Wednesday, July 17, 2013

VA - Ken Cuccinelli Launches Website Defending Anti-Sodomy Law

Ken Cuccinelli
Ken Cuccinelli
Original Article

He's running for Governor of Virginia, so of course he's going to come out with these types of laws, to help his campaign. How is an anti-sodomy law going to protect children?

07/17/2013

By Luke Johnson

Virginia Attorney General and 2013 gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli upped his defense of the state's anti-sodomy law Wednesday, launching a new website that casts the law as a valuable tool to protect children.

The site, www.vachildpredators.com, calls the state's law an "Anti-Child Predators Law" and claims that 90 "sexual predators" could be let off the state's sex offender registry if the Supreme Court does not overturn a decision striking down the law. The site attacks Cuccinelli's opponent, Terry McAuliffe, accusing him of "playing politics" instead of "protecting our children."

McAuliffe's campaign hit back against the attack. "Everyone supports strong laws to protect children and, like most Virginians, Terry believes our laws should be updated to both conform with court rulings and allow prosecution of predators," spokesman Josh Schwerin said in an email to HuffPost. "As he admitted as recently as 2009, Ken Cuccinelli is one of the only elected officials in America who believes that being gay should result in criminal prosecution and jail time. Cuccinelli's refusal to support a mainstream legislative update to Virginia laws reflects his extreme agenda and uncompromising approach."

While Cuccinelli is aiming to tout the law as evidence of his tough approach toward criminals who victimize children, the move also has the potential to remind voters of Cuccinelli's social conservatism and opposition to LGBT rights. Cuccinelli voted against a bill removing private consensual acts from the law. In 2009, he told the Virginian-Pilot that "homosexual acts" are "intrinsically wrong." He continued, "I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society."
Children fighting
Be nice kids!

In March, a federal appeals court struck down the "crimes against nature" statute in Virginia, saying that it was unconstitutional after the Supreme Court's 2003 Lawrence decision striking down a similar law in Texas. Even after the Lawrence decision, Virginia had left its anti-sodomy law on the books. The March case overturning Virginia's statute concerned a 47-year-old man soliciting a 17-year-old girl -- not private sexual acts between consenting adults, which such laws have broadly targeted.

Cuccinelli tried to persuade the full appeals court to reconsider the panel's decision. The court denied that petition in April, and he appealed to the Supreme Court in June.


CANADA - Posters point to wrong address

Posters posted wrongly identifying an addressOriginal Article

Yet another reason why the online registry needs to be taken offline and used by police only. The public is misusing the information and innocent people are being harassed over it. Even if the posters were true, the information needs to be taken offline, because the public cannot handle it without stooping to vigilantism.

07/16/2013

By Karena Walter

A Thorold woman whose home has been targeted in a poster campaign inaccurately claiming a sex offender is living in her residence says her family is afraid to go outside for fear of retribution.

"It's scary," said the Bolton Ave. woman, who didn't want to be identified. "It's literally just blossomed into this huge, huge thing that isn't even true."

But one of the men who handed out flyers warning residents that [name withheld] is living in the house stands by them.

"If we had to do this whole thing again, we wouldn't hesitate doing it," said the Thorold resident, who said he distributed the flyers with members of the Ontario Coalition for Accountability.

About 200-300 of the flyers, titled "Attention Residents, For your protection," were distributed last Thursday on Bolton Ave and two blocks of surrounding areas, posted to telephone poles and at the nearby public pool.

They state [name withheld] is living at a Bolton Ave. address — an address that belongs to a friend, not him.

"I think it's terrible. They're picking on people that don't deserve it, the people who live at that address," [name withheld] told The Standard, adding he's worried about his friends and family who have been threatened since his release from jail earlier this month.

"If anybody is angry, they should be angry with me. Not my friends or family or people who know me."

[name withheld] said people don't know his whole story and he understands their fears.

"I know I did things wrong but now I can look forward, do my best," he said. "I was found guilty and I've got to do my best to look past that and get my life in order."

[name withheld], 44, was found guilty by a jury on March 9, 2012 of two counts of sexual assault, assault by choking and sexual interference. The case involved allegations by two women, now in their 30s, who had separate sexual relationships with [name withheld] in the 1980s when he was a young man.

