Saturday, July 28, 2012

RI - Defendants Agree not to Enforce Sex Offender Residency Law Against ACLU Plaintiffs

Original Article



At a court hearing today on the ACLU’s request for a preliminary injunction, the state and the Providence Police Department have agreed not to arrest and/or prosecute the plaintiffs in an ACLU lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state law that makes it a felony for any person required to register as a sex offender to reside within 300 feet of any school. Across the country, experts involved in the treatment of sex offenders, as well as victims’ rights groups, have opposed sex offender residency laws as being ineffective, counter-productive, and potentially more, rather than less, harmful to public safety.

The three plaintiffs face potential homelessness if the law is enforced against them. Two of them have development disabilities and are living in Warren Manor, an assisted living facility in Providence operated by NRI Community Services, a provider of mental health and substance abuse treatment. They are not even subject to community notification requirements.

RI ACLU volunteer attorney Kate Godin said today: “I am very pleased that, at least for the foreseeable future, our clients will not face any action that could lead to homelessness or their reinstitutionalization. We remain prepared to take further action if any other offenders are similarly threatened with arrest under the statute while this lawsuit is pending.”

Among the groups that have publicly raised concerns locally about broad sex offender residency laws are the RI Disability Law Center, the RI Coalition for the Homeless, and Day One Rhode Island. A year before the Rhode Island law was enacted, the Rhode Island Sex Offender Management Task Force prepared a draft statement on residency restrictions that noted that “research shows that sex offenders with residential and family stability (which can be disrupted by such restrictions) are less likely to commit new sex offenses.

Even though the plaintiffs have been in their residences for some time with the full knowledge of probation and police officials, the Providence Police Department notified them last month that if they did not move out within 30 days, they risked being arrested under the statute. At the time the suit was filed, Chris Stephens, the President/CEO of NRI Community Services noted that some of the residents at Warren Manor were placed there by the state probation and parole office, and that “subjecting them to arrest and eviction is not only contrary to their medical needs and increases their risk of homelessness, but it categorically does nothing to make the community safer.” Judge Sarah Taft-Carter ordered briefs to be filed in the case by August 17th.

TN - Former trooper (Wade Williams) pleads guilty to sex crimes

Wade Williams
Original Article


By Mary Jo Denton

BYRDSTOWN - Former Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Wade Williams went to court yesterday and pleaded guilty to sex crimes with a minor and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Williams, 38, of Byrdstown, came to Criminal Court in his hometown, his wife by his side, and stood before Judge David Patterson to plead guilty to the following:

  • Two counts of aggravated statutory rape.
  • Two counts of attempt to commit especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.
  • One count of sexual exploitation of a minor.

The victim in the case was a 14-year-old girl.

The former trooper, who resigned his job earlier this year after he came under investigation by the THP and the District Attorney, was sentenced to a total of eight years for the crimes.

Two of those years must be served day-for-day, according to DA Randy York and Assistant DA Mark Gore.

After serving all of the two-year sentence and 30 percent of the remainder of the sentence, Williams will be eligible for parole.

Williams was sentenced as a "child sexual predator" on the aggravated statutory rape charges, Gore said.

He will also be listed on the state's sex offender registry.

Last April, Williams waived his right to a criminal indictment in the case and was formally charged by a criminal "information" filed in Pickett County, where the offenses took place.

The case began after authorities received a complaint alleging that the trooper had had an affair with a 14-year-old girl. Among the allegations made at the time was a report that Williams had sexually explicit photos of the girl.

"The guilty plea entered Wednesday by former trooper Wade Williams brings closure to this unfortunate incident and, hopefully, some relief for the victim and the victim's family," said Commissioner Bill Gibbons of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

"Williams has been sentenced accordingly, he will serve time in prison, and will be placed on the sex offender registry. The actions of Wade Williams do not represent the men and women of the Tennessee Highway Patrol and all those who put their lives on the line to serve and protect the citizens of Tennessee," Gibbons said.

"No one is above the law, and this type of behavior will not be tolerated by the Department of Safety and Homeland Security."

Williams, who was represented in court by attorney Todd Daniels, was taken to jail yesterday following the sentencing.

Asst. DA Gore represented the state in the case.

MI - Former Royal Oak police Officer (Michael Smith) charged with child porn possession will stand trial

Michael Smith
Original Article


ROYAL OAK - A Royal Oak Police Officer charged with possession and distribution of child pornography will stand trial.

Michael Smith, 41, is accused of downloading and possessing child pornography on his personal home computer between September 2011 through January 2012.

Smith allegedly distributed some pornographic images to other users through a public Internet file-sharing network.

Smith resigned from the Royal Oak police force in January. He was a 12-year veteran and has no criminal record.

If convicted, Smith could face eighteen years in prison.

TX - Former Taft Officer and his wife (Armando & Angela Padilla) Sentenced for Sexual Assault of a Child

Original Article


SAN PATRICIO COUNTY - A former Taft Police officer is on his way to prison after pleading guilty to sexual assault of a child.

The victim's family said their 16-year old daughter trusted a man, who they say turned out to be a dirty cop.

Cameras weren't allowed into the San Patricio County Courthouse where the former Taft police officer Armando Padilla and his wife were sentenced Friday. We were able to talk to Padilla before he was whisked off to prison. He told our cameras that he regrets the decisions he has made.

Armando Padilla, 24, was lead out of the San Patricio County Courthouse in handcuffs after a judge sentenced him to five years in prison. He will also be forced to register as a child sex offender and pay restitution.

In the meantime, his wife, Angela Padilla, was found guilty of attempted sexual assault of a child and will spend 60 days in jail. She will have to serve community service, must register as a sex offender and pay restitution.

This all stemming from a incident in May 2011, when Padilla, who was a Taft police officer at the time, was accused of raping a 16-year old girl.

His wife, Angela Padilla was pregnant at the time. The victim's parent's tell us what lead up to the crime.

"She had told me she was in labor. She asked if she could take my daughter from school, so she could be with her when she had the baby, and agreed, and I went and let her take her out of school. Her husband went to school, pulled her out of school. Thought they took her to hospital with them, they took her home with them instead and that's when they raped her," says the victims mother Patty Alaniz.

"I feel, there is no win-win situation. He got a short time, compared to my daughters lifetime agony. She, she has to live with this, for the rest of her life," says the victim's father Val Alaniz.

The victim's family told us their daughter now feels like she can't trust anyone and she suffers from nightmares.

It took the judge only about 45 minutes to hand down his sentence Friday.

FL - Sex offenders landlord slapped with code violations

Original Article


ORLANDO - WFTV learned a landlord who is housing a dozen offenders in Orlando was slapped with code enforcement violations for not having proper permits, among other issues.

Randy Young houses the offenders at two homes along West Concord Street, near Orange Blossom Trail.

He told WFTV's Ryan Hughes he feels he's being targeted because his tenants are sexual offenders.

The modest Orlando neighborhood has seemingly turned into a haven for registered sexual offenders and predators.

Twelve offenders live in two homes alone.

Just last week, Orlando Code Enforcement paid a visit and slapped the homeowners with code violations.

"They're being picked on specifically because of the label of sexual offender," said Young.

Young said he feels his tenants are being targeted after neighbors recently complained about the influx of offenders.

"I actually came there and blocked their entrance and told them they don't have the right to enter. That's correct that they need a search warrant."

But an inspector was in and out of the two houses by the time Young showed up.

He was cited for operating a group housing facility without a permit and having evidence of a group housing facility.

He has until next Friday to fix things, like locks on doors, or he could end up in court.

"What do you make of the violations? Do you consider them a bit ridiculous?" WFTV asked.

"I believe that they would fall under that heading of court cases of triviality," said Young.

One neighbor WFTV talked to who, has a 1-year-old boy, is fine with the offenders living so close.

"If they're here legally then I don't have a problem with them," said neighbor Jibreel Lee.

City code allows no more than five offenders per home, but six live in each, although some consider it temporary residency.

Young operates 10 homes for sex offenders all over Orange County and might open more in the future.