Tuesday, November 2, 2010

CAYMAN ISLANDS - Offender list petition filed

Sandra Catron
Original Article

11/02/2010

Community activist, Sandra Catron (Facebook) finally managed to get her petition for a sex offender’s register in the Cayman Islands filed with government Tuesday. For several years Catron has been campaigning for the establishment of an official public list of convicted sex offenders which will name and shame those who have been found guilty of a sex related crime in order, Catron says, to make it more difficult for them to continuing offending. Catron collected more than 1100 local names for her petition but has been struggling for many, months to get the petition accepted by the authorities. Finally, the chief officer in the portfolio of internal and external affairs, Franz Manderson agreed to take the petition at the Glass House.
- A fancy online registry doesn't prevent anyone determined to re-offend, from doing so, like the lady says, it's just vengeance and punishment, nothing more, and it prevents them from getting and keeping jobs/homes.  If a person commits a crime, punish them, if they commit another crime, punish them more, period, just like we do with any other criminal.

Catron says that the anonymity that these offenders have which is given to them indirectly in order to protect victims from public exposure, merely allows offenders to keep reoffending once they are released from jail and does nothing at all to help the victims.
- Well, since most studies out there show that sex offenders have the lowest recidivism of any other criminal, this is based on personal feelings and not facts. And publishing the names of offenders, does nothing to "protect" the victim, it only makes it easier for any vigilantes to find and target the offender.

My motivation is to protect the child victims and anonymity merely protects the perpetrators who continue to abuse because people do not know who they are,” Catron told CNS after she had delivered the petition. Aware of the problems that many offenders are related to their victims and that the register would not be a fix all she said it was a step forward towards the community as a whole coming together to protect these young victims. “If nothing else it is a gesture to the victims to say we care and we are going to support you by exposing the perpetrators.”

She said it was important to start somewhere and find a way of stopping these offenders returning to the family situation where they committed the abuse in the first place and either continuing to abuse the same victims or pick out new ones. If everyone knows it becomes harder for offenders to find victims.

Catron said the implementation of a register had to go hand in hand with much more support and counselling for victims as well as wider awareness of the real harm caused to victims. She said the petition was a first step and an expression of support for a proper register. Although there is a lot of work to be done before the register becomes a reality Catron said at least government was now aware of how much support there was for it.
- And we also need to stop ignoring the facts on sex offenders, and educate the public, kids, etc.

It is not clear whether any register that is created would be held by the police or the ministry. Manderson cited the questions over which government department would eventually be responsible for it as the reason for the delay in government being able to accept Catron’s petition. Manderson has said he will hold on to the petition for a period of 21 days for review before handing the document over to elected officials to debate how they want to move forward.

Catron believes she has the support of law enforcement officials but wants to ensure that the register is an open public list and not just limited to the authorities and relevant agencies. “It is entirely pointless having a list that the public cannot access as it cannot prevent future offending if the wider community is not on their guard against on offender,” Catron said adding that she did not believe vigilantism in Cayman would be an issue as the community as she had seen little outrage about the widespread abuse of children in the society.
- Well, when the list becomes public, vigilantism is more likely, and you can view these articles, for proof of that.

Now the petition is in the hands of government Catron says she hopes that the government will move quickly to enact the necessary legislation to establish the register. “Government has moved at what seems like lightening speed on some laws recently I hope it will take this petition seriously and give this issue some priority.”

See Also:


SPAIN - 10-Year-Old Gives Birth in Southern Spain

Original Article

11/02/2010

Spanish official says 10-year-old has given birth, authorities weigh who should raise the baby

A 10-year-old girl has given birth in southern Spain and authorities are evaluating whether to let her and her family retain custody of the baby, an official said Tuesday.

The baby was born last week in the city of Jerez de la Frontera, said Micaela Navarro, the Andalusia region's social affairs minister.

Navarro told reporters the father of the baby is also a minor, and both the mother and the baby were in good health. Her department declined to give details, including the sex of the baby, but said authorities do not consider this a case of rape and that no criminal investigation is under way.

