Tuesday, October 7, 2014

CANADA - Sex offender supports on a shoestring

Susan Love & Adina Ilea
Susan Love & Adina Ilea
Original Article

09/25/2014

By Erin McCracken

The day the doors to David’s prison cell slid open and he was free after spending five and a half years behind bars for sex crimes against children, he was given a one-way ticket to Ottawa and placed on a bus.

Armed only with expired identification, a little cash earned inside prison and two boxes and a bag containing his few possessions, David arrived in the city with limited prospects.

The challenges he faced reintegrating in society were enormous. There would be hurdles in finding a job and stable housing, securing money and proper identification and abiding by strict supervision rules that kicked in upon his release.

It had been almost six years,” said David, speaking under a pseudonym to protect his identity. “It was overwhelming. Scary, because you’re coming out into society and it’s open, it’s freedom.”

So it was difficult at first, but eventually you blend into it.”

The key to blending in, in part, proved to be two smiling women who met him at the bus stop as planned, – his first introduction to a surrogate network of friends and family who wanted to help him rebuild his life, and in the process, ensure he would not reoffend.

They are among more than 50 volunteers with Circles of Support and Accountability-Ottawa, one of 20 CoSA programs across Canada through which 500 volunteers are helping nearly 200 high-risk, high-needs sex offenders reintegrate in society after prison.

At first I didn’t know what to do. I have no social life,” said David. “There was a bit of boredom, a bit of loneliness, but I was able to talk to CoSA about it.”

Each week, he met with his group of four volunteers to talk about his issues, and spent one-on-one time with each of them by going out for coffee, or watching a movie.

They provided him with friendship and support, referring him to services in the city that could help him.

Positive social supports, experts say, combined with sexual-behaviour counselling and treatment, are key to ensuring former offenders such as David do not fall back into their old patterns, leading to more victims.

After almost a year with CoSA, David seemed to be doing well. He had stable housing at a halfway house for ex-inmates and was taking part in a counselling program there. He had found work.


IRELAND - Facebook 'vigilante' (Joe McCloskey) accused of posting rapist's address

Joe McCloskey
Joe McCloskey
Original Article

09/25/2014

A man who denies running a Facebook witch-hunt against paedophiles is to be asked to reveal whether he posted a rapist's exact address, the High Court heard today.

Counsel for Joe McCloskey confirmed he will seek to provide any un-redacted version of new evidence in a potential landmark civil action.

A judge also heard claims that the campaigner was hiding material that could aid the lawsuit brought against him by a convicted child molester.

Mr McCloskey and Facebook are being jointly sued for damages by the sex offender.

The man, who cannot be identified, is claiming misuse of private information, harassment and breaches of the data protection act.

Proceedings were launched after his photograph and details appeared last year on 'Keeping our kids safe from predators II', a Facebook page administrated by Mr McCloskey.


VA - Ex-Dumfries police officer (Joseph Ruhren) convicted in more sexual assaults

Joseph Ruhren
Joseph Ruhren
Original Article

09/18/2014

A jury has recommended four life sentences plus 30 years in prison for former Dumfries police officer Joseph Ruhren, convicted this week of 10 more felony charges for sexually assaulting a young boy.

Ruhren faced trial this week on six counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor and four counts of forcible sodomy. He was found guilty on all charges. The jury recommended four life terms in prison on the forcible sodomy charges and five years each on the indecent liberties charges.

The trial is Ruhren’s second on sexual assault charges involving underage boys. In August, a jury convicted Ruhren of four counts of carnal knowledge of a minor, two counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor and one count each of aggravated sexual battery and forcible sodomy. The jury recommended he serve 74 years in prison on those charges. Sentencing is set for Nov. 5.

Ruhren is set to stand trial three more times, on Nov. 12, Dec. 16 and Jan. 6. Each of his trials involves a different victim.


TX - Sheriff’s Office sergeant (Chad Hightower) arrested for improper photography

Chad Hightower
Chad Hightower
Original Article

09/12/2014

A Wise County Sheriff’s officer was arrested Friday morning for improper photography related to sex offenders who had been jailed. Sgt. Chad Hightower was charged with improper photography or visual recording. He posted $25,000 bond and was released. The investigation began from a complaint by a man who was registering as a sex offender. According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Hightower told the man a new state law required him to take photos of offenders in the nude. The complainant was photographed naked twice, the second time in an office at the county’s impound yard. The investigation revealed nude photos of other men as well, according to the affidavit. Look for a full story in the weekend Wise County Messenger.

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