Monday, March 28, 2011

DOJ - John H. Laub: Embracing a Culture of Science - A Message From the NIJ Director

My comment left on the video:

"More DOJ hypocrisy. If you meant this, and you were upholding your oath of office, then the sex offender hysteria sweeping this nation would be put to rest. The "empirical data" shows that sex offenders have a LOW recidivism rate, yet people continue to say it's high. Why is that?"


Video Link


TN - Senator Wants Juvenile Sex Offender Registry

Original Article

03/28/2011

By Jill Monier (Twitter)

MEMPHIS - Monday, two boys ages 7 and 9 were taken from their homes and ordered to undergo treatment, after admitting to raping a toddler. Juvenile court said juvenile sex crimes were up last year.

Officials say, 28 kids in Shelby County were charged with Rape and Aggravated Rape, last year alone. Now, a bill that would create a juvenile sex offender registry, is working its way through the capitol in Nashville.

What a Juvenile Sex Offender Register Would Entail

For adults, there is a Tennessee Sex Offender Registry where their faces, names and crimes are prominently displayed. Now State Senator Brian Kelsey, a Republican from Shelby County, wants to create a similar registry for juveniles, but it would be private.

"This list for law enforcement so they know where offenders are located and ensure they're not near our children to make sure kids are safe," said Sen. Kelsey.

Kelsey said the registry would be for 14 to 18 year old's convicted of only the most violent crimes like rape, aggravated rape and rape of a child.
- Guess he has not read up on the Adam Walsh Act, SORNA, etc, which already allows for this.

The court would also have to determine the teens are at a high risk for re-offending or show that they were previously convicted of a violent sexual offense before they would be required to register as sex offenders. Offenders would be on the list and required to check in with law enforcement, for the rest of their lives.

"Let's remember that only applies to really heinous crimes. This is not a 17-year old having sex with a 15-year old, these are things like aggravated rape of a child, a child under the age of 3, it's those types of crimes that would put you on the list," said Sen. Kelsey.

Under the bill, juvenile sex offenders would have to follow the same requirements as adult sex offenders. However the restrictions on where they can live would not apply, and they could live with another juvenile as long as it's a sibling.
- Most sex crimes occur by someone the victim knows.

After age 19, juveniles could ask for their names to be removed from the list, but law enforcement would have to determine they are no longer a threat to the public.

Community Has Mixed Reactions

Some parents think, even if the juvenile sex offender list is private, it could still cause more harm than good.

"It'll be harder for them to get a job, people will judge them on things like that, even though we say we don't, we do," said parent Nygel McLaurin.

But others say, the list should be public.

"They have been taught right or wrong, they're old enough to know they need to be exposed. They do need to be exposed, they need to," said Tony and JoAnn Butts.
- Hmm, so are we going to let children drive cars, smoke, etc now, because they know right from wrong? Like I've said before, if you want to shame sex offenders, to "protect" yourself, then why not shame all criminals? If you get a minor traffic ticket, put your name on a shaming list, maybe next time you won't disobey the law!

Sen. Kelsey is not ruling out the possibility of making the list public in the future but admits it would be difficult.

Even high school student, Joey Levy admits there would be problems at school, if a juvenile sex offender list got out.

"They probably would get checked everyday, they would have to transfer," said Levy.

"There are certain people who think it's not a good idea but at the end of the day we have to be looking at what's best for our children, not the offenders," said Sen. Kelsey.
- The offenders are children!  You need to stop ignoring the oath of office you took, to uphold the constitution, which is for EVERYONE, not just those you like.

Let us know what you think about a juvenile sex offender registry.


NY - Judge: Nassau sex-offender law 'invalid'

Original Article

Site requires an account to read the rest of the article.

03/22/2011

By SID CASSESE

A District Court judge in Hempstead has ruled that Nassau County's law barring convicted sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school is invalid because it is inconsistent with state law.

In a case brought by [name withheld], a Level 1 registered sex offender who had been living about 500 feet from the Lawrence-Woodmere Hebrew Academy in Woodmere, Judge Valerie Alexander of the First...


WI - Former DA (Kenneth Kratz) accused of 'sexting' won't face criminal charges

Original Article

03/28/2011

By Sharif Durhams

The state won't file criminal charges against a former Calumet County district attorney who sent sexually suggestive text messages to a domestic violence victim.

Kenneth R. Kratz resigned in October after then Gov. Jim Doyle began the process to remove the district attorney from office.

He faced pressure from fellow district attorneys, state lawmakers and victims' advocates since admitting he had sent the text messages. After the woman's complaint became public, at least four more women accused Kratz of similar misconduct.

