Monday, July 20, 2009

UK - Sex crimes committed by children are on the rise in the UK

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Why do the reporters in the UK love to inject the "beast" word into the titles of their articles about sex crimes? They seem to love to demonize people over there, and it's usually women reporters who do this.  This IMO, is what we get when we have no role models, except junkies, and sex is rampant on TV, and video games are today's babysitter.


07/20/2009

By GEORGINA REID

ALMOST 500 children and teenagers have been charged with rape in Scotland in the last five years, shocking figures have revealed.
- So where are these "shocking figures?"  Care to show the link to them?

The horrifying total includes 19 rapes committed by kids aged just EIGHT, NINE and TEN.

And in one case a FOUR-YEAR-OLD was suspected of indecent assault.

More than 750 adolescents were charged with sexual offences in Scotland last year alone.

But specialist services to treat these young sex offenders have been cut - with three out of Scotland's four special residential units closing in the last four years.

And experts claim we are failing these youngsters and their victims.

The shocking statistics were obtained under Freedom of Information for tonight's BBC Scotland Investigates documentary, The Darker Side of Teenage Sex.
- So why do you not show the "statistics" document on your article?

The programme highlights the failings of authorities in the case of Colyn Evans - who murdered 16-year-old Karen Dewar in Tayport, Fife.

He'd been a known sex offender since the age of 11 but was living unsupervised when he killed Karen, cut up her body, stuffed it in a wheelie bin and set it alight.

He refused treatment at Geilsland School in Beith, Ayrshire, where staff told social workers he was having sex with youngsters.

Her father Frank Dewar admits the system failed Evans, who was 17 at the time of the horror, and his victims.

He believes Karen would still be alive if the public had been aware of Evans - who was never registered as a sex offender.

Mr Dewar said: "What's the difference between a 25-year-old sex offender and a 15-year-old sex offender."

"I don't see any difference. A sex offence is a sex offence."

"The system let Colyn Evans down too. He was never given any treatment."

"He was just given up on and I suppose there are hundreds of them out there like that."

Evans spent 17 months at Geilsland but failed to co-operate with an intensive programme to address his behaviour.

He was deemed "high risk" when he returned to live unsupervised in the "scatter" house in Tayport, on the same street where Karen lived.

It later emerged staff at Geilsland wrote to his social workers five times stating he was having sex with seven different boys, some underage.

Karen was killed by Evans in January 2005.

Mr Dewar said: "It's every parent's worst nightmare. She had been strangled, her throat had been cut, her body cut up and she had been put in a wheelie bin and set alight."

"She was a chatty, fun-loving lassie."

"It doesn't matter what you do, there's always a hole there, even going on holiday and seeing youngsters running around and thinking about Karen doing that."

"It's heartbreaking and you never get over it."

"If Karen had known who Evans was she wouldn't have been in his flat and she'd be alive today."

He is now serving life behind bars - and must do at least 17 years in Peterhead jail, which houses Scotland's most dangerous and predatory sex offenders.

Councils are responsible for providing help and treatment for these young offenders. But they were not able to say how much they spend or who is receiving what treatment.

Mary MacKinnon, a child protection and welfare social worker and solicitor for 25 years, insists more cash needs to be spent.

She said: "There are too few resources. There shouldn't be a waiting list, some waiting six months to a year."

"How many potential victims are there in a year?"

"We must spend money now to stop this happening."

"We can't close units and say we are moving forward."

Stuart Allardyce runs treatment programmes at Barnardo's where the process can take up to three years.

He said: "We are finding increasingly our services are stretched to over capacity." The Scottish Government is set to take a tougher line on all fiends. In six weeks a pilot scheme to release the details of ex-offenders will be tested in Tayside.

Under new rules parents and guardians worried about someone their child has unsupervised access to will be able to ask if they're a convicted beast.

But Scotland's new Children's Commissioner Tam Baillie is concerned that child sex offenders will be included.

He said: "There is a danger this scheme will drive adult offenders underground but children have nowhere to go."

"These children need our protection and assistance too."

"The most important thing is to see them as children first and their sexual problematic behaviour second."

"These are children with their own vulnerabilities and we have a responsibility to meet these needs."

The BBC programme reveals mistakes are still being made - despite several inquiries and reviews since the Evans case.

And in one case, another high-risk young offender in the same Fife authority has gone on to carry out a serious sexual offence while under specialist supervision.

But Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill insists lessons have been learned.

He said: "The death of Karen Dewar was a great shock."

"We have done what we can as a government to be as secure as we can be."

"But in some cases it's a constant process."

"Close supervision does mean close supervision but it is very difficult for the police, prosecution and the government."

