Friday, November 15, 2013

MN - Two Harbors woman barred from picketing teen sex offender's home

Morning coffee and paper
Original Article

11/15/2013

By Tammy Francois

A Two Harbors woman threatened to stand outside the home of a juvenile registered sex offender on Halloween to warn trick-or-treaters after she says the criminal justice system failed to protect the community.

But before she could make good on her threat, she was served with a temporary restraining order barring her from making contact with the offender and his family. She must also keep at least a block away from his home.

According to court documents, all the parties are related. The victim is a child under the care of the woman making the complaint. The sex offender is the woman's 16-year-old step-brother. His two brothers, 19-year-old twins, have also been charged; one is awaiting sentencing, the other has yet to be tried.

The restraining order was taken out against the 32-year-old woman by the brothers and their parents, who are also the woman's father and stepmother. The News-Chronicle does not disclose the identity of victims of sex crimes. Because of the relationship of the parties, none can be named without identifying the victim.

The documents state that the woman's father and stepmother learned of her plan to protest on Halloween from posts on social media.

"(We) discovered through friends that (the woman) has posted on Facebook information about our juvenile son being a registered sex offender," the parents said in the document, acknowledging that their juvenile son is a sex offender.

But they say that the juvenile's case has been adjudicated, the 16-year-old has pleaded guilty and a sentence has been handed down. Their concern is that the woman "threatens or perhaps has 'outed' his registration in the school and community."

The cases against the two other brothers, are being handled as extended-jurisdiction juvenile cases since the crimes for which they've been charged were allegedly committed while they were juveniles. The woman said the victim was under 10 years old. Although they are now of age, a provision in the law extends the age that cases involving serious, violent or chronic offenders continue to be handled in the juvenile court system.

The woman said she is frustrated that the system seems to protect sex offenders at the expense of public safety. Though the 16-year-old is a registered sex offender, as a juvenile his record is not public.

"People think they know who sex offenders are," she told the Lake County News-Chronicle. "You see the teenage kid and the church-going, white picket-fence family and you just don't see it, but they're just really good at hiding it."

The family of the alleged perpetrators declined to comment for this story but expressed concern for all the parties involved.

The woman says she wants to see the laws changed so that the status of all offenders is made public.

She said the victim has "done everything right," with the child reporting the abuse more than once. She said that the child eventually disclosed the abuse to her, and that she then contacted authorities. The child underwent a forensic interview and a physical exam to collect possible DNA evidence and look for injuries.

The child, who the woman describes as brave and strong, "had to tell her story so many times," she lamented, adding that the victim has been seeing a therapist to process all that's happened. "It changed everything and it made victims of all of us." She said that her frustration motivated her to take matters into her own hands and warn trick-or-treaters.

The boys' parents, in turn, sought the court's protection from the woman's efforts to expose their sons' status.

"All of this mess has worked through the courts, but that is not enough for (her)," the petition reads.

The case illustrates the tension that experts say exists and has been debated for decades said Gary Keveles, a University of Wisconsin-Superior criminology professor.

"This is a fundamental issue in criminal justice," he said. "We have to make the hard decision about which trumps what. Does community protection trump fairness or does fairness trump community protection?"

On one side of the balance is the victim and her caregiver. Keveles acknowledged the "stunning betrayal they must have felt" when the sentence doesn't meet their expectations. On the other side is a justice system recognizing that most offenders will serve their sentences and return to their communities. The long-term protection of others, he said, sometimes lies in ensuring that offenders have the tools, education and treatment to become productive citizens. He noted, however, that trends shift as political winds change.

"Criminal justice is politics and politics can get awfully frustrating to deal with," he said.


IL - Woman (Kimberly M. Binnion) charged in connection with false rape report

Wrongly Accused Of A Sex Crime
Original Article

11/15/2013

TUSCOLA (JG-TC) - A Mattoon woman has been charged with disorderly conduct for reportedly making a false claim to police that she was raped in a rural Douglas County location last month.

Kimberly M. Binnion was served with a summons earlier this week and is scheduled for a hearing on Monday, according to Douglas County court records.

Binnion, 32, is accused of making the false report on Oct. 12, when she allegedly told police she was sexually assaulted by a man she picked up as a hitchhiker while she was driving between Mattoon and Arcola earlier that day.

During the following week, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office announced that the investigation didn’t support her claims and she then admitted that she made the false report.

The charge against Binnion is a felony offense that can result in a prison sentence of one to three years or up to 2½ years of probation when there’s a conviction.


SWEDEN Is Closing Prisons Due to Lack of People to Put In Them

Prison cells
Original Article

11/12/2013

As the prison population spirals out of control in the United States, Sweden finds itself with an interesting and opposite predicament: it has too many prisons and not enough prisoners. For this reason, the Scandinavian country recently decided to shutter four prisons and a remand center.

The issue isn't lack of crime in Sweden—in fact, the crime rate has actually increased slightly there—but rather a strong emphasis on rehabilitating criminals, rather than locking them up. The prison population declined 6 percent between 2011 and 2012. In the United States, by comparison, federal facilities are 40 percent over capacity.

The New York Times highlighted this contrast in an editorial last week describing what the U.S. can learn from European prisons, where the vast majority of stays are less than 12 months. In U.S. state prisons, for example, the average is three years. It's not just that prison stays are shorter in Europe, however; prisons treat prisoners differently, giving them more privacy and freedom, and generally gearing their time behind bars toward reentering society. And, at the end of the day, that produces better results than locking people up and throwing away the key.

See Also:


FL - Florida lawmakers say they will get tougher on sex offenders

Florida lawmakersOriginal Article

This is just more political grandstanding to make themselves look "tough" on crime while actually doing nothing except trampling constitutional rights.

11/13/2013

By Derek Gilliam

Florida lawmakers are likely to consider ways to toughen laws against suspected violent sex offenders in the wake of Donald Smith’s arrest in 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle’s abduction and death.

Convicted of sex crimes, Smith was released from prison less than a month before the arrest in the Perrywinkle case.

Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford recommended several changes Wednesday when he met with top-level legislators in Jacksonville.

State Senate President Don Gaetz and Speaker of the House Will Weatherford visited the Sheriff’s Office and said both the House and the Senate plan to introduce bills next March to toughen the law.

State Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, and Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, also spoke about what should be done to close loopholes in current law.

Rutherford said police should be involved during the evaluation process when convicted or suspected sex offenders’ commitment to a mental hospital is possible. He said police reports about the person’s behavior the day of arrest should be used during those evaluations.

He said the charging documents from the State Attorney’s Offices are used, but prosecutors write those documents based on what they think can be proved in a court of law.

Sometimes there are issues inside [the police reports] that never make it into a charging document,” he said. “… If you are only looking at the state attorney’s charging document, you are going to lose a lot of valuable information about this individual’s behavior on the street at the time they are arrested.”

He pointed out that police reports told a much different story from charging documents concerning Smith. A juvenile victim wasn’t allowed to testify by her parents after an attempted abduction by Smith, and he was allowed to plead to a lesser charge.

Rutherford also advocated for changes that would allow police to search homes during address verification of sex offenders; longer sentences for sexual offenses; and vehicle registration, including any vehicle that a sex offender would be able to access.
- If they are not on probation / parole, then you need a warrant to do this!

Currently, when someone is committed following a prison sentence, probation runs while receiving treatment. Rutherford said that shouldn’t be the case.

LAWMAKERS WEIGH IN
Bradley said a bill he plans to sponsor will address that issue and others Rutherford advocated at the meeting.

Gibson called it troublesome that sex offenders aren’t treated in prison, and only receive treatment if civilly committed.
- It may be true that they don't get treatment in prison (some do), but saying they don't get treatment unless committed is simply false!  Treatment is usually mandatory once the offender gets out of prison, committed or not.

There’s something wrong, I think, in that scenario,” she said. “When we have them, we should be able to start treatment sooner rather than later.”

Adkins noted that people with mental illness can be civilly committed without being convicted, but then let out of the hospital later. She called it a loophole.

Rutherford agreed and said that’s a reason why he wants police included in the evaluation process of civil commitment.

Show me a bank robber, that’s what bank robbers do. Show me a sexual predator, that’s what they are,” Rutherford said. “I think you can change what people do. I’m not sure you can change who people are.”
- So I guess you are saying that once you are an ignorant or corrupt politician, you will always be an ignorant or corrupt politician?  That is simply not true, and it's not true for what you mentioned above as well.

Weatherford said, “Obviously, there are some loopholes with the law that are allowing people to get out that have problems.” He said lawmakers have an obligation to protect the people, especially children.
- You will NEVER be able to predict who will or won't re-offend, so stop trying!

Gaetz said he has never seen evidence that a “serial, violent sexual predator” has been cured.

I think the sheriff hit it right on the head when he said ‘This is who they are,’ ” Gaetz said.
- Well that is your opinion which we disagree with.


OH - New policy to track homeless sex offenders

Homeless sex offenders
Original Article

A policy implemented by the sheriff is NOT A LAW and the ex-offenders do not need to comply with it, in our opinion!

11/14/2013

By Caryn Golden

A News Center 7 investigation last year uncovered there were more convicted sex offenders registered as homeless living in Montgomery County, than any other county in Ohio.

Sex offenders registered as homeless in May 2012:
  • 57 in Montgomery County
  • 28 in Cuyahoga County
  • 22 in Hamilton County
  • 39 in Franklin County

Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer blamed the high numbers on what he described as a loophole in the state's sex offender registration law that allows offenders to claim they are homeless, keeping them from providing an actual address.
- The "loophole" as the media likes to call it, is the residency restrictions.  Delete the residency restrictions (where someone can live) and they can then find a job and home, more than likely.

When a sex offender has no address, notification cards are not sent to residents and the offenders are essentially allowed to roam free. The homeless designation also makes it difficult for deputies to track down an offender when they do registration compliance checks.

Last year, Sheriff Plummer said he was not satisfied with roaming sex offenders and wanted a change in the law.

"I want an address, a roof over their head when I can go knock on the door at 3 a.m. and he's in that house," said Sheriff Plummer.
- Then like we said, you need to eliminate the residency restrictions!

The law has not changed since our report last year, but the Sheriff did implement a new policy. He is now requiring convicted sex offenders who claim they are homeless to check in at the sheriff's office once a day to provide a location where they will be spending that night.
- Since when is the sheriff able to implement his own draconian punishment?  I'd tell the sheriff that if it is not a law then he can stick it, I'll register when the law says I should register!

At last check, there is a significant drop in the number of sex offenders registering as homeless compared to last year.

Sex offenders registered as homeless November 2013:
  • 36 in Montgomery County
  • 28 in Cuyahoga County
  • 35 in Hamilton County
  • 54 in Franklin County

Sgt. Julie Stephens is in charge of all sex offender registration for the county. She believes the drop is directly connected to the now-required daily check-ins.
- Which are not laws!  Ex-offenders need to say "Sorry, unless it's a law, then I will not comply with your requests!"

"They are more actively seeking housing. They are looking for more resources to help them find housing, and we're helping them connect with those resources. It's created a significant decrease from November of last year to May of this year," said Sgt. Stephens.

Registered sex offender _____ said he's been checking in every day for five months after serving a 9-year prison sentence for rape and kidnapping.

"I can't find employment. I've put in applications all over. As soon as you put in that your a felon, it blocks you," said Spurlock. "I'm trying to find work, find someone willing to give a man an opportunity."

Spurlock's daily routine includes walking nearly five miles to check in at the sheriff's office in the morning, walking to eat lunch at the House of Bread, and walking another five miles back to his tent in Jefferson Township.

If he finds work, he is allowed to call in to the sheriff's office.

Recently, Dayton Police discovered a homeless sex offender sleeping in a vacant house in South Park, approximately 500 feet from a daycare.

A mother of two young boys in the area was alarmed to hear of the discovery.

"They just don't know where they are. They can barely keep track of them, let alone homeless people living in vacant houses. That makes it even worse," said Kimberly Wood. "They could do anything to anybody inside a vacant house."
- Sure they could, but statistics show they don't!  And they could do this also even if they had their own home or were not in a vacant lot!


NJ - Online teen 'revenge porn' on rise, prosecutors tell Union County schools

Revenge Porn
Original Article

11/14/2013

By Sergio Bichao

Teen couples have been breaking up for generations. But social networking has warped the timeless high school heartbreak into a dangerous new X-rated form.

It’s called “revenge porn,” where jilted lovers make public sexual images that were meant to be private — sort of like celebrity sex tapes, except these involve boys and girls as young as 12.

Law enforcement officials in Union County say the problem is on the rise in Central Jersey.

Many consider New Jersey on the forefront of addressing school bullying since a 2011 law passed in response to the 2010 suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, whose roommate, Dharun Ravi, was convicted last year of using a webcam to spy on Clementi during a gay tryst.

But school and law enforcement officials here continue struggling to address the growing trend of teens using technology to spread naked images of themselves, sometimes consensually and sometimes not.

Schools are doing a great job dealing with traditional bullying, but the challenge is cyberbullying” and other invasions of privacy made possible with widespread technology, said Union County Assistant Prosecutor Susan Gleason.

School administrators who already have to prepare for school shooting scenarios and be wise to the latest method of choice for teens looking to get high, now have to be on the lookout for compromising images — technically child pornography — making the rounds in and off their campuses.

It is important because nobody wants to be in that position where they got some report and nobody took it seriously and you’re going to be interviewed after someone commits suicide. That’s my greatest fear,” said Gleason, who participated Thursday morning at Kean University in a Prosecutor’s Office forum for school leaders on this subject. State officials are considering having similar forums in other counties.


SC - Robbery was motive in killing of man at Myrtle Beach motel, warrant says (Or so they say!)

Mitchell Weatherall & Joey Garsow
Original Article (Two Videos Available)

11/14/2013

MYRTLE BEACH (WBTW) - Two men have been charged in connection with a Myrtle Beach motel homicide of a Hemingway man who was a registered sex offender, Myrtle Beach Police say.

Now, authorities say the incident happened during a robbery, according to an arrest warrant.

According to a press release, officers were notified of a homicide at the Atlantic View motel on Flagg Street in Myrtle Beach on Monday.

Officers said the victim of the crime, a 57-year-old, was not located until late Tuesday afternoon.

The body was found on Postal Way, a road parallel to US 501 that links Carolina Forest shopping areas to Carolina Forest High School, police say.

Mitchell Monroe Weatherall, age 32, was charged with murder on Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday morning, Weatherall appeared in front of a judge for an unrelated shoplifting charge. Bond was set at the maximum penalty of $1,092 for that charge. Weatherall remains in jails and awaits a bond hearing with a circuit court judge for the murder charge.

Joey Raymond Garsow, age 24, was charged with accessory after the fact of a felony.

Garsow remains in jail on a $50,000 bond.

An arrest warrant for Weatherall said that the killing happened in room 124, but a "supplemental report" from police said the incident happened in room 125. Police later confirmed the alleged killing happened in room 125.

"Subsequent info revealed the defendant killed the victim ... with malice aforethought during the commission of a robbery," the warrant said.

According to another arrest warrant, Garsow admitted to assisting Weatherall in the disposal of _____'s body in a post Miranda recorded interview. Garsow said he help moved the body to a vehicle so that Weatherall could dispose of it.

The victim was identified Tuesday night as being a convicted sex offender and is listed in the SC sex offender registry, Capt David Knipes of Myrtle Beach Police said.

According to the SC Sex Offender registry, _____ was convicted of a crime in Georgia in 1992. He was last verified at his Hemingway address on Oct. 17, according to the registry.

Police are looking for a 1999 white Toyota Corolla with white paper tags and red writing. They believe this vehicle is connected to the crime.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Myrtle Beach Police Department. Count on News 13 to bring you any updates.


GA - Appling woman (Mindy Rickerson Readdy) charged with making false rape claim

Mindy Rickerson Readdy
Mindy Rickerson Readdy
Original Article

11/14/2013

By Valerie Rowell

An Appling woman was arrested Wednesday and charged with falsely accusing two men of sexually assaulting her, authorities said.

Mindy Rickerson Readdy, 32, was charged with making a false report of a crime and making false statements.

On Oct. 31, Readdy called authorities about 2 a.m., claiming her 19-year-old boyfriend put a knife to her throat and raped her in their bedroom. She said her boyfriend, Cody Carson, told her he’d get away with raping her because he is her boyfriend.

Carson was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and spent two weeks in jail. He was cleared of the allegations and released Wednesday, according to Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris.

In April, Readdy had told authorities that a friend physically forced her to perform oral sex on him while they watched a movie at her home. Her friend was never arrested.

Morris said both sex acts were consensual and that Readdy admitted she lied about them.

Readdy was being held Thursday in the Columbia County Detention Center on an $11,700 bond, according to jail records.