Ultimately the state Department of Justice investigated more than a dozen complaints.

Department of Justice spokesman Bill Cosh said Monday that investigators looked into whether Kratz could face criminal charges under statutes prohibiting sexual assault, misconduct in public office and premature disclosure of a search warrant.

"Our prosecutors have concluded that they cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed a specific violation of a criminal law," said Cosh, who noted that any person is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.
- Of course. And when the average citizen is accused of a sex crime, then they don't have to "prove beyond a reasonable doubt" (Wikipedia) that the person committed the crime, all it takes is allegations, you are guilty automatically!  He's a buddy DA, of course he's not going to be prosecuted!

Kratz's attorney, Robert E. Bellin Jr. of Neenah, said, "We pretty much expected this."

Bellin said most of the allegations were not supported by any evidence and were just someone's word.

"He owned up to Van Groll messages," Bellin said. "I think the other stuff was just piling on."

Kratz, a Republican, had been Calumet County's district attorney since 1992. It was revealed Sept. 15 that Kratz had sent 30 text messages over three days last fall to Stephanie L. Van Groll while he was prosecuting her ex-boyfriend.

Kratz referred to Van Groll in one text as a "young, hot nymph" and asked in another message if she "likes secret contact with an older married elected DA."

Van Groll, 26, sent the text messages to Kaukauna police, who turned the investigation over to the state Department of Justice.

Officials with the Department of Justice found no evidence of criminal conduct but forced Kratz to resign as chairman of the Wisconsin Crime Victims Rights Board and report himself to the state Office of Lawyer Regulation.

The Office of Lawyer Regulation reviewed the case but did not discipline Kratz.

Kratz has since opened a private legal practice in Kimberly, in Outagamie County.

Van Groll filed a federal civil suit against Kratz in October, contending her constitutional rights were violated. Bellin said he expects to file a motion to dismiss that complaint in early April.

See Also:


OK - Dozens of convicted Okla. sex offenders pack legislative hearing to protest bill

Original Article

This is what all those who are facing these draconian laws should do, protest and speak out. Good job, folks in Oklahoma!

03/28/2011

OKLAHOMA CITYDozens of convicted sex offenders packed a legislative committee room to protest a bill they say will force them from their mobile home park in south Oklahoma City.

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday approved the measure on an 8-4 vote over the objections of some members who expressed concern the bill would force the residents to become homeless. The bill states that mobile homes or trailers cannot be defined as multi-unit structures for purposes of sex offender living restrictions.

The men who attended the meeting are residents of the Hand Up ministry, which houses more than 270 offenders in a mobile home park in south Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City Police Capt. Patrick Stewart says the goal is not to shut down the ministry but to clarify existing law.


CANADA - Man (Patrick Belanger) who killed sex offender could spend 6 years in jail

Original Article

See Also: Child-porn discovery not a 'licence to kill' pedophile

03/28/2011

A Montreal crown prosecutor has recommended six years in jail for a man convicted in a vigilante-style killing.

Patrick Belanger was convicted of the manslaughter death of 63-year-old [name withheld] at a Snowdon-area apartment building.

In July 2009, Belanger attacked [name withheld] after he spotted child pornography on the man’s computer.

Belanger became angry and began punching [name withheld] repeatedly.

The victim died in hospital.

[name withheld] was a known sex offender from Ontario.

During a pre-sentencing hearing at the Montreal courthouse Monday afternoon, lawyers debated what sentence the 28-year-old Belanger deserved.

In his arguments, crown attorney Thierry Nadon said a clear message needed to be sent that people should not take justice into their own hands.

On the other side, the defense argued three years behind bars would be enough. In court, lawyer Julien Archambault discussed his client’s alcohol and drug problems, and argued his client was a victim of sexual abuse in his youth.
- So what?  He killed a man in cold blood, and should receive life in prison, IMO.  Just because he may have been sexually abused as a child, doesn't give him the right to murder someone.

Therapist Clement Proulx was one of eight people to testify for Belanger.

This is somebody who has less than one per cent of a chance of recidivism, of committing another crime like that, of committing any crime. He doesn’t have a background of criminal history,” he said.


Predator Panic Making a Comeback

Original Article

See Also: Predator Panic: A Closer Look

03/28/2011

By Larry Magid

I thought we were past the days of "predator panic." Around 2006, when To Catch A Predator was on TV just about weekly, there were lots of news stories about the dangers kids face on the Internet. A federally funded study conducted by the Crimes Against Children Research Center (CACRC) was being commonly misquoted by politicians and media to suggest that 20% of American kids had been approached by an online predator. Attorneys general from around the country were investigating MySpace and other online teen hangouts which were thought by some to be predator playgrounds.

