Thursday, January 26, 2012

FL - Florida Sexting Law Protecting Minors from Unfair Offender Registration

It's about time Florida did something good for a change. I am not sure if this is a recent video, but it was uploaded to YouTube today.

Video Description:
This news segment explores the impacts of a new Florida law creating a separate offense for 'sexting' by minors, to provide law enforcement with an option instead of charging kids with child pornography offenses, which would require sex offender registration.

Parental Quandary Considered: The Sex Offender Next Door Is Not the Problem

Original Article



C.’s quandary was simple, and read something like a nightmare (or the opening sequence of an episode of “Law and Order”). She’d received notice from the local sheriff that a registered sex offender was moving into the house next door to hers. This was no Romeo and Juliet” misunderstood teen, but someone with a genuine history of preying on young men and boys, although not as young as C.’s toddler son.

A few days after C. wrote me, a friend e-mailed from Newton, Mass. A popular second-grade teacher at her local elementary school had just been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a girl and filming it, and of posting to an international Web site that trafficked in child pornography. Rather than a sullen, mug-shot figure from an offender registry, this was a teacher described as “beloved,” one who took kids rock climbing and whom many parents adored. Which suggested to me that perhaps the biggest danger of having a sex offender next door might not be the sex offender himself, but that it might blind one to the dangers that could lie elsewhere.

The most respected commenters picked up on just that. Chris Martin put it simply: “Next door is pretty bad but we must remember that most perps live in the same house. Mine did.”

This doesn’t mean commenters weren’t sympathetic to the need to warn a child about the known danger. Maggie wrote:

In this situation I would certainly tell my kids they were not allowed in his house, no matter what he said. I would also tell them that, at one time in his life, he did something bad to children and I don’t want anything bad to happen to them. I would also point out that sometimes people can change and grow, so I’m not going to be unfriendly to him. But I would tell my children point blank that they are never to be alone with him, no matter what. I would point out other adults they might turn to instead, should the need arise — perhaps a neighbor, a teacher, a police officer.

The “sex offender next door” raises a gut reaction. As M.D. said, a home should be the safest of all environments. In C.’s situation, “I would lose that feeling of security and more importantly, it would forever change the way I parented my children.” M.D. would move without hesitation, but as many of us noted, C.’s ability to sell her home is probably compromised. It’s one thing to find a way to deal with the sex offender next door, and another to buy into the problem.

Readers had excellent suggestions for how C. can cope. “Convene a meeting of neighbors,” suggested Eleanor. “I would also use the occasion as good reason to really connect with friends in the neighborhood, with special attention to communicating with each other about the whereabouts of our kids,” Boo agreed. “I would not act paranoid, but matter-of-fact about the dangers that apparently exist all around us. At least this sex offender is known, and hopefully easily avoided.” SM suggested a good fence and a security system, and many, many commenters had good words with which to address the situation with a child. If all of us practice what we preach in that respect, our children should be prepared to handle the gravest of situations.

But do we? It’s easy to say we talk to our children about the risks, and harder to do, and especially to do well. No one wants a sex offender to move in next door, but it’s that Newton second-grade teacher who should heighten our fears, and our awareness.

Mr. E,” as he was called, underwent a check of his state criminal history before he was hired by the school district, and posted a more extensive background check when he registered to offer baby-sitting services on (a popular child-care Web site). “No red flags were raised,” reports the Boston Globe, because there were no flags to raise. The teacher in question, David Ettlinger, had never been convicted of a crime — and still hasn’t been.

So while my sympathies are still with C., I’m not finding myself inclined to go look at our state’s sex offender registry tonight. Instead, I’m wondering if I’ve really had all these talks I mean to have, and think I’ve had, with all of my children. Do they really understand what’s O.K., and what’s not, and what they need to tell me about? Do they know that I’ll believe and protect them no matter who or what?

The thought of a sex offender next door is bad enough. But the sex offender I never see coming is the one I’m really worried about.

Letter: Sex Offender Laws Ignore Future Victims

Original Article


To the editor,

Hopefully you have seen some of the comments that were posted beneath the letter to the editor entitled "Sex Offender Awareness Needs to Improve" by Suzanne Arena. I am one of the commenters and felt compelled to write a letter in the hopes that it will be published and receive the same consideration and attention that Ms. Arena brought to the issue.

Ms. Arena is right about one thing: awareness is important. Sexual assault of children and adults is absolutely something that not just Cranston, but the entire country needs to manage better. It's clear by the steady yearly increase of registered sex offenders - nearing 750,000 at the end of 2011 - that despite constant, stricter sex crime legislation, sex crimes continue at the same rate. We need to re-examine our approach.

Sex crime isn't prevented by talking about how bad it is, putting up posters of convicted offenders, or ensuring lifelong punishment for registrants. Sex crime is prevented by becoming aware of the facts. A US Department of Justice Study cites that 93-97% of children under 17 know their abuser (the younger the child, the higher the likelihood). 73% of victims 18 and over know their attacker. Another US Department of Justice Study puts recidivism rates of convicted sex offenders between 3.5 to 8.5%, and these numbers are confirmed by many additional state and independent studies.

By focusing all of our resources, efforts, and attention on registered offenders, we are ignoring the overwhelming majority of current and future victims. Community notification and posters only work if that individual is going to re-offend, and statistics from many different sources say that's extremely unlikely. Community notification and posters, along with every single sex crime law that exists in this country, singularly target the group of people who are probably the least likely to commit a new sex crime. Those who have never been reported or caught carry on with their lives, untouched and unscathed by any of the laws created to keep predators at bay. How will printing flyers and posters help the child being abused by the beloved baseball coach, youth minister or favorite uncle who looks and acts just like everyone else, never accused of a crime in their life? Or the woman whose successful, sociable ex-husband who has learned to hide his rage issue seeks revenge by raping her? NOTHING. Sexual assault of any kind, on any human is horrifying and elicits many strong emotions. That is precisely the reason we must be careful to separate emotions from effectiveness.

Lastly, it is a flat-out insult to victims of any kind of traumatic experience to insinuate that they are left with a "life sentence". Just like victims of a bad car accident or natural disaster - who aren't at fault in any way for their experiences - recovery should not and is not dependent upon punishment of someone else. Recovery is something that depends solely on the victim's desire to become a survivor and allow themselves to be empowered by what they have been through. Holding on to anger and the need for revenge forever is a "life sentence". There is a line between being supportive and passionate about healthy recovery for victims, and keeping them in a constant state of powerlessness.

If you want to help prevent sex crimes, learn.

- Shana Rowan

NE - Nebraska A State of Shame


Video Link


Video Link

CA - Police chief (Lisa Solomon) accused of sexually assaulting her officers

Lisa Solomon
Original Article



Law enforcement officers have names for the girls offering them sex on the beat: Badge Bunny. Holster Sniffer. Uniform Jumper. Handcuff Hugger. In Paso Robles, brethren in blue have one more: The Chief.

A flurry of complaints and mounting formal grievances alleging sexual misconduct, illegal management practices and retaliation have been lodged against Paso Robles’ first female chief of police, Lisa Solomon. Those known to have made accusations against the chief include five current and former police officers, as well as a growing record of non-sworn police department personnel.

The criticisms against Solomon include allegations of sexual assaults, many committed in the presence of others, repeated affairs with a list of subordinates, and bearing a child out of wedlock fathered by a former lieutenant in the department.

The city has retained the services of an outside investigator to look into the numerous complaints, officers say. Solomon, 43, is married to a San Luis Obispo police officer. She has not responded to detailed emails from CalCoastNews asking for comment.

Numerous officers and department staffers contend that crossing Solomon is dangerous. They say their boss threatens them with trumped-up criminal charges if they rebuff her advances or question her management practices.

After Officer T.J. McCall filed a grievance with the city claiming Solomon grabbed his penis while he sat in his car, city officials hired an outside investigator to interview officers about other allegations of unwanted sexual contact.

Former officer Dave Hernandez said he told the investigator of an instance in 2007 when Solomon also touched him inappropriately. In August, Hernandez and another officer in full uniform entered a saloon then called the Crooked Kilt, to do a bar check.

Solomon, who had been out on the dance floor, approached Hernandez in a room full of people and allegedly pushed the officer’s face into her breasts.

She grabbed my head and pushed it between her breasts,” Hernandez said. “I was shocked.”

CA - AB-1522 to Protect Spousal Sexual Assault Victims

Original Article


By Melissa Anderson

California divorce law states that the breadwinning spouse must pay alimony to the other party. The one exception to this rule is if the spouse you are divorcing attempts to murder you. That could all change if bill AB-1522 (PDF) is passed. Sadly, we have to pass a bill to protect victims of sexual assault. The Crystal Harris case in San Diego currently going on has brought attention to this issue.

I hope this law can get changed...because it would help everyone...not just me,” Crystal Harris stated in an earlier interview. Her horrific ordeal has been ongoing for years. As a successful financial consultant in San Diego, and now single mother, Harris supported her out of job husband for years. Their rocky, abusive, relationship took a turn for the worse when Shawn Harris raped his wife. Shawn was charged with oral copulation, rape, and sodomy. He was found guilty of the oral copulation attack that Crystal caught on audio tape. He is currently serving 6 years in prison.

Adding insult to injury, Crystal was ordered by Judge Gregory Pollack to pay Shawn $1,000 a month in spousal support while Shawn was awaiting trial and until he was sentenced. She will also have to pay $47,000 in his legal fees. The judge did allow Crystal’s to not pay Shawn while in prison, only because us taxpayers are paying for his inprisonment. Upon his release, Shawn will have the right to go to court and not only get spousal support again, but also have the opportunity to ask for more.

Judges in these cases have the right to exercise discretion, meaning they can make the victims pay less or nothing at all. They do not have to add in paying the court costs, legal fees, and other stipulations. Judge Pollack, for reasons he has not expressed, seems to have a lack of compassion and concern for the victim in this case, Crystal Harris.

Bonnie Dumanis (San Diego DA) and Toni Atkins (Democratic Assembly Women in San Diego) have proposed bill AB1522. This bill would amend the current law, protecting spousal victims not just from attempted murder, but also to spouses who have been sexually assaulted.

AB 1522 is currently in the process of becoming a bill with 12 Republican and 12 Democrats supporting the bill. You can find more information about the bill on the web, the John and Ken Show on KFI AM640, and various San Diego media outlets.

TX - Wylie police suspend 3 over lewd behavior, child pornography claim

Original Article

Notice how the news and media protect this mans identity, but if it were someone from the general public, their photo would be blasted everywhere.



WYLIE - The Wylie Police Department put a veteran patrolman on paid administrative leave on Tuesday after questions of lewd behavior and child pornography surfaced late Monday night.

The pictures allegedly taken from the policeman's home computer aren't just personal, they're pornographic.

"It's absolutely not reflective of this agency or the police profession," said Det. Venece Perepiczka a Wylie Police spokeswoman.

Images posted on the internet show what appears to be the officer in a sexual act with a woman. Another picture shows a woman posing naked next to a Wylie police badge and doing an obscene act with a Glock pistol.

But even more concerning are pictures of child porn.

They're all believed to have been stolen from the policeman's personal computer and then sent to every e-mail address in his contact list on Monday night.

Even though Wylie named its officer under investigation, News 8 has decided not to reveal his identity, since he has not been charged with a crime.
- Yet if it were you or I, they'd be naming names, even without being convicted?

In addition to suspending him, Wylie also put a female dispatcher and another civilian employee on paid administrative leave because they appeared in some pictures.

"What Wylie administration will be investigating is the officer's conduct and how that relates to him being a police officer here," Det. Perepiczka added.

But Wylie also asked the Texas Rangers to launch an investigation, along with the Garland Police Department, since the Wylie officer actually lives there.

"We contacted him at his home," explained Ofc. Joe Harn, a Garland Police spokesman. "He was very cooperative. He gave us consent... and we did take his computer."

The veteran patrolman has worked at Wylie for 13 years.

He used to be a sergeant but was demoted to an officer, Det. Perepiczka confirmed, though it's uncertain why.

The policeman's telephone is disconnected and he did not immediately respond to an e-mail Tuesday night.

Garland Police said officers will get a search warrant to look at the officer's computer, but it might be a couple weeks until they figure out what, if anything, is on the hard drive.

CA - Former Police Cadet (Jose Luis Capacete) Arrested On Rape Charges

Jose Luis Capacete
Original Article


SANTA ANA (CBS) — A former police academy cadet and armored car company employee faced charges of sexually assaulting a prostitute, police said Wednesday.

Jose Luis Capacete, 39, of Baldwin Park, primarily targeted illegal immigrants and may be responsible for multiple rapes in Orange County, said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

Capacete made his first appearance in court Tuesday on felony charges of sodomy by force, oral copulation by force and two counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object, according to court records. His arraignment was postponed until Feb. 9.

KNX 1070′s Mike Landa reports a search of the suspect’s home uncovered several pieces of potential evidence including three handguns and a Taser gun.

Police also found “items that belong to six females not related to him,” Bertagna said.

Capacete was being held without bail.

He is accused of abducting a woman walking in the 300 block of South Harbor Boulevard on Dec. 24, taking her in his 2001 Chrysler Town and Country mini-van to the 1600 north block of Harbor, where he allegedly sexually assaulted the woman, Bertagna said.

He bound the victim in the car, took her clothes off and when he was done with her he pushed her out of the car nude and threw her clothes on top of her,” Bertagna said.

Police connected Capacete to the crime through an undisclosed piece of evidence that ended up on the pile of clothes, Bertagna said.

Capacete was arrested Friday, Bertagna said.

He works for the Brinks company in Garden Grove, but it wasn’t immediately clear whether he was a security guard, Bertagna said, adding the suspect does have a gun permit.

Capacete also put himself through a police academy and has been applying for law enforcement jobs, Bertagna said. He has a prior arrest for solicitation of prostitution, Bertagna said.

Santa Ana investigators suspect he may be involved in another attack in Garden Grove, and they are working with Homeland Security officials on another case, Bertagna said.

After a search of his home on Friday, investigators suspect there may be several more victims, Bertagna said.

Anyone with information was asked to call (855) TIP-OCCS.