Friday, December 7, 2007

GA - Woman Says She Was Raped by Clayton Co. Officer

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12/07/2007

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5) – Clayton County police are investigating one of their own who is accused of sexually assaulting a woman he took to jail. Friday night, the fired officer's attorney said the woman wasn’t telling the truth.

Defense lawyer Keith Martin admitted his client had sex with the woman, but not while on duty and not on the day she claimed. As the woman spoke out, the former officer was fighting for his freedom.

Martin said his client admitted that he made a mistake having sex with a woman he picked up, but he insisted he played by the rules that September night when he was then assigned two days after their rendezvous to take the same woman to the Clayton County jail.

"He had consensual sex with the woman while he was off duty in his own personal car," said Martin.

"I had sex with this Clayton County Police officer and I didn't agree to it," said alleged victim Robin Bettsill.
Bettsill said she blew the whistle on a Clayton County police officer who she claims assaulted her while she was in police custody. Bettsill said she was arrested at the Scottish Inn in late September on an outstanding warrant for unpaid traffic tickets, but instead of going straight to jail, she said the officer took her to an abandoned home.

"All of a sudden, he's got a condom in his hand with a gold wrapper and he drops his pants," Bettsill said.

Bettsill said the alleged sexual assault occurred in the driveway of a home that was vacant at the time. After it was over, Bettsill said the officer put her back into the patrol car and drover her to the jail.

Betsill said once she was released from jail about 30 days later, she reported the officer to the police department.
"Why did she wait 30 plus days encountering dozens of officers and she never said she had sex with him?" asked Martin.

Clayton County police said they immediately launched an internal investigation and the officer was fired November 7 for conduct unbecoming an officer.

The department would not comment further on the case because they are pursuing an ongoing criminal investigation.

Bettsill said she felt too powerless at the time to fight back but said she is speaking out and fighting back now.

"That man took advantage of me. I did not agree to have sex with him. What he did was wrong," said Bettsill.

Clayton County police said the results of their investigation will eventually be turned over to the district attorney's office and there has been no word yet when or if that information will be presented to a grand jury.
Martin said his client will not appeal the firing but will fight any criminal charges.

"I have no idea of her motive and no idea of why she waited," said Martin.


WA - Alarming New Trend: Four-year-olds as Sexual Deviants

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Video available at the site above.

12/06/2007

KENNEWICK -- Four-year olds as sexual deviants.

It's an alarming new trend and it's happening in our community.

The Mid-Columbia has had a number of cases in the news lately involving adults accused of sex with children, and even children accused of preying on other kids.

Counselors now report, kids who are preschool-age are acting out sexually.

"Children abusing children, unfortunately, is a trend that we see increasing," Sexual Assault Response Center (SARC) director JoDee Garretson said.

Psychologists said children are unknowingly acting out on themselves or other children as young as four-years-old.

Kids that young can't physically have sex, but child experts say they perform other sexual acts instead.

"We do see a lot of kids that have self-stimulating behaviors and inappropriate touching that they need help setting up appropriate boundaries," Catholic Family and Child Services child therapist Tom Orgill said.

And its not as rare as you would think.

The Sexual Assault Response Center reported a dozen cases where children offended: all under the age of five.

"Perhaps when a five year old is offending against a two- or three-year-old and somebody walked in and saw, because kids that young usually don't disclose," Garretson said.

Orgill said young children interested in sex often have been sexually abused or witnessed sexual abuse in the past.

The part that's unclear is understanding why more are happening at such young ages.

"I don't know if more children are offending, I don't know if they're simply being caught earlier," Garreton said. "I'm not really sure what it means."

In the State of Washington, the youngest age lawyers can prosecute an offender is eight years old.

The burden is to prove the child knows the difference between right and wrong.

Under the age of eight, no matter what sexual act a child may show, it's not a crime.

The important thing to keep in mind is that these acts do not describe every kid.

Some kids are just curious and, therapists said, can experiment on a "normal" level.

Counselors told Action News the important thing to watch out for is how often it's happening.

It's hard to report all the cases of kids involved in sexual acts since they are often too young to disclose that information.

SARC reports a quarter of kids who are assaulted are under the age of five.


