Friday, October 28, 2011

CA - Halloween Limits on Riverside County Sex Offenders Unconstitutional, Says L.A. Group

Original Article

10/28/2011

By Dennis Romero

Nobody loves a sex offender (except maybe his mom).
- Females also commit sex crimes.

As such, moves by California and, more recently, Riverside County to limit their participation in Halloween have been met mostly with support if not yawns.

But a new, L.A.-based organization, California Reform Sex Offender Laws, says in a statement that Riverside's limits (on for example, putting up decorations inside a sex offender's home on Halloween) have gone too far:

The ordinance recently adopted by Riverside County which prohibits "sex offenders" from celebrating Halloween in their own homes violates the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, the ordinance abridges the First Amendment right to free speech of anyone convicted of a sex-related crime ("sex offenders") by prohibiting them from decorating their homes inside or outside in celebration of Halloween as well as displaying decorative lighting and answering the front door of their homes during that evening.

Although the state of California puts similar limits on convicted sex offenders who are out of the big house -- including a Halloween-night curfew, no handing out candy, and no answering the door -- the Reform Sex Offender Laws folks argue that the state rules have no teeth.
- And you failed to mention, it's only for those on probation and/or parole.  Those off paperwork can do whatever they please (I believe).

"There's really no penalty for violating that if you're not on probation or parole," the group's state organizer, Janice Bellucci, told the Weekly Friday.

But Riverside County's rules, which also prohibit home decorations and candy hand-outs, include punishment that can go as far as a $1,000 and six months in jail.

The group says Riverside's restrictions are unconstitutional. It hopes that a legal challenge can be mustered, but Bellucci says the organization doesn't have the cash for a serious battle yet.

Bellucci:

I havent' heard one story of any trick or treater being assaulted by a sex offender ... They're passing laws that are ridiculous: They don't protect anyone and they hurt a lot of people.

[Added]: Luis Patino, spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, told the Weekly it's not true that sex offenders who break the "Operation Boo" rules can go scot-free. They could have their parole "revoked" and be sent back to prison.
- And like he mentioned, it's for those on parole and/or probation.

However, he noted that California authorities only supervise about 1 out of every 10 Golden State sex offenders, with the rest being the responsibility of governments like Riverside County.

So, while it is possible that a sex offender outside Riverside County might not have to abide by these Halloween rules, it's not right to say those offenders directly under the control of state authorities wouldn't see any consequences for things like handing out candy on Halloween.

The state also implemented for the first time this year a series of transient centers for the roughly 2,000 state-supervised homeless sex offenders, who have been ordered to report to the locations on Halloween so they can be supervised, Patino told us.

Also this year: A guide (PDF) for parents who want to find out if any sex offenders live on their kids' trick-or-treat route.

"If they see someone who should not be opening the door they can call 911," Patino says.


RI - State Rep. John Carnevale indicted on sex assault charges

John Carnevale
Original Article

10/28/2011

A state representative and retired police sergeant was indicted Friday on sexual assault charges.

Rep. John Carnevale, D-Providence, Johnston, was charged by a grand jury with first- and second-degree sexual assault and one count of assault with intent to commit sexual assault, according to Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.

According to a Johnston police report, Carnevale allegedly entered the home of the alleged victim on July 28 at about 11:30 p.m.

The report said the victim had known Carnevale for some time.

According to investigators, Carnevale told the woman she was "beautiful" and then allegedly raped her.

According to the police report, "John grabbed the back of the (alleged victim's) head and placed her face right up against (his private parts)".

After it was allegedly all over, Carnevale proceeded to "throw a $20 bill at her and told her to take her kid out to eat."

Carnevale's attorney, William Dimitri, said his client adamantly denies the charges and will address them in court. Dimitri told the Associated Press that Carnevale plans to discuss his political future with House Speaker Gordon Fox.

Carnevale is currently collecting a disability pension of $3,800 a month.

He was also charged, but not convicted of domestic assault while he was a police officer.

NBC 10 tried to speak to Carnevale, but no one answered the door at his home in Providence.

Carnevale is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 16 in Providence Country Superior Court.


