Tuesday, May 25, 2010

FL - Predators targeting water parks where kids play

Judy Cornett
Original Article (Listen)

Self proclaimed "child advocate," and vigilante, who is so obsessed with hunting down "predators," neglected to be there for her own son, who is now in prison for attempted murder. Also, while in prison, magically the person who abused him when he was a child, was put into the same jail cell (coincidence) as him, and of course he attacked the man.


Tampa - Summer is almost here. It's a time when parents like to take their kids to the pool, beach and water parks but there's a serious danger that could be lurking there. Predators are preying on children at some of these places.

June 23, 2009: A 14-year old girl says she was sexually assaulted at Wet 'n Wild Water Park in Orlando. No one has been arrested.

July 1, 2009: Three middle school girls say they were groped at Aquatica Water Park in Orlando. Security cameras were rolling but the clips were too hard to make out. The mother and father of two of the girls were nearby.

The father, who doesn't want to be identified to protect his family, says, "Security sucks and the thing is you got thousands of people coming to these parks every single day."

A suspect was arrested but the charges were later dropped.

A few days later, a series of sexual incidents were reported at Typhoon Lagoon Water Park in Orlando.

July 3, 2009: 51-year-old _____ was arrested at the water park after a 15-year-old said he ripped her bikini top and bottom off. She says he touched her chest. She told her father, who was nearby when it happened.

July 13, 2009: Ten days later, a witness says he watched a 51-year-old Connecticut man exposed himself to a 14-year-old girl. When confronted, he blamed the incident on his European style bathing suit. He was arrested but the charges were later dropped due to a lack of evidence.

July 16, 2009: 29-year-old _____ is accused of touching six boys and sexually battering a seventh. According to reports, when he was arrested he told detectives, "It was an experiment and I was curious."

Former state prosecutor William Jay says, "Convicted sexual offenders aren't being prohibited from going to places like a water park."

In the Orlando cases last summer, those arrested did not have prior sexual offender convictions, which means every time you go to a water park or a city pool, a predator could be right next to you or your children and you'd never know it.

There are more than 600 sexual predators that live within five miles of the Sulpher Springs city pool at 713 E. Bird and many parents don't know it.

But Judy Cornett, a mother of two, is trying to change that.

If you'd like to see how many sexual offenders and predators live near city pools and water parks near you, just click here and type in the address of the facility.

Cornett runs a non-profit called Predator Patrol. She and her volunteers take to the streets in the Sulpher Springs community in Tampa, showing parents and their children pictures of the sexual predators that live around them.
- And what is her motive, except vengeance?  The police already notify people when a sex offender moves in near by, so she is going beyond the law.

She says, "If you add up the probation department, the police department, there's not enough manpower. There are so many other crimes going on that police officers, probation officers, don't have time to sit and watch these guys."

For Cornett, it's personal. She says, "When my son was kidnapped and brutally raped, it changed our life and that's why I'm here today trying to change other peoples lives in a more positive way."

She says many parents may have a false sense of security at water parks and pools and she wants them to know children can become victims anywhere. "There's a predator everywhere and there's 1 in 7 children that are getting molested. That's a lot. You go into Adventure Island, any of these water parks, and how do you know it's not happening there?"

Meanwhile, William Jay says you shouldn't rely on security cameras in the water parks or pools either because the images they capture aren't always enough to get a conviction.

Though there were a couple of arrests from the incidents that allegedly took place in Orlando last summer, building cases against suspects in these types of crimes can be a challenge. Charges against two of the suspects in those cases were eventually dropped.

Jay says, "Touching is a part of it. It's an element of these crimes but it has to be done with a sexual intent and the cameras aren't necessarily going to be able to help sort that out."

Cornett believes parent's best line of defense is simple. "There are a lot of parents that don't even go. How many times over at Adventure Island, our water park, the parents drop the kids off at the front gate and say, 'Okay, we'll see you when it closes.' They're not there with them."

There haven't been any recent sexual incidents reported targeting children at Adventure Island Water Park in Tampa. Jill Revelle, a spokesperson for the water park, released the following statement:

"The safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority and we have a zero tolerance policy for any sort of illegal activity. We have training programs, policies and active procedures in place, but for obvious security reasons, we do not share the details of our security precautions. In partnership with those precautions, parents should know where their children are and who they are with at all times, as is true when visiting any public venue."

