Wednesday, February 3, 2010
By Karen Castillo
BARTOW - Polk County commissioners are one step closer to refining their sexual predator law after an exclusive ABC Action News report exposed the dangers predators posed to area children.
We first exposed what was happening behind the Tropical Moon Mobile Home Park near Evergreen Street in Polk County in November.
There, we found eight homeless sexual predators living about 300 feet from a school bus stop.
Local parents were alarmed.
"They should keep them as far away from kids as possible," said father Peter Snedegar.
- Not all sex offenders have harmed children, and even if they lived 50 miles, it would make no difference. If a person is intent on committing a crime, nothing about these laws will prevent them from doing so.
Currently, predators must live 2,500 feet from all schools and 1,000 feet from each of the county's 8,000 bus stops.
Wednesday, County Commissioner Randy Wilkinson asked his fellow commissioners to change that law.
Under the new proposal, distance requirements would stay the same but a task force would be created that would work with the housing authority in helping to find these predators a place to live.
"That these individuals can rent lease and have a place where they are off the street and less danger to our children and under some supervision," said Wilkinson.
In addition to the new changes, Wilkinson also wants to make the law stricter. He is asking for a new ban of sexual predators and offenders at all county parks -- and a 300 foot safety zone around those parks so predators are punished for loitering.
"I'm happy about that. The harder it is for them the better,” said Snedegar.
- Just wait until your kids, if you have any, get slammed with a sex crime. Then you will be singing a different tune.
Commissioners unanimously voted today to further review the law. They plan to set a public hearing at the next board meeting February 17th.
Fatal stabbing linked to Death Demons cult
Come on, she murders someone in cold blood, gets 20 years, but let a man sexually abuse someone, and they get 25 years to life! Yep, the justice system is so fair, if you are not a man!
By Kelly Gilmartin
A Newark woman will spend at least 20 years in prison for a murder last August.
Wednesday in Licking County Common Pleas Court 29-year-old Beth Doty pled guilty to one count of aggravated murder and one count of aggravated burglary.
Doty is believed to be the organizer of a group that stabbed 25-year-old _____ to death August 24 on West Harrison Street in Newark.
Licking County Assistant Prosecutor Dan Huston says Doty is 8 months pregnant and believes _____ is the child's father. Huston says Doty has another child that she does not have custody of and was concerned she would lose custody of her unborn child, because _____ was a convicted sex offender.
For her actions Judge Thomas Marcelain sentenced Doty to 20 years in prison before she has the possibility of parole.
In December, 20-year-old Nicholas Wallace was sentenced to 18-years-to-life in prison on charges related to _____'s death.
Other people believed to be involved in the crime 20-year-old Jason Stone, 34-year-old William Snyder and 46-year-old William Withem have yet to go on trial.
Hosted by: RealityUSA (Americans Reality Check)
Title: JTC RESIDENCE UPDATE <-- Click here tonight!
Time: 02/03/2010 08:00 PM EST
Episode Notes: ARC Talk Radio once again on February 3 will be doing a live show from the Julia Tuttle Causeway (Bookville) in Miami, Dade County, Florida!
On this special night our friend Kevin will be live with other residents of the Causeway to discuss events and happenings since last June 2009. In recent days Miami County Commissioners passed a new ordinance which will effect many lives and include some new laws as well. As written in the Miami Harold; Commissioners on Thursday passed, 12-0, a sex offender ordinance that repeals more than 24 different sex offender laws enacted by municipalities within county borders. The new law creates one standard that it hopes will balance the need to protect children while still giving housing options to sexual offenders.
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miami-dade/story/1439053.html
Here at ARC we are pleased to have, once again, the Julia Tuttle residents join us for a live broadcast and hope to see all our listeners join us in support of these men and women who suffer so much living under this bridge of hell. Please show your support and join us this special night as they update us on the ACLU court case, recent housing opportunities, rumors of the bridge being closed and how they feel about this new ordinance which includes 300 foot loitering laws.
