We are so sick and tired of people calling rights a "loophole!" This law is unconstitutional, and surely the new law will also be deemed unconstitutional. When you start banning people from their freedom of speech, what is next? Also, why don't we ban identity thieves, gang members, drug dealers, and other ex-felons from the sites as well? If it's done to one group, then it should be done across the board so everyone is treated equally and without discrimination, right?
By Corinne Rose
FORT WAYNE - Indiana legislators are scrambling to re-write a law banning sex offenders from social media sites, after a federal appeals court ruled the current law is too broad.
Because of this legal ruling, registered Allen County sex offenders are being told they can use social media sites like Facebook, My Space and Twitter, but they still have to provide police with every email address, user name and chat room name they use.
If detectives find an account the offender didn't tell them about, that could mean new felony charges.
If the state legislature passes a revised or new law this session, sex offenders could again be prohibited from sites like Facebook.
In the meantime, if you or your children get creepy emails or messages from someone, you can go to the Allen County Sheriff's website to search that user name, email or phone number.
"If it comes back to a registered offender, they won't be notified who that offender is, but they'll be prompted to call their local law enforcement authorities so we can look into it and see if there are any criminal charges that we could file against this person," says Detective Jeff Shimkus, who oversees the sex offender registry for Allen County.
Shimkus says 99% of the time, offenders on probation or parole are banned from using websites so they can concentrate on their counseling and rehabilitation process.
But he says there will always be people trolling the Internet for their next victim, whether they've already been caught or not.
- This is pure BS! Of course there are some idiots who will continue to look for people to sexually abuse, but they make it sound like most do this, which is a lie, most do not, based on the facts and not disinformation!
"I don't want the public to think oh my gosh, since this law has been repealed, now there's going to be a ton of sex offenders on Facebook and My Space. They're already there. They've been there, whether this law was on the books or not. They're there. You never know who you're talking to online," Shimkus adds.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
A former police lieutenant has been charged with rape and other sex crimes after the SBI investigated allegations against the officer.
Lt. Andres Snape, Jr. was arrested Wednesday by SBI agents. He was charged in Hertford County with seven counts each of statutory rape, indecent liberties with a child and statutory sexual offenses.
Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh says he contacted the SBI when he received the original complaint. Lt. Snape was placed on administrative leave with pay and the chief says less than two weeks later the SBI had completed its investigation and Snape was fired from his job.
The SBI says the victim was between 13 and 15 years old.
Town Manager Tony Hammond says Snape was a police officer for nine years. Hammond says Snape was promoted to the rank of lieutenant within the past six months and was fired Wednesday, the same day he was arrested.
Snape's bond was set at $1,000,000 and his first appearance is Friday in Hertford County.
By DENISE CIVILETTI
Residents of Riverhead and Westhampton who've been waiting more than seven years for the county government to relocate the homeless sex offender trailers "temporarily" placed in their communities learned one thing at Wednesday night's community meeting on the topic: they'd have to wait one more day to find out what County Executive Steve Bellone intends to do about it.
Bellone, who missed a self-imposed Dec. 31 deadline to close the trailers — a pledge made last May at a press conference in Southampton Town Hall — earlier this month promised to deliver his plan to close the trailers to the legislature by month's end.
Residents at Wednesday night's meeting learned Bellone's plan will be unveiled Thursday morning at 9:30 — in Hauppauge.
Bellone did not attend the meeting, held in the legislative auditorium at the county center in Riverside. He sent a representative to sit in "as an observer," who did not speak to the public.
County Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk), who called the community meeting, said he spoke with the county executive Wednesday morning and what he learned of the plan sounded good, though he was not provided with a lot of detail, he said.
Schneiderman said he was told the plan would be detailed by Suffolk County Police and Laura Ahearn, executive director of the nonprofit organization Parents for Megan's Law at a meeting of the legislature's public safety committee in Hauppauge set for 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
"Obviously I would have liked to have had the information sooner, in time for this meeting," Schneiderman said. "It's hard to comment on a plan I haven't seen," Schneiderman said. "I was with the county executive today and I tried to get as much information as I could. I don't have the details other than I'm told there will be no more than one homeless sex offender in any one community," Schneiderman said.
- Suffolk County Changes Course On Homeless Sex Offender Housing Plan
- In 2 Trailers, the Neighbors Nobody Wants
If an online shaming hit-list is okay for ex-sex offenders, then it should be done for all other ex-felons.
By JAKE WHITTENBERG
Will treating gun violators as sex offenders reduce gun violence?
- If you ignore the facts and think the same way you have with ex-sex offenders, then yes.
Washington state Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, is introducing a bill that would take a similar stance.
The bill would require felony gun violators to register into a statewide database twice per year and allow police to perform random house checks.
“One thing we are not addressing is going after the offender. That’s what this bill does,” Hope said.
Hope, who is also a Seattle Police officer, said reducing felons from committing repeat offenses would make a serious dent in gun violence. Also, he says it would be a tool for law enforcement to more easily perform background checks on the street.
- What? Of course reducing people from committing offenses will reduce violence, that doesn't take brains to see that, but this man seems to think that putting them on a registry will magically make ex-felons obey the laws. You folks need to stop living on Fantasy Island!
The bill is getting bipartisan support.
“We have the opportunity to be the first state in the country to pass this legislation,” Hope said. “It’s worked in Baltimore. It’s worked in New York City and it’s worked in Washington. D.C.”
- This man makes no sense. One statement says they would be the first state in the country, but then he says it worked in other states, so his first statement is false! Also, other states have proposed a gun offender registry, and some states already have one, see here.
