Friday, June 18, 2010

NC - Lawmaker works to close sex offender loophole

Original Article (Listen)

Hmm, so adding additional punishment onto someone, after the fact, instead of it being called an unconstitutional ex post facto law, it's now called a "loophole?" You can rename it anything you like, it's still an unconstitutional law, period!

06/18/2010

By Steve Daniels

RALEIGH - After the I-Team exposed a loophole in North Carolina's sex offender registry law, Representative Tim Moore (Email) (R-Cleveland County) promised to help close it.

Our investigation revealed sex offenders convicted of things like rape and sexually abusing children are living in North Carolina, but they don't appear on the state's sex offender registry.

Click here to read our investigative report

Triangle resident Reem Baloch contacted the I-Team after discovering the father of her child was convicted of a sex offense but doesn't appear on the state registry. Instead, she found him in the national database.

The I-Team then discovered there are 32 sex offenders in our three largest counties - Wake, Durham and Cumberland - who appear on the national registry, but not on the North Carolina registry.

Under state law, sex offenders who were convicted or released from prison before 1996 - and moved to North Carolina before December of 2006 - do not need to register in North Carolina.

Representative Moore has now introduced a bill in the Legislature that would fix the legal loophole. House Bill 726 would require sex offender registration for out of state convictions.

"We need to close that loophole and ensure those folks are required to register," said Moore.
- So basically he is saying, "Screw the constitution, we need to pass these unconstitutional laws to further punish ex-offenders who have served their time, just so we all feel better about it!"


Cox hosts teen summit to examine online safety for families

Original Article (Listen)

And see this article: "Registered sex offender, former Cox employee allegedly exposes himself at a 7-Eleven." Ironic isn't it?

06/16/2010

By Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s sister company Cox Communications hosted its fifth anniversary TeenSummit yesterday examining online trends with a panel of teens. The event was hosted by John Walsh of “America’s Most Wanted” and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

I was surprised to learn that Walsh’s National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is a national clearing house that examines cybercrimes and Internet child pornography for the government.

The Cox TeenSummit Fifth Anniversary discussion focused on: What do your online posts and pictures really say about you? You can watch the entire summit online, but you can also just listen to it while you work on other stuff. (The first three minutes are introduction and then jump ahead to 19 minutes for John Walsh to begin the conversation.)

Cox also conducts surveys about teen online use and here were a few stats:

  • 85 percent of teens now have mobile phones.
  • 85 percent now have a social network profile.
  • About 30 percent are not concerned and do not think there will be consequences for what they post online.
  • About 50 percent don’t really screen who looks at their profile – meaning they have never met the people who are looking at their posts.

John Walsh said for him the highlight of the survey is that there are more parents are involved with their children’s communications online.

There’s a lot of good info in this hour and forty-minute discussion. I listened while I was working on other things. So check it out and maybe even share it with your teen or preteen.

Editor’s Update: I had some more time this afternoon to listen to more of the program. Here are some big points that I gleaned:

Cell phones not bad – good for safety. Need to have 911 and parents numbers on speed dial

Technology restriction on the cell phones where they can’t get themselves into trouble on them. Use them for good and not evil.

Internet safety should be offered by school curriculum – also helps reduces the school’s liability of bad things happening at the school. Should integrate – peer pressure and bulling taught at school but aren’t integrating the technology aspect of it.

Stealth bullies on the Internet. Just like we know people can be so mean on the blog that’s how the teens are to each other online. We know not to take the bait (sometimes) and to blow it off but they haven’t learned that yet.

Life management skills – financial aid taught at school, never had internet and cell phone safety.

(I also like the John Walsh explains that he is a pain to his son’s school.)

National PTA Facebook alliance to teach internet safety

Lots on child pornography online and identity theft around 54 minutes in – Rewarding kids with free downloads for giving up mommy’s id and credit card numbers.

Talking about a sting for pedophilia – just disgusting – 1 hour in to the talk — recently arrested a Census Taker who was getting into homes under that rouse to groom children.