"If bad people choose to do bad things it's difficult to stop them unless they are behind bars."

"Risk assessment is a judgement matter. Sometimes these people are devious, manipulative and sometimes downright bad."

"We don't live in a police state and I can't force these people to have treatment if they deny it."

The Scottish Government also said: "Specialist treatment is not always required by these people."

A government study in 2006 found more than two-thirds of children involved in abusive sexual behaviour are not formally monitored.

And only eight per cent had been placed on the sex offenders register.

BBC Scotland Investigates: The Darker Side of Teenage Sex, tonight, BBC1, 10.35pm.


"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)


MT - Mom Charged With Child Endangerment for Letting Kids Go to Mall Alone

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Just more big brother BS!  America needs to wake up, and take back this country, or you may find yourself in trouble for something stupid like this!

07/20/2009

By EMILY FRIEDMAN

Parents Say Bridget Kevane Shouldn't Have Been Treated Like A Criminal

When Bridget Kevane dropped her three children and their two friends off at a Montana mall in June 2007, she never thought that a few hours later she'd have a criminal record.

But that's what happened when Kevane let her daughter Natalie, 12, and her best friend of the same age take three younger children -- including Kevane's 3-year-old daughter -- to the mall without adult supervision.

"I was definitely in shock," Kevane told ABCNews.com of her initial reaction when told that she would be charged with a criminal offense because of her decision to let her kids roam the mall alone.

Under Montana State law, a parent can be charged with child endangerment if he or she "knowingly endangers the child's welfare by violating a duty of care, protection, or support."

When the two 12-year-olds went inside a Macy's dressing room to try shirts on and left the three younger children, ages 8, 7 and 3, unattended, an employee called mall security. Police were called to the scene and they summoned Kevane and her husband to the mall and arrested Bridget Kevane. She was allowed to leave the mall with the children, but given a court date for a few days later.

"I really thought I could make the policeman understand that there was some mistake or some misunderstanding," said Kevane, who ended up having to call a bail supervisor every Monday for six months as part of a deal her lawyer brokered with prosecutors.

Kevane, 45, who wrote in an essay published in this month's issue of parenting magazine "Brain, Child," said that her decision to let the kids go to the mall unsupervised stemmed from the fact that "the children wanted an activity, and I wanted a couple of hours of quiet and rest."

Further justifying her decision was the fact that the two older girls had both completed a babysitting certification course at a nearby hospital and that the group of five children consistently spent time together and were like "extended family" to one another.

"I have faith in my daughter... I had no reason to doubt her," Kevane said.

Mothers React to Kevane Leaving Kids at a Mall

Kevane's actions have become the latest parenting decision that has grabbed the attention of parenting groups nationwide, groups that are often not shy when it comes to passing judgment on other mothers.

But unlike the negative reaction New York mother Madlyn Primoff received when she made headlines in April for kicking her two bickering tweens out of the car and making them walk three miles home, Kevane's story is rallying a group of supporters.

"I feel for this mother," said Julie Tower-Pierce, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney who has three children of her own.

Tower-Pierce says that while she does have reservations about a 3-year-old left in the care of a 12-year-old, she believes that a mother should be able to make a parenting decision without worrying about being slapped with a criminal charge.

"I think that while you need these [child endangerment] laws, we have to be so cautious about whether they are applied in an abusive fashion," said Tower-Pierce. "This case seems like an abuse of power."

Ilina Ewen, a mother of two who writes for the Deep South Mom's Blog, agrees.

"She wasn't intentionally trying to harm her children and she understood the context of the situation and the kids' relationship to one another," said Ewen. "She didn't need to be arrested."

Bozeman Police Department Deputy Chief Marty Kent, who works at the same station that arrested Kevane June 16, 2007, declined to comment specifically about the case, which was sealed by a judge in 2008.

Kent did say that in cases of child endangerment, police often err on the side of caution.

"When a child is left alone, the officer does the best they can to find and make sure care is provided for and that they're not in harm's way," said Kent. "We make a judgment call based on the statute" regarding child endangerment.

When asked what he'd say to the many parents who told ABCNews.com that the Bozeman Police Department went too far in charging Kevane, Kent said that he believed the officers always make their decisions with the child's safety in mind.

"We're not going to take a chance with a child's life safety," said Kent. "We've got some weird people here. We have murderers, and we have a huge meth problem. This is a real city, this isn't Mayberry."

Let Kids Be Kids, Some Say

Naivety about the dangers of the real world, even in a place like Bozeman, Mont., is what gave self-proclaimed "Safety Mom" Alison Rhodes pause about Kevane's decision.