NY - Stone Grissom interviews a convicted sex offender

Stone Grissom (Email), national legal analyst, interviews a man convicted of sexual molestation of a five year old girl and is currently civilly committed.

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AZ - Body of Sex Offender Found in Car Trunk

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Related Article
Related Article

Committed suicide? I doubt that!


Marshals say _____ committed suicide

FLAGSTAFF - A convicted sex offender and stalker that was wanted by Chandler Police has been found dead in the trunk of a car.

The U.S. Marshals Office found _____'s body in the trunk of a car parked in Flagstaff.

_____ was wanted for stalking and probation violations. He was supposed to appear in court last September but never showed up.

About two weeks ago, a Flagstaff Police officer noticed a foul smell coming from a car parked at a business near the Flagstaff airport.

_____'s body was in the trunk and it reportedly had been there for awhile.

_____ is believed to have committed suicide. Alcohol and prescription drugs had been found in _____'s system and a bag had been pulled over his head before his death.

NC - Former Pender detention officer (Sherwood Anthony Pickett) admits to sex crimes

Original Article (Listen)


PENDER COUNTY (WECT) - A former Pender County detention officer admitted his guilt Tuesday to several sex crimes charged against him in 2009.

Sherwood Anthony Pickett was charged with extortion, attempted sex offense by custodian and solicitation for crimes against nature in July of last year.

Tuesday, Pickett appeared in Pender County Superior Court where he pleaded guilty to the charges.

He was sentenced to 16-20 months in jail. Additionally, Pickett was placed on intensive probation and ordered into a sex offender treatment program, delaying his sentence for 48 months.

FL - Checking on sex offenders

Original Article (Listen)


By Melanie Brooks

Clearwater - It's no secret that the summer months mean more kids in malls, on the beach and on playgrounds.

But are they safe?
- If the parents are being parents, I'd say yes!

Where are the sex offenders when your child is out of school?
- The same place they are when kids are in school!

Corporal Scott Summers with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office spends his days tracking offenders and making sure they are where they're supposed to be.

"We are always around," says Cpl. Summers, who is part of the Sheriff's Office SPOT unit.

SPOT, also known as the Sexual Predator Offender Tracking unit, is a division in the Sheriff's Office dedicated solely to tracking sex offenders and bringing them in for arrest.

"To be quite honest, I'm not sure anyone knows what's going on in the mind of a true sex offender," he says. "It's not the monster lurking around at the mall. It's someone in their own home."
- Then why all the hysteria and fear mongering?  Also, do you know what is in the mind of anybody else?  Do you have some kind of secret "mind reading" class in the police academy? Or is it like "The Men Who Stare At Goats? "

Cpl. Summers loves his job, knowing full well he deals with the criminals people hate the most.

"Out of all people who said they were sorry, some are sorry because they got caught," he told us Tuesday while we went door to door with him in Pinellas County, verifying the addresses of offenders and predators.

During one stop, he checks a man who fondled his 3-year-old granddaughter.

"I'm sure that's a great concern for most parents - when the summer rolls around and their kids aren't in school anymore. If they're not enrolled in a summer program, [they can] do what they want and be unsupervised," he says.
- And whose fault is that? If they are underage, and the parents are so freaked out about the "Monsters in the bushes," then they should be a parent and be with their child!

With summer approaching, deputies check addresses constantly to keep the online database current.

Corporal Summers tells us he checks on the worst sex offenders at least ten times a year, sometimes stopping by their apartment and having them stop by the sheriff's office.
- Hmm, you are not their probation officer, so what right do you have to tell them to stop by the sheriff's office?

But, he says, the most important element is that of surprise.

"We want this to be something that they never really know, when we're going show up. Kind of omnipresent. We're always around," Cpl. Summers says.

One Clearwater grandmother lives next door to not one, but two sex offenders.

Toni Dennis says she feels safer when she sees Cpl. Summers knocking on doors near her apartment. "They're doing a really good job, making sure they are following rules and regulations."

She knows firsthand how hard it is to live near registered offenders.

In fact, in the past decade alone, the number of registered sex offenders has doubled from 700 to nearly 1,400 in Pinellas.

"The offenders, they live everywhere in the community, even in wealthy gated communities," says Cpl Summers. "When we started out in 2000, we started with two detectives. They quickly discovered that wasn't going to work. It was overwhelming to the two detectives and the work they can do."

They started with two, and then there were nine. A number of individuals, both men and women, are sought after each day for failing to register after they are convicted of a sex crime.

