Tuesday, September 18, 2012

WA - Man (Patrick Drum) who killed sex offenders gets life

Patrick Drum
Original Article


PORT ANGELES -- A man who gunned down two sex offenders on the Olympic Peninsula was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without possibility of parole, but a judge warned those sympathetic to his cause to back off.

Patrick Drum, 34, shot Gary Lee Blanton, 28, on June 2 at a home Drum was renting near Sequim. Blanton was renting a room in the home. Drum then drove to the home of Jerry Wayne Ray, 57, in the Agnew area near Port Angeles where Ray was killed the next morning.

Later that day, Drum abandoned a rental car he had been driving and was soon located after witnesses reported seeing a suspicious man in a remote area of the northern Olympic Peninsula.

Responding deputies found the car and a note inside that led to the victims and identified Drum as a suspect. Police said the note offered an apology for what he had done and that he took full responsibility for "taking care of some problems."

Dozens of officers responded to the area. Drum was tracked down by a dog team and flushed out of a wooded area following a three hour manhunt.

Investigators say Drum knew both men were sex offenders, and both victims were shot multiple times.

During sentencing Tuesday, the judge made it clear there should be no kind of vigilantism and told Drum's supporters to back off from the attacks on the victims' families. The wife of one of the victims says people who support Drum and consider him a "hero" have stalked their house, thrown things at their car, spat on them and more.

The sheriff's office online record of sex offenders shows Blanton was convicted in November 2001 of third-degree rape. Ray was convicted in August 2002 of child rape.

An Unforgettable Act of Forgiveness in Court - by the Father of a Murder Victim

Video Description:
This is one act of forgiveness that you will not forget - this father, a Christian, had the courage and strength to forgive the person who murdered his daughter. The raw emotion in this video will move you.

VA - School bus stop located near sex offender's home

Original Article


ARLINGTON COUNTY (WUSA) - A mother concerned that her daughter's bus stop is near a registered sex offender's home, and is desperately trying to get the bus stop moved.

The bus stop in question is at 22nd and Oakland in Arlington County.

Peggy Fox reports that despite the mother's plea to the school and the transportation department, the bus continues to drop off students in that same spot.

CA - Sex offenders are people too

Original Article


By Leonardo Castaneda

The law has failed on sex offenders. Rather than preventing crime, the law makes crime inevitable. California’s Fourth Appellate District court recently ruled current laws regarding where sex offenders can live as “unreasonable.”

This is not an isolated case, but a pattern. California’s judicial system has slowly shifted away from prevention and rehabilitation toward punitive retaliation. Obviously, criminals are not the most pitiable people so it’s hard to feel bad for a registered sex offender, but one measure of a developed society is how well it treats its most despicable members. An advanced society tries to put an end to the cycle of crime by rehabilitating criminals so they can atone for what they did and then get back to their lives. A less advanced society is content with punishing transgressors by casting them off into a life where crime is the only viable path.

According to San Diego Superior Court Judge Michael Wellington, San Diego has been content with punishment and unconcerned with prevention and rehabilitation for too long. The stigma attached to criminals, especially those accused of sexual offences, make it extremely difficult for them to find a job. Voter-approved Proposition 83 (PDF), “Jessica’s Law,” prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park. Less than three percent of multifamily houses in San Diego would be eligible, assuming those landlords are willing to rent the residence to a sex offender.
- The justice system was one-upon-a-time about rehabilitation, now it's all about punishment, and how to increase that punishment so politicians can look good to the people, oh, and it's also about money!

In the end, sex offenders are pushed out of the city and into scarcely populated rural areas with other criminals. The examples given by KPBS of four individuals challenging the legality of the residency restrictions are indicative of the problem: two individuals lived in the alley behind the parole office, one in his van and one with other sex offenders in a San Diego riverbed.
- Ex-sex offenders are the new leper, made to be homeless/jobless, and forced into exile, and it's growing across the country, here is many examples for Florida and Georgia alone.

The conditions other criminals face are equally inhumane (We disagree). The level of overcrowding in California prisons forced a judge to take control of the penal system. The surplus will be shipped back to the counties because the system can no longer handle all the criminals it produces. Punitive rules such as the three strikes penalty, up for voter review in the upcoming election, turn repeat minor offenders into lifetime prisoners.

Forced to the edges of society, these people don’t have access to jobs, rehabilitation services or even basic housing. They are forced into a life where crime seems like their only logical path. Their crimes vary but they are often loathsome acts, making it easy to dismiss their perpetual punishment. But this is when it’s most important for us to take a stance for justice. The goal of our judicial system should be to prevent crime and rehabilitate criminals, regardless of their offenses.

Our commitment to justice is not tested with everyday thieves, but in the extremes of criminal activity. We don’t test our devotion to rehabilitation with the little old lady caught stealing a ham to feed her starving grandchildren. We test it with child molesters and rapists. We must be able to treat those individuals with fairness and attempt to rectify whatever made them act in a criminal way.

Of course, such an overhaul of our attitude toward crime won’t be easy. We are accustomed to harsh punishment to scare people into not being criminals (Which doesn't work!). The goal instead should be to eliminate the conditions causing an individual to do something illegal. Crime prevention needs to stretch beyond the legal system. The best antidote for crime is more available jobs, not more police officers. And a judicial system concerned with getting criminals the help they need to avoid future crimes would benefit society the most.

Punishing criminals without giving them a chance to rectify their wrongs is inhumane and it should be illegal. It’s time we start acting as the advanced society we know we are.

Protecting yourself and your children from sexual assault

Original Article


By Amanda Edwards

There are tools women have been taught since childhood to stay safe from sexual assault. We do these things without even thinking about it in an effort to reduce our risk of becoming a victim. However, in this new age of technology, there are new tips we can use and strategies we can teach our children to reduce the risk of sexual assault.

According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), one in every six women in the United States will be the victim of a completed or attempted rape in their lifetime.

How to protect ourselves from sexual assault:
  • Don’t share too much information on the internet whether it is selling something on a classified page or checking in via social media, the entire world wide web does not need to know where you are and what you’re doing all the time.
  • Park under the light in the parking lot and carry keys like a weapon, sticking out between fingers.
  • Make eye contact with individuals who cross your path instead of looking down or texting on your phone (this one is new as cell phone use has increased and we often walk and talk or text.)

We can protect our children too:
  • Teach children to never disclose their personal information to strangers (this includes on the internet) and warn them of possible consequences of oversharing.
  • Explain that your child should not be afraid to report any adult contact that makes them feel uncomfortable or scared.
  • Instill a sense of self-confidence and respect for self in your children. Targets for sexual assault are often kids who seem weak and insecure, needing love or approval from an adult.
  • Never leave them unattended.
  • Teach them to use their phones appropriately and to never be distracted by their phone when alone in their community.
  • Get to know their teachers and coaches.
  • Teach children to say “no and to use stranger awareness skills.
  • Do your best to keep them in your direct care and supervision as much as possible since up to 90 percent of child molestation cases are perpetrated by someone they know.

Women and children are most often the victims of sexual assault (although men are victims of rape too and can use these same prevention strategies) and the internet has only increased our risk of being victimized.

While most internet use is safe, it’s important to remember to value your (and your family’s) privacy in the interest of self-preservation. And, as always, be aware of your surroundings and teach children to respect themselves so much that they’d never be dreamed of as a target for a perpetrator they may already know.

FL - Former NOPD detective (Krister Vilen) busted on child porn charges

Krister Vilen
Original Article


By Brendan McCarthy

ORLANDO - A former New Orleans Police Department detective has been sentenced to eight years in prison for possessing and receiving child pornography.

Krister Vilen was sentenced last week in federal court in Orlando Florida.

Vilen, 40, of Titusville, Fla., was ensnared in a federal Homeland Security investigation aimed at protecting children from sexual predators.

Investigators searched his computer earlier this year and found 40 videos, and more than 100 images of sexually abused children, according to a Homeland Security news release.

Vilen pleaded guilty to the crime in June. Upon his release from federal prison, he'll have to register as a sex offender and serve 10 years of supervised release.

He left the NOPD last year after 13 years on the force. He recently worked as a detective in the First District.

Vilen was implicated, but not charged, in a 2004 corruption scandal in the French Quarter. The “Razzle Dazzle” swindle was run by a 92-year-old flim-flam artist who tricked people in an illegal arcade gambling.

A State Police and FBI probe developed information that officers, including Vilen, protected the scam.

FL - Former Portland Official (Edward L. Kalinowski) Goes To Prison For Luring Minor To Have Sex

Edward L. Kalinowski (Center)
Original Article



DELAND - A former Portland first selectman and police officer was sentenced to three years in prison Monday for trying to solicit sex from a minor, a court spokeswoman said.

Edward L. Kalinowski's prison term will be followed by 10 years of probation, said Klare Ly, public information officer for Florida's Seventh Judicial Circuit Court.

He now has a lifetime designation as a sex offender, Ly stated in an email. He also is required to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation and follow any treatment recommendations upon his release from prison.

He will not be allowed to have Internet access, pornography or contact with minors, she said.

Kalinowski, 59, who now lives in Ocala, Fla., had pleaded no contest in May to charges of traveling to meet a minor after use of a computer to solicit a child; unlawful use of a two-way communication device and use of a computer to seduce, solicit or lure a child.

He was one of 15 men arrested during a seven-day cyber sting conducted by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office last year.

Those arrested had made "overt declarations" to exploit children who they believed were between the ages of 9 and 15, according to a press release from Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson.

The sting involved undercover investigators posing as children at e-commerce and social networking sites. Kalinowski was accused of traveling to a Daytona Beach home to have sex with a person he believed to be a teenage boy, a court clerk said.

In a no contest, or nolo contendere plea, a defendant agrees not to contest the charges, but also does not admit guilt.

Kalinowski was arrested Sept. 2 and pleaded not guilty to the charges on Sept. 15.

He was Portland's first selectman for 10 years, from 1993 to 2003, and was a town police officer before that. Kalinowski was not part of a major political party; he was the sole registered member of A Portland Party.