Friday, April 29, 2011

OR - Former U.S. probation officer (Mark John Walker) pleads guilty in sex predator case

Original Article

I am also sick and tired of the media using terms to label people, when the person has not been convicted and labeled a predator yet. Notice in the title they use "predator" and yet this man has not been convicted yet. The media is suppose to be unbiased.

04/29/2011

A former U.S. probation officer, Mark John Walker, 52, of Eugene, Ore., has pleaded guilty to charges related to his engaging in sexual contact or aggravated sexual abuse with female offenders who were under his direct supervision as a federal probation officer from 2006 to 2009. Sentencing is scheduled for July 18, 2011 before Chief U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Beistline, who is a visiting judge from Alaska.

As a U.S. Probation Officer, Walker supervised offenders who were serving probation or supervised release terms imposed by a federal judge, including offenders with vulnerable backgrounds involving sexual abuse, mental illness and drug addiction. Walker had the power to recommend that offenders who violated their conditions of probation or supervised release be incarcerated or otherwise sanctioned. Under the U.S. Constitution and federal law, law enforcement officials cannot use their authority to willfully sexually assault individuals under their control.

While exercising his authority as a probation officer, Walker willfully violated the victims' civil rights by kissing them, touching their breasts, buttocks and inner thighs, and forcing one victim to have sexual intercourse with him when he visited her home as part of his official duties. At the time, he was wearing his badge and carrying his government-issued firearm, and the victim was not able to escape. The victims feared reporting the violations to authorities because they were afraid that no one would believe them and that Walker, as their probation officer, had the power to have them incarcerated or otherwise punished.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, the parties have agreed to recommend that Walker be sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. The defendant will also have to register as a sex offender under the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, and keep the registration current in any state in which he resides, is employed or is a student. Chief Judge Beistline has the authority to accept or reject the joint sentencing recommendation.

"Law enforcement officials violate the public trust when they abuse the rights of individuals under their supervision," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute those who abuse their power in this way."

"Federal Probation Officers are entrusted and empowered by law to serve others," said U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton. "Our criminal justice system is enhanced every day by their dedicated and loyal service. Walker betrayed his fellow officers and abused his power by sexually abusing the vulnerable people he had sworn to help. These victims have been heard."

"We have a very high standard when it comes to the actions of federal officers," said Arthur Balizan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. "This defendant's criminal actions did great harm to women who were already very vulnerable. That is intolerable."

The case has been investigated by the FBI in Eugene, Ore. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Pamala Holsinger, Hannah Horsley and Craig Gabriel are prosecuting the case with assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section.


MD - Baltimore lawyer (David Bart Goldstein) pleads guilty to distributing child pornography

Original Article

04/29/2011

David Bart Goldstein, a Baltimore lawyer, has pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III; and Baltimore City State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.

According to Goldstein's plea agreement, on June 25, 2010, an undercover FBI agent in Newark, New Jersey, launched a publicly available file sharing program, and saw that Goldstein was logged in and was sharing approximately 1,476 files. The undercover agent downloaded 22 images and six videos from Goldstein's shared files. All of the downloaded images contained visual depictions of actual minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Further investigation revealed that in May 2010, Goldstein had paid $29.95 for access to the file sharing program.

As part of his plea agreement, Goldstein must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

Goldstein faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison, followed by up to lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Ellen L. Hollander, has scheduled sentencing for July 27, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Details about Maryland's program are available at www.justice.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul E. Budlow and Bonnie S. Greenberg, who prosecuted the case.


IA - Fifteen years after Iowa's Sex Offender Registry was established, are children any safer?

Original Article

This man is off the registry, yet the vigilante media needs that "hot" story, so they drag his name through the mud for more viewers and ratings!

04/28/2011

By Dan Winters

Tracking and treating convicted sex offenders last year cost $15 million in Iowa. Is it worth it, if a child sex offender can disappear from the state registry and go on to molest more kids? We looked at flaws in the registry, and we found cracks throughout the entire system.

In Iowa, we know who the bad guys are and where they live. Sex offenders convicted of preying on children must reside more than 2,000 feet from a school or a daycare center. We receive email updates in the palms of our hands. "The Sex Offender Registry (SOR) is a tool that folks can use to go to to make decisions about their own public safety," said Special Agent Terry Cowman. Just don't expect to get the whole story. Cowman said that he couldn't give us a list of people who used to be on the registry... people like [name withheld]. In 1996, [name withheld] was convicted of Lascivious Acts with a Minor. He didn't get in trouble for several years after that. He did not re-offend for a period of at least ten years. "If that's the case, then that person is removed from the registry," said Cowman.
- The sex offender laws and residency restrictions apply to all sex offenders, not just those who have harmed children, besides, how many offenders can you tell me about, who have harmed a child at a school, park, day care or bus stop?  And leave it up to the vigilante sensationalized media, to further harm someone's reputation by putting them in the article, when they are off the registry.

[name withheld] was taken off. He lived in a yellow house in Beaverdale. He cared for his elderly parents. He lived more than 2,000 feet away from three elementary schools. But [name withheld] lived just a few hundred feet away from Ashby City Park where kids play every day. He went undetected for years. There was no sign of him on the SOR. Last August, he molested two young girls at Adventureland Amusement Park in Altoona.