He was then convicted by a jury on May 3, 2012 of sexual exploitation, sexual interference and two counts of sexual assault from incidents in 2006 and 2010 involving two girls ages 10 and 14.

He was sentenced Nov. 5, 2012 to 54 months in custody for incidents dating from the 1980s and 2010, minus pre-sentence custody.

"There was never any intention of him going to Bolton Ave.," said Det. Const. Steve Canton, in charge of the Niagara Regional Police sex-offender registry.

Canton said he's prohibited by provincial law of disclosing information about the whereabouts of people on the sex-offender registry. But he said police were aware [name withheld] was getting out and where he was going and had no issue with the location.

"His location is well known. It is a safe location, the public is safe," he said.

Canton said the flyers from citizens targeting locations of sex offenders are not encouraged. In the case where an offender's actual location is published, the person could be attacked or could flee. He said police would no longer know where they are if that happened.
- Well then stop it!  If you don't, then you are condoning it!

In this case, Canton said a friend of [name withheld]'s is being taunted because of misinformation.

"They're making this a hazardous situation," he said.

Police do occasionally release information about sex offenders if they are deemed a high risk to re-offend. In this case, [name withheld], who received provincial parole five months early, was not considered a high risk.

There are nearly 300 people on the sex-offender registry list living in Niagara.

The man who handed out the flyers, who spoke on anonymity for fear he'll be in trouble with police, said he and three others acted on a tip [name withheld] was seen at the residence. He said if there's a convicted sex-offender in the neighbourhood, parents should be aware. There are lots of children in the area and a pool within a five minute walk, he said.
- And you apparently didn't check this "tip" to see if it was correct!  Now innocent people are being harassed because of your vigilantism.  And even if the person was seen there, that doesn't mean they live there.

He said residents who received flyers were receptive and happy to receive to information.

"We're not going to tolerate him in our community. We don't want him here," he said. "We're going to make it uncomfortable for him to stay."
- Well he has a right to be there, and you are committing a crime by harassing the person.

The woman living in the house since December 2009 said she's afraid — not of her friend [name withheld] but of the people targeting her house. Her address has been shared dozens of times on Facebook, at the local pool and with neighbours. People won't speak to her, her landlord has called to find out what's going on. Her children 12, 15 and 22 are scared they'll be followed.

"My children are afraid. I'm afraid," she said. "He doesn't live here."


CT - A former city police officer (Samuel DiProto) facing federal child porn charges

Samuel DiProto
Samuel DiProto
Original Article

07/16/2013

By Kaitlyn Schroyer

MIDDLETOWN - A former city police officer facing federal child porn charges will have to wait for another day to face a local judge.

Samuel DiProto, 61, is currently without an attorney for his state charges of risk of injury to a child, first-degree unlawful restraint, first-degree reckless endangerment and intent of cruelty to a child under 19 years of age.

In court on Tuesday, Judge David Gold suggested that DiProto find an attorney — and fast.

DiProto told Gold that his wife is currently withholding the funds he needs to attain a lawyer. Court records show he is in divorce proceedings with his wife, Darlene, which were started June 16. Darlene DiPrito is the town clerk in Cromwell.

DiProto was originally arrested in May on federal charges of possession of child pornography. Later that month, police also found evidence that DiProto tied up a minor to a bed and may have had inappropriate contact with the child, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

DiProto is a former Middletown police officer who served from 1987 to 2009.

The federal case began when police got a complaint that a state police detective assigned to the Computer Crimes Unit logged onto a publicly available Internet file sharing network and downloaded images and videos of child pornography from a computer connected to the network with an IP address assigned to DiProto.

DiProto is set to appear in court on Sept. 24 in hopes of this time being with an attorney.

At a May 30 bond hearing, the federal court revoked DiProto’s $1 million bond, and he is currently in federal custody.

See Also:


WV - Ex-Pocahontas deputy (Bradley C. Totten) pleads guilty to sex crime

To protect and serve (NOT)
Original Article

07/16/2013

MARLINTON - A former Pocahontas County deputy faces up to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty on Monday to sexually abusing a child.

Bradley C. Totten, of Hillsboro, pleaded guilty to sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian. In exchange, prosecutors dropped 58 additional charges of sexual abuse.

The state agreed to drop those counts against him to keep the victims from having to testify in court, Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Brian Parsons said in a news release. Parsons was appointed as a special prosecutor to the case.

