Friday, September 2, 2011

GA - Georgia is wasting money on Offender Watch, $154,000 to be exact

Over 45 counties in Georgia are using the Offender Watch program, which costs $3,500. There are 45 counties in the state which use this, for a total of $157,500. Why must each county have their own special sex offender shaming list, when you could save $154,000, and only have one Offender Watch for the state at the GBI? I am going to email all these folks, who run each Offender Watch site, and ask them this, but I'm sure they won't respond.


WI - 40 Years for a Hickey?

Original Article

09/01/2011

By Russell Plummer

The Fond du Lac County District Attorney's Office is appealing a judge's decision to throw out a case involving a 17-year-old Fond du Lac boy allegedly giving a 13-year-old girl a "hickey" on her chest.

Circuit Court Judge Gary Sharpe on Aug. 19 did not find probable cause in the case of second-degree sexual assault of a child after listening to testimony from the girl.

Upon conviction, the Class C felony carries a potential maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, 15 years extended supervision and lifetime registry as a sex offender.

Capt. Steve Klein confirmed the Police Department referred the Class C felony to the DA's Office. Detective Pat Primising investigated the alleged assault.

When making his ruling at the preliminary hearing, Sharpe said, "To say this case is overcharged is an understatement," according to a transcript.

Appeal request

District Attorney Dan Kaminsky said his office has submitted the matter to the Attorney General's Office, requesting the AG's Office file an appeal.

According to the one-page criminal complaint:
On June 18, the sister of the 13-year-old girl called the boy to bring over a soccer ball to play with. The boy then asked the 13-year-old girl to come into his car with him.

Inside the vehicle, the two kissed. The boy gave the girl a hickey on her right breast, and the girl gave the boy a hickey on his neck.

The boy then asked to receive oral sex. The 13-year-old told him no and stated she did not want to have sex with him.

Primising interviewed the teen at his Fond du Lac home. The teen did not allow the detective to take a swab from his mouth to compare DNA.

The teen also allegedly admitted to dating a 14-year-old girl.

The boy's attorney, Michael O'Rourke, said his client denies the contact with the 13-year-old.

"The issue I find much more disturbing is that they (the DA's Office) charged this case in this manner. I mean, a 40-year felony for two teenagers giving hickeys to each other? I understand she is 13," O'Rourke said. "But he is only 17. There is a four-year age difference.

"Even if he did give her a hickey on her breast and that might technically equal second-degree sexual assault of a child, should we be charging that? That's where I find it disturbing."

O'Rourke said if the state is serious about the charge, the DA's Office wants a conviction that would place his client on the sex offender registry, an outcome that would ban the boy from certain jobs and from living in parts of communities.

O'Rourke suggested that the case could have been charged as fourth-degree sexual assault or disorderly conduct. The teen has no criminal history, he said.

Citing Supreme Court rules, Kaminsky declined to discuss why Assistant District Attorney Devra Ayala pursued the charge suggested by the Police Department.

"Unlike my counterpart (O'Rourke), I will not violate the Supreme Court rules by discussing issues on this case in public at this stage," Kaminsky wrote in an email. "It is unethical to attempt to sway public opinion to gain advantage in litigation. Perhaps you (The Reporter) should do a story on attorneys who actively seek publicity in violation of this rule and perhaps without client consent in violation of rules 20:1.4 and 20:1.6."

At the preliminary hearing, Ayala told Sharpe, "it is the court's duty to decide whether the elements have been met," then alluded to plea deals and the 17-year-old's history.

"This is a case which we can flush out and decide how to resolve later, but there are concerns with (the 17-year-old's) past history which aren't necessarily relevant for this hearing and his behavior with other young females, other 13- and 14-year-old girls, so that is why the state chose to resolve this this way," said Ayala, according to the transcript. "How we resolve it is to be seen down the road."

Overcharged?

O'Rourke said Ayala's statement implies the DA's Office overcharged the case on purpose in order to negotiate.

"That is kind of a damning statement in my opinion," O'Rourke said. "He is facing a 40-year felony. That's pretty good incentive to negotiate. If he is denying he did it and they (the DA's Office) say they will give him a misdemeanor, any attorney has to say, 'Do you want to take the offer or roll the dice on being a sex offender the rest of your life?' People will plead to things they are innocent of under that kind of pressure."

Sharpe said there was insufficient evidence to justify prosecution of a Class C felony.

Ayala said she could show the court a photo of the hickey but it would need to be sealed. She also offered the case be reopened so an officer could describe the location of the mark.

