Friday, July 15, 2011

WA - 12-Year-Old Sentenced for Cyberstalking Classmate

Original Article

Were in the world do kids learn this stuff?

07/14/2011

By LAURA RIPARBELLI

A 12-year-old Washington girl was sentenced on Wednesday to probation and community service for a cyberstalking incident in which she and another 11-year-old girl doctored a classmate's Facebook account with explicit photos and solicitations for sex.

But the mother of the victim, also 12, said she has "mixed feelings" about the sentencing of the girls who hacked her daughter's Facebook page, and she isn't satisfied with the judge's ruling.

"We wrote a letter to the judge and we requested that she have no access to social media for the full term of her probation. The judge felt that it would be fine for her to be on with parental supervision," said Tara Cote, of Issaquah, Wash.

The 12-year-old, who pleaded guilty and whose name has not been released, was charged with Cyberstalking and Computer Trespass First Degree. She was sentenced to six months of probation and 20 hours of community service, along with mandatory adult supervision of all computer usage, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

Cote said she wants the tween to have cyber bullying-specific therapy.

"Both girls went online and used social media to do damage and used it as a weapon? Regular therapy will not tell you how to not abuse the Internet," said Cote.

The King County attorney's office did not return a call from ABC News requesting comment.

The girl issued an apology in court.

"I just feel really bad because I know how it feels to be bullied and it's not a good feeling and she didn't deserve to be treated at way at all," the girl said through sniffles, according to ABC News affiliate KOMO.

If the conditions of the sentence are met, the charges will be dismissed. An 11-year-old girl was also charged earlier this month in connection with the case and ordered to do community service. If she completes the hours, the charges against her will also be dismissed.

Girls Spend Afternoon Hacking Facebook Page

The incident occurred on March 18 after students at Issaquah Middle School Elementary were let out early from school. Cote said that from around 11 a.m. to around 5:30 p.m., her daughter's Facebook was hacked into by two classmates and former friends, one of whom knew her daughter's password due to a previous login.
- If she knew the password, then it's not technically hacking.

A photo of the victim was posted, and a knife and blood aimed at her head along with a set of horns were doctored into the picture. The word "slut" was written across the bottom, and an image of condoms hanging on a clothes wire was also posted.

The girls then reportedly sent out messages to people the girl's Facebook chat asking for sexual favors and posted sexually explicit comments on other users' walls.

"I don't even know how to express how my daughter feels right now," said Cote. "[She] doesn't like to leave our place. She's going to therapy right now over this."

Organizations like Web Wise Kids, which works to help parents keep their children safe on the Internet, have seen an increase in cyber bullying over the last two years.

Web Wise Kids CEO Judi Westberg Warren said that although bullying has always been an issue, the Internet and technology have opened up an entirely new playing field.

"Unfortunately we are really seeing an increase in bullying. It's the same thing that's always been but the problem with cyber bullying is that the impact is so tremendous compared to when it used to be just in one school, or one community," said Warren.

Cote said the bullying is nothing new for her daughter and began three years ago. Attempts to get the attention of school officials resulted in the principal sitting the two girls next to each other at lunch time, she said.

"It's been ongoing. I had no empathy for that child crying because she cries every time she gets caught? she runs her family, her parents have no restraints on her," said Cote, who lives in the same neighborhood as the 12-year-old and her family.



CA - New state audit reveals troubling deficiency in sex offender evaluations

Video Description:
Well, when you have cookie cutter laws, like the AWA which puts someone in tiers based on crime and not based on their history and likelihood of reoffending, what do you expect?

No matter how many draconian, unconstitutional laws you pass, bypassing your oath of office to defend the Constitution and ALL people's rights, it will not prevent crime nor protect anybody, it's only fodder that politicians use to make themselves look better and others expense.


FL - Sex crimes arrest include officer, who paid teen


AR - Ex-sex offender receives $52,500 in police (Matt Ring) brutality lawsuit

Original Article

07/13/2011

By Janie Ginocchio

Magistrate criticizes police officers harshly

JONESBORO - A settlement for $52,500 was reached in early June in a police brutality lawsuit filed by a convicted sex offender against a Paragould police officer.

Kimberly Dale, who along with Mark Hayes of the Municipal League represented Officer Matt Ring in the lawsuit, said the decision to settle was an economic one.

We sat down and did a cost/benefit analysis,” she said, and it was determined that it would be prudent to end the case before any more of the taxpayers’ money was spent.

It’s a matter of principal — how much of the taxpayers’ dollars do we want to spend in defending this?” Mayor Mike Gaskill said.

As a result of the settlement, there will be no judgment entered in the case and it is stipulated in the settlement that there was no finding of fault against Ring or the city, Gaskill said. The Municipal League’s legal defense fund, of which Paragould is a member, will pay the settlement amount.

According to court documents, both sides concede Ring was called to a residence on the night of Aug. 11, 2009, because [name withheld] was on the property. [name withheld] had an active warrant for his arrest because he failed to register as a sex offender with local law enforcement.

The description of events diverge after Ring took [name withheld] into custody. [name withheld] alleged Ring slammed him against a patrol car and onto the ground, rendering him unconscious and injuring his right arm and shoulder. Ring denied the allegations in court documents, saying [name withheld] had fled police before and Ring “did not employ any force other than what was necessary to keep [name withheld] from further fleeing.”

Little Rock attorney Reggie Koch, who represented [name withheld], said in a telephone interview there was “overwhelming evidence” that Ring used excessive force on [name withheld] and that Federal Magistrate Judge Joseph J. Volpe “came down hard” on the defendant in Volpe’s proposed findings and recommendations report.

Magistrate’s report

In the report, Volpe recommended Ring be found personally liable of using excessive force. He also accused the defense of fabricating evidence and presenting several witnesses who lied during testimony.

At issue are two booking photos entered into evidence. A photo referenced as Defense Exhibit 1 shows [name withheld] apparently unconscious with a swollen face and a hand is seen from behind holding [name withheld]’ head up. The defense entered another photo (Defense Exhibit 2) into evidence that showed a conscious and unharmed [name withheld], which the defense said was taken on the night of the arrest.

Volpe cited an affidavit from Brian Agee, who examined the time stamp on the booking photos and noted Defense Exhibit 2 was not taken at time of the arrest, but at the time of a previous arrest made by the Marmaduke Police Department.

Rather, the true photograph of [name withheld] from August 11, 2009, as Brian Agee reports, is the one in Defendant’s Exhibit 1,” Volpe wrote. “This Court concludes that Defendant Ring and his witnesses committed to advance the same story and joined together in attempting to convince this Court that their photograph in Exhibit 2 was proof positive that Officer Ring did not use excessive force. Unfortunately for Defendant Ring, the indisputable evidence reveals that this story was fabricated.”

According to Volpe’s report, the booking photo that shows an unconscious [name withheld] has disappeared from the county jail’s computer system.

The Court further concludes that Defendant’s evidence is unreliable because Officer Ring perjured himself, as did Defendant’s witnesses, Lt. [Brendan] Baldridge, Officer [Tamara] Marcoe, and [Greene County jailer] Cody Oost ... these law enforcement officials have lied under oath and have engaged in a cover-up in defense of this lawsuit.”

Volpe noted it was the presiding district judge’s option to find the officers in contempt of court.

City’s response to magistrate’s report

My officers didn’t lie,” Paragould Police Chief Todd Stovall said. “I’m sorry [the magistrate] feels that way, but they told the truth.

Gaskill said the city stands behind the police department and its officers.

I’m disappointed in the judge’s ruling more than anything,” he said. “The evidence presented wasn’t seen in the proper light.”

All of the officers named by Volpe are still employed by the PPD, and in Oost’s case, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department.

In regard to the magistrate’s recommendations, “The court is entitled to make whatever recommendations it sees fit, but we did not see any evidence that Officer Ring used excessive force,” Dale said. “The city still supports Officer Ring and after reviewing the arrest and the police department’s procedures and policies, we did not find any violations committed by the officer against those internal policies.”