Monday, November 28, 2011

Blog - Set My People Free - Living a Life You Would Not Believe

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To Cash In on a Predator

Original Article

It's about time someone started digging into this. Also, about Hank Asher, see the SEE ALSO link below. He is an ex-drug smuggler, from what articles on the web show. Also, the title of this should be "To Cash In On Sex Offenders," because that is what it's really about.


By Kate Sheppard

State laws that keep a close eye on sex offenders are supposed to protect kids. Are they also meant to enrich high-tech tracking companies?

In February 2005, nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford was kidnapped, raped, and buried alive by a twice-convicted sex offender who lived a few hundred feet from her home in Homosassa, Florida. The crime horrified Floridians, and a little more than two months later, then-Gov. Jeb Bush signed the Jessica Lunsford Act, which mandated a minimum sentence of 25 years for first-time sex offenders who target children under 12 and life sentences for recidivists. It also required some released sex offenders to wear GPS tracking devices for the rest of their lives.

Almost immediately, there were calls for similar legislation across the country. Lunsford's father, Mark, joined the campaign, appearing on Oprah and Larry King Live and winning support from high-profile figures such as Bill O'Reilly, who declared, "This is literally a life-and-death battle to save our youngest and most vulnerable citizens from abuse, torture, and murder." In addition to Florida, 44 other states have since passed what's become known as Jessica's Law (PDF). The laws vary slightly state by state, but all mandate stiff sentences; 39 permit electronic monitoring for released offenders (of those, 24 authorize GPS monitoring). "Instead of them stalking our children, let's stalk them," Lunsford said at a 2006 event promoting the law in California.

The push to implement Jessica's Law in all 50 states has been spearheaded by Stop Child Predators, a nonprofit formed in 2005. The group's determination to crack down on criminals who prey on kids is unquestionable. But there is another group with an interest in its work: GPS and tracking companies, which stand to gain as SCP's model legislation spreads. There are an estimated 736,000 registered offenders out there (PDF); satellite tracking equipment costs anywhere from $15 to $20 per person per day (an expense often paid by parolees). One of SCP's official corporate partners is Omnilink Systems, a major vendor of "offender monitoring" devices. SCP president Stacie Rumenap is a member of Omnilink's advisory board. A company brochure quotes her as saying SCP is "proud to support the use of" Omnilink's technology. The company has not said how many states it has sex offender monitoring contracts with.

In 2009, Lunsford, who serves as the chairman of SCP's advisory board, took a $100,000-a-year consulting job with Technology Investors, a Florida firm that creates databases to keep track of sex offenders. He told the St. Petersburg Times that the company's founder, data-mining maven Hank Asher (See Also), suggested that he shut down his own nonprofit, the Jessica Marie Lunsford Foundation, so he could "focus on legislation."

There is a universal "desire to keep kids safe," Rumenap notes. She downplays the idea that SCP's work is intended to benefit its corporate supporters. "This is an easy issue for companies to get behind," she says. "Who wants to argue against it?" A petite and charismatic blonde who has served as the deputy director of the American Conservative Union and director of the Conservative Political Action Conference, Rumenap is also the director of corporate relations at the Mercatus Center, a think tank funded by conservative billionaire Charles Koch.

SCP also has close ties the American Legislative Exchange Council, a low-profile yet influential clearinghouse of pro-business state legislation. SCP is an ALEC member, and ALEC adopted its template for a sex offender bill in 2006. Rumenap says that the "access to" legislators that ALEC provides has been "extremely" helpful in getting Jessica's Law into wider circulation. Since April, she has been the co-chair of ALEC's Public Safety and Elections Task Force, which oversees criminal legislation, including a bill that would require parolees and defendants out on bail to submit to GPS monitoring. It would also require ex-cons to "pursue specified education courses," a potential windfall for student loan companies and for-profit colleges.

Those companies, as it turns out, are also well represented in Rumenap's organization: SCP was founded by three executives from the College Loan Corporation, another of its corporate partners. Its board includes the CLC's chief marketing officer and a top lobbyist for the Apollo Group, the parent company of the University of Phoenix.

"I don't doubt that Stop Child Predators is genuinely interested in stopping child predators," says Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, which recently published a cache of more than 800 pieces (PDF) of cookie-cutter legislation promoted by ALEC. No matter how laudable a bill may be, she says, the public has a right to know whether it will financially benefit a particular company. "If people knew that there was a profit motive behind it, they might have greater skepticism about whether this is the best solution or not."

Kate Sheppard covers energy and environmental politics in Mother Jones' Washington bureau. For more of her stories, click here. She Tweets here. Get Kate Sheppard's RSS feed.

OH - Former deputy (Jerry Hallowell) pleads guilty in case that alleged sex with informants

Jerry Hallowell
Original Article


By Jim Phillips

He's unlikely to get any jail time as a result of plea

A former Athens County sheriff's deputy who was charged earlier this year with coercing sex from female drug defendants took a plea bargain Monday, agreeing to plead guilty to three low-level felonies and a misdemeanor – none of them sexual offenses.

Jerry Hallowell is very unlikely to do any prison time, though as part of the deal he must give up his certification as an Ohio peace officer, and will be ineligible to hold any public employment for seven years.

