Saturday, June 12, 2010

Human Rights Watch - No Easy Answers - Sex Offender Laws in the US

Original Article

I originally had this on my blog, but cannot seem to find it anymore, so I am reposting it.


This 146-page report is the first comprehensive study of US sex offender policies, their public safety impact, and the effect they have on former offenders and their families. During two years of investigation for this report, Human Rights Watch researchers conducted over 200 interviews with victims of sexual violence and their relatives, former offenders, law enforcement and government officials, treatment providers, researchers, and child safety advocates.





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CA - Residents receive letter threatening children's lives

Original Article

I strongly condemn this action, it's NOT the way to handle it.  Whomever wrote this, will be found and thrown back in prison. Death threats like this, are a serious matter. Sex offenders and family members need to talk with congress and the news media, not send out threats like this. Also, can't they get DNA off the letter(s)?



Anonymous missive threatens violence for "unfair" treatment of registered sex offenders

An anonymous letter sent Wednesday to residents of a Murrieta neighborhood asking sex offenders to "kill as many children as we can" alarmed residents, who say they fear for their children's safety.

The area was the center of a protest in March, when neighbors took to the streets with signs denouncing the presence of a registered sex offender who had moved into a home there. Later, a group of residents called on the Murrieta City Council to tighten restrictions on where registered sex offenders can live.

Residents on Hillsboro Circle and other streets in the neighborhood off Nutmeg Street and Clinton Keith Road received the eight-page, typewritten letter in their mailboxes. The author of the letter states that he also sent a copy to every registered sex offender in the ZIP code for that neighborhood.

"As I'm sure you ex-sex offenders know, we are at war ---- and I'm not talking about the Middle East style. I'm talking about our neighborhoods, and we are the targets. Well it's time we fight back BIG time," the letter reads.

On Thursday, residents stood in their driveways, clutching the letters in their hands as they talked to one another. Murrieta police officers were collecting information from the neighbors and asking residents who had not yet gotten their mail to see whether they also had received the letter.

"As a parent, that's your biggest fear," said Christine Morphew, a mother who lives in the neighborhood. "It's just a way that somebody can take away the little bit of sanctity that we have left these days."

Murrieta police Lt. Dennis Vrooman said Thursday that extra officers have been assigned to patrol the area and that state and federal law enforcement officials have been pulled in to help with the investigation. The first step, Vrooman said, is to validate the assertions made in the letter and to make personal contact with the neighborhood's residents.

So far, he said, officers have been able to determine that about a dozen people received the letter, although more may arrive in Friday's mail.

"Obviously, this is extremely disturbing," Vrooman said. "Whoever wrote this took a lot of painstaking time to write this terrorist manifesto and went to great lengths to instill fear into the neighborhood. We take this very seriously."

The envelope in which the letter was sent lists "Law offices of Kanka, Lunsford and King" as its return address. The address listed belongs to an Anaheim elementary school; a Google search for the purported law firm provided no results.

The three surnames are the same as those belonging to three girls whose rapes and murders were widely publicized: 7-year-old Megan Kanka of New Jersey, whose 1994 death led to the passage of Megan's Law, which requires sex offenders to register their addresses with law enforcement; 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford of Florida, whose 2005 death led to the passage of Jessica's Law, which enhanced monitoring of convicted sex offenders; and 17-year-old Chelsea King of Poway, who was raped and murdered earlier this year.

The letter references the neighbors' protest of Brian Brase, the sex offender who moved to the area. He who was convicted of committing sexual battery and lewd acts on a child younger than 14, and the letter refers to the protest as the "straw that broke the camel's back." The crimes occurred in 1996, when Brase was 15 years old.

In March, some residents of Lafayette Drive and Hillsboro Circle protested in front of the Hillsboro Circle home in which Brase had been staying ---- legally since his probationary period had expired ---- and demanded that he leave the neighborhood. Residents posted large banners on their homes with Brase's picture, warning passers-by of his convictions, and took their complaints to the council in a bid to tighten restrictions on where registered offenders can live. Brase has since moved.

"They seem to think that antagonizing us to the breaking point is somehow making children safer," the letter reads. "It's time we show them that they're not safer ... And for those who wonder why we should take it out on innocent children, just remember, it's because of the children that they're sticking us with these newer abusive kinds of restrictions."

The author suggests other registered sex offenders should "kill as many children as we can," by stabbing them, crushing them with cars, blowing them up with remote-controlled bombs and in drive-by shootings. The letter urges readers to wait for a time when residents have relaxed to carry out the suggested attacks.

Additionally, it singles out a resident of Hillsboro Circle who went on KFI 640 AM's "The John and Ken Show," and spoke about the tactics neighbors took to get Brase to move. The author lists the purported home address for that resident as well as for the two talk-show hosts, the addresses of the schools that their children attend, and even gave details about where the children supposedly like to ride their bikes.

"Now that he's (Brase) gone all you hostile neighbors have to deal with us disgruntled guys ---- and some of us have no conscience," the letter reads. "You should have left well enough alone."

While frightened, some residents of the neighborhood lay the blame for the threatening letters on the people who protested Brase.

Morphew, Starla Church and Jovie Nixon, all residents of Hillsboro Circle, said Thursday that they did not participate in the protest because they felt it would paint a bull's-eye on their neighborhood. And they said they feel much less safe now than they did when Brase, a known registrant, was living on the block.

"The whole reason I didn't (protest Brase) was because I care about my kids. I didn't want this neighborhood and our kids to be targeted," Church said. "We knew who (Brase) was, we knew what car to watch for. Now we don't because they're being called from all directions."

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UK - Weoley Castle woman (Sara Downing) jailed for two years after false rape allegation

Original Article (Listen)


By Matt Lloyd

A WOMAN from Birmingham who falsely accused a man of rape has been sentenced to two years in prison.

Sara Downing, 23, of West Cliff Place, Weoley Castle, made the allegation against the unnamed man last September, leading to his arrest.

It was only after a medical examination that the man was cleared and Downing came clean about the claim in November.

Birmingham Crown Court heard she made the false claim to a friend who convinced Downing to report the incident to the police.

Richard Franck QC, prosecuting, said the accused man was arrested and held for three hours and then bailed.

He remained on bail and under suspicion for three months, during which time his mobile phone and car were confiscated.

He described it as traumatic,” said Mr Franck. “In a victim impact statement he said his life had been put on hold and his name dragged through the mud.”

Gerrard Cullen QC, defending, said once she admitted the lie she told police in passing she had been raped but could not reveal the identity of the attacker through fear and so gave the false name.

She said she had met the man she accused months before when they were both patients in hospital.

She was backed into a corner and she gave a false name.” Mr Cullen said. “Once that lie was out of the bag she had to go along with it,” Mr Cullen said. “She offers an unreserved apology to the victim, she is disgusted with herself.”

In mitigation Mr Cullen said at the time she made the allegation Downing was in a distressed state and since then had also lost her father who committed suicide.

Handing Downing a two-year prison sentence and one month for a Bail Act offence, Judge Robert Orme said false rape allegations made real offences harder to prosecute because of the doubt they place in the mind of juries.

You invented that story without regard for the dreadful consequences that befell him."

It could have been brought to an end with a word from you."

It is the gravity of the offence that has made me pass this sentence.”

FL - Adam Walsh witness sues for investigation report

Original Article (Listen)



A witness in the 1981 abduction and murder of 6-year-old Adam Walsh wants to see a missing investigation report that was key in the controversial 2008 decision to declare the case solved.

All copies of an investigative report that played a key role in the Hollywood Police Department's closing of the unsolved 1981 murder of Adam Walsh have either been destroyed or relocated to Cuba, according to a lawsuit filed this week.

The complaint, filed Tuesday in Broward Circuit Court, demands a copy of retired cop Joe Matthews' documents detailing his independent investigation into the case of the 6-year-old boy who was kidnapped from a Sears store in Hollywood and decapitated. Matthews is a confidant of John Walsh, who is Adam's father and host of the America's Most Wanted television program.

Police and prosecutors cited Matthews' report as a key factor in closing the case in December 2008 and naming deceased drifter Ottis Toole as Adam's killer.

However, neither agency kept Matthews' files, and a Miami Herald investigation found large holes in the case against Toole, who confessed and recanted multiple times to the murder and was never prosecuted before his death in 1996.

Thomas Julin, a First Amendment attorney, filed the complaint on behalf of Willis Morgan, a witness who has told police he saw serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in the Sears store from which Adam Walsh was abducted on the day the child went missing.

The store, since demolished, was in the Hollywood Mall, across the street from the police station.

The lawsuit argues that Matthews' report is a public record, and names Hollywood Police Chief Chadwick Wagner, Broward State Attorney Michael Satz and Matthews as defendants.

"They made a mistake in giving that material back to" Matthews, Julin said of police and prosecutors. "If they were going to use that to evaluate whether to close the file, it was their obligation to maintain a copy of their files . . ."

Julin said both agencies have demanded that Matthews make his files available, despite not keeping their own copies.

According to the complaint, Matthews spoke to Julin on May 13 and said "he had destroyed all electronic copies of the report due to the fear that [Morgan] would break into his office and steal the report, asserted that one written copy of the report remained, and claimed that he had given that copy of the report to his `co-author' and that the co-author had taken it to Cuba."

Julin, who represented several media outlets in a successful 1996 lawsuit that led to the first release of the case files, said he was skeptical that Matthews did not have access to his documents.

"It seems odd to me that someone who prepared something like that would risk its loss by giving it to someone to take to Cuba," Julin said.

Attempts to reach Matthews were unsuccessful, and the lawsuit does not name his co-author. Wagner, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Ron Ishoy, a spokesman for Satz's office, called the files a "manuscript" and wrote in an e-mail that Matthews planned to write a book.

Ishoy wrote that "all the parties in the suit continue to have discussions with Mr. Matthews regarding his manuscript. The State Attorney's Office has no authority in this matter to compel him to do anything with it."

OH - Ohio Deputy Accused Of Allowing Jail Assault

Original Article (Listen)


MEDINA - Authorities say a former sheriff's deputy who worked at a northeast Ohio jail is accused of felonious assault and other crimes because he turned a blind eye while four inmates attacked an accused sex offender.

Twenty-nine-year-old Brian Young also faces charges of abduction, dereliction of duty and unauthorized use of property in the alleged assault at the Medina County jail in December.

Young is accused of sharing with the four inmates booking information on the alleged sex offender, who was accused of raping a child. A prosecutor says Young then did nothing when the inmates attacked the man.

Young has posted a $10,000 bond and faces a Monday arraignment. A sheriff's official says he retired on a disability pension.

A message seeking comment was left Saturday for his attorney.

IL - More injustice during an election time and cops wanting someone to blame!

The police butchered Kevin Fox, enough so, he made a false confession saying he murdered his daughter, but in the end, it turns out, via DNA, it wasn't him, but the person the father suspected all the time, the person who robbed the house across the street. But the bad thing, for SO's, it was another sex offender. So you can bet, more laws will be passed in the wake of this case, further punishing all offenders. Just the usual witch hunt!

More on 20/20

KS - Sex Offender Compliance Sweep

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