Wednesday, July 25, 2012

MN - Shakopee deputy (Raul Rubio Mascorro) Facing Added Felony Criminal Sex Charges

Raul Rubio Mascorro
Original Article

07/11/2012

By Lisa Baumann

A Shakopee man is now facing five felony charges in a case accusing him of sexual abuse against two girls under age 16 over a period of at least two years.

Raul Rubio Mascorro, 36, was arrested in December on two charges of criminal sexual conduct while he was on a military base in Indiana preparing to deploy to Afghanistan with the U.S. Army.

In late June, an amended criminal complaint was filed in Scott County with a total of five felony charges:
  • first-degree criminal sexual conduct – penetration with a victim under age 16,
  • first-degree criminal sexual conduct – penetration, multiple acts over time with a victim under age 16,
  • second-degree criminal sexual conduct, multiple acts over time with a victim under age 16,
  • second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under age 13,
  • possession of pornography.

A 15-year-old girl reported multiple incidents to a school counselor in December and and a 13-year-old girl later reported incidents to Shakopee police. Both girls said the crimes occurred multiple times.

Mascorro's cell phone card was analyzed in March and a 28-second pornographic video involving a minor was found, according to the criminal complaint. The complaint further alleges that Mascorro is in the video, identified by his hand and a ring he is wearing.

Mascorro has worked as a jailer for Dakota County for several years and won an award in 2008 for innovation in his work as a correctional deputy, according to a department newsletter (PDF). During the first week of November, the department newsletter reported that Mascorro had his name etched on a wall of fame for performance in various physical fitness tests.

Mascorro has been previously convicted for speeding, and window tint, in 2003 and 2005, respectively, according to Minnesota court records.

A settlement conference in the case in Scott County Court is set for 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16. He remains in Scott County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bond.


FL - Ex-Seminole police officer (Ronald Baker) gets life in prison for molesting relative, taking pictures (child porn)

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Ronald Baker
Original Article

06/15/2012

By Rafael A. Olmeda

FORT LAUDERDALE - Former Seminole police officer Ronald Baker was sentenced Friday to life in prison for repeatedly molesting an underage female relative at his Sunrise home, taking pictures of the girl in compromising positions and storing those pictures on his home computer.

"The crimes which you have been convicted of would be disturbing under any circumstances," said Broward Circuit Judge Michael Usan, who sentenced Baker as a "rapist, child molester and child pornographer."

He said Baker would never again know the comfort of a family member's embrace.

"You should pray that on that day when you face your maker, that he'll show some mercy on your soul," Usan said.

Baker was convicted by a jury on May 10. The victim had testified that the abuse took place from the time she was 8 until her grandmother walked in on Baker fondling her inappropriately when she was 17.

Baker maintained his innocence throughout Friday's sentencing hearing. The victim, now 20, said she still struggles to recognize that she is not to blame for what Baker did to her.


MA - Officer (Christopher Branco) accused of videotaping girl in bathroom and child porn

Christopher Branco
Original Article

04/02/2012

WESTPORT - A Westport man pleads not guilty to a charge of child pornography after police said he secretly recorded a teenage relative using the bathroom in his home.

Police said Christopher Branco, 43, was charged with possession of child pornography. He was arraigned Monday in Fall River District Court. Branco was released on personal recognizance and is scheduled to be back in court in May.

Police said the video shows a 15-year-old female relative using the bathroom in Branco's home in 2000. Police said part of the video showed Branco setting up the camera.

According to police, Branco's wife found the tape in safe and gave it to investigators.

According to The Standard-Times, the prosecutor told the court Branco also had naked photos and several pairs of women's underwear in the safe.

The victim in the case told police what happened last month.

Branco is a police officer for Bristol Community College and a former police officer in Little Compton and Newport.


TN - TBI arrests Dyer County constable (Derick Hundley) on child sex exploitation charge

Derick Hundley
Original Article

07/24/2012

A Dyer County constable has been arrested by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.

Derick Hundley, 29, was taken into custody by the TBI around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday and charged with one count of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.

TBI spokesperson Kristin Helm said she could not go into detail about the case at this time, but did confirm federal authorities were involved.

"This is a state charge, but the investigation is ongoing and TBI is working with the FBI on this case," stated Helm.

Hundley is the constable of District H in Dyer County and is a former officer with the Halls Police Department.

Hundley appeared for arraignment in Dyer County General Sessions Court on Monday morning and was issued a $250,000 bond by Judge Jason Hudson. Hundley is currently being housed in the Obion County Jail.

Tennessee law describes aggravated sexual exploitation as when a person knowingly promotes, sells, distributes, transports, purchases or exchanges material, or possess with the intent to promote, sell, distribute, transport, purchase or exchange material, that includes a minor engaged in a sexual activity or a simulated sexual activity that is patently offensive.


IN - Is it Constitutional to Ban Sex Offenders From Social Networks?

Original Article

Facebook, by their own admission, has code in place to scan chats of people to see if they are inappropriate, and if so, then Facebook and the police are notified, so why can't they just use that technology, and stop banning people from social networks because of something they "may" do?  It's discrimination and yes, unconstitutional.

07/25/2012

Last month, a Federal District Court Judge in Indianapolis upheld an Indiana law prohibiting sex offenders from accessing social networking websites after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenged the law as part of a class action on behalf of sex offenders. The judge reasoned that the law did not violate the constitutional rights of a defendant.

The constitutionality of banning sex offenders from Internet websites has been brought to light recently and continues to be a hot topic.

The Case
In the most recent case of Doe v. Prosecutor, Marion County (PDF), the court considered the challenge to Indiana's statute that restricts released sex offenders from using social networking sites like, Facebook, Twitter and any site that relies on social network sites that allow minors, including some newspaper sites.

Doe argued that the statute was not "narrowly tailored" to the states interest of protecting minors from being targeted by sex offenders. (When a statute imposes a burden on a First Amendment right, such as the freedom of association, it must be "narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest" or else it will be deemed unconstitutional.)

The Law
The court found there was a significant governmental interest, protecting minors from sexual exploitation by sex offenders. The law was also conceded to be content neutral, in that it did not restrict the type of speech of a sex offender could use on the social network sites, as it simply prohibited any speech.

The court notes that a content neutral law will be upheld if it, "(1) is "narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest"; and (2) "leave[s] open ample alternative channels for communication of the information." If the statute satisfies these criteria, then it is deemed to be a "reasonable time, place and manner regulation[.]"

While the court found that this law would prohibit registered sex offenders from accessing websites that permit minors to use them, including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and others, the court did not believe this to be an impermissible restriction.

Doe had argued that the law would prohibit him, and others from, "making comments about current events on the Indianapolis Star web site; participating in political discussions in certain chat rooms; advertising for businesses using certain social networking sites; or sharing photos and having group discussions with family members through Facebook."

Nonetheless, the court reasoned that, "Mr. Doe (and those similarly situated) can still communicate through email, message boards, and social networking sites that require the user to be 18 years old." This, the court thinks, provides "ample alternative channels for communication of the information."

Other Cases Across the County
A decision earlier this year from Louisiana, however, struck down a state statute because it was, in fact, unconstitutional. The court found the law overbroad because it banned sex offenders who had completed the terms of their sentence from accessing virtually all Internet sites, including court websites.

In that case, terms within the statute were defined imprecisely or not at all. Some argued that the Act was "unintelligible to the public, unenforceable by police and prosecutors and uninterpretable by the judiciary."

In 2009, a federal judge in Nebraska found parts of Nebraska's law were overbroad and unconstitutional.

Future Litigation
Given the newness of social networking sites, (Facebook began in 2004) the full contour of their effect on society is still a work in process.

The Indiana court notes that Facebook now has 901 million users. Courts may find it difficult to prove, as Facebook and its progeny expand and become more influential, that banning all registered sex offenders is sufficiently narrowly tailored. It remains to be seen, however, what will become of this case as either side may appeal the decision.

A further challenge is also pending in Nebraska to that state's law.

As more states actively legislate in this area, and the societal significance of social network websites increases, it is likely the Supreme Court will eventually grant certiorari and provide the last word.

Article provided by Cleveland Law Firm: www.utahcriminallawyer.com


TX - Former jail guard (Jose Armando Herrera) arrested for molesting girl in Santa Rosa

Jose Armando Herrera
Original Article

07/25/2012

A former jail guard is facing criminal charges after he allegedly molested a young girl who would spend the night at his home.

Cameron County Sheriff's Department deputies arrested 37-year-old Jose Armando Herrera on an indecency with a child charge last week.

Court records released in the case show that the alleged sexual abuse had been taking place since April.

The records show that the girl knew Herrera through his wife and that she would spend the night at the their rural Santa Rosa home to play with their children.

According to an affidavit, Herrera tried to molest the girl on July 11th but the little girl yelled at him and went to tell his wife what happened.

Deputies booked Herrera into the Cameron County Jail but is currently out on a $35,000 dollar bond.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) officials confirmed that Herrera was a correctional officer with the Lopez State Jail in Edinburg.

Herrera was hired back on September 18, 2008 but TDCJ records list his employment as "pending" and that he's prohibited from entering the jail.