CA - Former Coachella Valley police league leader pleads guilty to sex with minor, receives only 3 years probation?

Alanna Reichle
Original Article
See Also

As usual, a female gets a great deal! Reverse the roles, and the male would be in prison for many years. And all she got was probation? They don't say if she will be on the registry for life or not. So I can only assume not.

10/28/2011

A former police recreation league leader has pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor and has been sentenced to three years probation.

Alanna Reichle, 33, had sex with a teenage boy over a 14-month period.

Reichle, 33, agreed to plead guilty if three years of formal probation was granted, and Riverside County Superior Court Judge William S. Lebov accepted the plea at a felony settlement conference at Indio’s Larson Justice Center, according to court records.

Reichle’s attorney, John Patrick Dolan, said in August he would submit a pre-plea report to give the judge comprehensive knowledge of the defendant and how to consider the charges.

He said he wanted to resolve the case without a trial.

Reichle was charged in July with three counts of unlawful sex with a minor and one count of oral copulation with a person under 18.

Police declined to say how she knew the then-16-year-old victim, but the criminal complaint alleged the relationship lasted from March 2010 to May 2011.

Reichle’s position with the recreation league came through the Palm Springs Police Department, where she was a civilian employee. Reichle no longer works for the department, said Palm Springs police spokeswoman Rhonda Long.

Reichle, then director of the Western Coachella Valley Police Activities League, was arrested May 2 at her home and was released on bail, Lt. Charles Robinson of the Cathedral City Police Department said.


OH - Double Standard For Teen Boys in Alleged Sex Crimes

Original Article

It's about time someone brought this out, and you cannot always assume that a male or female is "suffering for the rest of their lives," without taking into consideration the entire story. Some do, some don't.

10/27/2011

The case of former Mason school teacher [name withheld] has made news around the country and people are talking about the boys involved. Online discussions have run the gamut of calling them victims ... others almost congratulating them. Local 12's Paula Toti says this case comes at a time when new research backs up a double standard when it comes to boys verses girls.

When CBS News posted the [name withheld] story, there were comments like "football players and a teacher-how can this be sexual battery?" Some readers found allegations of giving kids alcohol worse than allegations of sex. I talked to a psychologist upset by that but not surprised.

Stuart Bassman has worked with abuse victims for 30 years and says new research shows society continues to deny the impact of sexual trauma on boys. "The girl frequently gets sympathy, encouragement and is believed, while the boy to large extent is congratulated, seen as a triumph, but sadness and pain discounted and denied."

"I think in general society looks at it a little different, in different light, but personally exactly as wrong."

And we did hear that a lot from viewers we asked at random. When it comes to boys verses girls, "They're both victims."

"Just because they're guys doesn't mean they're less vulnerable."

But Bassman says he's worked with male victims during the [name withheld] trial who are reliving their pain from abuse and society's denial. "I can't tell you how many of these people would like to go up there and make a statement."

But there's embarrassment. He says those feelings need to be treated. "And what happens to a lot of boys they're affected the rest of their lives and continue to act out in inappropriate ways."

"Kids are developing into their 20's so you need to be careful what you're doing, no matter what, especially if in a position of trust like a teacher."

Doctor Bassman agrees. In fact, when I asked him what he thought about a boy of legal age involved with a teacher, he said as far as a crime that's for the legal system to decide but as a psychologist he can attest to the pain and suffering. Bassman also told us there is great reason for victim's of this type of abuse to be hopeful for an emotional recovery ... with family support and professional help.


FL - Man mutilates womans vagina and breasts for considering a divorce

Composite of "John"
Original Article

10/28/2011

By Anita Jones

MIAMI - An man, "John", whose name is being withheld due to the fact that the case is still pending, is currently being held in the Miami-Dade county jail on a $10,000 bond.

"John" is accused of brutally beating his wife, keeping her locked in a cage for weeks on end, and also mutilating her vagina and breasts.

Many who knew "John" and his wife, thinks she got what she deserved.