Defense attorney Rolf Baumgartel, who represented former deputy Hallowell, said after the plea hearing in Athens County Common Pleas Court that his client wouldn't have taken the plea, if a special prosecutor hadn't agreed to ask for dismissal of charges of sexual battery and attempted sexual battery.

"There's absolutely no way that Jerry was ever going to plead to anything involving... criminal sexual wrongdoing," Baumgartel said.

Hallowell, 44, ended up pleading to one charge of soliciting or receiving improper compensation (which was apparently sexual favors), a first-degree misdemeanor; plus three fifth-degree felony charges of misusing an official statewide electronic database available to police officers. Hallowell allegedly used the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway to run background checks on women he was interested in.

The charges to which Hallowell pleaded guilty carry, on paper, maximum sentences of one year in prison apiece for the felonies, and six months in jail for the misdemeanor.

However, Baumgartel said, it appears virtually certain that the former officer will do no prison time, because he is a first-time offender convicted of the lowest-level, non-violent felonies. If appointed Judge Linton Lewis does give Hallowell any incarceration, he said, it would probably be in the regional jail.

Hallowell's sentencing is set for Jan. 25. As part of the plea bargain, special prosecutor Mathew J. Donahue of the Ohio Attorney General's office does not intend to recommend any sentence; Baumgartel suggested he will ask that Hallowell get no jail time.

The defense attorney acknowledged that Hallowell has never denied having sex with two female drug defendants, at least one of whom was reportedly acting as a police informant. However, Baumgartel stressed, this is not in itself illegal in Ohio, unless Hallowell somehow misused his authority as a police officer to coerce the women into the sex.

"Is it bad judgment? Of course it is," the attorney said.

Hallowell resigned from the sheriff's office last May, after an Athens County grand jury indicted him in April.

IA - Governor: I’m reviewing mandatory sex predator notification in nursing homes

Original Article


By Jason Clayworth

State officials are reviewing options that would require that residents and families of people in nursing homes be automatically notified when a sexual predator be placed in their facility, Gov. Terry Branstad said this morning.

The issue was brought up in regard to a recent Des Moines Register investigation that highlighted a case involved sex offender [name withheld] who was placed in a Pomeroy nursing home and is now suspected of sexually assaulting a 95-year-old woman.
- Just the usual knee-jerk reaction.  He is suspected not convicted yet, yet this Governor is already working on a law based on allegations.

Branstad said he isn’t yet sure if the potential notification mandate would take legislative approval or if it’s something his administration can with internal rule making authority.

I think that the message that has been sent is that we’ve got to be extremely careful in those kind of situations and we’ve got to look at the history of the individual in making those kind of determinations,” Branstad said.

In February, the Register reported that there were 27 sex offenders living in 15 lightly regulated residential care facilities throughout the state. Advocates worry the presence of registered sex offenders endangers the safety of other residents.

Since the February report, three men living at the Fairview Care Facility in Anamosa have been criminally charged with repeatedly raping a female resident of the home. The three had histories of violent crime, and, according to police, were ordered into the care facility by Iowa judges.

The Register first reported allegations of sexual abuse at the Pomeroy Care Center on Nov. 10.

Public records show that in late 2010, an Iowa judge ordered [name withheld], 83, into the Pomeroy center after the Department of Human Services, the Iowa attorney general and the State Public Defender’s Office agreed that he no longer met the legal definition of a sexual predator. The agencies recommended that [name withheld] be moved from the secure, state-run Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders, where he had lived for eight years, into the privately run Pomeroy nursing home.

Branstad has formed a work group to review the case.

On the heels of the Register’s reporting, state officials removed [name withheld] from the Pomeroy home on Nov. 18.

[name withheld] is confined to the Newton Correctional Facility pending a trial on whether he should be re-committed to the Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders. Calhoun County Attorney Cynthia Voorde says she expects criminal charges will be filed soon.

Blog - The Sex Crimes Witch Hunt

I am a successful professional who was falsely accused of a minor sex crime in 2009. At first I didn’t really take it seriously knowing I was innocent I thought the whole thing would blow over. Well it didn’t!

In 2011 I was convicted.

Because I received a suspended sentence, no humiliating ongoing psychological assessments and no fine I was afraid to appeal in case the sentence might be worse if I was found guilty a second time (I no longer believe in justice).

I am now on the soul destroying sex offenders register and have had to pay huge damages to my accuser. The amounts I have had to pay out in defence fees and compensation have caused me significant debt. If I was not such a strong man this episode could easily have destroyed my life.

Since this happened to me I have taken an active interest in the sex crime witch hunt. This witch hunt is happening in all the developed western countries.

Very few people are standing up for the rights of men who have been convicted of sex crimes. Normally cultivated and intelligent people are capable of behaving like animals when this subject is brought up.

Well they have picked on the wrong guy this time. It’s now time to defeat this witch hunt. I call on all intelligent accused and convicted sex offenders to refuse this isolation and shame and fight back. Some of our most successful men are victims of this oppression. Brothers let’s take this lynch mob down!

Whether you are innocent or guilty doesn’t matter. Sex crimes have the lowest repeat offender rate despite the claims of these facist oppressors.

The medieval public pillory that is the Internet sex offenders registry must be sent back to the dark ages where it belongs.

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