Thursday, October 29, 2009

GA - Halloween's Not Good for Sex Offenders (Allen Hunt)

I have asked it before, but I am asking it again. Why are sex offenders the modern day scarlet letter? Why is their crime so beyond all the other crimes that we must continue to punish them after they have served their time.

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PA - Supreme Court Throws Out Thousands of Juvenile Delinquency Cases (Kids jailed for cash)

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See the video below, and three others at the site above.



Court Says Cases Tainted by Alleged Kickback Scheme Involving Corrupt Judge

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled late Thursday that almost all juvenile delinquency cases heard by an indicted former judge must be thrown out. The ruling means cases heard by former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella from Jan. 1, 2003 to May 31, 2008 are in question for fairness and impartiality.

Ciavarella faces criminal charges that accuse him of taking millions of dollars in kickbacks from owners of private detention centers in exchange for placing juvenile defendants at their facilities, often for minor crimes.

In one reported case, a college-bound high school student served three weeks in juvenile detention for making fun of the school principal on a Web site.

The court said that it "cannot have any confidence that Ciavarella decided any Luzerne County juvenile case fairly and impartially while he labored under the specter of his self-interested dealings with the facilities," and called Ciavarella's actions a "travesty of juvenile justice."

The decision could impact up to 6,500 Pennsylvania youth, whose juvenile detention records will now be erased and their cases dismissed without the possibility of retrial.

Most of the affected youth have already served their time. In Pennsylvania, juvenile criminal records are not automatically expunged when children turn 18, so Thursday's ruling could give thousands of kids a clean slate, said Marsha Levick, deputy director of the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia and an attorney for the children. About 100 Pennsylvania children could now be released from juvenile detention or taken off of probation, according to Levick.

"The court's far-reaching order is an exceptional response to the most serious judicial scandal in the history of the United States," Levick told ABC News.

The ruling is the latest stunning development in a story of corruption that first shocked Luzerne County residents in January 2009. Federal prosecutors announced that respected county judges Ciavarella and Michael Conahan had pleaded guilty to tax evasion and honest services fraud. However, their plea deal and relatively light sentence were later rejected by a federal judge who ruled that Ciavarella and Conahan had failed to accept responsibility for their crimes. In fact, Ciavarella had previously told "20/20" that "we would never agree that [the kids' sentencing] was improper."

Now, the two former judges face much more serious federal racketeering, bribery, and extortion charges. All of this is the result of a lengthy investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI. Ciavarella and Conahan have pleaded not guilty.

"They sold their oath of offices to the highest bidders and engaged in ongoing schemes to defraud the public of honest services that were expected from them," Deron Roberts, chief of the FBI's Scranton office, said at a late January news conference announcing the case.

The judges' arrests shed light on a mystery in Luzerne County: Why were so many kids getting sent directly to juvenile detention after seeing Ciavarella in his Wilkes-Barre juvenile court? And why were those kids sent away in such a rush?

Video Link

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

TX - Ex-guard guilty of youth sex assault

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By Celinda Emison

A former guard at the Texas Youth Commission’s Ron Jackson Juvenile Justice Center in Brownwood was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of sexual assault.

The punishment phase begins this morning in the 35th District Court in Brownwood.

James Allen Sullivan, 43, of Early, was indicted in May of 2007 by a Brown County grand jury on 15 counts of sexual assault of a child. He was arrested and freed from the Brown County Jail the same day on a $15,000 bond.

A grand jury initially declined to indict Sullivan but an internal investigation at TYC turned up evidence of inappropriate sexual contact with three female inmates at the facility. He was later indicted on allegations involving one female inmate.

Sullivan is one of five former guards at the Brownwood TYC facility who are facing felony charges.

The Texas Youth Commission has undergone sweeping reforms since allegations of abuse surfaced in 2007.

Since the TYC shake-up, the Ron Jackson Unit in Brownwood became an all-female facility.

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

GA - Registered sex offender removes his Facebook page

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This is not a state law, but it's only Facebook discriminating against people simply due to a label and not their actions.


By Don Logana

SAVANNAH  (WTOC) - Facebook does not allow sex offenders on it's site, but as we found out, many profiles are still up on the site. See Sex offenders still sneaking onto Facebook.

WTOC caught up with _____ outside his tattoo parlor in Savannah.

"Are you _____?" I asked. "Can I talk to you for a second? I'm Don with WTOC. This is your Facebook?"

"Uh huh, me and my wife," _____ told WTOC.

"You were arrested for child molestation, correct?" I asked.

"Yes, in 2002," he said.

"But you are not supposed to have a Facebook page," I responded.
- Who says?  What law says that?  It's only a Facebook TOS due to paranoid people!

This month, Kim Moss found _____ on Facebook.

"I blamed myself for a long time for bringing him into my family's life," Moss told WTOC.

In 2002, _____ was arrested and charged with the child molestation and computer exploitation of Moss's then 13 year-old daughter. He was later convicted, put on 12 years probation and registered as a sex offender.

Flash forward to now, and Moss ran across a familiar face on Facebook, someone she thought wasn't allowed to be on social networking sites. Except, _____, as seen and spelled on the sex offender registry, was listed as _____, minus a vowel, on Facebook.

"Anyone who knows him, knows that is not the correct name spelling," Moss said. "Why would he do that? Is he trying to trick the system."

"As you may know, all you have to do is sign up and click on a few pieces of information," Warren Blanton told WTOC. "It doesn't have to be truthful information."