A student in New Zealand has auctioned her virginity to a stranger for almost $31,900 to help fund her university tuition fees.
The 19-year-old offered her virginity to the highest bidder in an online auction on the www.ineed.co.nz Web site after she found herself desperate for money.
The student, who called herself "Unigirl," said that she was delighted with the outcome and thanked auction participants who had bid more than she expected.
"Thank you to the more than 30,000 people who viewed my ad and to the more than 1,200 offers made," she said on the auction site yesterday. "I have accepted an offer in excess of $NZ45,000, which is way beyond what I dreamt."
The woman said that she had never been in a sexual relationship. She described herself as attractive, fit and healthy but desperate for money to pay university fees. She offered her virginity to the highest bidder “as long as all personal safety aspects are observed” and with full awareness of "possible consequences."
The proprietor of the Web site, Ross MacKenzie, said that the auction had created overwhelming interest from all around the world. He told the Waikato Times newspaper that if an advertisement was legal and not offensive, "it was OK."
He added: "Ineed does not place moral judgments on our members, believing in the fundamental rights of the individual."
MacKenzie denied the transaction was a stunt to promote his Web site. Trade Me, a rival New Zealand-based website, said that it would never allow such an auction. "We don't want Trade Me to be seen as the place where people auction off their virginity," Paul Ford, its spokesman, said.
"As a company we try to do things that are young at heart and do edgy things, but we do not think this one would pass muster," Mr Ford added. "We would not want to be part of it and I think our community would be pretty overwhelmingly against it."
A spokesman for the New Zealand police, Jon Neilson, said that no law appeared to have been breached.
"[But] we would suggest it's not a safe practice," Neilson added. "There are definitely issues of personal safety in using chatrooms, social dating networks and other internet sites that can be used to arrange meetings between strangers."
WI - Retired sheriff's deputy reaches plea deal in sex crimes case (Slapped on the wrist, because he's a "Good Ole' Boy!")
Of course he gets a plea deal, he's part of the corrupt "Good Ole' Boys!" Also, notice they don't plaster his face on the web either? Why is that? I guess cop sex offenders are more privileged than the average Joe! And where is the outrage when a story like this comes out? The man is innocent until proven guilty, but if this was the average John Doe, they'd throw the book at him.
By Mike Johnson
Waukesha - A retired Waukesha County sheriff's deputy facing potentially dozens of years in prison if convicted of felony sex crimes involving two children has reached a plea agreement in the case that reduces the charges to misdemeanors.
- Misdemeanors for molesting a child over and over! It pays to be a cop or politician!
Terrence L. Greenwald, 56, was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court last year with three counts of repeated sexual assault of a child, one count of sexual assault of a child under 13, four counts of child enticement and one count of causing a child older than 13 to view/listen to sexual activity.
- And he still gets it reduced down to misdemeanors! Where is the justice in that?
But under a plea bargain, Greenwald is expected to enter no contest pleas on Thursday in Jefferson County Circuit Court to four misdemeanor counts of sexual assault and two misdemeanor counts of exposing genitals to a child, said special prosecutor Robert S. Repischak, a Racine County assistant district attorney.
The deal, if accepted by Judge William F. Hue, would avoid a trial in the case. A jury trial had been scheduled to begin Feb. 9.
- Surely the judge will NOT accept this? But again, he is a "Good Ole' Boy!"
The case is being handled by a special prosecutor and a Jefferson County judge because the charges involve a former Waukesha County sheriff's deputy.
Greenwald's attorney, Jennifer Dorow, said Repischak is expected to argue that Greenwald receive a county jail sentence and probation. Greenwald would not face time in state prison if convicted of misdemeanors.
According to a criminal complaint, Greenwald, of Summit, is accused of sexual crimes involving a boy and girl that occurred between July 1, 1997, and September 1, 2008.