Frank Gregory said in an interview, "I knew 'John' and his wife, she was a real b---h!" he said laughing, "she would always go out with the girls, stay out at all hours of the night! A women should be cleaning the house, taking care of the kids, and preparing dinner for when the husband comes home, not out partying all night! Yeah, she got what she deserved, and I think it's real funny, to be honest!" said Frank.

Carol Smithers, who we also interviewed said "'John' was a good man, and if he hit her, then I'm sure she did something to deserve it."

Craig Homer said, "What a sick freak! Who in the world would do such a thing to a woman? What would people say if a women cut off their husbands penis? Celebrate? No I don't think so. This man should be in prison for a very long time!"

The police also said when they investigated the house, they found a dog kennel, which "John" apparently kept her in to keep her from escaping and contacting us.

If convicted, "John" could serve a year in jail and have to complete 100 hours of community service, and will be on probation for 3 years.

For now, that is all we have and we will post more as it comes out. Visit News10 for more information.

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MO - Donations to non-profit don't appear to stay in KC, or help catch child predators

Original Article

By us posting the photo to the left, we are not saying this is or isn't a scam, but from what is mentioned below in this article, it would appear it is.

10/27/2011

By Ryan Kath

KANSAS CITY - Putting an end to child sex trafficking. It is a goal that almost anybody would support. And many do, by reaching into their pocketbooks.

But an NBC Action News investigation found a national non-profit organization is not living up to its promoted message of taking child predators off the streets.

At a time when charities are desperate for donations, the investigation also revealed that thousands of dollars raised in Kansas City do not appear to benefit any local organizations.

What happens to thousands of dollars raised in Kansas City?

On a brisk autumn morning, hundreds of people gathered in downtown Kansas City. They sported running shoes to help raise money for Stop Child Trafficking Now (SCTNow) , an organization founded in 2007 whose stated mission is to “stop the demand” of child trafficking.

It is a cause that tugs on the heartstrings of people who donate their money and volunteer their time.

I was a sexual assault nurse examiner and dealt with a lot of rape victims and things like that,” said Rachel Hill, who volunteered at the Sept. 17 event. “This kind of hits home with the children that are taken advantage of.”

According to the SCTNow website, the Kansas City event raised $30,726.80. It was one of 33 walks in cities across the United States and Canada.

Sundy Goodnight, the SCTNow National Campaign Director, told NBC Action News all of the funds stay in Kansas City. However, when pressed for more details, Goodnight could not name a local organization that will receive a portion of the donations.

That is what concerns Kristy Childs, who is founder of Veronica’s Voice, the only organization in the Kansas City area that provides services to victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Veronica’s Voice was founded in 2000 and has grown slowly over the past decade. The organization has finally raised enough funds to open a housing project for recovering victims to live at the beginning of 2012.

Childs said SCTNow approached her about partnering for the event in 2010. However, she said it was unclear if Veronica’s Voice would get a portion of the donations for devoting time and effort to promoting the SCTNow event. Curious for more information about the new anti-trafficking organization, Childs picked up the phone and called other non-profits around the country.

I was told by several people that the money did not stay within the community after it was raised,” Childs said. “No one could seem to figure out what was viable that they were doing.”

Money funds ‘special operative’ teams

So what does happen with all the donations raised by SCTNow? The organization is the main program overseen by Strategic Global Initiatives (SGI), a non-profit founded by Pastor Ronald Lewis and his wife, Lynette Lewis.

The most recent tax documents (PDF) show SGI generated $823,053 of revenue in 2010.

Some of that money is spent on fundraising expenses, advertising and promotions. SGI also sent a $74,146 grant for Haiti earthquake relief and another $6,040 to South America for “leadership development and adult education.”

The only grant within the U.S. listed on tax documents was $43,000 to the North Carolina church founded by Ronald Lewis for “assisting in housing and feeding African AIDS orphans” (only grants of more than $5,000 need to be listed on the Form 990).

However, the largest expense for the non-profit is paying $400,000 per year to fund its special operative teams—retired military and other law enforcement personnel with special training in gathering intelligence.

According to the “philosophy” section on the website, “SCTNow has chosen to fund a bold, new approach—one that addresses the demand. SCTNow targets child predators by gathering information that law enforcement can use to investigate and build cases against child predators.”