"While I don't think she should have been prosecuted, it does raise questions," said Rhodes. "To entrust a 3-year-old in the care of a 12-year-old, even if it's a small town, is irresponsible."

"There are people out there who are going to grab children and a 12-year-old is not equipped to handle all situations," said Rhodes.

Lenore Skenazy, the author of the book "Free-Range Kids" and the mother made famous after allowing her 9-year-old son to ride the New York City subway system alone, told ABCNews.com that coming up with nightmare scenarios for parents is causing them to raise children who are ill-equipped to fend for themselves.

"Parents are willing to take the risk of driving in a car with their kids and they don't base their judgment on only watching Nascar races," said Skenazy. "But we make our judgments about pedophilia and kidnapping based on what we've seen on the news and on [crime shows]. Those are crammed with the weirdest, saddest anomalies of stories they can gather."

Skenazy said that parents today are led to believe they're doing something wrong if they "don't have almost the same kind of surveillance on their kids that they have in high security prisons."

Kevane, speaking to ABCNews.com on her way to visit her daughter Natalie, who is now 15, at sleep away camp in Maine, said that she still stands by her decision to let her kids go to the mall alone that day, even if she does recognize that her daughter did break the rules by leaving the younger children without supervision when both older girls went into changing rooms.

"Did she make a mistake? Yeah, and that happens," Kevane said of her daughter. "But I just felt that my daughter could handle the situation, I really did."


"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)


False Allegations of Child Molestation and Child Abuse

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07/20/2009

FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD MOLESTATION AND CHILD ABUSE: WHAT IS REAL AND WHAT ONLY APPEARS TO BE REAL, AND HOW TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

By: Edward Martinovich, Attorney at Law and Ariella Rosenberg

In 1986, a defendant was convicted of four counts of first-degree sexual offense and ordered to serve two life sentences. In 2001, after spending fourteen years in prison, this defendant was released, two years after his daughter, admitted that she had lied about her father molesting her. Although a medical examiner had found no evidence of the defendant’s alleged sexual abuse, the daughters story was so convincing that it held up until she finally admitted to the falsehood. Her excuse: she had lied to escape her strict, religious upbringing. The cost: 14 years of freedom and his reputation. His life was irreparably harmed.

A similar case occurred last year, when, after spending twelve years in prison, the defendant walked free. The defendant had been sentenced to forty years in prison in 1992 for molesting a 3-year-old girl. A few years ago, the alleged victim found out that the defendant was in prison and told a relative that she had been coerced into lying to authorities. Apparently, another relative, who had harbored a long-standing grudge against the defendant, had coached the girl.

Sadly, false accusations of molestation are a frequent reality in the criminal justice system. Besides detracting from credible cases of true sexual abuse, false accusations have put many innocent men and women behind bars, while destroying their families and ruining their lives. The motives for manipulating a child into making a false accusation can range from revenge over a broken relationship to a desire to gain full custody of a child. In cases where there are huge sums of money at stake, or in cases involving celebrities, such as the recent Michael Jackson trial, the motives often include a desire to obtain a financial winfall from a public figure.

Federal Law on Child Abuse Prevention

The Mondale Act of 1974, also known as the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), brought the phenomenon of child molestation to the public eye. 42 U.S.C.A. 5101. Before the passage of CAPTA, child abuse was concealed and rarely reported. With the Acts adoption, states were required to enact more effective child abuse laws, threatening to withhold funding should the provisions of the federal code not be incorporated into state law.

Although the Act is clearly beneficial to the plight of abused children, it is also vulnerable to abuse by those with unseemly agendas. Whereas the Act contains provisions for immunity for individuals making good faith reports of suspected or known instances of child abuse, anyone failing to report any incident of suspected child abuse can be convicted of a felony and have their professional license suspended. 42 U.S.C.A. 5106a. Understandably, the system encourages officials and experts to err on the side of reporting cases of potential child abuse. However, the combination of extreme pressure on officials not to miss a valid report of abuse and the relatively minor consequences faced by false accusers create a tension in the bureaucratic structure, thereby creating a legal nightmare for the wrongfully accused.

After spending twenty years in a California prison after a 1985 child molestation conviction, on defendant was released last year on his 61st birthday. Four of the defendants accusers, now adults, testified that overzealous criminal investigators manipulated them until they fabricated the stories of abuse. Doctors had never even examined the victims. The defendants case demonstrates a classic case of nervous and overanxious childcare officials fearing the legal consequences of failing to protect a truly abused child, only to overreact and lead children into false accusations of molestation.

