Friday, November 16, 2012

UK - Former Worksop cop (Simon Jones) jailed for having sex with vulnerable crime victims

Simon Jones
Original Article

So much for being held to a "higher" standard.

11/16/2012

A former Worksop police officer who abused his position by having sex with vulnerable victims of crime has been jailed for two years.

Simon Jones, 32, who moved to South Wales after resigning from Notts Police in September, had admitted having sexual relationships with two victims, including an instance of having sex while on duty.

The ex-constable was sentenced today (Friday 16 November) at Nottingham Crown Court.

Det Supt Jackie Alexander, head of the Force’s Professional Standards Directorate, said: “What Simon Jones did goes against everything that we, as a police force, stand for.”

Jones should have been there to protect vulnerable people and uphold the law, not take advantage of their situation for his own sexual gratification.”

It is right that he has been sent to prison for his conduct; he abused his position of trust and failed to meet the high standards of integrity and professionalism that we expect from all our employees.”

We continue to support Jones’ victims in dealing with a number of issues that coming forward has meant for them. I hope that today’s sentencing shows how seriously the Force deals with the behaviour of this nature and that no one is above the law.”


NE - A State of Shame V

Video Description:
Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning confirms that the state's shaming hit-list website includes people who are not dangerous. In fact, Bruning says he would trust these sex offenders around his own kids. So why did the state re-punish those people, forcing them out of their jobs and homes. Yes. We don't know either.


TX - Woman works to help sex offenders

Original Article

11/15/2012

By Noelle Newton

A San Antonio woman has taken on a controversial role. She helps sex offenders--the guilty and the proclaimed innocent--without judgment.

"I'm lost. My life is in a shamble. I just don't know what to do."

Those are the words of a convicted sex offender. When everyone else shuts the door--Mary Sue Molnar extends a hand.

"You are my only hope. Please say that you can help me," Molnar reads from a letter. "Those are tough."

Molnar is with Texas Voices for Reason and Justice.

She and several other families started the group in 2008 after her son was convicted of sex assault.

"He was 22 and the girl was 16," she said.

Molnar's son is serving an 11 year sentence for the crime. He will be on the sex offender registry for life.

Her initial goal was to fight for a fairer registry.

"We all have children. We have grandchildren we want to keep the public safe. There needs to be differentiation between these offenses. They need to look at these cases differently than grouping everyone under the sex offender registry for life," Molnar said.

Molnar says the response has been overwhelming. She now has 500 members. She quit her part time job and converted a bedroom in her home to an office so that she can sit in front of the computer all day.

She got four phone calls during our 30 minute interview. When she's not on the phone, she is responding to letters. Sex offenders mostly ask for help with housing and finding employment. Molnar also offers counseling to family members of offenders. Every once in a while she gets a jaw-dropping case of innocence.

"She allowed me to speak and tell my story without interrupting me. At the end she said. I'm so sorry. That's a horrible story," said [wife name withheld], wife of an exonerated sex offender,

[wife name withheld] looked to Molnar for support several years ago. For two decades, she fought to get the truth out about her husband [name withheld].

"Every year that he had to register it was like someone sticking a knife in my gut," [wife name withheld] said.


OR - Church and meeting place for ex-sex offenders in place for over three years, but the witch hunt continues!

Original Article

And the witch hunt continues! What is the problem? This place has been there for over three years without any incident, so this is fear over nothing, and I hope the church stands it's ground. We've sent them an email thanking them for their service, and others should do the same.

11/15/2012

By Thom Jensen

HILLSBORO – Parents have been fighting for years without success to get a church near a public grade school to move its meetings for sex offenders.

They say they've run into roadblocks trying to get this sex offender meeting to move. They say they've been trying for at least three years to convince Sonrise Church, where these registered offenders meet, to move the meeting far away from any schools.

Additionally, some of these sex offenders will actually start living at the church within the next month, KATU News has learned.

The motto at the church is "A safe place to hear a life changing message." But parents who have children right next door at Quatama Elementary School question that message.

The church holds a service every week and as many as 120 registered sex offenders attend.

"This like having an AA meeting in a bar," said parent Shannon Jones.

It's about 60 steps from the church to the school, a distance that can be walked in just over a half-minute.

Parents want the Hillsboro School District to notify everyone about what's going on and "help us communicate to families right in this area that might not know," said Marcy Tell.

But they say the district refuses.

A district spokesperson says the district takes no position on the issue and that it has a good relationship with the church.

Employees at the church were resistant to speak to KATU News Thursday. But a pastor said he won't move the services. The church was there first, and he said security guards are at the church to protect kids.

Parents question his truthfulness because of something that happened at another church seven years ago.

Pastor Jerry Mettee filed a false police report in 2005 saying he was stabbed by a burglar when, in fact, he stabbed himself. But the church and district said there hasn't been one incident involving offenders and kids.

"You can't undo something after it's already happened and make it all better," Jones said.

Jones, also a survivor of childhood sex abuse, says she doesn't want that first incident to occur, and that's why she's going public with her concerns.

Parents also question the relationship between the district and Sonrise because the church donates up to $5,000 a year to the schools.

They also want state laws to change to outlaw these types of offender meetings and treatment centers near schools.

See Also:


DC - Bill that expands child sex abuse reporting requirements advances

Original Article

11/15/2012

By Tim Craig

Nearly all adults in the District would be held liable if they fail to report suspected child sex abuse under a bill tentatively approved Thursday by the D.C. Council.

The legislation, which comes in the aftermath of the Penn State University sex-abuse scandal, would greatly expand existing city laws requiring mandatory reporting for government workers, teachers and counselors who work closely with children.

After reports surfaced at Penn State that some adults failed to report potential warning signs of abuse by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, council member Phil Mendelson (D) pushed to broaden reporting laws to cover all but a few exempted adults in the District.

We are interested in sending a clear message,” said Mendelson, now the council’s chairman, noting that 18 states have similar regulations. “This is a bill that simply establishes a policy, that everyone has to report if they know or have reason to believe a child has been sexually abused.”

But the proposal is prompting some unease about government overreach that would set the stage for a surge in thinly vetted complaints, which could lead to false accusations.

I think we definitely want to achieve more reporting, but there is definitely some concerns around how [authorities] will handle the level of reports that they will get and potentially false allegations,” said council member Kenyan M. McDuffie (D-Ward 5), a former Prince George’s County assistant state’s attorney. “And does having lots of false allegations have the effect of making it more challenging to prove some of these cases?

Under the bill, which must be voted on a second time before it goes to Mayor Vincent C. Gray for his signature, anyone 18 or older “with knowledge or reasonable cause” to believe an adult is abusing someone younger than 16 must “immediately” report it to police or Child and Family Services. Violators can be fined $300.

Attorneys and ordained ministers are exempt to protect attorney-client and clergy-penitent privileges. Victims of sex abuse would not be required to report past abuse.

For caregivers, teachers and other government officials covered by existing reporting laws, the bill increases penalties to a $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail.

In an interview, Mendelson cautioned that he expects penalties to be rarely enforced. But the legislation comes amid a broader debate about the public’s responsibility to be vigilant of abuse vs. the right to privacy.


MN - Sex Offender Task Force Faces Looming Deadline

Original Article

11/15/2012

By Larry Oakes

It looks as though a task force assigned to write reforms of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) will have to work down to the wire to meet a court-ordered deadline to produce its first set of recommendations early next month.

The Sex Offender Civil Commitment Advisory Task Force has until Dec. 3 to recommend less-restrictive options for dealing with at least some of the 670 offenders it now confines to the MSOP's two prison-like treatment centers in Moose Lake and St. Peter.

