Tuesday, June 11, 2013

NV - Cop (Ron Fox) Sexually Assaults Woman Then Arrests Her For Protesting

Original Article

03/11/2013

By Nathan Baca

LAS VEGAS - Multiple employees and managers at the Clark County family court are under investigation for allegedly covering up a sexual assault by a court marshal.

The I-Team has uncovered video showing a woman claiming a court marshal sexually assaulted her. She was later arrested by that same marshal. The marshal has since been fired.

The I-Teams investigation shows how the internal affairs investigation is revealing much larger problems at family court.

There are multiple marshals involved and allegations ranging from sexual assaults to choking a citizen in court. The investigation began with a 2011 video that shows family court marshals arresting a woman because she claimed one of them sexually assaulted her.

[name withheld] went to family court with her 2-year-old daughter in August 2011. She was in the courtroom only a few minutes on a routine divorce case. Her husband filed for a Temporary Restraining Order against her during their divorce. He never showed up in court so the order was denied.

According to internal court documents, as [name withheld] was leaving, family court marshal Ron Fox ordered her into a waiting room for an unexplained drug search.

[name withheld] said Fox touched her buttocks, breast, and ordered her to lift up her shirt. A later internal investigation by Clark County courts validated her claims. [name withheld] went back into the same courtroom and told hearing master Patricia Donninger that her requests to have a female marshal handle the search were ignored.

"I think I'd rather have a female in here and he went anyway. I was just offended by it. I'm just offended that he asked me," an upset [name withheld] told Donninger, who did not respond to her.

The video shows Marshal James Kenyon preparing to arrest [name withheld]. She can be heard pleading with him.

"For what, sir? Why would I be arrested? Can you please tell me?"

Marshal Kenyon is heard telling [name withheld] to turn around and put her hands behind her back. As [name withheld] continues to ask why she is being arrested, marshal Ron Fox replies.

"Because of false allegations made against a police officer," he told her.

The I-Team could find no law that would support the arrest. It is also highly unlikely a sexual assault victim would be placed under arrest by the alleged assaulter.

After repeated attempts by the marshals to get [name withheld] to recant her story, she breaks down.

"Let me go. It was all lies. I don't want to deal with anything. It was all lies. All lies. All lies. All lies. Please stop," she said.

Fox tells [name withheld] the only way she can avoid jail is to step up to the microphone and recant. [name withheld] agrees, but does the opposite.

"You put me in a room. You asked me to lift up my shirt without a witness," [name withheld] said into the microphone.

At that point, Fox replied, "OK, take her to jail."

For four minutes, [name withheld] pleaded to hearing master Patricia Donninger to listen to her, but Donninger never acknowledged [name withheld], instead she talked and played with [name withheld]'s daughter.

"How can you do this to me? How can you watch?[name withheld] pleaded.

[name withheld] kisses her daughter before being sent to jail. Her young daughter was sent to Child Haven. Two months later, [name withheld] filed a complaint with Court Marshal Internal Affairs.

Sources tell the I-Team, investigators were shocked they had not heard of the alleged courthouse sexual assault from family court Lt. Steve Rushfield. After a six-month internal affairs investigation, Fox was fired.

Nobody from Clark County courts told [name withheld] that her claims were validated. She only recently found out from the I-Team.

[name withheld] asked that we blur her face.

"I just hope I did the right thing by telling internal affairs," [name withheld] said. "It makes me feel good because now I know that I was right."

Clark County court administration released a statement reading: "Court personnel are prohibited from commenting on the video because it's a personnel matter. When the actions of any district court employee are called into question, the court immediately responds by conducting a fair, thorough investigation and, upon completion, taking appropriate action."

Even though Fox was fired, sources tell the I-Team, Clark County courts are widening their investigation into why this incident, and a growing number of assault allegations, were never reported by family court management to internal affairs.

Fox maintains his innocence and is suing (PDF) Clark County for wrongful termination. His attorney declined an on-camera interview but claims the marshal's arrest was legal because nobody in the courtroom tried to stop him.