A man named Ed said, "We had gone to Adventureland on the fifth of August. We wanted to have a nice day out. I wasn't in line for more than two or three minutes at most, and that's when he molested her." [name withheld] attacked Ed's nine-year-old daughter. Then, he groped another girl at the water park. Ed can't figure out why [name withheld] was ever removed from the site or why so many others disappear. About 15 to 30 sex offenders are removed each month, a couple of hundred each year, and you will never know who they are.

"There is no list available to the public of those offenders that are about to come off, said Cowman. He explained that lawmakers have set it up this way. " As you know, we are restricted under Iowa Code (Chapter) 692A on the information that can and cannot be provided."

They're the same 2,000 foot law inventors who came up with the Sex Offender Treatment and Supervision Task Force. They assigned more than a dozen people just to study the problem and to make recommendations to the legislature. But Agent Cowman's DCI sex offender unit gets just five sworn officers for 5,000 sex offenders.

"The burden to enforce these laws is going to fall somewhere," said Des Moines Police Detective Dana Wingert. Wingert said it falls on local police and sheriff's departments. And they don't get a penny from the state. In Des Moines, it's assigned to Detective Erin Lovejoy. She is the sole person who checks on more than 330 registered sex offenders in the city. When they exit the registry, Lovejoy said, "I don't check on them at all. I do maintain a record on them and files on them because how the law has changed so many times over the years, we never know if it will become retroactive where some of these people may come back on the registry."
- A retroactive law is unconstitutional.  It's called ex post facto, and is forbidden by the state and US constitutions.

"Erring on the side of caution is something that we do on a daily basis. Now, the way the law is written and the way the compliance measures are laid out, that doesn't leave that decision up to us (to keep checking on sex offenders who are not on the registry. It can be frustrating," said Wingert.

So, we spend millions on treatment, we have an incomplete list, an arbitrarily chosen living distance of 2,000 feet, and our police are outnumbered. Many municipalities don't have a single officer dedicated to checking on registered sex offenders. And yet, the real threat is being ignored. 95% of children who are molested know their attacker.
- And might I add, that 95% of the known sex offenders, don't re-offend either.

The agents and detectives say they want you and your family to be as safe as possible. So, they suggest that you do what they do. If you come across someone new who interacts with your child or someone new in your neighborhood, check out the website called "Iowa Courts Online." You can enter a person's name and find their criminal history in the state of Iowa. The information is free, but they said that it will not replace a parent or guardian's watchful eye.


CO - Sex offenders offered hope of redemption in new law

Original Article

04/28/2011

By Joseph Boven

A bipartisan agreement (PDF) designed by members of the Senate to give hope to sex offenders entering into state required treatment passed on 2nd reading Thursday (PDF). Likened to the entrance into the Hades of Dante’s Inferno by one member of the Senate, the existing law, until its sunset, asked the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board to treat sex crimes as a disease with “no known cure.” That section has now been removed and states sex offenses are often repetitive but in some cases are the result of a manageable condition.

I think you could accurately say that the entrance to our current sex management treatment should have that … inscriptionAbandon hope ye who enter here,” Rep. Pat Steadman, D-Denver said, “Because under current law…we had this no-known-cure provision, and it sort of said that these folks are hopeless. I think that that is wrong to ever inscribe hopelessness to anyone under state law.

Sen. Kevin Lundeberg, R-Bethoud, said he agreed with the bipartisan amendment and bill as currently proposed.

I will add one word and that word is mercy,” Lundberg said.

Lundberg commented that the father of a sex offender had explained the process that his son had been “drug through” and said the rigidity of the system was unacceptable.

Senate supporters of the amended version of the bill said that while sex offenses are often repetitive, the one word change to “often” repetitive makes Colorado law more accurate. They said that while in many cases sex offenses are a repetitive behavior that is hardwired into an offenders brain, there are occurrences where that is not the case. They said it was important to give patients in a therapy program hope that they might eventually find a way not to repeat their crime in order to facilitate treatment.

The changes in this year’s re-authorization of the sex offender management board comes after a firestorm of protests erupted last year when the bill saw a similar attempt to augment the no-known-cure provision.

The sex offender management board was created to handle court appointed treatment designed to stop sex offenders from committing sex crimes in the future. It is responsible for the implementation of the treatment though the board is required to use the treatment philosophy prescribed by the Legislature.

The new language for the identification and evaluation of sex offenders states:

THE PROCEDURES SHALL PROVIDE FOR AN EVALUATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF THE ADULT SEX OFFENDER AND RECOMMEND MANAGEMENT, MONITORING, AND TREATMENT BASED UPON EXISTING RESEARCH DEMONSTRATING THAT SEXUALLY OFFENDING BEHAVIOR IS OFTEN REPETITIVE, AND THAT THERE IS CURRENTLY NO WAY TO ENSURE THAT ADULT SEX OFFENDERS WITH THE PROPENSITY TO COMMIT SEXUAL OFFENSES WILL NOT REOFFEND. BECAUSE THERE ARE ADULT SEX OFFENDERS WHO CAN LEARN TO MANAGE UNHEALTHY PATTERNS AND LEARN BEHAVIORS THAT CAN LESSEN THEIR RISK TO SOCIETY IN THE COURSE OF ONGOING TREATMENT,MANAGEMENT, AND MONITORING, THE BOARD SHALL DEVELOP A PROCEDURE FOR EVALUATING AND IDENTIFYING, ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS, RELIABLY LOWER-RISK SEX OFFENDERS.

