Thursday, January 20, 2011

Parents Group Petitions Congress, Attorney General to Investigate MTV for Child Pornography in 'Skins' Series

Original Article
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01/20/2011

By Meaghan Murphy

Is MTV a purveyor of kiddie porn?

The Parents Television Council wants to find out.

The media watchdog group called on lawmakers and law enforcement officials Thursday to open an investigation regarding possible child pornography and exploitation on the cable network's new series “Skins.”

On January 17, the Viacom-owned cable network MTV aired a teenager-based drama, ‘Skins.’ The episode included all manner of foul language, illegal drug use, illegal activity as well as thoroughly pervasive sexual content,” PTC President Tim Winter said in a letter sent to the chairmen of the U.S. Senate and House Judiciary Committees and the Department of Justice. “Many of the actors appearing in the show are below the age of 18. It is clear that Viacom has knowingly produced material that may well be in violation of [several] federal statutes."

Since it is not necessary for Viacom or MTV to distribute the material in order to be in violation of the law, we call upon your committees to immediately investigate Viacom and MTV for the production of this material," Winter said in the statement. "Furthermore, we urge you in the strongest possible terms to compel the attorney general to mount an investigation by the Department of Justice into whether the production of ‘Skins’ has violated federal law meant to protect minors from exploitation.”

The controversial British import series “Skins” made its debut on the cable network last Monday, causing uproar for its frank depiction of teenage sex and drug use. But unlike MTV’s envelope-pushing shows of the past, “Skins” features underage actors engaged in sexual situations. The youngest star of the show is 15.

Putting aside whether it is socially acceptable, I certainly believe that MTV is unnecessarily tempting fate,” Ian Friedman, an attorney specializing in computer-based sex offenses, told FOX411.

It is not clear as to whether MTV is in violation of federal or state child pornography laws, but that does not mean that they won’t end up defending themselves somewhere in the United States," Friedman said, noting that attitudes toward nudity and sexuality are far more lax in the show's native England.

According to The New York Times, a series of panicked meetings took place at MTV headquarters in New York on Tuesday, where one executive allegedly even discussed the possibility of criminal charges and jail time. Reportedly, nervous execs forced producers to edit out some of the more explicit content from future episodes.

But even if potentially damaging footage is edited out, that may not be enough to protect MTV from legal repercussions, said Friedman.

While the images that are portrayed on television may be considered legal, that may not be the case for the edited footage,” Friedman said, echoing the view of the PTC in their statement. “If that actor is underage and under the age of consent, possessing that raw footage may be problematic.”

With “Skins,” MTV execs knew that they had a controversial show on their hands, but one that they hoped would be a hit, a source close to the network told FOX411.

When (MTV programming president) Tony DiSanto and (senior VP of series development) Liz Gateley landed ‘Skins,’ everyone at MTV couldn’t stop congratulating each other,” the MTV insider said. “They acquired a show that became a cult favorite in the UK, and they knew that casting actual teens doing what teens actually do was going to be controversial, ground-breaking -- and a huge hit for them.”

But was it worth it? “This situation presents a minefield of legal issues that may not have been considered prior to filming,” Friedman said. “In the event that some of the footage does constitute child pornography or obscene material, MTV will face the dilemma of what to do with the material. To discard it now may raise another host of legal issues pertaining to the destruction of evidence.”

MTV defended its show in a statement released Thursday: "'Skins' is a show that addresses real-world issues confronting teens in a frank way. We review all of our shows and work with all of our producers on an ongoing basis to ensure our shows comply with laws and community standards. We are confident that the episodes of 'Skins' will not only comply with all applicable legal requirements, but also with our responsibilities to our viewers. We also have taken numerous steps to alert viewers to the strong subject matter so that they can choose for themselves whether it is appropriate.‬"

Skins” is rated TV-MA. According to tvguidelines.org, a TV-MA rating signifies that the program “is specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17.”

Nielsen ratings for the premiere, which was heavily promoted during MTV’s TV-14 hit “Jersey Shore,” show that it drew 1.2 million people younger than 18, or more than a third of its total audience.

If MTV were my client, I would advise them to scale it back some,” Friedman said. “I do not see any benefit here except maybe an initial boost in ratings. The question may become whether it was worth it in the end.”


NE - Sexual Predator Residency Restrictions Could Be Expanded To Parks

Original Article

I am so sick and tired of politicians passing generic cookie cutter laws which affect all sex offenders! Most sex offenders are not child molesting pedophile predators. Do we lump all other criminals into one large group of the worse case? Of course not, so why do we here?

01/20/2011

Thirty sexual predators call South Sioux City, Nebraska home. A law in place now prohibits them from living near your children's schools and daycares, but predators are not being kept away from a favorite hang out.
- So how many children have been sexual abused at any of these places? Most sex crimes occur in the victims own home, not at a playground.

Playgrounds and parks are a hot spot for kids which makes those places possible targets for sexual predators. So some folks say, predators need to stay away from playtime.
- And people need to stop putting all sex offenders into the child molesting pedophile predator group!