OR - Democratic operative sentenced to probation

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12/07/2007

Scott Ballo, a longtime Democratic consultant who once served as Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski's spokesman, has been sentenced to five years of probation after pleading guilty to two counts of encouraging child sex abuse and one count of official misconduct, according to the Marion County district attorney's office.

The sex abuse counts involve possessing pornographic images of people younger than 18. All the charges are misdemeanors.
- I thought possessing child porn was more than a misdemeanor, guess when you know the right people it's not.

While on probation, Ballo, 36, must register as a sex offender, have no contact with children except his own and only use computers for work.

The misdemeanors charges stem from when Ballo was communications manager at the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department in 2003 and 2004.

Ballo, 36, was Kulongoski's spokesman during his first campaign and when he took office in 2003.


CA - Warning sounded over 'flirting robots'

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12/07/2007

Those entering online dating forums risk having more than their hearts stolen.

A program that can mimic online flirtation and then extract personal information from its unsuspecting conversation partners is making the rounds in Russian chat forums, according to security software firm PC Tools.

The artificial intelligence of CyberLover's automated chats is good enough that victims have a tough time distinguishing the "bot" from a real potential suitor, PC Tools said. The software can work quickly too, establishing up to 10 relationships in 30 minutes, PC Tools said. It compiles a report on every person it meets complete with name, contact information, and photos.

"As a tool that can be used by hackers to conduct identity fraud, CyberLover demonstrates an unprecedented level of social engineering," PC Tools senior malware analyst Sergei Shevchenko said in a statement.

Among CyberLover's creepy features is its ability to offer a range of different profiles from "romantic lover" to "sexual predator." It can also lead victims to a "personal" Web site, which could be used to deliver malware, PC Tools said.

Although the program is currently targeting Russian Web sites, PC Tools is urging people in chat rooms and social networks elsewhere to be on the alert for such attacks. Their recommendations amount to just good sense in general, such as avoiding giving out personal information and using an alias when chatting online. The software company believes that CyberLover's creators plan to make it available worldwide in February.

Robot chatters are just one type of social-engineering attack that uses trickery rather than a software flaw to access victim's valuable information. Such attacks have been on the rise and are predicted to continue to grow.

Update 4:10 p.m. PST: Mike Greene, vice president of product strategy at PC Tools, said that the company learned of CyberLover's existence earlier this week as part of its regular monitoring of IRC chat rooms and other places where talk about malware takes place.

Greene said that it is hard to tell how prevalent use of the program is in Russia.

"We don't have exact statistics, but I think it's early on," he said.

Greene said that the perceived anonymity of the Internet has desensitized people to the fact that information disclosed in an online chat can cause real-world damage.

"People are used to not opening attachments or maybe not clicking on a link that shows up in their IM," he said. "But this emulates a real conversation, so you more are likely to give over personal information, click on a link or send your photograph."


A Look at the Numbers: Prison Reform

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by Alyssa Battistoni

A portrait of America is a study in contrasts — we are a nation that funds abstinence-only education while salivating over the hypersexualized exploits of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, that speaks proudly of itself as a melting pot while seeking all the while to close its borders, that prides itself on being a democracy yet by and large doesn’t vote. But perhaps the most egregious contradiction of all is our proud avowal that our country is the land of the free, while in the meantime 5.6 million of our fellow citizens are locked behind bars, giving us bragging rights to the world’s highest incarceration rate at 1 in every 37 adults.

A look at who is in the jails is even more gut-wrenching: the American prison population is 90% male and disproportionately black and Latino. How disproportionate? Well, a black man has a 32% likelihood of being committed to prison at some point in his life, compared to a 17.2% chance for Latino men and a 5.9% chance for a white man. Unless we are to believe that men who have darker skin are inherently more criminal than those whose skin is white, we must conclude that America’s criminal justice system is itself more criminal than just. It is a disgrace to our country and an absolute travesty of the ideals we claim to hold so dear. But a few recent court cases give new hope that the system can yet be reformed.

To begin with, why are so many Americans in prison, and why are the demographics of incarceration so racially disproportionate? Though incarceration is an extremely complex phenomenon, there are a few particularly salient trends. As union-wage jobs become more and more difficult to come by, economic hardship becomes an undeniable motive for criminal activity, whether by theft or drug dealing. Politicians have come to rely more and more on being “tough on crime” as a means of getting elected, with Rudy Giuliani’s harsh and often brutal criminal policies in New York City as a prime example.

