Saturday, August 20, 2011

Angela Rose

Angela Rose
Wikipedia

This just goes to show you, if a person is intent on committing a crime, no registry, residency restriction or other law will prevent it. This was done awhile back, but the comments still apply.

Angela Rose is an American activist, musician, and documentary film producer, best known for her work as the Founder and Executive Director of the national nonprofit PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment.

Rose made headlines when she was kidnapped from a shopping mall when she was seventeen years old. The man who abducted her was on parole for murder when he committed the crime. From this tragic story emerged one of the nation’s most passionate and impactful advocates for the prevention of sexual violence. Since her ordeal, Angela has lobbied for laws for victims and has promoted the importance of education on issues of sexual violence as well as the need to engage men in the movement. In regard to television interviews, Rose has appeared the Montel Williams Show, John Walsh Show, and newscasts across the country. Rose presents workshops and gives speeches at conferences, military trainings, and on college campuses.


VA - Sex Offenders: The Last Pariahs

Original Article

If history is any indication of the future, then no, sex offenders won't be the last.

08/20/2011

By ROGER N. LANCASTER

FAIRFAX - Starting in the 1970s, lawmakers across the United States enacted punitivelock ’em up” policies. The prison population more than quadrupled, and the United States became first in the world in both the total number of prisoners (about 2.3 million) and the rate of imprisonment (1 of every 100 adults is behind bars).

Now, budget pressures, court orders and a recognition of the social costs of incarceration have prompted America to reconsider some of these draconian laws. Incarceration rates may be topping out.

But most criminal justice advocates have been reluctant to talk about sex offender laws, much less reform them. The reluctance has deep roots. Sex crimes are seen as uniquely horrific. During the Colonial, antebellum and Jim Crow eras, white Americans were preoccupied with tales of sexual dangers to white women and children. McCarthy-era paranoia, stories of Satanic ritual abuse and other sex panics stirred pervasive anxieties about lurking strangers. Sexual predators play a lead role in the production of a modern culture of fear (See Also: Mass Hysteria, Moral Panic).

In fact, the crimes that most spur public outrage — the abduction, rape and murder of children — are exceedingly rare. Statistically, a child’s risk of being killed by a sexual predator who is a stranger is comparable to the chance of being struck by lightning. The reported incidence of most forms of child abduction, including the most serious, has declined since the 1980s.

The most intense dread, fueled by shows like “America’s Most Wanted” and “To Catch a Predator,” is directed at the lurking stranger, the anonymous repeat offender. But most perpetrators of sexual abuse are family members, close relatives, or friends or acquaintances of the victim’s family. In 70 to 80 percent of child deaths resulting from abuse or neglect, a parent is held responsible.

No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so.

A 1994 federal law named for Jacob Wetterling, an 11-year-old Minnesota boy who was abducted, requires convicted sex offenders to register with authorities. Under an amendment to that act, all states adopted statutes collectively known as Megan’s Law — named for a 7-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in New Jersey in 1994 — that require local law enforcement authorities to notify neighbors about a sex offender’s presence in their community. And although registration and notification requirements vary, all states now post searchable online lists of at least some categories of registered sex offenders.

Advocates for laws to register, publicize and monitor sex offenders after their release from custody typically assert that those convicted of sex crimes pose a high risk of sex crime recidivism. But studies by the Justice Department and other organizations show that recidivism rates are significantly lower for convicted sex offenders than for burglars, robbers, thieves, drug offenders and other convicts.

Only a tiny proportion of sex crimes are committed by repeat offenders, which suggests that current laws are misdirected and ineffective. Indeed, a federally financed study of New Jersey’s registration and notification procedures found that sex offense rates were already falling before the implementation of Megan’s Law. The study also found no discernible impact on recidivism and concluded that the growing costs of the program might not be justifiable.

Contrary to the common belief that burgeoning registries provide lists of child molesters, the victim need not have been a child and the perpetrator need not have been an adult. Child abusers may be minors themselves. Statutory rapists — a loose category that includes some offenses involving neither coercion nor violence — are covered in some states. Some states require exhibitionists and “peeping Toms” to register; Louisiana compelled some prostitutes to do so. Two-thirds of the North Carolina registrants sampled in a 2007 study by Human Rights Watch had been convicted of the nonviolent crime of “indecent liberties with a minor,” which does not necessarily involve physical contact.

Culpability and harm vary greatly in these offenses. Some would not be classified as criminal under European laws, which set lower ages of consent than do American laws. And because sex crimes are broadly defined and closely monitored, the number of people listed in public sex offender registries is growing rapidly: 740,000 at latest count, more than the population of Boston or Seattle. The registration and notification rules — the result of efforts by victims’ rights advocates, crusading journalists and tough-on-crime politiciansviolate basic legal principles and amount to an excessive and enduring form of punishment.