Under Spanish law, having consensual sex with someone under age 13 is classified as child abuse, an official with the Spanish Justice Ministry in Madrid said. But this particular case is complicated by the fact that the father of the baby is also a minor and it is not clear if he could be charged, the official said.

Spanish newspapers said the mother is of Romanian origin.

The daily Diario de Jerez reported the girl was already pregnant when she arrived in Spain, but did not say when she came to this country. It is not clear if the father is in Spain.

Medical experts warn that because young girls are still growing, they are at higher risk during pregnancy. Studies have shown that teenage girls are more likely to give birth to premature babies and their infants have a higher chance of dying by age one.


OH - Eye of the beholder: Cute, naked photos of tots pose dilemma for parents

Original Article
TODAY Moms: Naked-baby pictures: Do or don't?

11/02/2010

By Brian Alexander

In a digital world, parents worry photos may be misused — or that they may be suspect

When Nicole Saupe’s son was about 18 months old, the Cincinnati-based photographer snapped a picture of him sitting in a big, rattan chair shaped like a wok. He was too cute to resist in his jammies, his spread legs revealing his diaper, his belly poking out from under his shirt. And so Saupe uploaded the image onto a new online gallery she had created.

Before I knew it, it had been downloaded three times. That had me very unsettled,” Saupe recalled. “It did freak me out so much that somebody downloaded these pictures.” She doesn’t know why somebody downloaded the images – maybe he or she just thought it was a cute picture. But Saupe kept envisioning a pedophile and “it made me so ill.”

Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, it’s not hard to find pictures of children, some in varying degrees of undress, some naked, being shown off by proud parents. But others on mommy sites and blogs question the practice, warning that child sexual predators can see, too. Some warn it may be dangerous for another reason: that parents themselves can be viewed as suspect — and even arrested — for taking what they see as cute pictures of their kids but others may misinterpret as compromising.

As a result, the question of how, where and whether to show what formerly seemed the most innocent of pictures, like tots playing in a bathtub, has parents in knots.

What [parents] might think are normal pictures could be seen the wrong way,” says Amy Adler, the Emily Kempin professor of law at New York University. “As a legal matter parents should be extremely cautious. I hate that. I think it is a shame.”

The days when parents breezily photographed toddlers at the beach or young kids running naked through the back yard sprinkler on a hot summer day may be over, she says.

People could be arrested for [what we used to regard as] normal pictures,” says Adler.

Indeed they could. This spring, Alma Vasquez, a 22-year-old Utah mom, was charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor after, police said, she took photos of the child’s father, 34-year-old Sergio Diaz-Palomino, sexually abusing their infant son.

But charges were later dropped because police determined Diaz-Palomino did not assault the baby. Instead, the couple was giving the boy a bath and after the bath, while the baby was still wet and laughing and the father happily kissed the infant’s body, Vasquez documented the scene as family memorabilia. She took the film to Walgreens for processing into prints, and a technician alerted the police. Arrests, jail, indictments, the child’s removal from Vasquez’s home by the state, followed. Diaz-Palomino, who was in the country illegally, was deported.

There have been a handful of such cases over the past few years and though most of the charges were eventually dropped, a lot of damage has been done.

We now live in a culture in which any nude photo — and some non-nude images, too — of a child is seen as potentially pornographic. Thanks to new laws, legal decisions that redefined what can constitute child pornography, and near-constant pop culture coverage of potential and real sex crimes against children, even innocent pictures of our own kids are often viewed with what Adler calls “the pedophilic gaze.”

As Betsy Schneider, a photographer and Arizona State University arts professor who sometimes uses her own naked children as photo subjects, told me, “once you suggest that it is pornographic, once they are painted in a certain light, it is hard to get that out of your head. Then we are all trapped.”

Back when those of us over the age of 35 were little, parents wouldn’t dream they could be arrested for taking such photos. But we weren’t as afraid then. Now fear drives everything from our politics to our diets to how we raise our children. And it is fear, Judith Levine, author of the book “Harmful to Minors,” believes, that turned innocent pictures of children into crimes.

Starting in the late 1980s, she said, as the government cracked down on child porn, which was then relatively rare, and child sexual abuse, arrests for child porn rose. As arrests rose, “the public said ‘Gosh we have a problem and so we have to get even tougher,'” Levine said. “That’s how panics start.”