The girl told authorities that the first incident involving her that she could recall occurred when she was a first-grader in 1998. The last incident occurred in fall 2008, the complaint says. All of the sexual assault charges involve indecent touching, according to the complaint.
The boy told authorities that Greenwald exposed himself to the child in July 1997, when the boy was about 8, and that Greenwald caused the boy to view sexual activity in May 2004, the complaint says.
Greenwald retired from the Sheriff's Department on Dec. 7, 2007. He was hired as a correctional officer Oct. 10, 1992, and promoted to deputy Aug. 27, 1994, according to county personnel records.
- And will he be labeled a sex offender for the rest of his life, like all the non-police?
By Michael Wray
A QUEENSLAND pilot wrongfully jailed for nearly 1000 days on false child-rape claims says the Australian Federal Police made a decision to "get the bastard" before their bungled case was exposed.
Frederick Martens' $45 million compensation claim against the Federal Government will be based on the shattering effects the flawed case had on his life and his multimillion-dollar businesses.
Mr Martens, 61, was released from jail in north Queensland last year on bail before the Court of Appeal quashed his conviction and set aside his jail term.
The court slammed the way the AFP and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions handled the case.
The investigation into Mr Martens coincided with the Federal Government's attempt to take a more direct role in Papua New Guinean affairs under a $1 billion "Enhanced Co-operation Program".
That push was realised in June 2004 when the PNG Government granted Australia's wish that its officers receive immunity to work in the northern nation.
Mr Martens was arrested two months later at Cairns airport for the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl in September 2001. Three days after the arrest, the AFP's deployment to PNG began.
"The AFP had to please PNG by showing how superior their performance was, that they could do things the Papua New Guineans couldn't do themselves," Mr Martens told The Courier-Mail.
"(The AFP) thought they'd just been given an opportunity on a plate and thought 'we'll get the bastard and we'll use this politically and diplomatically'."
The Courier-Mail forwarded questions to the AFP last Friday but despite repeated calls to the organisation, it had not responded by last night.
In 2006, Mr Martens was convicted in the Cairns Supreme Court and sentenced to 5½ years' jail for raping the PNG girl in Port Moresby.
After Mr Martens lost an appeal, his legal team and his family retraced the original investigation and located documents the AFP had repeatedly denied existed.
The documents, first revealed by The Courier-Mail in 2008, confirmed Mr Martens' alibi that he was 1000km from Port Moresby on the night of the alleged rape.
Mr Martens was released on bail last May and his conviction was overturned and his jail term set aside by the Court of Appeal six months later.
"The records have always existed and have now been produced," the Court of Appeal justices wrote in their judgment.
"It is a poor reflection upon the two organisations that one (AFP) should have failed to find them, and denied their existence, and the other (CDPP) object to their use in the reference on the ground that the petitioner should have obtained them earlier."
A second case against Mr Martens, also involving an underage PNG girl, imploded before trial in 2008 when the complainant backed out and withdrew her complaint.
The Courier-Mail can reveal that a month after the AFP claimed critical evidence had been stolen from the PNG Immigration Department, an officer in the Pacific Transnational Crime Unit confirmed the document had previously been found in the department and and the AFP "retained possession of this form".
It can also be revealed that a PNG lawyer wrote to the Australian High Commissioner in Port Moresby requesting that the AFP stop "harassing" his client, who had backed out of claims Mr Martens raped her.
Claims the AFP perverted the course of justice centre on their inability to locate PNG Civil Aviation Authority records found by Martens' family. The documents were central to proving Mr Martens' alibi.
Last year, the AFP sent a senior investigator to PNG to re-examine the case.
He confirmed in a sworn affidavit lodged in Cairns Magistrates Court that the "database from (which) the charge invoices were obtained has always existed".
Dr Paul Wilson, a leading criminologist, has studied the Martens case and questioned the pressures that led to Mr Martens' jailing.
"Where did this extraordinary pressure come from – the DPP, the AFP, from the bureaucracy or the government? I simply have no idea, but it is a real concern," he said.
