Saturday, September 29, 2012

UK - Former PCSO (Christopher Whiteoak) jailed after affair which left girl aged 15 pregnant

Original Article

09/29/2012

A police community support officer had a secret sexual relationship with a schoolgirl who became pregnant.

Christopher Whiteoak met the 15-year-old through a church and was considered by her family as an older brother figure for her.

But in May last year her mother realised something might be going on between them when she saw a text message from Whiteoak to her daughter.

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court yesterday it read: “Love and miss you loads, can’t wait to see you when you get back.”

The mother told him to break off contact with the family and he pretended to do so but carried on seeing the girl in secret.

Mr Sharp said it was clear she was a willing party but as a vulnerable child “it behoved an adult not to respond to her advances.”

Nevertheless he allowed an affair between the two of them to begin and continue, despite warnings from a number of people.”

They started having sex just before her 15th birthday and kept the relationship secret.

Towards the end of last year her mother found a document in which the girl had detailed her feelings for Whiteoak, then 25, and arranged for it to be shown to his supervisor, an inspector at Eccleshill, Bradford.

He spoke to Whiteoak on January 4 but the officer lied to him, denying any recent contact with the girl or any sexual relationship. He was advised to report any contact from her.

Mr Sharp told the court in spite of that Whiteoak continued and deepened the relationship.

The girl decided she wanted a baby and nagged him into having sex without protection.

She became pregnant and at first told her mother it was the result of a one-night stand but later admitted the father was Whiteoak, saying: “I love him, he loves me, age is just a number.”

Her mother reported the matter to the police.

When Whiteoak was arrested he initially made no comment when asked about a sexual relationship but when he was told she had admitted it he accepted the relationship.

He said he had agreed to unprotected sex saying the girl was “really mature for her age. I think she is so grown up and I thought she would be a good mum.”

Mr Sharp said Whiteoak was bailed with a condition not to contact the girl but they were found in his car together on July 19.

The rendezvous was arranged after the girl rang him complaining her mother was being “a cow”.

Whiteoak, 26, of Pasture Lane, Clayton, Bradford, admitted three sample charges of sexual activity with a child.

Andrew Walker, representing Whiteoak, urged the court to take an exceptional course in his case.

Although considered polite and respectful at work, Whiteoak had also been seen as somewhat naive and immature for his age and he considered the relationship arose from genuine affection.

He had been dismissed from his position as a PCSO and had recently been working in financial industry in telephone sales. His family were supporting him.

Jailing Whiteoak for two years, Judge Roger Ibbotson told him custody was inevitable.

I bear in mind such a sentence will be difficult for you having regard to the nature of the offences and your previous occupation,” he added. “An aggravating feature of your case is that there was a degree of persistence. You pursued this relationship despite being warned off and despite knowing the victim was vulnerable.”

He ordered Whiteoak to register as a sex offender for 10 years and under a sexual offences prevention order barred him for five years from unsupervised contact with any female under 16 or employment with access to children.


AK - Ex-probation officer (James Stanton) gets 6 months in jail, probation for offenses

James Stanton
Original Article

09/28/2012

By LISA DEMER

James Stanton ordered to serve six months for attempted bribery.

A former state probation officer betrayed the trust of women he was supposed to supervise by pursuing them for sex in exchange for masking their drug or alcohol use, a judge said Friday in sentencing the officer.

James R. Stanton, 55, pleaded guilty in May to a charge of harassment as well as one count of attempted bribery. Superior Court Judge Michael Spaan ordered him Friday to a six-month jail term, included within a five-year probation period.
- Bribery is the same thing that the federal government (SORNA) is doing to states.  You implement these draconian laws and we'll give you grant money, if you do not, you will lose 10%.

"I think you sold the office you were entrusted to," Spaan said.

Stanton threatened women with prison time or the loss of their children over failed drug tests if they didn't do as he insisted, the judge said.

The three victims in the criminal case told the judge the sentence was sorely inadequate and sends the wrong message about responsibility and punishment. If Stanton is successful while on probation, the conviction can be set aside.

