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Matt Morgan had been a Luthersville police officer for less than a month when the rest of his three-man department became the subject of a criminal investigation.
A month later, his police chief and the other officer were arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a 21-year-old woman.
Now Morgan's running the show by himself.
Luthersville Police Chief David Yates, 42, is charged with rape, violation of oath of office, false imprisonment and false imprisonment under color of legal process. The other officer, 32-year-old Jason Hardegree, is facing charges of influencing a witness and violation of oath of office.
Both men are out on bond, but Yates is on paid administrative leave and Hardegree resigned.
Their absence leaves Morgan, 23, as the lone Luthersville officer to patrol city streets.
"This has definitely been the most overwhelming experience," said Morgan, who had two years of police work under his belt before coming to Luthersville. "As the only police officer in town, everybody's depending on you."
A neighboring agency, the Meriwether County Sheriff's Office, has stepped in to fill the void. When Morgan is off duty, sheriff's deputies respond to calls in the 800-population town 50 miles southwest of Atlanta. And Morgan calls them when he needs backup, which he's done twice.
"The sheriff's department has graciously offered to help," Luthersville Mayor Robert Trammell said. "We're very appreciative of that."
For good reason. Trammell had no other options when authorities arrested Yates after they say he raped the Luthersville woman and arrested Hardegree on charges he tried to persuade the woman not to report it.
So far, Morgan has been busy handling the load for the department known for once employing vindicated Centennial Olympic Park bombing suspect Richard Jewell, who died in August.
"I've seen him pulling more people over than chief [did] the whole time he was here," Luthersville resident Kristie Richard said.
Meanwhile, the town's gossip mill has been churning about their tobacco-chewing chief who has a reputation as a flirt and suffers from multiple sclerosis. "Everybody always wants to know the skinny," Morgan said.
Some refuse to believe the allegations against Yates, who has been chief for 6½ years, but others say they aren't surprised.
"I don't buy the story," Luthersville City Council member Ricky Amey said. "He's too smart to fall for something like that."
Yates could not be reached for comment.
He is accused of raping the woman on the evening of Aug. 24 at her mobile home. That night, he was in uniform and driving his patrol car, said Rodney Wall, a special agent in charge with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Yates knew the woman; she had dated one of his friends, Morgan said.
He also is charged with unlawfully detaining the same woman the previous week after she had made repeated unwanted calls to the man she had been dating, according to the GBI.
Supporters say Yates is a friendly man who often doles out warnings before tickets and greets people with his car's public-address system. They also say he struggled during his wife's recent bout with cancer.
Sherri Childress, a local real estate agent, said Yates can be flirtatious, but described his behavior as playful.
As for the rape charges, she's not jumping to conclusions. "We're just really not going to form an opinion," she said.
This isn't the first time GBI has looked into Yates. In October 2000, a teenage boy reported that Yates, then an officer in Tyrone, exposed the boy's private parts while searching him for contraband, Tyrone Police Chief Brandon Perkins said.
Authorities cleared Yates of wrongdoing within a month, Perkins said. A month later, he resigned and headed to Luthersville.
His recent troubles have created an uncertain future for the Police Department. There has been talk of disbanding the department and turning police duties over to the sheriff's department.
But Morgan doesn't have time to worry about that.
"Not having [Yates and Hardegree] around, at first it's kind of difficult," Morgan said. "But you adapt and get used to being a one-man show."
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
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TX - Prominent Christian Counselors Son the Target of Injustice Involving The Internet, Race, Sex, Faith
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The justice system should be called the Injustice system because that is what it is. It's all about getting a conviction and nothing else. See this for a ton of articles on young children's lives being ruined by these insane laws. Also, I do not believe it's about race or religion, it's about convictions and injustice. Whites, Blacks, Hispanics and many other people are being treated just as unfairly as your son, believe me, I know first hand! Check out this man "Genarlow Wilson" who is black and in prison for 10 years for consensual sex! So it's not just your son, it's a ton of people being mistreated by the injustice system.
Five years ago Timothy DavidSon, a 19 year old African American male met a female in an internet chat room. He arranged to meet her on a summer day at a park. Both of them were sitting upright, and making-out in his vehicle. An officer approached the vehicle and asked Timothy to get out. There were no warrants, tickets, violations, priors, stereo-typical gang attire or slang.
As DavidSon recalls the police asked him to exit the vehicle, and after a series of questions wagered with him that the girl was underage. The officer spoke with the girl, a white-female who was large for her age, and discovered she was thirteen. DavidSon, startled by the girl’s revelation and police action was arrested and taken to the Garland, Texas police department. The investigating officer asked DavidSon for a statement without an attorney present. Given his own ambiguous statement, they charged him with aggravated sexual assault carrying a penalty of 3 to 99 years in prison. The aggravated nature of the offense was based on her age. The following week DavidSon received an email from the teenager against the desires of her parents stating that she was so sorry for lying to him (about her age), and that she would do anything to assist him. The DavidSons still have the original email.
DavidSon’s father, Dr. Steven B. DavidSon a nationally known Christian counselor shares that it was just the beginning of the travesty. Seeking an attorney, they identified Steven Hayden a Dallas attorney. The elder DavidSon was adamant there would be no acceptance of any substantive jail time without a jury-trial. Six months later, the Dallas District Attorney’s office offered deferred adjudication, a probation period, and thirty days in jail, which the DavidSons accepted. “As a father, I did not want to convey that he was without error. We did not like it, but the offer appeared reasonable for his part.”
However, the DavidSon’s would be devastated by how swiftly justice can turn. When the day of the plea hearing arrived, the DavidSons were supported by a host of members from their local church. However, they all would be shocked by the court’s declaration. Along with the matters agreed, the younger DavidSon was not to use the internet, and he was ordered to register as a sex offender.
The elder DavidSon recalls, “Following the hearing, our representative’s advice was that I could manage my son’s use of the computer, and we needed to wait for a later period to challenge the registration issue. We relied on his counsel, and it was worse than the judge’s decision. Now, we are discovering that we should have responded immediately to the part of the plea we had not considered.“
Five years later, Timothy has been denied employment and terminated because of the registration issue. He’s in a self-perpetuating fee-based probation system. Recently, vigilantes started an internet campaign warning persons in the surrounding cities about Timothy as a registered child-molester.
His father concludes, “The American Way! We perpetuate a sexually promiscuous society, and when our young fall in the slightest way, we abort them before and after birth. Race and the other issues are symptomatic. As with similar cases, this is about unparalleled darkness in this nation and world. We’ll do what we can legally, and we pray that God will be glorified by our circumstances. But today, I’m similar to my spiritual namesake David who cried upon hearing the death of his son. I cry, ‘my son, my son, my son.’”
Dennise Bates, CMO Associate, 713 775 8824
Web System: Christbasedcounseling.org or M2Maturity.org
Video Vault: A3CEESaffirmed.org/videovault.htm
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The Texas Department of Public Safety said it's rectified the mistake of the man mistakenly identified as a sexual predator.
Clint Jurek and his wife recently bought a home in East Austin. At the same time, DPS sent out notices that the home harbored a sex offender. The real sex offender moved out before the Jureks bought the house.
They asked DPS to send out retraction notices, which DPS initially declined to do.
"I do really appreciate the fact that the Department of Public Safety did send out those retractions, and I think the neighborhood feels better," Clint said.
But not before the couple endured vandalism on the house and scrutiny from neighbors.
DPS spokesperson Tela Mange said the paperwork got misplaced and this was the first time it has happened.
"[It was] human error. The paperwork got put in a folder and didn't get discovered for about three or four months," she said.
The actual registered sex offender is back in jail. DPS didn't mail the notices until months after the mandatory 10-day deadline. When they checked the Austin Police Department's database, it showed the sex offender was still living there.
DPS says it's not charged with tracking sex offenders. Its job is to send out notices and maintain a database based on information supplied by police departments.
- Well you need to verify the info before sending out bogus notices allowing for the vigilantes to come crawling out of woodwork and possibly killing someone. Are these vigilantes going to be arrested?
"I noticed whenever I called the DPS Sex Offender Office, I've had the same one or two people answer the questions. It just seems like they probably have a small or understaffed office," Clint said.
Mange said DPS has changed its procedure.
"If it does get misplaced and it reappears, then they'll call the police agency and ask them to do an investigation to confirm that the offender is still at the address," she said.
GA - A Georgia Father Says Internet Filter Saved His Daughter from Similar Tragedy Facing Florida Family
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You’ve seen the news of a 15-year-old Florida girl who was duped over the Internet into believing a 46-year old convicted sex offender was a man in his 20s, then running off with him. The girl says William Joe Mitchell had a gun and threatened to kill her. Police also believe Mitchell sexually assaulted her before he let her go. Mitchell was arrested this weekend at a gas station in Virginia. The two reportedly met online on the social networking site, Myspace.
The case hits close to home for a Georgia family counting their blessings. In a very similar story, the family’s 14-year-old daughter was unknowingly involved with a man on Myspace. Because the family used the Internet filter, Bsafe Online, that tracks websites visited and records Instant Message conversations, the father was able to keep a close eye on his daughter’s online activities. The father forbid his daughter from meeting with the online acquaintance. A few weeks later, the father saw that same man named as a suspect in the rape of local teenager. The father says, “With Bsafe’s help, I managed to keep my 14-year-old away from a guy who shortly after, was in the paper for raping another 14-year-old. God Bless Bsafe.com."
Bsafe Online can block social networking sites like Myspace or Facebook if the parent wants, or a parent can use the weekly reporting feature to review sites visited by their child. R-rated sites are always blocked. Instant message and chat room conversations are monitored and recorded and vulgar language filtered from a database of more than 12-hundred words or abbreviations. In Bsafe Online’s latest version the exclusive feature PredAlert ™ notifies the person with whom the child is chatting that they are also being monitored and recorded. Bsafe Online believes this serves as an effective deterrent against anyone who has ill intentions with a child.
Both Virginia and Florida law requires sex offenders register their email address as well as their Instant Message handles. With Bsafe Online, parents can block IM contacts based on information provided on the state’s registry.
A reminder, October is Crime Prevention Month. What better way to prevent cyber crime than for parents to install Parental Controls on their computer, like Bsafe Online.
For more information visit www.bsafeonline.com.
About Bsafe Online, Inc.
Bsafe Online, based in Bristol, Tennessee is a pioneer in the Internet Filtering industry. Bsafe Online is consistently ranked as a leading content filter provider protecting families from Internet threats in all 50 states as well as nearly 50 foreign countries . Bsafe is powered by BSecure Technologies a CES award winning technology provider located in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida.
Bsafe Online, Inc.
Karen Jenkins, Public Relations, 423-968-4082
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So lets bust out the sex offender issues, so I can use that to get re-elected. When will the people ever see this? I doubt they ever will, they are totally blind! Election time, bust out the kids and sex offender issues!!! I personally don't believe anything coming out of a politicians mouth, period. They need to show me PROOF before I believe them.
State Senator Jack Kibbie of Emmetsburg announced today that he is running for re-election to the Iowa State Senate in 2008. Kibbie currently represents Senate District 4 which includes all of Emmet, Palo Alto, Kossuth, Pocahontas, and Humboldt Counties and a potion of Webster County.
"I am running for re-election to the Senate so that I can continue to create more opportunities for the people in our largely rural part of Iowa” Kibbie said. “I will continue to work hard for initiatives that promote policies that create more high-wage jobs in our local communities, increase student achievement, be a leader in the development of renewable fuels, promotion of the agricultural sector of our economy and ensuring affordable and accessible health care for all Iowans.”
He added: “As the President of the Senate, I am particularly proud of our efforts in the past three years to set partisanship aside to get real work done in the Capitol for not only my constituents but all Iowans.”
Kibbie pointed specifically to several accomplishments by the Legislature, including:
- Increasing the state’s minimum wage for thousands of working Iowans.
- Landmark efforts to develop renewable and alternative fuels.
- Making health care affordable and accessible for more Iowa families
- Balancing the state’s budget and having a record amount in our savings account
- Increasing basic funding for local public schools and teachers.
- Expanding early childhood educational opportunities.
- Making tuition more affordable at our community colleges and universities.
- Strengthening and fully funding Iowa's sex offender laws.
- Providing incentives to boost production of renewable energy and to make Iowa less dependent on foreign oil.
Kibbie has also been a leading spokesman for providing more competition in agriculture that will ensure markets for agricultural producers and in promoting the use of Iowa’s agricultural products in the growing alternative fuels industry which has brought jobs and renewed prosperity into rural Iowa.
Kibbie pledged to continue traveling throughout the district to listen and to reach out to his constituents, including workers, small business owners, seniors, and educators. Kibbie said he is looking forward to talking personally with as many voters as possible.
“I would love to hear from everyone with a concern or an idea about moving Iowa forward,” said Kibbie. “The best way for me to be an effective voice for the citizens of my widespread and diverse district is for me to know what’s important to each of you. People are welcome to call me at home, 712/852-4140”
Kibbie will be holding a campaign kick-off fundraiser later this fall. Details on the event will be released at a later date.
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BARRE TOWN – The report from a citizen was slightly unnerving: A man was driving a gray van slowly around the school bus stops at West Cobble Hill Road and Philbrook Street just after 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
Soon, a concerned citizen had circulated an e-mail publishing the man's license plate number and warning parents to look out for the driver. The e-mail stated that Barre Town Police had confirmed the man was a "threat."
"Pass this along to anyone you know — at least to those that have kids!" read the last line of the e-mail.
The e-mail made its way to residents in Washington and Northfield, and parents of children at St. Monica School, according to Barre Town police.
But police report the e-mail alert was off the mark. Police confirmed Monday that a man who was driving around last week in a gray van looking for his dog is not a threat to the community, nor did they ever report him to be one. He really was looking for his dog, police determined after they interviewed the man's Cobble Hill Road neighbors and confirmed that his dog runs off a lot.
"It reminds me of the Salem Witch Trials," said Barre Town Police Chief Michael Stevens. "He just loses his dog a lot."
The identity of the driver has not been released. Meanwhile, the woman who circulated the e-mail declined to speak with a reporter, saying only that her information was based on something she had heard.
The e-mail also stated that the man had given the same story about looking for his dog in another town, information police said would only be known to law enforcement.
Barre Town Police followed up on the allegations that the man had been questioned under previous circumstances and found that back in April 2007, Johnson Police had responded to a similar report of suspicious activity.
"In Johnson … the guy drove up and down the road four times, same circumstances, people got concerned and called police," Stevens said. Again police determined the man really was looking for his dog.
The e-mailed warning showed how, through the Internet, good intentions can produce unexpected consequences. Barre Town Police said they were "bogged down" and "inundated" on Friday with calls from people who had received the e-mail, including school staff, concerned about a man who might be preying on children.
"And you know, we just got a call from another law enforcement agency saying it's still going on, so they're sending out an e-mail to their school saying to disregard it," Stevens said Monday afternoon.
Concerned citizens telephoned The Times Argus and forwarded the warning e-mail to the newspaper. Police have several different copies of the e-mail with varying information.
Police said they never told the public this man was a "threat." What's more, the license plate information circulated in the e-mail turned out to be inaccurate.
Stevens said he appreciates the power of e-mail networking, but that it only works when the information is accurate.
"I think it's concerned people that really want to help, but I think it went over the top when someone said the threat was confirmed … and I think that's the scary part for me," Stevens said.
Circulating information and adding more eyes in the community can be really helpful to police – but only as long as the information is correct, Stevens said.
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I think it's both. She was not the intended victim, and they were going after the husband, and yes, they are vigilantes. And they should be in prison until they die, for murder, plain and simple. Now she is dead, the father will probably be banned from taking care of his own kid now. So everybody loses here.
Woman Dies in Fire Allegedly Set to Scare Off Her Husband After Child Porn Charges
A man pleaded guilty Monday to a child pornography charge that authorities say drew two men to set a house fire that killed his wife in a botched bid to drive him from their neighborhood.
Timothy Chandler, 53, was sentenced to five years of probation but will serve no jail time on the lone count of sexual exploitation of a minor. He was ordered to pay court costs and register as a sex offender for having hundreds of child porn photos on a computer disk that his wife's relatives found.
Chandler waited in the rear of the courtroom as Gary Sellers, 39, and Robert Bell, 37, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and aggravated arson charges in the death of Chandler's wife, 37-year-old Melissa "Missy" Chandler. They could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.
Sellers and Bell are accused of drunkenly torching the tiny rental house where the Chandlers had lived for nine years. The fire occurred Sept. 2, three days after Timothy Chandler was released on bond on the porn charge.
"It is unbelievable that anybody would do that," Chandler said outside the Scott County courtroom before his plea. "Anybody can be charged with anything and not do it. And then be burned out ... that is the worst kind of thing I could think of."
Bell's lawyer, Lief Jeffers, said last month that Chandler's death "was not anything that was intended by any of the parties," without elaborating.
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WINDER -- A sheriff's deputy who was arrested on child pornography charges has been released on bond.
But Jason David Gaub faces a number of restrictions.
As a condition of his $50,000 bond, Gaub, 32, cannot possess a firearm or computer, is barred from being within 300 feet of a child or contacting any child and has agreed to let authorities search his home at any time.
Gaub was arrested at his home last week on 20 counts of sexual exploitation of a child. He was fired immediately from his job as a deputy, Barrow County sheriff's Capt. Murray Kogod said.
Gaub's arrest came after a three-month joint investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Barrow County Sheriff's Office, officials said.
More charges are expected as GBI technicians go through computers, hard drives, discs and other electronic storage media taken from Gaub's home, said John Heinen, special agent in charge of the GBI's Athens field office.
The child exploitation charges stem from 20 pornographic images of children agents found during a "cursory examination" of items seized from Gaub's house, Heinen said.
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The University of Washington is pushing to have all registered sex offenders banned from the densely populated neighborhood north of its main campus.
With the support of Gov. Christine Gregoire, 13 offenders are being forced to move this month.
For the past seven years, sex offenders on probation have quietly lived in five aging homes nestled among sororities, fraternities and student rental housing north of the campus.
While state corrections officials say the offenders have never caused trouble, UW officials say it wasn't until recently that they realized how many offenders were being housed in the neighborhood and the severity of their crimes.
University President Mark Emmert took his concerns to Gregoire several weeks ago, and the governor agreed that the 13 offenders under Departments of Corrections (DOC) supervision should be moved out, said Holly Armstrong, communications director for the governor. The university alone can't say who can live in neighborhoods that are part of the city.
After Gregoire spoke with DOC top brass, community corrections staff members in Seattle are scrambling to find new housing for the 12 men and one woman.
More than a dozen other registered sex offenders live in the University District, and UW would like them gone, too.
"The deep concern we have is about the safety and well-being of some 6,000 UW students up there," said Eric Godfrey, UW's vice provost for Student Life. "We know that when parents send their sons and daughters to the university, they do not expect them to be residing in that kind of a setting."
Godfrey said that over the years, the university has heard complaints from parents and students who discovered through computer searches that sex offenders were living in the "North of 45th" neighborhood. But, he said, "only recently did we become aware of the concentration."
Landlord strict, caring
Carol Clarke, the Snohomish woman who owns the five properties, said she has received a regular stream of complaints about the sex offenders' presence from the UW, students and parents in the past seven years. Despite the complaints, corrections staff members continued to refer sex offenders, just released from prison, to her homes.
Clarke, 69, said she works closely with each felon and sets down ground rules: no parties, no drugs, no drunkenness and they have to have a job.
Theo Lewis, a community corrections supervisor in the DOC's sex-offender unit, calls Clarke one of the best landlords he has worked with in King County.
"She has managed to appropriately and diligently keep her properties in compliance [with DOC rules]," he said. "The people living there aren't a threat to University of Washington students."
Lewis said he has never heard of a resident in Clarke's University District homes committing a crime against a UW student.
There are a total of 55 residents in the five homes, 21 of whom are registered sex offenders. The 13 being moved out are still on probation under the auspices of the Department of Corrections.
Of the 13, two are Level 3 sex offenders, which means they are the state's most violent predators.
Lewis said DOC has tried not to let offenders with a history of crimes against young men or women into the homes. Instead, he said, they selected pedophiles and felons whose convictions are for assaulting children.
Anna Aylward, DOC's program administrator, said she realizes that Clarke has been given short notice that she will be losing 13 tenants and is sorry the move will be hard for her.
"We're just trying to make the best decision. Unfortunately it impacts someone who has done a great job," Aylward said. "You can't replace somebody like Carol Clarke. She's very hands-on, she's very knowledgeable about the people in her residences. She is a very caring person. She is just one of those gems you don't find again."
"There will always be concern"
Inside one of Clarke's homes in the 4700 block of 18th Avenue Northeast, the foyer is dingy and smells stale, but it is tidy. There are fliers about Christianity and house rules posted on several walls.
One resident, a registered Level 3 offender, said Clarke's homes are affordable — tenants pay up to $395 for a room and utilities. He said he and other residents police their roommates and tell Clarke when rules are broken.
"It's all positive attitude. She wants to see people do good," the man said, declining to use his name for fear it might hurt his chances of getting a job.
"I can understand the fearfulness, the unknown. But there is no record of people here committing crimes against people who go to college in the area," he said.
Cori Hammock, with UW Panhellenic Association, said sororities have been advised to know the location of sex-offender housing and "gain as much information as they can" about sexual predators in the area.
"We haven't had specific problems with individuals making women or men feel uncomfortable. But we don't want that to happen," Hammock said.
She says it's "great news" that the offenders will be moved.
"I'm sure people would argue they have served their time, but there will always be that concern from parents, students and the university. We would prefer these individuals aren't in our neighborhood," Hammock said.
UW's safety plan
Vice provost Godfrey said that not having any sex offenders nearby is part of the university's new safety plan, which also includes putting more campus police in the neighborhood.
In recent years, the UW has created a group to focus on improving safety in the "North of 45th" neighborhood. The group recommended increasing police presence and working with landlords and the city of Seattle.
According to databases maintained by Seattle police, the King County Sheriff's Office and the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, more than 25 registered sex offenders live in the University District. It isn't clear how many live in the small neighborhood where Clarke's houses are.
Aylward said the UW told her agency that it was expanding campus rules into the bordering Seattle neighborhood and asked DOC to "reassess who we were placing in some boarding homes and houses in a one-block area."
Aylward said UW officials told corrections staff that the neighborhood "isn't the best place to place offenders."
"Given the reassessment the university was doing, we made the call that we need to stop making placement in that area because of that locality," Aylward said. "All of our goals are around community safety and protection."
"God dropped this in my lap"
As part of the UW's neighborhood plan, Godfrey said the university is looking into purchasing properties and maintaining them as student rental housing. He said Clarke's five homes are in the real-estate corridor they are interested in most.
Clarke views UW students as bigger troublemakers than her tenants.
She says she's had countless problems with students living in other nearby homes disrupting her tenants. Tenants have reported seeing youths standing outside naked. Also, some tenants have been threatened after calling 911 to report loud parties, she says.
Clarke said she plans to fight the UW to let the offenders stay, but she didn't say how.
The DOC said the Level 3 offenders will be out of her five University District homes by Wednesday, and the rest gone by the end of the month.
Aaron Caplan, an attorney for the ACLU in Seattle, said "it's really important that decisions about residences of sex offenders are based on facts, not on fear."
"If we have a good punishment and rehabilitation system in place, it's better for community safety to have people in a place where the professionals at the DOC think it's safe for them," he said.
Clarke said she will continue to rent to sex offenders on probation in the other properties she owns in King and Snohomish counties. She said she inherited the University District properties from relatives.
"I don't want to sound like I'm pushing my religion, but God dropped this in my lap," Clarke said. "This ain't about the money. It's about seeing people turning their lives around. All I ask of them is they be a better human being."
View the article here | His Web Site
Another Larry Craig and perverted republican. See more perverted republicans here.
St. Bernard Parish Councilman Joey DiFatta, who on Thursday withdrew from the 1st Senate District campaign, has been stopped twice since 1996 for suspicion of engaging in lewd behavior in public restrooms in Jefferson Parish, records obtained by The Times-Picayune show.
DiFatta, 53, acknowledged that reports he had been stopped are true, but he denied any wrongdoing in both cases. He said he was not prosecuted in either case and has no arrest record.
"If I had done something wrong, I would have been arrested," DiFatta said Thursday afternoon. "I was not. I will deny that I was involved in any activity of that nature."
Earlier Thursday, DiFatta called reporters to announce that he planned to withdraw from the Senate race. He said he has been having chest pains for a few weeks, and elevated enzyme levels indicate he might have had a minor heart attack in the past few days. As a result, his doctor advised him to slow down and make some changes in his life.
DiFatta, who has served on the St. Bernard Parish Council since January 1996 and is currently its chairman, denied he is stepping down from the Senate race for fear that the reports would become public. In fact, he said he did not know the reports had surfaced when he made his decision.
View police reports of mall incidents
Kenner police issued a misdemeanor summons to DiFatta in September 1996 in connection with a peeping Tom incident in a men's bathroom at the former Mervyn's department store at The Esplanade mall, according to a Kenner Police Department incident report obtained by The Times-Picayune.
The report states that DiFatta watched a man use the bathroom while peering through a hole in a bathroom stall. The man held DiFatta until police arrived, at which time he was issued the misdemeanor summons and ordered to appear in court.
DiFatta said the man eventually withdrew his complaint, and the case was dismissed. A spokeswoman for the Kenner Police Department said the record was expunged.
Tapping foot in stall
In the second incident, Jefferson Parish deputies working an undercover detail in a men's bathroom at Dillard's at Lakeside Shopping Center in March 2000 stopped DiFatta after he indicated a desire to engage in sex with an undercover deputy in an adjoining bathroom stall, according to an interoffice memorandum written by Sgt. Keith Conley, one of the deputies involved in the investigation.
The report said DiFatta slid his foot into the deputy's stall and tapped the deputy's foot. In the report, Conley noted that such activity is common among men to indicate a willingness to participate in sex.
The deputy inside the stall, Detective Wayne Couvillion, responded by tapping his foot, and DiFatta reached under the partition and began to rub the deputy's leg, the report states.
The detective asked DiFatta, "What do you want?" according to the report, and he replied, "I want to play with you."
DiFatta also used a hand signal to indicate that he wanted to engage in sex and used language that indicated the same, according to the report. Conley, who is now the Kenner city attorney, confirmed the report's authenticity Thursday.
The incident did not culminate in an arrest because the deputy in the bathroom with DiFatta terminated the investigation after several children entered the bathroom, the report states. Conley noted in the report that DiFatta appeared well-versed and comfortable with the routine.
Conley wrote that had the investigation been allowed to continue, it likely would have concluded in DiFatta's arrest on obscenity charges, including a possible attempted crime against nature.
Conley confronted DiFatta outside the bathroom, and DiFatta apologized and said he would not return, according to the report. DiFatta also said he has a problem with such behavior and had sought counseling for the addiction in the past, the report states.
In both instances, DiFatta produced his commission from the St. Bernard Sheriff's Office identifying him as a captain. DiFatta said Thursday he did not show his commission either time until officers asked him for identification, all of which he keeps in his wallet.
Struggling after Katrina
When he chose to run for state Senate, DiFatta relinquished the opportunity to run for re-election to the St. Bernard Parish Council. His term ends in January.
DiFatta said he has enjoyed serving the parish and its people and thanked his supporters.
A jeweler who had received several political endorsements in the Senate race, DiFatta also noted that the stress from enduring Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath might have gotten the best of him. He lost his Chalmette home to Katrina, and it took him almost 14 months to rebuild.
In the interim, he has been a strong voice for his constituents, traveling often to Washington, D.C., to fight for recovery help.
DiFatta has notified the Louisiana secretary of state's office that he intends to withdraw from the race, but his withdrawal won't be official until he files the paperwork, said Jacques Berry, the office's spokesman. Regardless, DiFatta's name will remain on the ballot for the Oct. 20 primary, as the state already has printed the ballots, he said.
Any votes to be invalid
Poll workers will place signs in the precincts where DiFatta's name is on the ballot letting the voters know he is no longer in the race and that a vote for him will not be valid, Berry said.
DiFatta's latest campaign finance report shows that he has almost $69,000 in the bank. DiFatta said he will use the money to pay some outstanding bills, though he noted he can hold onto the money to use later.
DiFatta's abrupt departure from the race leaves two candidates -- Reps. A.G. Crowe and Ken Odinet -- fighting for the 1st District seat, which includes St. Bernard Parish and parts of St. Tammany, Plaquemines and Orleans parishes.
Odinet, who lives in Arabi, said Thursday that he was saddened to hear DiFatta has been ill. Crowe, a Pearl River resident, said he wishes DiFatta a speedy recovery.
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He's right. Furthermore if you've ever picked up a child or pushed one on a swing, you are a sex offender, with a child as your "victim"; most states have laws that say you can't touch a child on the buttocks even through clothes. So the swing-pusher and the person who picks up a child are both sex offenders. I posted this as a bulletin and actually got a reply saying, "Yes, if this is the definition, I am a sex offender, not through intent but because I have picked up children and of course put my hand under their butt to lift them. What are we teaching our children?" In fact, most don't realize just how little is required for conviction as a sex offender. They often say "I would never..." but when you pin them down, they just reply that sex offenders are all convicted because some jury found there was evidence. I guess they won't believe until someone takes them to court.