Eight house bills have been introduced relating to gun violence in Washington state. Most recently, House Bill 1588, which would require background checks on all gun sales with no exceptions.
UK - Hackney police officer (Christopher Exley) caught in child porn sting escapes jail with community order
A police officer who downloaded child porn while working for the Met’s Specialist Operations division protecting MPs was sentenced to a three-year community order this week.
Christopher Exley, 33, kept 53 indecent images of young children on two laptops and a memory stick at his home.
The pictures were discovered after he was caught in an online police sting targeting websites used by paedophiles.
At the Old Bailey on Monday, Judge Anthony Leonard QC also ordered Exley to take part in an internet sex offender treatment programme. “You get no special treatment as a result of having been a police officer, as you should have known better,” he said.
“But, on the other hand, you have lost a lot through your plea, because you’ve been dismissed and not even allowed to resign and that will have a substantial effect on the rest of your life.”
Prosecutor Richard Hearnden told the court that, using an instant messenging service called MSN, Mr Exley interacted with an undercover officer known as ‘Jo’ and told her things which strongly suggested he had a sexual interest in boys around the age of 10.
He was arrested at his workplace in Charing Cross, where he was part of the diplomatic protection unit.
Exley pleaded guilty to four counts of making indecent images of children.
He denied arranging or facilitating a meeting to engage in sexual activity with a child, and this allegation was dropped.
He was sentenced to a three-year community order, during which he must complete the internet sex offender treatment programme, an 18-month supervision order and a month-long, electronically tagged curfew between 8pm and 6am.
PITTSBURGH (AP) - A fired Pittsburgh state prison guard accused of physically and sexually assaulting inmates who were gay or serving time for child-sex crimes has been convicted on 27 counts of mistreating them and exposing himself, but was acquitted of dozens of other charges — including all of the sexual assault allegations he faced.
Harry Nicoletti, 61, of Coraopolis was allowed to remain free until he's sentenced March 27, when prosecutors are expected to argue that his crimes, including several counts each of official oppression and simple assault, nonetheless warrant a prison sentence.
Nicoletti's defense had argued the allegations were false or, at best, exaggerations fueled by the inmate rumor mill at the century-old prison formerly known as Western Pen, and the larger Department of Corrections system of prisons. The verdict suggests the jury of seven women and five men found the latter to be true — that is, that Nicoletti mistreated inmates, or encouraged other inmates to do it for him, but that the more egregious sexual assault claims were exaggerations or not conclusively proven.
Deputy District Attorney Jon Pittman opened the trial Jan. 9 by telling jurors that Nicoletti abused his power to feed his "demented desires."
Nicoletti, who said the day he was arrested that the charges were "made up" and his attorney, Stephen Colafella, have argued the allegations spun wildly out of control after internal investigators learned of other alleged victims while investigating claims by one pedophile who complained he was abused by Nicoletti.
That inmate told a counselor at another prison where he was eventually assigned that Nicoletti had exposed himself and threatened to break his hand if he didn't perform a sex act on Nicoletti.
The jury convicted Nicoletti of indecent exposure, terroristic threats and official oppression in relation to that incident.
The convict's story was referred to the Office of Special Investigations and Intelligence, which investigates inmate abuse allegations for the state Department of Corrections, and led to other alleged inmate victims, including a transsexual who contends Nicoletti sodomized him on three occasions. The jury rejected six counts relating to that inmate's alleged sexual assaults, but did convict Nicoletti of official oppression of that prisoner.
In all, seven guards have been charged, though none as seriously or centrally as Nicoletti, who went to trial on 80 counts, including several each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and institutional sexual assault. Those two crimes were the most serious Nicoletti faced, and could have resulted in decades in prison.
Three other guards accused of helping Nicoletti abuse the inmates or turning a blind eye to it, had their charges dismissed or dropped before they could stand trial. Another guard has already been convicted of threatening an inmate, though he was acquitted of charges involving three other alleged victims, and two other former guards await trial after Nicoletti.
Nicoletti's jury heard from 58 witnesses, including 20 alleged inmate victims, over 11 days before beginning their deliberations Friday.
By BILL SHEA
Iowa would establish a specialized nursing home to house elderly sex offenders under legislation being drafted by state Rep. Helen Miller, D-Fort Dodge.
Miller said Wednesday that her proposal would direct the state government to either set up the facility or hire a private company to do so.
''The 800 pound gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk about is what are you going to do with these individuals if they're denied entry to a nursing home or are kicked out of one,'' she said. ''They've got to go somewhere.''
''My bill cuts to the chase and quits the dinking around because you've got to put them somewhere,'' she added.
She said the mental health facility at the old Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison might be an appropriate place for the proposed nursing home.
Miller first attempted to address the handling of elderly sex offenders last year in the wake of a 2011 incident at the Pomeroy Care Center in Pomeroy. In August 2011, [name withheld], a sex offender who was then 83 years old, allegedly raped a 95-year-old woman. He was subsequently removed from the center and placed in a state prison. He had been convicted of sex crimes in 1987, 1991, 1997 and 2000 before entering the nursing home in November 2010.
Last year, Miller introduced a bill that called for establishing a committee to examine the options for housing elderly sex offenders. That bill did not become law.
A very similar proposal for a committee has been introduced this year by two other representatives. Miller attended a subcommittee meeting on that bill and learned that it does not address how to handle elderly sex offenders who have been denied admission to nursing homes or have been removed from them. She is now writing her proposal to address that issue.