Thursday, June 23, 2011

CA - 14 Arrested In Countywide Sex Offender Sweep

Original Article

I have not been documenting these raids (compliance checks), but I will from now on. You will notice, in almost all the compliance checks, ex-sex offenders are almost always in compliance and none are arrested for new sex crimes, which proves that recidivism rates are indeed low, despite the lies and disinformation by the police, media and politicians exploiting fear for personal gain. We will start putting these under the "ComplianceCheck" label so it will be easier to see that what I am saying is true. The police just use this, along with using the media, to grandstand and make it look like the laws passed by congress, and their "compliance checks" are working, when in fact, even without them, the registry, residency laws, etc, the compliance rate would still be high, and recidivism would still be low, it always has been.

06/23/2011

Authorities Check On Status Of Registered Sex Offenders In 'Operation Watchdog'

SAN DIEGO -- Sixty-one people were under investigation Thursday following a sweep in which hundreds of law enforcement officers fanned across San Diego County and contacted more than 800 registered sex offenders to determine if they were in compliance with the terms of their release, authorities said.
- So tell me, what is the purpose of probation and parole officers?  Aren't they suppose to go visit the ex-offenders and do this?  Why do we need to waste even more money, and pull cops into it, when they could be out patrolling the streets, and handling other crime?

The sweep, known as "Operation Watchdog," was carried out early Wednesday morning by 300 members of the San Diego Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force, said task force commander David Collazo.
- Wow, 300, really?  What a massive grandstanding, show boating load of crap.  This is all about pretending to look like they are doing something to appease the sheeple of the state, nothing more.

"We want offenders in San Diego to know they are being actively watched," Collazo said. "Our goal was to verify they are complying with registration laws, and to identify any illegal activity they might be engaged in."
- I think your goal is actually to get the media involved, for a PR campaign, to make it look like you are actually doing something, but hey, that is just me.

Collazo said the vast majority of the sex offenders visited this week were in compliance with the law and living at their registered addresses.
- They always are.

"That's a good indicator that offenders in this community know we take the registration laws very seriously," Collazo said.
- Yeah, take credit for it, when in fact, the ex-offenders should get the credit, they are the ones doing everything possible to obey the draconian laws passed by congress, and it has nothing to do with these raids, registry or residency laws.

Besides the 61 individuals now under investigation, an additional 14 were arrested for various probation and parole violations -- and one was taken into custody for a suspected homicide, he said.
- You see, out of 800 checked, only 14 were arrested for technical violations, not new sex crimes, so basically the recidivism rate for new sex crimes here is 0%, but for technical issues, it's 1.75%.  So that kind of proves, once again, recidivism is low, not high!

The searches also turned up pornography, marijuana and drug paraphernalia -- along with normally legal items many sex offenders aren't allowed to possess, like laptop computers, digital media, smart phones, alcohol and children's clothing and toys.

There are about 4,000 registered sex offenders living in San Diego County.
- And I am sure, that once they check all 4,000, the compliance and recidivism rates will be about the same.


CA - Yearbook Recall Just Another Example of Cheapened Meaning of “Child Porn”

Original Article

06/17/2011

By Elliot Mandel

You don’t call the fire department when you put out a candle, and you don’t call the police station when your little brother takes your toy. You don’t make things sound so dramatic because the firefighters and police officers need to be able to respond to actual issues, like real fires and real criminals.

While the situations may be different, the same rules apply to exploiting and frivolously using the phrase “child pornography.” This is a prime example.

The students of Big Bear High School in Big Big Lake, Southern California must have been excited to get their yearbooks at the end of the school year. But they probably weren’t very excited to find out that school-distributed books could possibly get them arrested.

According to CBSNews:
The background of a school dance photo shows a 17-year-old boy’s hand inside the clothing of a 15-year-old girl in a way that suggests sexual penetration. “The photo was taken at a dance and the suspect and victim are not the focus of the photo. They are in the background and likely didn’t know they were in the photo,” said sheriff’s spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman.

So students received this yearbook with a somewhat lewd scene taking place in the background of a picture. Sensibly, the school decided to issue a total recall on the yearbooks. Students would be able to either get a refund or get the offending picture changed. What about the students that don’t turn in their yearbooks, maybe looking to keep the picture around for a laugh?

Well, then they might be charged with possessing child pornography. Seriously.

Detectives looking into the yearbook incident have issued warnings to students that they could be in possession of child porn if they keep the offending yearbooks.