Newer laws go even further. At last count, 44 states have passed or are considering laws that would require some sex offenders to be monitored for life with electronic bracelets and global positioning devices. A 2006 federal law, the Adam Walsh Act, named for a Florida boy who was abducted and killed, allows prosecutors to apply tougher registration rules retroactively. New civil commitment procedures allow for the indefinite detention of sex offenders after the completion of their sentences. Such procedures suggest a catch-22: the accused is deemed mentally fit for trial and sentencing, but mentally unfit for release.

Laws in more than 20 states and hundreds of municipalities restrict where a sex offender can live, work or walk. California’s Proposition 83 (PDF) prohibits all registered sex offenders (felony and misdemeanor alike) from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park, effectively evicting them from the state’s cities and scattering them to isolated rural areas.

Digital scarlet letters, electronic tethering and practices of banishment have relegated a growing number of people to the logic of “social death,” a term introduced by the sociologist Orlando Patterson, in the context of slavery, to describe permanent dishonor and exclusion from the wider moral community. The creation of a pariah class of unemployable, uprooted criminal outcasts has drawn attention from human rights activists; even The Economist has decried our sex offender laws as harsh and ineffective.

This should worry us, in part because the techniques used for marking, shaming and controlling sex offenders have come to serve as models for laws and practices in other domains. Several states currently publish online listings of methamphetamine offenders, and other states are considering public registries for assorted crimes. Mimicking Megan’s Law, Florida maintains a Web site that gives the personal details (including photo, name, age, address, offenses and periods of incarceration) of all prisoners released from custody. Some other states post similar public listings of paroled or recently released ex-convicts. It goes without saying that such procedures cut against rehabilitation and reintegration.
- They don't want either, they want to continue the merry-go-round, so ex-criminals continue to help the prison business.

Our sex offender laws are expansive, costly and ineffective — guided by panic, not reason. It is time to change the conversation: to promote child welfare based on sound data rather than statistically anomalous horror stories, and in some cases to revisit outdated laws that do little to protect children. Little will have been gained if we trade a bloated prison system for sprawling forms of electronic surveillance that offload the costs of imprisonment onto offenders, their families and their communities.

Roger N. Lancaster is a professor of anthropology and director of the cultural studies program at George Mason University, and the author of “Sex Panic and the Punitive State.”


CA - Nancy Dunn: Saving the Satanist

Original Article
Satanic Ritual Abuse

CBN.com – Nancy Dunn was raised in what looked like the typical American family.

"I was raised in California," Nancy tells The 700 Club. "My father worked in the aerospace industry. My mother worked for a doctor. On the outside just looked normal, but nobody knew what was going on behind closed doors."

"My father was actually a Satanic high priest, so he did all kinds of evil things. He sexually assaulted me, took me to satanic rituals. My father actually used me as a baby breeder, which means I was impregnated so the Satanists would have a baby to sacrifice to the devil in their Satanic rituals. As soon as I was able to have a baby, I was pregnant.”

The abuse in Nancy’s home continued throughout her adolescence. Her babies were delivered by midwives, and there was no record of their births. By her late teens, Nancy knew she had lost 10 children to Satanic sacrifice.

"If I was out of school for weeks or months on end, my parents would call the school and it would be no big deal. There was never an investigation.”

However, back when she was eight years old, an elderly neighbor befriended Nancy and invited her to church.

My parents let me go, because they were doing this big Olympic event where the kids were playing and competing. It was really awesome, because one of the ladies there preached the gospel to me. She shared who Jesus was and on that very day, I knew that was the truth. I asked Jesus Christ to come into my heart.”

At age 18, she married the first man that came along to escape her abusive upbrining. When her marriage fell apart one year later, she began to lead a promiscuous lifestyle.

I became pregnant at age 21 years old, and a friend offered me a solution. I had an abortion.”

After the abortion, the guilt and shame of her decision and a flood of traumatic childhood memories sent Nancy running back to the church.

I really loved God in my heart, but I didn’t really know how to have that walk with Him, so I joined a church. I began to read the Word of God. I began to really pursue a relationship with my Heavenly Father."

She continues, "As I began to walk that out, there were all these stumbling blocks. It felt like there was a wall or a ceiling between God and I. There was a lot of fear in my life, a lot of anxiety in my life. My self-esteem was just nothing. I always felt lower than the dirt, and I couldn’t ever really understand why God would love me or what His love would do for me."

Nancy sought Christian counseling. Her counselor discovered that she was suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder, meaning she was having flashbacks so severe that she had to split into several personalities in order to cope with the trama.

"The memories were compartmentalized, so the Lord began to bring them to me one at a time. The Holy Spirit will never give us more than we can handle, so God really directed that and He began to help me process through each memory. I just began to press into God for my deliverance and my freedom. I just began to cry out to God with all I had all the time for my freedom. It was a process of about a year and a half. I was in counseling working with this therapist. I remember visiting a church on Valentine’s Day. They were preparing the element for communion, and I was getting a little nervous inside. In the natural, I was forced to drink human blood in the rituals, so the blood seemed so crazy to me. But I heard the Lord speak to me and say, 'If you will drink of MY blood and eat of MY body, I will heal you of everything the enemy has done to you.'

"So I took communion and everything changed. I became one whole person. God did it in a moment through communion."

After taking communion, the Lord also led Nancy through a process of forgiving her father. The next time she saw him, he was on his death bed.

"He was in ICU. They didn’t think that he could speak to me, and yet He sat up in the bed and he repented to me. I just lost it. I totally lost it. I asked him, 'Dad, all I want to know is if you know Jesus.' He smiled and he said that he had just said the sinner’s prayer. I just had tears flowing down my face." I said, 'The only thing I want is I need to hear you say it.' So my father said the sinner’s prayer with me. About 60 seconds later, he died and he went to Heaven."

Today, Nancy is an advocate for abused and neglected children in the court system. She has also helped start orphanages in five different nations and travels the world to share her story and minister deliverance.

"I feel so free," she says. "I feel so light. I feel so happy, and God is allowing me to be a part of setting other people free. I want everyone to know that no matter how broken you have been, look at my life. God will forgive you. God will deliver you. God will set you free. There is power in the blood of Jesus. The blood has never lost its power, and it will never lose its power."


NY - Off-duty NYPD cop (Michael Pena) arrested mid-crime, charged with raping school teacher at gunpoint

Michael Pena
Original Article
Another Article Here

08/19/2011

By Kerry Wills, John Doyle and Rocco Parascandola

A drunken, off-duty cop threatened a teacher at gunpoint Friday, forced her into the backyard of an upper Manhattan building and raped her, cops said.

"Be careful. He has a gun," the 25-year-old victim told officers who responded to a 911 call from a neighbor.

Police confirmed that the suspect in the attack on the 25-year-old woman was Officer Michael Pena, 27, a 3-year NYPD veteran.

Pena was charged with rape and immediately suspended without pay. A source said that he had an "unremarkable record" on the force, DNAinfo.com reports.

The woman was heading to work when Officer Michael Pena stopped her about 6:15 a.m. on the street in Inwood, police said.

The cop, reeking of booze and wearing a red shirt and casual clothes, asked for directions to the No. 1 train and demanded she show him the way, police said.

When she balked, he put his arm around her, opened his jacket to display his 9-mm. handgun and led her away, sources said.

"You're coming with me," he told the woman, said Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, the NYPD's top spokesman.

"She knew he had a gun. She saw it on his hip and later in his hand."

Several blocks later, the assailant forced the woman down a driveway and behind a building on Park Terrace West, where he raped her, police said.

A woman in a nearby building said she heard the attack and called 911 twice in 10 minutes.

"The first time I suspected it was not consensual," she told the Daily News. "The second time because I saw a gun."

She said the weapon dropped out of the suspect's pants and he bent over to pick it up.

When cops showed up, the woman and Pena were clothed and standing up. His 9-mm. handgun was on the ground.

"He raped me," she told police as she ran up to them.

The officers tackled Pena, 27, who had his NYPD shield and ID card in his pocket.

They comforted the woman, who wore a black dress, offering her a chair as she calmly recounted what happened, a witness said.

She was treated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia.

A three-year veteran assigned to the 33rd Precinct, Pena was charged with forcible rape and suspended without pay.

He said nothing as he was led, head hung low, from the 34th Precinct stationhouse - clad in a Tyvek suit used to capture forensic evidence, such as hair.

Even in a neighborhood where crime has spiked this year, Inwood residents were stunned.

"It's just unbelievable," said Andre Lopes, 52. "It's like a little piece of paradise here, and then, to wake up to this scene - it's scary."

State Sen. Andriano Espaillat, who lives on the block, said the rape is especially troubling because of other recent sex attacks in the area.


OR - Where to put Oregon's homeless sex offenders? Well, the Salem Walmart parking lot is out

Original Article

08/20/2011

By Lynne Terry

SALEM -- [name withheld] crawls out of his bedroll, yanks on jeans and a T-shirt and shoves open the back door of his van. He steps outside into the early morning air, alone in the parking lot.

[name withheld] sleeps in his beat-up 1985 Chevy Astro. These days he parks overnight in a lot serving a cluster of Marion County buildings, including the jail, parole and probation and sheriff's offices. Before that he camped amid the RVs at Walmart.

This might be the story of so many homeless in Oregon except for this twist: [name withheld], 51, is a registered sex offender.

To fulfill the terms of his post-prison supervision, he must register his address. But he has no permanent roof over his head.

Oregon has 18,000 registered sex offenders and an unknown fraction are homeless. Tracking them is a nationwide problem, said Vi Beaty, manager of the sex offender registry in Oregon.
- If you know how many are offenders, then how come you don't know how many are homeless?  I think it's not published because it would show that the state, by the very laws they are passing, is forcing most ex-offenders into homelessness.