Deputies often make unannounced visits to the homes of offenders just to make sure that they live at the address provided.
- So, if an offender is off probation / parole, and is required to register once a year, any other visits is harassment!

Investigators admit that some of the offenders they deal with are not always convicted of assaulting children. Many times, adults are the victims.

In addition, there are some cases where teenagers are involved. An 18-year-old may be dating a 15-year-old and having a sexual relationship. Even though the two may later marry, which has been the case several times with current offenders, it is still considered an offense because the 15-year-old is a minor.

After eight years with the SPOT unit and 17 years total with the Sheriff's Office, Cpl. Summers admits that these cases are still tough. But, he says protecting the innocent and keeping them safe is a job he's passionate about each day.

"Maybe through the work that we do in the SPOT unit, we can keep another child or adult from becoming a victim and losing their innocence," the Corporal tells us.
- Nothing you do can prevent this, only the offender can!

ARC RADIO - Nevada woman gets life for a child touching her breasts - Her attorney joins us (Please attend)

Hosted by: RealityUSA (Website)


Time: 05/26/2010 08:00 PM EDT

Episode Notes: Please join us this coming Wednesday, May 26 as we welcome Alina Kilpatrick of the Elko County Public Defenders office. In recent weeks we have heard the story of the 34 year old woman, named Michelle, who was sentenced to life for forcing a 13 year old male to touch her breast (Related story here). Ms. Kilpatrick was Michelle's defense attorney and will be here to discuss this case and the lifetime sentencing of her client. As parents, families and citizens many were outraged by this story as it shows the draconian laws and a punishment which seems to be too extreme for this offense. Show your support for Michelle and her attorney and join us on ARC Radio as we delve into another case where the punishment does not fit the crime!

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GA - Sex Offender Information from the Southern Center for Human Rights

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Sex Offenders

Whitaker v. Perdue: challenging Georgia's Sex Offender Restrictions

Over the last few years, Georgia’s General Assembly has passed several law that prohibit people on the sex offender registry from living or working in certain locations within 1,000 feet of: schools, child care facilities, school bus stops and other areas where minors congregate.

On June 20, 2006, the Southern Center for Human Rights (“SCHR”) filed a lawsuit on behalf of everyone on the registry challenging these residency and employment restrictions. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta. The defendants in the case are Governor Sonny Perdue, Attorney General Thurbert Baker, and all of the sheriffs in Georgia.

The named plaintiffs are eight people on the registry. The plaintiffs brought the lawsuit on behalf of all persons on the registry. In Whitaker v. Perdue, the plaintiff class has been defined as “all persons who are registered, are required to register, or in the future will be required to register as sex offenders pursuant to § 42-1-12.” If you are on the registry, you are automatically a part of the plaintiff class. You do not need to request to be included in the lawsuit.

A Summary of the 2010 Revisions (HB 571) to the sex offender law can be read here (or here). The legislation can be read here (or here).

Here is some information that may help with understanding Georgia’s sex offender law and the Whitaker v. Perdue lawsuit.

MD - An Update on Maryland's new laws, and our Resistance!

I am almost overwhelmed! And very proud of my little group of activists!

On Friday, several of us from FAIR mailed out 381 letters to the current RSOs who would be most hurt by Maryland's new, retroactive increases in registration period. I'm attaching the letter below. Our hope is to increase our membership, especially with persons angry enough to actually jump on board a group lawsuit against the state for unconstitutional increase in punishment. I contributed our rarely-used home phone line to the cause and redid the voice mail message with just the number, the group's name, and to please leave a message. We created a separate email address, too.

By Saturday afternoon, I was getting emails, and I got more Sunday. Plus a phone call. Today, I fielded calls practically all day! So far I have 20 people who have responded: 14 have email and another 5 don't. Two found out about us indirectly: one from a registered neighbor, and one from a friend in a therapy group! Several people would love to become plaintiffs (although only one indicated he could help pay a lawyer). And every last one is saying "Enough is enough! This is crazy!" One guy this morning, in the middle of motor-mouthing, informed me that our group was the best thing to happen to him since he got arrested. And all we did was talk! (Well, he did, anyway.)

I am actually getting hopeful that this mailing will actually achieve better than a 10% response rate. The darn thing is already starting to go "viral." Hey! Free advertising!

Download PDF

GA - APD officer (Vincent Romone Wadley) found guilty of child molestation

Original Article (Listen)


By Cade Fowler

ALBANY – An Albany Police officer is now a convicted child molester.

