NAPLES — A former Youngstown and Hubbard Township police officer faces felony charges in Naples, Fla., of lewd or lascivious battery, and official misconduct.
Chuck Bullock, 51, a Collier County sheriff’s deputy, was charged Monday after Naples police said he engaged in on-duty sexual activity with a 15-year-old boy in a mall bathroom in the Florida city on Feb. 17, according to NaplesNews.com, the Web site of the Naples Daily News. Bullock was fired Monday, the day of his arrest.
Bullock started in law enforcement in 1991 with the Hubbard Township police, serving until 1993, when he was hired by the Youngstown Police Department, according to NaplesNews.com. Bullock worked in Youngstown for about three years before relocating to Florida.
Monday, April 19, 2010
See video at the above site.
By FRANCIS MCCABE
A former Las Vegas police officer on Monday pleaded guilty to felony charges relating to his molesting a 13-year-old girl three years ago.
Damian Amalfitano, 35, entered an Alford plea for one count of attempted lewdness with a child under 14 years of age and possession of child pornography. The Alford plea means Amalfitano didn't admit guilt but acknowledged that prosecutors could prove their case against him.
According to an arrest report, Amalfitano was dating the victim's aunt when in April 2007 he molested the 13-year-old on three occasions -- twice in the home he shared with another couple and once at the victim's grandmother's house. Amalfitano was off duty at the time.
During a search, investigators also found images of child pornography on his computer that were not of the victim, according to the report.
The two felony charges are probational offenses. He faces a maximum of 26 years in prison.
As part of the plea, prosecutors will not argue at a sentencing hearing scheduled for Aug. 23 before District Judge Elissa Cadish. Prosecutors also agreed not to refer the case to federal prosecutors who were interested in the case.
Amalfitano, who was a six-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department at the time of his arrest, will have to register as a sex offender.
Amalfitano originally faced almost 30 felony counts, some with prison terms of 10 years to life in prison if convicted. His trial was set to begin next week.
Defense attorney Robert Draskovich said it was in his client's best interest to enter the Alford plea.
"He didn't want to face a much harsher penalty if we were to proceed to trial and he was convicted," Draskovich said. "He wanted to put this matter behind him and this is the first step in doing that."
Chief Deputy District Attorney Lisa Luzaich said the decision to negotiate a plea deal was not influenced by Amalfitano being a former police officer.
By JENNIFER LEBOVICH and ADAM H. BEASLEY
More than a dozen sex offenders who had once lived under the Julia Tuttle Causeway remained in limbo Monday, days after being evicted from the hotel they had been placed in by homeless advocates.
In all, 16 offenders, currently on probation, were kicked out of the Homestead Studio Suites hotel, 6605 NW 7th St., on Saturday, according to Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger.
An unknown number of other offenders -- no longer on probation -- were also evicted, said Plessinger, whose office tracks those on probation.
Some of those evicted spent the weekend with other offenders, while the rest slept in the parking lot at the probation offices at Northwest 27th Avenue and 79th Street.
It is not the department's responsibility to find housing for the offenders, said Plessinger, who urged all those on probation to contact the office and added that the department will help in any way it can.
One of those displaced, who asked only to be identified as "Wilson" out of fear for his safety, admitted Monday he had been living with his sister in the southern part of the county since his eviction.
To Wilson, the situation felt like a bait-and-switch.
"This seems like some sort of scam to clean the bridge out," he said, adding he wishes they would be allowed to return the Tuttle. "I need a place to stay."
Ron Book, head of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, which had helped to find the men housing, said staff had been working all weekend to find other arrangements.
- Really Ron, you have been working all weekend? Another lie!
He said one had been placed, while others were pending.
- And it's going to be the same thing in a couple weeks or more. They will be kicked out and the shuffle will continue!
Book said his attorney told him that the hotel did not have grounds to evict them.
- I don't think that is true either. A hotel can evict you for any reason, from what I understand.
Regardless of what happens next, this much is clear: The men will not be returning to the area under the bridge.
"That is not an option," Book said. "If they go back to the bridge they will be trespassers and subject to arrest."
- I cannot speak for these offenders, but I think they should all go back to the bridge, and risk arrest. It would get the attention of the media, and many others, and possibly the ACLU.
Some of the offenders had lived at the Homestead Studio Suites since late February, signing a month-to-month lease for $1,000 a month. The contract stipulated that 30 days written notice was necessary for either side to terminate the agreement.
According to an eviction notice provided to The Miami Herald, the Homestead Suites ordered them out within two hours, pursuant to Florida law.
The law allows immediate eviction under certain circumstances, including those who indulge "in any language or conduct which disturbs the peace and comfort of other guests or which injures the reputation, dignity, or standing of the establishment."
No further explanation was given, and the notice threatened those that stayed with a misdemeanor.
