Thursday, May 28, 2009

IN - Falsely Accused in Indiana

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UT - Utah AG Mark Shurtleff slams 'sexting' study

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Yeah, he's running to senate in 2010, so he's got to make himself look "tough!"

05/28/2009

By Linda Thomson

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (Contact) has attacked a Canadian professor's recent contention that teenagers should not face child pornography charges for electronically sending nude pictures of themselves to others.

Peter Cumming, an associate professor at York University in Toronto, presented a paper to 8,000 researchers in which he maintained that "sexting," or sending nude images through electronic text-type messages, is a fairly innocuous activity and similar to "playing doctor or spin-the-bottle."

Cumming maintains that "sexting" is a safer activity than other sexually related actions involving teens because there is no physical contact. He believes adults often overreact when such images are treated as pornography and said the stigma of labeling a teen as a sex offender for sending such images "defies common sense." Cumming said adults must make a distinction between nudity and child porn.

Shurtleff strongly disagrees.

"Children playing doctor or spin-the-bottle don't risk having millions of people, including child predators, looking at their nude photo from now until the end of time," Shurtleff said. "No matter how the professor spins it, the fact is that minors sending nude photos, images or videos are engaging in the production, manufacture and distribution of child pornography."
- You are assuming that the photos will make it to the Internet, and many do not.

Shurtleff's office supervises the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force that checks into and prosecutes cases of child pornography and sexual exploitation of children on the Internet.

A federal study showed that one out of five teens in the U.S. had taken part in sending such images.
- Again with the "1 in 5" magical statistic.  See here for more on this "statistic!"

"We should be teaching our youth the consequences of their behavior, rather than excusing it," Shurtleff said. "Countless ICAC cases involve teens being exploited for the gratification or profit of others. Sexting leaves long-lasting scars."


TX - Testimony: Preparing child for sex sale

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WARNING: This story is very sick and twisted, more than usual!

05/28/2009

By Guillermo Contreras

While negotiating a price to sell her 5-year-old daughter for sex to a man who turned out to be an informant, Jennifer Richards wrote out guidelines that she would agree to during the sale, according to her testimony Thursday.

No sex act would be allowed that the child was not comfortable with. Richards would first teach the girl how to perform sex acts before the child did them. Richards would supervise the sex with the informant and the child. Richards would initially only allow oral sex between the informant and the child, but nothing further.

Were you going to allow (the child) to dictate how this relationship progressed?” asked Block's lawyer, Jimmy Parks Jr.

Yes,” Richards, 25, responded.

Is it appropriate for a mother to do that to her young daughter? Parks queried.

At the time, I thought so, yes,” Richards said.

Richards testified that she wrote out the parameters without help from anyone else.

The unusual testimony closed out the government's case Thursday against Richards' former boyfriend, Sean Michael Block. Prosecutors rested after the FBI agent leading the investigation testified. The defense called just one witness, a computer expert, then rested.

Closing arguments are expected Thursday afternoon before Senior U.S. District Judge Harry Lee Hudspeth.

Block, who is charged with aiding and abetting Richards in the attempted sale and a separate count of distributing child pornography, is not expected to testify.

Richards, spending the second day on the witness stand, testified that she enjoyed the “BDSM” lifestyle — the bondage, the degrading treatment, the rough sex and pushing the limits of pain for erotic stimulation — with Block, 40.

But she said she didn't like enduring pain or beatings in her everyday life. The pair met in January or February 2008 while working as servers at the Cheesecake Factory. Block was married at the time and carrying on the affair with Richards.

Richards testified that it was Block's idea to sell the 5-year-old child and that she didn't put a stop to the plans out of fear he would hit her.

On Wednesday, Richards testified that Block had a tendency to beat her, apart from their sexual role-playing. While role-playing, for instance, Richards would drink Block's urine during a “punishment” phase after being disobedient to Block.

During their relationship, the pair exchanged phone texts and online chat messages in which the two were sexually stimulated by discussing unusual sex acts. For instance, Block discussed wanting to have sex with Richards' daughter.

Eventually, Block met the FBI informant at the restaurant and offered Richards' 5-year-old after discussing the matter with Richards, according to testimony. In exchange for letting the informant “groom” the child for sex, Richards would get a used car, an apartment in Stone Oak and her bills paid, according to evidence and testimony. Block and Richards also discussed taking video and pictures of the informant to blackmail him, according to the electronic communications.

But the pair was arrested separately in August after the FBI identified the child and were able to get her and her 10-month-old sister to safety.

FBI agent Rex Miller testified that Block, under questioning by agents, seemed quite “impressed with himself” for putting the sale plan into motion.

He said he put the wheels in motion and wanted to see how this would play out,” Miller testified.