A Dougherty County jury found 46-year old Vincent Romone Wadley guilty on one count of child molestation.

Prosecutors say he committed a sex act with a 7-year old girl in May 2008.

He was arrested last year and suspended from his job as a corporal in APD's investigations division.

Sentencing will take place at a later date.

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UK - Boys branded criminals for attempted rape: what are we doing to our children?

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By Philip Johnston

The conviction of two boys for attempted rape was astonishing and depressing, says Philip Johnston.

The conviction of two boys aged 10 and 11 for the attempted rape of an eight-year-old girl must rank among the most depressing legal events of recent years. Not because it suggests – as some no doubt will – that sexual predators are getting younger, but because it confirms that as a nation we have lost our marbles.

Consider: the two boys must be pre-pubescent, so how could there have been any sexual motivation behind what happened? The cause, surely, was nothing more than the curiosity that young boys and girls have always shown towards each other's bodies. And even if there was what adults would consider to have been an unhealthy interest shown in the sexual organs, that is most likely due to the imagery that rains down on our children every day from television or the internet.

The evidence in this case is troubling. The boys were originally charged with rape, but during the trial the girl said she had not, in fact, been attacked. Prosecutors alleged that the boys had approached the girl when she was playing with a friend and had taken her to various places, including some flats and a field. The girl's mother found her when another child said the boys were hurting her. Lawyers for the boys said they had only been playing, and the girl told the court she had lied to her mother about what had happened because she had been "naughty" and was worried she would not get any sweets.

The first thing that strikes you about this case is how incredible it is that it even came to a trial at the Old Bailey – or anywhere else, for that matter. Which part of "they were children" does the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not understand? Why, indeed, did the authorities respond to a story of rape from an eight-year-old, who cannot possibly know what it means?

The CPS – which was criticised in another rape case yesterday – said that the allegations made by the young girl were "very serious" and that "she had given a clear and compelling account to the police, and her account was consistent with the medical evidence and with the accounts given by other witnesses to the police". But it wasn't true, so how did all these things come about? Why, also, when the story was changed during the trial, did the judge not stop proceedings?

Clearly, there was concern among the jury, as the guilty verdict was a 10-2 majority. I find it astonishing that any jury would find children guilty in these circumstances, though, to be fair, I was not in court listening to the evidence. I suppose nothing surprises any more when it comes to the way this country treats its children.

No group in society has endured more legislative tinkering. Successive governments have made more than 400 major announcements relating to children and young people in the past 21 years. Teachers are now told that if a primary school child uses "homophobic" or racist words, even without knowing their meaning, it is not enough simply to teach them that such words are hurtful and inappropriate. Instead, the incident has to be recorded and behaviour monitored for future signs of "hate" bullying.

A similarly warped psychology appears to have been applied in this case. The boys were virtually under the legal age of criminal responsibility, and while children can of course act in a criminal way, when it comes to sexual behaviour we must surely be mindful of motive. Rape is carried out both to exert power and for sexual gratification. Since when has idle, child-like interest been a sex crime? If they had hurt the girl then they could have been charged with assault. Now, astonishingly, the boys are to have their names placed on the Sex Offender Register – though, as Mr Justice Saunders, the trial judge, said, it is not clear what that will mean for children of this age.

The two are the youngest boys ever charged with rape in this country (and possibly anywhere else). There must be an explanation for that: previous generations would not have put children on trial in this way. We seem to cosset our offspring more than ever, yet treat them as though they were grown-ups for merely behaving like children.

Even if the boys did act inappropriately, there were better ways of dealing with the situation than a major criminal trial. Their lives are now ruined, they will be subject to social work inquiries and, in all likelihood, detention. No doubt, the parents will be blamed for letting the boys go astray, yet they might come from perfectly good families and still have been subject to the constant bombardment of sexual imagery that has so undermined the concept of childhood innocence.

As a nation, we keep saying we want to stop children growing up too quickly; and yet, when they do childish things we attach adult guilt and morality to them, drag them into court and put them on sex offender registers and hate databases. We must be mad.

WA - Public Schools Mainstream Registered Sex Offenders

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View the video here

Just the usual media vigilantism to get viewers and ratings, at children's expense.


By Chris Halsne

Hundreds of teenagers, convicted of felony sex crimes, are attending middle and high schools throughout Washington.
- Of course they are, they have to get an education some how.

