Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Child Refuge - A couple videos

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Child Molestation Recovery: Daniel's Story

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A Child Molested. Break the Silence

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OH - Ross County - Stoops to Extortion Fees for Sex Offenders

Original Article

No other criminal has to pay fees to stay out of jail/prison, this is basically extortion!

06/15/2011

By Terri Sullivan

ROSS COUNTY – A house with a big porch in a nice neighborhood. A dream for many.

But, a bad dream if you're a sex offender. Ross County Sheriff George Lavender wants to discourage people convicted of sex crimes from moving to his county.
- What about charging drug dealers, DUI offenders, and all other criminals as well?

"We want to make sure that they're just not staying here ‘cause we don't impose a fee and other counties do," Ross County Sheriff George Lavender told ABC6/Fox28 News’ Terri Sullivan Wednesday.
- So I guess if everyone else jumped off a cliff, you'd follow them?

"We've seen some stuff on Facebook, where they've listed Ross County and Highland County and a couple of others that don't charge fees, and we don't want to be targeted just cause we don't charge fees."
- And I guess you just want everyone to take your word for it?  How about providing proof!

The sheriff says it would also generate a little revenue, helping to cover other police duties. Felons would pay, based on the severity of their crime -- anywhere from $25 a year to $100 for sexual predators.
- Yeah, and the mafia charges an extortion fee for protection as well, doesn't mean it's right!

People who talked to Sullivan had mixed reviews.

"They probably couldn't get a job because they're a sex offender," Alonzo Lenoir said. "Don't know how you're gonna enforce it, and collect. All it's going to do is keep putting them in jail ‘cause they're not paying the fine."

But, Julie Menefee says she sees things differently.

"They need to be registered and charged to be in the city."
- Easy to say until you or a loved one is hit with the extortion fees!

Sheriff Lavender says she plans to present the proposal to the county prosecutor, who has the power to approve it.
- I think the sheriff is a man, not a woman, and I don't think the prosecutor has this power, it has to be made into a law.


The Advantages of Group Therapy v Individual Therapy


IL - 60 days for cop (Juan Rodriguez) who watched (child) porn in squad car

Juan Rodriguez
Original Article

01/14/2011

By Art Barnum

A retired Illinois State Police trooper who admitted viewing child pornography on a state-issued laptop computer while sitting in his squad car supposedly looking for speeding motorists was sentenced today to 60 days in the DuPage County Jail.

Juan Rodriguez, 51, of Glen Ellyn, a 27-year veteran of the Illinois State Police, pleaded guilty today to official misconduct and possession of child pornography. He is to begin serving his sentence later this year following the completion of a sex offender evaluation.

Assistant State's Attorney Helen Kapas Erdman told Judge George Bakalis that Rodriguez's name first appeared in connection with child pornography during a 2003 federal investigation into child pornography sites, and then again in 2008 when another federal investigation showed him viewing child pornography sites and using a personal credit card to pay $99 to join a website.

The investigation led back to the defendant’s state-issued laptop, which he used while he was on duty for Illinois State Police District 15, the tollway division. He was assigned to an overtime detail designed to run traffic patrols.

"He was using the ISP mobile data computer in his squad to view and download these images," Kapas Erdman said.

"He claimed to have his interest sparked by newspaper articles and he wanted to see what the big deal was," she said. Bakalis was told that Rodriguez looked at the websites two or three times a year over six years.

Bakalis also sentenced Rodriguez to 30 months of sex offender probation and ordered him to register for life as a child sex offender and pay a $2,000 fine.

"He denies ever having touched a child in a sexual manner," said Brian Telander, defense attorney. "He is a decorated Navy veteran."

Rodriguez retired from the state police before he was charged in 2009, but was aware of the investigation.

Rodriguez declined comment today.

"He claimed he was bored on the overtime shift and the obsession overcame him," Kapas Erdman told Bakalis. "He claims it sparked his interest, but not sexual desire. However, he did claim he would view them at times before having relations with his girlfriend."

The defendant has no previous criminal record and faced up to five years in prison. Kapas Erdman said he is expected to lose his pension because of a felony conviction.


CA - Former police officer (Mark Joseph Hawes) sentenced in California on child sex charges

Original Article

Boy, California and Florida are loaded with sex offender officers. Just click the "CRIME-POLICE" label above and see for yourself!

06/15/2011

FORT PAYNE — Authorities say a former Rainsville and Fort Payne police officer was sentenced in California on 17 counts of felony child molestation.

Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully says 47-year-old Mark Joseph Hawes was found guilty on May 17 of acts including lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14, oral sex with a child 10 years or younger, unlawful sexual intercourse and sodomy.

He was sentenced to 34 years and eight months in California prison.

Scully says Hawes was molesting two girls for more than eight years.


Perverted Justice - Sex offender laws represent the triumph of outrage over reason

Maureen Kanka
Original Article

06/2011

By Jacob Sullum

If we had been aware of his record,” says Maureen Kanka, “my daughter would be alive today.” She is referring, in a statement on the website of an anti-crime group she founded, to Jesse Timmendequas, a neighbor in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, who raped and murdered her 7-year-old daughter, Megan, in 1994. Three months later, the state legislature enacted Megan’s Law, which created a publicly accessible registry of sex offenders.

Without the registry,” says Shirley Turner, “he would still be alive today.” She is referring, in a 2006 interview with Human Rights Watch, to her 24-year-old son, William Elliot. He was murdered that year by a pedophile-hunting Canadian gunman who found his name and address in Maine’s online database of sex offenders. Elliot’s crime: When he was 19, he had sex with his girlfriend, who was three weeks shy of 16, the age of consent in Maine.
- And yet no law was made in his name to honor his death?

The panic that followed Megan Kanka’s murder produced an alarm system that often fails to distinguish between dangerous predators like Timmendequas, who had a record of assaulting little girls, and nonviolent lawbreakers like Elliot, who posed no discernible threat to the general public. They are all mixed together in the online registries of sex offenders that every state is required to maintain as a condition of receiving federal law enforcement funding—a mandate imposed by another Megan’s Law, enacted by Congress in 1996.

Registration only rarely leads to murder, but it routinely ruins relationships, triggers ostracism and harassment, and impedes education and employment. These burdens are compounded by state and local laws that ban sex offenders from living near schools, parks, day care centers, and other locations where children congregate. Such restrictions, which often apply even if an offender’s crime had nothing to do with children, can be so extensive that entire cities are effectively off limits. In Miami local residence restrictions have given rise to a colony of more than 70 sex offenders who live under the Julia Tuttle Causeway, a bridge that crosses Biscayne Bay.
- I disagree, see here, here and here.

Shirley Turner, Husband and son William Elliot
Some sex offenders, including nonviolent ones, will not live to see the underside of a bridge because they receive sentences that keep them behind bars until they die. Two decades of ever-more-punitive legislation have produced sentencing rules so bizarre and byzantine that the punishment for possessing images of sexually abused children can be more severe than the punishment for sexually abusing them. And even prisoners who complete their sentences may not go free, since the federal government and about half of the states have laws authorizing the indefinite civil commitment of sex offenders who would otherwise be released.

American policies regarding sex offenders mark them as a special category of criminals for whom no stigma is too crippling, no regulations are too restrictive, and no penalty is too severe. This attitude, driven by fear and outrage, is fundamentally irrational, and so are its results, which make little sense in terms of justice or public safety. Like the lustful predators of their nightmares, Americans pondering the right way to deal with sex offenders seem captive to their passions.

‘I Am on the Registry for Having Premarital Sex’

The public branding of sex offenders through online registries is a reaction to horrible, highly publicized crimes, such as Megan Kanka’s murder, in which strangers abduct, rape, and kill children. But this sort of crime is exceedingly rare. Data from the Justice Department’s National Crime Victimization Survey indicate that more than 90 percent of sexually abused minors are assaulted by relatives or acquaintances—people they trust. (According to the same survey, strangers commit just one in four sexual assaults on adults. They commit only 14 percent of sexual assaults reported to police.) Furthermore, according to a 1997 Justice Department study, nearly nine out of 10 people arrested for sex offenses have no prior convictions for this category of crime, so they would not show up in sex offender registries.

Meanwhile, the people on sex offender lists may pose little or no threat. A 2007 report by Human Rights Watch found that “at least 28 states require registration as a sex offender for someone convicted of having consensual sex with another teenager, if the offender was either age 17 or two years older than the other party.” Eleven states set no minimum age difference. “It’s one thing if you are a 40-year-old having sex with a 13-year-old,” says the report’s co-author and editor, Jamie Fellner, senior adviser to the U.S. Program of Human Rights Watch. “It’s another thing if you’re a 17-year-old boy having sex with your 16-year-old or 15-year-old girlfriend. Registration as a sex offender is just completely inappropriate there, does nothing to promote public safety, but ruins lives.”

A man who was convicted of statutory rape when he was 16 for having consensual sex with his 14-year-old girlfriend told Human Rights Watch: “We were in love. And now we are married. So it’s like I am on the registry for having premarital sex. Does having premarital sex make me a danger to society? My wife doesn’t think so.”

The Human Rights Watch report also found that at least five states required registration for offenses related to adult prostitution, at least 13 required registration for public urination, and at least 32 required registration for exposing one’s genitals in public. And from the information given in a registry, which typically is limited to a vague legal description of the offense, it is often hard to tell what someone did to end up there. “Without any further information, it is difficult to provide reasonable steps that people can take to help keep themselves safe,” says Maia Christopher, executive director of the Association for Treatment of Sexual Abusers. “Just knowing that there is someone living next door to you who’s committed a sexual offense doesn’t necessarily give you enough information to know what you’re supposed to do about it.” In fact, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Connecticut’s sex offender registry in 2003, it did so partly because the state expressly disavowed any claims about the “current dangerousness” of the people in its electronic pillory, which meant they did not have a due process right to a hearing on that question.

Consider the case of Tony Washington, a promising college football player whose professional career was derailed by a conversation-stopping offense he committed almost a decade ago: At the age of 16, he had consensual sex with his 15-year-old sister. A 2010 profile of Washington in ESPN magazine explained the context of this forbidden liaison: a troubled, dispiriting childhood in the rougher sections of New Orleans, where Washington was constantly threatened by violence and had few sources of emotional support. Although he overcame a deprived background to become a star player at Abilene Christian University in Texas, his taboo-breaking transgression has deterred professional teams from drafting him and will mark him until the day he dies.

If you search for Washington’s name in the Texas sex offender registry or the U.S. Justice Department’s nationwide database, you will see photographs, a physical description, his date of birth, and his home address. His offense is listed as “prohibited sexual conduct,” which most people, given the context, will assume refers to some sort of predatory crime. Few people will bother to look up the Texas statute explaining that consensual sex with several different kinds of relatives, including adopted siblings and first cousins, qualifies for this label, triggering the same lifelong registration requirement that applies to rapists and child molesters. (On its face, the law even covers sex between first cousins who were legally married in one of the 25 states that allow such unions.) Whatever you may think of Washington’s crime, it hardly marks him as a public menace whom women and children should fear, let alone as someone who will be a danger to others even when he is old and infirm.

Washington’s case illustrates another way in which the legal treatment of sex offenders is unusual. Although the records of juvenile offenses typically are sealed, sex registration is public, and it applies even to people who, like Washington, committed their offenses as teenagers or children. According to The Dallas Morning News, the sex offender registry in Texas, where Washington lives, includes about 4,000 people who were minors when they committed their crimes, a quarter of whom were under 14. Human Rights Watch interviewed the father of a 10-year-old boy accused of touching his 5-year-old cousin’s genitals. “My son doesn’t really understand what sex is,” he told the group, “so it’s hard to help him understand why he has to register as a sex offender.” This policy of tarring minors as sex offenders undermines a central aim of the juvenile justice system by burdening people with the mistakes of their youth for the rest of their lives.


NY - Two Potsdam women (Christine and Miranda Laraby) accused of threatening to accuse man of rape if he didn't give them a car

Original Article

06/08/2011

POTSDAM - Two Potsdam women are accused of threatening to falsely accuse a man of rape if he didn't give them a car.

Village police say that Christine L. Laraby, 45, and Miranda L. Laraby, 17, threatened a man that they would report to police that he had physically abused and raped Miranda Laraby if he did not sign over his vehicle to the defendants with a note saying that they had paid him $500 cash for it.

Police say the defendants subsequently took possession of the man's 1997 Subaru Legacy.

The police allege that the women subsequently told the victim that if he did not buy new tires for the vehicle and give them $500, they would carry through on their earlier threat.

Both women were charged with second-degree coercion on May 27. They were arraigned in Potsdam Village Court and released on their own recognizance with orders of protection prohibiting them from having any further contact with the victim.

The Larabys were to appear in village court today.


F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds

Original Article

06/12/2011

By CHARLIE SAVAGE

WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation is giving significant new powers to its roughly 14,000 agents, allowing them more leeway to search databases, go through household trash or use surveillance teams to scrutinize the lives of people who have attracted their attention.

The F.B.I. soon plans to issue a new edition of its manual, called the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, according to an official who has worked on the draft document and several others who have been briefed on its contents. The new rules add to several measures taken over the past decade to give agents more latitude as they search for signs of criminal or terrorist activity.

The F.B.I. recently briefed several privacy advocates about the coming changes. Among them, Michael German, a former F.B.I. agent who is now a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, argued that it was unwise to further ease restrictions on agents’ power to use potentially intrusive techniques, especially if they lacked a firm reason to suspect someone of wrongdoing.

Claiming additional authorities to investigate people only further raises the potential for abuse,” Mr. German said, pointing to complaints about the bureau’s surveillance of domestic political advocacy groups and mosques and to an inspector general’s findings in 2007 that the F.B.I. had frequently misused “national security letters,” which allow agents to obtain information like phone records without a court order.

Valerie E. Caproni, the F.B.I. general counsel, said the bureau had fixed the problems with the national security letters and had taken steps to make sure they would not recur. She also said the bureau, which does not need permission to alter its manual so long as the rules fit within broad guidelines issued by the attorney general, had carefully weighed the risks and the benefits of each change.

Every one of these has been carefully looked at and considered against the backdrop of why do the employees need to be able to do it, what are the possible risks and what are the controls,” she said, portraying the modifications to the rules as “more like fine-tuning than major changes.”

Some of the most notable changes apply to the lowest category of investigations, called an “assessment.” The category, created in December 2008, allows agents to look into people and organizations “proactively” and without firm evidence for suspecting criminal or terrorist activity.

Under current rules, agents must open such an inquiry before they can search for information about a person in a commercial or law enforcement database. Under the new rules, agents will be allowed to search such databases without making a record about their decision.

Mr. German said the change would make it harder to detect and deter inappropriate use of databases for personal purposes. But Ms. Caproni said it was too cumbersome to require agents to open formal inquiries before running quick checks. She also said agents could not put information uncovered from such searches into F.B.I. files unless they later opened an assessment.

The new rules will also relax a restriction on administering lie-detector tests and searching people’s trash. Under current rules, agents cannot use such techniques until they open a “preliminary investigation,” which — unlike an assessment — requires a factual basis for suspecting someone of wrongdoing. But soon agents will be allowed to use those techniques for one kind of assessment, too: when they are evaluating a target as a potential informant.

Agents have asked for that power in part because they want the ability to use information found in a subject’s trash to put pressure on that person to assist the government in the investigation of others. But Ms. Caproni said information gathered that way could also be useful for other reasons, like determining whether the subject might pose a threat to agents.

The new manual will also remove a limitation on the use of surveillance squads, which are trained to surreptitiously follow targets. Under current rules, the squads can be used only once during an assessment, but the new rules will allow agents to use them repeatedly. Ms. Caproni said restrictions on the duration of physical surveillance would still apply, and argued that because of limited resources, supervisors would use the squads only rarely during such a low-level investigation.

The revisions also clarify what constitutes “undisclosed participation” in an organization by an F.B.I. agent or informant, which is subject to special rules — most of which have not been made public. The new manual says an agent or an informant may surreptitiously attend up to five meetings of a group before those rules would apply — unless the goal is to join the group, in which case the rules apply immediately.

At least one change would tighten, rather than relax, the rules. Currently, a special agent in charge of a field office can delegate the authority to approve sending an informant to a religious service. The new manual will require such officials to handle those decisions personally.

In addition, the manual clarifies a description of what qualifies as a “sensitive investigative matter” — investigations, at any level, that require greater oversight from supervisors because they involve public officials, members of the news media or academic scholars.

The new rules make clear, for example, that if the person with such a role is a victim or a witness rather than a target of an investigation, extra supervision is not necessary. Also excluded from extra supervision will be investigations of low- and midlevel officials for activities unrelated to their position — like drug cases as opposed to corruption, for example.

The manual clarifies the definition of who qualifies for extra protection as a legitimate member of the news media in the Internet era: prominent bloggers would count, but not people who have low-profile blogs. And it will limit academic protections only to scholars who work for institutions based in the United States.

Since the release of the 2008 manual, the assessment category has drawn scrutiny because it sets a low bar to examine a person or a group. The F.B.I. has opened thousands of such low-level investigations each month, and a vast majority has not generated information that justified opening more intensive investigations.

Ms. Caproni said the new manual would adjust the definition of assessments to make clear that they must be based on leads. But she rejected arguments that the F.B.I. should focus only on investigations that begin with a firm reason for suspecting wrongdoing.


CA - Sex offender ordinance has first reading at Irvine City Council meeting

Original Article

06/14/2011

By Sarah Peters

IRVINE — An ordinance that would make it a misdemeanor for registered sex offenders convicted of crimes against a minor to enter city parks and recreational areas was introduced for a first reading at the City Council meeting Tuesday night.

If adopted after a second reading June 28, persons in violation of the ordinance could face up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, The Joyful Child Foundation founder Erin Runnion and other advocates from victims' right groups were among those in attendance at the meeting.

Runnion spoke before the council about national statistics that show that the majority of sexual assaults go unreported to police.

"Surely you can agree that this is the least we can do as a community to protect our children from the few that we have caught," Runnion said of convicted sex offenders.

There were 44 registered sex offenders listed as living in Irvine as of June, according to a city staff report.

Adopting the ordinance is "common sense," said Councilman Jeffrey Lalloway, who first brought forward the ordinance as a discussion topic at the May 10 council meeting.

"We must always look for ways to increase the safety of the city's children," he continued.

Lalloway had pushed for a version of the ordinance which banned all registered sex offenders from entering parks. But a motion was made by Councilman Larry Agran to narrow the ordinance to ban just those offenders convicted of crimes against children.

A similar ordinance was adopted by the Orange County Board of Supervisors on April 5 in which limited "registered sex offenders' access to locations such as the regional and wilderness parks, nature preserves, recreational trails, historic sites, harbors, and beaches where children regularly gather," according to the ordinance.

The Orange County Great Park and the 345-acre William R. Mason Regional Park, a county-owned and maintained park located on University Drive in Irvine, are both restricted to registered sex offenders without permission to enter from the county sheriff under the county ordinance.


MD - Ex-police officer (Edward Charles Schmitt) pleads guilty in child porn case

Original Article

06/14/2011

BALTIMORE (AP) — A former police officer who hid a video camera in a girl's closet has pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography.

Thirty-eight-year-old Edward Charles Schmitt of Laurel, who had been a police officer in Laurel, entered the plea on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. He will be sentenced in September; if the court accepts his plea agreement, Schmitt will be sentenced to seven years in prison.

According to the plea deal, in February 2010, Schmitt hid a camera in a girl's closet. A search of Schmitt's computers and media card found sexually explicit videos of children.


OH - Former police officer (Shaun Harder) enters plea agreement for trying to seduce a 14 year old girl

Shaun Harder
Original Article

06/14/2011

By Brian Schwartz

PORT CLINTON - He was hired to protect and serve the citizens of the village of Elmore in Ottawa County, Instead, he tried to seduce a 14 year old girl.

On Tuesday morning former Elmore police officer Shaun Harder entered guilty pleas to reduced charges of attempted contributing to the unruliness of a minor and complicity to obstruct justice. Harder was accused of sending lewd text messages to a 14 year old acquaintance and asking her to have sex with him.

Harder was originally charged with three counts of contributing to the unruliness of a minor, two counts of use of a minor in nudity oriented material, two counts of disseminating matter harmful to a minor, one count of obstruction of official business, and one count of tampering with evidence.

Harder was sentenced to 120 days in jail. The judge suspended the jail sentence. He was ordered to stay away from the minor in question and her family, pay a $600 fine, and pay for counseling services for the minor in question. The cost of those services will be determined later.

Harder reportedly exchanged more than 1,200 text messages with the girl, at one point asking her to lose her virginity with her. Her family became aware of the messages and reported them to police.

Harder has been under house arrest since September.

In an unrelated matter, Harder was charged in January 2010 of making threatening statements on Facebook about how horses which had been rescued from an area farm were being treated. A jury found him not guilty on a charge of aggravated menacing.