During questioning by the agents, Block also claimed the proposed sale was part of a sting he was running and that he planned to turn over evidence to law officers. He also claimed he was running something similar to the television show “To Catch a Predator.”

According to Miller, Block was concerned on how he would appear in booking photos after his arrest.

Miller said Block chuckled while agents prepared to take his picture and process him for booking.

When one asked what was so funny, Block noted that celebrity booking photos always portrayed the celebrity as disheveled.

He always wondered why they looked so rough," Miller said. “He was concerned that he had not had time to shave or comb his hair.”

If convicted of the sale charge, Block faces 30 years to life in prison. Richards pleaded guilty to attempting to sell the child knowing she would be used in sex acts. As part of a plea deal, she agreed to testify in hopes of shortening her prison term. She testified that the least she could get under the deal is 20 years.


NY - Suspended Greece Cop Arraigned On New Charges

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05/28/2009

By Seth Voorhees

A Greece police officer accused of using his badge to coerce women into having sex with him, pleaded not guilty Thursday to four counts involving a second alleged victim.

Gary Pignato was indicted earlier this month, accused of convincing a woman to have sex with him, to avoid charges. In November, a grand jury indicted Pignato on similar charges, which allege he had sex with a woman after a 911 call for an incident at her home.

Included in the newest charges are one felony and three misdemeanor counts.

Meantime, Judge Alex Renzi denied a defense motion to bar media coverage of certain aspects of the trial. Pignato's attorney, Scott Greene, argued that coverage of the case could taint the jury pool for the trial on the first indictment. Jury selection in that case is scheduled to begin Monday.
- The media, IMO, should be banned from all court cases.

Renzi also ruled that testimony from 11 women who were interviewed by the grand jury would not be allowed at trial. Those women, prosecutors say, told similar stories of how Pignato allegedly tried to coerce them into having sex, to stay out of trouble. Testimony from the second alleged victim, however, will be allowed.
- I wonder if they all watched the news?  This is why the media should not be involved, because it does taint cases.

Prosecutor William Gargan labeled Pignato "a sexual predator with a badge." In court, Greene called statements from some of those who accused Pignato of inappropriate conduct, "lame."

Pignato's trial on the first indictment begins Monday, June 1.


OH - Woman Caught Driving While Drunk And Having Sex In Her Car With Her Two Kids In The Backseat

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"We Got Horny..."

Cops: Kids on board while Ohio couple got busy in car's front seat

MAY 18 - Meet _____ and _____. The Ohio couple was arrested Friday after cops spotted them having sex in a car while _____'s two small children were in the vehicle's back seat. According to a Springfield Police Department report, a copy of which you'll find here, _____, 24, was driving a Ford Taurus when she and _____, 29, "pulled off the roadway to have sex." When police approached the vehicle, they discovered _____, naked from the waist down, astride a similarly pantsless _____, who was seated in the front passenger seat. _____, who was "extremely intoxicated," offered cops a simple explanation for the pair's conduct: "We got horny and just wanted to fuck!!" _____, who failed a series of field sobriety tests, claimed to have only consumed a 22-ounce bottle of Budweiser. "I'm not completely drunk," she assured police. _____ was charged with drunk driving, child endangerment, and possession of drug paraphernalia. _____ was charged with public indecency. _____'s children, ages four and 22 months, were turned over to a friend of hers. _____ and _____ are pictured below in mug shots taken at the Clark County Jail. (4 pages)


Planned Parenthood Tells Apparent 14-year-old to Lie


NY - Laura Ahearn, getting into the vigilante business?

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See this eAdvocate article as well

Give me a break!  This is pure fear-mongering from a vigilante!

05/27/2009

By Michelle Regalado

When a Level 2 sex offender with a profile on Match.com asked out a fictitious single mom whose profile was created by Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan’s Law, Ahearn contacted the company and demanded that he be banned from the popular dating website.
- So, she is on an ADULT web site, setting up fake profiles, which the Terms of Service prohibits.  Maybe they should delete her account for violating their TOS!  So what is next?  Banning former sex offenders from all web sites?

When a company representative refused to do anything more than force the sex offender to delete his profile—and only after Ahearn threatened to go public with the story—she knew that more had to be done.

In response to this case and others like it, Nassau County Legis. Dave Mejias (D-Farmingdale) introduced legislation that would prohibit sex offenders from using similarly popular social networking websites, such as Facebook, as well as online dating services like E-Harmony.

There are too many horror stories of children being lured by already convicted sex offenders through these sites,” says Mejias.
- So why are KIDS on an adult match making site in the first place?  Sounds like you are mixing stories!

If passed, the proposed law would make the use of these sites a violation for all sex offenders in the county. Those found in violation would be brought back to court and could be put behind bars.

