Friday, July 17, 2009

RSO Blues - By Fenix

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OK - Protecting Children From Predators

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And the reporter fails to mention that NO sex offender registry, nor residency restrictions would prevent sexual abuse.  Studies show that 90% or more of all sexual crimes, occur in the victims own home.  So you need to be looking out for your own family members, not some stranger.

07/16/2009

Many of us have an idea of who may be a sexual predator. Many times we think of a stranger as the threat, but in about 9 out of every ten cases the child molesters are someone the child knows.

A green country mother told FOX23 about her family’s tragedy. She found out two of her children were molested by her husband, the father and step-father of her son and daughter.

She says she had no idea there was a problem until her son finally told her after he had been abused for 8 years.

She said, “I absolutely felt terrible guilt that I did not know. I thought I was the most over protective parent with all four of my children I though that I was protecting my children the best that I could and had no idea that it was happening in my own home.”

Child abuse expert Sharon Doty says the mother is like many parents out there who don’t know how child molesters work.

Doty says most times, children are defenseless because predators groom children and trick them into trusting them.

Doty says parents need to watch out for some red flags as signs adults may be a threat to your child.

She says look out for “adults who aggressively reach out to and touch children rather than letting the kids initiate the contact. A responsible adult is not going to run over and hug a kid and grab hold of the kid.”

Also, watch out for adults that “seem to have children isolated or away from the group. Those are also situations you want to interrupt or make sure your child is not engaged in.”

The mother of two children who became victims of sexual abuse says other parents need to know that the dangerous predator may be much closer than you think.

She said, “It could be a relative, it could be your neighbor. It’s not going to be the guy with the shades in the raincoat at the park.”




"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


FL - Ex-deputy convicted of misconduct with teen girl

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Florida, and another perverted cop! Boy, Florida is loaded with them. I wonder if they will be forced to live under the Julia Tuttle Bridge with the rest of the ex-sex offenders?

07/17/2009

By Suevon Lee

Gabriel Pizzini, who faces a minimum of 6½ years in prison, was denied release on bond pending his sentencing

Gabriel Pizzini, the former Marion County Sheriff's deputy who was standing trial this week on charges of lewd and lascivious conduct on a 14-year-old girl, was found guilty of all counts Thursday afternoon.

The six-member jury deliberated for an hour and a half.

Pizzini, 43, was remanded into custody following the verdict, despite his attorney's attempts to keep him free on bond. He will be sentenced once a pre-sentencing investigation ordered by Circuit Judge Edward Scott is complete.

Over the course of a three-day trial, prosecutors charged that the former law enforcement officer abused his authority in February 2007 while transporting a 14-year-old girl from her foster home to the Juvenile Assessment Center for missing school.

They claimed he groped her during a routine pat-down search for weapons, then stalled his patrol car on a side street where he coerced her to show her breasts so he could snap a Polaroid photo.

That photo was later recovered from Pizzini's squad car. It had been placed in his day planner stuck inside the sun visor of his car. Authorities claim he tried to throw the photo under the car before it was seized.

A 15-year veteran of law enforcement who had been a deputy with the Sheriff's Office for just one year prior to his arrest, Pizzini denied touching the girl in any inappropriate way. He testified that her friend took the photo, then left it in his car.

The counts against Pizzini included lewd and lascivious molestation of a child, lewd and lascivious conduct, lewd and lascivious solicitation and attempted evidence tampering.

Due to the nature of the charges, Pizzini will be designated a sex offender.

According to prosecutor Jennifer Kipke, Pizzini faces a minimum 6½ years in prison.

"My feeling is that a corrupt police officer who hid behind his badge to prey upon young girls has been convicted and will hopefully never be in a position to do this kind of thing again to anybody else," co-prosecutor Tim McCourt said.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


Eyewitness: How Accurate Is Visual Memory?

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07/12/2009

Lesley Stahl Reports On Flaws In Eyewitness Testimony That Lead To Wrong Convictions

(CBS) This story was first published on March 8, 2009. It was updated on July 11, 2009.

It's a cliché of courtroom dramas - that moment when the witness is asked "Do you see the person who committed the crime here in this courtroom before you?" It happens in real courtrooms all the time, and to jurors, that point of the finger by a confident eyewitness is about as damning as evidence can get.

