Tuesday, August 24, 2010

CA - State Senate passes Chelsea’s Law

Original Article

The article above also has a video of the senate votes.


By Michael Gardner

SACRAMENTO — The state Senate on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve Chelsea’s Law, a measure aimed at strengthening penalties and oversight for sex offenders.

The vote sends the bill to the Assembly for approval of amendments — a perfunctory stop before going to the governor. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vowed to sign the bill.

The measure is named after 17-year-old Poway teenager Chelsea King, who was raped and murdered earlier this year by a registered sex offender.

Her parents, Kelly and Brent King, joined with Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, to push the measure that targets the most serious sex offenders.

Chelsea’s Law will go into effect immediately after the governor attaches his signature, putting into place extended prison sentences, tougher parole conditions and targeted treatment.

Convicted sex offender John Albert Gardner III on April 16 confessed to Chelsea’s slaying. He also admitted to raping and murdering Amber Dubois, 14, of Escondido in 2009. He was sentenced to two life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Assembly Bill 1844 (PDF) will:
  • Impose a life sentence without the possibility of parole for those convicted of a violent sexual crime against a child under the age of 14.
  • Impose a sentence of 25-years-to-life for other forcible sex crimes, depending on the circumstances.
  • Require habitual sex offenders to be tracked with a GPS for life.
  • Ban sex offenders on parole from public parks. The ban will be lifted once they are released from parole.
  • Implement a “containment model” strategy that involves more costly treatment, intensive monitoring, and polygraph tests to reduce recidivism.

Sexual Offender Facts

Click the image to visit the website

ME - Trial set to start for ex-official (James Cameron) in child porn case

James Cameron
James Cameron
Original Article



The former assistant attorney general was charged after computer images were found.

The child pornography trial of Maine's former top drug prosecutor, scheduled to start Monday in Portland, will be the beginning of the end of a strange tale that began four years ago.

Police began investigating former Assistant Attorney General James M. Cameron, 47, of Hallowell after Yahoo! reported finding images of child pornography in the photos section of an account holder later identified as Cameron's wife.

That led to James Cameron's federal indictment on Feb. 11, 2009, on 16 counts of transportation, receipt and possession of child pornography. He pleaded not guilty and has been free on bail with certain restrictions.

His trial is to begin at 8:30 a.m. Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland. Cameron has waived his right to a jury trial. The case will be decided by Judge John Woodcock Jr.

When the charges surfaced, Cameron lost his position as a prosecutor, ended his 26-year marriage, was forced to wear an electronic monitor, surrendered his passport and had only supervised access to the Internet. His current job is selling watches online, according to court documents.

His annual income -- about $108,000 in salary and benefits when he worked for the state in 2006 -- is now listed as $25,000 in divorce documents.

He signed over to his former wife his ownership in their home in Hallowell.

His two children live primarily with their mother.

The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar confirmed Thursday that Cameron's license to practice law remains active.

Cameron's attorneys have hinted at their strategy, and some of their motions have been filed, with mixed results.

Michael A. Cunniff and Shaun Garry objected on constitutional grounds to the admission of evidence collected by Yahoo!, saying it improperly acted as a government agent in reporting the presence of the pornographic images via its search of photo albums on its network.

This week, Woodcock rejected that claim, writing, "the mere fact Yahoo! and the government are united against the sexual exploitation of children does not make Yahoo! an arm of the government."

Cameron also has sought to invalidate some of the charges, saying he was in New York on two dates listed in the indictment.

Of the 16 counts, trial briefs indicate one will be dismissed.

The prosecutors are Donald Clark and Gail Fisk Malone, assistant U.S. attorneys.

The attorneys estimate the trial will last two to four days.

More than a year before Cameron's indictment in 2009, he moved away from his wife and children to his native Michigan to live with a brother.

After appearing in U.S. District Court in Bangor to respond to the indictment, he was released to the custody of his brother and agreed to forfeit $75,000 if he failed to show up for court dates.

In February of this year, Cameron won permission from a federal magistrate judge to move back to Hallowell, where his ex-wife was to be responsible for him. His home was to be equipped with phone lines required for pretrial electronic monitoring.

The 13 charges of transportation and receipt of child pornography carry minimum penalties of five years in prison -- with a maximum of 20 years -- and a fine of up to $250,000, or both.

The charges of possession of child pornography carry penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, or both.

David Crook, a former district attorney in Kennebec County who is now a defense lawyer, described Cameron as "a man of integrity, a totally honest man."

Crook said he had no knowledge of what may have occurred on the Internet, and said he had not seen Cameron lately.

"Since he lost his job, he has avoided contact with all of his former professional relationships," Crook said.