Wednesday, April 27, 2011

SOSEN Spring 2011 Newsletter (Mark Lunsford is clueless on how his son being on a registry would destroy his son)

FL - Interviews Orlando

Sent to us via the contact form

Dear Sir/Madam,

How are you? My name is Thys Roes, and I'm a reporter with RTL Television from the Netherlands. It would be great if I could to someone from your organization about a story that we're working on.

We've been following the extreme SO laws in Florida for a while now, and next week we're going to be in the Orlando area to report on them. Is there a way you can me help me on my way with this? We'd gladly ask if you would be available for an interview as well.

So if you could get back to me, then that would be great. My number is 347 822 3094, and my email address is

Kindest regards,

Thijs Roes

OH - Lebanon approves sex offender 'buffer zone'

Original Article


LEBANON - City Council has unanimously approved an ordinance that creates 300-foot buffers for sex offenders around areas children frequent.

Sex offenders will not be allowed within 300 feet of schools. The buffer also applies to places such as playgrounds, YWCAs, YMCAs, libraries, youth campgrounds, youth sports facilities, parks and skating rinks during times the facilities are used by children.

Violators face a fine not to exceed $500 or can be jailed for no more than 60 days, or both.

PA - Retired state trooper (Lawrence W. McElroy) caught in teen sex sting

Original Article


By Jonathan D. Silver

The state attorney general's child predator unit has charged a retired state trooper from Venango County with sexually propositioning a fictitious 13-year-old girl online and trying to meet her Monday in Canonsburg.

Lawrence W. McElroy, 61, of Cooperstown, was arrested in a sting set up by an undercover attorney general's agent and Canonsburg police.

In his car authorities found Viagra, lubricant and gifts he had allegedly promised to bring for the phantom girl, the attorney general's office said.

Mr. McElroy, who police say went by the online handle of "Iamtheone7890" in an Internet chat room, is charged with felony counts of unlawful contact with a minor and criminal use of a communication facility.

Mr. McElroy is a substitute teacher in Franklin, Venango County, and a former state police sergeant.

District Judge David W. Mark arraigned Mr. McElroy and set bail at $250,000.

Mr. McElroy is the third current or former police officer to be arrested since February by the child predator unit.

Ex-Bridgeville Officer James W. Radermacher, 48, was charged last week with propositioning who he believed to be 13- and 14-year-old girls. In February, Trooper Douglas N. Sversko, 43, of Lewisburg, Union County, was arrested for sending an undercover agent he thought was a teenage girl a racy video of himself.

GA - Lawyer (Robbie M. Levin) Who Exposed Self to Teenager Gets 24-Month License Suspension

Original Article

This is the kind of stuff that ticks me off. I know people who have done less, and are punished for life, while this person sent videos of himself masturbating to a child, and is still practicing law and is not on the state sex offender registry. Where is the justice in that?


By Janet L. Conley

The Supreme Court of Georgia on Tuesday suspended for 24 months the law license of Robbie M. Levin, who in 2010 pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors related to his sending webcam images that show him touching his genitals to a 16-year-old girl and urging her to lie to her parents about meeting him.

Levin, who was 36 at the time of his arrest in 2007 and has practiced law since 1996, will be eligible for reinstatement if a professional counselor confirms that he remains rehabilitated, the court said in a per curiam opinion that suggested a split over some of the decision's reasoning.

The justices chose the top of the 12- to 24-month suspension range recommended by the State Bar of Georgia, raising his punishment beyond the six-month suspension recommended by a special master.

That special master, Dean C. Bucci, had determined, according to the court opinion, that while Levin's "sexual behavior was out of control ... he does not meet the criteria for pedophilia," and that mitigating factors in his case outweighed aggravating factors, and included no prior disciplinary history, "no personal or emotional problems" and "good character and a positive reputation."

Levin, in an interview Tuesday, said that he had not yet seen the court's opinion and did not know if he would seek reconsideration. Clearly upset by the high court's ruling, Levin said, "I shouldn't have been sending pictures over the Internet ... [but] millions of people do this every day, and they don't get charged with crimes."
- They do not send videos of themselves masturbating to a child.

He said that five years after the incident, "I'm suffering two more years of this punishment." He noted that his case has gotten a great deal of media attention and said that because of this, he believes the Supreme Court "wanted to make an example of me."
- And others, who are not lawyers, who did less than you, are suffering for life!

He said he felt misled, explaining, "I was told when I entered my misdemeanor plea five years ago that the bar wouldn't take any action against me. ... That's the only reason I took the plea."
- So then, they broke their contract.  You are a lawyer, sue them.

He said that both his lawyer at the time and the trial judge told him that what he had done "would not rise to the level of a crime of moral turpitude."

