Friday, June 26, 2009

RI - Convicted RI sex offender found dead

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I always question these types of articles.  It would not surprise me if the inmates or guards did this, and made it look like a suicide.  This is why they need cameras in ALL cells, so when this happens, they can view and release the video, so we can see for a fact, if they committed suicide, or it was a set up.


Prisoner apparently committed suicide

CRANSTON (AP) - Authorities are investigating the apparent suicide of a man being held at the Rhode Island state prison in Cranston.

A spokeswoman for the Adult Correctional Institutions tells The Providence Journal that 25-year-old _____ of Westerly was found hanging in his cell in the Intake Service Center around 8:50 p.m. Wednesday.

He was pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital.

_____ had been arrested by the Woonsocket police Sunday for failing to register as a sex offender. He had previously served a sentence after being convicted of multiple counts of child molestation.

The ACI’s investigations unit and the state police are investigating.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)

TN - Man Charged In 'Virtual Porn' Case

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A Tennessee man is facing charges of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor for what authorities say are three pictures -- none of them featuring an actual child's body.

Instead, according to testimony presented at _____'s preliminary hearing in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Wednesday, the photos feature the faces of three young girls placed on the nude bodies of adult females, CNN affiliate WDEF reported.

Hamilton County Det. Michael Cox said _____ told authorities "he wanted to see what they would look like as adults," according to WDEF.

Two of the faces were of local girls -- a 10-year-old and 12-year-old, the station reported. The third face appears to be Miley Cyrus, 16, star of Disney's popular television series "Hannah Montana" and its big-screen adaptation, "Hanna Montana: The Movie," according to WDEF.

Investigators do not believe _____ had any contact with the three girls, but "when you have the face of a small child affixed to a nude body of a mature woman, it's going to be the state's position that this is for sexual gratification and that this is simulated sexual activity," Assistant District Attorney Dave Denny said during Wednesday's hearing. Attempts to contact Denny by CNN Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Cases like _____'s present a unique legal issue. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2002 ruled that "virtual child pornography," in which no children were actually harmed, is protected speech and does not constitute a crime.

Since then, "more and more of these guys are using morphed images, image manipulations" in an attempt to circumvent prosecution, Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said Wednesday.

Such attempts are not always successful, Allen said, as charges can still be filed under obscenity laws or other statutes. Also, other avenues can be pursued when the faces used are those of real, identifiable people, he said.

"We see it all the time," Allen said. "It makes it harder for law enforcement. It makes it tougher for prosecutors."

"It's definitely on the increase," said Justin Fitzsimmons, a former prosecutor and senior attorney with the National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse, part of the National District Attorneys' Association. "People are trying to come up with creative ways to continue to sexually exploit children using digital evidence."

Generally, what is seen is the "Photoshop effect," in which people use the face of a child on an adult body or vice versa in an effort to get around the law, he said.

Nearly every state, however, has adopted a law in response to the Supreme Court decision in the case, Fitzsimmons said.

For instance, Tennessee's laws state that in prosecuting the offense of sexual exploitation of a minor, "the state is not required to prove the actual identity or age of the minor."

As to the success of such prosecutions, "there have not been a huge number of them," Allen said. While some have been successful and won convictions, many such cases are still in the appellate process.

Fitzsimmons said he believes it is too soon to gauge the success or failure of prosecutorial efforts, as the cases "are just being challenged now."

"It really is sort of a blending of technology and the law," he said, and predicted such issues would become more common as society becomes more and more high-tech and technology is increasingly used in the commission of crimes.

_____ was bound over to a grand jury, according to Hamilton County online court records.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)

VA - School Votes To Pay Legal Fees Of Assistant Principal Charged In Child Porn Witchhunt

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from the good-for-them dept
Back in April, we wrote about the ridiculous situation involving an assistant principal who had been prosecuted for "child porn" possession because he had been investigating kids at school sending graphic images of themselves to each other. The details of the case are convoluted, but it was quite clear that the guy never should have been charged -- just as it was equally clear that the prosecutor didn't seem to care. As we noted, the judge tossed out the case, but the guy had lost his job and his name had been attached to child porn, scaring off friends and neighbors. However, it sounds like things may actually be working out (as much as something could "work out" after such an awful experience).

Ting-Yi Oei was allowed to return to his job in April, and apparently he was welcomed back warmly: "The Parent Teacher Student Association organized a welcome-back breakfast for him and the school honors society decorated his office door and desk with notes of support and Christmas lights." And, now, the school board has voted to give him $167,000 to cover his legal fees. That still doesn't fix the emotional anguish, but at least the community and the school seems to have realized that the prosecutor made a huge mistake here.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)

MA - Weymouth Town Council Sex Offender Ordinance Meeting

This video was posted to YouTube on 06/25/2009, but doesn't say when this meeting took place, so it could be old.