Sharpe did not allow the extra testimony and said he was not interested in viewing the photos, according to the transcript.


ME - DA Mary Kellett causing rape hysteria with witch hunt in Maine

Original Article

This lady, if all this is true, needs to be fired and sent to prison! This just reminds me of Nancy Disgrace, Mike NiFong, and others.

09/01/2011

Ellsworth, Maine is a small town that helps make up a county of only 50,000 people, but a big scandal is erupting as citizens are rallying against the District Attorney.

DA Mary Kellett is accused of bringing false accusations against men who suffered prison time for crimes they didn’t commit.
- And she apparently has a history of doing this, see here.

After 16 years of marriage, [name withheld] filed for divorce from his wife a few years ago, alleging that he didn’t want his children to be raised in a household ripe with abusive behavior from his mentally unstable spouse. While Mr. [name withheld] attempted to tackle the legal proceedings in as civil of a manner as possible, Ellsworth residents say that divorce started off what they call the a modern day witch hunt, dubbed the Rape Hysteria of Ellsworth.

[name withheld]’s wife responded to the divorce filing with allegations of her own. She said her husband would murder their children. She also said that she wanted [name withheld] dead and would cut him into pieces herself. The allegations against Mr. [name withheld] were proved false by a DHHS investigation, but once the woman brought charges of rape against her husband, [name withheld] was put behind bars.
- You see, just accuse someone of a sexual crime, and you are immediately guilty!

Mary Kellettt
Without any physical evidence of a sexual assault, Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellettt crusaded against [name withheld] and had him arrested and charged with rape and assault. There was no proof aside from testimonies from his wife, who had previously been labeled as having “mental issues” by the police and “certifiable” by the Sheriff’s Department. DA Kellett pushed on with the case, however, humiliating Mr. [name withheld] in the courtroom and saying that the state could not afford a more thorough forensic investigation but that statistics suggest that Mr. [name withheld] most likely raped his wife. She urged the jury to find him guilty on all counts despite presenting no evidence and hurdling prejudiced accusations. Evidence regarding Mr. [name withheld]’s innocence was disregarded on trial and the jury was never even made aware that he had sought a restraining order from his wife in order to protect him and his children.

Ligia Filler
Mr. [name withheld] was convicted by a jury on a slew of charges, but eventually won an appeal. Had he not, he faced up to 30 years in jail. The Maine Supreme Court ruled that Mary Kellett had “improperly encouraged the jury to use the absence of evidence” to convict Fuller, but years after the case first came to light, Ellsworth residents are now turning on the District Attorney for other prosecutions she unjustly aided in.

Earlier this month, the state Board of Overseers of the Bar Counsel is saying that DA Kellett applied prosecutorial misconduct while serving as District Attorney. While the [name withheld] case might have garnered some attention on false rape charges, Kellett led trials against several other Maine men for crimes that might not have been committed. According to the Bar Counsel, witnesses and evidence were both tampered with by Kellett at numerous court hearings and she has at time presented false information and evidence before both judge and jury.

In one such incident, Kellett incorrectly informed a jury that one of the defendants she lobbed rape charges against had killed his first wife. He did not. During other trials she tried to deny defense attorneys access to alleged evidence and has been accused of knowingly making false statements in the courtroom.

Upwards of four men in the small Maine community are indicted on counts of rape each month, and Kellett has been aiding in these prosecutions often delivering only allegations and accusations against defendants that are produced by often mentally unstable spouses and girlfriends. While Mr. [name withheld] was able to appeal his convictions, not all are so lucky. Now advocates are calling for the disbarment of the prosecutor.

As of this month, 1,133 people have already signed their names to a petition to disbar Mary Kellett. The Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (Facebook, Twitter) advocacy group say that she has “had the effect of undermining public respect for law,” and calls her dangerous.

Despite her misconduct, DA Kellett continues to lead prosecutions against men in Ellsworth with often nothing more than allegations from estranged spouses. In most of the cases, defendants are found guilty with no evidence to show. Presidential candidate Bob Barr (Facebook, Twitter) has called for an investigation into civil rights crimes committed by Kellet and renowned private investigator TJ Ward has been tackling the case for [name withheld] free of charge. According to Ward, this prosecutorial corruption scandal is affecting numerous innocent lives. As Kellett’s wrath wages on, more men in the town of Ellsworth aren’t safe from persecution as the DA continues her witch hunt.


We register sex offenders, why not all other criminals?

This is from show which I am not sure what it is called, but it has a good point. If sex offenders must register, after they have served their time, why not murderers and all other ex-felons?