Kids are giving up way too much info about schools, where you live, very specific stuff about their lives online. (One hour, six-minutes in)

80,000 convicted sex offenders removed from MySpace during its high time. John Walsh wants Facebook to use same technology to remove the sex offenders. (One hour, 10 minutes)
- And how many of these 80,000 offenders, who were discriminated against, were actually using MySpace/Facebook for some illegal purpose? I am willing to bet less then 2%!


AK - Sex Offenders! They Show Up Everywhere!

Original Article (Be Afraid, Listen)

06/17/2010

In 1996 a Federal law went into effect which required all states to require convicted sex offenders to register, and to make that information available to the public.

Many people carry the new Internet enabled “smart phones“; programs are easily downloaded that tie into the State registry site and show where registered sex offenders are in relation to you and your smart cell phone.

It would appear as if the list of people registered as sex offenders has exploded over the past 15 years! This isn’t because the number of high-risk perpetrators is increasing, but that we have lowered the bar of what constitutes a sex offender. A person can wind up on the sex offender registry for urinating in public or, in 32 states, for “streaking” in public. A person who gets caught with a prostitute can be placed on the list.

Probably the most problematic group of “sex offenders” are teens. Teen boys that get caught having sex with younger girlfriends can be classified as a crime, even if it’s consensual. In Texas alone, there are 4,000 registrants who landed on the list as juveniles.

A recent assessment of registered sex offenders in Georgia found that less than 1 percent were “predators,” defined as people who are driven by compulsion to commit sex crimes.

Round-the-clock media coverage of high profile abductions and murders has contributed to the general sense that society has run amok, when in fact violent crimes rates in most areas are generally lower now than been since the ’70’s.

Sex offender registries are controversial by nature and some say, can generate more confusion than clarity. For example, there are a growing number of cell phone apps that take information from the State registry site and place dots where the registered offenders are around your location. With this widely available technology people can get the idea some neighborhoods are much “scarier” than they might really be.

It’s been said that a better list would be to limit the list to the 1% of truly creepy individuals who really are offenders, rather than the teenager who made some poor choices on the list or the goof-ball who thought it would be cute to streak across the stadium naked.

The dots on your cell phone app might lead you believe the area of town you are in is worse than it may really be.

Video Link | See Also


UK - Women (Bernadette Core) admits false Norwich rape claim

Original Article (Listen)

06/18/2010

By BEN KENDALL

A woman who made a false rape claim to police cost taxpayers £15,000, a court heard yesterday.

Bernadette Core, 29, of Friarscroft Lane, Wymondham, admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice between October 2009 and February 2010 by making a false allegation of rape when she appeared at Norwich Crown Court.

The court heard that Norfolk police spent £15,000 on the investigation before establishing that she made up the incident.

The charge came after she made a 999 call to Norfolk police in the early hours of October 4 claiming she had been raped at an house in Norwich.

Two men were arrested and interviewed by police but further investigations established that no crime had taken place.

Her case was adjourned for reports and she is due to be sentenced on June 24. Judge Peter Jacobs said he wanted a victim impact statement and told Core that it was a serious offence.

Det Insp Debbie Gunnill, from the force's vulnerable persons directorate, said that is was a rare case. She added that it should not deter victims from reporting genuine rapes to the police.

She said; “Norfolk constabulary treats all reports of rapes seriously and all are investigated thoroughly. On rare occasions, evidence obtained during an investigation may suggest a false allegation, in these cases we carefully consider all the facts in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether it is appropriate to take action against the individual. Decisions are taken on a case by case basis."

We are very mindful that such cases as this can have a negative impact however I would like to give my reassurance that we are committed to giving victims of rape the best service we can and encourage any person who has been raped to come forward.”

The case comes as ministers prepare to grant men the same right of anonymity as their alleged victims.

The government plans to pass a bill changing the law which allows suspects' names, ages and addresses to be published while rape victims are granted lifelong anonymity.

It is believed that defendants will be named once they are convicted of rape or plead guilty to the offence.

It is hoped the new measures will prevent the false reporting of rapes and stop innocent men's names and reputations being tarnished by having their details revealed in the media.