The bill would build upon The Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP), a New York State law that was enacted in May 2008 that banned Level 3 sex offenders from online social networking websites and mandated that sex offenders register Internet accounts and screen names with the State Division of Criminal Justice Services. E-STOP also allows networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, to screen or block a sex offender’s Internet messages. But critics say the e-STOP law only prohibited the highest-level offenders—those who victimized a minor—from these sites.

Up to this point, the ban doesn’t apply to those who are below a Level 3 or those who have targeted an adult, which allows for a gaping loophole,” says Ahearn.

The proposed county law would also expand regulation to Internet venues previously unmentioned, such as dating sites, where offenders can still shop for victims.
- You are assuming all sex offenders are looking for "victims!"

The Internet is the key for sex offenders to get into our homes,” says Ahearn. “There are more than 20 million people online dating, yet all of the large sites have no type of screening. You can be whoever you want to be. There are adults who even have photos of their children on these services. Nothing’s being done to ban these offenders or warn people of them.”
- It's an ADULT online dating site.  So what's the problem?  People need to be adults and never invite someone back to their home, and never go alone.

Gerard Cook, director of the Nassau County Probation Department and Chief Karen O’Callaghan of the Nassau County Police Department also expressed their support for the legislation at a press conference on Wednesday, May 27.

We currently have 340 sex offenders on probation,” Cook says. “Sixty-five of those were proven to be involved in computer crime. That doesn’t mean that the others were not.”

Neither Facebook nor Match.com responded to requests seeking comment.

This law will go a long way in prohibiting offender’s attempts to use the Internet as their means for victimization,” Cook adds.

In the meantime, it’s up to parents to monitor their children’s online activities.


Teens: Oral Sex and Casual Prostitution No Biggie

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YouTube Channel

Oh yeah, role models like Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and others, not a problem... Yeah right! When kids see role models in sexy outfits, sex tapes, and sex all over TV, what do you expect?

05/28/2009

By CLAIRE SHIPMAN and COLE KAZDIN

They don't give their names, but viewers can see their faces plainly and what these teens are saying is shocking parents.

"I ended up having sex with more than one person that night and then in the morning I was trying to get morning-after pills," one of the girls said. "I was, like, 14 at the time."

It's just one of dozens of stories from teenage girls in a new documentary by Canadian filmmaker Sharlene Azam that aims to shed light on the secret, extremely sexual lives of today's teens.

After four years researching for the documentary, Azam told "Good Morning America" that oral sex is as common as kissing for teens and that casual prostitution -- being paid at parties to strip, give sexual favors or have sex -- is far more commonplace than once believed.

"If you talk to teens [about oral sex] they'll tell you it's not a big deal," Azam said. "In fact, they don't consider it sex. They don't consider a lot of things sex."

Evidence of this casual attitude may be seen in the fact that more than half of all teens 15 to 19 years old have engaged in oral sex, according to a comprehensive 2005 study by the Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics.

'Oral Sex Is the New Goodnight Kiss'

In the documentary, "Oral Sex Is the New Goodnight Kiss," girls as young as 11 years old talk about having sex, going to sex parties and -- in some extreme situations -- crossing into prostitution by exchanging sexual favors for money, clothes or even homework and then still arriving home in time for dinner with the family.

"Five minutes and I got $100," one girl said. "If I'm going to sleep with them, anyway, because they're good-looking, might as well get paid for it, right?"

Another girl talked about being offered $20 to take off her shirt or $100 to do a striptease on a table at a party.

The girls are almost always from good homes, but their parents are completely unaware, Azam said.

"The prettiest girls from the most successful families [are the most at risk]. We're not talking about marginalized girls," she said. "[Parents] don't want to know because they really don't know what to do. I mean, you might be prepared to learn that, at age 12, your daughter has had sex, but what are you supposed to do when your daughter has traded her virginity for $1,000 or a new bag?"

Sex Favors Traded for Relationship Stability

For some of the girls, the sexual favors are not about clothes or money, but used to keep a relationship together in a chillingly objective way.

"I think there's very much trading for relationship favors, almost like 'you need to do this [to] stay in this relationship,'" one girl told "Good Morning America."

"There's a lot of social pressure," said another. "Especially because of our age, a lot of girls want to be in a relationship and they're willing to do anything."

The girls laughingly admitted they never talk to their parents about their sexual activity.

"I mean, we're not looking for our future husbands," one girl said. "We're just looking for, maybe like ... at our age, especially, I think all of us, both sexes, we have a lot of urges, I guess, that need to be taken care of. So if we resort to a casual thing, no strings attached, it's perfectly fine."

Azam said she thinks the "no strings attached" romances could be a defense mechanism against a greater disappointment.

"A lot of girls are disappointed in love," she said. "And I think they believe they can hook up the way guys do and not care."

"But unfortunately, they do care."




FL - Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog

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NE - Nebraska passes another unconstitutional retroactive law - WHY HAVE A CONSTITUTION?