A well-produced online video also reiterates the mission by claiming, “The same tactics we use to go after terrorists around the world, we’re going after pedophiles the same way. This method is effective. It’s proven. And it works.”


No evidence of arrests or prosecutions

However, NBC Action News found little evidence the approach is working. In fact, SCTNow could not provide one example anywhere in the country where information provided by its special operatives helped lead to an arrest or prosecution.

The September fundraiser took place in the shadow of the downtown federal courthouse, where the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District says it “has prosecuted more trafficking cases than any other District in the United States.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District also launched the Human Trafficking Rescue Project in 2006, comprised of law enforcement agencies and victims’ services organizations like Veronica’s Voice.

There are numerous instances on the SCTNow website where a close partnership with the federal government or law enforcement agencies is cited.

When asked, Goodnight said SCTNow is developing partnerships in the Kansas City area right now.

NBC Action News checked with the Kansas City Police Department, along with the area FBI and Department of Justice offices. Spokespeople for all three agencies said they had no relationship with SCTNow.

Deputy Tom Erickson, a spokesman with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed SCTNow had an informational meeting with deputies in early September, though no other meetings are planned.

Nationally, SCTNow said it has a formal partnership with the police departments in Tulsa, Okla. and San Jose, Calif.

They have come here several different times but have found zero instances of child trafficking,” said Sgt. John Adams with the Tulsa Police Department. “But on the off chance they are successful, it is worthwhile.”

Results contradict organization’s promoted message

The lack of relationships with law enforcement agencies—or examples of arrests and prosecutions—directly contradict the message presented by SCTNow.

In one video, Ronald Lewis said the special operatives teams are “going in and shutting down the demand side by presenting gift-wrapped cases to the FBI.”

Retired FBI agent Jeff Lanza told NBC Action News there is no such thing as a gift-wrapped case.

He said providing a tip to law enforcement is one thing. But it is unlikely police or federal agents would be comfortable with private citizens going undercover and gathering information because it could jeopardize a case.

Lanza worries the use of the “special operatives” terminology portrays a vigilante approach.

To my knowledge, the FBI does not team up with non-law enforcement agencies on the investigation of criminal activity,” he said. “While they may have good intentions, it usually doesn’t help the crime problem at all.”

Lanza said after two years and $800,000 of funding, it is reasonable to expect SCTNow could point to a case where operatives have provided information that has led to a trafficking-related arrest.

That is a lot of money to throw at a problem and you would expect with any kind of issue that you have documented results with that kind of money being spent,” Lanza said.

Bob Flores agrees. He is the former administrator of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, who had the primary mission of prevention and prosecuting domestic child prostitution during the President George W. Bush administration.

Flores thinks the SCTNow approach would be better-suited in a foreign country, but said the organization is asking people to fund what the U.S. government is already paying for.

It is a wasted effort,” said Flores. “The federal government already spends millions of dollars per year funding task forces to do this kind of work.”



MN - State and local law is minimal regarding sex offender residency

Original Article

10/27/2011

By Jana Peterson

Minnesota state law doesn’t actually contain any residency restrictions for predatory sexual offenders. Although Duluth has adopted residency restrictions, no towns or cities in Carlton County have. That's either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on who you talk to.

Minnesota state law doesn’t actually contain any residency restrictions for predatory sexual offenders.

Instead, state statute provides one provision regarding level 3 offenders: “the agency responsible for the offender’s supervision shall take into consideration the proximity of the offender’s residence to that of other level 3 offenders and proximity to schools and, to the greatest extent feasible, shall mitigate the concentration of level 3 offenders and concentration of level 3 offenders near schools.”

Because Cloquet only has one level 3 offender – [name withheld] – not even that policy applies.

For local mother Tarissa Saice, that’s not good enough. Saice, who already asked the Cloquet School District to move her child’s bus stop because of proximity to a sex offender, is also asking the city of Cloquet to consider implementing its own residency restrictions for predatory sex offenders. Judging by letters and online Facebook comments, Saice is not alone in her concerns.

