Friday, April 13, 2012

MA - Bogus sex-crimes cop (John Ruth) jailed on robbery, impersonation charges

John Ruth
Original Article

04/13/2012

By Jo-Anne MacKenzie

SALEM — A man who told police he was trying to catch sexual predators is sitting in county jail.

The self-styled, one-man sex crimes task force first posed as a teenage girl online, then pretended to be a federal agent when a man responded to his invitation to meet in a parking lot Feb. 12, authorities said.

John Ruth, 48, of Haverhill, Mass., turned himself in at the police station Wednesday on an arrest warrant issued in February, according to Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten.

Ruth, pretending to be a 16-year-old girl, solicited a 25-year-old man, also from Haverhill, to meet him in a parking lot at 15 Ermer Road, Patten said. When the man took the bait and showed up at about 5 p.m. Feb. 12, Ruth blocked the younger man's car in with his vehicle, preventing him from leaving once he saw his online friend was really a middle-aged man.

Ruth then told the man he was a federal agent, working with a sex crimes task force. He frisked the man, and took his car keys and money clip while he allegedly verified his identification, Patten said.

Finally, Ruth returned the man's possessions and told him he could leave. But after leaving, the 25-year-old discovered $146 was missing from his money clip and reported the incident to police.

Police issued an arrest warrant for Ruth then, but never found him to take him into custody.

He is charged with two felonies — unarmed robbery and false impersonation, for pretending to be a federal agent. He's also charged with one count of false imprisonment for preventing the younger man from leaving the parking lot.

He was arraigned in 10th Circuit Court Wednesday and has been in the county jail since, for lack of $20,000 cash bail.

The man who answered the online invitation was not charged, but police hope he learned something from the experience.

"What do you charge him with? It wasn't a 16-year-old girl, there was no victim," Patten said. "Hopefully, this has been a valuable learning lesson for him and he won't engage in this type of behavior again."
- And yet vigilante groups like Perverted-Justice and others are basically doing pretty much the same thing, and they are getting a way with it, even praised by some.  Why aren't they arrested for harassment and other crimes?  They are not cops, and should not be doing the police's job!

After his arrest, Ruth told detectives he had been going online to catch sexual predators, Patten said, adding that's not a good idea.

"What he's doing is dangerous, not only to the other person, but also to himself," Patten said. "Judging by our discussions, it wasn't the first time he's done this. It's going to be a bad day for him if he shows up and the other person is armed."

Police have trained investigators working to catch sexual predators, Patten pointed out, and they do so in a professional manner that leads to prosecution. Citizens have no place acting as law enforcement officers.
- Unlike the other vigilante groups out there.

Ruth may have tried similar ruses in his home state.

"We have been in contact with Massachusetts State Police because they believe he engaged in similar activities there," Patten said of Ruth.

While police do receive reports of people impersonating law enforcement officers, he said, this crime is unusual.

And, he added, it's unusual that the 25-year-old victim called police.

"It would appear to be the perfect crime," Patten said. "Anybody actively engaging in a crime, who then is a victim of a crime, usually won't report it."
- So which is it?  Above you said it wasn't a crime, no victim was involved, yet here you call it a crime?  Make up your mind!


NY - Exclusive: The Secret Behind The Xbox Sex Case

Original Article

See the related articles at the end of this one, and see the video below.

04/12/2012

By Sean Carroll

Greece - For more than a year the criminal case against [name withheld] has garnered local, state, and even some national headlines.[name withheld] ’s arrest last March stemmed from an investigation that revealed he had sexual encounters with a twelve year-old boy he met while playing Xbox Live online.

Now, [name withheld]’s mom reveals a secret that few people ever knew about her son. A secret that, for some, changes the conversation and debate that has surrounded this case since [name withheld] was arrested.

"Every case is not a cookie-cutter case,” [mothers name withheld], [name withheld]’s mom said in an exclusive interview with 13WHAM News. “Every case has a story."

For [mothers name withheld] her son’s story begins when he was first diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of five. The disorder specifically affects one’s social skills and puts [name withheld] on the autism spectrum. Most describe those with Asperger’s as being high-functioning autistic.

"Chronologically he's 19, academically he is way beyond his years, but socially and emotionally he's about ten, eleven years old," [name withheld]’s mom said about her son, who just turned 20 last week.

April is Autism Awareness month and later this month, on April 26th, [name withheld] will stand before a judge to be sentenced. Last month he pled guilty to one D-level felony charge. His plea agreement includes a six month jail sentence, ten years probation, and registration as a sex offender in New York State.

The original 19-count indictment accused [name withheld] of Sexual Abuse 2nd Degree (9-counts, misdemeanor), Criminal Sexual Act 1st Degree (9-counts, felony), and Endangering the Welfare of a Child (misdemeanor.) A conviction to any of the felony-level charges exposed [name withheld] to a possible 5-to-25 year prison sentence.

[name withheld]’s Asperger’s

The diagnosis came when he was five years old and it has remained a lifelong struggle for [name withheld] and his family, according to his mom. She says her son also suffers from Tourette’s syndrome and provided letters and documents dating back more than a decade to substantiate her claim.

In a rare circumstance, [name withheld] also waived patient privacy rights and allowed a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been counseling him for the last four months to speak publicly on his behalf.

"I certainly would never want a true predator to go free, I would want a true predator to be caught but that's not Ricky and that's what's disturbing to me," Kitty Moran Wolfsong said of [name withheld]. "Socially I would say that Ricky is somewhere between the age of ten and twelve."

Both [name withheld]’s mom and Wolfsong describe him as being very intelligent with a clear idea of what’s right and what’s wrong, but they also say he’s socially naïve and unable to comprehend various social interactions.[name withheld] ’s mom says that the encounter her son had with this 12 year-old victim was his first sexual experience.

"This invisible disability needs to be recognized by law enforcement, by government,[name withheld]’s mother said.

[name withheld]’s Criminal Case

In March 2011, the victim’s parents reported the sexual abuse to Greece Police and a criminal investigation led right to [name withheld]’s front door. Court and police paperwork (attached) indicates the challenges police had in even convincing [name withheld] to open the door for officers.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” [name withheld] said over the phone to an officer standing outside his home trying to convince him to come to the door. “I’d rather not, I’m sorry, I don’t want to go to jail.”

[name withheld]’s mom returned home later that evening and says she immediately filed a missing person’s report on behalf of her son because she could not locate him and was unaware that he was at the police station speaking to investigators.

"He would never, ever leave the house without calling me or writing me a note or anything and I came home from work and he was gone,” Karen said of that day.

Police interviewed [name withheld] for some time and according to the police report he appeared to admit to multiple sexual encounters with the victim. While Miranda warnings were issued according to police, we asked [name withheld]’s mom if she thinks her son had a full understanding of his legal rights at the time of this questioning.

No absolutely not, absolutely not; he was just doing as he was told, that is what he was doing,” according to [name withheld]’s mom. "I know that they had to interrogate him to the point where he just cracked, I mean there's no doubt in my mind that he just cried and gave up and was curled up in a ball in the fetal position.”

A Greece Police Spokesman confirmed for 13WHAM News prior to this report that investigators did include in their police report what information they could gather concerning [name withheld]’s autism.

Just last week, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman specifically pointed to [name withheld]’s case as a reason why his office rushed to broker an agreement with the manufacturers of these online gaming systems.
- Without the facts, like usual, he reacts on emotion and knee-jerk fashion, passing a law that affects all New York ex-sex offenders based on what one person did, just to make himself "look tough" on crime.  No wonder this country is going to hell, politicians just pass laws without knowing the facts or what is even in the bill.  Remember what Nancy Pelosi said? "We have to pass the bill so you know what's in it!"

"Operation: Game Over in fact took on an added urgency after a recent event in Greece, New York…" A.G. Schneiderman said at a press conference in New York City last Thursday. The agreement involved the removal of all registered sex offenders in the State of New York from the online databases of these gaming systems.
- And guess what, someone from California, or another state, could do exactly the same thing, if they wanted to, but the fact is, it doesn't happen that often.

A spokeswoman for A.G. Schneiderman’s Office refused to comment for this report and when asked if the office was aware of [name withheld]’s Asperger’s.

"He's being vilified in the news as a predator who went out looking, trolling for some younger person (and) that's just not how it was,” Wolfsong said. “He was on a gaming site looking for friends because he doesn't have many friends, because he's not good at making friends.”

[name withheld]’s Punishment

By most accounts the plea deal [name withheld] received is a more than favorable one. Yet for those who know [name withheld] the best, there is passionate concern that his having to go to county jail will set him back years in his development.

That is the piece that I'm most disturbed about because it truly is like putting an innocent ten or eleven-year-old in with adults who are street smart; it is absolutely not an appropriate punishment,” Wolfsong said. “Ricky will be destroyed in jail, it terrifies me what jail is going to do to him. Best case scenario he'll come out damaged and need years of therapy to deal with it, worst case scenario he will be turned into a predator…It is not going to correct anything."

[name withheld]’s mom said she understands her son must be punished for what he’s done.

"Rick broke the law, knowingly or unknowingly he broke the law, I'm not saying that he should not be punished for his crime,” she said. “But not as severely as this."

[name withheld]’s mom said the victim in this case was a large twelve year-old boy the size of her own son. She said she remembers him at her home on three occasions and never once does she recall any signs or signals that would suggest he was being victimized. [mothers name withheld] said the victim said certain things that suggested he was much older than twelve. She added that she was never introduced to the boy’s parents despite at least one attempt by her to invite them inside for coffee.

13WHAM News was unable to substantiate or corroborate those claims as the victim remains anonymous.

"I regret that I had to wait this long, and had to suffer this long, and my son had to suffer this long before I came forward,[mothers name withheld] said through tears. “Because I'm glad I did and I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that I can keep my son home with me."

[name withheld] is due to be sentenced on April 26th in front of Monroe County Judge Victoria Argento.

Related Stories:


How a child pornography case gets started

NOTE: This is NOT an endorsement for this man, we know nothing about him.


Video Link


GA - Enforcing Pornography Laws


ME - State trooper (Gregory Vrooman) accused of sex crime assaulted in courtroom

Gregory Vrooman
Original Article

04/13/2012

By Christopher Cousins

WISCASSET - Attorneys and the judge involved in the sex-crime trial of Gregory Vrooman were scheduled to meet Friday to determine how to proceed in light of a courtroom assault on Vrooman on Thursday that brought the proceedings to a halt, according to Lincoln County Superior Court clerk.

Vrooman, 46, of Nobleboro, was assaulted by a spectator and hospitalized Thursday morning as the court was preparing to reconvene his trial following jury deliberations. Vrooman, a 24-year veteran of the Maine State Police, is on trial for numerous charges involving sexual abuse of a girl under the age of 14. The alleged assaults happened between December 2009 and November 2010.

Vrooman is on unpaid administrative leave from the Maine State Police.

William Harrison
The court clerk said that the jury had been in deliberations prior to the assault and was preparing to return to the courtroom. The jurors were not present for the altercation, in which William Harrison, 39, of Charlestown, Mass., allegedly attacked Vrooman from behind as he sat at the defense table. Police who were in the courtroom said that Harrison landed at least two punches, injuring Vrooman’s face.

Lincoln County District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said the Harrison is a family member of the alleged victim in the case.

Harrison, who was quickly subdued by Lincoln County deputies and court officers, was charged with assault and taken to Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset. He was released on $5,000 bail later in the day, according to the jail’s administration.

Rushlau said Friday morning that court officers had been notified by the jury that a verdict had been reached, but that no one except for the jurors know what it is at this point.

The next step is obviously to have the verdict delivered,” said Rushlau, who said he and others were meeting Friday to determine when that will happen. “This is completely unprecedented.”

Rushlau said it would be up to the court to decide whether the altercation could interrupt the legal process.

That’s a decision for a trial judge,” he said. “If the verdict is guilty, it potentially gives the defendant another avenue for appeal, but I can’t personally see that that would be successful. [The assault] certainly did disrupt the ordinary course of a jury trial.”

Rushlau said that Vrooman has the right not to be present for the reading of the verdict, but said no decision on that front had been brought to his attention. Rushlau was unsure whether Vrooman remained hospitalized Friday morning.

Neither the jury nor the judge in the case, Justice Jeffrey Hjelm, were present during the assault.


Feds Begin Penalizing States That Haven't Adopted U.S. Sex Offender Law

Original Article

04/12/2012

By Ted Gest

Nearly six years after the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was enacted, the U.S. Justice Department is beginning to penalize many of the states that have failed to follow its provisions. The latest count shows that only 15 states are in "substantial" compliance with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) parts of the Adam Walsh law, long after a deadline of last July.

The 2006 law expanded the categories of crimes requiring registration and increased the length and frequency of registration for some adults and juveniles. Many states believe that the federal requirements are too costly and burdensome, deciding that they will give up some U.S. anti-crime aid rather than retool their sex offender registries in line with the federal law.

The Crime Report previously noted, for example, that Texas had estimated that it would have to spent nearly $39 million to comply with SORNA but would lose only $1.4 million in federal funds if it didn't act.

Some states have declined to comply on policy grounds, most commonly disagreeing with the federal requirement that juvenile sex offenders involved in violent crimes be registered for life. Their first opportunity to ask a court to end their registration would not be available until 25 years after they are listed on a registry, a requirement that some states believe is too harsh.

States had been threatened with a 10 percent cut in aid from Washington. In practice, the cuts ordered by Justice Department will not go so deeply. Only federal money going solely to state governments will suffer the 10 percent reduction, not the relatively large amount of U.S. aid destined for local governments.
- It's extortion pure and simple!

This was the course urged by the National Criminal Justice Association, representing states and localities, which argues that local programs "should not be penalized because of a state's policy on sex offender management." As a result, the potential penalty to most states will be cut roughly in half, depending on how much of the state's federal aid ends up in local hands.

The only states in compliance with SORNA are Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming.

All of the remaining 35 states may not suffer a loss of federal funds. If the Justice Department determines that a state is actively attempting to comply with SORNA, its federal aid may continue without interruption. Several more states may comply this year, depending on action by legislatures that may still be in session.

The proportion of federal money that a non-complying state may lose will differ depending on the state's level of compliance. In some states, federal money that otherwise would have gone to anti-crime work not involving sex offenders might be shifted to help the state get into compliance with SORNA. The bottom line is that some anti-crime programs around the U.S. now will experience funding cuts if they are located in states that have failed to meet SORNA's requirements.