Different states maintain different statutes regarding punishment for those who coach their children into false accusations against a spouse to gain advantage during a bitter divorce or custody battle. The phenomenon is common enough to have been given a name by mental health professionals: SAID syndrome (sexual allegations in divorce). It goes hand in hand with Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), a disorder made up of a combination of brainwashing of a child by one parent to incriminate the other, and of self-created contributions by the child in support of the alienating parents campaign of incrimination. PAS is almost exclusively seen in the context of child-custody disputes, during which false accusations of molestation often arise. Whereas the legal consequences for convicted molesters can include life in prison and lifetime registration as a criminal sex offender, oftentimes those who coerce a child into a false accusation face no more than a fine and less than a year in jail. Let us examine the high-stakes custody battle between a casino mogul and former playboy model wife. Although the judge in the initial trial found that the defendant had coached the couples twin daughters, then 4, to make false accusations of sexual abuse against their father, on appeal, judges still returned the twins to their mothers custody. In this case, the penalty his estranged wife suffered for forcing their children to lie was actually a victory, in that she gained custody of the children.

What To Do If You Are Falsely Accused

False allegations of child molestation are different from most other criminal allegations due to their sexual content, which makes them emotionally charged and highly sensitive. Moreover, since a mere touch of a child can form the basis for a molestation charge in most jurisdictions, these allegations rarely have any medical evidence to support them. Consequently, the trial becomes a battle between the words of a very sympathetic young child versus those of a less sympathetic adult. Add to this, general public paranoia and outrage fueled sometimes by incessant media coverage and you have a recipe for disaster. Therefore, when a child claims to have been abused, the accused is forced to become a public figure and come forward to proclaim his innocence, and, in some instances, be forced to testify at a trial. This creates unfairness within the criminal justice system, wherein the accused has a right to remain silent and is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the prosecution.

Those who have been falsely accused of crimes against children, especially crimes that are sexual in nature, have options. It is imperative to retain expert legal counsel early on in the process. This means at the beginning of an investigation by either the social service agency or law enforcement. What is done at the outset can dictate how and if a criminal prosecution will ensue. Of course, it goes without saying that anyone who is facing criminal prosecution should have an attorney who is experienced in handling these types of criminal cases. Many accused adults decide to plead no contest or guilty to false accusations of molestation under the mistaken belief that a plea does not constitute a criminal conviction. Further, they feel compelled to accept such a plea offer because it results in less custody time than they face if they went to trial and were convicted. What the uninformed person does not know is that a plea of no contest or a plea of guilty is a criminal conviction, which may result in the loss of ones right to appeal, the requirement of lifetime registration as a sex offender, and the public posting of ones name and place of residence. 42 U.S.C.A. 14071. A convicted sex offender may also be ordered to undergo treatment, may be barred from holding certain kinds of jobs, and may be ordered to stay away from children, including their own, regardless of whether or not they were the alleged victims, or to enjoy only supervised visits. Moreover, convicted sex offenders often are subject to searches, seizures, and interrogations by law enforcement every time that a sex crime occurs in the area in which they live. The bottom line is that before one makes a decision that has such far-reaching consequences, one must be absolutely certain that he has received the best counsel possible.

For these reasons, a seasoned legal expert is crucial to help fight false accusations. A smart attorney will prepare a roadmap of the strategy to be used to defend against these types of allegations. A good attorney will discuss with the client what resources will be needed to wage the war against the governments charges. One most certainly will consider the need for medical, psychological and sociological experts.

  1. Experts can evaluate and analyze medical or scientific evidence.
  2. Experts can conduct an in-depth evaluation of the client.
  3. Experts can educate a judge and jury as to the nature of child witnesses and the subject of suggestibility of children.
  4. Experts can review and analyze video, audio and written accounts of a childs interview to determine whether the proper interviewing techniques were employed and whether or not a child is credible.

A smart attorney will also counsel the client as to how to conduct himself and what proactive steps to take prior to any trial in order to prepare for certain phases of the case. It is important to note that one who is accused should never confront the child or any other witness about the investigation. A simple conversation may lead to charges of violation of an order of protection, which orders are routinely issued in these types of cases, as well as accusations of intimidating a witness or endangering the welfare of a child.

A smart attorney may also discuss the possibility of having the client submit to a polygraph test (records the bodys responses to truths and lies to judge credibility) and/or a plethysmograph test (records sexual responses to pedophilic material to determine whether any sexually based mental health disorders may be present). Some of these tests and their results may not be legally admissible in court; however, they may be successfully used in discussions with a prosecutor prior to the filing of a criminal complaint to affect the decision as to whether and what types of charges are filed or in negotiation and mitigation once the criminal prosecution has begun.

