Wednesday, November 21, 2007

DEFINITION - Cyber Bullying

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Cyber bullying or online bullying) is a term used to refer to bullying over electronic media, usually through instant messaging and email. Other terms for cyberbullying are electronic bullying, electronic harassment, e-bullying, SMS bullying, mobile bullying, online bullying, digital bullying, or Internet bullying.

It can constitute a computer crime. For example, in the United States it is a federal crime to anonymously "annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person" via the internet or telecommunication system, punishable by a fine and/or up to two years imprisonment.

Cyberbullying is willful and involves recurring or repeated harm inflicted through the medium of electronic text. According to R.B. Standler bullying intends to cause emotional distress and has no legitimate purpose to the choice of communications. Cyberbullying can be as simple as continuing to send e-mail to someone who has said they want no further contact with the sender. Cyberbullying may also include threats, sexual remarks, pejorative labels (i.e., hate speech). Cyber-bullies may publish personal contact information for their victims at websites. They may attempt to assume the identity of a victim for the purpose of publishing material in their name that defames or ridicules them.

Identifying cyber-bullies

Online identity stealth blurs the line in infringement of the right of would-be victims to identify their perpetrators. See Computer networking tools as "tracert" or "nslookup" in order to trace an individual's computer to either their hosts, IP addresses or MAC addresses that are legal, legit and easy to use tools that allow one person to trace another one's computer.

However tools may help an IP address can only be traced back to its origin and subnet in this way. The gateway point is part of a large range of IP addresses that are usually owned by Internet service providers. Directory information disclosed by such a trace is likely to be Internet Service Provider contact information. While such information can be useful it is improbable that a single user by him or herself can locate the offending (remote) computer directly without some authoritative law enforcement and court order.

While an IP address is usually not traceable users can view other relevant information by searching on Google of the offending IP and find referenced information such as forum posts or other reported issues by Administrators. Users who choose to purchase their own domain names from a registrar such as a personal website may also be at risk of revealed home/billing personal information in the lookup unless it is concealed or changed.

FL - Ex-Skynyrd drummer released on bail

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JACKSONVILLE -- Former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle was released from a Florida jail on $10,000 bail after allegedly failing to properly register as a sex offender.

Pyle was designated as a sex offender after pleading guilty in 1993 to molesting two Jacksonville Beach girls.

He was arrested Monday and accused of failing to register as a sex offender in person as required by Florida law. Authorities also said he used an address where he hasn't lived in years to renew his driver's license, The Florida Times-Union reported.

Pyle denied any wrongdoing.

"Of course, I'm registered in the state of Florida where the incident happened," Pyle told the newspaper. "I just think they (the police) got it wrong."

TX - Attorney pleads guilty drug and child porn charges

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An Odessa attorney pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to drug and child pornography charges.

Ralph Anthony Torres Jr. entered the plea on charges of possession of cocaine in a playground zone and possession of child porn.

Torres, 31, could receive up to 10 years in prison on the child porn charge and up to 40 years on the drug conviction, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Klassen said in a report for Thursday editions of the Odessa American.

Torres was arrested Aug. 20. An arrest warrant said he attempted to sell about half an ounce of cocaine to a confidential informant for $300.

A search after a traffic stop uncovered 15 grams of cocaine in a Dodge minivan Torres was driving, according to the warrant. Authorities discovered 132 grams of cocaine and 116 grams of marijuana in his home.

Klassen said about 7,000 images of child porn were found in Torres' home.

Sentencing will be early in 2008.

ND - Deceased GFAFB airman headed for trial in possession child pornography

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The Air Force airman found dead in his Grand Forks apartment Monday was facing a federal trial next month on child pornography charges.

A Grand Forks police report identifies the man who was found unresponsive, at 6:20 p.m. Monday at 506 N. Fourth St. as 38-year-old Mark Massucco. Federal investigators said his death apparently was self-inflicted, a federal prosecutor told the Herald.

After police responded to a medical assist call and determined Massucco was dead, the Air Force quickly took over the investigation, police said. Air Force officials have not identified Massucco, citing notification of relatives.

But according to court documents, Massucco was indicted June 6 in federal court on two counts of receiving of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors and one count of possessing materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors.

Wednesday, federal officials filed a motion to dismiss all charges.

Massucco was scheduled to go to trial on the charges in Fargo on Dec. 11.

Earlier this year, a Minneapolis police officer working in the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, used a publicly available software to search the internet for child pornography that was being offered for distribution by host computers/users, according to court records.

That search led the police officer to an apartment at 506 N. Fourth St. and to Massucco, according to court records.

Federal prosecutors allege that Massucco did knowingly possess numerous computer files containing visual depictions that had been mailed, shipped and transported in interstate commerce involving the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, according to court records. They allege Massucco also knowingly received and distributed those visual depictions on three different dates: March 13, 2004, Jan. 15 and March 8 of this year.

Massucco had hired two Ohio attorneys to defend him, and they were using David Dusek, an East Grand Forks attorney, as local counsel. Dusek said Tuesday he could not comment on the case.

Police said an autopsy was planned.

Air Force officials took over the investigation into the death of the airman Tuesday.

Officials at Grand Forks Air Force Base have not named the dead airman, except to say he was a non-commissioned officer a sergeant with the bases 319th Air Refueling Wing.

We are deeply saddened by this loss, Col. Diane Hull, commander of the 319th, said in a news release today. Any loss of an airman is tragic, and it is important to us to find the root cause.

