Friday, March 4, 2011

Documentary - Sentencing the Victim


CA - Salinas police youth leader (Scott Callan) gets prison for sex with 15-year-old, but will NOT be on the registry?

Original Article

How many of the over 700,000 ex-sex offenders in this country would love to get the same sweet deal? Probably about 99% of them.

03/04/2011

By VIRGINIA HENNESSEY

A former police youth leader was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday for having sex with a 15-year-old girl. It was later revealed the baby he thought he fathered with her was not his.

Scott Callan, 28, tearfully apologized to the girl, his family and the Salinas Police Department before he was handcuffed and led to prison. He said he wishes the baby boy well.

Callan's sentencing was delayed in January so prosecutor Cristina Johnson could seek a paternity test to support a request for child support as part of his restitution. Defense attorney Richard Rosen said then that Callan had been allowed a visit with the infant and believed the baby was his, though Rosen was unwilling to waive the test for setting of restitution.

The DNA test, returned on Valentine's Day, excluded Callan as the father of the baby.

The victim was a member of the Salinas Police Youth Explorer Program, which Callan, a community service officer, supervised. When it became evident she was pregnant, another member of the program, who suspected her relationship with Callan, asked for advice from a peace officer outside Monterey County, Johnson said.

That officer, a mandatory child-abuse reporter, notified Salinas police in October. Investigators confronted Callan, who confessed and said he thought the child was probably his.

Though he could have sought probation, Callan agreed to the plea bargain and prison because it let him avoid lifelong registration as a sex offender.
- And the average citizen doesn't get this option. So much for holding public officials to a higher standard.

Members of Callan's family were present Thursday and left the courtroom in tears after he was taken away in handcuffs. Judge Mark Hood noted he had received many letters from them and others in the community who wrote about the exemplary life Callan had lived.

Hood said Callan's actions hurt those people, the community, the police department and, mostly, the victim, who "had to grow up too fast."

"You were to be a person our youth could look up to," he told Callan. "The police department put their trust in you and the children put their trust in you and you violated that trust."

Callan was a nine-year veteran of the Salinas Police Department. Rosen asked Hood to request the Department of Corrections place him in protective custody because of his connection to law enforcement.

Callan was originally charged with five counts of lewd acts on a child younger than 16 years old and more than 10 years younger than himself; three counts of statutory rape; and one count each of sodomy and oral copulation on a person younger than 16, sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography. A sentencing enhancement alleged he caused great bodily injury by impregnating the girl.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful sex with a child younger than 16 and more than 10 years younger than himself in return for the three-year sentence.
- How many others, who are not public officials, but the average citizen, get this kind of sweet deal? 0%!

Johnson and Rosen said the plea negotiation would not have been different had they known the paternity test would come back negative because Callan was pleading to the sex, not the great bodily injury. What was most important to Callan, Rosen said, was to avoid registering as a sex offender.

Callan can be eligible for parole after he serves 50 percent of his sentence, and at some point, "prison will be behind him, but registering as a sex offender stays with you for life," Rosen said. "They say it's not punishment, but it's the worst punishment possible."
- So, because he's a public official, in 1 1/2 years, he'll be out and won't have to register! And yes, they know it's punishment!!!!!

Johnson said she considered the case more serious than most "underage sex" cases.

"One of the bigger things in this case was how he met her," she said. "He was a person who was supervising these kids, these explorers. Taking advantage of that situation is what made this more egregious than your typical statutory rape."


Video Link


MN - Nonprofit Might Offer Pathway to Re-Entry for Violent Sex Offenders

Original Article

03/02/2011

By Bruce S Trachtenberg

Can sex offenders thought to be too dangerous, even after serving time in prison, ever be allowed to re-enter society? In Minnesota, state officials hope to find out through a program they're initiating with help from a nonprofit.

According to Minnesota Public Radio, the state has never permanently released violent sex offenders from confinement in special treatment centers where they're sent after serving prison sentences. This week, though, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, which runs the state's Sex Offender Program, signed a contract with Community Re-Entry Services, handing over responsibility for its first sex offender, [name withheld], and perhaps more later.



If a review panel of the Minnesota Supreme Court agrees, the 68-year-old [name withheld], who has spent decades confined to treatment for a history of assaults that date back three decades, would be released into the care of Community Re-entry Services. [name withheld], as well as any other offenders, would be supervised 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They also be required to wear a GPS device, take random drug and lie detector tests, and check in daily with a state human services case worker.