See Also:


NY - Maziarz Pushes Bill to Restrict Locations for Sex Offenders

Original Article

06/11/2013

State Sen. George D. Maziarz has fast-tracked a bill in the Senate that would greatly limit the locations where sex offenders can live, particularly in cities like Niagara Falls. The bill is authored in the Assembly by an occasional political nemesis of the senator, Robin Schimminger (D-Kenmore).

Maziarz, who last-month got a bill passed in the legislature's upper chamber that would allow Niagara County to adopt a stern local law limiting residency options for registered sex offenders to outside a 1,500-foot circle around schools, parks, athletic fields, and buildings and land connected to daycare centers, was working late yesterday to pass another bill to restrict sex offenders.

At press time, Maziarz was confident of more than enough votes for passage, and was waiting for the bill to advance to the floor from the Senate's Rules Committee.

The bill, introduced by Schimminger, hasn't passed the Assembly yet. After Assembly leaders sent Maziarz's bill to committee, Maziarz decided to advance Democrat Schimminger's bill through the upper chamber to advance the bill that would emplace a 1,350-foot no-go zone for sex offenders.

Passage of the sex offender bill became necessary when a local law similar to Niagara County's restrictions on sex offenders, originally written into local law in 2009, was struck down in the Finger Lakes city of Geneva, and county officials became convinced Niagara County's law wouldn't survive legal scrutiny.

"The Niagara County Legislature, along with myself, have a great concern for the safety of our children from sex offenders" Maziarz told us by phone from Albany late Monday. "It is important that we do what we can to protect them, and I am glad to do my part in the Senate to provide passage of legislation that will allow Niagara County to enforce their local law."

In order to become law the Assembly would have to vote for its passage and be signed by the governor.


IA - Kathlynn Shepard's Death Inspires Governor To Review Sentencing Rules

Governor Terry Branstad
Original Article

We can smell a "Kathlynn's Law" in the works.

06/10/2013

By Staci DaSilva

Monday night 15-year old Kathlynn Shepard's community of Dayton, Iowa remembered the innocent girl and coped with the tragic way she died. They covered a tree in purple lights, her favorite color.

Shepard was found dead on Friday. Police say her killer was a convicted sex offender on parole.

On Monday, Governor Terry Branstad announced he wants to review sentencing rules for sex offenders following the tragic story of Kathlynn Shepard.

"I think that it is appropriate that we review these provisions especially if it affects violent sexual predators," said Gov. Branstad.

The Governor of Iowa is taking a stand for 15-year old Kathlynn Shepard and her family, of Dayton, Iowa.

Kathlynn reportedly died of stab wounds and blunt force trauma. Officers say it was [name withheld] who did it. He was a paroled kidnapper and sex offender who committed suicide after taking Shepard.

Imprisoned for nearly 20 years, [name withheld] had been denied parole 3 times by his board. He was released in 2011.

"They felt that he was a high risk and they chose not to parole him. But unfortunately, under the law, he could only be held so long and he served out under the present law which automatically reduces the sentence to less than half," said Gov. Branstad.

As it stands right now, prisoners like [name withheld] are rewarded 1.2 days off their sentence for every one day they serve.

With the legislature currently out of session, there are no immediate plans on the books to make any changes.

So what can you do locally to keep your children safe?

Sioux City's Mercy Child Advocacy Center has a program called "Darkness to Light." It's a training program for adults that teaches them what to tell kids so they avoid getting in the hands of someone like [name withheld].

Here's just one example: "If someone that they don't know is talking to them, to turn and go the other way. If someone, tries to grab them, to scream, to shout out, to fight back," said Mercy Child Advocacy Center's Sherrie Schweder.

Just contact the Mercy Child Advocacy Center if you're interested in learning more about that program at (712) 279-2548.

Also, over 90% of child abuse cases are committed by someone the child knows.

So try to stay connected to your child as much as possible, and contact a specialist if you notice any erratic changes in behavior.

See Also:


IL - Illinois Among Worst States For Juvenile Inmate Sexual Abuse

Original Article

06/10/2013

By Fanna Haile-Selassie and Randy Livingston

A national report says Illinois has one of the highest rates for sexual abuse of juvenile offenders. The U.S. Department of Justice released its annual report last week. Fifteen percent of juvenile inmates say they were sexually victimized last year, while locked-up in a state youth center.

