Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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AZ - These schemes ruin lives

Original Article

The video here is good to expose the extortion sites, but not all ex-sex offenders "prey" on the most vulnerable, and we are sick and tired of hearing this. Stop putting all ex-sex offenders into one basket!


The concept of blind justice isn’t supposed to be about turning a blind eye just because the victim is an unsympathetic character.

But the results of a Call 12 for Action investigation into websites that make money off sex-offender data raises questions about whether law enforcement weighs the popularity of the offended party when deciding which crimes to pursue.

This matters on a number of levels.

An eight-month investigation by reporter Robert Anglen found Arizona-based Internet companies are using information gleaned from law-enforcement sex-offender websites to demand hush money and engage in harassment against those who complain.

This opportunistic misuse of public information has been brought to the attention of local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies for nearly a year. Complaints have been filed with at least five state attorneys general — including Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne.

The response has been little more than a shrug.

Ten plaintiffs are seeking justice in a civil lawsuit filed in California. It charges that operators of Internet sites posted sex-offender information, then demanded hundreds of dollars to remove names, criminal histories, photos, phone numbers, addresses and other personal information. The suit says the sites contained inaccurate or outdated information.

Anglen’s investigation found that operators of, and did not take down profiles after payment was made, and conducted online harassment against those who complained, including posting personal information about family members.

You may be tempted to shrug this off, too. After all, it deals with society’s No. 1 pariahs: sex offenders.

But there are some really good reasons why you should care:
  1. Sex-offender websites were designed to help, not hurt, people. The information is, in the words of the state of Arizona website, “intended for community safety purposes only and should not be used to threaten, intimidate or harass.” It is not meant as a source of private financial gain.
  2. Not all those hurt by this scheme are sex offenders. Consider the Louisiana schoolteacher who bought a house formerly owned by a convicted sex offender — one whose name had been removed from the official offender registry in 2009. Offendex and SORAchives continued to publish her address as though a sex offender lived there, even after she paid to have the information removed.
  3. If entrepreneurs can claim this public info for profit — and use it with a disregard for hard facts — what else is out there that could be used to extort money from people?

Internet-based extortion — using real or mistaken information — could reach out and hurt you or someone you know.

Now it’s time for law enforcement to investigate.

DE - Dover amends sex offender registry ordinance in response to federal lawsuit

Original Article


DOVER - The city council in Dover has revised an ordinance that bars registered sex offenders from living near day care centers.

The council voted 6-2 on Tuesday to allow residents on the registry who already live within 500 feet of a day care center to stay in their homes.

The change is aimed at resolving a federal lawsuit brought earlier this year. The American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware sued on behalf of [name withheld], an offender who would have been forced to move.

Council President Dave Bonar says the change allows [name withheld] and another offender to stay in their homes. He says the city will work to have the lawsuit amicably dismissed and ask state legislators to address the issue so municipalities won’t have to.

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AUSTRALIA - Disturbing sexting case reinforces need for law reform around SMS, social media

Original Article


By Louise Milligan

A disturbing sexting case in regional Victoria where photographs of scantily clad teenage girls were posted on Facebook has highlighted the need for law reform around sexting and social media.

The ABC's 7.30 program has revealed details of the case, as a Victorian parliamentary inquiry recommends new laws around sexting and disseminating photos publicly.

But the inquiry also recommended young people who receive sexts from people their own age should not be caught by child pornography laws.

The Victorian case involved a group of girls whose photos were used without their consent on a Facebook "sluts" page that published offensive comments about girls.

It is the third time the town has generated such a page in two years.

A group of girls, including two aged under 18 and one under 16, found "selfies" - shots taken by themselves in a state of provocative undress - wound up on a Facebook page.

Local mother Fiona Coe says the page displayed photos of the girls and splashed their names underneath with accompanying phrases.

"It said phrases like, you know, 'Your local slut', such and such a name with their photo or 'Look she wants this' or whatever. It was quite a put down and bullying, really," she said.

She reported it immediately to police and to Facebook, but the social network site wrote back to her and refused to take it down.
- And Facebook claims they are working on bullying, hate and removing sexual images?  Yeah right!

The Facebook response said: "After viewing your report, we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook's statement of rights and responsibilities."

Facebook did remove one full-frontal nude photo of a girl in the shower, but Ms Coe said the other pictures are still up and she wrote back to Facebook to explain the word slut is offensive and degrading.

"In a small community like this, you walk down town or locally and you're bound to know a lot of people that you see and there's going to be finger-pointing: 'Oh, that's the girl that was on Facebook. Apparently she's a slut'," she said.

A previous page with photos of girls, removed after the local newspaper revealed it, was even more degrading, according to the mothers.

"There was a site that said that girls were having sex with their fathers, that people were having sex with dogs, all sorts of the most disgusting, derogatory things," said local mother Faith McLaren.

While Generation X and the Baby Boomers passed notes in class and Generation Y text-messaged, the current younger generation uses Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat.
- So parents need to stop purchasing cell phones for their children with all the works!  All they need is basic service in case of emergencies.

But differing from previous generations, their heady adolescence mistakes can now be found on the internet for permanent public consumption.

