Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NY - Foxy forecaster hoping false-rape-report case will be dismissed on technicality

Original Article

06/29/2011

By LAURA ITALIANO

Winsome weather gal Heidi Jones is now hoping a technicality will free her from charges that she lied to cops by making up a ridiculous account of being attacked by a mysterious "Hispanic" pervert.

Jones has until July 20 to file motions seeking the full dismissal of the misdemeanor false filing of a police report charges, a Manhattan judge told her.

"We're seeking dismissal on the grounds that she's been deprived of her right to a speedy trial," defense lawyer Paul Callan said afterward.
- So have tons of others who still sit in prison waiting for their "speedy" trial.  She is no different, and hopefully the judge won't allow her to dismiss this.  She should be held accountable.

"A misdemeanor must be tried in 90 days," under state law, Callan noted.

Jones, 37 -- who forecast for WABC/Channel 7 and sometimes filled in on "Good Morning America" -- attended the brief court appearance in a snug black dress suit and black patent leather high heels.

She entered a plea of not guilty to the charges, and left without speaking to reporters.

Prosecutors say she told cops she was jogging in Central Park on the afternoon of Sept. 24 when a "Hispanic man" in his 30's or 40s grabbed her from behind, dragged her into a secluded wooded area and tried to rape her.

She claimed two passers-by frightened the mysterious attacker away. Jones only brought the story to cops two months later, further claiming that she was only spurred to action when the same man somehow found her again and confronted her, sources have told The Post.

Jones' story resulted in a lengthy police investigation. She later confessed that she'd fabricated the story as a bid for sympathy, officials said.


Ripple Effect - When prosecutors convict the wrong person, it impacts the entire community


To Catch a Predator host who traps sex perverts in TV stings 'caught cheating on his wife'... by hidden cameras

Chris and his Scarlet Letter
Original Article

06/29/2011

By Fiona Roberts

He's made his name with a controversial show that catches would-be internet sex perverts in televised stings.

But now Chris Hansen has found himself on the receiving end of his own hidden camera tactics, after the married NBC anchor was secretly filmed on an illicit date with a blonde television reporter 20 years his junior.

Kristyn Caddell
Hansen, 51, has allegedly been having an affair with Kristyn Caddell, a 30-year-old Florida journalist, for the last four months.

Last weekend he was recorded taking Miss Caddell on a romantic dinner at the exclusive Ritz-Carlton hotel in Manalapan, before spending the night at her Palm Beach apartment.

Hansen, who has two young sons, was caught in an undercover sting operation arranged by the National Enquirer.

Secret cameras filmed the couple as they arrived at the hotel for dinner and then drove back to her apartment - where the pair left, carrying luggage, at 8am the following day.

Hansen lives in Connecticut with his wife Mary, 53, but he has been spending more and more time in South Florida investigating the disappearance of James 'Jimmy T' Trindade - and allegedly sleeping with Miss Caddell.

A source told the newspaper the pair met in March, when they were both out with friends at the Blue Martini Lounge in Palm Beach.

Miss Caddell, who was once an intern with NBC in New York, introduced herself to Hansen in the VIP area, and 'there was an immediate physical attraction between them', according to the source.

The source alleged: 'Chris and Kristyn got on so well that she ended up going back to his room at The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach - and later boasted to pals about staying the night with him.'

The couple have allegedly continued to meet up in Miami and Palm Beach over the last few months, with Miss Caddell and her friends even flying to New York to spend a weekend boating with Hansen, the Enquirer reports.

According to the source: 'Chris sends Kristyn flowers and tells her he loves her, but he still doesn't seem all that motivated to leave his wife for her.'

'He's telling her he loves his wife too, but they've grown apart over the years, and she's not sure what he should do.'

Hansen has worked for NBC for two decades, but became famous with his controversial Dateline series To Catch a Predator.


The show's producers work with online watchdog vigilante group Perverted-Justice, whose volunteers pose as underage girls offering sex on the internet.

But when they arrive to meet the girls, they find themselves confronted by Hansen, his film crew and sometimes the police.

The Enquirer's sting took place last weekend, and recorded the pair as they went for dinner at the Ritz-Carlton's Angle restaurant on Friday at about 7pm.

Miss Caddell was dressed up in high heels and a short, revealing dress, and according to the source they spent much of the evening staring into each other's eyes.