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05/28/2009

LINCOLN (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers have approved a number of changes that are designed to make it easier for the public to track sex offenders.
- So how is adding the new crimes below, going to make it easier for the public to track sex offenders?

Under Legislative Bill 285 (PDF), passed on Thursday, crimes including incest, sexually assaulting an inmate and sexual enticement using computers would land offenders on the state’s sex-offender registry.

The law would be retroactive for people convicted of those offenses since 1997.
- And thus violating the ex post facto portion of the Constitution!

The proposal follows the 2006 passage of a federal law meant to create a national system for registering sex offenders.

Nebraska could lose federal grants for law enforcement if the governor doesn’t sign the bill.
- This is what it's all about, money, and punishment!


NM - MDC investigates guard for sexual impropriety

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05/27/2009

A former jail guard could be charged with rape after deputies say she became pregnant by an inmate while she was working at MDC.

Bernalillo County investigators think the inmate impregnated the guard, Reyna Lujan, in his own cell while the guard was on duty.

Lujan, who denies the charges, quit the jail after her bosses started investigating her.

A tip from inmates spurred the investigation. Now investigators have hundreds of phone calls between the two.

"The sheriff's office is recommending that she be charged with criminal sexual penetration in this case,” said DA spokesman Pat Davis. “It's a second degree felony because it involves a person of authority -- in this case, a correctional officer."

Lujan could be hit with a rape charge for each time she had sex with the inmate, Eric Brayman, even if she didn’t force the inmate.

"Although we can’t speculate whether it was consensual or not, the law doesn't make an exception for that,” Davis said.

The report on Lujan contains transcripts of some of the 300 calls between her and the inmate. In one she tells Brayman she is pregnant with his child. In another, the pair laugh about an incident where they were in the middle of a sex act inside Brayman’s cell when Lujan’s radio goes off and she is called away.

Davis says they are handling the accusations seriously.

We want to move this as quickly as possible because we want to maintain the integrity of the MDC,” Davis said.

There is no word on whether Lujan is pregnant with the baby. Based on timelines in the police report, she could be in her third trimester.

When Brayman was released from the MDC, he moved in with Lujan.


FL - State needs to fix the sex offender mess

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05/28/2009

By FRED GRIMM

Thoughtfulness comes too late.

The task force charged by the Broward County Commission with finding a way out of the conundrum created by sex offender residency restrictions has listened to experts, crunched numbers and discussed a dismaying array of unintended consequences.

By its second meeting on Tuesday, none of the task force members were defending the notion that draconian restrictions actually protected children from sex offenders.

They discussed better solutions than laws that forced registered sex offenders into homelessness; that left parole officers with no alternative but to send them to live under a highway bridge; that encouraged sex offenders to cluster in neighborhoods with less restrictive ordinances.

FAILURE OF LAWS

They talked about the documented failure of these laws in other states.

They talked about laws, instead, that would keep sex offenders from loitering around places where children congregate. They talked about re-zoning industrial areas to allow sex offender housing.

They talked about restrictions that fail to distinguish between less dangerous offenders and sexual predators.

They pushed beyond the emotional stuff and dug for what made sense.

It was the kind of thoughtful examination needed to sort out a complicated and volatile problem.

Except, it comes too late. Most of South Florida's cities (and Miami-Dade County) have already passed 2,500-foot restrictions around schools, parks, day care centers, even school bus stops. The County Commission holds sway over less than three square miles of unincorporated Broward.

"That's just a tiny portion of the county," lamented Lori Butts, a forensic psychologist on the task force. The task force was wrestling Tuesday with the perverse effect of leaving those unincorporated areas without jacked-up restrictions, creating a kind of refuge for sex offenders driven out of nearby cities.

Nor can the Broward County Commission (unlike the Miami-Dade Commission) pass a superseding ordinance, replacing the 2,500-foot restrictions passed by Broward cities with something sensible, said Task Force Chairwoman Jill Levenson, Lynn University's expert on sex crime policies.

OBVIOUS IRONY

An obvious irony hangs over the Broward sex offender task force, with members from law enforcement, corrections, academia, government and with a victim and a sex offender at the table. Best I can tell, it's the first in the state. Other cities and counties passed a frenzy of residency restrictions without bothering to examine the consequences.

You'd think Miami-Dade, with that festering homeless colony under the Julie Tuttle Causeway, would have appointed a sex offender task force months ago.

It's probably too late. It'll take a state law now to sort out this mess. Lori Butts said her group can't do much more than deliver a "well thought out, well researched idea we'd like to see happen statewide."

The state must either fix the mess, Butts said, or pay the tab to keep sex offenders in prison. Forcing potentially dangerous predators into homelessness, she said, "is just crazy."

Homeless sex offenders are beyond treatment, she warned. "If they're living under a bridge, they can't get better."