KIRO Team 7 Investigative Reporter Chris Halsne is doing something that's never been done: Show where juvenile sex offenders go to class with your kids because the school districts never will.

We found regular students and their parents are intentionally being left in the dark by school administrators, so young rapists and child molesters can get uninterrupted public educations.

It wasn't easy, but we identified about 60 schools in this area where registered teenage sex offenders are on campus every day. Our website features details on each offender, including exactly where they attend class.

Backpack in tow, heading off to first period, one boy looks like any other floppy-haired, 14-year-old boy walking up the middle school hallway.

He's not.

Public records show that one particular junior high student was recently convicted of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl. A judge sentenced him to probation and registration as a sex offender. With no jail time, the young man went right back to hanging out in the school courtyard and going to class.

The school district did not inform other students or parents.

I couldn't believe - I couldn't believe what I was hearing!” Charlina Macri told KIRO Team 7 Investigators.

Macri runs a licensed daycare two blocks from the middle school and has a son who goes to class with the registered sex offender. She strongly feels all parents have a right to know.

I'm not saying you need to plaster the students name everywhere. That's not what I'm saying here, but I need to be given the opportunity to review the situation and say OK is this a safe environment? Am I comfortable with my student in this environment?” said Macri.

Our exclusive research found at least 412 registered sex offenders in Washington under the age of 18.

Of those kids convicted of sex crimes, 234 are 16 years old or younger. Nearly all of them must attend public school as part of their probation, parole, or other court ordered decree.

Many of their rap sheets are serious, including nearly 100 teenagers who were convicted of child rape, child molestation, for first-degree rape. Hundreds more have convictions for indecent liberties, sexual assault, stalking, and a half dozen other serious offenses.

Mug shots uncovered by Team 7 Investigators show the criminals are just baby-faced 14, 15, and 16 year olds, who are allowed to blend into crowded public school lunch rooms and hallways throughout the state.

Occasionally, we found local Sheriff’s Departments post a young offender’s picture on a sex offender registration website, but in the vast majority of the cases, law enforcement are apparently not publishing their images.

State Representative Kirk Pearson (Contact) wants a new law that allows schools to notify concerned parents when one of these potential predators enrolls.

Pearson says, “Student sex offenders have an advantage. If no one knows they're a sex offender, they can groom a student, which has happened."

(*KIRO Team 7 Investigators know of two such reported cases, one in Puyallup and one in Lake Stevens.)

KIRO Team 7 Investigators spent months fighting with 50 Western Washington school districts over public records act requests for basic information regarding the location of juvenile sex offenders.

Several districts, including Auburn, Lake Washington, Bellevue, and Kent, used tax-funded lawyers in attempts to delay, minimize, or exempt themselves from cooperating.

Others, including Marysville, Everett, and Edmonds, just refused to let forward key information - yet we prevailed on most accounts.

Our website has a full listing of specific middle and high schools, but here are some highlights: The Bethel School district in Pierce County enrolled 8 sex offenders this year. Mukilteo started the year with 7. Tacoma is dealing with 20 juvenile sex offenders, several which are repeat rapists.

Seattle Schools say it has 9 teens enrolled right now, either already registered as convicted sex offenders or awaiting adjudication for serious sex crimes.

We found Seattle schools hired a security officer that creates a "safety plan" for each offender and provides extra monitoring. Most districts don't.

Spokesperson Patti Spencer told us, “If there is a deviation from what is a fairly strict and structured plan, then that is addressed immediately.”

Spencer added “We do have a very strong process, procedure, plan, and monitoring in place. There are a very small number of these students in the district and we absolutely stay on top of monitoring to provide a safe and secure environment for every student.”

With supervision and counseling, repeat violent crimes are not the norm according to Lucy Berliner, director of Harborview's Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress.

Most of these kids don't re-offend. The kids are really safe. It's really a matter of how do you get people to "feel" safe as opposed to being safe.”
- Most adults don't re-offend either.

Berliner also told Team 7 Investigators. “If we create a circumstance in which no young person who has ever been in trouble with the law for sexual behavior can go to a public school without there being public notification to the entire school that they are there, I guess I wonder what it is that we would recommend in terms of restoring the kids to functioning within society.”

Some parents of non-offender students wonder if school districts should be keeping the secrets of proven sex criminals, just so juvenile offenders have a second chance at rehabilitation.

Macri speaks plainly. “There are consequences from making mistakes. That's what the world is all about.”
- Wait until your kid commits a crime, then you will see it differently.

