Friday, December 6, 2013

WA - King County workers raise concerns over sex offender office

Paranoid
Original Article

12/06/2013

By CHRIS INGALLS

SEATTLE - There’s one place in downtown Seattle where you are sure to find a steady flow of sex offenders, and King County employees who work in the building aren’t happy about it.

Six months after the King County Sheriff moved his sex offender registration office to the second floor of the King County Administration Building, employees say they still don’t feel safe.

There are places in the building that are kind of isolated. It’s a little worrisome,” said county employee Deborah Kennedy. Even though she doesn’t work in the administration building, she says many employees have concerns about the 400 or so homeless sex offenders that are required to check in at the office each week.

Teamsters local 117 has raised the issue with county leadership on behalf of the 300 or so unionized employees that work in the administration building at 500 4th Avenue. But union officials say the county has done little to address those concerns.

In June, the Sheriff’s Office moved the sex offender registration office out of the King County Courthouse. For years, sex offenders had to pass through metal detectors and register at an office right near the courthouse entrance that had armed deputies outside.

Sheriff John Urquhart says the hallway was too congested and the little used office on the north side of the county administration building was a better place to get sex offenders in and out quickly.

I don’t think there’s any danger whatsoever, if that’s what they’re worried about,” said Sheriff Urquhart. “This is a relatively unused entrance to the administration building. There are two other entrances.”
- Glad to hear a sheriff say this!  Sex offenders have a low recidivism rate, and this is pure paranoia!

Urquhart said there have been no problems at the new location and county officials have held meetings with concerned employees.

However, the union said some workers remain fearful.
- That's their problem!

(I) don’t feel safe alone in the elevator,” said one employee in an email written to the union.
- Then don't get in the elevator alone!

Level 2 sex offender _____ said workers have nothing to fear, after he had just checked in at the county building.

Some of us, we’re not bad. We just made wrong mistakes, you know. Some of us, just don’t look at us like that,” said Tautolo.


WA - ACLU Sues over Mesa Woman's (Donna Zink) Quest for Sex Offender List

Donna Zink
Donna Zink
Original Article

12/06/2013

By Kevin Shaub

KENNEWICK - The American Civil Liberties Union sued Friday to stop the Washington State Patrol from granting the request of a woman in Franklin County who wants the WSP to release the names and addresses of low level sex offenders.

Attorneys for the ACLU filed the lawsuit in King County Superior Court. The WSP is scheduled to release the approximately 20,000 names and other information to Donna Zink on December 10.

Zink, who lives in Mesa and is a former mayor of the city, says the names, addresses and phone numbers of level-one offenders should be made public as they are for the most serious level-three offenders.

Attorneys representing several low level offenders believe the information is exempt from public disclosure laws.

At her initial request in July, Franklin County turned over to Zink its list of registered sex offenders, but Benton County refused.

In order to get Benton County's information on sex offenders, Zink filed a request with the state patrol.

During Friday's hearing, Zink asked Superior Court Judge Vic Vanderschoor to impose a permanent injunction to prevent other agencies from filing similar lawsuits.


Enduring Shame: A Sex Offender's Journey Through America's Legal System

Enduring ShameOriginal Article

Sometimes a person’s life can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye. In 2012, the author was a 49-year-old family man who had a penchant for having erotic online chats with women until one chat went too far. After being lured to a face-to-face meeting, the author found himself handcuffed and riding in the back of a police car.

"Enduring Shame: A Sex Offender’s Journey Through America’s Legal System" is a first-person account detailing the author’s obsession with online chatting, an obsession that led to his being arrested and put in jail. As a result, the author was convicted of two felony counts and required to register as a sex offender — even though he had never been in trouble with the law before in his life. As frightening as it may sound, the author’s experience could have happened to anyone.

The book raises many questions: What is the definition of a sex offender? How far should a police officer be allowed to go to get a previously law-abiding citizen to commit a crime? What happens to a sex offender after conviction? And finally, how can a person remove the stigma of being a registered sex offender and try to move on with his life?

The author, who published the book anonymously, gives an unflinching look at what it is like to go through the legal system, to be on probation, and to go through sex offender treatment. Although names and locations have been changed as a way to protect the author’s family, every other detail of the book is true.


MN - Can Registered Sex Offenders Live Where They Want?

Questions
Original Article

12/06/2013

Can a registered sex offender live where ever they want? We got a call from a viewer about a registered sex offender living on the same block with a school and a daycare. So what are the laws of the land? Valley News team's Eric Crest finds out.

Nearly 300 registered sex offenders live in the F-M area.

"More often than not even low risk sex offenders are probably going to be on probation whether it's a year or more," says Sgt. Gail Wishmann of the Cass County Sheriff's Office.

As part of their sentence, they have to keep tabs with their PO, their probation officer. Who won't necessarily let them live where ever they want.

"They take a number of things into consideration," says Sgt. Wishmann.

Like where does the victim live in proximity to the predator.
- Not all registrants are predators!

"Perhaps where did the incident happen at? Where does the victim now live? Where does the victim work?" Explains Sgt. Wishmann.

But as far as a law on the books, that says no sex offenders can live next to a school or daycare. Minnesota and North Dakota are the same.

"There's no law as far as how close you can live to schools or daycare," says Sgt. Wishmann.

With one exception, if the offender is on probation it might be a part of their restrictions.

"Now if somebody is convicted and their moving and decide I am going to live right next door to a daycare, and their on probation. There's a good possibility that the probation officer will not allow that," says Sgt. Wishmann.

In other circumstances the outcome may be surprising though.

"Some people are surprised cause why should they have that right. Well, if they own a home there and have lived there their whole lives do we really expect them to sell their home and move?" Asks Sgt. Wishmann.

So if a registered sex offender isn't on probation there's little restricting them on where they live. But you can always contact your local sheriff's office to find out or visit your counties website.

The Cass County Sheriff's office says they regularly receive calls about where sex offenders can live and here's the surprising part, they come from both concerned parents and convicted offenders themselves, who are trying to stay within compliance with the law.


Take a Step Back

Take a step back
Original Article

12/06/2013

Are you too close to the problem to see the answers are there too many trees to understand the forest. I was once told to understand a piece of artwork that I should look at it closely and then take a step back and look at it from a distance and compare the two.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the statement “walk a mile in his shoes”. But how many people are actually willing to step outside of their comfort zone and do this for a reality. Most are unwilling to see the other person’s point of view. Especially when it violates their concept of right and wrong, whether that view of right or wrong is based on past experiences, ethnic, cultural, or religious believes or outright bigotry.

Here is the real problem. Sometimes we get so caught up in our belief system, whatever its basis on, that we are unwilling to accept challenges to our belief system, even though it is detrimental to us and those we profess to care about. Think of it this way you go through life looking through a windshield. Your belief system are stickers that you place on that windshield. Some examples might be; “It’s okay to drink and drive, because I know when to quit.” or “I’m doing the right thing because I’m a Christian and have been forgiven.” or “Most Muslims are probably terrorists.” or “It’s okay to break laws and put others at risk because I’m better at deciding what is right and wrong than others.” Have you got so many stickers on your windshield that you can’t see the road anymore?

Until we are willing to take a look at those stickers that we have placed on our windshield and see if they are damaging our lives and the lives of others, we will not grow as individuals, and our country will continue to crumble under self righteous indignation.

We seem to be at a crossroads. What lies ahead of us is not just a choice to go left or right or straight ahead, but also the one that brought us to this crossroad. I believe that the only one that we should take is the one that will lead us back to what this country was founded on, what the Bill of Rights and the Constitution were originally based on, small government and the right of individuals to be free from the power of the state.


OH - Ohio House Supports Cyberstalking Bill

CyberstalkingOriginal Article

Wonder if this goes for all the vigilantes who have been attacking and harassing registrants and their families?

12/05/2013

COLUMBUS - Victims of cyberstalking and other technology-based harassment would get better protection under a bill that is winning overwhelming support in the Ohio House.