"Nobody really has a good answer for it," she said. "We have people registered under bridges. If they sleep in a parking lot or rest area it would not surprise me. I've never heard of (using) Walmart before."
- Well, that is because they don't want to look "pro-sex offender" or "soft" on crime.  If you repeal the residency restrictions, which do not prevent crime or protect anybody, then most of the problem goes away.  Yeah, it's that easy, if you stop looking for vengeance.

[name withheld]'s case is not the first time a cash-strapped municipality has let a sex offender camp in a parking lot. Polk County offered them a space next to its corrections building until 2007, when it set up three beds for offenders inside the building after their release. But the county would never send sex offenders to Walmart, said Marty Silbernagel, director of Polk County corrections.

"It's a public place," Silbernagel said, "It's like saying it's OK to stay at McDonald's."
- Well, under a bridge is a public place as well, but people across this country have been approving those locations.  So the above statement, IMO, is a load of BS.

Other sex offenders have camped at Walmart, which is known for welcoming travelers. Last year a sex offender in North Carolina was arrested after flashing a girl. Like [name withheld], he was living in his car and had registered his address at a Walmart parking lot in Wilmington.

"It's an issue for Walmart and anyone who shops there," said Ben David, a North Carolina district attorney. "Walmarts are open 24 hours and the whole community comes there."

[name withheld]'s journey from prison to parking lots began in July 2009 when he was released Oregon State Correctional Institution. He served more than six years for first-degree sex abuse for touching the breast of an 11-year-old girl.

When he emerged from prison, his parole officer told him to stay at the Union Gospel Mission in Salem.

The agency offers a bed, food and clothing to help former prisoners ease back into society. In exchange, they're expected to attend chapel services. [name withheld], an atheist, found that offensive. So he slept under a Salem bridge instead.

Two Marion County parole officers arrested him for breaking the terms of his post-prison supervision and sent him to a work-release center for 13 days. When he came out, he stayed with his sister in Salem.

They had a fight in January, and she threw him out. He said his parole officer arrested him for not indicating he was changing his address, had him thrown in jail and then ordered him to camp out in the Walmart lot.

"He directed me to do it," [name withheld] said, referring to his parole officer Eric Bandonis. "He gave me a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in the morning."

[name withheld] said Bandonis popped up at the lot to check up on him.

"He had me open up my van to look for drugs or beer or kids," [name withheld] said.

Bandonis did not return calls seeking comment. The head of Marion County parole and probation, Cmdr. Jeff Wood, said the agency has two organizations, Union Gospel Mission and Stepping Out Ministries, for prisoners upon their release but both are faith-based.

"In a circumstance like [name withheld]'s, we have a lack of resources," Wood said. "We can't force people into programs that are faith-based if it goes against that person's belief."

Wood said it's up to the offender then to find a place to stay.

"We don't order people to the Walmart parking lot," Wood said.

But Bandonis did sign off on the arrangement. He signed documents after mandatory monthly visits with [name withheld], approving the Walmart address on forms signed in March, April, May and June.

Bandonis asked [name withheld] to get Walmart's permission, [name withheld] said. He said he thought he had, asking an employee walking through the lot whether he could sleep in his van overnight. But that person was not the manager and [name withheld] did not say he was a convicted sex offender. He said he wasn't ordered to do that.

Many Walmart stores -- but not all -- welcome travelers.

"We do allow it if you have permission from the store manager," said Dianna Gee, a company spokeswoman. "This person did not have permission."

Signs in the Salem lot, which is equipped with security cameras, ban overnight camping. But employees say travelers are welcome, and parking spaces are marked for RVs.

At daybreak one recent morning, about a dozen pickups, vans and motorhomes with license plates from Pennsylvania to Montana and Washington state were parked in the lot on Turner Road in Southeast Salem, their owners asleep.

"We do allow it if you have permission from the store manager," said Dianna Gee, a company spokeswoman. "This person did not have permission."

Walmart found out about [name withheld] after a reporter for The Oregonian asked about him.

"When we heard about it, we were very disturbed," Gee said. "We began working with law enforcement to make sure this individual won't be allowed on our property again."


UK - Accused sex offender in court


FL - Distance offers kids little protection from sex offenders

Original Article

08/19/2011

By RACHEL KAYLOR

It has been called the geography of punishment.

But whether it's 1,000 feet, 1½ miles or 2 miles, distance doesn't go as far as parents might think to protect children from sex offenders, according to those who work with them.

Within a two-mile radius of Young Middle Magnet School, where more than 600 children will come and go once school starts Tuesday, live 263 convicted sex offenders.

That's a greater concentration than at any of Hillsborough County's public schools. Two miles is where most Hillsborough students qualify for a bus ride; if they live any closer they must walk to school or get a ride.

Concerns about proximity are behind a Florida law barring any convicted sex offender judged guilty in the last seven years from living within 1,000 feet of a school.