In 2004, Representative Pearson helped push a new law that required local sheriff's departments to tell a principal when a registered sex offender is about enroll, so your child’s school can't claim they don't know.

Other legislators, however, voted down a measure that would have also passed that information along to other parents.

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AZ - Police Abuse of Power: Yet Another Reason Why Arizona’s New Immigration Law is Disastrous for Women

Original Article (Listen)


By Jillian Weinberger

Granting more power to local police to enforce laws like Arizona’s new immigration initiative could be particularly disastrous for women. Trials against two New York City cops that began last Tuesday demonstrate these dangers.

Brooklyn Detective Oscar Sandino faces federal civil rights charges for forcing a woman he arrested to perform oral sex on him in 2008. He then harassed her with phone calls and text messages, threatening to arrest her again if she refused to have sex with him. The NYPD placed Sandino on desk duty when prosecutors began investigating these allegations against him, though this didn’t stop Sandino from forcing a prisoner in central booking into a private room where he “ordered her to lift her shirt while he rubbed himself and made sexual comments.” Sandino also faces charges that he coerced a woman to have sex in 2006.

Former Officer Wilfredo Rosario also began his trial last Tuesday for charges that he sexually abused two women, enticing them with promises of employment and opportunities for their children. Rosario had already been dismissed from the force because he told a woman “he would destroy a summons he was issuing her in exchange for oral sex”. One of Rosario’s victims testified on Tuesday. She didn’t speak English.

Additionally, a Pulitzer Prize-winning series in the Philadelphia Daily News documents how two reporters discovered that elite narcotics officers were, among many other misdeeds, filing false charges, stealing thousands of dollars from immigrant bodega-owners, and sexually abusing wives or girlfriends of accused drug dealers, most of whom were immigrant women. This report, combined with the stories mentioned above leaves me wondering why any woman would feel comfortable approaching a police officer, much less an immigrant woman who does not speak English.

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Most sexual assaults are never reported to law enforcement. The most recent study (PDF) by Dr. Dean Kilpatrick and his colleagues at the Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina – the most highly-regarded researchers in this field – found that, in 2006, U.S. women were subjected to 800,000 forcible rapes, almost 200,000 drug-facilitated rapes, and approximately 300,000 incapacitated rapes, meaning the victim was unable to consent due to ingesting alcohol or drugs. Of these women, only 18% of forcible rape victims and 10% of drug-facilitated or incapacitated rape victims reported the attack to law enforcement.

This 2006 study correlates with data from methodologically comparable studies conducted in 1991 and 1995. In his 2006 report, Dr. Kilpatrick notes, “There is no evidence that rape in America is a smaller problem than it was 15 years ago, and there is no evidence that women are more willing to report rape cases today than they were 15 years ago.”

Immigrant women are even less likely to report intimate partner violence than their U.S.-born counterparts, because of their precarious status and perceived lack of power. According to Leslye Orloff, Director of Legal Momentum’s Immigrant Women Program, immigrant women are also more likely to be subjected to domestic violence. When questioned about Arizona’s new law Orloff stated, “A proportion may have had the courage to call the police before, but that will disappear.”

Because so few sexual assaults are reported, psychologists have begun to examine the phenomenon of these “undetected rapists.” Research by psychologists like Dr. David Lisak has found that most of these undetected perpetrators are repeat offenders. His 2002 study of 1,882 men at a northeast university found that 6.4 percent (120) of them had self-reported acts that met the legal definition of rape or sexual assault. A majority of these men (63 percent) committed multiple assaults, with an average of 5.8 rapes per repeat offender. These men committed a total of 483 rapes and attempted rapes and 49 sexual assaults, none of which were ever reported. In other words, chances are that these sexually-offending cops committed many more offenses against women who will never come forward.

When questioned by Philadelphia Daily News reporters, Lady Gonzalez, an immigrant woman who disclosed that she was sexually assaulted by a Philadelphia officer stated, “I’m sorry, but why am I going to report this to a police officer when a police officer stood in front of me and molested me?” The recent cases against the New York City officers, as well as the Philadelphia officer – whose assaults, according to one Daily News reporter, were “an open secret” in the Department – show just how dangerous giving more power to unsupervised local officials can be, particularly for immigrant women. The question remains: if so few women reported before these cases came to light and before Arizona enacted its draconian immigration law, what woman would ever feel safe reporting now?