UK - Innocent man jailed for 3 years over false rape claim - despite police knowing 'victim' (Shannon Taylor) was a fantasist

Original Article (Listen)

06/18/2010

By Rebecca Camber

A man jailed when a woman falsely cried rape told of his fury yesterday after learning that police knew the woman was 'unreliable'.

[name withheld], 40, spent three years in jail as a convicted sex attacker until his 'victim' was unmasked as a fantasist who had accused other blameless men.

The woman - named under Parliamentary privilege as Shannon Taylor - said he indecently assaulted her outside a social club in the early hours of January 1, 1999, after a New Year's Eve party.

A report revealed yesterday that officers were told Taylor was 'unreliable', ' unstable' and craved attention - but they failed to disclose it at his trial.

The mistake led to an appalling miscarriage of justice which saw father-of-two Mr [name withheld] jailed in October 1999 for three years, which was later increased to five, despite no forensic evidence to back up the claims.

His conviction was quashed in September 2006 when it became clear that not only did Mr [name withheld] not commit the crime, it never took place.

In 2006, Lord Campbell-Savours used Parliamentary privilege to name the woman.

Taylor, who is said to have made seven other false sex attack allegations, including one against her father, would otherwise have kept her identity secret for life.

But she was not prosecuted for perjury, because prosecutors decided she was too ill.

Taylor kept changing her name and moving, so police forces did not realise they were dealing with the same woman.

But the Independent Police Complaints Commission revealed an officer from another force expressed concerns about her reliability to the detective investigating Mr [name withheld]'s case, saying she seemed to 'enjoy police attention'.

The detective's notes referred to her as 'unreliable' and 'unstable', but this was never disclosed to prosecutors or the defence team.

Last night Mr [name withheld] attacked a 'mealy-mouthed' apology from Northamptonshire Police.

He said: 'It does not even begin to address the suffering I have been through and my family have been through. It is disgusting.'

Mr [name withheld] is taking legal advice about bringing a damages claim against Northamptonshire Police. He said: 'It took a long time, it was a massive investigation that was, in my view, hindered by Northamptonshire Police.'

'To say they dragged their heels is an understatement.'

Mr [name withheld] was jailed on the word of Taylor, who claimed he seized her at knifepoint outside a village club early on New Year's Day 1999, marched her down an alleyway and indecently assaulted her.

She picked him out of an identity parade and a jury found him guilty.

But an investigation by the Criminal Cases Review Commission later discovered that his accuser had invented the story.

The Court of Appeal cleared him in 2006 when it emerged that evidence suggested her injuries were self-inflicted.

Mr [name withheld] was later awarded £252,500 in compensation - but minus the estimated £12,500 cost of his food and accommodation while behind bars.

Yesterday the IPCC criticised Northamptonshire Police for taking more than a year to finalise an apology and resolve disciplinary matters with officers involved.

The IPCC probe, launched in 2007, found failings by three officers who had a case to answer on misconduct grounds.

But one has since retired and two others - a detective chief inspector and a detective sergeant - will only receive words of advice.

Yesterday IPCC Commissioner Amerdeep Somal said: 'As the Court of Appeal has ruled, [name withheld] was subject to a terrible miscarriage of justice.'

'Nothing can bring back the three years four months he wrongly spent in prison.'

'I am dismayed that Northamptonshire Police has taken so long to issue an apology to Mr [name withheld] that he has patently deserved.'

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said the force 'regrets that some aspects of the investigation and handling of information, which emerged after Mr [name withheld]'s conviction in 1999, fell well below the required standard'.


CA - GPS units fail to protect public from sex offenders

Original Article (Listen)

06/17/2010

By BRIAN JOSEPH

This wasn’t supposed to happen anymore.

After voters approved Jessica’s Law, California children were supposed to be safe from sex offenders like [name withheld].