Totten is on home confinement, according to the release. He faces no less than 10 years and no more than 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 20. He would be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life upon his release from prison, according to the release.

Totten was indicted with 12 counts of sexual abuse in April 2012. Prosecutors added 47 more counts after more alleged victims came forward.


CA - Peninsula probation official (Stuart Forrest) collected child porn, prosecutor says

Stuart Forrest
Stuart Forrest
Original Article

07/17/2013

By Joshua Melvin

REDWOOD CITY - San Mateo County's former top probation officer "is a collector of child pornography," especially images featuring boys who are tied up and spanked, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

In her opening arguments Deputy Attorney General Johnette Jauron said Stuart Forrest, 61, had 470 images of naked boys ranging from 6 to 14 years old on computer equipment found at his San Mateo home and county office.

"He sought (it) out," she told jurors in San Mateo County Superior Court. "He had a particular fetish for it."

Forrest faces two felony counts of having child pornography, which carry a maximum penalty of three years, eight months behind bars and lifetime registration as a sex offender. Forrest retired from his job in December, after nearly three decades with the county, under the cloud of the investigation led by federal postal inspectors.

Forrest's attorney told jurors there's a simple reason for the child pornography on a work laptop computer found at Forrest's home and a thumb drive at his office: his job. Defense lawyer Jaime Leanos said his client had the images as part of his effort to draw up guidelines on human trafficking for a handful of probation officers.

Instead the investigators saw a man who was in charge of the probation department's $70 million budget and over 460 workers.

"Mr. Forrest was a big fish," he said. "They rushed to judgment."

Under state rules law enforcement agents can possess child pornography as long as it is part of an investigation, in the scope of training or other job-related purpose. Though San Jose police Sgt. Gregory Lombardo, a longtime investigator of crimes against children, testified it's unprofessional and troubling for a law enforcement agent to have the images at home.

Jauron said Forrest was trying to destroy some of those pictures hours after the San Jose police interviewed him and just before agents searched his San Mateo home. FBI agents detained him as he left the house with the laptop containing the images. One of the agents also saw him leave the house prior to that with a bag.

San Mateo County Sheriff's Lt. Ed Barberini testified he found Forrest holding a knife to his throat as his probation officer badge, wallet and a note were neatly arranged next to him. Forrest was upset and kept saying "I'm done," he said.

Barberini and a sheriff's sergeant tried to talk Forrest into putting the knife down, but he threatened them with it when they moved too close. As he noticed Forrest's neck bleeding the lieutenant made the call to stun him with a Taser. Forrest was subsequently taken to a hospital for psychiatric treatment.

When the struggle ended, Barberini read the note on the steps, which was written on the back of a San Jose police detective's business cards.

"Tell my family I'm better off," Barberini said as he read the note aloud in court. "My existence was just marking time until this moment. No more loneliness."

Forrest is out of jail on $100,000 bail. The prosecution's case is expected to continue Wednesday.

See Also:


NM - Ex-Missouri police officer (James Carney Ritterhoff) gets prison for child porn in New Mexico

James Carney Ritterhoff
James Ritterhoff
Original Article

07/16/2013

ALBUQUERQUE - An Albuquerque man who once was a police officer in Missouri, has been sentenced to federal prison for child pornography, prosecutors said Tuesday.

James Carney Ritterhoff, 40, was sentenced Monday to 7 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges, the U.S. attorney's office said in a release. He is to be on supervised release for 10 years after completing his incarceration and will be required to register as a sex offender.

Court documents show Ritterhoff is a former Aurora, Mo., police officer who was working as an armed money courier in Albuquerque when he was arrested in June 2011. He has been in federal custody since then. He pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography and admitted receiving two emails containing electronic images of child pornography.


KS - Judge overturns 15-year extension of sex offender's registration time

Ex post facto law
Original Article
Court Ruling (PDF)

07/16/2013

By Steve Fry

Offender's attorney thinks KBI, JoCo sheriff's office will appeal ruling

Citing the U.S. Constitution forbidding more punishment for a crime already resolved, a Shawnee County District Court judge has ordered two law enforcement agencies to terminate a man's additional 15-year offender registration requirement.

In addition, District Judge Larry Hendricks ordered the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Johnson County Sheriff's Office to "immediately delete" all information required by the Kansas Offender Registration Act that is publicly displayed about the man.