Many teens are unaware they could be accused of child pornography under current child pornography laws, meaning they could find themselves on the sex offender registry as a result.
- And this is also why the schools, or parents, should be teaching children about this.  Don't wait until they've been accused of a sex crime, then it's too late!

[name withheld], a 15-year-old student from Melbourne's University High, told the Victorian parliamentary inquiry that consenting teenagers should not end up as registered sex offenders.

But she is also concerned her generation is getting carried away with itself without considering the consequences.

She said sexting behaviour can start from age 13 onwards.

"I think just pictures, not fully naked but in very revealing clothing, sexual poses, sort of thing," she said.

The inquiry recommended that young people of similar age who exchange sexts have a defence to child pornography charges.

But it also recommended the creation of a crime of dissemination for cases wherein the subject has not agreed to the content being spread.

You will notice in the video below they, once again, use the magical "1 in 5" number. We are so tired of hearing this, it's just a number people throw out without real facts to back it up. It's used all the time in news reports and other online articles. It's a meaningless number now, in our opinion. They also make it sound like dirty old men are doing this, when in fact it's mostly their peers who are approaching them sexually online.

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NE - Former federal police officer (Justin C. Maltagliati) gets jail time for sexual assault

Justin C. Maltagliati
Original Article


By Sarah Schulz

A former federal police officer with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Grand Island has been sentenced to 300 days in jail for misdemeanor sexual assault.

Justin C. Maltagliati, 41, pleaded no contest to third-degree sexual assault, which was a reduction from felony first-degree sexual assault, in April as part of a plea agreement. The incident occurred on July 20, 2012, and involved a woman who had been his girlfriend.

According to court documents, the woman went to the emergency room at St. Francis Medical Center following the assault. She also filed a request for a protection order against Maltagliati three days after the assault. According to that document, she woke up at 3 a.m. to Maltagliati touching her. She pushed him away and told him to stop. He sexually assaulted her while she screamed at him to stop, according to the document.

Maltagliati denies the woman’s version of events.

In court Tuesday, Maltagliati’s father, testified on his son’s behalf.

Under questioning from Maltagliati’s attorney, Mark Porto, the man said the charge was out of character for his son. Prior to the charge, he said his son had been dedicated to “family, church, country and occupation.”

He lost his job as a result of the case and hopes to move back to New Jersey to start over, [father name withheld] said. He added that his son has “been an honorable and dedicated son” who served his country and was a good police officer.

He’ll have to find something new to do now,” [father name withheld] said.

Deputy Hall County Attorney Sarah Carstensen agreed with [father name withheld] that it’s hard to watch a child struggle.

But the victim’s parents would probably tell you the same thing,” she said.

She said there are lifelong consequences for both the defendant and the victim, who has been deeply affected by the incident.

The defendant has given no indication that he’s done anything wrong,” Carstensen said.

She asked for jail time for Maltagliati.

Porto said his client wrote a letter to the judge maintaining his innocence. However, Maltagliati knew he risked being convicted of a felony, so he accepted the misdemeanor charge despite continuing to claim his innocence.

Porto said Maltagliati spent more than five years in the U.S. Coast Guard before starting work as a veterans affairs officer. His federal work brought him to Grand Island from New Jersey. He enjoyed his job and received good reviews but he knows it’s likely he’ll no longer be able to do that kind of work.

That’s an aspect of his life that’s over,” Porto said.

He said Maltagliati voluntarily relinquished his bond after his plea and has spent a total of 56 days in jail. He has been meeting regularly with a priest while at the jail as well.

As to the evidence against his client, Porto said the emergency room doctor didn’t find any evidence of trauma on the woman the night she reported the assault. There have also been inconsistencies in the facts of the case, he said. He asked Hall County District Judge Teresa Luther to sentence his client to time served and allow him to move back to New Jersey.

Maltagliati also spoke before being sentenced.

From the beginning I’ve maintained I’m innocent,” he said. “I want to put this behind me and move on.”

He said having to register as a sexual offender and follow the rules of that program is, to him, similar to probation. He also asked Luther to give him time served.

Luther had Maltagliati sign the sexual offender registration paperwork. She then sentenced him to the jail term, giving him credit for the 56 days he has already served.

Down the road to Germany

Original Article


By Brian Robertson

We’re going down the same road as Nazi Germany. That road is going to lead to a very bad place for this country. There is one group of citizens in America that are treated like they have no rights so everybody wonders why we’re all losing our rights. When you don’t stand up for one group of citizens rights it is a fact that everybody loses their rights. America’s following the same blueprint, the same path that Nazi Germany followed.

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NY - USA FAIR Takes Reform Message to Albany

Original Article


By Shana Rowan (Blog)

Last week, I and several other founders of USA FAIR attended the New York State ATSA Conference in Albany, NY. ATSA stands for Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, and their members include sex offender and victim treatment providers, other mental health professionals, sex offender policy researchers and those involved in sex offender management.