MI - Doctor jailed 3 years wants perjury charges for sex-assault accuser

Original Article

This just shows, your life can be ruined in a matter of minutes, simply due to someone "saying" something happened.

08/29/2011

By L.L. BRASIER

Dr. Labeed Nouri is building a new life. But he still has some unfinished business from his old one.

Nouri, 40, served more than three years behind bars, convicted of sexually assaulting a young woman who worked in his medical office.

He got out of prison after prosecutors learned in April that the woman and her boyfriend lied repeatedly on the witness stand when they said she was a virgin, a central issue in the case.

Nouri, who maintains his innocence, is now reunited with his wife and four children. He's back practicing as an orthopedic surgeon.

And he's on a mission: Nouri is trying to get his accuser charged with perjury.

"She took three years from me," he said. "I can never get them back. My youngest daughter was a baby when I went away. I never saw her first step, heard her say her first word. It's my turn for justice."

The woman, through her attorney, declined an interview. The Free Press is not naming her because she has not been charged with a crime.
- Not yet, but when he was accused and not charged, I am sure you named him!

Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, who dropped felony charges against Nouri and sought his release from prison when she learned of the perjury, said she is awaiting police reports before deciding whether to file any charges against the woman.

"We moved heaven and earth to get him out immediately when we learned of this," Cooper said.

Now free, doctor learns letter in sex assault case was forged

When Labeed Nouri was sentenced to prison in April 2010, the judge read a letter signed by his accuser's priest.

"A young girl has had her youth stolen," the letter read. "I have told her to forgive Labeed Nouri. She has forgiven him, but she needs closure on this terrible ordeal. ... It is time to grant her wish of getting her justice and put Labeed Nouri in jail where he deserves to be."

Oakland County Judge Mark Goldsmith did just that, sentencing Nouri to 10 to 20 years in prison for sexual assault convictions involving a woman who was 19 when she worked in his medical office in 2007. By then, Nouri already had spent 700 days in the Oakland County Jail awaiting trial and later trying to get his conviction overturned.
- So much for the "right to a speedy trial!"

Free since April 2011, after prosecutors learned the woman had lied on the stand, Nouri said he only recently learned about another lie. The letter purported to be from the Rev. Zuhair Kejbou of St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in Troy wasn't written by him.

"I have never written any letter," Kejbou told the Free Press. "Anybody can forge a signature."
- Well, forging someone's signature is a crime, as well as falsely accusing someone of something they did not do.  Hopefully he will get justice, and she will be put into jail for about 700 days or more.

Kejbou said he hasn't seen the woman, who is a member of his congregation, since he learned of the forged letter and has not questioned her or her family about it.

The woman, whom the Free Press is not naming because she has not been charged with a crime, declined an interview request through her attorney.
- Not yet, but when he was accused and not charged, I am sure you named him!

Nouri and his attorney Mark Kriger are calling for an investigation into the forged letter. They say that letter and others written on the accuser's behalf persuaded the judge to give Nouri a long prison sentence.

"It is a fraud and an obstruction of justice," Kriger said. "The judge relied on those letters to decide on my client's sentence, and he sentenced him to prison for 10 years. It's a travesty."
- So, it sounds to me like they sentenced him on he said/she said accusations alone, and not on evidence, that is where the injustice resides!

After-hours assault alleged

Nouri, a Chaldean who emigrated from Iraq in 2003, had a thriving medical practice in Hazel Park and Sterling Heights, often treating other Chaldeans in the tight-knit community. The married father was vice president of the church council at St. Toma Syriac Catholic Church in Farmington Hills.

In late May 2007, one of Nouri's Chaldean patients asked whether Nouri would hire his 19-year-old daughter, who was working at a video store. Nouri and his wife, Rouwaida Nouri, who managed his medical practice, agreed to hire her for two days a week to help with filing in their Hazel Park office.

On June 22, 2007, her sixth day of work, the woman alleged Nouri assaulted her in an exam room after hours, violating her with his fingers and touching her breasts and buttocks. The woman said the attack occurred between 7:15 and 7:23 p.m. -- saying she noticed the times on clocks in the office and in her car when she left. At 7:33 p.m., she called her boyfriend in a parking lot 2 miles from the office, telling him she had been assaulted.

Records eventually obtained by the defense show Nouri was in his office from 7:06 to 7:27 p.m., continuously dictating over the phone to a medical dictation firm.