They left at 9.15pm, and went for a drive along the ocean front, before being filmed filling up Miss Caddell's Jeep at a nearby gas station.

Then they drove to a liquor store, and Hansen emerged clutching a bag full of bottles. The couple returned to Miss Caddell's apartment at 10pm.

At 8am on Saturday, they, with Hansen pulling luggage behind him, and she drove him to the airport.

A source told the Enquirer: 'They were both wearing different clothes from the night before... Kristyn's hair was dishevelled as if she'd just rolled out of bed.'


IL - The High Cost of Wrongful Convictions

Original Article

06/29/2011

By E.D. Kain

A new study from the Better Government Association and the Center on Wrongful Convictions finds that wrongful convictions of innocent men and women in Illinois have cost the taxpayers of that state $214 million dollars:

The joint investigation, which tracked exonerations from 1989 through 2010, also determined that while 85 people were wrongfully incarcerated, the actual perpetrators were on a collective crime spree that included 14 murders, 11 sexual assaults, 10 kidnappings and at least 62 other felonies.

It is likely, of course, that many wrongful convictions have occurred without anyone noticing:

Moreover, the 97 felonies in that crime spree may be just a fraction of the total number of crimes committed by the actual perpetrators. The investigation found that the 85 exonerations left 35 murders, 11 rapes, and two murder-rapes with no identified perpetrators and thus no way to add up their accumulated crimes.

Lots more interesting and appalling data on the high cost – in both financial and moral terms – of incarcerating innocents. Many times, with proper investigations, representation, and DNA testing these wrongfully convicted people would have never ended up in prison in the first place. Meanwhile, convicting the wrong person leaves the actual perpetrator of the crime free to continue to break the law.

In the case of [name withheld], this had profound consequences:

During the 26 years that [name withheld] was serving prison time and probation for a brutal rape he did not commit, Robert Weeks, the actual perpetrator, attacked at least four women, raping three (he was stopped before raping the fourth); committed aggravated battery on 11 police officers; and attacked a man with a chain in an unsuccessful attempt to steal his watch, according to police and court documents.

Those documents indicate that injuries to the four women included a broken cheekbone, a broken nose, a broken orbital bone, a broken wrist, and lacerations, contusions, and hematomas to one woman’s face, neck, ribs, and legs.

Three of the police officers required hospital treatment. Many of the attacks occurred in and around Wicker Park.

When [name withheld] was finally released, he was forced to register as a sex offender for a crime he did not commit and attend sex offender classes with actual sex offenders. There was no physical evidence linking him to the crime. He was arrested and charged based on policemen who thought he resembled the composite sketch of the actual attacker. There are many reasons why people are falsely accused and convicted of crimes they did not commit, however. But the largest is police misconduct or error:


The entire report is worth a closer look. Read the whole thing


We are a prison nation


Gangs account for most crimes and they basically run the prisons, yet they are not on any online shaming registry. Why not? Does the government fear them? Is that why?


CA - New restrictions on sex offenders

Original Article

They do not say, but I'm sure this is for those on probation or parole only.

06/28/2011

By IMRAN GHORI

Registered sex offenders will be banned from most public places in unincorporated San Bernardino County under an ordinance approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.

The regulation, approved unanimously by the board, adds libraries, public swimming pools, museums and arcades to the list of locations where offenders will be prohibited.

The county already bans them from living near schools and day-care centers and requires that they stay 300 feet from parks and schools.

Supervisor Gary Ovitt, who proposed the additional restrictions, said the goal is to keep sex offenders away from any location where children might be present.
- Not all sex offenders have harmed children, but, if you rely on the government or media, you'd think all sex offenders have!

Ovitt asked for the update to the county ordinance after the April adoption in Orange County of an ordinance banning sex offenders from parks and beaches.

San Bernardino County's restrictions only apply to unincorporated areas but the supervisors said they will encourage cities to adopt similar ordinances.

Violators would be subject to a $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail. The proposal will go before the board for a second reading on July 12 and take effect a month later.

According to a board report, enforcement of the ordinance would be left to the discretion of the sheriff's and district attorney's offices.

In Riverside County, Supervisor Jeff Stone has proposed a similar ordinance banning registered sex offenders from county parks, recreation centers and aquatics facilities and from attending county-sponsored events such as the Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival and the National Date Festival.

In addition, Stone's proposal would prohibit any home or apartment where a sex offender lives from participating in Halloween activities.