Under child sex tourism laws, Australian citizens and residents can be prosecuted in Australia for crimes allegedly committed overseas.
The AFP's own guidelines on child sex tourism investigations, published each year in its annual report, state the laws are designed to prosecute offenders "who have escaped the jurisdiction of foreign law enforcement investigation, including where local law does not cover these crimes".
The AFP claimed in its 2004 annual report that it began investigating the claims against Mr Martens after a referral from the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary.
As Mr Martens' legal team, including Cairns lawyer Chris Rose, and his family retraced the AFP investigation, they began to suspect the AFP was being pressured into a high-profile arrest.
By Jocelyn Vena
Michelle Trachtenberg, Asher Roth, All Time Low and Boys Like Girls join MTV's A Thin Line campaign against digital abuse.
MTV News special "Sexting in America: When Privates Go Public" is set to premiere on Valentine's Day as part of MTV's A Thin Line campaign to stop the spread of digital abuse. And before the show, Boys Like Girls, Michelle Trachtenberg, All Time Low and Asher Roth have teamed up with MTV to inform people about serious harm sexting, cyberbullying and online harassment can cause.
Trachtenberg and Roth will host an interactive quiz that will launch next week on AThinLine.org. Boys Like Girls and All Time Low will appear in short digital clips about digital abuse that will go live on the site on Wednesday.
The special will take an in-depth look at the recent rise of "sexting" in pop culture, including in the celebrity world. It will also take an in-depth look at the frequency and consequences of sending or forwarding nude, sexually suggestive or explicit pictures on your cell or online. It will explore why some teens and young adults hit "forward" instead of "delete."
In addition to the celebrity participants in the special, young people will talk openly about sexting. The special will look at real-life stories from people like Ally, whose reputation was destroyed after sexting her ex-boyfriend, and Phillip, who was charged with child pornography after forwarding photos of his underage girlfriend and is slated to remain on the sex-offender registry until he's 43 years old.
A Thin Line works to stop the spread of digital abuse. A recent MTV and AP study (PDF) found that three in 10 young people have sent or received nude "sext" messages, and over 60 percent of those who sent a nude photo reporting that they were pressured to do so at least once. Additionally, the research found that those who have sexted are four times more likely to have considered suicide.
Over 75 percent of young people state that digital abuse is a serious problem for people their age. However, few consider the more serious consequences and risks of their behavior, with only 51 percent believing that their digital actions could come back to haunt them, and only 25 percent considering that these actions could have legal consequences.
The MTV News special "Sexting in America: When Privates Go Public," premieres Sunday, February 14, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Study: Incidents declined by 26 percent from 1993 to 2006
NEW YORK - A massive new federal study documents an unprecedented and dramatic decrease in incidents of serious child abuse, especially sexual abuse. Experts hailed the findings as proof that crackdowns and public awareness campaigns had made headway.
An estimated 553,000 children suffered physical, sexual or emotional abuse in 2005-06, down 26 percent from the estimated 743,200 abuse victims in 1993, the study found.
- And yet we only have a sex offender registry? Why not an abuse registry? Or just a criminal registry with all criminals on it? Using your logic, wouldn't all crime go down then, because people are more aware of it? I doubt it, but that is your logic.
"It's the first time since we started collecting data about these things that we've seen substantial declines over a long period, and that's tremendously encouraging," said professor David Finkelhor of the University of New Hampshire, a leading researcher in the field of child abuse.
"It does suggest that the mobilization around this issue is helping and it's a problem that is amenable to solutions," he said.
The findings were contained in the fourth installment of the National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect, a congressionally mandated study that has been conducted periodically by the Department of Health and Human Services. The previous version was issued in 1996, based on 1993 data.
The new study is based on information from more than 10,700 "sentinels" — such as child welfare workers, police officers, teachers, health care professionals and day care workers — in 122 counties across the country. The detailed data collected from them was then used to make national estimates.
