Tuesday, November 15, 2011
By Jennifer Rizzi
The state Senate passed legislation Tuesday ensuring that Pennsylvania will meet national standards for sex offender registration and notification.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jane Orie (R-Allegheny) will include Pennsylvania as part of a national sex offender registry that law enforcement can access. It also expands the list of sexually violent offenses covered under the law.
The bill was needed to bring Pennsylvania into cooperation with Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act of 2006. Non-compliance would cost the state ten percent of its federal crime protection grants.
Our Comment Left On The Video:
Or maybe they are in your own home? This stranger danger crap needs to stop. If you look at the real facts instead of fear mongering hysteria, you will see that most sexual assaults happen by someone the victim knows, like a mother, father, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, etc, not someone at a school, park, day care or some other place.
UPDATE: CANADA - A teen playing dress up as 'Batman' confronts internet predator thus hampering the police's job
See the updated article below the horizontal line below. This user has removed all the videos he did of his illegal activity, probably due to police intervention. I wonder why vigilantes like Perverted-Justice can continue to do what they do, hindering police investigations, harassment, etc?
A man expecting to meet a 15-year-old girl he had groomed online for sex got a rude shock when a web vigilante dressed as Batman confronted him instead, shouting "this man is a pedophile".
The real-life Bruce Wayne had posed as a 15-year-old girl named Chwk.Babe95 in an online chat and arranged to meet the man, who went by the name longfellow88, in a local US park.
But it was the dark knight who appeared in place of the teenager and the man he found waiting in the park was accused of seeking sex with an underage girl.
"This guy is a paedophile. He's here for a 15-year-old girl," the masked man can be heard saying in Batman's trademark husky growl, as a camera films the confrontation.
The man swiftly left the park to the continued taunts of the cloaked figure. But five minutes later longfellow88 posted this message to Chwk.Babe95 from a smart phone: "Thanks for getting me to drive out here for nothing. I had a feeling it was a joke."
Some viewers on YouTube applauded Batman for confronting an online predator while others have condemned him for not calling the police.
Cops concerned about teen crime fighters
No that is not the person this story is about, but I thought it was relevant -->
By Tyler Olsen
Local teens dress up as super heroes to confront predators of under-aged girls met on the Internet
Batman has come to Chilliwack, but local police are less than enthusiastic about the masked avenger's attempts to expose men seeking dates with underaged girls.
In the past three weeks, three separate videos have been posted to YouTube which show a person dressed in a Batman costume confronting men purported to have arranged a meeting with someone they thought to be a 15 year-old. All three were filmed in Chilliwack.
- All he has deleted every one of them from his YouTube channel.
The first and second videos have received a combined total of more than 700,000 views. A third video- filmed at a local McDonalds and also featuring a person in a Flash costume-was posted Sunday and already had more than 60,000 views by noon on Monday.
The videos follow a pattern established by the discontinued and controversial American television series "To Catch A Predator." Video stills show transcripts of what appears to be a chat between a person posing as a 15-year-old girl and an older man. A meeting is arranged, at which point a man is confronted.
The people behind the videos agreed to an interview with the Times but then backed out.
"Due to reasons I cannot describe an interview is no longer possible thanks for your consideration," wrote the unidentified respondent Sunday.
The Times has learned that at least one of those behind the videos is a student at a local high school. The number of people involved in the creation of the videos, and their identities, are otherwise unknown.
They may be reluctant to speak because of the content of one of the first videos posted, which was later removed because, according to the videographers' Facebook site, "we didn't want to be seen impersonating a police officer."
The future of our channel is unknown. Due to police intervention we will be discontinuing the To Troll a Predator series. I hope those who viewed the videos shared many laughs with us while we could. Hope you can understand.
Indeed, Mounties told the Times Monday that the RCMP's serious crime unit is looking into the case.
RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth told the Times that the police "have one file [open] and are currently investigating."
By Stephen Hudak
SORRENTO - Awakened by fears that a sex-offender village will pop up here, Lake County commissioners will consider new restrictions unique to Central Florida including a "cluster-buster" proposal to limit the number of sex offenders who can live in an apartment complex or mobile-home park.
Another idea likely to be discussed Tuesday is a measure aimed at stopping sex offenders from traveling through a "safety zone" around schools, day-care centers, parks and playgrounds unless they have permission or could prove a specified purpose.
"I want to take steps to ensure Lake County does not become a haven or destination for people who can't find any other place to live," Commissioner Leslie Campione said.
The broad options come seven weeks after a Tampa woman suggested the Sorrento area — and possibly areas of Seminole or Orange counties — might be a place where she could create a special neighborhood for sex offenders. Barbara Farris, who has linked herself to a for-profit venture called "Project H4O," wants to establish a community that offers housing, programming, transportation and other services to paroled sex offenders.
Farris said her plan for east Lake collapsed because of an uproar that included picketing, an Internet petition drive and a public meeting that drew 500 people to Sorrento Elementary School. But in e-mails to the Orlando Sentinel, she said she was "still developing housing for offenders." She didn't reveal specific plans or communities but added, "We are moving forward in South Fl, Central Fl and other states."
- It's all about money for her. She has been out harassing ex-sex offenders for years, now all of a sudden, she wants to offer them housing and stuff? She has also had MANY web sites and "businesses" she has created, which were deleted and went belly up. Anybody who invests in her "business" is just stupid. You can see the many articles about her by Googling her name, or clicking her name (link) above.
Campione said rural communities are especially vulnerable to sex-offender clusters as the remote neighborhoods lack day-care centers, schools, parks, and playgrounds, which benefit from municipal and county ordinances forbidding offenders from living no closer than 2,500 feet.
But Gail Colletta, president of the Florida Action Committee, an organization that opposes sex-offender residency restrictions as counter-productive to protecting the community, said the measures which Lake is weighing are fruitless.
"None of these things will make kids safer," said Colletta, who predicted the county will be sued if the measures are enacted.
Campione shrugged off the possibility of civil-liberty lawsuits.
"I'd prefer to err on the side of protecting the citizens of Lake County," she said.
According to a memo from Lake County Attorney Sandy Minkoff, Seminole County has "safety zones" around schools, day-care centers and parks, while Hillsborough County's zones surround arcades and zoos, as well.
Hillsborough also forbids sex offenders from comprising more than 10 percent of the tenants of an apartment complex or mobile-home park, an ordinance aimed at preventing groups of offenders from living together.
Campione said Lake may try to draft an ordinance that would apply to a residential subdivision.
High-density, sex-offender clusters and homelessness are unintended but predictable consequences of residency restrictions, which have not been proven to be an effective deterrent, said Jill Levenson, an associate professor of psychology at Lynn University in Boca Raton an authority on sex-offender restrictions.
"What do we expect?" Levenson asked. "Where do we think they are going to live?"
She said many rules restricting sex-offenders are based on misconceptions and fear rather than fact. For instance, she said, children are more likely to be sexually abused by a relative or friend than by a stranger.
She said local ordinances that prevent offenders from loitering in areas where children gather make more sense if only as "risk-management" tools.
"There may very well be certain sex offenders who shouldn't be in our parks, but that [conclusion] should be drawn from a careful assessment of an offender's history and needs," she said.
PA - Harry Nicoletti and 6 Guards Surrender In Pittsburgh State Prison Sexual and Physica Abuse Probe
PITTSBURGH -- Six more prison guards surrendered Tuesday on charges resulting from a grand jury investigation of sexual and physical abuse of inmates at the State Correctional Institution-Pittsburgh.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. previously said he expected as many as 11 more arrests in the case revealed in September. That's when suspended 60-year-old guard, Harry Nicoletti, of Coraopolis, was charged with raping, threatening and otherwise abusing several inmates over the last two years, including having inmates or guards contaminate the food and bedding of his alleged targets with urine and other bodily fluids.
Nicoletti has called the allegations "made up."
Nicoletti faces 92 criminal counts including institutional sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and official oppression -- which amounts to covering up the crimes or threatening others to do so. The new charges filed against the other guards Tuesday all mirror Nicoletti's criminal charges and two civil rights lawsuits filed by inmates in recent months.
The accusers were serving sentences for child sex crimes or were perceived to be homosexual by Nicoletti or the guards who had been suspended without pay before they surrendered: Sean Storey, 26, Kevin Friess, 31, and Jerome Lynch, 35, all of Pittsburgh; Tory Kelly, 40, of Aliquippa; Brian Olinger, 32, of Washington, Pa.; and Bruce Lowther, 33, of West Newton.
All but Olinger are accused of at least one instance of physical abuse against inmates. Prosecutors allege Olinger didn't stop the abuse and charged him only with official oppression.
It was not immediately clear if Olinger has an attorney and Lynch's lawyer declined immediate comment. But attorneys for the other four denied wrongdoing and said they expect to challenge the credibility of the accusers and witnesses.
"We are looking forward to challenging the allegations by these inmates and cross-examining them in the near future," said Lowther's attorney, Mark Fiorilli.
Said Friess' attorney, Casey White, "You have to consider the source of these allegations and at some point credibility will come into play."
"For the most part, he was just doing his job," White said, adding that state prison "isn't supposed to be fun" for inmates.
But the complaints and affidavits indicate these guards made prison torture for some inmates.
Friess and Kelly face the most charges among those who surrendered Tuesday, with Friess facing 20 counts, including simple assault, conspiracy, official oppression and witness intimidation.
Friess was allegedly present when Nicoletti held an inmate's head in a toilet -- by putting a boot on the man's neck -- while the toilet was flushed three or four times. Friess is also accused of threatening a white inmate who passed cigarettes to black inmates, whom Friess allegedly didn't like and referred to with a racial slur.
Kelly faces 26 criminal counts, including official oppression, simple assault, witness intimidation, conspiracy, terroristic threats and stalking.
Inmates told the grand jury that Friess, Kelly and Lynch often accompanied Nicoletti "and participated in the abuse of the pedophile inmates."
Kelly, in particular, threatened inmates to keep quiet about the abuse and regularly visited two inmate witnesses he allegedly threatened or hit.
Kelly told one inmate "that he has `buddies' that worked throughout the state's prison system and sooner or later they would get him," according to the criminal complaint.
Another inmate was told, "If you ever say anything to anyone I will splatter your blood all over the cell," the complaint said.
Storey and Lowther face one count each of official oppression and simple assault, with Storey also charged with terroristic threats and Lowther with conspiracy.
Zappala, the district attorney, has said prison administrators aren't targeted by the criminal investigation, and didn't say when other defendants would be charged.
"My office, and this community, cannot tolerate conduct like this from persons in an authority position in this type of institutional setting," he said, declining further comment because the investigation is ongoing.
The related civil lawsuits, one filed in 2010 and another on behalf of an anonymous inmate in September, allege the systematic abuse of inmates directed by Nicoletti in the prison's F Block, a reception area where new prisoners are housed for medical testing and to receive supplies before moving to permanent cells.
In April, corrections officials suspended eight guards at the prison, including Nicoletti, and four top prison officials have since left the department, although officials have declined to say whether they were fired or resigned.
The Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association has filed grievances over the suspensions and has denied the sexual abuse allegations in the lawsuits.
Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sue Bensinger said she could not comment on the new charges.
The guards pleaded not guilty at their arraignments Tuesday. All were likely to remain free on bond like Nicoletti.