House Bill 74 (PDF) would make it illegal to urge or incite menacing by stalking through any form of written communication, including electronic communication. It includes any written or verbal graphic gestures.

The bill also would prohibit a person from knowingly causing someone to think the offender will cause his or her immediate family physical or mental harm. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio prosecutors and the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio support it.

State Rep. Marlene Anielski, a Republican from Walton Hills, on Wednesday shared the story of a constituent who suffered through electronic harassment by a neighbor without any legal recourse.


Inside Edition Investigates Mugshot Websites

Inside Edition
Original Article

11/19/2013

Are some websites extorting people to remove their mugshots?

Diane from Ohio, who asked us not to us her last name, was arrested and charged with domestic violence six years ago. Her mug shot was taken, and that unflattering photo was soon splattered all over the web. And although the charges were later dismissed, Diane says her mug shot remains online.

I was just beside myself. I could not believe this was happening,” said Diane. “I thought this was behind me, and then one day my daughter sends a picture and it was my mugshot.”

She's not alone. INSIDE EDITION found many people who are also haunted by online mug shots from the past.

Stephen Celeste is the son of the ex-Governor of Ohio. He says ten years after a misdemeanor drug charge was expunged from his record, his mug shot is also still online.

I was embarrassed and shocked. It's outlandish,” said Celeste.

Musician Jeff Loose says he was wrongly arrested on drug charges, but his mug shot is still splattered on the web.

I didn’t do anything wrong. I was wrongly arrested. It’s not fair at all,” said Loose.

And Princess Matthews says the prevalence of her six-year-old mug shots online has caused her daughter constant bullying at school.

It's heartbreaking,” said Matthews.

Despite trying to remove them, their mug shots linger on websites like bustedmugshots.com and mugshotsonline.com. “Every time I apply for a job, I worry are they are going to Google me and see this,” said Diane.

So how does a woman like Diane get that nasty mug shot removed? After all, she was cleared of all charges. You'd think it would be easy. But it turns out many of those websites charge big bucks to delete the mugshots.

Celeste said, “This is ridiculous, its extortion to ask me to pay to have my mug shot removed.”

When you click the 'unpublish' button on mugshots.com, it takes you to a website that charges $399.00 to remove one mug shot.

Ohio attorney Scott Ciolek has now filed a class action lawsuit on their behalf against bustedmugshots.com and similar websites, alleging they've extorted 'millions of dollars' by unlawfully charging mug shot removal fees.

It has destroyed the lives of a number of my clients. The nature of what they're doing here is as if someone is setting your house on fire and then charging you for the water to put it out,” said Ciolek.

Kyle Prall is the co-owner of bustedmugshots.com and for years he's been charging people $178.00 dollars for the 'rush removal' of mug shots, that is, he was charging people until we caught up with him.

INSIDE EDITION’s Lisa Guerrero asked Prall, “Are you charging people to have their mug shots taken off your site?

No were not, we changed the policy today,” said Prall.

Guerrero said, “Just today, really?

Yes,” replied Prall.

Imagine that! All it took was few questions from the I-Squad and his policy is changed!

Prall continued: “The point is everybody gets arrested, a lot of people get arrested.”

Guerrero said, “Everybody doesn’t get arrested sir, apparently you do. I've never been arrested, you've been arrested at least six times.”

That's right, the I-Squad found Prall has six mug shots! But he’s never posted any of his own photos on his mug shot websites.

Guerrero asked, “Why aren't your mug shots on your own site?

I tried to get my mug shots from the police department, that police department declined,” said Prall.

Really? They had no problem giving them to us.

Guerrero said, “That's hypocritical isn't it.”

He replied, “No, it’s not, because actually we can’t put this low quality on there.”

Prall says his websites aren't extorting anyone and claims he's doing a public service by actually helping police solve crimes.

Retired police detective Steve Kardian says these websites are just trying to cash in on people who've already paid their debt to society.

This is in no way shape or form assisting law enforcement. Websites like this should be taken down. It’s a classic extortion scheme,” said Kardian

The mug shot websites deny any wrongdoing. And since we spoke to Mr. Prall, his websites are no long accepting payment for any record removal.