At least nine women have sued the state and Stanton over his conduct, including at least two victims in the criminal case. He fondled women in his office and had sex with at least one in isolated corners of the Nesbett Courthouse for more than a year.

A grand jury in 2010 indicted Stanton on three counts of sexual assault as well as bribery, but Spaan dismissed the sex charges, agreeing with the defense that if women agreed to have sex to avoid or hide drug tests, the sex was consensual.
- So does that mean that all the cops in Alaska who forced women to have sex with them to avoid going to jail, are innocent because the sex was consensual, even though it was under threats?

NOT SEX CRIMES UNDER ALASKA LAW

In court Friday, Spaan said Stanton has a sexual problem and ordered him to undergo sexual offender treatment as a condition of probation. But his offenses do not amount to sex crimes under Alaska law and he won't have to register as a sex offender, the judge said.

All three of the victims in the criminal case participated in Wellness Court in which drug and alcohol abusers agree to treatment and strict monitoring in exchange for lighter sentences. All had been convicted of felony driving under the influence, according to court documents in Stanton's case.

Some of the women had been prostitutes, which Stanton knew and preyed upon, they said.

Wearing jeans and a leather jacket, his hair gray and his mustache neatly trimmed, Stanton never looked back at the courtroom crowd, mainly victims, their supporters and lawyers. Because of the pending civil suits, he didn't speak at his sentencing.

One woman told Spaan that she agreed to Wellness Court to get better, but after Stanton began demanding sex it became "Hellness Court." She didn't get sober in the program and said she felt so low and dirty, she wanted to kill herself.

At first, Stanton hit her up for money from Native corporation dividends. But when she could no longer pay him, he wanted sex, according to a summary in Stanton's court file.

"I was probably clean for two months, in the beginning. Then it turned into all this corruption, this crazy stuff going on, you know," the woman told the judge in a voice that started clear and strong, then shook with emotion. "I felt I had no choice but to have sex with this guy because my children were on the line. Jail time was on the line."

While in the program, she never got herself together and ended up serving two years in prison, she said.

She's sober now and is reunited with her husband and children, trying to heal as a family, she said after the hearing. She's still angry over what happened and said she's seeing a psychiatrist.

She was the first to come forward. After she almost died from an overdose, she flushed her drugs down the toilet and told her lawyer about the sex. In January 2010, she wore a wire for Anchorage police and went to see Stanton. He began fondling her and she told him she would rather pay him than have sex with him, police said later. She gave him $200 in marked bills, which he stuck between two folders in his office, where police said they later found it.

She and her husband have sued Stanton but she said she exposed him not for money but because he is "a sick individual."

Her husband became overwhelmed during the hearing and slipped out of the courtroom. When he returned, he put his arm around her shoulder and held her tight. He said later he didn't know at the time she was being mistreated by her probation officer.

"I feel betrayed. This is a guy who shook my hand, patted my kids on the head," the husband said.

Another victim told the judge that she felt affection and loyalty toward Stanton at first and felt guilty for turning him in. Then she realized his behavior was wrong and that he hurt her attempt to get sober.

"If we had to pay for what we did and he doesn't, especially because he was in a position of trust and authority, then what the hell?" she testified. "There is no justice, and everything Wellness Court taught me about taking responsibility is a load of crap."

In his ruling last year dismissing the sexual assault charges, Spaan wrote that Alaska law specifies that sexual assaults involve the use of force or a threat of death or physical injury. While force includes "imminent restraint or confinement," that does not cover threats to return a defendant to jail, Spaan wrote.

"The Court notes that some states have retreated from the view that sexual assault is primarily a crime of violence and instead adopt the view that the laws against sexual assault are designed to protect victims' sexual integrity and autonomy," Spaan wrote. But Alaska is not one of them, the judge said.

Under the terms set Friday, Spaan ordered six months of "shock incarceration" for the bribery charge. That refers to jail time included as a condition of probation, rather than ordered directly by the judge, and presumably is meant to scare defendants into shaping up, assistant district attorney Aaron Jabaay said after the hearing.

The Anchorage District Attorney's Office decided not to appeal the decision, Jabaay said. He said that wasn't his call and referred questions to District Attorney Adrienne Bachman. Efforts to speak with her Friday were unsuccessful.

Stanton worked more than five years for the state Department Health and Social Services in the Alcohol Safety Action Program, which according to the state website provides a link between court and health systems. He previously worked for the Corrections Department. At the time of his arrest in early 2010, he was making $60,000 a year.

He is now retired, the judge said in explaining why he was eliminating a standard requirement that Stanton work while on probation.

After the hearing, Stanton was fingerprinted and led away with his wrists shackled behind his back. Some in the courtroom pulled out their phones for quick pictures and videos before a clerk admonished them that that wasn't allowed.


CA - Bill to protect child actors from sex offenders becomes law

Original Article

Why is another law needed? Aren't the existing laws sufficient?

09/28/2012

By Dawn C. Chmielewski

A bill banning registered sex offenders from representing young talent in California has been signed into law after winning broad support in Hollywood from film studios, actors unions, agents and managers.

The state measure requires screening of acting coaches, managers, photographers and others in the entertainment industry who have unsupervised access to minors. The new law, signed Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown, sets up a permit process by which these professionals would submit their names and fingerprints to the state labor commissioner to be checked against the national database of registered sex offenders. It takes effect Jan. 1.

For us, this has been a long time coming,” said Anne Henry, co-founder of the nonprofit advocacy group BizParentz Foundation, which sponsored the bill. “We’ve seen the problem escalate, and we’ve seen more public cases.... We could see that the problem of pedophiles in the entertainment industry wasn’t going to go away. That meant we had to take action to protect our children.”

BizParentz tried unsuccessfully to push similar legislation through in 2006, but that bill never made it out of the state Senate Appropriations Committee amid opposition from some in the entertainment business.

Awareness of child sexual abuse has changed dramatically in the wake of the Penn State scandal that resulted in the conviction of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on 45 counts involving 10 boys. The matter struck closer to home when The Times reported last fall that a convicted child molester had been helping cast child actors in mainstream Hollywood movies. Within weeks, another case surfaced: Longtime child talent manager [name withheld] was arrested Nov. 29 on suspicion of child molestation. He pleaded no contest in June to two counts of molestation.

An examination by The Times identified at least a dozen child molestation and child pornography prosecutions since 2000 involving actors, managers, production assistants and others in the industry, based on court documents and published accounts. Advocates and professionals who work with victims of child sexual abuse say predators exploit the glittery allure of Hollywood to prey on aspiring actors or models.

Instead of blaming the stage parents or blaming the kids for being in the industry, suddenly pedophilia was in their face in the schools and colleges and in Hollywood,” said Henry, whose group conducted a campaign to build support for the bill. “And they realized this was probably more common than anybody thought.”

In February, Assemblywoman Nora Campos (D-San Jose) introduced the bill, AB 1660 (PDF), to provide greater protections for young actors.

The Assn. of Talent Agents and the Talent Managers Assn. wrote letters supporting the bill, as did the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union, saying that a screening process would improve the safety of child actors.

The entertainment industry is a unique setting where minors of all ages interact with various people, not knowing if those individuals have been convicted of predatory behavior,” wrote Thomas Carpenter, then chief labor counsel of SAG-AFTRA. “While the recent reports of harmful situations are not the norm, the safety measures set forth [in the bill] will strengthen the tools given to those tasked with protecting children.”

The major film studios also lined up behind the measure through the industry’s trade group, the Motion Picture Assn. of America. The MPAA applauded the governor’s decision to sign the bill into law. The measure passed the state Assembly and Senate in August by wide margins.

We were all supportive of this from the beginning,” said Vans Stevenson, the MPAA’s senior vice president of state government affairs. “We think it’s important and critical legislation that makes it clear that young actors are protected.”