Tuesday, July 24, 2012

OH - Police: Pair (William Rumfola & Nicole Dudenas) beat suspected sex offender with ball bat

William Rumfola and Nicole Dudenas
Original Article

And like usual, people are trying to get these vigilantes free?  See this Facebook page and group.

07/13/2012

By Emil Whitis

A Vickery man and woman were arrested Thursday for allegedly smashing a baseball bat into a suspected sexual offender’s face.

The assault victim — [name withheld], 32, of Vickery — was later arrested on charges of gross sexual imposition. He’s accused of groping an 18-year-old woman.

His alleged attackers — William Rumfola, 25, and Nicole Dudenas (Facebook), 25 — were charged with felony assault and aggravated menacing, because they also threatened [name withheld] with a knife, Erie County deputies said.

Deputies sped to the 7500 block of Wahl Road at about 1 a.m. Thursday after receiving a call about a man who’d been assaulted. They arrived to find a crowd gathered on a trailer park road, with a bloodied [name withheld] near the group.

[name withheld] told deputies he’d been hit in the head with a baseball bat.


FL - Robert Pascale beat 78-year-old man he thought was a sex offender to death

Robert Pascale
Original Article

07/20/2012

ORANGE COUNTY - A Bithlo man will spend the rest of his life in prison for beating to death a 78-year-old man he mistakenly thought was a sex offender.

Robert Pascale, 22, had no reaction on Friday as the judge read the “guilty of first-degree murder’’ verdict in the 2010 slaying of Hugh Edwards. The sentence carries a mandatory life sentence.

Prosecutors said Pascale and Michael Garay, who had previously been convicted, beat Edwards to death with a baseball bat in May 2010 because they thought he was a sex offender.

On Friday, paramedics had to be called to Orange County Courthouse after Ruth Pascale, the defendant’s mother, was overcome with emotion and collapsed on the courtroom floor. She did manage to walk out of the courthouse on her own.

Moments after the verdict, Robert Pascale said as he was being led away, "It's not over until God says it is. I'm still coming home."

Prosecutor William Jay emphasized during closing arguments that Pascale admitted several times, including in an interview aired on WFTV, that he beat Edwards with a baseball bat.

Pascale’s attorney, Roger Weeden, argued that his client was only guilty of aggravated assault and not premeditated murder. Weeden said Pascale chose not to testify in his own defense because prosecutors could have then asked him about his prior felony convictions for robbery, battery and grand theft.

Garay is already serving a life sentence.

See Also:


MN - Judge: Minn. sex offender suit can be class action

Original Article

07/24/2012

ST. PAUL - A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program can move forward as a class-action effort involving more than 600 people who have been indefinitely committed to the program, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank ruled that the lawsuit meets the legal requirements for a class action. He concluded that addressing each case individually would be an "enormous drain" on legal resources.

The sex offenders who've been committed to the program have all finished their prison sentences, but prosecutors and the courts have deemed them too dangerous to be released without treatment. They're officially considered patients, not prisoners, but they're not free to leave. Until one patient earned a provisional discharge into a halfway house earlier this year, none had been successfully released since the program began in 1994.

Frank wrote that all the offenders in the program face an identical process for treatment and possible release, raise similar allegations about a lack of realistic opportunities for earning their freedom, and have sufficiently similar legal interests for their cases to go forward together.

The lawsuit levels several allegations against the state, including failure to provide adequate treatment. It also challenges the constitutionality of the state's civil commitment statute. While the courts have upheld the constitutionality of the program before, it's been dogged by persistent questions about costs and the lack of anyone being released.


LA - The Oakdale Chronicles (NEW BLOG)

Click the image to view the blog


CA - Redding CHP officer (Gerald Harris) charged with having child porn

Gerald Harris
Original Article

07/23/2012

By Sean Longoria

A California Highway Patrol officer accused of possessing child pornography took a photo of a young girl's fully clothed crotch in the classroom of the Anderson school where his wife teaches, CHP investigators said in documents filed in Shasta County Superior Court.

Gerald "Gary" Roland Harris, 45, pleaded not guilty Monday to two felony counts of possessing child pornography, a felony count of using a computer without authorization, a misdemeanor count of annoying a child younger than 18 and two special allegations.

Those allegations state Harris will serve time in state prison if convicted of the child pornography charges.

He also faces 13 felonies and one misdemeanor charge related to a cache of guns, drugs, explosives and driver's licenses found Feb. 21 during a search of his Deschutes Road home.

Harris will be back in court Sept. 4 for a plea disposition and his preliminary hearing was set for the following day.

Retired Shasta County Superior Court Judge Anthony Anderson ordered Harris to have no contact with anyone younger than 18, except family members.

Prosecutors originally requested a blanket order, although Joe Gazzigli, Harris' defense attorney, argued that was overly broad.

"If he is such a hazard, I don't understand why it's taken such a long time" to file additional charges, Gazzigli said in court.

The case has been delayed several times at the request of prosecutors, who have said they needed more time to investigate the child porn charges, which were filed Thursday.

Harris turned himself in Friday at Shasta County jail and was released the same day on $75,000 bail, a watch commander at the jail said Monday.

The image of the his wife's second-grade student dated 2010 was found on a flash drive seized during the CHP's internal investigation into Harris. That same flash drive also contained thousands of adult porn pictures, investigators said.

"Most of the pornographic images were of a past girlfriend of Gerald Harris, and/or Gerald Harris himself, engaged in acts that were intimate and sexual in nature," investigators wrote in the report.

A fellow officer who found adult porn on Harris' department-issued laptop while trying to fix the computer sparked that investigation.

The girl was sitting on a desk in a classroom, which officers later determined was at the Meadow Lane Elementary School, where Harris' wife, Katherine, teaches second grade.

"Based on their inspection, investigators were able to identify and match several items from the background of the photograph of the child victim to items in Mrs. Harris' classroom," investigators wrote in the report.

Officers later interviewed the girl in the photo, who said Harris was at the school almost every day between lunch and dismissal and would frequently take photos in his wife's classroom.

"Although Gerald Harris would yell at the students for talking, the victim did not indicate Gerald Harris did anything inappropriate to her," investigators said.

Anderson police conducted their own investigation into Harris for possible child molestation after several parents called the CHP concerned for their children. A detective didn't find any evidence Harris had molested children but a computer technician at the school told police years earlier he'd found pornographic photographs on Katherine Harris' school computer.

"(Mrs. Harris) related she had no idea how the images came to be on the computer and speculated that her husband, Gerald Harris, may have been one to place them on the school computer," CHP investigators said.

Officers also seized nine more flash drives, six CDs and a second laptop during their initial investigation, although Harris claimed he stole disks containing child pornography from another officer's locker to use for "insurance purposes" in the event the officer was promoted.

The CHP's Computer Crimes Investigation Unit found adult pornography on both of the laptops.

"Additionally, (investigators) discovered a single image of child pornography, which depicted a prepubescent boy and a young female engaged in what appeared to be sexual intercourse, on the departmental Gateway (brand) laptop," investigators wrote in the report.

Also on one of the laptops, investigators found one image of child pornography, four images of child erotica and about 100 images of naked children, which had all been viewed and deleted in the early morning hours by Harris while on duty, according to the report. Officers found many of the same images on one of the flash drives, one of which was Harris' property, found in a laptop bag in his patrol car.

The internal investigation led to a criminal investigation and Harris turned himself in March 2 at Shasta County jail after an arrest warrant was issued the same day.

Further investigation revealed none of the 11 illegal assault weapons found at Harris' house were registered to him. Two of the guns were bought from a retired CHP officer at a sporting goods store in Medford, Ore.

Harris told the retired officer he'd "take care of getting them into California," and the officer "wouldn't have to worry about anything," investigators wrote in the report.

The guns all had "evil" features that made them illegal in California, investigators said. A Redding-area gun dealer sold handguns to Harris, although officers didn't find any records he'd bought the assault weapons locally, according to the report.