Saturday, January 8, 2011

FL - Broward jail employees arrested for having sex with inmates

Original Article

01/07/2011

FORT LAUDERDALE (WSVN) - An overhaul of security measures are underway at the main Broward County jail following a surprising investigation.

Broward Sheriff's Office deputies are investigating reports of unlawful and inappropriate activity inside BSO's jail facilities, which has led to seven arrests so far, among them four employees and three inmates.

Inmate [name withheld] was sentenced to 50 years in state prison Friday for a rash of armed robberies at pharmacies he committed. The robberies took place around the same time that Broward deputy Chris Reyka was murdered. Reyka was gunned down outside of a Pompano Beach 24-hour pharmacy in August 2007.

[name withheld] was never formally accused of Reyka's murder, but evidence shows he had someone throw away three of his guns. Divers recovered two of the guns, which does not match the crime, and the third is still missing.

Despite [name withheld]'s charges, Kiara Walker, a jail technician, is accused of romancing [name withheld] in jail. She is accused of smuggling him a cell phone, sending him sexually explicit photos and love texts.

"Particularly disturbing," Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti said, when asked about the findings in the investigation. "It's disgusting, it's deplorable, and I'm sickened that they would resort to this kind of behavior."

Former deputy Salisia Pascoe admitted to smuggling marijuana and batteries to make a lighter, along with a cell phone to an inmate whom she had sex with in a storage room. Former Deputy Roderick Lopez, is also accused of taking up to $800 in bribes to smuggle contraband to an inmate in the same main Broward County jail.

Two other deputies who are under investigation have since resigned. Caroline Jean, a former nurse at the jail, admitted to providing a cell phone with sexually explicit photos to an inmate.

"The males appear to be doing it for cash and the females appear to be doing it for romance," said Broward Sheriff's Office Detective Joe Kessling.

As a result of the investigation, which continues, Lamberti has ordered several changes. Deputies and other employees will have to go through metal detectors. He has also ordered more surveillance cameras and tougher regulations.


ME - Reworking Sex Registry

Original Article

01/08/2011

State and federal laws appear to be on a collision course when it comes to sex offenders. Federal laws have become increasingly strict and demanding, while the Maine Supreme Judicial Court has raised serious concerns about some requirements in existing state law.

Balancing these two pressures will make the work of the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee especially difficult in this realm.

On the federal side, the pressure comes in the form of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, legislation signed in 2006 aimed at conforming state rules for sex offenders. A key provision of the law requires a three-tiered system based on the severity of the crime and age of the victim. Those in tier III must meet every three months with designated officials.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court expressed concerns about such a requirement in Maine’s law.

In 2007, the court raised significant questions about the state’s sex offender registry. The court was especially concerned about changes made in recent years to require Internet posting of personal information about offenders, to restrict where offenders can live and to require fingerprinting every 90 days for offenders convicted since 1982. The case was brought by a man who said the registry violated his rights by imposing punishment that did not exist when he pleaded guilty in the 1980s to a crime against a family member.

The changes have made the law significantly more punitive and intrusive, changing the nature of the sanctions from civil penalties to a retroactive increase in criminal penalties. The justices suggested this retroactive increase violates the Maine Constitution. The court said it needed more information before ruling on the merits of the case and sent it back to Kennebec County Superior Court, where it remains pending.

A year before the court ruling, two men on the registry were killed by a man from Canada who reviewed their information on the state’s sex offender website, the most popular in state government.

What two justices called “shaming and branding” often leads to social isolation and depression, which could impede rehabilitation and cause some to re-offend. The registry requirements may thus be harming, rather than protecting, public safety.

That is the crux of the problem that the Criminal Justice Committee must deal with. At what point does a sex offender registry — and its many requirements — change from a helpful tool to a detriment?

Failure to comply with the Adam Walsh Act would mean a loss of federal funds. But the fact that only three states and two Native American tribes are currently in compliance shows that there are many problems with the federal law.

In recent years, lawmakers have addressed some legal concerns by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Some sex offenders can now petition to be removed from the registry requirement if they were sentenced after Jan. 1, 1982, and before the 1999 sex offender law. The Legislature also has considered adopting a tiered system with stricter requirements for the worst offenders.

The bottom line is that the state’s registry should satisfy public safety objectives without unnecessary negative consequences.


PA - Teen charged with abusing herself for posting nude photos online?

Original Article

So instead of warning this girl, and possibly sentencing her to a light sentence, they'd rather label her a sex offender and ruin her life before it has even started?  Insane!

01/03/2011

By Dan Boniface

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A 15-year-old girl has been arrested for taking nude photographs of her self and posting them on the Internet, police said.

The girl, whose identity was withheld, was accused of sending out photographs of herself in various states of undress and performing a variety of sexual acts. She sent them to people she met in chat rooms on the Internet, police said.

Police seized her computer and found dozens of photographs stored on the hard drive. Authorities did not say how police learned about the girl.

She has been charged with sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography.