Saturday, July 20, 2013

IL - Former cop sues woman over alleged false rape accusation

Original Article

Diigo Post Excerpt:
A former Chicago Police sergeant whose rape conviction was overturned in 2011 has filed a lawsuit against the woman who accused him.

John Herman filed the suit in Cook County Circuit Court Friday, claiming that the woman falsely accused him to get money from the city.

The woman had sued the city in federal court and received a $1.5 million dollar legal settlement, the Sun-Times reported at the time of the 2011 Illinois Appellate Court decision that overturned Herman’s conviction.

According to the suit, Herman had consensual sex with the woman in her apartment on March 9, 2004.

She later accused Herman of kidnapping her, driving to her apartment and forcing her to have sex with him at gunpoint, the Sun-Times reported.

Herman is claiming that the woman’s accusations and the resulting prosecution caused him to lose his job, damaged his reputation and caused him to serve four years in prison.

Herman was convicted of rape and sentenced to 25 years in prison, but the Illinois Appellate Court overturned the conviction on October 2, 2011, according to the suit.

The three-count suit charges the woman with malicious prosecution, abuse of process and defamation and asks for more than $100,000 in damages.

PA - Ban Sex Offenders From Living Near Schools

Lisa Boscola
Lisa Boscola
Original Article

The crime she talks about did not occur near a school, it was in the child's own front yard. So this law would not have prevented this, nor will it prevent any other crime in the future. It's just a way for a politician to attach their name to something to make themselves look good to the "sheeple."


By Daryl Nerl

State senator says her proposed legislation would limit opportunities for sexual predators.

The following is an opinion piece submitted for publication by state Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-18.

Recently, in Lancaster County, a 5-year-old girl was kidnapped from her front yard. She was heroically rescued by two teenage boys who discovered her in the backseat of a car driven by suspect [name withheld]. The boys pursued the vehicle on bicycles until [name withheld] released the girl and sped away.

The little girl was gone only two hours, yet tragically, was sexually assaulted during that time. [name withheld], a registered sex offender who previously served a 20 year sentence for abducting and raping another 5-year-old girl, only needed a split second opportunity to abduct the young girl - and he took it.

Making sure our children are safe is vital to me. Taking steps to assure that playgrounds, schools, and bus stops are safe places needs to be a paramount concern.

This heartbreaking story boils down to two fundamental issues; [name withheld], like many sexual predators, could not control his urges, and he had the opportunity to abduct an innocent 5-year-old girl to satisfy those urges.
- And it wasn't in front of a school either.

While we can argue about whether violent sexual offenders and predators can truly overcome their sickness and re-enter society, I believe it is imperative that we take stronger steps to protect those who cannot protect themselves. The truth of the matter is that these violent sexual predators do exist, and they are stalking our children.

Once a child is in a predator’s clutches, we are all powerless. No one can help. We failed that child. Our permissive and naïve approach to how we monitor sex offenders has relegated that child to the mercy of someone bent on hurting them. As a community, we are reduced to harrowing parental pleas and aimless searches that all too often culminate at landfills and shallow graves.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Click to enlarge
According to national statistics, approximately 2,000 children go missing every day. About 58,000 of these cases annually turn out to be non-family abductions. In these cases, the child is killed or never recovered nearly half of the time. While it is not my intent to frighten or alarm people by citing these numbers, these statistics speak volumes about the exposure and vulnerability of children in our society.
- Your intent is not to frighten?  Seems like that is the intent to us.  And the last we checked, most children are abducted from family members due to child disputes, divorce, etc.  We do not just take someone's word when they mention statistics without seeing the actual study they are referring to, which she did not mention, nor did the author link to.  See this study (PDF) for more info, or this web site.

Earlier this year, I re-introduced a legislative package aimed at making our children safer. One of my bills would ban sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, preschool, day care facility or public playground. The measure would also prohibit sex offenders from living within 500 feet from a school bus stop.

This legislation, while no magic bullet, accomplishes something that is extremely important; it limits opportunity. I strongly believe that imposing reasonable residency restrictions for sex offenders from places children congregate is a step in the right direction. In fact, 27 other states agree with me and have enacted similar legislation.
- Well if you look at the facts, most children who are sexually abused are not abused or kidnapped from any of the places she mentions.  Most are sexually abused by their own families or close friends, so in our opinion, this is just another feel good law a politician can attach their name to to help them look "tough" on crime while doing nothing.

Senate Bill 86 (PDF) provides families with an additional layer of protection knowing that sexual predators cannot reside next to places their children frequent. Through limiting opportunities for sexual predators, it is my hope that there will be fewer tragic cases like the one in Lancaster -- and that the most vulnerable members of our communities will be better protected.

STUDY: Throwing Kids In Jail Makes Crime Worse, Ruins Lives

Original Article

Diigo Post Excerpt:
Mass incarceration of American youth is actually making the country’s crime problem worse, according to a new study of Chicago youth incarceration.

The study, conducted by Anna Aizer of Brown University and Joseph Doyle, Jr. of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, examined roughly 35,000 former Chicago public school students who had now grown up. Aizer and Doyle picked Chicago because its random judge assignment system for juvenile cases allowed them to develop a way of studying truly random (and hence representative) samples of juvenile offenders by identifying judges more likely to hand down harsher sentences.