Currently, unless a residency restriction is written into an offender’s release conditions, the state and the city of Cloquet have zero control over where a sex offender decides to take up residence. Although Duluth has adopted residency restrictions, no towns or cities in Carlton County have any sex offender laws, according to Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake, who said Moose Lake did consider such restrictions but never passed any.

Depending on who you talk to, restricting where sex offenders live can be a good or a bad thing.

Saice would like Cloquet to add restrictions to its city code.

For William Donnay, director of the risk assessment and community notification unit for the Minnesota Department of Corrections, residency isn’t so important.

Where he sleeps isn’t the issue, it’s where does he hangs out when he’s awake,” Donnay said in a phone interview Wednesday.

In fact, Donnay said, a Minnesota study of repeat offenders showed that implementing residency restrictions would not have made any difference.

A residency restriction would not have had an impact on any of those new sex offenses,” Donnay said. “Some data says a residency restriction actually makes it worse, and there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that such a restriction actually helps.”

For those who worry that sex offenders are allowed to roam at will around the city because there are no restrictions written into the city code, Carlton County probation officer David Gilberg said that [name withheld]’s movements are severely restricted.

In addition to being monitored by GPS, Gilberg said [name withheld] is on an approved (by Gilberg) schedule that details where and when he can go. The probation and supervised release officer also meets with [name withheld] face-to-face several times a week.

For communities considering implementing a residency restriction, Donnay suggests they instead enact “sex offender exclusion zones and prohibition of certain employment-related activities.” He has a prototype written out and will send that draft version to those who request it. In it, offenders are prohibited from being present on an elementary or secondary school property, childcare facility or any place intended primarily for the use of minors, or loiter within 300 feet of those types of property. A registered sex offender cannot enter a public library without informing the library staff upon entry of his/her status as an offender. (Editor’s note: In last week’s story the Pine Journal incorrectly identified these provisions as state law; they are not.)

It’s an evidence-based perspective we try to take on these things,” Donnay said, noting that the state of Iowa has enacted a similar law. “This (exclusion zone) offers an alternative to residency restrictions that we think is a better approach.”

One of the problems with residency restrictions, Cloquet Police Chief Wade Lamirande pointed out in an interview last week, is the fact that some offenders simply quit registering if the restrictions become too severe. Then law enforcement officials don’t know where the offenders are.

Statistics also tell a story. According to Donnay, approximately 90 percent of sex offense convictions are perpetrated by individuals who have no prior sex offense history and are therefore unaffected by any residency restrictions. As well, in approximately 90 percent of sex offenses, the victim knows the offender. “It’s about relationship, not residence,” a Donnay background presentation notes.

If the city were to enact any type of restrictions, City Attorney Frank Yetka said officials and residents would have to make sure any restrictions didn’t exclude such an individual from living here.

You can’t just say, ‘We don’t want them anywhere’ and you can’t just come up with an arbitrary distance from a school or daycare,” he said. “You can give reasonable restrictions that you can defend.”

Duluth’s restrictions apply to level 3 offenders, and forbid them to establish a permanent or temporary residence within 2,000 feet of any school, licensed child care center or public playground.
- Well here they have an arbitrary distance, so if you can't do this, how did they do it?

Cloquet City Administrator Brian Fritsinger said he was aware there have been discussions about residency restrictions for sex offenders living in Cloquet but no one had contacted him personally.

We are not engaged in any formal process to adjust the city code,” he said, adding that he’s made the City Council aware of the discussions.

Deputy Cloquet Police Chief Terry Hill said the city’s police department does keep an updated list of addresses for every sexual offender residing in the city that is updated at least yearly, adding that the police would certainly want to know if an offender was violating the terms of any probation or parole.

Gilberg pointed out that the community notification meetings held when a sex offender moves into a neighborhood are intended to make people aware of any potential threats, and also to make them aware that offenders have rights to.

We hold these meetings to give whatever information we legally can to people, and also to try to get people to understand that these offenders – despite what they’ve done – still have a right to come out after they’ve done their time and try to live as close-to-normal life as they can,” said the probation officer. “If they don’t comply with their schedules and other conditions, then I have to do something about it.”