In response to the outcry, federal and state laws were toughened and judicial decisions narrowed — but sometimes the definitions of those laws only raised new questions because they called for interpretations of terms like "lascivious." But in the context of a picture of a child, what is lascivious? To whose eyes? A parent? A pedophile? Could it include the cover the Nevermind, the 1991 Nirvana album that depicted a naked baby boy in a pool?

Schneider, the arts professor, said she has been forced to self-censor due to the way an adult could view her children’s photos. “I have a picture of my son. He is about 4 and he his totally naked and he’s holding this gun made of Legos and wearing a police hat and nothing else. He has a campy pose.”

Even though she loves the image, even though her son, now 8, is so proud of it he has hung it on his wall, she doesn't show it publicly.

Just as we aim to protect the photos of our children from being misappropriated, we find ourselves looking at images with new eyes.

No rational person questions the repulsiveness of true child sexual exploitation. But the other day a friend of mine told me about a vacation photo she found of her little boy. He was standing in her pair of cowboy boots, which came up past his knees. He was naked and laughing and when she saw this photo again, after having forgotten taking it, she laughed, too. Then she started to worry. What if somebody found this?

She hit the delete button, turning a precious memory into digital dust.

Brian Alexander is the author of the book “America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and Satisfaction," now in paperback.


UK - Gang (Kevin Pritchard, James Atkinson and Kevin Scorer) jailed for beating up sex offender

Original Article

Here is another prime example of why the registry should be taken offline and used by police only.

10/30/2010

Three vigilante attackers who beat up a sex offender have been jailed.

[name withheld], who served a prison sentence for a sexual offence in his past, was jumped on from behind then kicked in the face and head as she made his way to his flat at Beach Road, South Shields.

After the assault, which left Mr [name withheld] with bruising and scrapes to his arms, shoulders and torso, a bloodshot eye and a loose tooth, taunts and threats such as "rapist, we are going to burn you out" were shouted up at his window.

Mr [name withheld]'s partner [name withheld] was also injured in the attack. The couple have since moved away from their home.

Kevin Pritchard, who the court was told has a previous conviction for manslaughter, James Atkinson, who has served prison sentences for violence, and Kevin Scorer, who has one conviction for assault, all admitted assault causing bodily harm.

Pritchard and Atkinson also admitted common assault in relation to Ms [name withheld].

Prosecutor Tim Gittins told Newcastle Crown Court the men had all been drinking together in Pritchard's flat, which was in the same building as where Mr [name withheld] lived, on June 16.

Mr Gittens said: "[name withheld] had previously trusted Pritchard with a sensitive piece of information, he had confided in him he had been to prison for a serious sexual offence."

"Mr [name withheld]'s belief is what happened was as a result of him being informed of that."

It was as Mr [name withheld] made his way to his own property he was attacked.

Mr Gittins said; "He was attacked from behind, a blow that knocked him to the ground."

"At that point Mr Pritchard began punching his head and body and he describes being kicked in the face, first by Atkinson, then by Scorer."

Judge Roger Thorne jailed Atkinson, 30, of Masefield Drive, South Shields, who was in breach of a previous suspended prison sentence, for 18 months.

Pritchard, 46, formerly of Beach Road, South Shields, who has stayed out of trouble since his release from the 1998 manslaughter sentence, was jailed for 16 months.

Scorer, 39, of Masefield Drive, South Shields, was jailed for 10 months.

The judge said: "Anyone who attacks someone on the ground cannot be sure what the injury will be."

"So frequently it can cause grievous bodily harm and even result in death."

"You are lucky much lighter injuries were sustained here."

The judge said Mr [name withheld]'s past conviction was the obvious motive for what happened.

Judge Thorn said: "There were threats which can only be understood in regard to the injured party's past."

"It is the only explanation why all three joined in."

"No other explanation makes since to explain what the three did."

Tom Moran, defending, said Pritchard and others had known about Mr [name withheld]'s past for some time and this was not a "vigilante" offence but arose from an "infantile squabble".