On a national level, the rate of inmate sexual abuse has actually gone down in the last five years, dropping to 9.5 percent. But Illinois' rate is much higher. The recently closed IYC Joliet was the top offender in the state, with IYC Harrisburg coming in second.

Hundreds of teens have made an Illinois Youth Center their home in 2012. It's where young offenders serve their time, as the state attempts to change their perspective on crime. But according to the U.S. Department of Justice, what goes on behind these locked doors is not always on the straight and narrow.

Illinois is one of the top five states in the country with the highest rates on juvenile sexual abuse, nearly twice as high as the national average.

"I think this a crisis that I hope will propel us as a state to put in place a inspector general for the department of juvenile justice," says Elizabeth Clarke, the director of the Juvenile Justice Initiative.

The Juvenile Justice Initiative is an organization that advocates for imprisoned youth. Clarke says there's no place for inmates to complain of harassment.

"The children need a channel to report abuse that's independent of the people running the facilities and running the agency," she says.

According to the report, IYCs Joliet and Harrisburg were the worst. Twenty percent of the youth in Joliet report sexual misconduct by staff and nearly 15 percent in Harrisburg.

"Whether it's one youth or 300 youth, we take this very seriously," explains Arthur Bishop, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice Director.

Bishop says the report comes as a surprise, since the department has a zero tolerance policy.

"We have immediately reached out and made contact with some prominent experts that are going to come in, evaluate. And they are not going to sit at a desk and make phone calls," explains Bishop. "They are going to be hands-on, go into our facilities, interview staff, interview youth."

He will not say who the experts are, but says they will help form a safer and more therapeutic system for Illinois' troubled youth.

Starting on Monday, Bishop says the DJJ has implemented a new 24-hour hotline for juvenile inmates to report abuse. Officials are also looking at creating youth councils and advisory groups with the youth centers.


NE - Woman says deputy (Cory Cooper) demanded sex acts to keep her and boyfriend out of trouble

Cory Cooper
Original Article

06/11/2013

By Maggie O'Brien

In what the county's top prosecutor calls “disturbing” and “an abuse of power,” a Douglas County sheriff's deputy allegedly gave a 19-year-old Omaha woman an ultimatum: Come up with a way to get you and your boyfriend out of trouble.

In an interview Monday, the woman told The World-Herald that Deputy Cory Cooper made her perform oral sex after pulling over her and her boyfriend at Zorinsky Lake. Cooper found marijuana in the couple's vehicle.

He told the boyfriend to walk to the lake to dispose of the drug. He then turned his attention to the woman.

Cooper took her to his cruiser, where he allegedly told her to remove her shirt and exposed himself to her. She said she felt like she had no choice but to obey.

All I could think was, 'What am I going to do to get out of this? Nobody's going to believe me over the police.'

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine alleged that Cooper used his badge and the threat of arrest of the woman and her boyfriend to make the woman perform the sex act. On Monday, he charged Cooper with first-degree sexual assault.

He said Omaha police continue to investigate whether there could be more victims.

Cooper, 29, turned himself in about 8:30 a.m. Monday at the Douglas County Corrections Center. His attorney, Michael J. Fitzpatrick of Omaha, asked that bail be set at $20,000, calling his client a “war hero,” and a “family man.”
- You see, when a cop is accused of some crime, they try to make them look like a wonderful citizen when they don't do this for the average citizen.  It doesn't matter if he is a war hero or family man, if he committed a crime he should be held accountable.

Cooper served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of the Nebraska National Guard. He is married, has two children and a third on the way.

Douglas County Judge Jeffrey Marcuzzo set Cooper's bail at $250,000. That means Cooper must post $25,000, or 10 percent, to be released from jail.

Marcuzzo said the sexual assault allegations against Cooper are serious, “especially given under the collar of the authority you possessed.”

Cooper was fired last month for what the Sheriff's Office called “inappropriate behavior” on the job. It came after a two-month investigation by the Omaha Police Department.

The alleged sex assault happened Feb. 10. Detectives interviewed the 19-year-old woman four days later.

Prosecutors said Cooper falsified reports about where he was the night of the alleged incident. His cruiser's GPS system, however, showed he was at the lake, they said.