If I am innocent of the allegations, why do I need a lawyer?

A person who is being investigated for a crime he or she did not commit can benefit from hiring an attorney as soon as possible, even before charges are brought. In particular, in investigations of sexual crimes, such as child molestation, it is important to have the benefit of counsel as early as possible. As a person under investigation, your most important protection is your right to hold the government to the burden of proving its case without any voluntary statement from you.

Your attorney can communicate on your behalf to the investigators. False allegations of child abuse and child molestation sometimes occur when a family member is engaged in a child custody or divorce proceeding. Although many states have laws that impose sanctions for making such accusations, (for example, California Family Code Section 3027.1)(*1) many accusations are still made because it is often difficult for the court to conclude that the allegation was made in bad faith, and not out of an exercise of caution in response to some statement by the child.

If child abuse investigators are contacting you, they have already concluded they have some basis to believe the accusations are true. Investigative agencies are not legally required to follow up on all accusations they receive, and often reject fanciful and contrived allegations without contacting the suspect. If the allegation is false but sufficiently believable for investigators to proceed, the accuser has most likely provided a wealth of factual detail to support the allegations. In questioning a suspect, investigators rarely provide the accused with reports of the allegations, and are even permitted to mislead the accused in an effort to prompt the accused to give a statement. Your statement may inadvertently corroborate relatively minor details, providing sufficient evidence for an arrest to occur.

If you are falsely accused of child molestation it is important to take precautions. Falsely accused persons often mistakenly believe that hiring counsel will cause the authorities to assume the suspect must be guilty. In truth, investigators, prosecutors, and courts must respect your right to counsel and your right to remain silent. They cannot infer that your statement would have implicated you merely because you have retained counsel, or you have declined to give a statement. On the other hand, any statement a falsely accused suspect gives may supply inadvertent corroboration to the accusations, and therefore allow the authorities to obtain probable cause for arrest.

Furthermore, there is no guarantee as to the length of time an accused person will be questioned or under what circumstances. Investigators who believe they can break down a suspects resistance to admitting the truth of a crime may prolong questioning for many hours. They may also question the accused about a wide range of topics, which may appear to not even relate to the present situation. They may conduct the interview in a very uncomfortable setting, even leaving the accused isolated for many hours in an effort to overcome resistance and make the suspect feel hopeless. Finally, investigators are trained at obtaining statements and admissions that are favorable to the prosecution, and may succeed in doing so, even when the accused is innocent.

Due to the current legal and political environment described above and the significant consequences of a sex crimes criminal conviction a criminal defense attorneys assistance could prevent formal charges.

A person investigated for child molestation should remember that only conversations with his or her attorney and the attorneys staff and investigators are privileged against discovery. Any conversation with police investigators, child protective services, family, friends and the alleged victim can be admitted into court as evidence of admissions (*2) or prior inconsistent statements. Even minor deviations between a different persons accounts of the accusers side of the story can appear significant in a later trial.

Frequently police set up a call from the alleged victim to the suspect and monitor the call for any type of incriminating statement, which may be used in the subsequent criminal prosecution. A person is under no obligation whatsoever to cooperate with authorities in his own criminal prosecution and by allowing an attorney to speak for him, the falsely accused may very well save himself from a criminal conviction. An attorney may even be able to supply evidence in your favor, such as statements from other witnesses, or arrange for a psychological evaluation showing that you do not have the personality profile of a person who victimizes children.

The vast majority of those convicted of criminal charges have made some type of statement in investigators, while conversely those who exercise their right to remain silent have a much stronger likelihood of avoiding a criminal prosecution.

As our discussion reveals, the crime of child molestation and other crimes against children are serious offenses that are not to be taken lightly under any circumstances. Given the gravity of the offenses and the severity of the possible consequences, those who have been falsely accused of child molestation or similar crimes must have an experienced attorney at their side in order to prepare and execute an effective defense.


"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 - Billionaire sex offender Epstein will walk

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Jeffrey Epstein New Lawsuit 1 (351.9KB)
Jeffrey Epstein New Lawsuit 2 (93.2KB)

Out come the gold-diggers!

07/16/2009

By Angela Sachitano

WEST PALM BEACH - Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein will be released from prison in less than a week after serving 13 months for child prostitution.

Still, the civil suits against him continue to pile up.

Jane Doe number 102 as she's known was a 15 year-old changing room assistant working at the exclusive Mar-a-Lago club on Palm Beach when the lawsuit says she was initially approached by a friend of Epstein.