It wasn't true then and it's not true now.

What the Data Show

The very research organization whose data was being misinterpreted helped to set the record straight about predation. It happens, but it’s very rare. That “one in five” (Listen) number referred to unwanted sexual solicitations by — in most cases — other young people. The researchers found that most kids handled the solicitations in stride and that none interviewed had actually engaged in sex with someone that they first met on the Internet. For more on this, see the research center’s Internet fact sheet that explains the actual facts behind the study.

Of course there are some horrendous cases were young people have been groomed by strangers to eventually meet up and engage in sex. Those cases of statutory rape are awful when they occur but they are very rare. And cases of adults entrapping or soliciting pre-pubescent children online are, as far as we know, non-existent. What is far more common are adults engaging in sexual activity with children they know from the real world. According to CACRC, in 2006 arrests of online predators constituted about 1% of all arrests for sex crimes against children and youth.

Fact is, children are many times more likely to be sexually molested by a coach, a teacher, a clergy member, a police officer, a doctor, an uncle or even their own parent than by someone they first encounter online.

Undoubtedly you have heard or read about sexual predators who have been arrested for soliciting minors online. It’s true. There are plenty of cases. In fact, between 2000 and 2006, according to the research summarized in Trends in Arrest of “Online Predators” (PDF) (See inline document below), there was a 21% increase in arrests of offenders who solicited youth online for sex. But during that same time, “there was a 381% increase in arrests of offenders who solicited undercover investigators.” In 2006, according to the research, “of those arrested for soliciting online, 87% solicited undercover investigators and 13% solicited youth.”

In 2009 I had the honor of being on the Internet Safety Technical Task Force (ISTTF) which was set up as a result of an agreement between 49 state attorneys general and MySpace. The task force looked at all peer-reviewed literature on teen and child Internet dangers and concluded “the image presented by the media of an older male deceiving and preying on a young child does not paint an accurate picture of the nature of the majority of sexual solicitations and Internet-initiated offline encounters.” The task force did find that “bullying and harassment, most often by peers, are the most salient threats that minors face, both online and offline.” As I wrote in my summary of the task force report, “Net threat to minors (is) less than feared.” (Listen)

Although some attorneys general wound up dismissing the ISTTF report, its publication was followed by a distinct change in rhetoric on the part of the AGs and the media. The steady stream of articles and speeches about the “epidemic” of risk began to quiet and, increasingly, people involved in youth risk and Internet safety switched their attention to the more likely risks associated with bullying, damage to reputation, privacy and commercial exploitation.

It’s Back

But now I’m starting to see a swing back towards predator panic. It’s not as bad as it was a few years ago, but I am seeing more attention to the still rare phenomena.

Trust, a new movie directed by David Schwimmer and staring Clive Owen, tells the story of a 14 year old girl who “falls in love” with what turns out to be a man in his mid-thirties. The story shows how the perpetrator groomed the girl, starting out by telling her he was 15 and eventually “admitting” he was a graduate student. Only when they met did you realize he was in his thirties. Yet she still had sex with him and would have likely done so repeatedly had a friend of hers not told authorities about the relationship. The movie is actually pretty good, except that it doesn’t put the statistical likelihood of the event into context. At one point in the movie, an FBI agent says that he has a backlog of 2,000 cases, but it’s not revealed that those are rape or statutory rape cases, mostly unrelated to the Internet. For more, see Stephen Balkam’s analysis of Trust on Huffington Post

I’m also seeing an increasing number of articles worrying about predation and even seeing some well respected parenting experts warning kids about the risk. While it’s always good to be aware of any risk, it’s also important to realize that the danger of being harmed by a stranger you meet online is, statistically, very low. Yes, it’s a good idea for youth to think critically about anyone they meet online and not get together with people without bringing along parents or at least a posse of friends, but it’s also important to put this risk into context.

Real Risks

In the mean time, we need to pay more attention to real risks children face including sexual assaults within the home and within their community as well as violence, the effects of poverty and a deplorable diet and lack of exercise which is leading to a vast increase in juvenile diabetes and other health risks.

Sometimes it seems as if we approach Internet safety the way some people approach airline safety by driving recklessly to the airport and then worrying about whether the plane will crash.

Crimes Against Children - Trends in arrests of "Online Predators"
View larger document


VA - Former Petersburg Sheriff's Deputy (Vernard Bailey) Denied Bond on Child Sex Charges

Original Article

03/28/2011

PETERSBURG COUNTY - A former sheriff's deputy accused of trying to have sex with an eleven-year-old was ordered held without bond Monday.