In addition, whenever a sex offender moves within 1.5 miles of a school, day care or other buildings where children gather, the Hillsborough Sheriff's Department alerts them.

But experts say parents and community leaders may be fighting the wrong battle with moves aimed at putting distance between offenders and potential victims.

Distance, they say, doesn't offer protection. The reason: Predators rarely victimize at random.

In as many as 93 percent of child sexual abuse cases, the child knows the offender, according to data from the U.S. Department of Justice.

"People believe that the registered sex offenders are the highest risks, when they really need to look at the people in their own lives," said Laura Umfer (Blog), a sex offender psychologist in Tampa.

Learn more on this story from parents, authorities and sex offenders themselves in The Tampa Tribune on Sunday.


MO - James Moll - Sex Offender Therapist

ATA certified Sex Offender Treatment Therapist talks about the registry and sex offender recovery. Warning to Parents.


LA - Match.com Ordered to Prove it Screens for Sex Offenders

Original Article

08/19/2011

A LA Superior Court Judge said he wants proof that Match.com is living up to its screening promises.

A Los Angeles judge Friday ordered an attorney for the dating website Match.com to return to court next week with proof that the site has implemented procedures to screen members to determine if any are convicted sex offenders.
- What about screening for other crimes as well?

The Internet dating site was sued in April by Carole Markin, who said she was sexually assaulted by a man she met on Match.com last year. She later found out the man had prior sexual battery convictions.
- And Carole has several books on "Bad Dates (here and here)," also (See the video below, or the link above).

The man, [name withheld], 67, pleaded no contest Wednesday to sexual assault.

Markin sued to compel the website to implement some type of screening procedure, such as checking prospective members against a national sex offender registry.
- Like I said above, what about other criminals?  Like murderers, gang members, thieves, etc?

Match.com officials subsequently announced that they would screen new members. In court today, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carl West said he wanted to see proof that the screening was in place.

"It's a very serious claim,'' West said. "If Match.com has adopted policies that are good for public, then everybody wins.''
- I disagree.  It's an invasion of privacy, and if they do not screen people against all criminal records, then it's also discrimination.

He said if the company provides proof of an operable system being used, the lawsuit would likely be settled. Markin's attorney, Mark Webb, agreed.

Match.com attorney Joseph Laska said the screening system is in place and he would bring the required proof to court Tuesday.

[name withheld] is facing 365 days in jail, five years of probation and lifetime registration as a sex offender when he is sentenced Sept. 19 by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson, according to Deputy District Attorney Jane Creighton.

A second count -- forcible oral copulation -- is expected to be dismissed after he is sentenced on the charge of sexual battery by restraint.

[name withheld] and the woman went out twice in 2010 and he sexually assaulted her after following her into her residence and holding her down after their second date, according to the District Attorney's Office.
- Why in the hell is she bringing someone she knows nothing about, into her home?


CA - To Catch A Predator TV show entrapment

Original Article

08/18/2011

By Damien Gayle

A sailor who was accused of being a paedophile by a sting broadcast on a national cable network has been acquitted after a judge threw the case out of court.

Twenty-six-year-old [name withheld] appeared on NBC Dateline's To Catch A Predator five years ago, where he was accused of trying to have sex with an online decoy posing as a 13-year-old girl.

But yesterday Mr [name withheld]'s mother whooped with delight as a judge threw the case out after just six days of testimony and accused the programme's makers of entrapment.

'I'm ready to move on with my life,' Mr [name withheld] told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. He was kicked out of the Navy when the allegations became public.

Judge Arthur Wick found prosecutors had failed to prove Mr [name withheld] had a 'specific intent' to commit the crime he was accused of - attempting lewd acts with a child under age 14.

In reaching his decision, Judge Wick slammed the tactics used by online watchdog Perverted Justice, NBC's partner in the investigation, which he suggested lacked credibility and engaged in entrapment.

Mr [name withheld] had been on leave from the Navy when he was arrested after a three-day paedophile sting in Petaluma, California, in August 2006.

Perverted Justice volunteers posing as a 13-year-old girl living in the area contacted Mr [name withheld] through an internet chatroom and struck up an online dialogue with him.

During their chats, Mr [name withheld] suggested they 'cut up some fruit and eat it off each other' and asked the fictional teenager about the oldest person she had slept with, court documents said.

Mr [name withheld] eventually agreed to meet the girl at a Petaluma house. After travelling by bus from Watsonville, he stripped off his shirt as he entered the backyard of the home.

Dateline's television crew and host Chris Hansen were there to meet him. Mr Hansen has made a name and reputation for himself through his dramatic confrontations with suspects on the programme.

After a brief conversation, which was recorded and broadcast, Mr [name withheld] was arrested by officers from the Petaluma police, which was also broadcast.

The defence team did not have an opportunity to present its case before Judge Wick stopped the trial and issued his verdict.