You remember Jessica’s Law, don’t you? Named for a 9-year-old Florida girl who was kidnapped, raped and murdered by a convicted sex offender who had failed to report where he lived, Jessica’s Law was a tough-on-crime initiative on the November 2006 ballot. Dubbed Proposition 83 (PDF) by the Secretary of State, Jessica’s Law promised, in the words of its sponsors, to “protect our children by keeping child molesters in prison longer; keeping them away from schools and parks; and monitoring their movements” with GPS, or global position satellite, tracking after they’re released. Officials would be able to track every step a convicted sex offender took.

California voters overwhelmingly supported Jessica’s Law, which garnered 5.9 million votes, or 70.5 percent support.

The passage of Jessica’s Law was a historic victory for the state of California,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office said in a statement, which repeatedly noted the benefits of tracking sex offenders with GPS. “Jessica’s Law provides crucial enhancement to current laws and policies in the detection, tracking and apprehension of sexual offenders.”

But there we were again Tuesday when the Register’s Salvador Hernandez reported that the 49-year-old [name withheld], a convicted sex offender recently released from prison, had been charged with molesting a 14-year-old girl in Orange County – while he was wearing a GPS unit.

Apparently the tracking device was not a deterrent. And to make matters worse, GPS played no direct role in connecting [name withheld] to the alleged crime. He was brought in on an unrelated matter and a sharp-eyed official recognized his picture from surveillance video of an alleged molestation.

There are more tragic tales. Consider two recent cases out of San Diego: Last month, [name withheld], a San Diego man who was convicted of sexual assaulting a 13-year-old girl in 2000 and served five years in prison for the crime, was sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of two teenage girls. Extensive reviews of his correction files by the California Office of the Inspector General and the California Sex Offender Management Board revealed (PDF) that while [name withheld] was on parole, prior to the murders, he repeatedly broke the law while being tracked by GPS, but no one in state government bothered to look at the data. Using the state’s own tracking data, investigators found that [name withheld] committed at least one felony and violated the terms of his parole on numerous occasions. At one point while he was being tracked, [name withheld] visited a state prison, which is against the law for a felon like him. At other times, [name withheld] violated his parole by being out past curfew, being within 100 yards of places where children congregate and residing near a school.

Any of those offenses could have sent him back to prison before he ever could have killed those girls. But nobody looked at the data.

In another case, Northern California sex offender [name withheld] took off his GPS anklet and headed to San Diego, where he allegedly tried to kidnap several women and teenagers at knife point. Guadalupe Perez, an eighth-grader, said [name withheld] kept telling her, ”Get in the car or I will cut you.’” She screamed and reached for the knife, cutting her finger, then elbowed the man and ran. “If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t be here today,” she told a reporter. “I didn’t want to be one of those cases where you find my remains three years from now.”

This can’t be what voters had in mind when they approved Jessica’s Law.

The drumbeat in the months prior to the passage of Jessica’s Law was simple: GPS monitoring will protect children from sex offenders. The governor’s office credits the Antelope Valley Press as quoting LA County Sheriff Leroy Baca as saying, “The goal (of GPS tracking) is to prevent any form of sexual abuse at all from those who have already been identified, arrested for a prior offense, convicted, served their time and are back on the streets.”

But these recent cases show that the perception of GPS doesn’t match reality. Even California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman Gordon Hinkle acknowledges a “false notion” surrounding the protective power of GPS tracking.

It’s impossible to know what someone is doing even if they are on GPS,” Hinkle said when The Watchdog asked him about the [name withheld] case and about the department’s enforcement of the GPS provisions of Jessica’s Law. “It’s not the end-all to ending crime.”

It would be wrong to assume sex offenders on GPS are “never going to commit another crime in their life,” Hinkle said. Rather, the idea is that GPS tracking can act as a deterrent, or failing that, help authorities solve crimes and alert them when something bad may be happening, as in the notification officials receive when a sex offender cuts off his anklet.

And Hinkle said corrections is adapting. The department recently implemented a new policy that requires parole agents to at least review where sex offenders travel twice a month, over the course of 48 consecutive hours each time. That would reduce the chance of another case like [name withheld]’s, where nobody looked at his data. But two 48-hour periods over the course of a month still leaves a whole lot of unmonitored time for sex offenders to make mischief.