The bill also includes a new provision that labels juveniles committing sex offenses as a “Juvenile who has committed a sexual offense” as opposed to the previous label “sex offender,” which is ascribed to adults.

With this one word I hope we bring about a change in philosophy that our sex offender board uses as it approaches sex offender management treatment,” Steadman said. “So that we can offer hope and offer a path back into the community of not offending, of not being a public safety risk and of working your way through our public management treatment system.”


AZ - Falsely accused freed by DNA test

Original Article

04/28/2011

By MEGHAN McCARTHY

DNA testing helped to free 27-year-old [name withheld] from prison in late December after he was wrongly convicted of rape.

[name withheld] served seven and a half years of a 14-year sentence for a crime he was innocent of,” said Katie Puzauskas, an attorney and co-director of the Arizona Justice Project at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law. “Without DNA testing, we never would have been able to prove this.”

Nationally, 268 defendants have been exonerated with DNA evidence.

Puzauskas said that DNA evidence can often “make or break cases.”

Applicants, who are inmates in the state’s prisons, write to the Arizona Justice Project, known by the acronym AJP, and are then asked to fill out a DNA questionnaire. The questionnaire determines whether DNA testing will support their cases. If an applicant is accepted, the AJP will obtain DNA samples and send them to either a public or private lab in Arizona.

The labs we use have to be accredited, meaning they follow the federal government’s standards,” Puzauskas said. She said that above all, the DNA must have been preserved properly in order to send it in for testing.

According to Todd Griffith, superintendent of the Arizona Crime Lab of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, most of the DNA evidence in criminal cases has been obtained recently, but with the AJP cases some of the samples are decades old. If the sample has not been stored properly, in a cold and dry environment, then testing is not possible.

Since DNA started playing an active role in criminal cases, there have been significant advancements in technology,” Puzauskas said. “Now, you can test DNA the size of a needle head, whereas 10 years ago the sample needed to be as large as a quarter. This helps a lot with our cases.”

According to Puzauskas, sexual assault cases work the best with DNA testing because there usually is only one perpetrator and doctors typically use a rape kit on victims following the assault.

The most common type of DNA testing for a sexual assault cases in the AJP is called Y-STR — the kind that eventually freed [name withheld]. It tests samples that are on the male-specific Y chromosome. Since there is no female evidence in the Y-STR, the male component is easily detected.

The Y-STR testing is very reliable, Puzauskas said. The DNA test left no doubt that [name withheld] had not committed the crime.

Puzauskas said DNA can help solve crimes, but it is also instrumental in preventing wrongful convictions.

If we start to use it more, it will be incredibly influential in preventing wrongful convictions,” she said.


AZ - Fulton Brock Divorce From Sex Offender Wife Will Not be Sealed, Judge Rules

Original Article

04/29/2011

By James King

The circus that is the family of Maricopa County Supervisor Fulton Brock will continue to play out publicly, the judge hearing Brock's divorce case from his somewhat-estranged wife [name withheld] ruled yesterday.

Mrs. Brock is serving a 13-year prison sentence for molesting a teenage family friend for more than three years

The county supervisor had sought to seal the case because details could damage his political career, and hurt his 14-year-old daughter who still lives with him in his Chandler home.

"Any public interest regarding this matter is due only to [Fulton's] position as an elected public official and due to the sordid nature of the charges against [name withheld]," Brock's lawyer wrote in the motion to seal the case.

[name withheld] did not oppose the motion, but Judge Robert Miles denied it. In his ruling, Miles noted that he would consider sealing future filings.

[name withheld]'s currently in prison, but it remains unclear what the county supervisor knew about his wife's relationship with her teen victim before her arrest last October.

A year before [name withheld]'s arrest, Fulton and [name withheld] met with the victim's parents and officials within the Mormon Church to discuss whether [name withheld] was sexually abusing the boy.

[name withheld] denied the charges to the kid's parents, her husband, and church officials, but the suspicion was there -- everyone in the room that day knew about it, including Fulton Brock -- and the abuse continued for another year before [name withheld] was arrested.

About a year after the meeting with Mormon Church officials, the boy's teenage girlfriend discovered text messages on a phone Brock had bought for him that revealed he'd been cheating on her -- with [name withheld].

Fulton Brock was told about the text messages, and that his wife had admitted to abusing the boy, but he didn't call police -- he called the Mormon Church.

The cat was out of the bag -- Fulton Brock, the victim's parents, and Mormon Church officials all knew of the abuse. But it took more than two weeks for anyone to bother calling police.

Fulton Brock has declined repeated invitations from New Times to tell his side of the story.


Miss USA Susie Castillo Sexually Assaulted TSA Style