Depending on the course of treatment, offenders might eventually be allowed to move from a halfway house to a less restrictive form of independent living. "It will be a process that'll move very slowly. We want to see how they do under a reduced level of structure in a community setting," said Dennis Benson, who runs the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. "At such a time that they're ready to move to a different address, we would require housing and employment, or some means to support themselves."

Benson says the program has been in development for three years. Among the attractions of the partnership between the state and nonprofit is its lower cost. Richard Gardell, CEO of the Community Re-Entry's parent, 180 Degrees, says the state will pay the nonprofit about $120 per person compared to the $300 per day it costs Minnesota to house an offender in one of its facilities.


NY - Scott Wood's Climb Through Tough Times


Video Link


IL - Lawmakers Reject Sex Offender Registry Bill

Original Article
See Also (Related Video)
Updated Article

Just wait until one of their own son or daughter gets busted for having sex while underage, and gets put on the registry, I'm sure they'll see things differently then.

03/03/2011

By Emily Finnegan

WSIL TV -- The Illinois House rejected a bill Thursday that would have removed some sex offenders from the state's registry.

The so-called Romeo and Juliet law would have allowed certain young sex offenders to petition a judge for removal from the list. Supporters say they'll continue to push the issue and plan to propose the bill again.

The measure would have only applied to non-violent offenders convicted of a sex crime in their teens or early 20's. The victim had to be at least 14-years-old, and the offender couldn't be more than four years older.

[name withheld] is one of those on the Illinois sex registry that stood to benefit from the law. He was convicted of statutory rape in Texas when he was 18.

"I was dating a 14 year old girl, getting ready to be 15, just a high school thing," he explained, "We were in school, she was two grades under me."

[name withheld] served four years in prison after his conviction.

"Since then I've just been trying to live a normal life. But it's kind of hard to forget about the past when you're stuck in the past," he told News Three.

[name withheld] can't put the incident behind him. He has to check in with Jackson County authorities every 90 days. His tires have been slashed and his car spray painted. And his name will be on the state sex offender registry for years.

"I'm not a rapist and I'm not a child molester. Now I understand people like that, but just for a typical teenage mistake?" [name withheld] said.

He insists the victims' family knew about the relationship and did not want him prosecuted. Now, he would like the opportunity to petition a judge to have his name removed from the sex offender list.

Union County State's Attorney Tyler Edmonds says most of the "Romeo and Juliet" cases are not that clear cut; it's up to prosecutors to use their discretion--

"It often times is something where there are other criminal cases involved, and it's an important part of the plea negotiation that we feel, for the protection of the public, that the person needs to be registered as a sex offender," Edmonds said.

Edmonds would like to see any future legislation written so the offender has to prove why they should be removed from the list. The version rejected Thursday, would have made the state prove why an offender should remain on the registry.
- The state should have to prove someone is a danger.  That is how it has been for thousands of years, people has to prove a person committed a crime, not the other way around.

For his part, [name withheld] would like a second chance--a chance to move on, and do everyday activities with his kids.

"They're not just punishing us. They're punishing our whole family," he said.


Video Link


WA - Convicted sex offender sues mother of victim over blog post

Original Article
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03/03/2011

TACOMA - A convicted sex offender is suing the mother of a child he had inappropriate contact with because he says she wrote negative things about him on her blog.

[name withheld], 26, plead guilty in 2007 to a gross misdemeanor for contact with a minor for immoral purposes. But Danielle Schneider says that charge didn't come close to describing what [name withheld] did to her 11-year-old child. Schneider decided to blog about it and warn others.

"I have gone outside of myself in hopes that something redeeming would come out my family's nightmare," Schneider wrote. "I just felt like we needed to tell our story so that that community could know who they were dealing with to protect themselves."

[name withheld] was the pastor's son at Schneider's church and often visited their home. He is now classified as a level two sex offender in Washington. But in court documents, his attorney claims [name withheld] is embarrassed by the blog and can't get employment because of it.

Schneider says her family can't afford another court case. She says she offered to take the site down but [name withheld]' attorney refused.

"The audacity that the person who abused my child and changed the course of our family and our life was suing us," said Schneider.

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Linquist says he's never seen a case quite like this.

The civil division of the Prosecutor's Office says there are factors in the case that will likely need to be established. The first is whether everything on the blog is true and whether it is public record.
Rojas' attorney did not return calls for comment. He's asking Rojas be paid unspecified damages.