The girl, now 26, claims Epstein spent four years assaulting, battering, exploiting and abusing her and forcing her to satisfy his every sexual whim.

Lawyers for the various Jane Does say Epstein used his power and wealth to manipulate their clients and are suing in excess of 50 million dollars for among other things, psychological damages.

This most recent suit says Epstein's longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, approached the plaintiff while working at Mar-a-Lago while she was making nine dollars an hour.

Bernd Lembcke, with Mar-a-Lago, says he does not have specifics on the case but assumes the girl was a part-time attendant working for one season. He says the club does not condone this action.

Nowhere in the lawsuit does it say Jane Doe number 102 was tied up or held against her will. The lawsuit says Epstein paid the girl for her services.

Epstein has been serving time in the Palm Beach County Stockade since June 2008. He has been able to leave every day to work at his West Palm Beach foundation.

Epstein will walk free Wednesday morning.




"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 - Atlanta Teen Killed in Daytona Beach

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Dad May Have Been Intended Target In Son's Murder

07/20/2009

ATLANTA (MyFOX ATLANTA) - A 13-year-old from Atlanta was murdered while visiting family in Florida. Police said the boy was shot in the face early Monday morning by someone lurking around his family's home.

Thirteen-year-old Lloyd Robinson, Jr. had just finished 7th grade and was spending the summer with his dad before heading back to school.

"It's just a total period of pain for me and I wish this on nobody. I fear burying my kids and I am making funeral arrangements for my son and I shouldn't be," said the teen's father, Lloyd Robinson, Sr.

Daytona Beach police said there was a knock on the door at the Robinson's home just after 4:00 a.m. A woman asked for someone who wasn't there and the teen's father told the woman to go around to the glass door. When Robinson, Sr. tired to open the door a man came around the side of the house and fired two shots inside.

One bullet grazed Robinson, Sr., the other one killed his son.

"It's very sad they would come into a house and shoot and kill nothing but a child," said Martha Hamilton.

Robinson Sr. said he is a registered sex offender and it is possible someone went after him because of those charges, but he said it was probably a case of mistaken identity.

Police said there was no motive in the case.

Chief Michael Chitwood said he was pretty sure that it wasn't a random shooting, and the woman and the shooter were looking for Robinson, Sr., but killed his son instead.

The teen's mother drove from Atlanta to Daytona Beach Monday. The teen was originally supposed to return to Atlanta Sunday morning, but decided to stay a little longer.




"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 - State Senator Taking Action to Change Sex Offender Bridge Law

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07/20/2009

By Taren Reed

JACKSONVILLE - After seeing a First Coast News investigation, State Senator Tony Hill (Email) says a Florida law has to change.

We told you about _____ at the beginning of the month.

He is a sex predator sentenced to live under a bridge. He has to stay there because there is nowhere else for him to go.

_____, a registered sexual predator, is back in prison and he will be there for a while. He violated his probation because he wasn't under the Dunns Creek Bridge when officials came looking for him.
- So is there a law saying you have to stay under the bridge and cannot leave because we may come looking for you at some time?  Sounds like he was set up to fail from the start!

_____ is one of more than 90 registered sex offenders and predators in the state who have been ordered to live under a bridge because they have nowhere else to stay.

"I didn't know until you brought it to the attention but I was not surprised and probably will hear some more of it."

State Senator Tony Hill represents the area that covers where _____ is living. After seeing the First Coast News investigation, Hill decided something had to be done.

Not only is a bridge an unacceptable place to call home, he says this is a growing trend. "We have people getting out of prison every day in that same situation. They give them that bus ticket and that's it." said Hill.

_____ was ordered to stay under the bridge from 6 p.m. until 7 a.m. The state said he could live under the bridge because _____ couldn't live with family since they were too close to schools and bus stops.

Senator Hill says that is where the problem starts. Each county has different rules on how far sex offenders have to be from schools and bus stops.

"We need to address the public policy issue on that. We can't stick our heads in the sand," added Hill.

He says he plans to address the issue with other lawmakers and get the law changed where it is standard across the state and not different in every county.

"We need to see if we can get it uniform, where we can keep them under control and law enforcement can know where they are; right now we don't."

The Department of Corrections says it does not like the situation, but its hands are tied.

And that's where Hill comes in, to make a difference.

There are currently 91 sex offenders or predators living under bridges in Florida; most live in south Florida. _____ is the only one living in our area.




"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)


CT - Probation Officers Often Unfair To Sex Offenders

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07/20/2009

By NORM PATTIS

Hugh Keefe has a gift for superlatives. As one of the deans of Connecticut’s defense bar, he has earned the right to make pronouncements as he tap dances through his twilight years. He may not yet have made the cover of Super Lawyers magazine, but he grabs as many front pages of the daily press as any lawyer in the state.