Sex Offender Reintegration (Pod Cast)

CSH News
Original Article

12/06/2013



This week, we'll discuss reintegration. Once deemed a "sex offender" or worse, a "sexually violent predator," how can you start over as a member of society? Most go through this process alone. But in recent years, programs.have been popping up all over the world & in several U.S. states.

We'll discuss the difficult process of reingrating without help. See this experience through the eyes of Derek Logue, Author of Once Fallen. His life after incarceration and the many difficulties he faced led to activism. He then wrote the book, detailing his struggles. Derek's detailed web site is at: OnceFallen.com. You may also purchase his book here.

We will also delve into a successful reintegration program that's near Coalinga State Hospital. Circles of Support and Accountability or COSA got its start in Canada and now has successful branches in the UK as well as in MN, among others. Our guest Frank Juarez has worked with COSA in Fresno, CA and will discuss his experiences. Please visit COSA Fresno at http://peace.fresno.edu/cosa/.

Join us for this informative show--find out what can happen when the community & volunteers help the newly freed men find their place in society. What a difference it can make for all involved!

Note: In the coming months, CSH News will be highlighting other similar programs. If there's one you'd like to see on the show, please email us using the link at the top of CSHNews.com.


DC - Cop (Marc Washington) Arrested For Making Child Porn

Marc Washington
Marc Washington
Original Article

12/03/2013

A D.C. cop has been arrested and charged with making child pornography.

Charging documents (PDF) obtained by WUSA9 allege that Metropolitan Police Department Officer Marc Washington took naked photographs of a 15-year-old girl at the beginning of December.

The girl had been reported missing by her mother a few days earlier, according to the charging documents. Washington was the officer to take the mother's report at her apartment, and also received the mother's phone call asking for the girl to be taken off the missing persons list on Dec. 1.

Later that day, say police, Washington returned to the apartment. He asked to speak with the girl privately, purportedly to talk to her about where she'd been. Inside her bedroom, the documents allege, Washington asked the girl to remove her shirt and bra in order to photograph any injuries she may have suffered -- even though the girl told Washington that she didn't have any injuries. She complied with his requests, and he photographed her without her shirt on.

Washington then asked the girl to take off her boxer shorts and underwear in order take pictures of tattoos on her hips, for "identification purposes," according to the documents, and he photographed her vagina.

After Washington left the apartment, the girl told her mother what happened, and the mother called 911. When Washington learned of the call, he deleted the photos of the girl, but these -- along with "numerous images of unidentified individuals," at least two of whom appear to be minors, according to police -- were recovered on the camera by police.

Washington, who the AP reports has been with D.C.'s police force since 2006, was arrested by D.C.'s Youth Investigations Division and the Internal Affairs Bureau on Monday.

We invest a great amount of time and effort to ensure that we are hiring the right people and we continue to proactively monitor integrity across the department,” Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said in a statement. “But to learn of an allegation of this kind against a person who is sworn to protect our children, it is both shocking and disturbing. We are fortunate that someone came forward to alert us of this behavior to ensure that we prevent future victims.”

The police are investigating if Washington was involved in other "similar offenses," according to a news release, and asking anyone with information to contact the department.

See Also:


CANADA - Top court to weigh whether Ontario’s sex-offender registry should be public

Newspaper and coffee
Original Article

12/04/2013

By SEAN FINE

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Thursday over whether to allow the public to view information in an Ontario government registry of sex offenders, the latest development in a four-year battle that pits the right to know against fears of vigilantism.

A journalist, Patrick Cain, is seeking information about the number of registered sex offenders who live in particular communities. Ontario is strongly opposed, arguing that vigilantes will hunt down sex predators, and the offenders will stop reporting in to police.

Offenders fear the public more than they fear the police,” Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Service and Social Services says, in a document filed with the Supreme Court. It says that offenders trust the police to protect their confidentiality, and that the court should give the government “a margin of appreciation,” without asking for proof that vigilantism would occur.

Thursday’s hearing comes as the Conservative government is set to introduce the Tougher Sentences for Child Predators Act, which would let the public view some information on high-risk child predators in a federal registry – but only those whom police have warned the public about. (Those warnings include the names of communities, but not specific addresses.)

The limited openness in dispute at the Supreme Court would be a far cry from the huge amounts of information on tap in the United States, in which interactive maps featuring names, pictures and Google street views are available in many jurisdictions, and e-mail alerts can be requested when new offenders move into neighbourhoods.

It makes life very difficult – they can be shunned, they can lose their job, they can lose their housing,” said James Jacobs, who specializes in criminal law and procedures at New York University School of Law. On the other hand, “a person would like to know who’s living next door, and who is inviting their kids over for lemonade.”

Mr. Cain is seeking information on the numbers of offenders in postal code areas (first three characters only). An average of nearly 25,000 people live in each area – but the smallest area has 400. Ontario’s registry covers a wide range of sex offences, from exposure to rape at gunpoint.

Ontario argues that the data could be used to help identify names of offenders in some communities, “if it is connected with other publicly available information about convicted sex offenders.”

Nonsense,” Ann Cavoukian, the province’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, said in an interview. She supports the release of the information, arguing that without names or other identifying information, there is no privacy issue. “Their identities aren’t going to be revealed. It’s just a bulk number.”

Someone might wish to check a neighbourhood, she said, to learn how many registered sex offenders live there before moving in – though she also said she couldn’t imagine that anyone would do such a thing.

She said the Ontario government may see the request as a slippery slope to a free-for-all of information.

Canada Family Action, a Calgary group, oversees a website called StopPedophiles.ca that publishes names and photos of child sex offenders when they are in the news.

I think that’s a start,” Brian Rushfeldt, the group’s president, said of making public the number of registered offenders in a community. “If you know they’re in your postal code area, you know they’re in your neighbourhood. I don’t think most people have that information at all.”

He leans away from the U.S. approach of making addresses public, however, fearing that it would lead to vigilantism.


ME - Maine Public Safety reviewing procedures after sex offender falls through cracks (Video)

Video Description:
Maine Public Safety officials blame a clerical error for the state's failure to notify Berwick Police about a convicted sex offender, who failed to re-register. WMTW News 8's Paul Merrill reports.


UK - Ex-deputy head (John Bryan Thomas) had indecent child images

John Bryan Thomas
John Bryan Thomas
Original Article

12/06/2013

A primary school deputy head-teacher who became addicted to pornography when he retired was caught downloading hundreds of indecent images and videos of children.

John Bryan Thomas, 61 - who described himself as something of a “Jekyll and Hyde” character - had been told the offences were serious and that he could not complain if he went to prison immediately.

But he was spared jail yesterday when a crown court judge he would be “a prime candidate” for a sex offender group work programme to challenge his behaviour.

Judge Philip Hughes placed Thomas on a three -year community order so that he could attend the programme.

The judge also ordered him to register with the police as a sex offender for five years and a five-year SOPO (sex offender prevention programme) was also imposed.

Judge Hughes said they were serious offences and he could not overlook the fact that there was a suggestion that he had shared images with other people over the internet.

The mischief of such offences is that they provide a market for people who are abusing children,” the judge said.

By participating and viewing these images you are fuelling that market and in that way contribute to the abuse of children between the age of three and 13.”

The judge said there were also some sadomasochistic images on Thomas’s computers.

Thomas, of Peel Street, Wrexham, had earlier admitted 11 charges of downloading indecent images and one charge of possessing indecent images and films between January last year and January this year.

Mold Crown Court was told he was a man of good character, had been a primary school teacher for 20 years and had been employed as a deputy head.

Emmalyne Downing, prosecuting, told the court how officers acting on information received went to Thomas’s home address in January and he said that he had some imaged but he had deleted them.

Thomas produced a laptop and said that he had been retired for a year and had been looking at images during that time, at night. But officers found a further laptop hidden under his mattress.

The hi-tech crime unit found 3,875 still images and eight movies of an indecent nature, mostly at the least serious level one, but there were also images up to the most serious level five.