It's been three years in the making: a change to what some call a "loophole" in the current Sexual Predator Residency Restriction Act. In other words, where sexual predators can live around your children. Some say predators should be forbidden from living less than 500 feet from playgrounds and parks.

"I wouldn't want my kids to be playing in a playground where I have to worry and look out my window 24/7. I would want my kids to be able to go to the park and play and not have to worry about anything," says Kristina Schetler, mother of four.
- So what about the murderers, gang members, drug dealers/users, thieves, and all other criminals? Guess you are not worried about them, when many are more of a danger to your kids, or anyone for that matter.

Schools and daycares are already off limits.

Behind the big move were many South Sioux City leaders who physically brought the idea to legislation 3 years ago and one of them says he still believes in the bill.

South Sioux City City Administrator Lance Hedquist says, "I think it is a step in the right direction for our community, I think it's what the community wants as a whole so I think it has a lot of merit to get this passed."

And the South Sioux City Police Chief couldn't agree more. "The issue is protecting children and that's the crux of this entire thing...is to try and make our schools and our playgrounds and our city safer for our kids," says Chief Scot Ford.
- If that was actually true, then you'd also pass similar laws to all other criminals, who are more dangerous to kids. But, I don't think it's about protecting kids at all, IMO.

The bill has been introduced in the Nebraska Senate and will now face public hearings and testimonies over the next few months.


KS - Jury finds former police chief (Michael Akins) guilty on child sex crimes

Original Article

01/20/2011

MCPHERSON - A jury has convicted Michael Akins, the former Inman police chief.

After more than a day of deliberating, the jury found Akins guilty of multiple charges of indecent liberties with a child, indecent solicitation of a child and a count of battery. He was found not guilty on a few of the counts.

Akins was accused of molesting four children from December 2008 to December 2009. He was arrested last year.

He had been police chief for Inman since 2007.

Sentencing is set for February 1.


OK - Oklahoma City police officer arrested on sex crime complaints

Original Article

UPDATE: New video (below) says the foster children say the allegations are not true.

01/20/2011

By MICHAEL KIMBALL

An Oklahoma City police officer has been arrested on sex crime complaints and placed on paid administrative leave.

An Oklahoma City police officer who has three adopted children and three foster children has been arrested on complaints of lewd acts with a child younger than 16 and forcible sodomy.

Police spokesman Capt. Patrick Stewart said Sgt. [name withheld], 44, was arrested Wednesday and placed on paid administrative leave.

Stewart said an anonymous complaint to the Department of Human Services led to an investigation. Stewart said [name withheld] was interviewed by police, but he would not discuss the details of the interview.

Stewart would not say whether the accusations involve any of the children living with [name withheld]. Oklahoma City police never disclose the names of victims of alleged sex crimes.

All six children were taken into state custody.

[name withheld] is the only adult living in his home, Stewart said. He said the 18-year veteran officer has been a foster parent and adoptive parent for 11 years and is a patrol officer assigned to the south side of Oklahoma City.

Stewart said [name withheld] will remain on leave pending the outcome of criminal and internal investigations.

[name withheld] was booked into the Oklahoma County jail and later released on $80,000 bail, officials said. He has not been charged.



Foster kids say the allegations are not true


AR - Committee advances sex offender bill

Original Article

01/20/2011

By John Lyon

LITTLE ROCK — The House Judiciary Committee endorsed House Bill 1007 today that would require sex offenders to verify their registration in person at local law enforcement agencies.

Currently, sex offenders are required to register with local law enforcement by mail every six months.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Justin Harris, R-West Fork, said the measure would save taxpayers at least $70,000 a year in postage because sex offenders are currently notified by mail when it is time for them to renew their registration.

The bill goes to the House.

The committee spent time debating HB 1015 by Rep. Jon Woods, R-Springdale, which would require a judge to impose a $250 fine on anyone the judge orders to register as a sex offender.

Under current law, a judge can opt not to impose the fine if “undue hardship would result,” but HB 1015 would eliminate that option.

Some committee members asked for a written statement of the bill’s financial impact on state prisons, which would have to house sex offenders who did not pay the fine. Woods agreed to pull down the bill and obtain the information.

The Judiciary Committee voted to stream its meetings live on the House website. No “no” votes were heard.

In the House Revenue and Taxation Committee today, Rep. Andrea Lea, R-Russellville, presented HB 1134, which would create a sales tax holiday for disaster-preparedness supplies from Sept. 10-23 every year.

Lea did not have a statement from the Department of Finance and Administration on the financial impact of her bill. She voluntarily pulled the bill down and said she would bring it back with a statement.

One of the reasons I presented this today without the DF&A (statement) and everything is just to put it in your hopper to be thinking about,” Lea said.


WA - Former police officer (Joseph Padgett) charged in child pornography case

Original Article

01/20/2011

By Caleb Heeringa

A Sammamish man is in jail after his estranged wife allegedly found a gun safe full of child pornography.