Video Link

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)

OH - Acquitted of sex crimes, but still has to register?

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This is insane!  They were acquitted of the crime, but are still on the registry as being sex offenders.  And every time they move, notices are sent out to the neighbors, this is just insane!


By Brad Dicken

ELYRIA — It will take a court order to get Nancy Smith and Joseph Allen off the county’s sex offender registration list.

The pair was acquitted Wednesday of charges they had molested 4- and 5-year-old children on Smith’s Head Start bus route in the early 1990s.

Smith and Allen, who have long proclaimed their innocence, were convicted in 1994 and spent 14½ years in prison before being freed on bond by Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge earlier this year so he could resentence them because of a flaw in their original sentencing entries.

But Burge said Wednesday that his review of the trial transcript and the evidence in the case led him to conclude that the convictions were unjustified.

Sheriff’s Capt. Rich Resendez said Thursday that his office can’t take Smith, 52, and Allen, 56, off the sex offender list until told to do so by Burge.

We need to be notified by the court,” he said.

Burge confirmed Thursday that he has issued no such order. K. Ronald Bailey, Allen’s attorney, said he will likely need to ask Burge to issue the order.

We probably have to send them something,” he said.

Allen was required to register as a sex offender when he was released on bond in April. Smith had not been required to do so when Burge freed her on bond in February. But after Allen registered, Smith did so as well.

The pair is also still listed in a state database of sex offenders.

Resendez said neighbors of Smith and Allen, both of whom were staying with relatives in Lorain, were notified in late April that Smith and Allen were living near them.

County Prosecutor Dennis Will, who did not return a call seeking comment Thursday, has said his office is reviewing Burge’s decision and will likely appeal. Will had agreed there was an error in the original entries that imposed five consecutive life prison terms on Allen and sent Smith to prison for 30 to 90 years.

But, Will argued, it was an error that should have been corrected with a new sentencing entry, not a full resentencing hearing. The 9th District Court of Appeals later dismissed Will’s appeal of that decision.

Bailey and Jack Bradley, Smith’s attorney, have said they don’t believe that even if prosecutors convince an appeals court that Burge made an error that his acquittal of Allen and Smith could be reversed.

Bailey said he also will likely seek some compensation for Allen from the state for the years his client, whom he has represented for free since 1997, spent behind bars.

Kim Kowalski, a spokeswoman for Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, said that anyone who believes they were locked up for a crime they didn’t commit would have to convince a judge to “determination of wrongful imprisonment” in a civil case.

If that happened, Kowalski said, the judge would determine how much money to award.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)

GA - Woman Says Former Officer Raped Her

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WOODSTOCK - A woman is suing the city of Woodstock and a narcotics officer she said raped her at a police station. She said the incident happened after she agreed to work as a confidential informant after a drug arrest.

The allegations were laid out in a federal lawsuit that Channel 2 Action News reporter Tom Regan obtained. It was filed Wednesday in the U.S. district court.

Because there are no criminal charges filed, Channel 2 is withholding the name of the officer.

“He told me he was going to put me in jail if I didn’t cooperate,” said the alleged victim.

A 47-year-old woman asked Channel 2 Action News to conceal her identity as she described her account of rape and sexual assault by a former Woodstock narcotics officer. She said the incident happened the night of Jan. 28, 2008 inside a room at the police station.

“He asked me to lift up my shirt at the beginning of the room. And he took me to the back of the room and I knew...I knew just what was going to happen,” she said.

When interviewed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, she said the officer told her repeatedly that ‘she owed him’ for not arresting her a second time on drug charges.

“I asked him, ‘Why are you doing this?’ He said I needed to remember where I was at and that I could go to jail,” said the alleged victim.

The officer named in the lawsuit denied the allegations when questioned by GBI investigators. The report concluded there was no DNA evidence that an assault took place.

But the lawyer of the alleged victim questioned why the officer resigned the day an internal investigation was to begin.

“I think he quit the day he was supposed to be polygraphed. To me, that’s significant,” said attorney Ralph Goldberg.

The Woodstock city attorney told me the lawsuit is without merit and there is no physical evidence to support the allegations.

Cherokee County district attorney Gary Moss said, while there is insufficient evidence to bring indictments in the case, the case remains active.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (Bill Of Rights)