Anytime there is an allegation of this nature, it's disturbing enough,” Kleine said. “But when you have somebody in their capacity as a law enforcement officer and . . . uses that position of authority to do something like that it is even more disturbing. An abuse of power.”

Fitzpatrick said his client maintains his innocence.

We're asking the public to not jump to any conclusions about this case yet,” Fitzpatric said. “Deputy Cooper strongly denies these allegations, and we're looking forward to going to trial on this so that the truth can come out.”

The woman said that for a while, she didn't think the former deputy would be arrested. After all, she said, he was a deputy.

Cooper had been a deputy for about five years and was a corrections officer before that.

He was reassigned to office duty on April 4 and placed on paid leave April 19.

Cooper did not appeal his firing.

Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning issued a statement in which he condemned Cooper's actions, saying his conduct “was shocking and the sheriff's office fully supports his arrest. Law enforcement officers are here to protect the public, not prey on them.”

Cooper is the third Omaha law enforcement officer charged with first-degree sexual assault in the past 15 years.

Former Omaha Police Officer Scott Antoniak was convicted in 2005 of first-degree sexual assault for making a prostitute perform oral sex on him in his cruiser. That woman saved Antoniak's semen after the act — leading to his conviction.

In 1999, Bobby Burrell, a former corrections officer at an Omaha state prison, was charged with first-degree sexual assault after a female inmate alleged he sexually assaulted her. Prosecutors dropped the charge after the woman recanted some of her account at trial.

DNA had linked Burrell to the episode. Burrell admitted having sex with the woman but said it was consensual. Prosecutors argued that the woman didn't, and couldn't, consent because of the power Burrell had over her.

That case led Sen. Ernie Chambers to propose, and state lawmakers to enact, a law making it illegal for an on-duty law enforcement or corrections officer to have consensual sex with anyone in custody.


OH - Upper Arlington considering new sex offender registration requirement Monday

Original Article

06/10/2013

By LORI FRIEND

Upper Arlington (UA), Ohio is a suburban town in Franklin County that shows a population of about 34,000; a rather small community that sits between the Olentangy and Scioto rivers as it were.

The reason this is important is because they are taking Monday to review proposed scaling back of “current requirements for sex offender registration” and although this suburb ‘only’ has two registered sex offenders (ratio is 16,161 to 1), the community is small enough to warrant a revisit of requirements.

Ohio being the first to comply with the Adam Walsh Act, stated juvenile sex offenders be automatically required to register for the rest of their lives but were able to be ‘reclassified’ 25 years after that requirement began.

But, last year the Ohio Supreme Court had struck down a lifetime registration requirement for juvenile sex offenders. They also don't require registration for those who have been out of prison 15 years, starting as juvenile or no.

Last year’s 5-2 vote, with Justice Paul E. Pfeifer voting in favor of striking it down had this to say then, “Before a juvenile can even begin his adult life, before he has a chance to live on his own, the world will know his offense,” Pfeifer wrote. “His potential will be squelched before it has a chance to show itself.”

Difficulty in this statement lies with light being shown on the fact of why this was brought to attention in the fist place: the conviction of a 15-year-old in the kidnapping and rape of a six-year-old relative in Athens County.

With that being said, UA requires the lifetime registration for sex offenders.

Adding the fact it goes against state law now, and how offenders are not allowed to work within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks, libraries and pre-schools, it stands to reason a small suburb like UA may not be seen as the most “inviting”.

Not to be blamed, a few citizens were not all that sympathetic, saying they are worried how this will impact the children in the community and noted the offenders made the decisions they made and should have to live with the consequences.

According to the email, the reading of proposed changes, the first reading, is going to be at the City Council meeting at the Municipal Services Center at 7:30 p.m. June 10.

See Also:


OH - Police Officer (Robert B. Lodwick) Faces Felony Charges for soliciting sex from a 14-year-old rape victim

Robert B. Lodwick
Original Article

06/07/2013

A Youngstown police sergeant is facing felony charges for soliciting sex from a 14-year-old rape victim.

Sgt. Robert B. Lodwick, 40, was charged Friday with importuning, which investigators said is the online solicitation of sex with a minor and possessing photos of the naked 14-year-old girl. Authorities said he started having improper contact with the alleged victim after being assigned to investigate a rape case involving the girl.

Bond was set at $100,000 at his initial appearance in Youngstown Municipal Court. If Lodwick posts bond, he will be released on electronically monitored house arrest.

Lodwick met the 14-year-old girl while he was assigned to the Family Services Unit in the police department. He then began soliciting the girl for sex.

The victim in this case is the victim of a rape case wherein he was the detective assigned to that case. And by rights, he should have been protecting her, not soliciting her as alleged in the complaint,” said Youngstown City Prosecutor Dana Lantz.

Investigators first learned about the incident a week ago after the alleged victim filed a complaint with the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office.

The person being interviewed by the CSB had made an allegation of improper activity,” said Sheriff Jerry Greene.

The next day, the Sheriff and Youngstown Police Chief Rod Foley made a call for help from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.

One of our cyber crimes agents became involved with an undercover chat with Sgt. Lodwick and following that ongoing activity for a period of time, it was determined that it was appropriate to bring him in,” said Ohio BCI special agent Joe Dietz.

And as soon as they had enough evidence to go on, they arrested Lodwick, even calling him off patrol early Friday morning to take him into custody. He turned in his gun and was placed on administrative leave from the department.

He is being kept in the minimum security portion of the jail, records said. He is being segregated from other inmates because they’ve made threats against him because of the alleged crime and because he’s a police officer.
- You don't protect normal citizens who are put behind bars, so why protect him?

Lodwick, according to his personnel file, spent 18 months in Iraq with his Ohio National Guard unit from Dec. 1, 2003 through the spring of 2005.

He had no disciplinary issues with the department, according to his file. On Aug. 18, 2011 he drove his car into a pole in front of the Mahoning County Sheriff’s office and was docked four hours pay.

He received five letters of merit between 2006 and 2010, including accommodations for investigating a South Side youth gang that resulted in charges against 15 kids, apprehending a suspect in an aggravated robbery on the East Side 2008, for apprehending a double-murder suspect in 2008 and for a traffic stop that led to gun charges in 2008.

Lodwick was hired May 8, 2000. He was promoted Dec. 7 to sergeant, where his salary increased to $59,414 per year.
- Isn't it ironic that when a cop is accused of some crime, they try to make him/her out to look like some outstanding citizen, but when the average citizen is accused, nothing like this occurs, in most cases.

Foley said he was recently reassigned from the Family Services Unit to the night shift patrol as a supervisor because of some retirements on the force.

We hold these officers in very high esteem in this department. And they’re given a lot of ability out there by the public to go out there and solve crimes. And they expect to trust us. We felt that we lost that trust a little bit today. And we have to gain it back. This is why we needed to make sure we did this very quickly,” Foley said.

He said he was “disappointed and disgusted” in Lodwick’s actions.

Lodwick’s personnel file shows he received a certificate Sept. 14 for completing the Ohio Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Investigation training.


TX - County sex offender ordinance talks continue

Original Article

We think someone may be running for higher office.

06/10/2013

By CALEB MCCAIG

Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant met with Andrew Johnson, the chief of staff for Texas District 59 State Representative J.D. Sheffield, last week to discuss the lack of a county ordinance limiting sex offender presence at or around schools or other child zones.

I want the law to be changed to where a sheriff in the state of Texas can write ordinances and give sex offenders clear guidelines where they can and cannot be,” Bryant said.
- If they want to make laws, then they need to run for political office.  Police do not and should not be making laws!

He said surrounding counties have also lent their support to the issue.

I contacted the sheriff’s offices in Palo Pinto, Lampasas, Somervell, Hamilton, Comanche, Eastland, Brown, Bosque and Hood counties to see where they stand on the matter, and they all agreed there needs to be change," Bryant said.

Bryant said he does not want to infringe on a registered sex offender's freedoms or ability to earn a living.
- But that is exactly what he is proposing here.

I want the ability to be able to protect these children, and when they’re dropped off at school, I want their parents not to have to worry about their well-being,” Bryant said.

Johnson said he will continue researching the issue.

"The ordinance we want in place out in the county is the same one that is in the city," he said. "No sex offenders hanging around a school or a child zone whatsoever.”


CA - Father (David Ray Mills), daughter and friend (Andre Edwin Dickerson) to stand trial in ‘vigilante’ attack

David Ray Mills
Original Article

06/07/2013

By SARAH BURGE

A Temecula father and his teen daughter must stand trial for attempted murder and mayhem in connection with the beating of a man the girl had accused of raping her, a judge ruled Friday, June 7.

Obviously, vigilante justice isn’t a defense to a criminal charge,” Judge Michael Rushton said as he announced his decision, then wondered aloud how a jury would react to the case.

David Ray Mills, 36, his 16-year-old daughter, and her friend, Andre Edwin Dickerson, 20, have pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, mayhem, assault and vandalism, court records show. The girl has been charged as an adult.

Sheriff’s officials began investigating [name withheld], now 21, after the girl’s allegations came to light following the attack. He was charged in May with engaging in an act of sodomy with a minor, court records show. He was arrested at 2:15 p.m. Friday – as the preliminary hearing was in session – according to jail records. He is being held at the Southwest Detention Center on $50,000 bail.

The Press-Enterprise does not routinely identify possible victims of sexual crimes.

Riverside County sheriff’s investigators have said the girl, then 15, lured [name withheld] then 20, to a Temecula park the night of Jan. 13 where Dickerson beat him with a wooden baseball bat as Mills and his daughter watched. Dickerson then smashed the windows out of [name withheld]'s van and left him lying in the park, court records say.

Andre Edwin Dickerson
[name withheld], who said he was struck 15 or more times, suffered skull fractures, large cuts to his scalp that required more than two dozen staples, a lung injury, a mangled ear, missing teeth, several broken bones and more, Investigator David Gorlicki testified during a preliminary hearing Friday at the Southwest Justice Center in French Valley.

Prosecutor Scott Mason showed gruesome photos of [name withheld]'s injuries on an overhead projector in court.

Though badly hurt, [name withheld] managed to drive himself home after the attack. His mother found him and took him to a hospital. Initially, [name withheld] lied to a deputy about why he was at the park, but he later admitted he went to meet the girl. He told the deputy that he didn’t think she was responsible for the attack and didn’t want to involve her.

Gorlicki said the girl never reported the allegations of sexual assault to police, and she didn’t tell Dickerson or her father about it until the day of the attack. The girl said [name withheld] raped her in November when she spent the night at his Temecula home. She said she had been drinking vodka and passed out on [name withheld]’s bed.

Sitting in court wearing a yellow juvenile hall uniform, the girl began to cry as Gorlicki recounted her story. Her father, too, was teary-eyed throughout the hearing.

In the days leading up to the attack at Kent Hintergardt Memorial Park on Via Del Coronado, [name withheld] sent the girl a slew of obscene text messages suggesting they meet again to have sex, drink and smoke marijuana.

Her attorney, David E. Grande, read many of the messages in court, along with the girl’s responses.

Can’t you take a hint,” she wrote. “I’m not interested.”

At one point, the girl sent [name withheld] a text asking why he was trying to have sex with a 16-year-old.

It’s the thing I do,” he replied.

Grande said the girl, who maintains that the sex was against her will, didn’t report the rape to police because she was afraid of retaliation.

He’s a cruiser. He’s a predator,” Dickerson’s attorney, Richard V. Swanson, said of [name withheld] after the hearing.

When investigators questioned the girl after the beating, she initially identified not Dickerson but another man as the attacker, Gorlicki said. She also accused [name withheld] of “coming on to” her at the park.

Later, she admitted asking Dickerson to beat [name withheld] up and said she, her father, Dickerson and another teen girl walked to the park together, Gorlicki said.

The girl said she planned to “act innocent” and tell [name withheld] she needed to use the bathroom, where Dickerson would be hiding with the bat.

The other teen girl – who has not been charged – told investigators that [name withheld] screamed as Dickerson beat him and described the “cracking sound” of the bat hitting his body. She said Dickerson yelled at [name withheld] during the attack, accusing him of liking to rape girls.

Dickerson and Mills are being held in jail, and the girl at juvenile hall. Bail for all three is set at $1 million.