Mr [name withheld]'s lawyer, Stephen Turer, argued that it was volunteers from Perverted Justice who had steered the conversation towards sex and his client had intended nothing more than 'watching movies and cuddling' after travelling 110 miles to meet the girl.

He added that his client had doubted the girl's age because she had a mature voice and spoke in a sophisticated way.

'This case is the poster child for the abuse in this programme,' Mr Turer told the Press Democrat. 'They took everything away from this kid just to make a TV show.'

After the verdict was handed down, Mr [name withheld]'s mother, [name withheld], from Watsonville, was fierce in her criticism of NBC Dateline.

She vowed to sue NBC for the more than $100,000 she and her husband had spent defending their son against the charges, and derided the sting as a 'huge waste' of taxpayers' money.

Sonoma County jurors leaving the courthouse said they were disappointed by the methods used by Perverted Justice in carrying out the sting.
- It's about time a judge and even jurors see Perverted-Justice for what they are, vigilantes!

Juror Kathleeen Kerchkoff, a bank teller from Windsor, told the Press Democrat that the southern-California based group had obviously induced Mr [name withheld] to act the way he did, adding that she would have found him not guilty if the jury had been allowed to make a decision.

In total, 27 defendants identified by Perverted Justice and NBC Dateline's sting have been convicted.
- Only 27, out of the TONS of people they entrapped!

Perverted Justice are an online vigilante group who scour online chatrooms and social networks attempting to identify users who may be attempting to groom children for sex.

Since 2004, the group claims to have secured 546 convictions across the country.
- Which is probably a load of BS!


KA - Judge refuses to block Louisiana from enforcing new law limiting sex offenders' Internet access

Original Article

08/19/2011

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN

NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge refused Friday to temporarily block Louisiana officials from enforcing a new law that limits sex offenders' access to social networking websites and other online forums.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana sued Gov. Bobby Jindal and Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell this week and asked U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson for a temporary restraining order that would prevent the state from enforcing the law, which took effect on Monday.

But the judge ruled Friday that Jindal and Caldwell — the only defendants named in the suit — don't have the authority to take the action that the ACLU is seeking.

"The defendants lack original jurisdiction over criminal prosecutions pursuant to (the new law) and also lack the authority to order those with such original jurisdiction not to exercise it," Jackson wrote.

Marjorie Esman, the ACLU chapter's executive director, said in response to the ruling that the group may amend the suit to name additional defendants.

"We'll do whatever is necessary ... to make sure we can get the kind of relief our plaintiff needs," she said.

The ACLU sued on behalf of an anonymous plaintiff who is a registered sex offender, living in East Baton Rouge Parish.

The new law prohibits "unlawful use or access of social media" by convicted sex offenders whose victim was a child. Probation, parole officers and judges can make exceptions, but the ACLU says the law doesn't specify any procedures for obtaining permission.

The ACLU claims the law is overly broad and unconstitutional. The group says the law may have targeted sites like Facebook and MySpace but also blocks access to newspaper sites, job databases and other websites.

In a statement earlier this week, Jindal said he will fight the ACLU's suit "with everything I have" and called their challenge "a disturbing break from reality, even for the ACLU."

The plaintiff was convicted of possessing child pornography and served four years in prison. He has worked as a computer repair technician since his 2006 release but will be unable to perform his job under the law's restrictions, the suit says.

The ACLU had asked Jackson to issue the restraining order pending an Aug. 26 hearing on the group's request for a preliminary injunction. Jackson's order Friday doesn't pass judgment on the merits of the ACLU's claims that the law is unconstitutional.


College Rape Accusations and the Presumption of Male Guilt

Original Article

08/20/2011

By PETER BERKOWITZ

Pressured by the Obama administration, universities abandon any pretense of due process in sexual assault cases.

Late August and early September bring recent high school graduates, bright and eager, to campuses around the country. Carefully planned orientation sessions will impress upon freshmen the paramount importance of sensitivity, of avoiding offensive words and ideas, and—notwithstanding that in recent years approximately 55% of matriculating freshmen nationally have been female—the urgency of maintaining a campus atmosphere friendly to women.

But parents who might expect this orientation to include an introduction to the moral and political purposes of liberal education—including respect for liberty of thought and discussion, and due process of law—will be sorely disappointed.

The neglect at freshmen orientation of the aim of liberal education and how it undergirds and is undergirded by the principles of freedom is not an accident. It is emblematic of college as a whole. Our universities impair liberal education not only by what they teach and do not teach in classrooms but also by the illiberal rules they promulgate to regulate speech and conduct outside of class.

The Obama administration has aggravated the problem. On April 4, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali, head of the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR), distributed a 19-page "Dear Colleague" letter to "provide recipients with information to assist them in meeting their obligations."

At the cost of losing federal funding—on which all major institutions of higher education have grown dependent—colleges and universities are obliged under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act (which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex) to thoroughly investigate all allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault on campus, including the felony of rape. They are also obliged, according to Ms. Ali, to curtail due process rights of the accused.