The woman's parents took her to police and to a hospital. She refused to allow a rape exam, saying she was a virgin and such an exam would "un-virginize me," records show. A later external exam at a clinic run by Haven, a nonprofit that offers support to sexual assault victims, showed a tiny tear measuring less than half a centimeter.
- So, when it involves an alleged sexual assault, they should FORCE her to submit to a rape kit!

Nouri was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct for the alleged touching.

Virginity plays central role

From the beginning, defense attorneys contended the woman, who lived in Sterling Heights with her parents, fabricated the story because she had been sexually active and needed to explain why she was no longer a virgin.

Virginity is highly valued in the conservative Chaldean Catholic Church. During Nouri's trial, defense attorneys presented a gynecologist who said he was frequently asked by Chaldean families to examine daughters on the eve of their weddings to verify their virginity. Sometimes, weddings were called off if a woman was found to not be a virgin.

Nouri's accuser was asked on the witness stand about her virginity.

"In those reports at the hospital and to the police and at Haven, you went to great lengths, just as you have in this courtroom this morning, to tell everyone that on June 22, 2007, you were a virgin, is that correct?" defense attorney David Griem asked.

"Yes," she answered.

"You went out of your way to tell everyone that you were a virgin. What was your purpose for doing that?" Griem asked.

She responded, "That would be why, when I had the trauma down there -- it was due to what he did."

When asked why being a virgin was important to Chaldean women, she said, "If she is not a virgin, once she does get married, the community thinks of her as being promiscuous. They will not accept her into a man's family. They expect her to be pure."

Her boyfriend was called as a prosecution witness, and he also insisted they had never had sex.

The trial lasted five days. Nouri didn't take the stand in his own defense, and his attorneys later admitted they didn't fully explain he had the right to do so -- a point brought up in his post-conviction appeals.

Initially, the jury was hung, with jurors twice asking to review the accuser's testimony. On July 2, 2008, they found Nouri guilty.

"It was a shocking case, and a shocking conviction," said Deanna Kelley, one of his defense attorneys.

Kelley said she asked jurors after the verdict how they thought Nouri could have been dictating over the phone at the same time his accuser claimed he had been assaulting her. She said jurors told her that since they couldn't reconcile the time line, they chose to disregard it. "They said they then just decided to go by their gut," she said.
- So they sentenced a man to prison, not based on evidence or testimony, but simply what she "said" happened, and their gut?  You are suppose to convict based on evidence that proves, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the accused committed the crime, not a gut feeling!

From the time the allegations were made, it would be three and a half years before Nouri and his attorneys learned the accuser and her boyfriend had lied repeatedly.

During that time, as his attorneys fought to overturn his conviction, Nouri remained incarcerated.

He was repeatedly assaulted by fellow prisoners -- his nose broken and his teeth cracked. He was hospitalized for three days and received stitches to his face, according to a federal lawsuit filed against Oakland County.

Oakland County corporation counsel Keith Lerminiaux acknowledged that Nouri had been assaulted in the jail but said he had lied about the circumstances and was the aggressor in one of the attacks. He said jail personnel obtained necessary medical treatment.

"It is our position that the county is not responsible for the assaults and therefore is not liable for them," Lerminiaux said in a written statement. He also said Nouri has not cooperated with the county in answering questions and is now seeking to dismiss the lawsuit.

Admission of lies caught on tape

In late 2010, Kriger -- Nouri's appellate attorney -- was filing motions to get the conviction overturned. One day, he heard a shocking rumor.

The accuser's boyfriend had spotted Nouri's wife and four children in the community and was suddenly overcome with guilt for lying about his sexual history with the woman.

When Kriger contacted the man, he learned he and the accuser had been sexually active for months leading up to the allegation and had since broken up. Kriger asked the man to secretly record conversations with the woman. The man met with her in March, and while recording their conversation, he told her he was worried private investigators were looking into the perjury.

The accuser, according to Kriger and prosecutors who have heard the recording, admits she lied on the stand but instructs the man to keep denying it if he's questioned.

She tells him that if authorities discover credit card receipts showing she was at local motels, she will say she lent the card to a friend. She also discusses feigning a mental breakdown so she would be hospitalized, a tactic she says she hopes would discourage a continued investigation.

Kriger took the recording to prosecutors in April. Prosecutors, noting Nouri had been convicted, offered a deal: If he pleaded no contest to a low-level misdemeanor assault -- with no probation-reporting requirements and no restrictions on obtaining his medical license -- he could be free within hours and get it expunged after five years.

It took Nouri, who was sitting in a prison cell at the Kinross Correctional Facility in the Upper Peninsula, two days to agree.

"I'm thinking, 'No, I didn't do anything,' " he recalled in a recent interview, as his wife wiped away tears. "But then I think, 'I take this and I can see my kids in a day or two.' I hadn't seen them in three years. I took it."

Meanwhile, his accuser has become a licensed practical nurse.
- Hopefully she will be in jail or prison for about 700 or more days, if convicted!

Her attorney, Edward Bajoka, declined to discuss the accusations of perjury and said he was unaware of the forged letter. He said his client insists she was attacked by Nouri.

"She does maintain that she was sexually assaulted," he said.


NY - Lawmaker (Richard Fontana) promises to build one more park in neighborhood, to further punish and exile ex-offenders

This just goes to show you, that politicians will do anything, even exploit ex-offenders and fear, to "look tough" on crime, and further their own careers. This would also be an ex post facto law which is unconstitutional, but I guess he doesn't care about the Constitution? What a dirt bag!

Original Video Description:
Some Buffalo mothers have been asking for help getting a sex offender out of their neighborhood. A lawmaker (Richard Fontana) came up with an idea months ago, but hasn't made it happen yet.


CA - Orange County Client Accused of 9 Felonies Found “Not Guilty” After Jury Trial


When Did a Big Hug Become a Bad Thing?

Original Article

09/01/2011

By Rae Pica (Twitter)

There was a time when the conventional wisdom was that we needed four hugs a day to survive, eight hugs a day to maintain, and 12 to grow. Later, as media reports of sexual assault cases spread like viruses, along with fear of lawsuits, educators and children were schooled in "bad touch" versus "good touch" (a hug was one of the latter). Now, more and more, we have no touch.

America has always been a low-touch society, but this is getting ridiculous. When teacher education programs begin advising its students to put up a high-five when a kid requests a hug, and teachers' unions instruct educators to refrain from touching kids at all, as reported in a recent Education Week blog, it's time to take a step back and reassess our priorities.

According to an article on the website of the Council for Exceptional Children, the Pennsylvania State Education Association offers the following guidelines on the use of touch: (1) consider the age, sex, and perception (maturity) of the child, (2) use touch only to praise or comfort, (3) ensure there is another adult present, and (4) briefly touch only the shoulder or arm.

Can't you see it now? A young child (how does that apply to guideline number one?) is crying and desperately in need of comfort (that meets guideline number two). But your co-teacher is out on the playground with some of the other children (number three isn't possible!), so you tentatively pat the child on the shoulder (phew, number four applied!) and say, "There, there." The child isn't remotely comforted, but you can rest assured that you've followed guidelines and are in no jeopardy of being sued for child abuse.

But isn't this child abuse? According to Frances Carlson, author of Essential Touch: Meeting the Needs of Young Children, physical contact can be more important to sustaining life than food and water! As she told me in an interview for Body, Mind and Child, children need physical contact in order to thrive and grow in every aspect of development. She cited research indicating that when children are denied touch, they fail to grow physically and to develop the emotional and social skills they need to succeed in early childhood and in life.

Dr. Lisa Fiore, Director of Early Childhood Education at Lesley University, who joined Frances and me for the discussion, pointed out that it's not just in school that children aren't getting the touch they need. Our changing society has resulted in "people engaging in activities requiring less physical contact every day."

When we consider the amount of time children are spending in front of television and computer screens, the lack of opportunity for old-fashioned rough-and-tumble play, and reports of children as old as four and five being pushed in strollers (meaning their hands aren't even being held), we begin to realize just how seldom the child's need for touch is being met.

Ironically, my guests pointed out that when men teach young children, the little ones are more likely to have their touch needs met because men engage in more physical play than women do. They're also more likely than female teachers to have a hand on the child's back while engaging in conversation. But, sadly, it is the touch from the male teacher that is most suspect of all.

Ms. Carlson recommended that, rather than no-touch policies, schools begin to establish "touch" policies that explain the boundaries of what touch looks like in education settings, and that help teachers and parents understand that denying children touch is as problematic as denying access to rest, water, or the bathroom.

Dr. Fiore ended by asking, "Wouldn't it be lovely to embrace touching in the classroom as appropriate and developmentally necessary?"

Wouldn't it be lovely, indeed, if we could put the children's needs ahead of our fears? Even if we discount the research, along with conventional wisdom, we at least should ask ourselves: if we're craving a hug, is a high-five really gonna cut it?


Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) - Dr. Robin Wilson Interview on KPFA