What's behind the decline?
The number of sexually abused children decreased from 217,700 in 1993 to 135,300 in 2005-2006 — a 38 percent drop, the study shows. The number of children who experienced physical abuse fell by 15 percent and the number of emotionally abused children dropped by 27 percent.
The 455-page study shied away from trying to explain the trends, but other experts offered their theories.
"There's much more public awareness and public intolerance around child abuse now," said Linda Spears, the Child Welfare League of America's vice president for public policy. "It was a hidden concern before — people were afraid to talk about it if it was in their family."
- Then, if this is true, like I said above, why not put all criminals on a registry and make the public more aware of them by sending out fliers when they move, etc? Crime would go down, right?
She also noted the proliferation of programs designed to help abusers and potential abusers overcome their problems.
Finkelhor, whose own previous research detected a drop in abuse rates, said the study reveals "real, substantial declines" that cannot be dismissed on any technical grounds, such as changing definitions of abuse.
He suggested that the decline was a product of several coinciding trends, including a "troop surge" in the 1990s when more people were deployed in child protection services and the criminal justice system intensified its anti-abuse efforts with more arrests and prison sentences.
Finkelhor also suggested that the greatly expanded use of medications may have enabled many potential child abusers to treat the conditions that otherwise might have led them to molest or mistreat a child.
"There's also been a general change in perceptions and norms about what one can get away with, so much more publicity about these things," he said.
Released to little fanfare
One curious aspect of the study was the manner of its release. Although HHS had launched the study in 2004 and invested several million dollars, it was posted a few days ago on the Internet with no fanfare — neither a press release nor a news conference. Finkelhor, noting that experts in the field had been impatiently awaiting the study, described this low-profile approach as "shocking."
- Of course not, that would go against all the politicians and news outlets who exploit the public's fear, they'd not get votes and ratings if it was front page news, now would they? They could not fear-monger anymore.
The findings might be disconcerting to some in the child-welfare field who base their funding pitches on the specter of ever-rising abuse rates, said Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform.
"The best use of scarce child welfare dollars is on prevention and family preservation — not on hiring more people to investigate less actual abuse," Wexler said.
The study found some dramatic differences in child abuse rates based on socio-economic factors. Poor children were three times more likely than other kids to experience abuse, and rates of abuse in African-American families were significantly higher than for whites and Hispanics.
Family structure also was a factor — for example, children whose single parent had a live-in partner faced an abuse rate 10 times that of a child living with two parents.
The main author of the study, Andrea Sedlak of the Rockville, Md.-based research firm Westat Inc., said she was heartened by the overall findings of declining abuse rates. However, she was troubled to find that more than half of child maltreatment incidents are not investigated by child-protection agencies.
"Is the system still so strapped?" she asked. "There's still a lot of material here saying the system has a long way to go."
The study does not cover the recent period in which the United States plunged into a recession, prompting some reports of increased domestic violence and abuse in hard-off families.
This is a little old I know, but it's the first I have seen it.
By Paul Brubaker
The mother of the New Jersey girl whose death inspired Megan's Law is criticizing prosecutors who charge teenagers with child porn for distributing nude photos of themselves.
- Funny how they push for these laws, then when it hits home, or close to home, then they change their mind. Mark Lunsfords son molested a child, got 10 days in jail and not on the registry, now I'm just waiting for one of John Walsh's kids to get slammed with a sex crime. They'll probably get off easy as well.
Maureen Kanka said today that the prosecutors are harming the children more than helping them. Her comments came as authorities in Passaic County charged a 14-year-old girl with child pornography for posting nude photos of herself on MySpace.com.
If she is convicted, she would have to register with the state as a sex offender under Megan's Law.
The laws generally require governments to alert neighbors of convicted sexual predators in their midst.
Kanka says the girl needs help, not legal trouble.
- This is what you get when politicians and people running on emotions make and pass draconian unconstitutional laws. Remember, you reap what you sow!