Joseph Padgett, 48, is being charged with first-degree possession of child pornography in connection with five computers, four external hard drives and a USB thumb drive containing hundreds of images of naked underage girls, including some that featured adult men having sex with girls as young as four, according to charging documents filed in King County Superior Court.

Padgett’s estranged wife hired a locksmith to open her husband’s gun safe in July 2010 and discovered the computers, according to the documents. She turned the material over to King County Sheriff’s Office detectives in November 2010.

Analysis of the computers by law enforcement turned up the child pornography, in addition to photographs of men and women having sex with animals.

Several pictures of Padgett and two underage girls especially concerned investigators. In the pictures, Padgett was embracing the girls, though Padgett had apparently photoshopped large adult female breasts onto them.

While the pictures are not criminal, they are alarming to look at,” the charging documents state. “The way that Joseph is embracing the girls suggest a high-degree of intimacy and that he has a sexual interest in them.”

Padgett is a former police officer who was forced to resign from the San Jose, Calif. police department after being caught secretly videotaping several sex partners. According to a San Jose Mercury News article he was acquitted on bribery charges in that case that would have sent him to prison but was found guilty on five misdemeanor charges.

Padgett remains in King County Jail on $75,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned later this month.


WI - Waukesha moves to toughen sex offender residency notifications

Original Article

01/19/2011

By Laurel Walker

Waukesha - Waukesha aldermen want to toughen requirements for notifying city officials and residents when someone on parole, extended supervision and probation, including registered sex offenders, is placed in transitional housing in the city.

Under terms of an ordinance scheduled for final action Feb. 1, a special Community Notification Committee would meet to obtain information on the placement at least 30 days before it occurs.

The Department of Corrections and the landlord for the transitional housing must give the city notice 60 days in advance of the placements and give all property owners within 2,000 feet of the residence a 30-day notice, including information about time and place of the committee meeting. The ordinance also requires the corrections officials and landlord to attend the notification committee meeting to provide information.

The Community Notification Committee would consist of the mayor, the Common Council president, a Police Department representative and the alderman from the district affected. A state Department of Corrections official must be invited to attend as well.

In December the Common Council had given initial approval of the ordinance, but Tuesday night, at its second of three readings, the distance for notifying property owners was unanimously extended from 300 feet to 2,000 at the request of Ald. John Kalblinger.

Attempts to toughen notification requirements were started last year by former Ald. Peggy Bull after a duplex in her south side neighborhood was converted to a transitional residence for sex offenders coming out of prison. Anger over the housing was in large measure what prompted residents to start a recall of Bull last summer. She lost to Kalblinger in the September recall election.

The latest proposal is the first major revision of Waukesha's 2007 ordinance imposing residency restrictions for sex offenders. The city was among the wave of communities adopting local laws in an attempt to limit where they could live.

This month, the City and Town of Delafield both adopted restrictions.


LA - Is Lake Charles stooping to extortion to fund their unconstitutional laws?

Original Article
ACLU
Extortion

This is the same kind of extortion fees gangs force people to pay for "protection," IMO.

Looks to me like, since they cannot get the funding for the draconian, unconstitutional laws, they'll resort to extortion to get someone to pay. Sex offenders are not made of cash, and are not banks, so I'm hoping this is slapped with a major lawsuit by the ACLU. Otherwise, looks like all sex offenders who are not rich, will just wind up back in prison, where I'm sure the politicians want in the first place.

But they are okay with murderers, gang members, drug dealers/users, DUI offenders, thieves, etc?

Well, drugs do rank in a ton of money for them, so of course they are not going to ban drug dealers.


01/19/2011

By Adam Hooper

LAKE CHARLES (KPLC) - It is now harder for sex offenders to live in Lake Charles. During a Wednesday evening meeting, city council members adopted an ordinance aimed at deterring sex offenders from living in Lake Charles.

It changed the steps a convicted sex offender must go through to register in the city. The new law requires a more detailed description of a sex offenders conviction. It also raised the registration fees from $60 to $600, and an additional $200 a year.

"We have zero tolerance for sex offenders. I wanted to be crystal clear, and not politically correct, that we don't want sex offenders living in Lake Charles," said Lake Charles Councilman John Ieyoub.

"It's probably the most expensive place for a sex offender to live. It's probably the most expensive place in the whole country. We make no apologies for that," said Sgt. Mark Kraus with the Lake Charles Police Department.

Ieyoub, who spearheaded the new ordinance, said when a convicted sex offender runs a notification ad in the newspaper he or she must now include details about what they were convicted of, the age of their victim, the sex of their victim, and any past convictions.

"We're thinking a felon will look at Lake Charles and say, well, this is a little more embarrassing to list all of this information. I don't want to live there," said Ieyoub.

The law will go into place as soon as Mayor Randy Roach signs the ordinance into law. All convicted sex offenders will have to pay the new $600 registration fee. They have 180 days to comply.