OCR's new interpretation of Title IX "strongly discourages" universities from permitting the accused "to question or cross-examine the accuser" during the hearing. In addition, if universities provide an appeals process, it must be available to both parties—which subjects the accused to double jeopardy.

Most egregiously, OCR requires universities to render judgment using "a preponderance of the evidence" standard. This means that in a rape case, a campus disciplinary board of faculty, administrators and perhaps students serves as both judge and jury. Few if any of these judges are likely to have professional competence in fact-gathering, evidence analysis or judicial procedure. Yet to deliver a verdict of guilty, they need only believe that the accused is more likely than not to have committed the crime.
- So basically, if you are a male and a female accuses you of rape, you are screwed!

This is the lowest standard. It is much less demanding than "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is used in the criminal justice system, and the intermediate standard of "clear and convincing proof." Yale, Stanford and many other universities have rushed to comply with OCR's directives.

On campus, where casual sex is celebrated and is frequently fueled by alcohol, the ambiguity that often attends sexual encounters is heightened and the risk of error in rape cases is increased. The consequences for a wrongly convicted student are devastating: Not only is he likely to be expelled, but he may well be barred from graduate or professional school and certain government agencies, suffer irreparable damage to his reputation, and still be exposed to criminal prosecution.

OCR directives reducing critical due process protections on campus carry forward the work of extensive university bureaucracies built to ensure compliance with Title IX. These bureaucracies churn out materials on sexual harassment and sexual violence to train students, faculty and administrators to behave and think properly and to prepare those who serve on disciplinary boards. The materials are likely to include dubious statistics about the incidence of sexual assault; vulgar generalizations that men are controlling, angry and deceitful; and assurances that women neither lie nor make errors in alleging that they have been sexually assaulted.

In short, universities are institutionalizing a presumption of guilt in sexual assault cases. This implements the doctrine developed in the 1980s and '90s by postmodernists, radical feminists and critical legal studies scholars that inspired the ruinous campus speech codes. That doctrine teaches that the American political order is designed to oppress the weak; that racial minorities and women, whether they realize it or not, are victims; and that the truth, except for the first two propositions, is infinitely malleable.

These teachings—and the disdain for the rights of the accused and liberty of thought and discussion that they sustain—are animated by illiberal convictions shared by many faculty and administrators, as well as the Obama administration Department of Education. Notwithstanding their selective appeal to the relativity of truth to neutralize alternative views, they are convinced that in practice all the hard questions about right and wrong have been finally settled and that faculty and administrators are uniquely in possession of the correct answers. Such dogmatism and imperviousness to evidence are hallmarks of the authoritarian mind.

One might have hoped that in response to OCR's reduction of due process protections some professors and high university officials would come forward to object.

Where are the professors of literature who will patiently point out that, particularly where erotic desire is involved, intentions can be obscure, passions conflicting, the heart murky and the soul divided?

Where are the professors of natural science who will declare that OCR-dictated hearings are antithetical to the spirit of the scientific method, which depends on respect for the facts and testing claims through rational procedures?

Where are the professors of history, political science and law who will insist clearly and in public that due process is a fundamental component of American political institutions and culture, a cornerstone of our legal system, and indispensable in a free society to the fair administration of justice?

Where are the professors of moral philosophy and practical ethics who will stand up and declare that the presumption of innocence rightly gives expression to both the belief in the dignity of the individual and the awareness of human fallibility?

And where are the deans, provosts and university presidents who will explain in no uncertain terms to their campus communities and to the wider public that weakening due process and freedom of speech protections erodes the framework within which free inquiry flourishes?

So far such professors and high university officials are nowhere to be found.

Who then is welcoming our nation's freshmen to campus? And who, for the next four years, will be presiding over the cultivation of their minds?


ME - State sex offender registry upheld as constitutional

Original Article

08/20/2011

By Ann S. Kim

Several plaintiffs argued that it is unconstitutionally retroactive and violates due process.

A judge has upheld Maine's sex offender registry law in a challenge by more than a dozen plaintiffs who argued that it is unconstitutional.

Kennebec County Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy rejected claims that Maine's Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act is unconstitutional on several grounds.

The plaintiffs claimed that it is unconstitutionally retroactive, violates due process and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

The plaintiffs, who maintained their anonymity under the aliases of John Doe, argued that they should not be required to be in the online registry because that requirement came about long after they served their original sentences.

The state's sex offender registration requirement took effect in 1992 and has gone through various changes since then.

In 2005, the Legislature amended the law so that all sex offenders sentenced as of Jan. 1, 1982, had to register.

Murphy wrote that the state has legitimate reasons for monitoring the whereabouts and activities of sex offenders living in Maine.

She also wrote that "the sting of injustice" felt by the plaintiffs, many of whom were convicted in the 1980s, is understandable.