Katherine Martinez, Miami's homeless housing supervisor, said the offenders were evicted because the hotel manager, who agreed to the arrangement, had not notified his corporate office, which was against them staying there.
Corrections department officials said some of the offenders told them the arrest of Yat Wing Chang, an offender placed in the hotel, had prompted the evictions.
Chang was arrested for lewd and lascivious molestation on a minor at a nearby shopping center and remains behind bars at the Dade County jail.
Multiple telephone calls from The Miami Herald to the Homestead Studio Suites corporate office were not returned.
By Matt Kelley
A pair of bills moving through Florida’s legislature could finally bring a dose of sanity to the state’s sex offender registry. The proposed reforms would reduce the no-go zone for sex offenders around schools and parks from 2,500 to 1,000 feet. They would have also have some much-needed impact beyond that: like allowing sex offenders to live in actual houses and apartments, rather than under bridges. (SB-1284, HB-119)
As Sam has written, Florida is far from alone in the extremely restrictive nature of its laws governing the movements and residences of registered sex offenders. But the state has gained some particular notoriety for the homelessness its laws have caused, especially in the Miami, where the New York Times found a community of sex offenders forced to live under a bridge (videos) because they couldn’t find anywhere else. Yeah, that story might have turned a few heads.
Of course, this issue is nothing new to Change.org readers. We’ve written about Florida’s harsh guidelines, we wrote about the Michigan man who died in the snow because the two shelters in Grand Rapids couldn’t allow sex offenders (the shelters were located too near schools). Our bloggers at End Homelessness have covered this issue with several great pieces as well.
So it's about time it got tackled. Kudos to the Florida lawmakers behind this bill. It’s a vital reform, and there are jurisdictions from Georgia to Massachusetts to California that should be taking notes.
But however its no-go zones are defined, the state should also make sure its sex offender registry includes only people with actual sex offenses, and that it distinguishes between violent predators and people convicted of minor offenses, like public Romeo-Juliet relationships (or public urination).
Florida lawmakers are right in trying to reduce unnecessary restrictions on registered sex offenders, but the fact is, this bill has been proposed before without much progress. This year, let’s hope that in the aftermath of appalling headlines from Miami and elsewhere, the smart solution prevails.
Okay, so there are many offenders living around their home, yet none of them were accused of the crime, it was a person who was not currently a sex offender. The very laws are what is causing sex offenders to live in clusters, but the media and politicians don't acknowledge this fact. You will also notice, this video series portrays all sex offenders in the usual fashion, as if they are all "monsters!" She says "you are making my kid walk through a jungle of monsters!" No, no they are not, you are. If you know there are people around, who make you nerveous, why don't you take your kids to the bus stop or school? Also, NONE OF THE SO CALLED "MONSTERS" EVER TOUCHED YOUR CHILD EITHER, DID THEY? And they ignored the fact that 90% or more of all sexual crimes occur by someone the victim knows, not some stranger. When strangers do attack (if he was actually a stranger), it's less than 5%. I feel bad for these parents, but stop punishing all offenders when most are not dangerous.
We are pleased to report that today the Senate Judiciary Committee passed HB 571, a bill that would revise many of the problematic provisions in Georgia's sex offender law. Next, the bill will be considered by the entire Senate, most likely late this week or early next week. At this time, no actions are needed from list members. We will continue to keep you posted about any developments.
All the best,
Sara, Sarah, Gerry and Mica
Southern Center for Human Rights
83 Poplar St.
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 688-1202 -phone
(404) 688-9440- fax
By Leon Hendrix
Carl Gabrielse pleaded guilty in sex case
GRAND HAVEN - An attorney accused of lowering a woman's criminal charge in a drunken driving case in exchange for sex will spend the next six months in the Ottawa County Correctional Facility.
Carl Gabrielse on Monday learned the judge's decision, which came as a result of a plea deal with the prosecutor.
In February, Gabrielse pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct with force or coercion, and to misconduct in an office.
The former Holland deputy city attorney admitted sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman in November 2009 in a jury bathroom in the 58th District Courthouse. He was prosecuting the woman who was originally charged with operating while intoxicated.
After the alleged assault, Gabrielse immediately reduced the charges to driving while impaired.
The prosecutor and police OK'd the reduced charge because of the woman's cooperation with authorities in investigating Gabrielse, and the fact that she has no prior alcohol-related driving offenses. She has agreed to a plead guilty.
Gabrielse will also have to attend sex therapy sessions. In a year from now, if he has complied with the terms of this voluntary probation, prosecutors will drop the criminal sexual conduct charge and replace it with gross indecency. If he violates the rules, then he will be sentenced.
Gabrielse can no longer can work for the county, but the state still has to decide whether to disbar him. And depending on the final outcome, Gabrielse may not have to register with the sex offender's registry.