Levin's case turned on arguments about whether his conduct was a crime of moral turpitude affecting his fitness to practice law, given that neither the girl nor her family were clients of his, and the behavior occurred in a personal, rather than professional, context.

A violation of Georgia Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4, one of the rules at issue in the case, may trigger a penalty as severe as disbarment if a lawyer's crimes are a "misdemeanor involving moral turpitude where the underlying conduct relates to the lawyer's fitness to practice law."

Cases such as Levin's, which involve personal conduct, said Paula J. Frederick, the bar's general counsel, "are not necessarily easy or obvious cases for us to deal with."

The bar's deputy general counsel, Jenny K. Mittelman, argued, according to the court opinion, that even though Levin did not commit the crimes in the context of his law practice, his conduct went beyond issues of personal morality because he attempted to manipulate a minor, and that "his conduct demonstrates indifference to his legal obligations and implicates his honesty and trustworthiness."

According to the court opinion, Levin asked the girl's mother, who was a friend of his, for permission to contact her. He then contacted her via Facebook and after four or five communications, unbeknownst to him, began corresponding not with the girl but with an undercover officer. After receiving some "regular" photographs of Levin, the undercover officer asked for photos that showed "more," according to court documents filed by Levin's lawyer, Colette Resnik Steel of The Steel Law Firm.

Levin then sent video of himself masturbating, according to the court opinion. He was arrested and charged with felony charges, exploitation of children, and with misdemeanors, criminal attempt to contribute to the delinquency of a minor and electronically furnishing obscene materials to a minor.

Steel said the felony charges were subsequently dismissed when prosecutors "realized that they didn't have the necessary elements" to bring a felony charge, and the case was transferred from Clayton County Superior Court to Clayton State Court.
- What more do you need?  You had a video of him masturbating to a child as well as photos.

Levin's case, she said, took some time to wend its way through the system because he ran a private law practice focusing on representation before the Clayton County courts, which meant most of those judges recused and the case ultimately was heard before a visiting judge. Levin said the girl's family also had connections to many of the judges.

Levin pleaded in January 2010 to two misdemeanors: distribution of obscene material and criminal attempt to interfere with custody.

Prior to his plea, he voluntarily stopped practicing law for six months, according to the high court's opinion, and sought treatment from the Behavioral Medicine Institute of Atlanta. He participated in 54 weeks of specialized sex offender treatment, according to the opinion, and continues to attend monthly, 90-minute group therapy sessions. He also performed almost 300 hours of community service prior to entering his pleas.

He was sentenced to 40 days in jail and served 20, the court opinion says, and for each count received 12 months' probation, 100 hours of community service, and a $1,000 fine, which he has paid.

The opinion also notes that he married in 2007 and is now working as a lawyer again.

Levin argued in court documents that he did not commit crimes of moral turpitude because his actions did not involve "violence, dishonesty, breach of trust or serious interference with the administration of justice, and do not affect [his] fitness to practice law" under Rule 8.4.

According to the court's opinion, Levin also argued that there was no breach of trust because there first had to be a relationship where trust was a factor, such as an attorney/client relationship, and that his conduct fell within "the context of personal morality having no connection to the fitness to practice law."

He also argued that because he had voluntarily stopped practicing law for six months, the high court should find that he had retroactively satisfied any discipline requirements.

Instead, the justices found that the aggravating factors in Levin's case outweighed the mitigating factors and, "as Levin committed acts of moral turpitude involving his fitness to practice law, a longer suspension is appropriate."

Steel said that she had not yet spoken to her client but added that while it would be possible to motion for reconsideration, the 7-0 opinion would make doing so "a true challenge."

Four of the court's seven justices -- Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein, Presiding Justice George H. Carley and Justices Robert Benham and Hugh P. Thompson -- concurred in the judgment only but did not issue any opinions explaining where the court disagreed.

In disciplinary opinions, most of which are per curiam, "it's hard to tell who has sided where sometimes," said Frederick.

She said that she has not noticed a split among the justices in disciplinary matters focused on an attorney's private sexual misconduct. But, she added, in some cases where there was no criminal conviction, she has noticed that Hunstein has indicated "that the court was not as strict on sexual misconduct by lawyers as maybe it should have been."

Steel said that in the context of lawyer discipline, "The case law shows that Justice Hunstein has always had a particular sensitivity to lawyers who have committed crimes involving women and children."

In one of her motions, Steel also noted that the high court over the years has "grappled with the scope and criteria for misdemeanor crimes involving moral turpitude in the context of disciplinary proceedings against lawyers." She cited a string of cases to show how the court's view of this has evolved to support an argument that disciplinary rules come into play "only where the actions or crimes bear on the lawyer's fitness to practice law."

Another issue which may have factored into the four justices' concurrence in the judgment only in Levin's case could relate to a split over whether a lawyer's prior criminal punishment should be considered a mitigating factor in a discipline case.