UT - Husband throws more than mere accusations

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05/28/2009

By Tim Gurrister

OGDEN -- Police are investigating a rare case of harassment: fake sex offender registry notices followed by a bucket of feces.

The target was a man in an Ogden apartment complex who had a one-night stand with a married co-worker in November.

The carefully plotted revenge of the husband came first on April 30, when more than 30 notices were tied to doorknobs in the victim's apartment complex accusing him of membership on the state's sex offender registry for rape of a 5-year-old.

"He's not a sex offender," Ogden Police Lt. Loring Draper said. "That wasn't a very good thing to do."

The bright orange fliers bore an exact copy of the apartment complex's logo and included half a dozen names of offenders who are really on the sex offender registry, complete with the distance of their residence from the apartment complex, just as the state's sex offender registry Web site lists them.

"Whoever did this is going to be damn lucky if they don't get sued," Draper said early on in the investigation.

"There is a criminal defamation charge in the state code that makes this a class B misdemeanor, up to six months in jail, for disseminating info known to be false and knowing it will expose the subject to 'hatred, contempt or ridicule,' is how it reads."

Staff at the apartment complex noticed the fliers before the victim did, called police, and were able to take down about 30 of them and notify the victim of what had happened.

The apartment manager that same morning then put out fliers on all the buildings in the complex noting the prior notices were fakes and advising that a police investigation was under way.

A week later, around midnight May 7, the victim found a plastic bucket tossed on his second-floor apartment balcony, spewing what appeared to be human feces. The liquefied dung was also all over his car.

At the time the 29-year-old victim, who is raising a 3-year-old daughter, was understandably angry.

"I'm going to take this as far as I can, prosecution, hire a lawyer, file a lawsuit, whatever I have to do," he said.

Police were called again and a suspect was formally identified as the betrayed husband, who was interviewed.

Two weeks later, with no further incidents, feelings have since abated somewhat on both sides, with a happy ending pending, apparently.

The victim has received an apology in writing. "I can understand why he's upset, I made a mistake with his wife," he said this week.

"I don't need to make things any harder for him. And he's got some young kids, too."

He hopes the case can be closed without official charges filed.

Police wouldn't comment on the eventual outcome of their investigation.

The hand-written apology was delivered by the investigator in the case, Ogden Community Police Officer Tim Shelstead.

Any further contact by the author of the apology with the victim in the case could become a witness-tampering charge, police said.

That's a felony that could put the offender in Utah State Prison, not just the county jail.

"I can't recall a case quite like this," Draper said, citing the elaborate work on the phony sex offender registry notices.

"I've heard of people threatening to do stuff like this, but not actually doing it. I guess it's good that feces is all he threw."


MA - Springfield man, 'detained' by neighbors, arrested on child-enticement charges as he is released from hospital

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05/27/2009

By GEORGE GRAHAM

SPRINGFIELD - Was it street justice that led to 61-year-old _____'s beating by neighbors earlier this month?
- It was vigilantism, which is a crime, and all involved should be arrested and brought up on assault charges.  The law is the law!

Or, was it some kind of vendetta on the part of the girls who accused him of attempting to lure them into his car with candy?

_____'s lawyer and a Hampden County assistant district attorney laid out their opposing views of _____'s beating in the McKnight neighborhood during his arraignment on child enticement charges Wednesday morning in Springfield District Court.

Alleged child enticer beat up by neighbors, then arrested

The beating that sent _____ to Baystate Medical Center for the better part of a week, occurred Friday night, according Sgt. John M. Delaney.

Officers Anthony Sowers and Craig Davis, dispatched to the area of Bay and Marion streets shortly after 9:30 p.m., discovered _____ laying on the ground suffering from injuries "and the whole neighborhood gathered around," Delaney said.

Delaney said detectives found _____'s car on Girard Avenue loaded with candy. It was towed as evidence.

Detectives arrested _____, of 147 Marion St., Tuesday night as he was being released from Baystate. He is charged with four counts of enticing a child under 16, Delaney said.

After innocent pleas for _____ were entered in court, Assistant District Attorney Corrine A. Rock asked Judge Phillip Beattie to hold him in lieu of $100,000 cash bail.

Rock said that police officers were summoned to the area of Bay and Marion streets for a report of a disturbance on May 22.

"Apparently, the disturbance was the result of the defendant trying to lure young female children into his car with candy," Rock said.
- This is an assumption!  In a court of law, you are suppose to be innocent until proven guilty, and vigilantism is a crime.  The disturbance was from a vigilante mob!  And all should be charged with assault!

The assistant district attorney made no mention of Rock's beating and said that adults in the neighborhood "detained" him until police arrived.
- Detained, assaulted, what's the difference?

Rock said a passenger in _____'s car fled.
- Do you blame him/her?

Rock said four girls told investigators that _____, starting the week before his beating, drove his red Chevrolet Corsica slowly through the neighborhood and attempted to entice the girls into his car with candy.

At least one of the girls told investigators that _____ asked for her cell phone number, Rock said.

Delaney said the girls in question are between the ages of 10 and 12.

Rock said _____ has a record of four prior apperance defaults and has been convicted of operating under the influence and operating negligently.

_____'s lawyer, Nancy A. Flahive, asked that her client be held in lieu of $5,000 personal surety.

Flahive said that _____, who has New Hampshire plates on his Corsica, drove slowly because was new to the area.

_____, Flahive said, has a full-time job in Ellington, Conn., and that his wife died in February.

"He certainly doesn't spend his day driving up and down the street looking to lure young girls into his car with candy," Flahive said.

Flahive suggested the girls didn't like her client, perhaps because he tended to drive slowly through the neighborhood.

"I think this is one of those instances where some of those young girls didn't like the looks of my client," Flahive said.

Beattie set _____'s bail at $10,000 cash, $100,000 surety, and ordered him to return June 22 for a pre-trial hearing.

Delaney said charges have not been filed against any of _____'s attackers. Because police did not witness the assault and battery, it would be up to _____ to file a complaint, Delaney said.
- Of course not!  The US condones vigilantism, didn't you know that?

"I don't think he wants to," Delaney said.
- He should, or else vigilantism will continue to grow!

_____, wearing white tracksuit-style clothing, did not appear to have any visible injuries at his arraignment Wednesday.

The case is being investigated by Lt. Cheryl C. Clapprood and her team of detectives assigned to the Springfield Police Department's special victims unit, Delaney said.


NY - POLICE: SUSPECT GRABBED DETECTIVE'S GUN, SHOT & INJURED DETECTIVE, THEN KILLED SELF

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05/27/2009

A three-hour standoff at the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office ended when the suspect shot and killed himself, police said.

In a press conference this evening, the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office said an investigation was ongoing into the standoff , which left one detective injured from a grazing gunshot. The detective was treated and released from Saint Francis Hospital.

The sheriff's office refused to release the name of the detective or the suspect, citing the ongoing investigation the office is conducting. The Journal learned the suspect was _____, 30.
- The police did not release the suspects name for a reason, but the vigilante media takes it upon themselves to release the name themselves.  This ought to be illegal!

Suspect's background

_____ was a level-three sex offender. He was described as a black Hispanic who was six feet tall, 172 pounds with black hair and brown eyes, according to the New York State Department of Justice Web site.

His last reported address was a hotel in Hyde Park.

_____ entered a guilty plea on January 27, 2004 for first-degree sexual assault, a felony. _____ had told Dutchess County Court Judge Thomas J. Dolan that he touched a 17-year-old woman and forced her to touch him in an apartment building on Main Street in 2002. On March 11, 2004, he was sentenced to two years in state prison.

Struggle, shooting

_____ was brought into the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office for questioning in an alleged sexual offense case. He was scheduled to be arrested and arraigned, the sheriff's office said.

Two detectives were in the room for the interview, which was wrapping up, when a struggle ensued. _____ grabbed a detective's gun and fired, the sheriff's office said.

While being prepared for arraignment, the suspect attempted to escape and struggled with a detective, gaining control of the detective’s weapon,” Sheriff Butch Anderson said in a prepared statement.

Undersheriff Kirk Imperati said the gun was a 40-caliber semiautomatic pistol.

The man then barricaded himself in an unoccupied office. About three hours later, Imperati said, members of the sheriff’s Emergency Services Unit heard a gunshot, entered the office and found the man dead on the floor.
- Boy, the police screwed this up, all around!

Detective treated, released

The wounded detective was identified by sources close to the investigation as _____.
- And again, the media releases information which was not released, and should be illegal!

Imperati said a bullet grazed the detective on the side of his head. He was treated at Saint Francis Hospital and released.

Back to normal

Roads around the sheriff's office in the City of Poughkeepsie have been reopened after being closed much of the afternoon. Sheriff's office employees who had been cleared out of the building were let back in after the incident ended with the suspects' death. Correction officers, however, were being allowed in and out of the jail, which is adjacent to the sheriff's office.

Rare occurrence

The armed standoff at the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office today was apparently unprecedented.

Those with years of experience in law enforcement cannot recall anything similar ever happening before in either Dutchess or Ulster counties.

A number of them were asked if they could remember a hostage situation or armed standoff in a local police station or town hall – where local court sessions typically take place.

Former Dutchess County Sheriff Fred Scoralick said in his 20 years as sheriff –1979-99, as well as all his years in county law enforcement stretching to 1962 -- he could not recall a similar event taking place.

Not in the years I was there,” said Scoralick, a Town of Beekman resident.

Ditto for Ulster County Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum, who has been in county law enforcement for 33 years. He did, however, remember reading in the newspaper in the late 1980s of the shooting in upstate New York – possibly Onondaga County – of two police officers by a prisoner.

In court, an inmate grabbed a gun from an officer and a couple of officers got shot,” Van Blarcum said.

Capt. Bob Nuzzo, commander of New York State Police Troop K in Millbrook, said that Wednesday’s armed standoff provoked no memories of anything similar during his 22 years on the force.

Nothing that I can recall,” he said.

Captain Paul Lecomte of the Town of Poughkeepsie police said outside of the occasional suspect resisting arrest, he couldn’t remember in his 29 years on the force of an officer having his or her weapon taken by a suspect.

Town of LaGrange Supervisor Jon Wagner, a retired detective with the Poughkeepsie town police, said he also could not recollect a situation mirroring Wednesday’s at the sheriff’s office. Wagner had a 22-year career with the town police, beginning in 1981.

I can’t recall .... and I was a hostage negotiator,” Wagner said.

Evacuation

The incident unfolded inside the sheriff's office. Outside, police cars and other emergency vehicles responded, necessitating the closing of the street.

"We have a dangerous person in the building. It's a contained situation," Sheriff's Deputy TJ Hanlon said during a 2:15 p.m. press conference. The press conference was held at the intersection of High Street and North Hamilton Street, about two blocks from the jail at 150 North Hamilton St.

City of Poughkeepsie Capt. Steven Minard, acting chief because Chief Ron Knapp is on vacation, said city police were assisting the sheriff's office.

The sheriff's hostage negotiation team was deployed, but when asked if there was a hostage, Hanlon declined comment at the time.

Residents in the area were not being allowed into their homes, Hanlon said. One woman was arrested when allegedly she ignored police who tried to stop her.

Standoff drew police, crowds

City of Poughkeepsie Police Department Mobile Command Unit, emergency services from the city and town of Poughkeepsie, as well as the sheriff's emergency service unit were on the scene. Members of the FBI were observed as well.

Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik was there, as weredozens of bystanders on the road. Police tape blocked sidewalks.

"It has the potential to be a very serious situation," Tkazyik said earlier in the afternoon.

Tkazyik said there was no immediate threat to the public or the neighborhood.

Tasha Vailes 36, of the Bronx, was at the jail visiting her brother.

They kicked everyone out of the visiting room, then they told them to get out of the building,” she said, noting she had come all the way up from New York City and only got to see her brother for 15 minutes.


The real cultural predators

View the article here

05/27/2009

By Christian Hines

Controversy finally canceled Dateline NBC’s popular “To Catch a Predator” series. Although it wasn’t the only program to profit from the sordid world of sexual abuse, it was the first to transform audiences’ strange fascination with sexual crimes into a commodity.

To produce the show, Dateline NBC paid the controversial citizens’ organization (vigilantes) Perverted-Justice, which recruits volunteers to pose as underage Internet users to lure online predators to pursue sexual liaisons. Dateline producers funded the organization, which then staged confrontations between the predators and reporter Chris Hansen, who grilled them before their arrests.

Although Dateline producers marketed the program as an investigation, which reports the news as it currently exists, they were, in fact, helping to produce the news themselves by spearheading antipredator initiatives alongside Perverted-Justice.

There lies one of the show’s significant moral blemishes: A journalist’s responsibility is to report the news, not create it and then cover it.

NBC News executives have staunchly defended the series. It is true that they were ultimately helping to take harmful sexual predators off the street. Yet no matter how noble the work of these journalists might have been, pursuing this end at the expense of sound practices sets a dangerous journalistic precedent and gives their work a certain dishonesty. Perhaps that’s why, despite the show’s graphic element of realness and the detail in which it explored the obscene world of online solicitation, it still had a manufactured and disingenuous feel.

In strangely voyeuristic fashion, NBC’s hidden cameras captured the utter humiliation of men whose lives were being ruined on national television. The show’s genius, purely from a marketing perspective, was that it managed to combine the veneer of a serious investigative report with the manufactured drama of planned confrontations. It’s this combination of artificiality and realism, of specious journalism and reality show candidness that gave the show its popular formula. That’s why Dateline could re-create the same scenario during a four-year period without ever showing something really new. That and, well, people were willing to watch.

After all, as easy as it is to slam NBC for driving up its profit at the expense of honest, respectable journalism, consumers ultimately bought in. Dateline smartly pilloried one of the most universally abhorred and easily condemnable crimes. It seems scapegoating is a clever marketing strategy.

Such marketing strategies are incredibly cynical though. The underlying assumption is that viewers are so desperate for someone on which to blame society’s ills and perversions that they will faithfully watch a television show that does just that.

The sad reality, of course, is that the strategy worked. And when critics finally created a stir about the ethicality of the show, network execs argued that the ends justified the means. Their implication is that ratings come before principled journalism. Cultivate within viewers a sense of moral outrage, the thinking goes, and the ratings will take care of themselves, no matter how artificial the journalism is.

I’m just sorry there’s not more social outrage to go around.


Ricki Lake Gets Personal In New Book About Childbirth

View the article here

Video available at the link above.

05/26/2009

Ricki Lake has been very candid about being sexually abused as a child and in her new book, “Your Best Birth,” she explains how giving birth can bring back the trauma of abuse.

Access Hollywood’s Maria Menounos sat down with the star who opened up about the issue in her new book.

Chapter seven deals with sexual abuse… Why did you feel that was an important chapter to include in this book?” Maria asked.

I’m not telling that story to sell books,” Ricki explained. “I’m telling that story because you can feel violated. I mean one in three women are sexually assaulted in some way, so those are a lot of women that are giving birth.”

Sexually abused around the age of six, Ricki told Maria that victims can be re-traumatized over their body’s “lack of control” during labor.

If they are feeling, you know, like someone is not honoring their body and respecting their…privacy, their comfort level… The care providers need to be very gentle with women and particularly [with] women who have had some you know, really unsettling experiences.”

You talk about people who have addressed sexual abuse [in your book]. Did you face those issues where you felt like your body wasn’t being honored?” Maria asked.

I’m trying to remember whether I was conscious of it or whether it was something I thought about afterward. I think I’ve always been sort of modest about my body,” Ricki answered. “In a hospital when there’s a lot of residents learning from other doctors and they’re witnessing [many things]… In my personal opinion, for my body, I felt safer at home.”

So Ricki opted for a midwife to assist in the birth of her now 7-year-old son, Owen, which was featured in her 2008 documentary, “The Business of Being Born.”

But Ricki promises the book is chalk full of information too. Perhaps a little too much.

I would never know that your partner or your husband is supposed to manipulate certain parts of your body,” Maria said.

Yeah, yeah! Nipple stimulation helps you go into labor and having sex before if you’re trying to bring on labor [helps],” Ricki revealed. “There’s definitely things you kind of didn’t know.”


OR - Oregon's AG Announces $655,000 Grant to Fight Internet Sex Predators

View the article here

05/26/2009

The federal stimulus grant will save funding for the Department of Justice’s Internet Crimes Against Child unit.

SALEM - Attorney General John Kroger announced today that the federal government has awarded a $655,000 Recovery Act grant to the Oregon Department of Justice to fight online predators.

This grant will help us protect children from exploitation,” said Attorney General Kroger. “We will use this money to investigate, prosecute and convict sexual predators in Oregon.”
- There is a nice little oxymoron!  It will protect children, after the fact!  So how does that protect them exactly?

The Oregon Department of Justice's Internet Crimes Against Children unit (ICAC) investigates and prosecutes predators who use the internet to target children for sexual exploitation.

The unit works with district attorneys, law enforcement agencies and regional task forces that investigate online predators. Budget cuts threatened to end the program in Oregon, but Attorney General Kroger made restoring funding a top public safety priority.

Since 2005, 108 internet predators who targeted Oregon children have been convicted as a result of ICAC investigations.

Notable cases include:

-- _____ of Springfield pleaded guilty on October 8, 2008, to 2 counts of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse I and 2 counts Sexual Abuse I. He received a 165-month prison sentence.

-- _____ of McMinnville pleaded guilty on November 16, 2007, to 4 counts of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse I. He received a 117-month prison sentence.

ICAC is the only program in Oregon that is equipped with the necessary resources to catch sex predators throughout the state. The ICAC unit has worked in cooperation with more than 160 law enforcement agencies around Oregon.

The $655,000 grant is part of a larger effort by Attorney General Kroger and a coalition of Oregon prosecutors, sheriffs, police chiefs and victims’ advocates to win as many federal stimulus grants for Oregon law enforcement as possible.
- Is part of a larger effort?  For what?  To further his career and make himself look better, while actually doing not much of anything?

Earlier this year, Kroger joined with law enforcement from around the state to apply for tens of millions of dollars in federal stimulus money to bolster public safety and avoid layoffs.

Kroger then traveled to Washington, D.C., to personally lobby on behalf of Oregon’s effort.

If successful, this ongoing effort will help maintain sheriffs, police chiefs and district attorneys to keep officers on the street and prosecutors in Oregon courtrooms.
- Hmm, why don't you stop sending people to jail/prison for dumb stuff?  That would save a ton of money, but again, it's about prison being a business, which makes tons of money, and we cannot kill that, besides, we are the prison nation!

Assistant Attorney General Harry Wilson is coordinating law enforcement grants for the Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners.

Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.
- So what about fighting all the corruption in government, police force, businesses, Washington DC, etc?