But there is one type of evidence that's even more persuasive: DNA. There have been 235 people exonerated by DNA in this country, and as 60 Minutes and correspondent Lesley Stahl first reported in March, now a stunning pattern has emerged: more than three quarters of them were sent to prison at least in part because an eyewitness pointed a finger - an eyewitness we now know was wrong.


It was hot and humid in Burlington, N.C. on the night of July 28, 1984. Jennifer Thompson, then a 22-year-old college student, had gone to bed early in her off-campus apartment. As she slept, a man shattered the light bulb near her back door, cut her phone line, and broke in.

"I remember kind of waking up and turning my head to the side and saying, 'Who's there? Who is it?' And I saw the top of someone's head kind of sliding beside my mattress. I screamed and I felt a blade go to my throat," Thompson told Stahl.

Thompson said the man, armed with a knife, told her to shut up or that he would kill her.

Her first thought was to offer him anything she had to go away. "'You can have my credit card. You can have my wallet. You can have anything in the apartment. You can have my car.' And he looked at me and said, 'I don't want your money.' And I knew what was gettin' ready to happen."

She vowed to stay alert and study him so that if she lived, she could help put him away forever. "'What is his voice? Does he have an accent? Does he have a scar? Is there a tattoo?'" Thompson explained.

"He's raping you, and you're studying his face," Stahl remarked.

"It was just trying to pay attention to a detail, that if I survived, and that was my plan, I'd be able to help the police catch him," she replied.

After about half an hour, Thompson tricked the rapist into letting her get up and fix him a drink; she ran out the back door. He fled and raped a second woman half a mile away. Detective Mike Gauldin met Thompson at the hospital.

"The first comment I remember her making was that, 'I'm gonna get this guy that did this to me.' She said, 'I took the time to look at him. I will be able to identify him if I'm given an opportunity,'" Gauldin remembered.

Detective Gauldin worked with Thompson to make a composite sketch, poring over eyes, noses, ears and lips in an effort trying to recreate the face she had seen that night. The sketch went out, and tips started coming in.

One of those tips was about a young man named Ronald Cotton. He worked at a restaurant near the scene of both rapes, and had a record: a guilty plea to breaking and entering, and as a teenager, to sexual assault.

Three days after the rape, Gauldin called Thompson in to do a photo lineup. He lay six pictures down on the table, said the perpetrator may or may not be one of them, and told her to take her time.

Gauldin said Thompson did not immediately identify a photo, taking her time to study each picture.

"I can remember almost feeling like I was at an SAT test. You know, where you start narrowing down your choices. You can discount A and B," Thompson said.

"Oh, like multiple choice?" Stahl asked.

"Exactly," Thompson replied.

Read the rest of the article here


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"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


Sentencing Reform Urged from All Sides

Courtesy of Criminal Justice

07/17/2009

By Matt Kelley

This week, the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security heard testimony on mandatory minimums and sentencing reforms. While some other thing was sucking all of the media attention to the other side of the hill, the subcommittee heard some strong statements from unlikely allies on reforming sentencing laws in the U.S. But is it just more talk?

Doug Berman at Sentencing Law & Policy pointed to the testimony of Grover Norquist, the President of Americans for Tax Reform, whose trickle-down babble I usually find so unappealing. He told the committee in no uncertain terms that long sentences aren't working, and they're costing us too much:

The benefits, if any, of mandatory minimum sentences do not justify this burden to taxpayers. Illegal drug use rates are relatively stable, not shrinking. It appears that mandatory minimums have become a sort of poor man’s Prohibition: a grossly simplistic and ineffectual government response to a problem that has been around longer than our government itself.

Also testifying was Families Against Mandatory Minimums President Julie Stewart. She told lawmakers:

“I believe as fervently as I did 15 years ago when I first testified to Congress that you should use your power to repeal mandatory minimum sentences,” Stewart told lawmakers. “After two decades of experimenting with mandatory minimum sentencing policies, the verdict is in: mandatory minimums are a failure. They are a failure today, just as they were in 1970 when a bipartisan Congress voted to repeal the Boggs Act, which required mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. FAMM urges Congress to learn from history and repeal mandatory minimums once more,”

Watch a video of the hearings and read the submitted testimony here

Also in international sentencing news this week: South Africa banned mandatory minimums for people convicted of committing crimes when they were under 18. Baby steps.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


UK - Wife falsely accused ex-husband of rape 'to get rid of him'

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07/02/2009

A "calculating" wife falsely accused her estranged husband of rape because she wanted him out of her life, a court heard.

Michaela Lodge, 45, accused her husband _____ of raping her in November last year because she was involved with another man when, in fact, she had initiated sexual intercourse, the court was told.

Mr Lodge was arrested and questioned before eventually, three months later, she wrote a letter to him admitting she had lied to the police.

Yesterday, Lodge, who has two children, was jailed for four months after she admitted perverting the course of justice at Chelmsford Crown Court.
- Once again, a false claim, which could have cost the man many years in prison, and on the sex offender registry, yet she gets 4 months in jail!

Judge Rodger Hayward Smith QC said it was "a wicked allegation that was pre-planned to hasten his departure from your life".

He added: "Every false allegation of rape increases the plight of women who have been genuine victims of rape in that it makes a genuine allegation harder to prove because juries know that false allegations are made from time to time."

Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, said Lodge went to a police station on 26 November last year and said her husband had raped her. Mr Lodge was arrested, held in custody and released on bail.

On 21 January Lodge made a witness statement in which she said she didn't want him prosecuted but she still maintained he had raped her.

But on 19 February she gave her son Daniel a letter to pass on to her husband which read: "I am so sorry about what I have done to you. My head was and still is all over the place. I cannot deal with this anymore, I need to put it right. When we went to bed we both wanted to make love and the fact I lied to police about you raping me."

"My head was a mess with you pulling me one way and Pete the other. I just didn't know what to do. I will say goodbye and hope one day you will be able to forgive me. I am so sorry."

Marc Brown, mitigating, said Lodge had not acted out of malice or revenge. "It was born more out of a confused desire to remove him from the picture."
- Looks like Mr. Brown needs to look up the definition of malice, and revenge. And I find it ironic he used that term when that is exactly what it was.

"She accepts it was an outright lie. The following morning she began to have regrets about what had gone on and she wanted to make her situation easier by removing Mr Lodge from the picture. She did what she did without thinking of the consequences to him, on her children or herself. It was an irrational reaction to a difficult emotional position she found herself in."

The judge read a letter from Mr Lodge, who was in court with their children, which he described as "a magnanimous appeal for mercy", not to send her immediately to prison but jailed her for four months.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)


CA - OC woman guilty of extortion, false rape claim

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See Also

Anybody who makes false accusations like this, IMO, should be on an online "false accusers" registry so these online dating sites, like MySpace and sex offenders, can link in to it, and notify potential dates of such people, to protect them from having their lives ruined forever.

Better yet, put all criminals on an online registry!!


07/09/2009

FULLERTON — An Orange County woman accused of demanding $15,000 from a man she met online by falsely claiming that he raped her has pleaded guilty to attempted extortion and falsely reporting a crime.

Prosecutors said 28-year-old Susanna Coetzee of Newport Beach was sentenced to 127 days in jail and five years probation Thursday.
- And the male, if accused, could have spent years in prison, on probation, and on the sex offender registry for life.  I don't think her time fits the crime, but of course, she's a female, and the double standard continues!

District attorney spokeswoman Farrah Emami says Coetzee met the 37-year-old man on a dating Web site. The two were at an Anaheim hotel in April when Coetzee screamed that she had been raped and left. Hotel security called 911, triggering a police investigation. Prosecutors said that during the probe, Coetzee sent numerous text messages to the man demanding money in exchange for dropping the accusation.


NE - La Vista sting snares Omaha cop

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Of course, a cop gets busted, news article comes out, without his picture.  If it were you or I, our photo would be splashed on the front page!

07/15/2009

By Andrew J. Nelson

An Omaha police officer was arrested Wednesday afternoon, accused by La Vista police of initiating a graphic online sexual conversation with a person authorities say he believed to be a 14-year-old girl. On the other end was actually a La Vista detective.

David M. Kass of Omaha was taken into custody after investigators served a search warrant on his home, according to the La Vista Police Department.

Police siezed Kass's computer. It will be forensically examined.

Specifically, Kass is accused of enticement by electronic communication device, a felony with a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.

Kass 25, graduated from the Omaha police academy in fall 2006.

He has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an Omaha Police Department internal investigation, said Officer Michael Pecha, an Omaha department spokesman.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)