"I'm pleased with the ruling," Chris Joseph, the offender’s attorney, said Tuesday. "I think it's dead-on right with the law. Registration is clearly punishment, clearly punitive. When you change the rules after the fact, it's an ex post facto violation."

The registered offender was identified in district court records only as "John Doe." Doe sued KBI director Kirk Thompson and Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning.

As for Doe's reaction to the ruling, "he's very excited that he may be able to live a normal life in the near future," Joseph said.

Kirk T. Ridgway, an Overland Park attorney representing Denning, said Tuesday, "We're reviewing the opinion and have no comment at this time."

Assistant attorney general Christopher Grunewald, one of two attorneys representing Thompson, said he hadn't received the Doe ruling.

Joseph said he "has no doubt" the KBI and Johnson County Sheriff's Office will appeal Hendricks’ ruling. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of offenders, who are affected by the increased registration statute, Joseph said.

The Hendricks ruling isn't binding on other district court judges faced by the same set of circumstances.

But if the ruling is appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court and if that court would uphold the ruling, the KBI would have to remove everyone from its offender registry who had completed their original 10-year registration, Joseph said.

The offender registration of Doe stems from his guilty plea on Feb. 19, 2003, to a charge of indecent liberties with a child (touching). He was ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years until 2013.

But the Kansas Legislature amended the Kansas Offender Registration Act in 2011 to require offenders convicted of indecent liberties to register for 25 years, the Hendricks decision said.

Doe filed the lawsuit on Feb. 15, 2012, asking that Hendricks find Thompson and Denning couldn't enforce the 25-year registration period against Doe "because it violates the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution."

Hendricks agreed.

Provisions of the offender registration statute "have become oppressive to the point of punishment," Hendricks said in his 29-page ruling. "Therefore, the KORA's retroactive application assigns a new punitive measure to a crime already consummated, in violation of the ex post facto clause."

According to the 2011 statute, Doe was required by the Kansas statute to:
  • Register for 25 years until 2028.
  • Report in person four times a year in each jurisdiction he would live in, work or attend school, a potential total of 12 times a year.
  • Pay a $20 reporting fee each time and have his photograph taken.
  • Register within three days of changing residence, job or school.
  • Provide his address, phone numbers, vehicle, boat and aircraft information, professional licenses, palm prints, email address, online identities, membership in online social networks, and travel and immigration documents.
  • Notify law enforcement officers of any plans for international travel.
  • Face a potential conviction of a person felony for each violation of the law.

In affidavits, Doe and his wife said negative impacts of the offender registration law included concern that people who see his registered offender number on his driver's license, then deny him services or discriminate against him, loss of a job, landlords wouldn't rent to him, suffer a "strong sense of shame" and hopelessness, vandalism to his home, shunning of the offender's family, and impact of the registration on their children.

In opposing the lawsuit, Thompson and Denning contended the Kansas statute blocked Doe from being granted a court order relieving him from registering. The defendants also cited a U.S. Supreme Court case which upheld provisions of a retroactive Alaska offender registration law.

Hendricks said the Kansas statute was "significantly different" from Alaska’s.

Hendricks concluded the Kansas Offender Registration Act "is effectively punitive" and "is excessive in relation to its alleged purpose of protecting public safety. These provisions have become oppressive to the point of punishment. Therefore, the KORA's retroactive application assigns a new punitive measure to a crime already consummated in violation of the ex post facto clause."

See Also:


CA - BC student recants claim she was sexual assaulted

Original Article

Diigo Post Excerpt:
A Bakersfield College student who claimed she was sexually assaulted twice by a man on campus last week has recanted, saying the sex was consensual.

At 1:09 p.m. Tuesday, BC reported the student’s claim. But by 5 p.m. the college said Bakersfield police had determined that a crime had not been committed.

The female student said she was approached by the man on the north side of the Student Services building last Wednesday afternoon. She said the suspect walked her to the GET bus stop on Panorama Drive, then to the Fine Arts building, where he sexually assaulted her in a men’s restroom.

The woman claimed that some time after the first assault she left the building and encountered the man again and was assaulted a second time, in a men’s room of the Student Services building, she said.

The woman initially provided cops with a very detailed description of her alleged assailant.