This method of identifying incarcerated youth allows them to compare groups of kids who committed crimes and went to jail with youth who committed similar offenses but didn’t do time. This helps eliminate the “if they went to jail, it’s because they were always criminals” explanation for why kids who go to jail might return as adults.

Inside Interrogation: The Lie, the Bluff and False Confessions

Wrongly Accused
Original Article

Conventional wisdom maintains that the “bluff” — an interrogation technique in which investigators state they have potentially damning evidence but do not claim that this evidence implicates the accused — is of little concern to the innocent falsely accused but can frighten the guilty into confessing. According to The Innocence Project, however, approximately 25% of convicted criminals ultimately exonerated had, in fact, confessed to the crime, as The Economist notes.

A 2010 study from CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice published in Law and Human Behavior, “Inside Interrogation: The Lie, the Bluff and False Confessions (PDF),” describes a series of laboratory experiments that test how the bluff technique correlates with confessions gained from innocent parties. Subjects were instructed to complete a task, then were falsely accused of a transgression such as crashing the computer or collaborating with a colleague to improve their task performance. The experiment introduced variables such as bluff evidence, false evidence and less-than-honest eyewitnesses to identify which were the most likely to prompt a confession.

Key study highlights include:
  • In the first test group, 43 of 71 subjects confessed to the experimenter that they had pressed a computer key they had been instructed to avoid when, in fact, they had not; an additional 10% admitted to pressing the key to a study observer. A second group that tested subject reactions to charges of cheating produced nearly identical percentages of false confessions.
  • In the first test group, “introduction of an innocence-affirming witness did not bluff participants from the accusations and pressures of the situation.”
  • In the second test group, “94% of participants expressed some degree of certainty in their own innocence: 24 (73%) were completely certain, 7 (21%) were somewhat to mostly certain; 2 (6%) said they were somewhat certain of their guilt. Despite the fact that most participants knew they were innocent, however, a majority agreed to confess.”
  • In the second test group, “75% of those who confessed in the bluff condition explicitly cited the bluff as the reason for that decision.” Reasons cited for the confession included wanting to finish the study and feeling sorry for the experimenter.
  • Ninety percent of subjects who believed that a hidden camera had captured their actions confessed, while only twenty-seven percent of control subjects did.

The study’s authors note that “innocent people who stand accused believe that their innocence will become apparent to others … which leads them to waive their Miranda right to silence and to an attorney.” However, they conclude that these experiments “convincingly demonstrate that use of the bluff tactic in an interrogation can induce compliant false confessions from innocent people. Importantly, however, additional research is needed to reassess the predicted effectiveness of the bluff on the true confession rates of perpetrators.”

Forgiveness is the best form of love

Forgiveness is the best form of love
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FL - PBSO sergeant (Mario Pradere) charged with lewd conduct in jail on $100,000 bail

Mario Pradere
Mario Pradere
Original Article (Video Available)

Another police officer from Florida? Wow, Florida is filled with police committing sexual crimes, as can be seen here.


By Alexandra Seltzer and Lannis Waters

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s sergeant arrested Thursday on allegations of lewd conduct involving a minor will have to post a $100,000 bond before he can be released, a judge ordered today.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Mario Pradere is facing charges of lewd or lascivious conduct and video voyeurism. The 50-year-old Wellington resident is alleged to have used his department-issued camera to make videos of the minor, a female younger than 16 at the time of the incidents.

The sheriff’s office has placed Pradere on administrative leave with pay. He’s worked at the sheriff’s office since 1991.

The sheriff’s office conducted the investigation over the past month. Pradere, who worked for the Riviera Beach police department for about two years before joining the sheriff’s office, most recently has been assigned to the Loxahatchee Groves area, sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said.

It was the second arrest within the past week of a law-enforcement officer with the sheriff’s office. Deputy Anthony Schillace, 45, was arrested July 12 on a domestic battery charge after he allegedly got into an altercation at a Wellington restaurant with his estranged wife and her boyfriend. He has been charged with two counts of simple battery.

We have over 4,000 employees and a certain percentage of them will make mistakes in life, some of them criminal,” a sheriff’s statement released after Pradere’s arrest read. “It’s a disappointment not tolerated by the sheriff or this department.”

According to Pradere’s arrest report, a teenage girl alleged that the sergeant massaged her feet while touching himself inappropriately. Pradere later admitted to fondling the girl’s feet and went as far as to describe his problem as a “fetish,” the probable-cause affidavit said. The girl also alleged that he secretly videotaped her in her bedroom while she was either dressing or disrobed.

The girl discovered Pradere’s department-issued video camera had been sitting on a shelf in her bedroom after she heard it shut off when its battery went dead, the arrest report said. The girl alleged that she found the camera hidden there a second time as well and in a similar position to the first time.

An unidentified person later recorded a conversation with Pradere in which the sergeant allegedly “admitted he bit and kissed (the girl’s) toes and it was a sexual thing,” the affidavit said.

In a second recorded conversation, Pradere allegedly admitted taking pictures of the girl’s feet and videotaping her naked. Pradere allegedly admitted storing the images on a disc but he said he had erased the disc and believed he had destroyed any copies of the images. In a note obtained by sheriff’s investigators, Pradere denied either sexually assaulting or battering the minor, but acknowledged there had been some form of touching, the arrest report said.

Once I started massaging her feet my fetish and sickness took over,” Pradere allegedly wrote.