67-year-old Vernard Bailey appeared in a Petersburg court by video conference Monday morning where he was appointed a court attorney.

Bailey was arrested Tuesday, March 22, after an internal investigation by the Petersburg Sheriff's Office brought about sufficient evidence to bring charges against him.

Bailey had been a deputy with the Petersburg Sheriff's Office for 27 years.

He's facing three felony charges: attempting to commit rape of a child, attempted forcible sodomy of a child, and attempted indecent liberties with a child.

A court date is set for May 2nd.


UK - Wife (Samantha Morley) makes false rape claim to hide infidelity

Original Article

03/06/2011

A British woman who claimed that she was raped in order to hide her infidelity was sentenced to one year in prison. She named two men as her attackers.

Samantha Morley, whose husband is a soldier serving in Afghanistan, maintained that she was raped when he found out she became pregnant while he was out of the country, the Daily Mail reported.

Her husband reported the matter to the police, and she repeatedly requested that they should arrest two suspects.

Morley had told investigators she was raped by a stranger in alleyway after drinking with her sister. She even gave police some parts of his name. Officers visited her at home and interviewed her for two hours.

Police even made a montage, which lead to an innocent man's arrest. He was later released.

According to her lawyer, Morley was afraid of losing her husband. She cried as the judge read out her sentence.

The judge, Mary Jane Mowat, said 'The result for the two men suspected of one of the worst crimes in our law was undeniable.'


WA - A Girl’s Nude Photo, and Altered Lives

Original Article

03/26/2011

By JAN HOFFMAN

LACEY - One day last winter Margarite posed naked before her bathroom mirror, held up her cellphone and took a picture. Then she sent the full-length frontal photo to Isaiah, her new boyfriend.

Both were in eighth grade.

They broke up soon after. A few weeks later, Isaiah forwarded the photo to another eighth-grade girl, once a friend of Margarite’s. Around 11 o’clock at night, that girl slapped a text message on it.

Ho Alert!” she typed. “If you think this girl is a whore, then text this to all your friends.” Then she clicked open the long list of contacts on her phone and pressed “send.”

In less than 24 hours, the effect was as if Margarite, 14, had sauntered naked down the hallways of the four middle schools in this racially and economically diverse suburb of the state capital, Olympia. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of students had received her photo and forwarded it.

In short order, students would be handcuffed and humiliated, parents mortified and lessons learned at a harsh cost. Only then would the community try to turn the fiasco into an opportunity to educate.

Around the country, law enforcement officials and educators are struggling with how to confront minors who “sext,” an imprecise term that refers to sending sexual photos, videos or texts from one cellphone to another.

But adults face a hard truth. For teenagers, who have ready access to technology and are growing up in a culture that celebrates body flaunting, sexting is laughably easy, unremarkable and even compelling: the primary reason teenagers sext is to look cool and sexy to someone they find attractive.

Indeed, the photos can confer cachet.

Having a naked picture of your significant other on your cellphone is an advertisement that you’re sexually active to a degree that gives you status,” said Rick Peters, a senior deputy prosecuting attorney for Thurston County, which includes Lacey. “It’s an electronic hickey.”

In the fall of 2009, Margarite, a petite, pretty girl with dark hair and a tiny diamond stud in her nose, was living with her father, and her life was becoming troubled. Her relationship with her father’s new wife was tense. Her grades were in a free fall.

Her social life was deteriorating. A good friendship with a girl had soured, abetted by a fight over a boy. This girl would be the one who would later brand Margarite’s photo and forward it.

Margarite’s former friend is tough and strong-willed, determined to stand out as well as fit in, according to those who know her. Her parents, recent immigrants, speak limited English and were not able to supervise her texting.

In the shifting power dynamics of middle school girls, the former friend understood well that she who sneers first sneers best. The flick of a cutting remark, swiftly followed by “Just kidding!” The eye roll. As the animosity between the two girls escalated, Margarite felt shunned by an entire group of girls and was eating lunch by herself. At home she retreated to her bedroom, alone with her cellphone and computer.

Her mother would later speculate that Margarite desperately needed to feel noticed and special. That December, just before the holidays, she took the photo of herself and sent it to Isaiah, a low-key, likable athlete she had recently gotten to know.

After the winter break, Margarite was preparing a fresh start. She would move back in with her mother and transfer to a school in a nearby district.

But one night in late January, a few days before her transfer, Margarite’s cellphone began vibrating around 1 a.m., waking her. She was being bombarded by texts — alerts from worried friends, leers from boys she scarcely knew.

The next morning in her mother’s car, Margarite lowered her head, hiding her reddened eyes, her terrible secret.