So when he announced in the New Haven Register that the case of State v. Dulin was “the signature case dealing with who has the power: judges or probation,” my eyes rolled. I wondered what princely fee this client had paid for the privilege of an almost inevitable guilty plea.

The Dulin case is sadly typical. Mr. Dulin plead guilty to second-degree sexual assault. The middle-aged man had apparently been playing Romeo to a teenage Juliet. Consent, as we know, is no defense to fiddling on too young a set of strings.

Mr. Dulin was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He did his time. And then he was released to begin a period of probation. At a hearing just before he was released, a Superior Court judge ordered Mr. Dulin to register as a sex offender for a period of 10 years, have no contact with his former paramour or her family, and attend outpatient sex offender treatment. The judge ruled that these were the only specific conditions he ordered.

I’ve not seen the transcript of the sentencing hearing, so I am relying on press accounts of the case. I suspect, however, that the judge did not rule that these were the only conditions Mr. Dulin faced. The standard conditions require a probationer to avoid breaking the law, to keep probation workers informed of his residence and a host of other ho-hum things.

It is unclear whether the judge also ordered what I refer to as the “Trojan horse” condition — compliance with “such other conditions as adult probation deems necessary.”

Keefe is too good a lawyer to let that slip from a judge’s lips unchallenged. The words are the kiss of death for probationer. If the court orders that probation officers can do what it thinks necessary, it is difficult to then challenge their discretion. Since most pleas contain this ridiculous language, most probation officers have grown accustomed to treating probationers as plantation slaves.

In Mr. Dulin’s case, a probation officer ordered that he take a polygraph examination and required that he move out of the home he shared with his wife and children. These are not specific conditions ordered by the judge. But they are conditions that are routinely imposed on folks designated as sex offenders by the Office of Adult Probation. Keefe apparently advised his client not to comply with these requirements.

Every defense lawyer in the state knows that the Office of Adult Probation is out of control when it comes to sex offenders. And too many judges roll over and play dead when asked to rein in a probation officer. Who wants to face reappointment years down the line and be asked questions about the lusty recidivist who was released only to offend again?

I do not know whether Mr. Dulin violated the conditions of his probation. But I do know that the state’s treatment of sex offenders is a farce. I’ve had clients who were faced with the choice of admitting things they did not do or face jail; men whose only crime was lust have been told to desert their families. Blurring the line between fantasy and reality in areas such as Internet solicitation and child pornography has placed probationers in a netherworld of so-called “treatment” where a new class of Puritans demands compliance with standardless norms. Probation is out of control.

Mr. Dulin is right to litigate this issue. But it will take more than occasional litigation to resolve this problem. What’s needed is systemic review. But who has the courage to peer into the nares of the state’s libidinal blue noses and then declare the obvious? There’s an awful lot of garbage clogging the airways of justice.

Sadly, these issues may never be reached in this case. Mr. Dulin’s best defense is advice of counsel. That works here. But how can Keefe wage it as an advocate? Isn’t he a witness? •

Norm Pattis is a criminal defense lawyer and civil rights attorney in Bethany. Most days he blogs at normpattis.blogspot.com.


"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)


WV - Complying with federal sex offenders act poses issues for state

View the article here

07/20/2009

By Michelle Saxton

CHARLESTON - West Virginia officials are trying to determine if the state is in compliance with a federal act that would result in more stringent listings in the national sex offender registry - or whether it's really worth trying to comply.

West Virginia State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous said the federal act would affect numerous agencies in the state.

"At this time the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety has determined that in the interest of providing efficient governmental services it would be counterproductive to comply with the requirements of the Adam Walsh Act," Baylous said.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 requires sex offenders to be grouped into three tiers for a national registry, House Judiciary attorney Stacy DeLong said.

Tier 1 includes a 15-year registration for a "catchall" of misdemeanors and felonies; Tier 2 includes a 25-year registration for sexual offense cases involving minors and child pornography; Tier 3 is a lifetime registration for cases involving force, threat, children under 12 and kidnapping, DeLong said.

"This is all retroactive," DeLong said.
- And that is a violation of the ex post facto clause of the US and State Constitutions!

Sen. Evan Jenkins (Email), D-Cabell, who has pushed for public access to registered sex offenders' Internet aliases, such as screen names, asked if the federal law requires this information in the registry as well.

The federal law would require screen names and pseudonyms, DeLong said, along with the sex offender's real name, Social Security, home and school address, license plate number, a description of the vehicle, nicknames, real and purported birth dates and passport number.

States that fail to comply could lose 10 percent of their U.S. Justice Department's Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program grants, she said. West Virginia's projected share for 2009 was about $2 million, DeLong said. So the state could be out $200,000 if it isn't in compliance.
- And the last time I checked, that is called bribery!

Compliance will be difficult, said Delegate Bill Wooten (Email), D-Raleigh, a chairman of the joint judiciary subcommittee studying the issue.

"In West Virginia, as in most states, juvenile records are sealed, so it presents almost an insurmountable enforcement problem," Wooton said. "Those records are sealed."

The federal government had initially required states to be in compliance this month for the act, which includes the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, or SORNA, DeLong told lawmakers.

However the state - and lawmakers - may have more time, as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in May authorized a one-year extension of the deadline, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Wooton said he was not aware of the extension at the federal level.

"If it does not occur then we are not in compliance because the Legislature will lack the ability to change (the) law until next January," Wooton said.

The issue is similar to states following federal laws on seat belts and blood alcohol level or risk losing federal funds, said Senate Pensions Committee Chairman Dan Foster, D-Kanawha, a chairman of the judiciary subcommittee.
- More bribery!  If you pass this law, we give you money, if you don't we take money away.  Man, how corrupt, in your face, can you get!

"It's not an uncommon way for the federal government to not mandate something but to make a financial incentive," Foster said.

Lawmakers will address the differences between state and federal law in future meetings and will as a subcommittee make recommendations on whether it is good public policy to comply with the Adam Walsh Act, Wooton said. Wooton's goal was to have a recommendation ready in December.

Legislators also planned to look at practical problems stemming from current law, based on comments by Putnam County Circuit Court Judge O.C. Spaulding.

Spaulding told lawmakers that current state laws have unintended consequences and legislators should consider fine-tuning the system so more concentration is placed on targeting pedophiles as opposed to just cases involving minors.

The judge mentioned a litigant who, as a 32-year-old married father and active church member, was retroactively ordered to register as a sex offender for a consensual sexual act that occurred when he was 18. At the time, he had been "making out" with a 14-year-old girl and was caught by her father and charged with a crime, Spaulding said.

After the man registered as a sex offender, no one would allow their children to come over to his house and his children were shunned, Spaulding said.

"He was 18, she was 14. He touched her breasts through clothing; that is a crime," Spaulding said after last week's legislative meeting. "He suffered the punishment, but he shouldn't really be on the registration list for his entire life because of it."

"I want to see them focus more on pedophiles as opposed to the broad term of the victim being a minor," Spaulding said later. "There's a clear distinction between the sexual knowledge of a 16-year-old and an 8-year-old. "

Spaulding also gave several examples of situations where sex offenders registered themselves but failed to meet the technicalities of making changes to the registration:

  • A registered sex offender who lived in Kanawha County and worked in Putnam County registered with both counties. When he changed jobs to Kanawha County, he reported it to that county but not Putnam County and was indicted on a felony charge of failure to make a registration change.
  • A registered sex offender's job required him to travel to different sites in Kanawha and Putnam counties, and so under current laws he must go to the police detachment in that county each day before going to work to tell them where he will be that day. He failed to report one day and was charged.
  • A registered sex offender's wife took out a loan and bought a new car for herself but both names were on the title. He was indicted for not registering her vehicle.

"I'd like to see the Legislature clarify place of employment," Spaulding said. "Does that mean where you physically are every day or does that mean the address of your employer that you work for? Or does that mean where you regularly go and then get assigned out? We need to define that."

Sen. Frank Deem (Email), R-Wood, asked Spaulding if judges could interpret the law as they would like it to be written.

"Judges have awesome power," Deem said.

"I took an oath to follow the law," Spaulding replied. "If you don't change it, I'm going to apply it."
- Yes, and you took an oath to uphold the constitution as well, don't forget that, and by making these laws retroactive, you are violating that oath, and the law is unconstitutional!

"I'm charged with administering justice," Spaulding added later. "I'm glad we have the law, but as times go on we have to be willing to refine it to make it apply to the people it should apply to. We shouldn't get hung up on technical violations."


"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 - How easy it is to be - "falsely accused" JTC resident

Troy, also known as "Peanut" from the ARC show that aired, live from the Julia Tuttle Causeway. Had been falsely accused of being the North-Dade rapist. thanks to DNA evidence he was cleared of any wrong doing. And all charges have been dropped. The real rapist killed himself in prison.

A listen to the video. They were "so certain" they had the right man, well, they did not. It was all based on BS lies and no evidence. Finally when DNA was done, he was cleared.

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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)