Perhaps the most significant contributor to the rising prison rate, however, is American drug policy. Unlike crimes like murder, rape, or robbery, where there is no question that a criminal justice trial will result, there is quite clearly a two-tiered response to drug problems. In middle- and upper-class communities, drug problems seen as family problems. Families pay for their children or husbands or mothers to go to treatment programs, while neighbors speak of the trouble in hushed tones out of respect for family privacy.

In low-income communities, however, drug crimes are a criminal justice problem. Three-quarters of people incarcerated for drug offenses are African American or Latino, a stunning percentage that is highly disproportionate to drug usage. While drug use in certain communities is strictly enforced, other communities get a free ride. The provisions of many laws, like school drug-free zone laws, affect urban communities more severely than suburban or rural areas. Prisons have, in many ways, become our primary means of responding to poverty in these communities — we lock up poor people in order to get them off the streets.

Drug sentencing is highly problematic as well, in that many theoretically race-neutral policies in reality have an extreme racial effect. In an oft-discussed example, crack cocaine possession is punished far more harshly than possession of powder cocaine: up until a few weeks ago, five grams of crack got you the same prison sentence as five hundred grams of powder cocaine. In a pure coincidence, more than 80% of people prosecuted for crack are black, while powder cocaine is “white people’s cocaine.” So when Lindsay Lohan gets caught with powder cocaine, she goes to a rehab ski resort in Utah, and when Edward Clary, a black male from St. Louis, gets caught with crack cocaine, he gets 4 years in prison.

And the death penalty is the worst offender of all. A study by law professor David Baldus and statistician George Woodworth showed that in Philadelphia, the odds of a murder defendnat receiving the death penalty is 3.9 times higher if the defendant is black. Other studies have shown that in counties that have the death penalty, 98% of district attorneys are white. A GAO analysis concluded that defendants who murder whites are more likely to be given the death penalty than those who murder blacks. In 1996, Kentucky’s death row was made up entirely of people who had murdered whites, despite the fact that over 1,000 black people have been murdered in the state since the reinstatement of the death penalty. These findings should raise serious alarm bells in the mind of anyone with a sense of justice. It’s hard to emphasize enough how appalling our continued use of the death penalty is in light of so much evidence of racial discrimination.

Now for the hopeful news. The U.S. Sentencing Committee, a branch of the Department of Justice, has finally acknowledged the aforementioned absurd incongruity between crack and powder cocaine sentencing laws, reducing the mandatory minimum sentencing for crack possession from just over ten to just under nine years. The new mandatory minimum is still a vastly excessive measure, but the fact that our government is finally acknowledging the racially unjust structure of our legal code is a very good thing, and a definite step in the right direction. Hopefully it is the first step of many — a crack-sentencing case is currently pending before the Supreme Court, and a decision against extreme sentences could have a major impact on the 5500 defendants who are prosecuted annually for crack offenses.

When the Georgia Supreme Court overturned Genarlow Wilson’s ten-year sentence for the unspeakable crime of receiving consensual oral sex from a fellow teenager (she was fifteen, he was seventeen), a blow was struck against the excessive sexual moralism that so often triumphs of justice and reason. Wilson had already lost two years of his life to prison, but his case will presumably prevent others from sharing his fate.

And perhaps most promising of all, the Supreme Court halted the execution of a Virginia death row inmate, effectively imposing a de facto moratorium on lethal injection across the nation while it considers whether this dominant form of capital punishment constitutes cruel and unusual punishment as prohibited by the Constitution. Though the Court is only addressing the constitutionality of death by lethal injection, it is by far the dominant method in the United States, used by 37 of the 38 states with the death penalty, and a declaration of its unconstitutionality would have an incredible impact. Though states could come up with other methods of execution, the case for capital punishment would be seriously weakened.

There is a long way to go. There are incredible incentives to keep building and filling prisons, which are a huge source of employment for working-class white men. In fact, the rate of prison guard employment has increased even faster than the rate of incarceration, and prison guard unions have emerged as a strong political force in campaigns for policies like California’s highly punitive three-strikes-you’re-out law (perhaps also accounting for the fact that in California, a prison guard earns $10,000 more per year than a public school teacher). But through the courts, justice may win out over political contributions and the interest in maintaining an unjust status quo.