In a disciplinary opinion handed down last week, which was cited in the Levin opinion, Justice David E. Nahmias wrote in a concurrence that prior criminal punishment should not be considered a factor mitigating against lawyer discipline. But he noted that the court on other occasions has indicated that it should be.

The justices in Levin's case cited that opinion, In the Matter of Ortman, No. S1Y0222, finding that the special master in Levin's case "should not have relied upon the imposition of a criminal penalty as a mitigating factor."

Nahmias, in the Ortman opinion, wrote, "I believe the Court needs to decide how it will treat this factor and needs to be consistent in that treatment."

The case is In the Matter of Robbie M. Levin, No. S11Y0598 (PDF).

GA - Consensual 'sexting' by teens can be criminal

Original Article


By Jennifer Leslie

ATLANTA -- Sexually explicit cell phone images of teens can lead to criminal charges for the sender and receiver, according to former DeKalb County District Attorney J. Tom Morgan.

Morgan appeared on 11Alive News Today on Tuesday to talk about his book, Ignorance Is No Defense: A Teenager's Guide to Georgia Law. Morgan said most parents and teenagers have no idea that "sexting" can have dire consequences, even when it's consensual.

"They think it's a private thing with no ramifications," Morgan told 11Alive's Donna Lowry. "They can be charged with child pornography and end up on the sex offender registry."

Morgan said as many as one in four teens admit to sending or receiving sexually graphic text messages. He said it starts in middle school.

"Parents are so out of touch," he said. "The technology available to our children is beyond our comprehension."

Morgan said parents should not wait to talk with their children, and they should repeat the message like a broken record.

"Kids don't realize that if they end up on the sex offender registry, they can't go to college," Morgan said. "They can't live within 100 feet of a church, and most college campuses have churches."
- This is a typo, it's 1,000 feet.

Morgan said child pornography laws can apply to sexually explicit images if any party involved is under 18. And that can lead to steep legal ramifications, including felony charges that carry sentences of up to 20 years in prison.

Here's another surprising fact. Morgan said it doesn't matter if a child is the original sender of the material, a recipient, or "only" forwarding something that was sent to him or her.

"Any and all involvement with a sexting scandal can have serious legal repercussions," Morgan points out. "If your child is a recipient, tell your child to delete the material immediately and never to forward it."

Taking Back My Life Erin Merryn on Montel

Erin Merryn
About the Author:
Erin Merryn (Blog) is the author of Stolen Innocence and Living for Today, memoirs about incest and rape. She graduated in May 2009 with a Master’s degree in Social Work from Aurora University. A leading participant in Take Back the Night, her goal is to raise awareness of abuse in order to end the stigma and silence. Since 2004 she has been traveling across America giving inspirational and motivational speeches at national conferences, community events, Children’s Advocacy Centers, colleges, and high schools. She has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America and Montel Williams. Her writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, Daily Herald, and Teen Voices, among others. Erin spends her time between the suburbs of Chicago and Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Stolen Innocence

About The Book:
Eleven-year-old Erin Merryn's life was transformed on the night she was sexually abused by her cousin, someone she loved and trusted. As the abuse continued, and as she was forced to see her abuser over and over again in social situations, she struggled with self-doubt, panic attacks, nightmares and the weight of whether or not to tell her terrible secret. It wasn't until a traumatic series of events showed her the cost of silence that she chose to speak out-in the process destroying both her family and the last of her innocence.

Through her personal diary, written during the years of her abuse, Erin Merryn shares her journey through pain and confusion to inner strength and, ultimately, forgiveness. Raw, powerful and unflinchingly honest, Stolen Innocence is the inspiring story of one girl's struggle to become a woman, and a bright light on the pain and devastation of abuse.

Living for Today: From Incest and Molestation to Fearlessness and Forgiveness

About The Book:
Fans of Erin Merryn's heart-wrenching debut memoir Stolen Innocence were left wondering what would become of an emotionally fragile Erin after her confrontation with the reality and repercussions of being a child of incest and molestation. In Living for Today, Erin chronicles how she cultivated the strength to face her abuser and eventually found relief from years of emotional restlessness, while also igniting the beginnings of a new fearless journey. Living for Today chronicles that journey, which began with the unearthing of private shame, releasing of ugly memories, letting go of guilt, and becoming the mouthpiece of millions of her generation.

In Living for Today, anyone who has felt victimized, ashamed, isolated, and silenced by their abusers will receive a roadmap for self-discovery, forgiveness, and empowerment. With real compassion and wisdom, this book can help readers overcome trauma and live fully and fearlessly for today.

Stolen Innocence: Memoir

About The Book:
In her diary Erin Merryn reveals how her life was transformed one night when, as an eleven-year-old, she was sexually abused in her grandparents condo by her cousin, someone she loved and trusted.