Is that a joke? Recall it for taste, recall it for setting a bad example, but don’t recall it for “child pornography.” Labeling that background image as child pornography does a disservice to real, actual child porn. It encourages people to just throw the term around, completely reducing the potency of what it is. Just because there’s a naughty picture in a yearbook does not give someone the right to threaten criminal action against the people possessing “child porn.” That’s disgusting.

If a 17-year-old girl snaps a picture of herself in the mirror and sends it to her boyfriend, it’s called child porn these days. If the same boyfriend opens up the text and receives the message, he can now be prosecuted as a sexual offender for having the picture. For the rest of his life he would have to go door-to-door in his neighborhood, alerting them that he is a sexual offender. This happens.

Stop calling ridiculous things “child pornography” to make a situation more dramatic. Stop it. Stop taking away importance from the actual term. Let the teenagers sext; let the teenagers be teenagers.

Oh, and in case you missed this gem from the highlighted story: The sheriff’s department labeled the people in the picture as the “suspect” and the “victim.” At a high school dance, apparently there are suspects and victims when it comes to the dance floor.


MI - Family's life unravels with claims dad raped daughter

Original Article
Chapter 2: The investigation
Chapter 3: Incarceration
Chapter 4: Cracks in the case
Chapter 5: The dismissal
Chapter 6: The reunion

06/12/2011

By L.L. BRASIER and JOHN WISELY

 

Introduction to the series

Julian Wendrow paced in his cell.

Three steps one way. Turn. Three steps the other way.

Four to eight hours a day, he walked back and forth in his windowless cell in the Oakland County Jail, a first-time prisoner accused of raping his autistic daughter.

Wendrow spent 74 of his 80 days in jail in the one-man cell. He saw almost none of the winter of 2008, the season that would change the West Bloomfield father's life.

He and his wife, Thal Wendrow, were seemingly ordinary middle-class parents deeply involved in their children's lives -- until the accusations prompted a prosecution that a federal judge later described as a "runaway train."

Thal spent five days in jail, accused of ignoring the abuse. Their children -- a severely disabled teen girl and a mildly autistic boy -- were put in separate juvenile homes and kept apart from their parents for 106 days.

Beginning today, Free Press staff writers L.L. Brasier and John Wisely go behind the scenes of the case. The parents who wanted to believe in miracles after a school aide was assigned to help their mute, autistic daughter communicate. The prosecutors who set out to protect a child. The nightmare that engulfed the Wendrow family.

The ordeal didn't end when it was clear that the girl wasn't communicating, after all. It didn't end when a sexual assault exam found no proof of abuse. And it didn't end when a prosecution witness insisted the abuse never happened.

Through hours of interviews and thousands of pages of never-disclosed testimony, the Free Press over the next six days examines how the case developed -- and how it collapsed.

Chapter 1: The allegations

The ordeal that would devastate the lives of Julian and Thal Wendrow began in a most mundane way: The message light on their home phone was blinking.

Julian Wendrow, who owned a painting business, had been out running errands. His wife, Thal Wendrow, a research attorney for a local judge, was at work. Their children were at school.

It was a cold November afternoon in 2007.

The voice mail was from a state social worker, who had an urgent message for them.

Julian Wendrow called back.

Disturbing allegations had been made, the social worker told him: Your disabled daughter, who was at Walled Lake Central High School, claims you raped her over the weekend. That you've been raping her for years.

Wendrow was stunned. His 14-year-old daughter -- mute and autistic -- communicated only through a technique called facilitated communication (FC), a typing method in which an aide guided her hand.

Surely, he thought, there had been some terrible mistake. The typing went awry. It could all be easily corrected, he figured.

The family had airline tickets for South Africa, his native country, and was set to leave in 12 days. His daughter came home on the school bus that afternoon, along with her 13-year-old brother. Wendrow said nothing to them, but called his wife at work. She came home.

With the children out of the room, the parents talked quietly.

They came up with a plan -- one they hoped would end the ordeal the next day.

A change in plans

Thal Wendrow left that evening to run an errand. As she pulled out of her West Bloomfield neighborhood, she noticed an unfamiliar car parked with a man inside.

"I was about to stop and say, 'Can I help you?'" she later testified in a deposition. Instead, she continued on. He started his engine and followed her.

After a few miles, she was stopped at the light at Maple and Orchard Lake roads, talking on her cell phone, when he walked up to her window. He flashed a police badge and identified himself as West Bloomfield Police Sgt. Daniel O'Malley.

Allegations were made about your husband, he said.

"I know," she replied.

He told her that her children needed to be removed from the home, and she agreed to take them to her mother's home nearby.

She went home and told her husband. Still, they remained hopeful the issue would be resolved in time for their long-planned vacation, to start Dec. 9. They had already paid $5,600 for the tickets.

That night -- Nov. 27, 2007 -- a detective and two sergeants arrived at their front door. Julian Wendrow was trying to get his son to swim practice, but instead, sent the boy and his sister upstairs.

Sgt. Tara Kane was in charge of the investigation, as head of the Police Department's youth bureau. It was her first day in that position, and she had never handled a child sexual assault case. She didn't have any training in autism and had never heard of facilitated communication.

Accompanying her was O'Malley, who was retiring in a few days, and Detective Joseph Brousseau.

The detectives told the Wendrows the children couldn't stay in the home that night. The Wendrows urged the police to use another facilitator to verify the claims -- a plan they hoped would resolve the issue quickly. But the detectives seemed uninterested, they said.

Later that evening, Thal Wendrow stood on the threshold of her mother's home and said good-bye to her children.

She didn't know at the time that it would be two months before she would see her son again. And that fall would slip into winter and nearly turn into spring before she would again lay eyes on her daughter.

How it all started

The girl's typed messages originated in a classroom at Walled Lake Central.

The girl, then a freshman, had been a student in Walled Lake schools for three years. She grew up in West Bloomfield and had been in special-education classes most of her life.

Her parents say they realized she was autistic when she was about 18 months old, as her limited toddler vocabulary began to diminish. After she turned 2, she rarely uttered a word.

At age 14, she couldn't speak or form letters independently. She could help dress herself but wouldn't be aware of whether her shirt was on backward or inside out. She sometimes tried to put her shoes on the wrong feet.

She also struggled to understand social conventions. Sometimes in gym class, she'd sit naked in the locker room until someone prompted her to dress. At the movies, she'd begin to rock in her chair and moan, though she'd stop when prompted by her parents.

Still, the Wendrows had resolutely refused to believe testing that consistently showed she functioned at the level of a 2-year-old and that in addition to being autistic, she was mentally retarded.

The Wendrows were introduced to FC in 2004 by Dr. Sandra McClennen, a retired education professor from Eastern Michigan University who had been working with their daughter for three years. She trained the girl to use FC, a highly controversial method through which autistic people are said to communicate using a keyboard, aided by another person.

The Wendrows believed that FC -- despite being widely debunked by educators and researchers -- helped unlock hidden literacy in their mute daughter.

Beginning in middle school, they pushed FC, threatening to sue the school district if it didn't hire a full-time aide to facilitate their daughter. They requested that she be placed in mainstream classes. On her own, the girl couldn't match the word "cat" to a picture of a cat, draw a circle or count to five.

But when she used FC, the results seemed astounding. With a facilitator guiding her arm, the child who had never been taught to read was suddenly writing poetry and English essays, taking history exams and doing algebra. The middle-schooler who couldn't put on her coat without help was typing about her plans to become a college professor.

Walled Lake schools officials were skeptical. The head of special services later described FC as "hokey." A school psychologist who tested the girl's IQ using a facilitator warned in a report that "the results should not be deemed valid or reliable" because the girl was not typing independently.

Cynthia Scarsella, an $18-per-hour teachers aide, was the girl's facilitator, the one guiding her hand. She had been assigned to the job at the beginning of the fall 2007 semester.

Scarsella, who holds a high school diploma, completed one hour of facilitator training the summer before. She said in a deposition that she had "no idea" whether what the girl was typing was true and had no interest in trying to verify it. And she said she didn't know anything about autism.

The allegations

The Tuesday morning after Thanksgiving break, Scarsella asked how the weekend went.

Scarsella guided the girl's right hand over the specialized keyboard. She held her wrist as the girl, striking one letter at a time, typed out a message:

"My dad gets me up banges me and then we have breakfast. ... He puts his hands on my private parts."

Scarsella asked whether the girl's mother knew. She facilitated as the girl answered yes and typed:

"She doesn't say anything."

Scarsella immediately told Natalie Miller, the girl's teacher, who notified her supervisors. Michigan law requires school officials to report any credible allegation of sexual abuse to authorities.

Within hours, police, prosecutors and social workers were on the move.

Within two days, the children were wards of the state.

Within a week, the Wendrows were in jail.

The Dismissal