A U.S. District Court magistrate set that deadline in August in response to a class-action lawsuit by a group of the offenders who claim it's unconstitutional to keep them locked indefinitely in a program that hasn't fully discharged anyone in its entire 18 years.

The task force, chaired by retired Minnesota Supreme Court chief justice Eric Magnuson, met for third time Thursday at the State Office Building in St. Paul. Several of the 20-member body said they're finding it extremely difficult to come up with reform ideas that will have a chance of getting passed in the Legislature.

For example, the task force already has identified that the state has very few options for housing and treating civilly committed sex offenders other than the highly secure Moose Lake and St. Peter sites.

But suggesting legislative language for the creation of less-restrictive programs, half-way houses and other facilities is problematic because any proposals are likely to spark opposition from people living near the proposed programs and also from politicians from that district, several members agreed.

"The public reaction is fear," said task force member Roberta Opheim, the state's ombudsman for mental health and (people with) developmental disabilities. "I think we have to set statewide (location) standards instead of (trying to meet) individual city zoning requirements."

Magnuson asked members, who include judges, legislators, treatment experts, victim's advocates and others, to submit suggested language for recommendations as soon as possible, so they can be finalized at the next meeting, scheduled for Nov. 29.

If the state fails to made adequate progress toward reforming its civil commitment system and the MSOP, the federal court could essentially take over the program.

Per-capita, the state has the most civilly committed sex offenders in the nation. Each costs taxpayers $293 per day, compared to about $90 a day for inmates getting sex offender treatment in prison.

After issuing its recommendations for less-restrictive confinement options, the task force then must turn its attention to reforming the civil commitment process and the process for moving offenders through treatment and out of the system. Magnuson said he expects the task force to finish its work in December 2013.


CANADA - Toronto cop’s (Salameh Marji) conviction upheld for sex assault during roadside search

Salameh Marji
Original Article

11/15/2012

By Curtis Rush

A judge has dismissed the appeal of a Toronto police officer who was convicted of assault and sexual assault for squeezing a man’s testicles.

However, Justice Faye McWatt ruled that Salameh Marji could serve his sentence on weekends.

A 12-month probation order and a DNA order remain in effect.

Marji was working for the police service’s Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (Facebook) unit when he assaulted a man by squeezing his testicles on Sept. 2, 2009.

He was sentenced to 30 days in jail on Feb. 15, 2012 by Justice Lucia Favret, who admonished the officer because “he abused his position of authority,” while weighing the fact that Marji has a great reputation as an officer and as a community volunteer.

Marji’s lawyer, Alan Gold, argued that there were grounds for appeal because of errors committed by the trial judge, including lengthy delays. He also called into question some evidence relied upon by the Crown.

Marji’s trial heard that he grabbed the 18-year-old victim by the testicles and squeezed them while asking, “How does that feel?

The victim, now 20, was studying biochemistry at university and did not have a criminal record. The Star does not identify victims of sexual assault.

The victim was pulled over by the TAVIS unit in an area known for drug trafficking and gang violence.

Police later learned that he worked as a sales representative at a cell phone store.

A physician who examined the victim testified at the trial that there was bruising on his left wrist, tenderness on his left thigh and knee and tenderness under his right scrotum.

The complainant and a friend were travelling westbound on Lawrence Ave. at up to 75 km/h when two vehicles quickly approached from behind. He turned onto a side street and entered a driveway, where his path was blocked by police.

The victim and his friend got out of the car and a sergeant began yelling at them, according to court records.

Marji and other officers soon arrived. Marji and the sergeant began searching the victim, who was handcuffed.

Marji then squeezed the victim’s testicles once. He let go and then got a better grip and squeezed again.

The victim was shaking and screaming in pain, court heard.

The victim was crying and the police were laughing at him.

Marji has been suspended without pay since Feb. 15. He now is subject to internal discipline and could be fired.

He faces four discreditable conduct charges at an internal hearing on Dec. 12.