© Copyright 2007 Stanford Progressive. All rights reserved.


IA - Iowa Supreme Court again upholds sex offender residency law

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12/07/2007

DES MOINES — The Iowa Supreme Court today once again upheld the controversial state law that requires convicted sex offenders to live at least 2,000 feet away from a school or child care center.

In ruling on a Polk County case involving Benjamin David Groves, the court said the state law does not violate his constitutional due process rights.

Court documents said Groves, 29, was convicted of lascivious acts with a child in 1997. In 2002, the Iowa Legislature passed a law prohibiting sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or child care facility.

In January 2006 Groves was charged with violating the law for living too close to a school.

He filed a motion to dismiss the charge claiming the residency law severely restricted his liberty rights, which he defined as the ``right to reside somewhere that meets basic 21st century living standards.''

District Court Judge Carol Egly dismissed the charge saying Groves' rights to substantive due process were violated by the statute and the ``residency restrictions are a severe restriction of the defendant's liberty rights.'' She defined one of those rights as the right to live somewhere with heat, electricity, sewer or septic and running water.

Opponents of the 2,000 foot rule have said the law has forced many sex offenders to move out of their homes and sometimes live under bridges or in rest stops, where it becomes more difficult to monitor them.

The Iowa attorney general's office and the Polk County attorney appealed.

The Supreme Court said it and the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals have previously reviewed the due process challenges to the state law. Both courts found in separate cases that no fundamental right exists for a person to choose where they live.

``In the present case, we find the right to reside somewhere that meets basic 21st century living standards is no different from the right to choose where and under what conditions one lives,'' the court said.

The court said Groves presented no evidence regarding the impact the statute had on him.

``Without such evidence, we are unable to determine whether the statute precludes him from residing somewhere that meets basic 21st century living standards,'' the court said. ``Therefore, we must conclude Groves has failed to establish the statute does not rationally advance some legitimate government purpose.''

The court reversed the district court dismissal of the charge and sent the case back to Polk County for trial.

The state's 2,000-foot rule was passed after 10-year-old Jetseta Gage was kidnapped from her Cedar Rapids home in March 2005 and sexually abused and killed by a convicted sex offender.

It has become controversial with many law enforcement officials and some prosecutors saying it should be thrown out. Many say the state instead should create safe zones around schools and child care centers that convicted sex offenders could not enter without permission.

One of the biggest reasons many law enforcement and prevention advocates believe the current law doesn't work is that it does little to stop perpetrators of abuse.

Democratic leaders in the Legislature have said they may consider toughening the state's sex offender laws next year. A plan crafted in the Senate earlier this year would have retained the 2,000 foot rule and created additional ``safe zones'' where offenders would be banned.

About 22 states and hundreds of cities and counties nationwide have residency requirements for sex offenders.

Human Rights Watch, a group dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world, released a report in September which called for repeal of all broad-based residency restrictions, saying traditional parole and probation laws can restrict individual high-risk offenders.

The residency laws often cover offenders who did not victimize children and sometimes deter them from getting treatment or maintaining supportive family contacts, the report said.


TN - Ex-labor leader gets year in jail for raping boy

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12/07/2007

The sister of a 13-year-old boy molested in the steam room of a West Knoxville fitness center lashed out Thursday at her brother's assailant in a speech that sent a defense attorney to his feet in protest.

The clash between the woman, who is not being identified to protect the victim's identity, and defense attorney Gregory P. Isaacs came during a hearing in Knox County Criminal Court at which former Oak Ridge labor leader and politico Carl "Bubba" Scarbrough admitting raping the boy in June 2005.

Scarbrough pleaded guilty to rape and racked up an eight-year prison term. However, under a plea deal, he will not go to prison. Instead he will serve one year at the Knox County Sheriff's Detention Facility and the rest on probation.

The plea hearing had been rather rote, save the phalanx of television cameras in a corner of the courtroom.

But proceedings got heated after Assistant District Attorney General Willie Lane announced that the boy - entitled under the law to speak about the impact of Scarbrough's molestation of him at the Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center - wanted his sister to speak instead.

