Saturday, November 9, 2013

FL - Public Defender Says Putting Minors On Sex Offender Registry Increases Recidivism

Juvenile sex offenders
Original Article

10/09/2013

By RYAN BENK

House lawmakers Wednesday attempted to square the state’s sex offender laws with the prospect of what to do with juveniles who break them.

Fourth Circuit Public Defender Rob Mason argued before the subcommittee that trying minors in the adult justice system only makes it more likely that they will re-offend. What’s more, he claimed any children placed on sex offender registries become more likely, not less, to commit a similar crime again.

Research shows that the re-offense rate of children who commit sex offenses is extremely low. However, the harm done by forcing a child to register for life – a juvenile sex offender, is great,” Mason said.
- It's extremely low for adults as well.

Mason cited a recent Human Rights Watch study that showed children as young as twelve were registered as sex offenders in 20 states. Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice is currently one of only three agencies that can recommend a person be placed in the state’s sexually violent predator program.


FL - Nudist dad facing child porn charges says photos are 'family portraits'

Nudist colonyOriginal Article (Video Available)

11/06/2013

By Paula McMahon

A South Florida nudist, arrested on charges that he helped take pornographic photographs of his three young daughters and shared them with other men, is putting on an unusual defense.

_____, 53, who was living at a nudist colony in Palm Beach County, is arguing that there is nothing pornographic about the pictures and that they are regular family portraits of a naturist family.

Federal prosecutors say they believe several of the photographs are clearly inappropriate and the final judgment call should lie with a trial jury. A grand jury has already voted there was enough evidence to indict _____ on one count of producing child pornography and one count of receiving child pornography.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bill Matthewman agreed with the U.S. Attorney's Office after reviewing the photographs during a hearing Wednesday in federal court in West Palm Beach.

"Several of these photos the court has reviewed are lascivious. … They are, in the court's opinion, sexually explicit," Matthewman said.

The judge ordered _____ detained without bond pending his trial — on the grounds that he is a serious flight risk and poses "a clear risk of danger to the community, and specifically to his daughters."

Federal agents from Homeland Security Investigations began scrutinizing _____ earlier this year when they found inappropriate photographs of his daughters on a computer that belonged to _____, 44, a neighbor of _____ in the private, gated Sunsport Gardens Family Naturist Resort in Loxahatchee Groves in western Palm Beach County. The girls were between ages 8 and 12 when the photographs were taken, prosecutors said.


CA - Sex crimes detective (Anthony "Tony" Fregger) loses job, faces jail for sex crime

Anthony "Tony" Fregger
Anthony "Tony" Fregger
Original Article

11/08/2013

By Eric Kurhi

SAN JOSE - A San Jose police detective assigned to the sex crimes unit lost his job and will serve at least six months in jail after he pleaded guilty Thursday to swapping sexually explicit photos with a teenage girl, prosecutors said.

Tony Fregger, 34, turned himself in on July 11, a month after his computer was seized by authorities. Investigators discovered that he had a Facebook exchange with someone he knew was a minor, and solicited and received explicit photos from the girl.

According to court documents, in January 2011 she wrote, "I'm 17 and my birthdays (sic) in February," although her true age was 16.

Fregger replied, "You' 17!? Oh man, I thought u were like 21! Lol!"

"Certainly as a police officer in the sex crimes unit, he knew what he was doing was illegal," said Santa Clara County prosecutor David Ezgar. "He knew that better than anyone else."

Ezgar said the charge covers Fregger's conduct from the moment he knew the girl was underage until her 18th birthday in 2012.

He would not comment on whether the relationship lasted past that point, or if it ever became physical in nature.

The maximum sentence for the charge of "distributing or exhibiting harmful matter to a minor" is three years in jail. As a condition of his plea, Fregger agreed to resign from the police force. He had worked as a San Jose officer since 2005.

"He has paid a severe price," said Ezgar. "He has lost his job, his reputation and will be incarcerated like the criminals he used to investigate."

Fregger's defense attorney could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

He will be sentenced on Feb. 21. At that time, the judge will determine whether the crime will be reduced to a misdemeanor, which would mean Fregger would not have to register for life as a sex offender.

Ezgar said there is no indication that Fregger engaged in similar conduct with other minors.


CA - Parents warned about sexting epidemic at schools

Sexting
Original Article

11/08/2013

By Jaime Chambers

SAN DIEGO - Scores of parents gathered at Cathedral Catholic Thursday to learn more about the sexting epidemic police say is sweeping through the schools in San Diego.

San Diego police told those at the meeting that students are using smartphones to take and exchange nude photos of classmates.They urged parents to talk with their children about the lasting damage to their reputations that sharing the illegal photos could cause.

This is an awkward conversation to have with your kid, I know that, but it’s a conversation that needs to happen,” said SDPD Officer Jordan Wells.

Cathedral Catholic is one of seven schools where students are currently being investigated sexting.

Thirty students are facing charges of possessing child pornography and police said arrests could happen at anytime.

Police said if parents see a cell phone app called “PhotoVault” this could be a red flag that the teen has illicit pictures on their phone.


Sexual abuse by doctors: More common than we think

Sexual abuse by doctors
Original Article

03/25/2013

By Silvia Casabianca

Former Dancing with the Stars contestant Maria Menounos recently revealed during an appearance in the Howard Stern Show, that she’d been a victim of sexual abuse by several physicians during physical examinations. In January this year, a Chicago gynecologist, Bruce Sylvester Smith, was found guilty of raping a pregnant woman while performing an exam in 2002. Another of his patients, Tameka Stokes, revealed in 2010 that Smith raped her during a pelvic exam 10 years before.

The Chicago Tribune published Stoke’s story as part of a series denouncing the state’s failures to apply discipline for sexual misconduct by doctors.

On February 20, former Texas mental health counselor Sheila Loven was sentenced to 10 years probation, guilty of sexually assaulting a male patient that first came to her for marriage therapy with his wife. After counseling them as a couple for a while, she started to see them separately, advising the wife to get a divorce while secretly dating the husband.

A couple of years ago, a renowned Boston pediatrician, Melvin D. Levine took his life. A lawsuit claimed that Levine performed unnecessary genital exams on 40 boys while at Children’s Hospital Boston from 1966 to 1985. It took more than 25 years for the doctor to be charged.

Technically, sexual abuse occurs when physicians become involved in personal relationships with their patients; when using their position of power, they represent sexual contact as part of care or treatment and also when they blatantly assault vulnerable people, as in the case of minors, disabled or unconscious patients.


TX - East Texas Parole Officer (Barry Porter Griffith) Gets Prison For Porn

To serve and protect?  NOT!Original Article

11/07/2013

TYLER (AP) - An East Texas parole officer has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison for using his state-owned computer to view child pornography.

Prosecutors in Tyler say 45-year-old Barry Porter Griffith of Flint pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession of child pornography. He was sentenced to 42 months in prison.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice network engineers in October 2012 detected significant bandwidth being used to view pornography. Officials traced the usage to Griffith’s computer and then remotely viewed websites that he was accessing from his office.

Griffith, when confronted by law officers, surrendered two personal computers that also contained child pornography images.

Flint is about 100 miles southeast of Dallas.