Officials said his name would be released pending notification of kin, according to Tech. Sgt. Joseph Kapinos, base public affairs officer. The airmans kin is international, Kapinos said, making notification a little more complicated.

The mans death remains under investigation, Kapinos said. When asked if foul play was suspected or whether an autopsy had been completed, Kapinos said he couldnt go into anymore details.

Massuccos case took several turns over the past several months. Indicted over the summer, Massucco was living under conditions of home confinement, including wearing an electronic monitoring device, while awaiting trial, according to court documents.

During his initial questioning last spring by investigators a federal agent with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and a Grand Forks police officer at the base, Massucco confessed to possessing child porn, according to court documents.

But he later challenged that confession, saying it was coerced because he was obeying a superior officers order to cooperate with the investigators, which thus violated his constitutional rights to not incriminate himself.

His attorneys, including Dusek, said that situation made Massuccos confession involuntary.

Prosecutors countered that no Air Force officials were in the room when Massucco made his confession to two investigators, and that he understood his Miranda rights. U.S. Judge Ralph Erickson had not yet ruled on Massuccos motion to have his initial statements to investigators suppressed.

In September, Massucco filed a motion to change his plea to guilty and forego a trial. Only days later, however, he changed his mind and filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea and face a trial on the charges. The trial recently had been rescheduled for Dec. 11.

The mandatory minimum penalty on child pornography charges is 5 years in prison with a maximum of life prison and a $250,000 fine.

The assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case said he was saddened by the news of Massuccos death, which he said appeared to be self-inflicted, according to federal investigators.

We had been negotiating with him, trying to reach a plea agreement and I thought we were making progress, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Clare Hochhalter of Bismarck, on Wednesday. He specializes in child pornography cases and assisted the Fargo office when a prosecutor there recently had a child.

I feel really bad for his family and whatever friends he had in the Grand Forks area, Hochhalter said. We were shocked to get the news."

Massucco had only been stationed at Grand Forks about a year, Hochhalter said.

The charges Massucco faced included a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, if he had been convicted or pleaded guilty, Hochhalter said.

Because Massucco was nearing 20 years of service in the Air Force which means retirement and other benefits the prospect of pleading guilty was a weighty one with lots of import on whether he would be dishonorably discharged and lose a lot, Hochhalter said.

The charges against Massucco indicate he was using peer-to-peer file-sharing software that made it possible for him to receive and pass on images of very young children engaged in explicit sexual activity, Hochhalter said.

Massucco had told investigators he was not targeting children himself, but merely curious about seeing such images, Hochhalter said.

This is not the worst case I have seen, Hochhalter said. Its just really unfortunate he chose this way to deal with it.

GA - Former wrestler found guilty in sex trafficking case

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Former pro-wrestler Harrison "Hardbody" Norris Jr., on trial for prostitution and sex trafficking, lost his match against federal prosecutors Wednesday, a defeat that could land him in prison for life.

After deliberating more than two days, a jury found Norris guilty of peonage, forced labor, aggravated sexual abuse, sex trafficking and other charges involving five victims and on conspiracy charges involving three others. Jurors acquitted him of charges involving a ninth victim.

Norman Pringle, jury foreman, described the case as "grueling." Jurors struggled with the similarities between the peonage and forced labor charges.

A time line, Pringle said, helped them reach a final verdict.

"We had to analyze some things," he said. "We were pretty much deadlocked on the peonage charges."

Jurors decided in subsequent deliberations that the government could seize Norris's 2002 GMC Denali sport-utility vehicle, which prosecutors argued was used in the commission of some of the crimes.

The verdict capped a trial in which Norris battled allegations that he used his pro-wrestling company to lure nine vulnerable and poor women into a life of prostitution and slavery at his two Cartersville homes.

The 41-year-old Norris recruited the women from gas stations and other locations. Prosecutors said he used violence, strict military structure and other means to incite fear and maintain control.

Norris, who represented himself with assistance from a court-appointed lawyer, painted himself as a falsely accused Good Samaritan interested only in promoting his business and offering the women — some of whom had been homeless or drug addicts — better lives as professional wrestlers.

"I think the jury's verdict vindicates the rights of the victims who were brave enough to come forward and confront this man who abused them," said Susan Coppedge, co-prosecutor in the case.

Norris is being held in a detention center in Union City until his sentencing Feb. 28. The Army veteran was unavailable for comment, but lawyer Akil Secret said he most likely will appeal the verdict.

"It still ain't over," said Lucille Norris, who insisted the allegations and charges against her son were racially motivated. The defendant is African-American, and most of his alleged victims are white.

Federal authorities, however, were pleased to win yet another conviction in their battle against pimps and others who abuse women through prostitution and forced labor.

"These cases are really tragic when you hear the victims' testimony about what they were forced to do and the conditions they suffered," said U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias.

GA - Ga. court overturns restrictions on where sex offenders live

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The Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday declared unconstitutional a provision of a 2006 state law that prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of day care centers, schools, churches and other places where children congregate.

In striking down the residency restrictions, the justices said they can amount to an "illegal taking" because they force sex offenders who are homeowners to abandon their homes if a place where children congregate is suddenly built nearby.

"Sex offenders face the possibility of being repeatedly uprooted and forced to abandon homes in order to comply with the [law's] restrictions," Justice Carol Hunstein wrote.

"It is apparent that there is no place in Georgia where a registered sex offender can live without being continually at risk of being ejected," Hunstein added.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, there are almost 15,000 sex offenders on the state's sex offender registry. While the court's ruling focused on the issue of sex offenders who are homeowners, it appears to also extend to all sex offenders because the entire residency restrictions were stricken.

