When you enter the elevator of a high rise building you will seldom find the button for the 13th floor. It is because of fear, superstition, or ignorance, that we pretend it doesn't exist. The "13th floor" issues of abortion, sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and the sanctity of human life have become a widely unrecognized reality, accompanied by a basic fear of people, to honestly address these issues.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
AUGUSTA - An Augusta police officer was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child.
Authorities say the incidents occurred in April and June of 2013 in Butler County.
Jerry Ballinger made his first court appearance Wednesday and bonded out.
That bond was set at $50,000.
His next court appearance is scheduled for August 19th at 1 p.m.
- (08/20/2013) Augusta officer makes preliminary court appearance
OR - Colby McCormick, ex-politician and cop who amassed more than 3,000 child porn videos, sentenced to prison
|Colby Michael McCormick|
By Steve Mayes
A former police officer, politician and Gulf War veteran blamed battlefield exposure to toxic chemicals as one factor that led him to amass thousands graphic videos depicting sexual abuse of young girls.
Colby Michael McCormick, 46, was sentenced Friday in Clackamas County Circuit Court, after pleading guilty to eight counts of encouraging child sexual abuse in the second degree.
McCormick, a supply technician at the Portland VA Hospital, was arrested in June 2012 when child pornography investigators discovered his online activities. He was released from the Clackamas County Jail on his own recognizance and immediately resumed his online activities. He was arrested again Sept. 11.
Altogether, McCormick downloaded some 3,000 hardcore videos of girls engaged in sexual behavior, many with adult male relatives.
Circuit Judge Eve Miller sentenced McCormick to three years and four months in prison.
Prosecutor Bryan Brock sought a sentence of more than seven years.
McCormick, a former Marine, said he suffered from Gulf War syndrome related to his deployment in Iraq in the early 1990s. Exposure to toxic substances have been linked to fatigue, depression and other maladies suffered by military personnel.
McCormick, who lived in an apartment near Clackamas Town Center, claimed he turned to child pornography when he was in a depressed mental state.
Dr. Robert Stanulis, a psychologist, testified that Gulf War syndrome could be a factor in McCormick's aberrant behavior. He testified there is scientific evidence to substantiate the connection.
McCormick may be one of the first defendants in Oregon to invoke a new state law that allows a person's military service to be used as a mitigating factor at sentencing. Senate Bill 124, which went into effect June 6, is retroactive and applies to criminal cases that have not been resolved.
McCormick offered a tearful apology for his crimes and family members spoke in support, asking that he receive sex offender treatment. Former Jefferson Mayor Mike Myers also spoke on McCormick's behalf, praising his public service.
McCormick was a Jefferson city councilman, a member of the city's police force and had been a Jefferson Rural Fire Protection District battalion chief.
In 2000, he ran as the Democratic candidate for what was then House District 30. He was defeated in the general election.
"They portrayed him as a veteran and a public servant who should be treated differently, and argued he get some kind of discounted sentence because of it," Brock said. "I wanted the court to judge him by his current behavior, not on what he did in the past."
Diigo Post Excerpt:
Be wary of your online "friends": Your anonymous chat buddy might be a sexual predator — or an artificially intelligent chatbot designed to trap pedophiles.
A new chatbot does just that. Its name is Negobot (PDF), but some are calling it "virtual Lolita" after the novel by Vladimir Nabokov because it poses as an emotionally vulnerable teenage girl and tries to trick online predators into giving away information that would help the authorities track down pedophiles.
Chatbots like Negobot use such processes as artificial intelligence, natural language processing and machine learning to react to users' specific comments and remember past conversations.
GA - Former Catoosa County deputy’s (William Stephen Crossen) jail sentence reduced from seven to five years
|William Stephen Crossen|
By Adam Cook
Two weeks after being handed a seven-year sentence for child sex crimes, a former Catoosa County Sheriff’s deputy was given a second sentencing hearing on Wednesday, July 10, which resulted in a lighter five-year sentence.
Thirty-nine-year-old William Stephen Crossen, who was initially sentenced to seven years — five to be served in prison without the possibility of parole by Catoosa County Superior Court judge Ralph Van Pelt Jr. — will now served five years total, with two years to be served behind bars.
In March, Crossen pleaded guilty to 14 child sex charges involving a teenage girl. The charges included sexual exploitation of a child, dissemination of computer pornography, interference with custody, and sodomy.
The crimes took place in early 2012.
According to Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit district attorney Herbert E. “Buzz” Franklin and defense attorney McCracken Poston, the change in the sentence stemmed from a wrong interpretation of the code provision involving the sentencing guidelines.
“There was a misinterpretation of the sentencing guidelines, and we would have appealed the matter, but judge (Ralph) Van Pelt spoke to judge Bo Wood regarding the statue and ultimately issued a new sentence,” Poston said. “The judge used his discretion in the case and was pro-active.”
The error in the sentencing guidelines simply wasn’t addressed during the first hearing.
“It was just a misinterpretation of the mandatory code provisions for those specific charges,” Franklin said. “Mr. Crossen is still going to serve his time in jail, and him pleading guilty will spare the victim and her family of dealing with a trial.”
Following the hearing on June 27, Crossen was taken into custody to begin serving jail time.
“We’re obviously pleased with a shorter sentence,” Poston said. “It costs more money to house and segregate him due to the fact that he is a former cop. He (Crossen) has showed remorse for his dreadful mistake, and he has a great support system around him… It’s one thing to punish someone, but you (should not) over-punish.”
- I can understand why we segregate police officers for their own safety, but it's ironic that they don't segregate other offenders who are just as likely to be harmed in jail / prison, so why give police special protection?
Crossen was fired from the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office in February 2012 following a Georgia Bureau of Investigation into allegations that he was involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl.
The crimes took place over a 10-day span in February 2012, which included Crossen picking up the teen, enticing her into a sexual encounter in a parking lot, taking photos of her, and distributing the photos, authorities said.
Crossen turned himself in to authorities in November 2012 following a grand jury indictment in the case. He pleaded guilty to the charges on March 7.
“He feels terrible and feels as though he has let everyone down,” Poston said. “If his wife can forgive him, then the community ought to as well.”