It was just the beginning of a long journey. The abuse continued and Erin struggled with the secret that hung over her, a secret that eventually destroyed a family and took Erin's innocence.

Through her personal diary, Erin shares her journey to find her inner strength and to move on in life. Erin searches her soul to see if she can ever move on with her life and forgive the man that hurt her.

Stolen Innocence is a disturbing yet inspiring diary that gives you the inside personal life of a survivor of incest.

Internet Porn Has Transformed Sexual Desire, Study Finds

Original Article


A new book, which analyzes a billion web searches from around the world, highlights the way in which the Internet apparently revolutionized sexual desires, making tastes once regarded as deviant more widespread.

(Website) "A Billion Wicked Thoughts," by Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam (Facebook), is billed as the first massive research in the field of collective sexual identity since the Kinsey Reports in the mid-20th century, the New York Post reported.

According to the authors' research, straight men enjoy a wider variety of erotica than previously thought, including sites devoted to elderly women and transsexuals.

The findings also indicated that straight men prefer heavy women to thin ones and that straight women enjoy reading about and watching romances between two men. Gay men were found to enjoy straight porn in large numbers.

"Sex therapists haven't known which interests are common and which are rare," co-author Ogas said. "We probably now know more than ever before ... we just let the data tell us where to go."

Though the information sent them to Japanese anime sites (exceptionally popular among straight men) or to "cuckold porn" (in which men are forced to watch their wives have sex with someone else), it unearthed an even more surprising finding: 80 percent of all Internet searches are composed of just 20 interests.

According to the search engine Dogpile -- which provided the authors with search data from Google, Yahoo! and Bing -- the top 10 sex-related searches include variations on youth (13.5 percent), breasts (4 percent), cheating wives (3.4 percent) and cheerleaders (0.1 percent) among others.

"The research, as far as I can tell, is pretty damn sound," said Dr. Stephen Snyder, a sex therapist in private practice in Manhattan for over 20 years. "They worked very hard to acquire a large data set, and they found some very, very interesting stuff."

"Web porn has changed everything," said the book's co-author Gaddam.

Whereas once men may not have had access to unique sets of sexual triggers, now that they do, and now that we know large numbers of men are searching for them, perhaps male desire is evolving.

NC - Once again, sheriff Elks doesn't use facts when conducting a sex offender sweep

Original Article


By Alex Freedman

GREENVILLE - A sweep by local law enforcement aimed at cracking down on registered sex offenders ended with more than 10 people under arrest and off the streets today.

So Nine on Your Side wanted to know how a process like this keeps your neighborhood safe.

More than 40 law enforcement officers from sheriff deputies, to police officers, to U.S. Marshals combed Pitt County, checking up on registered sex offenders and Nine On Your Side was there.
- Yes, must be a slow news day, so the media comes along to make the police look good, and they get their ratings on sensationalism.

Sheriff Neil Elks
"Like one big department working together, everyone's ready to go," said Neil Elks (Email), Pitt County Sheriff, "I asked the question 'do we know where they're all at?' and I can't give a good answer on that, so we put this effort together with the U.S. Marshals to go out and be able to get everybody accounted for."

Accounting for people like registered sex offender, 58-year-old [name withheld]. Now living just outside of Greenville.

"We found some antique looking swords, also found some photographs that, at this point and time, we feel is inappropriate for him to be in possession of," said Sheriff Elks.

10 teams of four visited more than 200 homes, like this one in Ayden, where 32-year-old [name withheld] was already in hand-cuffs when our crew arrived on scene.

"These guys will offend again and every time they do it, it seems to be a little more progress in that area where it's getting worst every time," said Sheriff Elks.
- As usual, an ignorant person, in this case a sheriff, helps disinformation continue to spread by citing bogus statistics or sound-bites he has heard before instead of facts. The fact is, most sex offenders do not re-offend, and that is not me saying that, but many TRUE studies on recidivism. See the comment at the end, which disproves the sound bite this sheriff has said.

For both men it'll be more time off the streets and in jail.

Something that Sheriff Elks says will keep your neighborhoods safe.

"We want to send a message to Pitt County. If you think you're going to come here and be able to hide out and offend our children, you're wrong," he said.

With law enforcement officers sworn in under the U.S. Marshal’s banner, their jurisdiction and authority is expanded, meaning there’s not many places left to hide.

Most of the people arrested today where charged with probation violations; however, more charges could be added as the investigations continue.
- And here, the reporter puts the sheriff in his place, and points out the fact that they were not arrested for another sex crime, but technicalities, which is not the same, so the sheriff is ignoring facts and just repeating sound bites he has heard over the years.

Registered Sex Offenders in Your Church?