The unanimous decision was a legal victory for Anthony Mann of Clayton County, who researched neighborhoods before he and his wife bought a house in Hampton in 2003. A day care center later opened nearby. When Mann's probation officer told him to quit his barbecue business and move from his home, he filed suit.

Mann is a registered sex offender for a 2002 conviction in North Carolina for "taking indecent liberties with children." Once part-owner of a barbecue restaurant located in a restricted area, he also challenged the state law that restricts where he can work. But the court ruled against him on that issue.

"He gets to stay in his home and he's very happy," said Mann's lawyer, Bailey Wallace of Jonesboro. "This was a severely myopic law that didn't pass the smell test. It turns people into nomads. Where was he going to live? Under a bridge? Under a trestle? Out in the open?"

House Majority Leader Jerry Keen (R-St. Simons), the lead sponsor of the sweeping 2006 law, condemned the ruling, saying the state Supreme Court had thwarted the will of the people.
- I am willing to bet, 90% or more of the "people" have no clue what the law is all about. They probably saw the title only, and passed it without knowing what else is in the law.

"Obviously, it's extremely disappointing," he said. "In throwing out the residency requirement in total, based on one situation, the effect of their ruling is that now convicted felony sex offenders are free to live anywhere they want to in Georgia, whether it's a park, playground or day care center next door."
- But it's not based on one situation, it's based on thousands which I'm sure the Southern Center for Human Rights will tell you about. Just look at the number on the registry now back in jail/prison for violations, or people who have absconded. You are really just very blind.

Keen said he anticipates revisiting the residency portion of the law when the Legislature reconvenes in January.

Russ Willard, a spokesman for Attorney General Thurbert Baker, said his office was "reviewing the decision to decide the extent to which the court has limited law enforcement's ability to enforce the sex offender restrictions."

In the state Supreme Court decision. Hunstein wrote that the law essentially places the state's police powers into the hands of third parties who decide to establish or operate a place where children congregate. This makes any registered sex offender living within a restricted 1,000-foot buffer area at odds with the law and having to decide whether to abandon their homes or face a minimum 10-year prison sentence.
- Correct, and if a sex offender has lived somewhere for awhile, all someone has to do is open a day care in their home and then the sex offender has to move, which is wrong. They should not be able to open a day care or church near a sex offender and force them to move, they should move.

"While this time it was a day care center," Hunstein wrote, referring to Mann, "next time it could be a playground, a school bus stop, a skating rink or a church."

Other areas where children congregate, under the law, include parks, gyms, swimming pools and any of at least 300,000 school bus stops across the state. The ruling does not affect restrictions on where sex offenders can work or loiter.

As for the Manns in Clayton County, Hunstein wrote, they could not legally live in their home under the law. Even if Mann could have found another home, "he is faced with the financial burden of maintaining both residences until he and his wife can rent or sell" their Clayton County home, the decision said.
- And is the state going to reimburse all these people who had to forcibly move from their homes?

Even if the Manns could rent their property to others, the sex-offender registry law forces the couple to "become lessors, an unwelcomed and unanticipated role for which they are ill-equipped," Hunstein wrote.

Sarah Geraghty, a lawyer for the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, heralded the ruling.

"This is the court saying we value property rights in this state and the Legislature cannot arbitrarily snatch them away," Geraghty said. "This is a sloppily drafted law that came into being because of election-year pandering. No other state in the United States, except Georgia, saw fit to retroactively evict thousands of people from their homes."

Geraghty is one of a number of lawyers representing sex-offender plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit that seeks to declare the entire registry law unconstitutional. That case is now pending before U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper in Atlanta.

In March, Cooper issued a ruling allowing many facets of the lawsuit to go forward. But he viewed the burden on sex-offenders who own homes differently than the state Supreme Court justices did Wednesday and dismissed claims that sought to hold the law unconstitutional because homeowners would be uprooted from their homes if a child care center or some other place where children congregate was built nearby. Cooper agreed with state attorneys who said the economic impact on sex-offender homeowners was minimal because they could continue to own the property or sell it.

The federal lawsuit's challenges that are still alive include a claim that the 1,000-foot residency and workplace restrictions should not be applied on those who were convicted before the law was enacted. The suit also attacks the residency restrictions for those who are in nursing homes and those who are homeless. It also raises a First Amendment challenge to the prohibition against sex offenders working or volunteering at a church.

Twenty-nine sex offenders who were living in a Cobb County extended-stay lodge were recently told they have to leave by Dec. 1 because a church is under construction nearby, Geraghty said. "These people were there as a last resort."
- I was one of these. Just because someone decides to open a new church, 29 people, who have been there for over a year without any altercations, have to now move. This is wrong, period! Why was the church able to open near 29 sex offenders? I have had to move 7 times, and now this will make 8, all because mostly of pools, now a church. When will it end? The owner is ticked off as well, he will be losing almost $20,000 per month because of this, which is about $236,640 per year. Now if I owned some place like this, yeah, I would be ticked off as well.

The lead plaintiff in the federal case, Wendy Whitaker, was forced to move from her home in Harlem, Ga., in early 2006. She lives in South Carolina now and has been paying rent there while also paying the mortgage for the Harlem residence.

Whitaker, now 28, is on the sex offender registry because at age 17 she engaged in consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old boy on school property.

Whitaker said she was pleased with Wednesday's ruling. She said she never would have moved if she had not been required to. But now, she said, she's not sure whether she will return.

"My husband and I had decided it was in our best interest to leave the state of Georgia," she said. "I don't know if we'll return, given everything we've been through."

SC - Lexington to Propose Strict Limits on Sex Offenders

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The Town of Lexington is about to propose an ordinance that severely limits where sex offenders could live, even though the Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled unconstitutional a similar law in that state.

Georgia's law banned sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, daycare centers, churches, playgrounds, parks and anywhere else children gather. The Lexington, SC proposal, coming up at its town council meeting December 3, would ban sex offenders from living or loitering within 2,500 feet of those places.

"We know that this ordinance is tough, but we're willing to take a stand because we know that our children are number one here in Lexington," says Councilman Danny Frazier, who's proposing the ordinance.

He says his proposal would stand up in court because it's fundamentally different from Georgia's law.

In the Georgia case, a sex offender established a residence that was legal under that state's law. But a daycare center later opened that was closer to his home than 1,000 feet. His probation officer told him he would have to move, so he challenged the law in court.

In striking down the law, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that, "It is apparent that there is no place in Georgia where a registered sex offender can live without being continually at risk of being ejected."

But Lexington town attorney Brad Cunningham says the ordinance being proposed here is much different. Six registered sex offenders already living in Lexington would be allowed to stay. And any sex offender who establishes a legal residence would not be forced to move if a school, daycare center, park or playground opened within 2,500 feet of his home after the fact.

Frazier says he thinks his proposed ordinance would stand up in court based on the difference.

Amanda Rolls, who has two daughters, ages 7 and 5, says she hopes the Lexington ordinance passes. While watching her girls on a playground, she said, "Knowing that, you know, I can't just walk 10 feet and here's a sex offender, walk another 10 feet and here's another sex offender. So, yeah, it's peace of mind."

A legal challenge would be expected, though, if the ordinance passes. Since 2,500 feet is close to half-a-mile, and with the number of places that would be off-limits in Lexington, the ordinance would effectively ban any new sex offenders from moving into the town.

Frazier says he's not worried about a lawsuit. He asks those worried about a court challenge, "What do you want to put first, your children or worry about money?"

GA - Georgia high court throws out sex offender law

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[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Georgia [official website] Wednesday unanimously overturned [opinion, PDF; summary] a state law that prohibited registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds and other areas where children gather. Civil rights groups had criticized the law [legislative materials] as overly strict, saying that the state's roughly 11,000 registered sex offenders would have been barred from living in almost any residential area. State Rep. Jerry Keen (R) [official profile], who sponsored the law, expressed disappointment in the court's ruling and said that state lawmakers may readdress the issue in January.

The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) [advocacy website], which represented the plaintiffs in their class-action lawsuit [complaint, PDF; SCHR materials], had argued that the law violated several constitutional provisions and at least one federal statute. The law was passed last year and was scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2006, but in June 2006 District Judge Clarence Cooper [official profile] in the Northern District of Georgia [official website] issued a temporary restraining order [brief in support, PDF; JURIST report] that prevented the state from enforcing the law against eight plaintiffs, and then later extended the restraining order to all registered sex offenders in the state [JURIST report]. AP has more.

GA - Ga. sex offender housing restriction overturned

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Court reverses ban on registered offenders living near areas where kids are

ATLANTA - Georgia's top court overturned a state law Wednesday that banned registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, churches and other areas where children congregate.

"It is apparent that there is no place in Georgia where a registered sex offender can live without being continually at risk of being ejected," read the unanimous opinion, written by presiding Justice Carol Hunstein.

The law had been targeted by civil rights groups who argued it would render vast residential areas off-limits to Georgia's roughly 11,000 registered sex offenders and could backfire by encouraging offenders to stop reporting their whereabouts to authorities.

State lawmakers adopted the law in 2006, calling it crucial to protecting the state's most vulnerable population: children.

Georgia's law, which took effect last year, prohibited them from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of just about anywhere children gather — schools, churches, parks, gyms, swimming pools or one of the state's 150,000 school bus stops.

It also led to challenges from groups like the Southern Center for Human Rights, which argued that it would force some offenders to live in their cars or set up tents or trailers in the woods, and undermine other efforts to keep track of offenders.

Twenty-two states have distance restrictions varying from 500 feet to 2,000 feet, according to researchers. But most impose the offender-free zones only around schools, and several apply only to child molesters, not all sex offenders.

Loitering provisions not reversed
The Georgia Supreme Court ruling said even sex offenders who comply with the law "face the possibility of being repeatedly uprooted and forced to abandon homes." It noted that the offender would be in violation of the law whenever someone opts to open a school, church or other facility serving children near the offender's home.

The court also said the statute looms over every location that a sex offender chooses to call home and notes while the case in question particularly involves a day care center, "next time it could be a playground, a school bus stop, a skating rink or a church."

Provisions that also ban sex offenders from loitering and working within 1,000 feet of those places were not reversed.

A judge ruled last year that the law's school bus stop provision could not be enforced unless school boards officially designated the stops. Few boards have since done so.

GA - Supreme Court Ruling

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Dear friends,

Today, the Supreme Court of Georgia issued a very important ruling pertaining to Georgia’s sex offender residency law. The case is Mann v. the Georgia Department of Corrections.

In a strongly-worded, unanimous opinion, the Court held that Ga. Code Ann. § 42-1-15(a) is unconstitutional because it “takes” people’s property without just and adequate compensation in violation of the Takings Clause. Justice Hunstein, writing for the Court, stated that “[i]t is apparent that there is no place in Georgia where a registered sex offender can live without being continually at risk of being ejected.” We believe the Court is responding to how Georgians have come to understand the negative effects of residency restrictions, and how many people these restrictions have affected.

Wendy Whitaker, the lead plaintiff in our class action lawsuit, is one of the many people affected by the Court’s ruling today. Wendy is on the sex offender registry for a single, consensual act of oral sex with a 15-year-old when she was 17. For this one act, committed over ten years ago, the Georgia Legislature saw fit to evict Wendy from a home that she and her husband had purchased. For the last year, Wendy, like so many others, had to move around from place to place. Now, Wendy and her husband will be able to go home.

This ruling clearly benefits those people who own their homes and may be at risk of eviction under the sex offender residency law. We are, however, still in the process of interpreting and analyzing the case to determine its application to people who rent their homes, stay in motels, or have other housing arrangements.

We will be back online early next week with more information. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience.

We wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.

All the best,

Sara, Sarah, Lisa, James and Mica

Mica Doctoroff
Southern Center for Human Rights
83 Poplar St.
Atlanta, GA 30303

FL - Law May Cost 76 Workers Their Jobs

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LAKELAND - The Polk County School District may have to fire up to 76 employees to comply with the Jessica Lunsford Act, which prohibits people who have been convicted of certain criminal offenses from working on school campuses with children.

Many of the people are janitors, bus drivers or maintenance workers who earn meager wages, have limited contact with children, and arrest records from old cases that stem from theft, robbery or vandalism.

That's why school officials and board members don't like the new law.

"These are likely our most vulnerable and lowest paid," said board member Brenda Reddout. "They are the least likely to find salary and benefits."

"It means you can't make a mistake when you're young," said Bruce Tonjes, associate superintendent. "It's upsetting to people who think they have put something behind them."

Board member Margaret Lofton said that officials should address the Legislature about the law.

"People who have been faithful employees for many years will be getting pink slips," Lofton said.

Board officials have notified the employees and are attempting to find some of them jobs at different hours that would eliminate their interaction with children.

Tonjes said many of the janitors and a paraprofessional enjoy working and talking with the students.

The Jessica Lunsford Act swept through the Legislature in 2005 after 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford was kidnapped and killed near her Homosassa home. John Couey, the man convicted of killing her, is a registered sex offender.

The act may affect people like Martha Belmares, a school janitor with a nearly 30-year-old shoplifting transgression. Belmares, 52, was arrested in 1980 and charged with felony grand theft after she was caught shoplifting $110 worth of clothing from a Winter Haven department store.

For her crime, Belmares paid a $500 fine, served two days in jail and three years of probation.

Belmares was fired, but a hearing officer in June recommended restoring her old job as night janitor at Fort Meade Middle /Senior High School.

Because a hearing officer made the determination, School Board attorney Wes Bridges said that Belmares will not be one of the 76 fired.

After the Belmares case, Bridges had asked state Attorney General Bill McCollum to clarify whether the district must fire employees for criminal misdeeds committed years ago. The board also wanted to know whether it may grant exceptions to the law.

In response to Bridges' questions, McCollum did not grant any relief.

"I am of the opinion that all non instructional school district employees who are permitted access on school grounds when students are present, who have direct contact with students, or who have access to or control of school funds must meet level 2 screening requirements as described in section 435.4, Florida Statutes," McCollum wrote.

Tonjes said that human resources is working with each employee on a case-by-case basis. Like Belmares, the fired employees will be given the option to have a hearing before an officer.

The School District employs about 14,000 people.

Bridges called the statute "onerous."

"They could be model employees for 20 or 30 years but something could have happened in the '70s or '80s," Bridges said.

FL - Cop Charged With Child Pornography

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ATLANTIC BEACH -- When forensics experts got a deep look into the computer hard drives of Chris Crews' computers, they say they found at least 19 sexual images and videos of children between the ages of 3 and 9.

Crews turned himself in to authorities Tuesday morning after a warrant for his arrest was signed Monday. In the weeks leading up to his arrest, Atlantic Beach Police stripped the 25-year-old officer of his authority, badge, police I.D. and gun.

In a prepared statement, Atlantic Beach Police Chief David Thompson wrote:

"Child Pornography is certainly one of the most morally repugnant vice offenses, and the Atlantic Beach Police Department is embarrassed to have an employee who has been associated with this behavior."

The case began in Brevard County in September when a detective working Internet Crimes Against Children linked up with a Jacksonville computer on the internet.

"He (the detective) on the computer was able to download some images from a computer in Jacksonville," said JSO Assistant Chief John Hartley.

After weeks of tracing the computer, a search warrant was issued to be served at the residence of Christopher Crews.

"On the 17th (of October) we went to the officer's residence," says Hartley.

"The search warrant revealed several computers."

Those computers were turned over to Federal Agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, where cyber detectives spent hours dissecting the material on Crews' hard drives.

"To reconstruct files. Basically to look into that computer into every little corner to find any little nugget of criminal evidence," said ICE Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ralph DeFelice.

Authorities tell First Coast News there were 19 different sexual images and videos of children between 3 and 9 years old on Christopher Crews' computer.

"He turned himself in with his attorney this morning," said Chief Hartley.

"He was placed in the Duval County jail just like anybody else would be, and he bonded out just like anybody else has the right to do."

"He was given, as far as I know, no preferential treatment going in or coming out of jail."

Crews reportedly paid the $105,000 bond and was released just before 2p.m. Tuesday.

Agents say 25-year-old Crews could face up to 110 years in jail.

"He has been charged with one count of distribution of child pornography which is a second degree felony," said Chief Assistant Statewide Prosecutor Luis Bustamante, adding the charge carries a potential 15-year prison term.

"And he has been charged with 19 counts of possession of child pornography."

Bustamante says those charges could result in 5-years per offense.

The message from local, state, and federal agents is clear to anyone thinking of dabbling in child pornography.

"We're going to go after them. No matter who you are. No matter what position you have!"

Chief Thompson told First Coast News Chris Crews started with his department about six years ago as an animal control officer, then spent a couple of years in communications before hitting the streets in 2004.

Crews has not been fired, but he is serving in an administrative role and is not allowed to have any contact with the public. His future employment or termination is a matter of an administrative process that Thompson says must run its course by law.

AZ - Accusations of rape in small AZ town

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FLORENCE - Accusations of rape shock at a small Arizona high school.

A student at Florence High School is accused of raping another teenager at a party, but the story doesn't end there.

It involves a popular football player and a cheerleader, but investigators say it also involves at least a handful of other students.

They're accused of taking pictures with their cell phones.

"This is a desert area known as The Flats where some of the high school kids come out here to drink and party," Walt Hunter with Florence Police Department.

It's also the scene of an alleged rape involving a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old student at Florence High School.

In the relatively small town of Florence, word has spread quickly.

"One of them is on the football team and he's everybody's friend, and the other one is a cheerleader,” one student said.

Police tell us it was after a football game at "The Flats" when a group of students was drinking and two students allegedly had sex.

Investigators say the boy claims it was consensual, the girl claims it was rape.

"She actually had friends that went to the party, picked her up and brought her immediately to Florence Police Department, at that time we had her sent to the hospital," Hunter said.

Police say several students had taken pictures of the alleged crime with their cell phones.

The phones are now evidence and some of those kids could be facing child porn charges for taking the pictures.

"It's wrong, I think they should have deleted the videos that they took and they shouldn't have taken them in the first place," another student said.

"Can you imagine?,” Cline said. “What if this was your mother? What if this was your sister, or your girlfriend?"

Police say no one has been charged but they hope to try and press charges soon.

Investigators aren't saying what charges they will file, but say they plan to file at least some of them tomorrow.

We're told all of the students involved have returned to class.

Langham:Child Porn Jail Term Ruined My Life

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In his first sit-down interview since his release from prison, actor Chris Langham gives Sky's Anna Botting an exclusive insight into his trial and imprisonment for child porn offenses, and how he hopes to rebuild his life.

OT - Protesters Greet Gonzalez At UF Speech

MD - Children herded like cattle into Maryland courthouse for forced vaccinations as armed police and att

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Children herded like cattle into Maryland courthouse for forced vaccinations as armed police and attack dogs stand guard

(NewsTarget) Following the State of Maryland's threats against parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated, children were herded into a Price George County courthouse being guarded by armed personnel with attack dogs. Inside, the children were forcibly vaccinated, many against their will, under orders from the State Attorney General, various State Judges and the local School Board Director, all of whom illegally conspired to threaten parents with imprisonment if they did not submit their children to vaccinations.

The State of Maryland has now turned to Gestapo tactics to force its medical will upon the People, stripping parents of any right to decide how they wish to protect their own children from infectious disease. Health authorities there have already announced their intent to essentially kidnap parents and throw them in jail, removing them from their children for up to thirty days if they continue to refuse to have their children vaccinated. This will all be conducted at gunpoint, with armed personnel and attack dogs at the ready, making sure nobody steps out of line, and suppressing any attempt at public dissent against the Orwellian vaccination policies.

The entire campaign against these parents is blatantly illegal. There is no law in Maryland requiring the vaccination of children, thus parents who refuse to do so may not be legally charged with violating any law. Instead, Maryland health and school authorities are using Gestapo-like tactics, threatening to charge the parents with child truancy violations, criminalizing them for daring to protect their children from the dangerous chemicals found in vaccines (including thimerosal, a chemical additive containing a neurotoxic form of mercury).

The desperation of organized medicine is becoming increasingly apparent
As more and more parents are becoming informed about the dangers of vaccinations and their link to autism, state health authorities are increasingly turning to "Gunpoint Medicine" to force the People to submit to the poisons of conventional medicine. Parents who attempt to save their children from deadly chemotherapy chemicals are being arrested and having their children kidnapped by Child Protective Services (see ), and oncologists who used to be armed only with radiation machines and chemotherapy injectors and now arming themselves with U.S. Marshals and other local law enforcement authorities who are using loaded firearms to enforce "the will of the State" against parents who resist.

Even the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) announced its strong opposition to the Maryland "Gunpoint Medicine" vaccination campaign. In a press release published Nov. 16, the AAPS states:

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons today condemned the “vaccine roundup” executed in Prince George’s county Maryland this week, and promised to do everything it can to support parents who refuse to immunize their children.

“This power play obliterates informed consent and parental rights,” said Kathryn Serkes, director of policy for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), one of the few national physician groups that refuse corporate funding from pharmaceutical companies.

In a scenario reminiscent of cattle round-ups, the state’s attorney has issued summons to more than 1600 parents of children who have not provided certificates of immunization for their children. But instead of toting a cattle prod, this state’s attorney chooses to wield a syringe to keep the “herd” in line.

Read the rest of the press release at:

Gunpoint Medicine: Why drug pushers must now rely on Gestapo tactics
Conventional (pharmaceutical) medicine is the only system of medicine in the world that is so unpopular with informed consumers that it must be administered at the barrel of a gun. There is no other system of medicine anywhere in the world that resorts to such tactics to recruit patients.

At the Nov. 17th event in Maryland, activists Jim Moody and Kelly Ann Davis from SafeMinds ( were able to get in front of TV news cameras and voice their opposition to the coerced vaccination policy. Yet, amazingly, most parents just lined up like cattle ready to be branded, not bothering to question the sanity or legality of the very system in which they were now agreeing to participate.

A health freedom blog called Center for the Common Interest ( also covered the event, and it reports that a local activist named Donovan Hubbard videotaped the event and plans to make the video available online. (NewsTarget would like to contact Donovan and / or publicize his video. If you know of a way we can contact him, please call us at (520) 232-9300 to let us know...)

What's next for Gunpoint Medicine?
As the truth continues to emerge about the extreme dangers of vaccinations and pharmaceuticals, Big Pharma is becoming increasingly desperate to coerce the public into relying on its products. It is now working closely with state authorities (including Governors of several states) to mandate the use of vaccinations on young children. This results in the criminalization of parents who refuse to subject their children to these dangerous chemicals.

In effect, Big Pharma is hoping to turn natural health followers into criminals.

The FDA has already criminalized nutritional supplement companies who dare to tell the truth about the health benefits of their supplements. (Read the true history of armed FDA raids on vitamin companies here: )

Next, parents who refuse to subject their children to the chemical pharmaceuticals proposed by Big Pharma will be criminalized, rounded up and incarcerated for "refusing to comply with public health policy." This is all being done by the State in the name of "protecting the children" from their own natural health parents. (Insane, isn't it, to think that protecting your child from toxic chemicals is now a criminal act in the United States?)

The end game of all this is to apply Gunpoint Medicine tactics to everyone: Adults and senior citizens included. Anyone suffering from high cholesterol, for example, who does not submit to Big Pharma's statin drugs could be arrested, strapped to a table and medicated against their will. People with cancer could be arrested for choosing to treat that cancer with safe and effective botanical medicines instead of patented, high-profit Big Pharma drugs. If you think the prisons are full enough right now from all the arrests for marijuana possession and other victimless crimes, just wait until the State starts arresting all the natural health moms and dads across the country who refuse to participate in the utterly insane and extremely harmful system of medicine that now dominates U.S. health care today.

The State is very clear about medicine: If you want to remain a free citizen, you must submit to the synthetic drugs made by the very same corporations that now control government health regulators. Any person who resists such "treatments" will be branded a threat to public health -- a designation just beneath "terrorist" in the eyes of many government bureaucrats. As such, they believe there is no limit to the level of force they may use to coerce such people into submitting to Big Pharma's chemicals. Today, it's armed guards with attack dogs. Tomorrow, it might be water boarding or other torture methods. Think that's impossible? Think again: Just five years ago, nobody in their right mind would have thought that parents who did not want to get their children vaccinated would end up in prison, their children kidnapped by state authorities and forced to subject themselves to dangerous chemical injections at gunpoint. Yet that is precisely what is happening right now in the state of Maryland. It happened on Saturday, in fact.

Where is the outrage?
What's most interesting about this issue of using the threat of imprisonment to force vaccinations upon children is not necessarily who is speaking out against it, but who has chosen to remain silent.

The American Medical Association, for example, has said nothing in opposition to the policy. Neither has the Food and Drug Administration. Where is the outrage from the Maryland Hospital Association? None of these organizations seem to have a problem with Gunpoint Medicine. The idea of rounding up parents and coercing their children into receiving injections of toxic chemicals does not seem to bother these organizations. And why should it? All of these organizations are closely tied to Big Pharma. They're all in favor of vaccinations for all, it seems, and I have no doubt that some individuals in these organizations (especially the AMA) are strongly in favor of the Gunpoint Medicine coerced vaccination policy being played out in Maryland right now.

Organized medicine believes the People are too stupid to be allowed to make their own health decisions. Bureaucrats and physicians should be the ones making these decisions, we're told, and any person who disagrees with such decisions should be labeled a criminal, arrested and prosecuted. This is no exaggeration. It is, in fact, a shockingly accurate description of Maryland's current vaccination policy.

It wasn't too long ago that Americans would have stood up and rallied against this kind of medical tyranny. The major news networks would have denounced Maryland's vaccination policy with strong language and harsh accusations. People would have been marching in the streets, demanding their health freedom. But today, it's a different America. The People are drugged up on pharmaceuticals and dosed on fluoride. They're too intoxicated to think straight, and they're frightened into submission by a fear-based government that invokes domestic tyranny at every opportunity to control and manipulate the People into doing whatever it wants.

The "free" America we all once knew is long gone, and it has been replaced with The United States of Corporate America, where police tactics are now used to enforce hazardous public health policies, and the people who run the State no longer think there's anything wrong with rounding up the population at gunpoint and performing large-scale medical experiments on their children. That's what modern vaccines are, after all: A grand medical experiment whose effects will only become known after a generation of mass poisoning has come and gone.


About the author: Mike Adams is a consumer health advocate with a mission to teach personal and planetary health to the public He has authored and published thousands of articles, interviews, consumers guides, and books on topics like health and the environment, impacting the lives of millions of readers around the world who are experiencing phenomenal health benefits from reading his articles. Adams is an honest, independent journalist and accepts no money or commissions on the third-party products he writes about or the companies he promotes. In 2007, Adams launched EcoLEDs, a maker of super bright LED light bulbs that are 1000% more energy efficient than incandescent lights. He's also a noted pioneer in the email marketing software industry, having been the first to launch an HTML email newsletter technology that has grown to become a standard in the industry. Adams also serves as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a non-profit consumer protection group, and enjoys outdoor activities, nature photography, Pilates and adult gymnastics. Known as the 'Health Ranger,' Adams' personal health statistics and mission statements are located at

FL - Lynyrd Skynyrd Drummer Released From Prison

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No I don't want this, but do you think he will go to prison for the mandatory 10 years which the law states? I don't think so, and I hope not. This points out the insanity of these laws. And I believe the law states that if you are somewhere for more than XX number of days, then you have to register in that state as well. I did see him on Florida registry, and that is all. This man is a legend!

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TCJC Visits Winner's Circle Convention 2007

Now that Texas has funded more treatment beds, a few members of Winner's Circle have suggestions for the next crucial steps to ensure that more addicts get on the road to recovery.

MN - Body found near stolen vehicle

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Body, Porsche both burned; man arrested

A suspected sex offender found dead and burned next to a flaming sports car north of Windom was living in Mankato before he was killed, according to the mother of a man who she said was arrested and jailed in Blue Earth County as a result of the murder investigation.

The death of 20-year-old Alberto Samilpa Jr. is being investigated by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Cottonwood County Sheriff’s Department, the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies, said Mike Mauer, Blue Earth County chief deputy.

Samilpa’s death was discovered after a family traveling north for the Thanksgiving holiday saw the car burning near the intersection of Highway 71 and Cottonwood County Road 3 and reported it to the Sheriff’s Department sometime around 1 a.m. Monday, authorities said.

The 1999 Porsche that was found burning next to Samilpa’s partially burned body had been stolen from a house north of Mankato. Another vehicle that had been stolen from the same Lime Valley Road house, a 2000 Lincoln Navigator, was found burning in Watonwan County at 5:17 a.m. Monday, or about four hours after the Porsche fire was reported, authorities said.

“It was the Porsche that was found at the murder scene,” said Doug Storey, Cottonwood County attorney. “Why an attempt was made to burn the body with the car, we don’t know.”

About 15 guns, cash and other items also were missing from the rural Mankato house when that incident was reported by the owners just before 9 p.m. Saturday, a Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department report said.

Hans Paul Hottel, 20, formerly of Windom, was booked into the Blue Earth County Jail on a second-degree murder charge at 10:18 p.m. Monday, according to the jail roster. Capt. Rich Murry of the Sheriff’s Department said Hottel was being transported to Cottonwood County Tuesday night. Murry said he couldn’t comment about the reasons for Hottel’s arrest.

“At this point, our investigation is ongoing and in conjunction with the BCA,” Murry said.

Hottel’s mother, Lita Hottel of Windom, said her son’s arrest was connected to Samilpa’s death. She said her son, who volunteered to serve in the military in Iraq and recently returned from a tour there, lived with Samilpa and other roommates at an apartment in the immediate Mankato area.

“He was his friend and he was his roommate and he was trying to get him a job,” Lita Hottel said, describing her son’s relationship with Samilpa. “Hans was the only one who was arrested because the other ones involved are gone.”

Hans Hottel recently started working at Corporate Graphics in North Mankato and had applied to enroll at Minnesota State University, Lita Hottel said. He plans to start classes next semester if he’s released.

Samilpa was scheduled for trial next month in Nicollet County District Court for a felony charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and a gross misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct. The charges were filed on Oct. 17, 2006, two days after a Sleepy Eye woman reported he had raped her at a party at a rural residence about three miles north of North Mankato on Oct. 15, 2006.

About a week after he was charged, Samilpa was released on $25,000 bond. His trial was scheduled to start on Dec. 19 and service papers for several subpoenas that had been issued to potential witnesses for the trial were returned to Nicollet County Tuesday, according to court records.

The victim in that incident was at a party with a friend, also from Sleepy Eye, when she was approached by Samilpa, the criminal complaint said. Samilpa allegedly separated her from her friend, forced her into a car and raped her before leaving with a group of his friends.

She was able to identify Samilpa as the man who attacked her by looking at his picture in a Madelia High School yearbook, the criminal complaint said.

PA - Palmerton limits where sex offenders may live

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Sex offenders who decide to make Palmerton home will have a difficult time finding a place to live now that Palmerton approved a tough ordinance to keep them away from children.

Council adopted the ordinance in a meeting Wednesday night in which they also gave first round of approval to a $4.5 million budget that keeps taxes steady but increases sewage costs by $5 per month.

The sex offender ordinance bans criminals convicted of a sex crime against a minor from living within 1,500 feet of a school, child-care facility, community center, public park or recreational facility or a common open space, such as borough land set aside from recreation or preservation. The distance is computed as a straight line from the edge of the offender's property to the edge of the protected property.
- This is a lie, it's not just for sex crimes against minors, it's for ALL sex offenders.

The requirement does not apply to a sex offender who already lives within that distance prior to the ordinance's adoption Wednesday night or if the school or other facility is built after the sex offender establishes residency in an area where he's permitted to live.

Pennsylvania State Police records indicate two sex offenders living within Palmerton's borough limits.
- So you are creating a law for 2 people?