"The victim did not come today," Lane said. "He did not want to be in the same room with (Scarbrough)."

Isaacs objected.

"We're sensitive to the victim's rights," Isaacs said.

But it was the boy, not his sister, who was the victim, Isaacs argued.

Judge Kenneth Irvine Jr. disagreed.

"Because (the victim is) a minor child, she would be speaking on behalf of a minor child," Irvine ruled.

The woman told Scarbrough that "no amount of words can express the anger, the revulsion" she and her family feel for him.

"He's no longer your victim," the woman said of her brother. "You stole something from him, and it's something he'll never have again - his innocence. … If the decision were up to me, I would lock you up and throw away the key. Child molesters cannot be rehabilitated."

Isaacs sat quietly beside Scarbrough until the woman accused Scarbrough of laughing and acting unconcerned during a recess.

"Mr. Scarbrough was not laughing in the courtroom," Isaacs said.

Isaacs then questioned whether the woman was grandstanding, noting not only the media assembled at the hearing but also civil attorneys who are suing, on behalf of the boy's family, Scarbrough and the Fort Sanders fitness center over the molestation.

"I have observed Mr. Scarbrough," Irvine responded. "He has taken this very seriously."

When the woman began to quote the gospel of Matthew and a passage that condemns those who would harm, offend or lead astray a child, Isaacs was back on his feet.

"I realize faith is very important," he said. "It's important to me … but I respectfully ask the victim impact statement be limited to victim impact."

The woman then ended her speech by thanking Lane and Knox County Sheriff's Office Detective Ray Treece for their "dedication" to the case.

Scarbrough, 65, had faced as much as two decades behind bars if he had been convicted of the more serious aggravated rape charge filed against him. Under the plea deal, he could be freed in as little as seven months if he earns credits in jail for good behavior and work programs.

"Had we gone to trial (and won), the judge could have given him probation," Lane said. "What we did was basically a bird-in-hand approach. We have a guaranteed sentence - time he actually has to serve. The sex offender registry was huge for this family."

As part of the deal, Scarbrough must register as a sex offender and will be subject to lifetime supervision requirements.

"The plea agreement that was hammered out was a significant compromise by both sides," Isaacs said. "Mr. Scarbrough reduced his sentencing exposure by 19 years, while the victim and his family received closure and a plea of guilt. To say reaching this agreement was difficult would be a tremendous understatement."

Scarbrough, a divorced father of four, was a longtime Anderson County commissioner and leader in the Democratic Party. He was chief of the Atomic Trades and Labor Council and a Y-12 employee.

But Scarbrough was leading a double life, court records revealed. He carried out his secret lifestyle at the fitness center, where he went almost daily. He wasn't working out, however. Instead, court records revealed, he was haunting the showers, locker room and steam room, watching other men and masturbating.

Several fitness center customers, including two FBI agents, complained to Fort Sanders management, records in the criminal case show. Scarbrough remained, however, a member in good standing.

On June 9, 2005, the 13-year-old boy went into the steam room. Scarbrough, Lane said, followed him inside and shut the door. The boy was frightened, she said, and complied when Scarbrough demanded he stand up. Scarbrough briefly performed oral sex on the boy before the teenager pulled away and fled, she said.

Scarbrough will remain free to celebrate Christmas. Under the plea deal, he won't report to jail until Dec. 28.

Jamie Satterfield may be reached at 865-342-6308.


MI - Legislators should approve bill to expand sex offender registry

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So he is going to violate the US Constitution and try to get an ex-post facto law passed. I thought he took an "oath" to uphold the Constitution? Guess not!

12/07/2007

House Bill 5349, introduced by state Rep. David Law, R-Commerce Township, just makes sense. It appears to be a matter of simply setting things straight - completing something that should have been done a few years ago.

Law says Michigan's sex offender registry isn't a complete list of dangerous predators because offenders convicted before 1995 aren't required to register.

His bill would change that.

It would require some individuals convicted on or before Oct. 1, 1995, to register. It would cover offenders who were age 17 or older when they sexually assaulted a child younger than 13.

The bill is not looking to place every person convicted of any offense on the list. A 17-year-old who had consensual sex with a 15-year-old, for example, is the not the target of this proposed law.

Rather, Law wants those convicted of criminal sexual conduct in the first and second degree with a victim under age 13 to be placed on the registry.

The legislation is aimed at child predators who have the highest recidivism rate.

It would help complete the intent of the registry, which, according to the Michigan State Police, is Òto better assist the public in preventing and protecting against the commission of future criminal sexual acts by convicted sex offenders.

Offenders are required to register if they work or live in the state and have been convicted of specific sex crimes. The registry is a public record and includes the individual's name, photo, crime, physical description, last known address and aliases.

As Law has noted in past news stories, the bill is not about further punishing sex offenders - it's a matter of public safety. The legislator said the recidivism statistics of the most heinous sex offenders pose a significant threat to public safety and our children.

The bill makes sense, especially in this era of ever-increasing danger to our youngsters.

The menace of sexual predators seems always to be in the news lately.

That's good. The threat to all people, particularly our children, is real - and the more warnings that can be issued about it, the better off we all will be.

It would be nice if we could say the days of trenchcoat-clad men stalking our playgrounds are gone.

Unfortunately, sometimes they still are there.

But now those sick individuals have gone even further. They've found a new, high-tech way to fulfill their perverted desires.

Many predators probably think they're safer searching for victims online. But fortunately, law enforcement and other officers are there to help protect our youngsters.

House Bill 5349 certainly won't solve today's problems with sexual predators, but it could help.

Like the police stings against online predators and the education of our young as to the risks of being too off-guard with strangers, anything that can help protect our young should be instituted.

The bill is currently in the House Judiciary Committee. A spokesman at Law's office in Lansing said they hope the bill makes it out of committee and onto the House floor soon.

So do we.


MA - Editorial: Dedham, state sex laws studied

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12/06/2007

Dedham - That law Dedham passed to make it harder on sex predators to operate is not a law at all; the state lawyers are holding it up.

Seems the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts has stepped in to challenge the law.

Dedham’s law would restrict where a convicted sex offender can live and travel in town.

Meanwhile, there is a law like Dedham’s that is making its way through the legislature that would apply to the whole state. That might be ruled upon at the same time as Dedham.

If a law effectively forces ex-sex offenders out of town and out of other towns and cities with similar laws, it thereby creates a population of itinerants whose lives are destabilized by homelessness, unemployment, and inaccessibility to supervision networks, says the ACLU. The law also impinges on the Sex Offender Registry law, says the ACLU, and denies convicted sex offenders rights protected by the Massachusetts and U.S. constitutions.

Many residents of Massachusetts would choose to protect themselves and their children from sex offenders instead of worrying about offenders’ constitutional rights.

But the ACLU objection does have some points that must be addressed.

They will, in the end, seriously affect innocent peoples’ lives.

If all the cities and towns of Massachusetts adopted the Dedham law or one like it, they could effectively drive ex-sex offenders out of state. And if a federal law did the same for all the states, ex-sex offenders would have no place to go.

That would create an underground culture of sex offenders with no homes, no work, and no-where to seek or get help.

And that would be far more dangerous than any other setup.

This cannot happen.

But if it is allowed in Massachusetts, it would be the first step toward creating this underground of invisible sex offenders.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is holding up Dedham’s law. Her office has not specified what part of the law is under question.

Perhaps she will find the whole law has to be thrown out.

Either way, the nation has to apply itself to drawing up a law that protects the innocent and gives the offenders their constitutional rights.

This is not bowing to sex offenders, it is keeping society’s eye on troublesome individuals.

Anyone who thinks that a town can whisk away sex-offenders with a law is dangerously naïve.


CA - KGO Radio's Bernie Ward Indicted on Child Porn Charges

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12/06/2007

Long-time KGO Radio host Bernie Ward has been indicted on federal child pornography charges. He appeared in Federal Court in San Francisco this afternoon, on two counts of receiving and transmitting child porn. Ward’s attorney, Doron Weinberg, tells the I-Team the charges relate to Ward’s book project from several years ago. According to Weinberg, Ward was exploring “hypocrisy in America”, and decided to look at child porn – how it’s acquired and hidden from society. As part of the research for the book, Weinberg says Ward acquired several images of child porn from websites, and “he exchanged them with adults who do the same thing.”

In December of 2004, FBI agents raided Ward’s home and confiscated his computer. Weinberg says Ward has spent the last several years trying to convince the federal government that the research “was not being done to exploit children. … He was exploring the subculture. It was done for what seemed to be a good purpose.”

Weinberg says Ward has not accessed child porn in the three years since the FBI raid, that the federal case is based only on what happened in 2004. The federal indictment is sealed at this point -- Weinberg says it should be unsealed next week, and he declined to provide a copy to the I-Team.

By the way, Weinberg says Ward never finished the book, that the FBI raid killed the project.


LA - LSU medical center police officer accused of indecent behavior with juvenile

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12/06/2007

A sergeant with LSU Health Sciences Center police was arrested today on charges he sent suggestive text messages to an underage girl.

Tracy Vines, 34, of Gloster in DeSoto Parish, was arrested by Caddo Parish sheriff's deputies on a charge of indecent behavior with a juvenile.

Detective David Robinson said Vines sent a 12-year-old girl inappropriate text messages referring to sexual activity. The text messages were sent over the past several weeks, Robinson said.

Vines' alleged actions have nothing to do with his duties as a police officer.

Vines has been suspended from his job at LSUHSC pending resolution of the case, a spokesman for the medical center said.


GA - Former Athens Police officer charged with felony sexual abuse

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12/05/2007

A former Athens Police officer was charged Tuesday with felony sexual abuse involving an adult, a Huntsville Police spokesman said.

Arthur “Perry” Gooch, 35, of Athens was arrested on a warrant for first-degree sexual abuse and released from Huntsville City jail after posting a $5,000 bond, said Huntsville Police spokesman Wendell Johnson and a city jailer.

Johnson said the incident, which occurred in Huntsville, involved an adult and was investigated by Huntsville Police.

“I cannot provide details to the case,” Johnson said.

Police investigators were not available Wednesday afternoon to give the specifics of the case.

According to the Alabama Criminal Code, a person commits first-degree sexual abuse – a Class C felony – when he subjects another adult to sexual contact by forcible compulsion or subjects another person to sexual contact who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated.

Gooch was employed by Athens Police from March 2003 until Nov. 9, when he resigned, records show.


NY - Buffalo police officer may face charges in sexual attack on UB student

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12/06/2007

Alleged assault took place after fraternity party

A Buffalo police officer has been suspended after a 19-year-old University at Buffalo student accused him of luring her to his West Side apartment, where he forcibly performed oral sex on her.

Officer Monte R. Montalvo, 37, has not been charged with committing a crime, but Police Commissioner H. McCarthy Gipson said the preliminary investigation indicates he will be facing criminal charges.

Gipson said the most serious charge could be third-degree criminal sexual act — a class D felony. Montalvo, a decorated 12-year veteran of the force who is assigned to the Mobile Response Unit, has been suspended with pay since Sunday.

Last Saturday, the night of the alleged incident, Montalvo was wearing his Buffalo Police Department jacket while he was off duty and working security for a fraternity party in Buffalo, where he met the woman.

“The district attorney’s office is reviewing the appropriate charges,” Gipson said Wednesday. “Based upon the preliminary investigation, there’s allegations that he offered her a ride because she was stranded and he had sexual contact with her without her permission.”

The woman said she accepted his offer to take her home but as Montalvo was driving, he told her that he needed to stop at his own home because he needed to use the bathroom, police said.

When he arrived at the apartment about 3 a.m. Sunday, he told her to come inside and she complied. Police said that after Montalvo emerged from the bathroom, he approached her and performed oral sex on her, despite her protests.

Police said there was no physical struggle.

After the encounter, the woman put her clothes back on, left his home and flagged down a taxicab, police said. A fare getting out of that cab led the woman to her home to call 911, police said. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

In addition to the district attorney, the Police Department’s Sex Offense Section and Professional Standards Division are investigating the case.

Gipson said police also are investigating whether Montalvo broke departmental rules by working off duty as a security officer.

District Attorney Frank J. Clark declined to talk about the case until charges are filed.

Records show that Montalvo was a Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority officer for four years before joining the city force.

Known for making frequent arrests, Montalvo was among 16 officers receiving a Mayor’s Award of Merit for excellent police work in 1997.