Our reception could not have been better, with many conference attendees stating that we are an important voice that has been missing from this debate for too long. It was heartening to learn that many people were familiar with USA FAIR and had visited our website. We also had an opportunity to meet some of the leading researchers whose work we quote everyday and started a dialog with the state’s registry office about a common concern: lack of sufficient public education on the issue.

ATSA is an organization committed to ending sexual abuse that is pro research and pro facts – and that’s all we’re asking for – laws based on research and evidence… not emotion and fear. That makes ATSA a natural ally in our quest for smarter laws that work.

In addition to staffing our exhibitor’s table for all three days of the conference, we visited the nearby Legislative Office Building and met with Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, Chair of the Assembly Corrections Committee; and senior staff members of Senator Patrick Gallivan, Chair of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections Committee; and Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, the ranking minority member. We introduced ourselves as the founders of USA FAIR and our group included family members of registrants, as well as law-abiding former offenders. We voiced our concerns on current sex offender laws and how they impact the family members of registrants, and emphasized the need for legislators to utilize the vast body of research on the track record of these laws to craft better solutions.

One thing was made abundantly clear. Change will only come when law-abiding registrants and their family members visit their individual legislators in their districts. Of the 8 of us that attended the meetings, only one of us was a constituent of one of the legislators. Whether in our respective state capitals, or at the district offices, more of us need to start showing up and meeting the legislators that represent us.

Overall, the conference was an energizing experience and we look forward to exhibiting at the national ATSA conference in Chicago this October.

UK - Public urged to report images of online child sex abuse

Susie Hargreaves, Chief Executive of IWF, says it is vital for the public to keep reporting any images of child sex abuse they may inadvertently come across online.

KY - 5 years in prison for a social worker (Geri Murphy) who filed fake reports about sexual abuse involving children

MN - The Mag: False child porn allegation ends coach's career

Original Article

This world has gone friggin' MAD! This man lost his career over bath time videos and photos?


By Eli Saslow

The athletic director walked onto the field unannounced, wearing jeans and sandals, and Todd Hoffner knew in that moment that something was terribly wrong. Nobody interrupted his football practices at Minnesota State Mankato without advance notice and permission. His success as head coach was based on maintaining total control; each practice was scripted to the minute. He believed small disruptions in preparation became big problems during games, so he sometimes asked his players to recite a motto: No mistakes. No distractions. No surprises.

Now, on Aug. 17, 2012, his life was about to become the story of all three.

The athletic director approached Hoffner at midfield and told the coach he wanted to speak with him privately. "What's this about?" Hoffner asked, but the athletic director simply motioned for him to follow. Only a month earlier, Hoffner had earned a new four-year contract with a raise of more than 15 percent, and he had already stated his plans to stay at Mankato for the rest of his career. Hoffner and the AD walked into an adjacent building, where a woman from the university's human resources department was waiting. She handed Hoffner a typed note on university letterhead, and he hurriedly began to read, each phrase blurring into the next. Investigative leave. Effective immediately. No longer permitted on university grounds.

"Is this a joke?" Hoffner asked. "What did I do?" The woman from HR refused to answer. She told him to leave campus immediately. She said he would learn more about the university's reasoning in the next few days.

Hoffner drove back to his house in the nearby town of Eagle Lake, his hands shaking at the steering wheel, and told his wife, Melodee, who was equally at a loss. For the next three days, he barely slept. Mel vomited from stress. Todd watched game film at midnight in the living room, seeking comfort in routine. Together they made a list of potential reasons for Hoffner's banishment. He had worked his assistant coaches 70 or 80 hours a week despite their occasional complaints about long hours. He had cussed, punished players for breaking his rules and, every once in a while, lightly grabbed a player. Did they suddenly decide you drive people too hard? his wife asked.

Some other colleagues saw Division II football as an obscure stopover on the way to bigger jobs, but not Hoffner, a farm boy from Esmond, N.D., who had started his coaching career in nine-man high school football. Now he was entering his fifth season as Mankato's head coach, earning six figures and winning division titles -- by some measures the most successful coach in the school's history. Now strangers at the grocery store stopped to congratulate him and take his picture. Now he had a house in the suburbs where a motivational poster hung in the kitchen: if you believe it, you can achieve it.

He had always wanted only one kind of life, a coach's life, and now, at age 46, he had it. There was his beautiful wife who dressed in Mankato purple, his three young kids and their tradition of Family Fun Nights on Fridays, his one free night during the offseason, when they would go to Chuck E. Cheese's, then come home to watch a movie. He was muscular, competitive and stoic. His friends considered him the model of a football coach: beloved by some assistants, feared by some administrators, but respected by almost everyone on campus.

Now he phoned the university and heard he would receive an overnight letter, which didn't show up for days. So he began to slowly disassemble the life he had built. He wanted to prepare for the worst, in case he was suspended or demoted or even fired. He called coaches at other small colleges, asking about vacant assistant positions. He canceled his golf club membership, convinced he wouldn't be able to afford it without a job.

He was about to suspend his cable on a Tuesday morning when five police cars pulled up to his house. Two officers approached the door. Hoffner greeted them outside.

"What's all this about?" Hoffner asked.

This time he got an answer, and it only confounded him more.

He was under arrest on suspicion of producing and possessing child pornography.