Hinkle, for his part, termed the [name withheld] case in Orange County “a sterling example” of how GPS, parole agents and local law enforcement can come together to solve a crime. [name withheld], who was released from prison on June 3, was re-arrested on June 9 after GPS tracking software notified his parole agent that he had violated his parole by walking through a park.

Three days earlier, authorities said a 14-year-old girl on a Orange County Transportation Authority bus was touched by a man sitting next to her. The girl’s friends snapped cell phone pictures of him and the sheriff’s department released surveillance video from the bus, asking the public to identify the man.

When [name withheld] was brought in for crossing the park, custody staff recognized him as the man from the surveillance video. Later, Hinkle said, authorities checked [name withheld]’s GPS data and found it matched the travel of the bus at the precise time when the molestation was said to have occurred.

That’s a victory, he said. GPS was used as a “forensic tool.”

Jessica’s Law, however, was never sold as a crime fighting tool. It was sold as protection — expensive protection. A video touting sex offender tracking on the correction department’s website says GPS units cost roughly $1,500 a piece, plus $6 a day to operate. With roughly 7,000 sex offenders on GPS (including a few gang members), that’s $25.8 million a year (including the cost of the unit).

That’s a lot of money, especially when you consider GPS did nothing to protect [name withheld]’s victim.

Or [name withheld]’s. Or [name withheld].


NY - Judge postpones sentence in NF sex case

Video Link


GA - Perdue: World wants authentic Christians

Original Article (Listen)

Yeah, true Christians would be nice, but like most, Purdue is speaking what people want to hear. His governance has shown he's not a true Christian, IMO. Just the usual politician hypocrite! So tell me Mr. Purdue, how would Jesus treat sex offenders and other criminals? Not like you, that is for sure.

06/16/2010

ORLANDO - "The world is tired of phony politicians and phony religion" and wants to see the "authenticity of Jesus Christ," Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue told messengers June 15 at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Orlando, Fla.

Perdue called for Southern Baptists to be authentic, dependent on God and obedient in their daily lives.

The world wants "to see the authenticity of what we say carried out in what we do," Perdue said. "Let's be about the doing of what we say we believe as we show the world the authenticity of Jesus Christ in our lives, living out His principles, [that] they will be drawn to that light."

Perdue said although he was saved at age 11, it was not until he was 29 when he realized, "like Solomon did, that all my accomplishments were in vain. It was all meaningless."

God began to teach him dependency at that point and Perdue said that dependency on God gave him the courage to stand on the Georgia's Capitol steps during a time of drought and ask God to send rain.

About that same time, Perdue said reading Joshua 1 taught him "God is faithful if we are obedient." The governor said observance is consistent with obedience: "We can't teach something if we don't observe it."

As Perdue began his remarks, he referred to the Great Commission Resurgence discussion that had taken place earlier that day, saying it reminded him of the Georgia legislature.

"Democracy is sometimes painful to watch, but it's still the best in the world," he said. "I was in Cuba last week and they don't have this kind of discussion in Cuba. So give God the glory we can come together as brothers and sisters and talk about the best direction for Southern Baptists."

Perdue and his wife Mary have been members of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., where outgoing Southern Baptist Convention President Johnny Hunt serves, for the past eight years. There, they teach couples in Sunday School and are "very active," even on Sunday night, Hunt said. Perdue also has spoken for Hunt on different occasions and has "a passion for soul-winning," the SBC president said.

The governor said he was "honored to sit" at Hunt's "feet, as sheep in his pasture," consuming "the hay of the Bible week after week. He [Hunt] knows where the hay barn is." Perdue said it was obvious that their pastor spends time "on his face and his knees, prostrate before God. That's the only source of biblical truth that he brings us, week in and week out."

Perdue noted he was in the last year of his final term and "I'm not running for anything and Johnny Hunt's not running for anything, I don't think."

The couple, who have served as foster parents, pled with Southern Baptists to consider becoming foster parents for the "forgotten children of the world" -- an "unreached people group," Perdue said.

Perdue's wife Mary said Christians have a mandate from the Lord to care for the fatherless. "We will affect them for eternity in a way that is life-changing," she said.