Saturday, November 13, 2010

CA - Jessica's Law Challenged

Original Article


By Gene Haagenson

FRESNO (KFSN) -- Among the homeless in Fresno's tent cities are men like [name withheld].

He told us; "I'm down here because I'm a 290 sex offender. That means I'm a registered sex offender I'm on parole."

The 28 year old has been out of prison for a few months. He was convicted of a sex crime, involving an adult but because of a law designed to protect children from sex offenders, he can't live near a school or a park, that limits his housing options.
- This is what most people do not realize.  The laws affect all sex offenders, not just those who have harmed children.

"My brother lives 1983 feet from a school and due to Jessica's law I can't live there because he'd have to be 2000 feet. So 17 feet prevent me from living with my brother, my mom, having a stable environment. "

While there's not much public sympathy for anyone convicted of any kind of a sex crime, state law enforcement task force is recommending changes in the law, especially the distance requirements. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer was involved in the task force report and supports the findings.

"We believe the 2000 foot requirement is too much." He said.

The Megan's Law website lists the addresses and locations of most of the more than 16 hundred sex offenders in Fresno. But 134 of them, like [name withheld], are listed as transients ... with no address. Dyer feels that creates a more dangerous situation.

"Because it's far better for us in law enforcement if those individuals are living in an apartment a motel in some type of a structure that we can keep a better eye on them."

Dyer thinks GPS monitoring and more parole agents are among the steps that could be taken. [name withheld] already wears a monitor and thinks that's enough.

[name withheld]; "Well, we wear ankle monitors and so if we go to a school or to a park it will pop up immediately my parole agent will be notified because on the computer it's a red zone."

A California judge has already ruled that Jessica's law is unconstitutional but the ruling is expected to be appealed by the state.

The state legislature could be asked to act on the recommendations by the task force, but supporters of change acknowledge it may be difficult for legislators to tackle the popular law which was passed by voters in 2006.

PA - Ex-cop (Malaika Mebane) gets 2 to 4 years for forced sex with inmate

Original Article


By Joseph A. Slobodzian

After an unblemished 11 years with the Philadelphia Police Department, Malaika T. Mebane brought his career to an abrupt, unintended end Oct. 19, 2009, when he was caught in a sex act with a female prisoner in a cell at his district station.

On Friday, after Mebane had blamed long-term sex addiction and his retreat from his Christian faith for his crime, the former officer went into custody to begin a 2- to 4-year prison term.

At his sentencing hearing in Common Pleas Court, Mebane, 39, apologized to his 21-year-old victim and many others: "I embarrassed myself, my friends, and the Police Department. I destroyed my career."

He told Judge Karen Shreeves-Johns he was undergoing psychological treatment for sex addiction and was again a Christian.

"I have finally found God," Mebane said. "Satan was in my life. I was going hand in hand with him."

Mebane pleaded guilty in June to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and institutional sexual assault.

The attack occurred after the victim was arrested at home on a simple-assault charge and taken to the 35th Police District at Broad Street and Champlost Avenue in Ogontz. Mebane was a cell-block officer there.

As the woman was making a phone call, he groped her and led her to a nearby cell, where he forced her to commit a sex act.

"This was a life experience that I'll never forget," the victim told the judge. "I'm not as comfortable as I used to be around people. I can never forget this."

Shreeves-Johns seemed unimpressed with Mebane's contrition, telling him the only thing he had done to mitigate his prison sentence was to plead guilty and not put his victim through a trial. The judge called his conduct "disgusting and disgraceful. I don't know what level of trust could ever have been placed in you."

When he is released from prison, Mebane will have to register with the state police as a sex offender.

Shreeves-Johns said Mebane and other corrupt officers harm the reputation of the Police Department and contribute to the city's crime rate: "You are a reason that nobody trusts the police."

MI - Community angered after sex offender receives award

Original Article


ALBION – The Albion Chamber of Commerce has aroused some anger in the community by giving an award to a sex offender.

His name is [name withheld] and his neighbors found him on the sex offender registry. He spent time in jail after being convicted of second degree criminal sexual conduct.

Despite that, the Albion Chamber of Commerce honored him with the Good Neighbor award for his good deeds in the community.

Now people in that community are hot and taking shots at [name withheld] on Facebook.

Hundreds of angry Facebook posting have erupted after [name withheld] was awarded the Good Neighbor certificate.

Newschannel 3 spoke with [name withheld] on Friday about the controversy he's suddenly found himself in.

If I had any inkling that it would disturb people that I received an award for helping out with the community band I never would have accepted it,” said [name withheld].

The Albion Chamber of Commerce says [name withheld] received the Good Neighbor award because “[name withheld] and his wife [name withheld] are responsible for more than 30 years of continued success with the Albion Community Band.”

However, people in Albion are furious because [name withheld] is a convicted sex offender. He was convicted in 1999 of second degree criminal sexual conduct with a child.

[name withheld] says the starting point for his award and his CSC charge are the same thing, music.

I taught at the Spring Arbor College, had some students there,” said [name withheld]. “I taught the Jackson Symphony School of Music.”

[name withheld] says he also gave private lessons.

One of my students took offense to a maneuver that I use to teach breathing,” said [name withheld].

[name withheld] says that student was a ten-year-old girl.

In hindsight the young lady probably was offended by the way I touched her,” said [name withheld]. “I had no idea that it would cause such a firestorm.”

[name withheld] was arrested and charged with CSC, he says his attorney advised him to plead no contest to the charges and he served two months in jail.

The Albion Chamber of Commerce says they will not take back [name withheld]'s award, but in the future will do more research before handing out awards.

ID - Former guards slam prison, culture of violence

Original Article


BOISE (AP) - Three former employees at Idaho's only private prison say staff routinely failed to protect inmates, and in some cases put inmates in situations knowing they'd be beaten by others.

The statements from the former Idaho Correctional Center guards are in affidavits filed in a federal lawsuit against the prison's operator, Corrections Corporation of America.

The lawsuit was filed against CCA last year by inmate [name withheld], who was badly beaten in his cell.

The three former employees claim the prison is understaffed, and steeped in a culture of laziness and lack of concern for inmate welfare.

They say staff at the prison, referred to as "Gladiator School," frequently assigned inmates to cell blocks knowing they'd likely be beaten.

CCA has denied the allegations in the lawsuit and is asking a judge to dismiss it.