"However, in the absence of finding retroactive punitiveness or other specific constitutional violation, a regulation made for the public good under the legislature's police powers must be upheld," Murphy wrote in her 70-page decision, issued Thursday. "The court owes the legislature that deference under the balance of powers."

Attorney General William Schneider praised Murphy's ruling in a statement announcing the decision late Friday.

"This important decision upholds the Legislature's efforts to reduce incidents of sexual exploitation, violence and abuse in Maine. The sex offender registration and notification provisions ... are a necessary mechanism to inform and protect the public," he said.
- So, when are you going to put all other criminals on an online registry as well, to "prevent" further crimes from them as well, whom, most have a higher recidivism rate?  If it's "constitutional" here, then it's "constitutional" for everyone else as well, right?

The case has its roots in an action brought in 2006 by the first John Doe. Similar cases were consolidated and, at one point, there were as many as 47 John Does.

In 2009, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court found that some portions of the law violated the prohibition on retroactive laws.
- So, if some portions violate the ex post facto portion of the Constitution, then passing this law and going back to the 80's is also retroactive (ex post facto) punishment.  So it's "constitutional" in some ways, and unconstitutional in others?  Come on, the whole law is unconstitutional.  But, nobody wants to appear "soft on sex offender," due to the mass hysteria spread by the media and politicians, so they claim it's "constitutional," in order to "look tough," and to not ruin their careers, IMO.

The Legislature made changes the next year. Twenty-four of the 47 John Does eventually dismissed their cases.

Some of the remaining plaintiffs joined in the motion for summary judgment that led to Murphy's decision.

Nine of the John Does qualify for statutory or automatic removal from the registry and six remain on the registry.

Murphy also ruled Thursday that the plaintiffs' lawyers are not entitled to the more-than $600,000 in attorneys' fees they requested.


FL - Kentucky cop among child-predator suspects arrested in sex sting, feds say

Original Article

Like I've said, and others have said, a ton of times, if a person is intent on committing a crime, they will. No registry, residency restriction, or any other law will stop that. And this is further proof of that.

08/19/2011

By Susan Jacobson

A Kentucky police lieutenant, a convicted murderer, a theme-park pastry chef, a business coach, a candy-store employee, a school computer technician and two convicted sex offenders were among 26 men arrested in a child-predator investigation, the U.S. Attorney's Office said today.

The multi-agency sting, dubbed "Operation Safe Summer," began in May and ended Thursday with the arrest of the final 13 of the 26 men, said Robert O'Neill, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida.

"They just don't think they're going to get caught," said Agent Dan Ogden of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, which was heavily involved in the operation. "It's a compulsion."
- For some it may be a compulsion, but a vast majority it is not.

One of the suspects had 7,000 movies depicting child pornography, law officers said. Some of the pornography depicted babies crying out in pain as they were being sexually abused, investigators said.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will view the videos to try to identify the victims. The hope is that their abusers can be found and prosecuted.

"Most of the [abused] children in America are abused by someone they know or by a relative," said Lt. Tod Goodyear of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

The operation was part of Project Safe Childhood, a national initiative started in May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice to crack down on child sexual exploitation and abuse.
- So what about a crack down on normal child abuse by parents and others?

Agents set up their undercover operation on social-networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace, photo-sharing networks and chat rooms that pedophiles frequent, Goodyear said.

"We target areas where we know they're going to be looking for children or where children are going," he said.

The oldest man arrested was Samuel Langfitt III, 72, of Cocoa Beach. He is a former U.S. Navy officer and a businessman who runs Trisel, a "personal executive coaching" company, according to its website.

The youngest are both 19: Jasen Anderson of Edgewater and Bradley Fox of Cocoa.

Charges include lewd and lascivious exhibition and solicitation, possession and distribution of child pornography and solicitation and travel to engage in sex with a minor. Two of the men traveled to Brevard County with the intention of having sex with children, investigators said. Others sent obscene pictures of themselves over the Internet, agents said.

Others arrested include:

  • Steven Waring, 32, of Cocoa, who resigned from the computer department at Space Coast Junior/Senior High School after his arrest. He is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.
  • David Williams, 37, of West Point, Ky, who resigned from the Radcliff (Ky.) Police Department after his arrest. Reports show he thought he was chatting online with a 14-year-old girl who actually was an undercover law officer. He is charged with lewd exhibition and solicitation.
  • Phillip Trott, 49, of Cape Coral, who is on probation from a 1990 Volusia County case involving second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. He is charged with lewd and lascivious exhibition and solicitation.
  • Rafael E. Gonzalez, 50, of Palm Bay, a registered sex predator on probation for the 1997 sexual battery of a minor relative or child for whom he was the custodian. His charges are possession and distribution of child pornography.
  • Thomas P. Baker, 53, a registered sex offender from Apopka, who was sentenced to four years and three months in prison for a 1998 lewd and lascivious assault on a child younger than 16 in Seminole County.