment does not fit the crime."

Many American schools have zero-tolerance drug policies, and they really mean zero tolerance - no cough medicines, no prescription drugs, no over-the-counter medicines. It sounds like the regime top sportspeople are subjected to. Everything in tablet form is suspicious, even if you or I may think it shouldn't be.

In fact, later this month, The Supreme Court will be considering the case of a 13-year-old Arizona student, Savana Redding, who was strip-searched in 2003 by staff who suspected that she had brought Ibuprofen tablets to school. They found nothing. Is it just me or does this "all or nothing" policy just seem ridiculous?

US schools do have varying policies when it comes to drugs, depending on state law. Some allow students to carry cough sweets (but not to share them). Some don't even let children put on sunscreen at school, although in Maryland, the requirement for a doctor's note for children to use sunscreen at school has been overturned.

It is obviously important to continue the "war against drugs", but one has to wonder how far you go. In New Jersey, Millburn High, recently named the state's best, is soon to start using dogs to search for drugs on campus. An email to parents said: “I willingly risk student trust if it saves a single life."

And of course, tied up in all this is the question of teen pregnancy and birth control. In the school where the girl has been suspended for taking the pill, the Washington Post points out that "even carrying the pills in a backpack is counted among the most serious offences in the Student Responsibilities and Rights handbook." If the girl involved (an honour student), had been caught high on LSD, heroin or another illegal drug, she would have been suspended for five days. Taking her prescribed birth-control pill while at school meant she was subject to the same punishment as bringing in a gun. Isn't there a danger of losing sight of the real dangers here?

What Motivates Female Sex Offenders?

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By Michelle Golland

Sexual abuse by females, while not as common and definitely underreported as abuse by males, does occur. Marlee Matlin, while on CNN's "Larry King Live" Monday, spoke about her own experience of sexual abuse at the hands of her female babysitter when she was just 11 years old.

It appears, if the allegations are true, that part of the motive in the death of Sandra Cantu was that her killer, Melissa Huckaby, was sexually abusing her and may have killed her in the course of or in an attempt to hide the abuse.

A 2007 report by the Center for Sex Offender Management says that one half of sex offender therapy programs provide services to females. Approximately 3,800 adult women and 2,700 adolescent girl offenders were receiving sex offender therapy services in 2007 -- a number that's nearly twice the number of those served in these programs two years prior.

4 to 8% of reported cases of sex abuse were perpetrated by women. An estimated 1.6 million men and 1.5 million women were sexually abused by women when they were children, and among male offenders convicted and sentenced sexual abuse crimes, 24.6% of them were sexually abused by women.

Characteristics of female sex offenders:
  1. Women between the ages of 22-33 years of age.
  2. They have experienced sexual abuse as children or teens and can have victimization histories twice the rate of men who sexually offend.
  3. History of alcohol and/or drug abuse.
  4. The majority are not mentally ill, but may experience depression or personality disorders.
  5. A majority are employed in professional jobs.
  6. They have difficulties in intimate relationships; or an absence of intimate relationships.

Victims of female sex offenders:
  1. A high percentage of victims are in the family or the perpetrator is close to the victim -- friend, teacher, coach, sitter or clergy.
  2. Victims are both boys and girls -- with a slightly higher number of girls.
  3. Younger children, under the age of 12, are more often victims of women over the age of 30 years of age.
  4. Children between the ages of 13-17 are often the victims of women who are between the ages of 18 to 25 years of age.
  5. Women do not tend to show a "victim age preference" in the same manner that male sex offenders do.

Categories of female sex offenders:

  1. Teacher/Lover: At the time of their offending, these women are often struggling with peer relationships. They perceive themselves as having romantic or sexually mentoring "relationships" with underaged adolescent victims of their sexual preference, and therefore, did not consider what they are doing to be wrong or criminal in nature.
  2. Predisposed: Histories of incestuous sexual victimization, psychological difficulties and deviant sexual fantasies were common among these women who generally acted alone in their offending. They tend to victimize their own children or other young children within their families or they are close too.
  3. Male-Coerced: These women tend to be passive and dependent individuals with histories of sexual abuse and relationship difficulties. Fearing abandonment, they were pressured by male partners to commit sex offenses often against their own children.

Bringing us Out of Denial
If what is being reported is true regarding the death and sexual abuse of Sandra Cantu, then one positive thing that can come out of this horrible situation is that more children, both boys and girls, will report sexual abuse at the hands of female perpetrators and we as a society will no longer deny the harsh reality of sexual violence at the hands of women. If we continue this cultural denial, we deny the victims the support they need to report the trauma and seek help in their healing.

Dr. Golland is a USC graduate and a licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY#16974). She works with adults, teens and is an expert in the field of marriage and relationships. Dr. Golland has given her expert advice on CNN, HLN, MSNBC, ABC, and Fox news. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and wonderfully exhausting two children.

FL - Commissioners should take a Dade field trip

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The Broward County commissioners ought to forgo today's public hearing on a get-tough sex offender residency ordinance. They'd do better taking a field trip 25 miles south to visit a wretched repository of unintended consequences.

The proposed ordinance would expand the forbidden residency zones to the same 2,500-foot radius around parks, schools, day care centers and school bus stops in unincorporated Broward that has had such bizarre ramifications in Miami-Dade County.

Broward commissioners could venture down into the dank and dingy underside of the Julia Tuttle Causeway to see what comes of a residency restriction that effectively eliminates all affordable housing east of the Everglades.


In Miami-Dade County, the residency restrictions left sex offenders only one address -- the middle of Biscayne Bay. The growing homeless colony beneath the bridge could offer Broward County a squalid warning about the consequences of unthinking laws.

On Easter Sunday, the population had reached 63 sex offenders -- including one woman, a fellow in a wheelchair and an 84-year-old with serious health problems. They live in tents, jerry-rigged shacks, ancient campers, raggedy cars. With no running water. No toilets. Miami-Dade has created, by public policy, a homeless camp and a public health hazard.

The Florida Department of Corrections has complained that ordinances rendering sex offenders homeless have the perverse effect of making it more difficult to supervise sex offenders. Studies by criminologists and prison officials have found no particular correlation between a sex offender's home address and a propensity to reoffend.

Yet no public official in Miami-Dade seems to have enough imagination -- or political courage -- to undo the mess. Or even to provide minimal social services to people who have been told by cops and by Department of Corrections parole officers that they have no alternative -- they must live in a place that, by civilized standards, is unlivable.

I received an odd letter last week from Ron Book, South Florida's super lobbyist and the great champion of sexual-offender residency laws. Book also serves as chairman of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, putting him in the peculiarly conflicted position of both creating and fighting homelessness.

Book argued that the trust has found areas in Miami-Dade where sex offenders could live but "landlords simply refuse to rent to people with this type of criminal history."


Book claimed that the homeless trust has spent "thousands of dollars" on a program designed to place people emerging from institutional settings.
- And how many sex offenders?

Some 30 sex offenders under the Tuttle have been evaluated, he said. But so far, according to his letter, the Trust has managed to find accommodations for only one.

It's a success rate the Broward County commissioners might ponder before they add another 1,500 feet to the 1,000-foot restriction already required by state law: One man placed. Sixty-three homeless.

Patrick Wiese, 48, who was sent to live under the Tuttle two years ago, said the commissioners are welcome to visit.

"Broward can come down here and take a look," Wiese said Sunday. "They can see exactly what they're going to get."

NY - Woman Is Raped While Transit Workers Watch