Download report (pdf 0.43 MB)
ISBN 1 877042 51X
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, May 2004
A report prepared by the Australian Institute of Criminology for the Office of the Status of Women.
Note: this report updates a version previously released in June 2003.
This report, which was prepared by the Australian Institute of Criminology for the Office of the Status of Women, reviews the international literature on recidivism rates and the risk factors that predict sexual, violent and general reoffending, and identifies a number of specific predictors of sexual reoffending. The report then analyses Victorian police data on persons apprehended for sexual assault of adults in 2001, finding that 14% of alleged offenders had previously been apprehended for sexual offences, 35% of the sample had been processed for multiple sexual offences, and a large percentage had also been apprehended for violent (35%) and other (55%) offences during the reference period. Finally, the report provides an overview of sex offender treatment programs offered through corrective services in Australian jurisdictions, and summarises the literature that assesses the efficacy of sex offender treatment programs.
Download pdf version (pdf 0.16 MB)
Crime facts info no. 72
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, April 2004
A report titled Recidivism of sexual assault offenders: rates, risk factors and treatment efficacy provides an overview of Australian and international research on sexual, violent and general recidivism among sex offenders. Despite the assumption that sexual offenders are particularly prone to reoffend, reconviction rates for sex crimes are relatively low. Sexual offenders are similar to the general offender population in terms of their criminal histories and their sociodemographic and psychosocial characteristics. They are versatile offenders, with a large proportion having convictions for violent and 'other' offences, such as drugs or property crimes. At the same time, they may specialise in particular types of sexual offences within their general criminal careers. The risk of recidivism varies for different types of sex offenders, with rapists tending to be more criminally versatile than child molesters. A retrospective study of 629 persons aged 16 years and over, who were apprehended by Victorian police on suspicion of sexual assault of adults pointed to a considerable degree of recidivistic activity between 1993 and 2001. A substantial number had been previously apprehended for violent (n=222) and 'other' offences (n=348). As shown in the chart below, the mean number of sexual offences per individual was lower than for the other crime categories.
By JOANNE PAGE
The tragedy of child sexual abuse is widespread. It is estimated that one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. The damage caused can last a lifetime, with profound consequences for both the individual and society.
Over the years, New York has enacted tougher and tougher laws regarding sex offenders. However, with each passing bill, the state Legislature has gotten further away from finding legislative solutions to the root of the problem, and instead, has focused on fear-based -- not evidence-based -- measures that make it almost impossible for those seeking to rebuild their lives to do so.
More than 80 bills concerning sex offenders now pending in Albany would further tighten restrictions and deny services that are critical to rehabilitation. Restrictions involving the Internet, residency and employment are just a few of the proposals that would further deter reporting of such crimes by family and friends and drive convicted sex offenders underground.
Noticeably absent from this legislative agenda are measures that address the need for prevention, intervention and treatment.
If we truly want to prevent sexual victimization, we need to intervene effectively where the crime occurs most frequently. The widely held, but incorrect, belief is that sexual assaults are more likely to occur between a stranger and a child. An overwhelming 93 percent of victims under the age of 17 are sexually assaulted by someone they know, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics; 34 percent of these assaults are committed by a family member. Both are among the most underreported crimes.
Victim advocacy groups have come out against some of the harshest proposed restrictions and notification laws because they rightfully feel that the stigmatization of sex offenders will only result in decreased reporting, leaving an even greater percentage of victims unprotected.
Residency restrictions don't protect society. Studies have found that on average, most perpetrators traveled at least one mile from home to commit a crime. Research done in Minnesota found that residency restrictions would not have prevented a single one of the crimes studied.
Residency restrictions increase the percentage of sex offenders who are homeless or lost to parole supervision. Such individuals are too often dumped in shelters where they get little or no treatment or services. Sex offender registries, including New Jersey's Megan's Law, have also been found to be both ineffective and hugely expensive.
Meanwhile, measures that would increase reporting of sex offenses, assist victims and help prevent sex abuse of the most vulnerable of victims, including institutionalized and foster care children, are left unfunded and unaddressed.
Our state leaders must pay attention to where most of these crimes occur, do what it takes to reduce their numbers and work to assist victims in recovering from the abuse that they have suffered.
We cannot address the problem by demonizing a handful of convicted individuals, raising almost overwhelming barriers to their rehabilitation and pretending that we are addressing the epidemic of sexual abuse of children.
We have witnessed a broad-brush condemnation and demonization of those who have committed crimes, been punished and are trying to reintegrate into the community. Strict laws based on fear and misinformation are unfair to those subjected to them and deceive the community into a false sense that effective action is being taken, when, all too often, the action is both counter to civil liberty and to community safety.
Until we use evidence rather than fear to drive our policies and our interventions, everyone loses. The most vulnerable of children get victimized over and over and over again.
JoAnne Page is the president and CEO of the New York City-based Fortune Society, a prisoner re-entry agency.