Thomas told police he had been a teacher for 20 years, worked in the UK and abroad, was deputy head when he retired, and described how he had become addicted to searching for indecent images, and had become a “Jekyll and Hyde” character.

The defendant had not been charged with distribution but he had accepted in his pre-sentence report about sharing images peer to peer.

Mark Connor, defending, said during the 11 months since Thomas’s arrest he had referred himself for therapy sessions.

He was said to be extremely ashamed of what he had done.

Not all his friends had stood by him but some of them had and they had been “very supportive”. He said he was anxious not to let them or himself down.

Quite simply the best way of protecting the public and to prevent the defendant from re-offending is to subject him to intensive supervision,” said Mr Connor.

He added Thomas was different to other offenders in that he had demonstrated a willingness to change.


SWEDEN - Swedish cop fined for filming sex tape on duty

Swedish Cop
Original Article

12/06/2013

A policeman in eastern Sweden has been hit with a pay deduction after recording a sex tape on the job while dressed in his official uniform.

The exhibitionist recorded his sexual antics in November last year during work hours in the police dressing room in Uppsala, where he is based.

He then sent the saucy video on to a colleague he had never met before, but with whom he had exchanged a series of text messages previously.

The recipient, however, was not impressed by the sexploits, and forwarded the message and its contents to the police disciplinary board.

The board ruled that the man had sexually molested the recipient of the message and "violated their sexual integrity". The board members added that the officer's antics could damage confidence in the police "especially as he was wearing the uniform during the recording".

As a punishment the police disciplinary board docked the officer five days' salary and slapped him with a firm warning not to repeat such behaviour.


CA - Rapists with badges: Sex crimes and cops

Cops committing sexual crimes
Original Article

Click the "CrimePolice" label above to see many more articles about cops committing sexual crimes.

12/06/2013

By Justin King

The recent release by the L.A. Times of hiring documents from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department highlighted a seemingly growing problem in U.S. law enforcement agencies: those that commit sex crimes are finding their way into police agencies.

Studies repeatedly confirm that sex crimes are not committed out of an impulsive desire to have sex, but rather a need “to inflict pain, violence, and humiliation” and achieve domination and power over their victim. Police officers often use the unchecked power of their badge to intimidate and coerce their victims. The scale of the problem is illustrated in a study that shows an American is twice as likely to be raped by a law enforcement official as they are to be raped by an average member of society, to include convicted felons.

In the Times article, David McDonald is profiled. McDonald admitted to having a relationship with a 14-year-old girl when he was 28 and that he kissed and groped the child, but denies intercourse ever occurred. He claims to have initially believed she was 16, but did not terminate the relationship when he discovered her true age.

In 1985, he was fired from the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department after being found to use excessive force while dealing with inmates in the jail. He was asked how he thought inmates should be controlled and responded by saying:

"Well, like Clint Eastwood, tell them what to do and they either do it or else."

With all of this information available to those making the hiring decisions, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department hired him and placed him to work in their county jail. He has since been disciplined for a use of force decision made in the jail. He was quoted as saying:

"How can you put me back in the jails when I already had a problem there?"

Incident Profiles

December 5, 2013: Stephen Ricco, previously arrested on charges of domestic violence, is currently being held on new charges of first-degree sexual assault. In February, the Pawtucket was charged in a separate domestic violence case, which he plead no contest to.

December 4, 2013: Carl Bookamer, a former Citrus Heights police officer, was arrested on five counts related to an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old volunteer. Bookamer was employed by the department when the incidents allegedly occurred.

December 3, 2013: A Washington, DC Metro Police Officer was charged with production of child pornography. Reportedly under the guise of just following procedures, he ordered a 15-year-old to remove articles of clothing and photographed her. A search of his camera reportedly turned up images of other young girls. After a brief investigation, Marc Washington was taken into custody.

December 2, 2013: A Police Sergeant with the Rio Grande City Police Department was arrested on two counts of sexual assault of a child. The officer, Rodolfo Hinojosa, is alleged to have had sexual contact with a teen enrolled in one of the department’s youth programs. Hinojosa had resigned from the department on November 21.

December 2, 2013: Retired Conroe Police Department Sergeant Will Ewing was charged with sexual assault of a child and compelling prostitution.

November 24, 2013: A San Antonio officer was arrested for allegedly handcuffing, groping, and raping a 19-year-old after claiming her car was stolen. He reportedly groped her during a frisk, after she showed him documentation proving the car was not stolen. He then handcuffed her, took her back to his patrol car, and raped her. The Police Chief says this is the third accusation of sexual misconduct against Jackie Neal, an 11-year veteran of the force. The Chief has asked the FBI to join the investigation to pursue civil rights violations, a move that is applauded by many as most departments investigate internally.

November 6, 2013: A Chicago cop, Allen Hall, was charged with multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and assault, including some counts alleging the victim was a child.

News of the above cases broke within the last 60 days, and profile officers assigned to lower level positions. However, cases of sexual misconduct are not isolated to street cops.

August 28, 2013: Police Chief of West Columbia, Michael Palmer, was indicted on ten counts, ranging from aggravated sexual assault of a child to indecency with a child - sexual contact. He had previously been accused of stealing drugs from the evidence room.

The problem is such a common occurrence that pages of Facebook have sprung up, offering support to victims and raising awareness. “Tribute to survivors of child sexual assault by law enforcement officers,” a page that focuses only on crimes when the victim is a minor, has profiled nine separate stories in the last five days alone.

A comment on the page reflects the growing distrust citizens have for police and their growing power.

“Not all cops abuse their power. It’s just a few bad apples. And that 90% of bad apples gives the other 10% a bad name.”

In the second quarter of 2010, the Department of Justice reported that 63.7 per 100,000 officers were implicated in a sexual assault case. The rest of the U.S. population maintains a 29.3 per 100,000 implication rate.


SWEDEN - Man convicted for teen sex when he was 16

Juvenile sex offenders
Original Article

12/06/2013

A young man in western Sweden has been convicted of sexual exploitation and told to go undergo treatment after having sex with a 14-year-old girl when he himself was 16.

The man from Skaraborg on Sweden's west coast, who is now 20, admitted that he had sex with the girl on several occasions but denied it was a criminal offence.

He argued in the district court that when the intercourse took place in 2010, the age difference between the two seemed insignificant. In Sweden the legal age of consent is 15 years old.

However, his argument didn't stand up in court, where he was convicted for having had sex with a minor and put on probation on a charge of sexual exploitation according to the Skövde Nyheter newspaper.

The district court said it was clear the man had sexual relations with the girl and told him to undergo treatment. He was also ordered to pay 5,000 kronor ($770) in damages to the girl .

Last year former minister Thomas Bödstrom, who helped push through tougher legislation on sex laws in 2005, said Swedish courts were interpreting the law wrongly on occasion.

"(The law) exists so that older people can't abuse children under the age of 15, and it's really important that we keep them protected. But this has not taken into account two young people who have completely consensual sex with one another," Bodström told Sveriges Radio (SR).

If, for example, a 15-year-old were to have consensual sex with a 14-year-old partner, the older teen could nevertheless risk being convicted of sexual assault, rape, or exploitation of a minor.

In 2007, the Swedish Supreme Court didn't hand out a sentence in a case where sex took place between a 17-year-old and a 14-year-old where it was argued that it was consensual.

At the time the intercourse took place in the 2007 case the girl was 14 years and seven months old, but similar trials have not followed the same path according to to Åsa Regnér, head of Sweden's National Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU).

"This has drifted into being a kind of moral issue as to whether the young people should have sex or not, and we think that's a question for them to decide, as well as their parents," she told SR in 2012.

She added; "Whether others have a moral issue about it is up to them, but it shouldn't result in it being taken to our courts and being a question for police and prosecutors."

See Also:


FL - Legislature studies civil commitment, treatment for sexual offenders

Civil commitmentOriginal Article

12/06/2013

By Gary Pinnell

SEBRING - If the Florida Legislature has its way, sexual offenders released from prison won't go back on the streets as quickly.

"In September, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs met jointly to hear presentations from experts regarding sexual offenders and the civil-commitment process," said Sen. Denise Grimsley. Experts viewed current laws and suggested changes to enhance the ability to charge and convict any sexual offenders. Once their criminal sentence is complete, worst-case offenders can be civilly committed and treated.

"The key concept is that this is not additional incarceration for a punitive reason," said Sen. Cary Pigman, a member of the House Healthy Families Subcommittee. "Instead, this is a several-month-long and intensive behavioral modification effort to prevent sexually violent predators from victimizing again."

Time is one key, the 2012 Florida Prison Recidivism Study found: 16 percent committed new crimes within 12 months, another 11 percent within 24 months, and another 7 percent within 36 months.

The Florida House is taking a hard look at the state's civil-commitment process for sexual predators, with House committees working together on an overhaul. Any slack in the commitment process could be corrected in the 2104 legislative session.

"One of the things we are going to do is ratchet up some of the penalties on people who abuse children sexually, abuse seniors, abuse the developmentally disabled," said House Criminal Justice Chairman Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach. "We're also going to make sure that when people get out of jail, we don't just release them back into the wild and hope for the best."

The process took another step forward as the House took up recommendations still being developed by Gaetz's criminal-justice panel.

In 2012, Jill Levenson and Ryan Shields studied 500 randomly selected Florida sex offenders for the National Institute of Justice. Twenty-one percent were child molesters or predators, 79 percent were convicted for sexually related offenses, such as public exposure.

After five years, 5.2 percent had been re-arrested for a new sexual crime. After 10 years, the number more than doubled to 13.7 percent, committing 2,752 new offenses. Only 4.2 were new sex crimes, however.

On the other hand, the South Florida Sun Sentinel found that 594 offenders had been released statewide, only to be convicted of new offenses - more than 460 child molestations, 121 rapes and 14 murders.

However, the Department of Justice classifies many crimes as sexual offenses, including public exposure.

Sexual predators molest children. "Recidivism is very much higher in this class of offenders," Sheriff Susan Benton said.

"The legislative package will seek to make a few changes to the Department of Children and Family's Multidisciplinary Team, which reviews evaluation reports and makes final determinations about commitment eligibility for each individual offender," Grimsley said. "In the legislation, the Senate will seek to include a voice for the state's attorney, law enforcement and victims on the MDT, and will require equal consideration of attempted sexual offenses when considering an offender's need for treatment."

DCF has already added convictions for attempted kidnapping or attempted murder with a sexual component as automatic grounds for referring people for evaluations.

"Additionally, on the criminal justice side, the Senate will pursue including a series of recommendations allowing judges to convict offenders to longer sentences on the front end and also allow for longer periods of supervision and probation after their prison sentence is complete," Grimsley said.

Legislative hearings began in September, after the June rape and murder of Cherish Perrywinkle, an 8-year-old Jacksonville girl, allegedly by a sexual predator who had been released weeks before. Legislators have signaled they will give law-enforcement officers more tools to monitor sexual predators. They may add state attorneys and corrections officials to the list of those who refer offenders for a civil-commitment evaluation.

Had that provision been in place, Cherish Perrywinkle might still be alive. _____, 56, was released from jail in May and, according to prosecutors, kidnapped, raped and strangled the girl three weeks later. A registered sex offender, _____ had made repeated failed attempts to kidnap young girls - even posing as a DCF worker in one instance. But those crimes did not qualify him for civil commitment. Now they would.

In August, the Sun Sentinel reported that commitments under the state's Jimmy Ryce Act had dried up. The act targets sexually violent predators who cannot stop themselves from further violence, and identifying them requires a DCF screening, a psychological evaluation and a trial. Once committed to the 720-bed Florida Civil Commitment Center in Arcadia, they must remain until a judge rules they are no longer dangers to society.

"There are some folks who commit some offenses who we should never let out of jail," Gaetz said. "If you are predisposed to violently rape children, or senior citizens, or the developmentally disabled, you simply should not be allowed to walk the streets with the rest of us."