Blanton is an investigator with the Chatham County Sex Offender Registration and Tracking unit. He says Georgia law does not prevent registered sex offenders from using Facebook and Myspace, but those sites have their own policy and have been kicking offenders off their sites, or at least, the ones they catch.

Blanton says a simple, incorrect spelling of a name, like we saw with _____'s, may allow him to fly under the radar.
- And they can also use an alias and some other photo.

"Right below his picture it says report or block this person," Blanton said. "It gives them options to contact Facebook."

We reported the page to Facebook and decided to go a step further. We visited _____ in person.
- Yep, harassment!

"You are not supposed to have a Facebook page," I stated.

"No, but my wife maintains it," _____ told WTOC. "I stay away from computers as much as I can."

We asked _____ about the curious spelling of his last name.

"I didn't know that," he said. "I don't hardly go on there. I don't look at it. She goes on there most of the time."

He told us his probation officer was aware of the Facebook page and commended the job the county does handling and arresting sex offenders.

"Chatham County does a good job of it," _____ said. "I was just down there. They are on top of it. They really are. They ask for passwords they ask for everything."

_____ promised his Facebook page would be deleted.
- Why?  It's not against the law to have it!

"Yeah, I thought it was harmless with her doing it. It's mostly her anyway," he said. "I can call her and tell her to take it down. It's not a big deal."

Moss is not taking chances, so she is spreading the word around Facebook, posting warnings on friends pages.

"I have friends who have children and I want them to be aware of the possible threat," she said. "I want it to get around, because if there is one, it's like a roach, there's more."

_____ kept his word and his facebook page no longer exists.

Earlier this year, MySpace removed more than 90,000 sex offenders from its site. Facebook is even bigger than MySpace, but only removed a little over 5,000. Both sites have policies banning sex offenders from using them.
- And how many of those offenders were actually breaking any law or doing something they should not have been?  It's just discrimination, period.

Video Link

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

TN - Former officer admits sex with prostitutes

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By Lawrence Buser

A veteran police officer who admitted having sex with prostitutes while on duty numerous times over the past four years was placed on diversion today.

Thomas Woods, 55, one of four officers charged earlier this year, pleaded guilty to official oppression and official misconduct, while more serious charges of rape and aggravated kidnapping were dropped.
- Of course, he's an ex-cop, and they got to protect their own, so it's expected to drop the most serious crimes.  We don't want him labeled a sex offender for life, now do we?

I wanted to be a good officer, and I was, but messed it up,” said Woods, a 12-year veteran who resigned in April. “You call yourself a Christian and you’re doing the wrong thing. I saw it as God correcting me when all this came down. I knew it was coming.”

Woods said in Criminal Court that he had sex with known prostitutes while on duty and in uniform at least a dozen times, though he told police investigators earlier this year that it was some 30 times.

He said he paid the women most of the time, but that he had personal relationships with two women and that money he occasionally gave them was not strictly for sex.

State prosecutor Eric Christensen suggested that the women had sex out of fear that Woods would arrest them, neglected his duty and told the officer, “You’re trying to portraying yourself as Andy Griffith .”

What happens when, while this is going on, someone’s home is getting burglarized or a citizen needs help?” the prosecutor said. “He’s violated the public and private trust and he’s tainted everyone who wears the uniform.”
- And instead of making an example out of him, you remove the most serious crimes.  So who are you protecting?

Defense attorney Leslie Ballin said Woods, a father of six, served 24 years in the Navy, has never been in trouble before and is starting a new carpeting business so he can become a productive citizen.
- Who cares?  He committed serious crimes, and should pay for those crimes, just like the average citizen would have been.  But because he's a cop, he gets slapped on the wrist!

Judge John Colton Jr. placed Woods on diversion until Oct. 29, 2015. His record will be cleared at that time if he picks up no new charges and meets other conditions of the court’s order.

Meanwhile, officers James George, Daniel Wallace and Larry Orange face similar charges of rape and kidnapping that are pending in court.
- And I'm sure they will get slapped on the wrist as well.

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

ID - Brilliant AFA Logic

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By Ed Brayton

The American Family Association shows what happens when you only focus on the most obvious (and dubious) possible solutions to a problem:

The Silver Sage Girl Scouts in Twin Falls, Idaho, are moving their headquarters because they discovered that 50 sex offenders live within one mile of their current location.

The problem is, there's no place for them to move. Their new location, it turns out, is smack dab in the middle of 23 registered sex offenders. We clearly must do something more permanent with sex offenders - either lock them up for life or put them to death if they are guilty of the rape of a child. If either sex offenders or the Girl Scouts have to be inconvenienced, I vote for sex offenders.

Or: Stop grouping together predators and non-predators together under the heading of "sex offender" to dramatically increase the number of perceived threats. For crying out loud, sex crimes of all types have been going down for the better part of two decades, yet these numbers clearly suggest that "sex offenders" are everywhere, virtually ubiquitous and unavoidable.

There are about 700,000 people on state sex offender lists at the moment. But in five states, that includes someone who is arrested soliciting a prostitute. In 13 states, that includes someone arrested for urinating in public. In 29 states, it includes teenagers who had sex with other teenagers. In 32 states, it includes someone arrested for streaking or flashing, something every frat boy has done from time to time during rush week.

In one study of the Georgia sex offender list, the review board that oversees that list determined that 65% of the more than 17,000 people on the list were not a threat to anyone at all. Only about 100 of them were actually classified as predators. That's just over one half of one percent of the people on the list.

We are manufacturing sex offenders by including people who are no threat to anyone and who have harmed no one. We've sparked undue paranoia and made it more difficult to identify the real sex offenders, the ones people should actually be concerned with.

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved