Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy 4th of July, and God bless our troops!


The Declaration of Independence (as read by Max McLean)

TX - 2 bikini-clad women sue over body cavity search by Jennie Bui on the side of Highway 288

Police doing a cavity search
Original Article


By Tiffany Craig

BRAZORIA COUNTY - Two women subjected to body cavity searches on the side of Highway 288 are suing the officers involved.

The entire stop was recorded on dash camera by the state trooper who initially pulled over [name withheld] and [name withheld] for speeding.

The women were driving home from a trip to Surfside beach.

You can hear [name withheld] ask the trooper if she can put on some clothes because she is wearing only a bikini.

"Can I put my dress on," she asked the officer. "Don't worry about it," he told her. "Come out here."

The trooper asks if there is anything illegal in the car after claiming to smell marijuana.

[name withheld] answers no.

He also pulled [name withheld] from the car and gets on the radio to call for a female trooper.

"One of them has got her zipper open on her pants of her daisy dukes shorts -- whatever they are," he said.

The male trooper reportedly found a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle.

The attorney for the women, Allie Booker, doesn't understand why the cavity search was done.

"If you claim they were in the car doing something they had no business, and you claim you had the butt end of what they were doing, why do you need to do a cavity search," Booker said.

[name withheld] was searched first and in the video, you can hear her reaction.

"Are you serious," [name withheld] asked the trooper.

"If you hid something in there, we're going to find it," said the trooper.

"You're going to go up my private parts," [name withheld] said.

"Yes ma'am," she said.

Nothing was found on either woman and they claim gloves weren't changed between searches.

KHOU 11 News legal analyst Gerald Treece watched the video with us.

"I think it's the violation of the 4th amendment to do these type of body cavity searches," said Treece. "The thing that's offensive about this is the fact that it's the most intrusive type of search which is a body cavity search and the question is for what."

One of the women is still dealing with a marijuana charge. Both have filed a federal lawsuit against the officers involved.

The female trooper in this case, Jennie Bui has been fired. The male trooper, Nathaniel Turner has been suspended during an internal investigation.

The department does not and will not tolerate any conduct that violates the U.S. and Texas constitutions, or DPS training or policy,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw.

McCraw was also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Brazoria County Sheriff Charles Wagner and deputy Aaron Kindred are defendants in the lawsuit as well.

Their office had no comment.

FL - Sex Offender Study May Keep Some Inmates Behind Bars

Original Article


By Mike Vasilinda

More than 650 men being held in a state prison are so dangerous a judge has determined they can’t be released even though they have served their sentences. They are all sex offenders deemed likely to offend again. A new study aims to help prosecutors better predict who might be dangerous in the future.

There are currently 657 sex offenders still locked up in Florida even though they completed their sentences. The law keeping them in jail indefinitely was passed in 1998 after the brutal rape and murder of nine year old Jimmy Ryce. “He was a very smart, perfect child,” said Donald Ryce the Father.

Named for nine year old, the Jimmy Ryce act allows those whom psychologists deem still dangerous to be involuntarily committed. “There is a few people at the facility who have been there ever since the beginning of the program in 1999. Other people stay for varying lengths of time,” says David Monfaldi, Administrator: Sexually Violent Predator Program.

[name withheld], the man accused of killing eight year old Cherish Perrywinkel was committed under the Jimmy Ryce Act, that was 1999, but prosecutors didn’t pursue permanent lockup. Now a new study of sex offenders in Florida shows what many already know, offenders, like [name withheld]  are incurable. “After ten years, nearly fourteen percent of the sample had been rearrested for sexual crimes,” tells Dr. Jill Levenson Lynn University.
- We personally believe everybody can change their ways, even the worst of the worse, but they have to want it and society has to try to help them achieve it, instead of just condemning the person based on what they think they might do.

[name withheld] was arrested again in 2009 for a sex crime, but because the charge was knocked down to a misdemeanor, a risk assessment wasn’t triggered.“When we are making assessments solely on the offense of conviction, here’s an example of where that criteria can really underestimate the risk of somebody’s likelihood to commit a future violent offense,” says Dr. Jill Levenson.

The Hope the new study is to better predict who will be dangerous in the future.

MA - Budget amendment puts Level 2 sex offenders on public database

Community VOICES founder Laurie Myers, of Chelmsford, and state Rep. Jim Arciero
Original Article


By Katie Lannan

BOSTON - The names and addresses of Level 2 sex offenders would be added to a public online database under a legislative measure its supporters say gives parents the tools they need to protect their children.

Currently, only Level 3 offenders, those determined to be at the highest risk of re-offending, are part of the public Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry.

"We're allowing citizens to empower themselves, and that's really what this is about," said state Rep. Jim Arciero. "It's really gratifying to know that this is something that's going to help the public. This is going to help families assess their own situations."

Arciero, a Westford Democrat, pitched sex-offender information reforms for the first time in 2009, getting a little bit closer to fruition each year, he said. A final 2014 budget approved by the House and Senate on Monday included an amendment adding Level 2 offenders to the database.

In Massachusetts, information about Level 1 sex offenders is only available to law-enforcement agencies. For information on Level 2 offenders, residents can file an in-person information request with their local police department.

It's a process Arciero says is cumbersome and ties up the resources of police departments. Both the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and the State Police backed Arciero's bill.

Putting Level 2 offenders online will be "a big step forward," said victim advocate Laurie Myers, who supported Arciero's efforts and fought to put Level 3 offenders online in 2004.
- Next they will be pushing to add level 1 offenders to the registry, wait and see.

"It's just another tool for people to use to keep their kids safe," said Myers, a Chelmsford resident and founder of the victim-advocacy group Community VOICES. "I'm all about awareness. We say to be aware of your surroundings, but then on the other hand, we've restricted the information for years."

The finalized budget hit Gov. Deval Patrick's desk on Monday, giving him 10 days to sign or veto the legislation.

Related amendments also call for greater information sharing between the Sex Offender Registry and law-enforcement agencies, and seek to make easier the reclassification of offenders to different levels.

The budget provisions push the state closer to compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. Under that policy, states that post all sex-offender information online are eligible for grant funding.

Massachusetts stands to earn up to $600,000 by becoming fully compliant, money that Arciero said would be put toward the costs of implementing the new requirements.

Arciero is also the sponsor of a bill, now before the judiciary committee, that would post information on Level 1 offenders as well.
- What did I tell you?

Level 1 offenders are those classified by the commonwealth's Sex Offender Registry Board as least likely to re-offend, while Level 2 offenders are considered to pose a moderate risk.

"Right now it's a judgment call by the Sex Offender Registry Board, a judgment call if an offender is going to re-offend," Arciero said. "What I've said all along is that with this legislation, we're allowing families to make their judgment call."

Arciero began his push to increase public access to sex-offender information when a young girl was sexually assaulted in his Westford neighborhood in 2009. After neighbors learned the attacker's name, a quick Internet search revealed his information in a Florida offender database, Arciero said.

"It really shed a light on a huge loophole in Massachusetts, where folks didn't have the information available to protect our families and keep our neighborhood safe," he said.

Myers said she's heard similar stories from parents whose children were victimized by Level 2 offenders they didn't even know lived nearby.

"Red flags kept going off, and these parents thought they were doing everything right," she said. "They went on the registry thinking the most dangerous offenders were there. They come to find out the damage had already been done, and their children had already been victimized. People want this information, and now they'll have it."

AUSTRALIA - News laws would allow South Australian police to track child-sex offenders with GPS

Attorney-General John Rau speaking in Parliament.
Original Article



Police will have more powers to track high-risk child-sex offenders with GPS devices if new laws are approved by Parliament.

The legislation would enable police to require a registered child-sex offender to wear a personal tracking device that police could monitor at all times.

Offenders can be placed on the Australian National Child Offender Register for a minimum of eight years or in some cases for life and would have to wear a tracking device for that period of time.

Currently corrections officers can only monitor offenders for home detention or if they go within a certain distance of a specified place, such as schools.

Attorney-General John Rau will introduce changes to the state Child Sex Offenders Registration Act to Parliament tomorrow.

Elements of the legislation will:
  • REQUIRE registered child-sex offenders to report more frequently about changes such as a new job or address;
  • IMPOSE a mandatory bail condition on anyone charged with a child-sex offence preventing them from working in a list of child-related roles, including in the taxi or hire care industries;
  • MAKE it an offence to give police false information, carrying a five-year jail penalty; and
  • ALLOW police to obtain DNA samples from child-sex offenders registered before the state introduced forensic profiling and to add that data to the current database.

It is expected about 150 people would be captured by that change.

The amendments follow recommendations in the Debelle inquiry into sexual abuse cases in state schools , including proposed changes to the Act.

Mr Debelle recommended accused child-sex offenders who work with children in any capacity, even as a volunteer, be compelled to tell police the name and address of their employer.

Independent MP Ann Bressington has a similar bill before Parliament's Upper House, the Correctional Services (GPS Trcking for Child Sex Offenders) Amendment Bill.

In early March, Labor MLC Kyam Maher told the Upper House that while Ms Bressington's bill was a "good starting point" the Government intended to "go further" and draft legislation featuring "stronger provisions".

Mr Rau said the Government had been working on its legislation for some time before Mr Debelle's report was released.

Under Mr Debelle's proposals, police would have the power to tell an employer an accused child-sex offender has been charged.

In many of the sexual abuse cases canvassed in Mr Debelle's report, which involved school teachers, counsellors or other staff and volunteers, the accused did not notify the school that they had been arrested or charged.

As part of his inquiry, Mr Debelle commissioned a survey of all allegations of sexual offending in public schools from 2009 to 2012.

It uncovered 75 matters in schools run by the Education Department plus another 20 related to non-government schools.

Of the 75 public school incidents, 11 were not investigated by police.

Of the remaining 64 which were investigated, 30 resulted in charges being laid, in 28 there was not enough evidence to charge the offender and investigations are ongoing in six.

Of the 30 cases where charges were laid, 11 resulted in convictions.

These included three offences against a family member of the perpetrator, including unlawful sex with a foster child and covert filming of a stepdaughter.

Another case involved a volunteer tutor who persistently sexually exploited five boys aged about 10.

"In those matters where convictions were recorded, the offending occurred at a school on two occasions only," Mr Debelle writes in his report.

In light of this, he warns that in future schools must be "prepared to manage allegations of sexual misconduct concerning teachers and students at a school wherever the alleged offending might be said to have occurred".

OH - New arson registry ready to accept registrations

Church burning down
Original Article



COLUMBUS - A new state registry is ready to accept required registrations from convicted arsonists.

Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the availability of the system Monday, bringing to fruition legislation signed into law by Gov. John Kasich earlier this year to better track men and women who have purposefully burned down homes and other structures.

"We hope this new registry will serve as a valuable investigative tool for law enforcement and fire officials," DeWine said in a released statement. "Now, investigators will be able to look at an arson scene and quickly determine if any convicted arsonists live nearby."

Individuals convicted of arson-related crimes over the preceding decade have to register their places of residence annually with county sheriff offices.

Offenders have to pay an initial registration fee of $50, then $25 annually thereafter.

The new registry is only for law enforcement and fire investigators -- it's not open for public perusal.
- Why not?  If an unconstitutional online shaming hit-list is okay for ex-sex offenders then we should have one for all criminals as well, so we can all know who lives around us.

The online system is being managed by Louisiana-based Watch Systems, which also oversees the state's sex offender database. The state Controlling Board OK'd the contract with the company in April.

See Also:

AUSTRALIA - Police Minister says sex offender website is working

Sex Offender Registry, Flag and Laptop
Original Article


By Michael Hopkin

Ten missing sex offenders have been caught by the state government's sex offender register since the website was launched last October.

WA Police Minister Liza Harvey said there have been almost 100,000 hits on the website, which lists convicted sex offenders who have breached their reporting conditions.

Since the launch, police have reconnected with 10 sex offenders who had absconded or failed to report regularly to police.

"It brings them back into compliance, which is where we want them, frankly," Mrs Harvey said.

Police said not all of the ten offenders were at large in WA. Some were foreign nationals who had returned home but failed to notify police that they were permanently leaving the state.

The website sparked controversy when it launched last year amid fears that it would provoke vigilantism.

But Mrs Harvey said there had been no reports of community members taking matters into their own hands.

"We placed a great deal of trust in the community when we launched this site," she said.

Police do not allow the photographs and details featured on the site to be reproduced anywhere else, including in the media.
- The US should also do this to stop all the extortion & bullying web sites.

The Tier 1 section of the website, which lists pictures and identifying details of missing sex offenders, has been the most popular section of the site, attracting almost 60,000 hits.

The 10 sex offenders contacted by police were either already listed or about to be listed on this section of the site.

There are currently a further 10 missing offenders listed on the page, some of whom have been out of contact with police for more than a year.

The website's Tier 2 section allows users to request details of how many "reportable" sex offenders live in the suburbs around their home.

These are sex offenders who have reoffended, or who have committed particularly serious crimes. Police say WA has about 50 such people in this category.

The third tier of the website allows parents to request a check on anyone who has unsupervised access to their child, and to be notified if they are listed as a sex offender.

This service has had just seven requests. Six have been returned as negative, and one is still pending.

Ms Harvey said WA Police had been contacted by the Queensland government for information about how the website was working.

No other state or territory currently has a similar scheme.

Mrs Harvey said the website complements the state government's other measures, including GPS tracking of some dangerous sex offenders.

See Also: