Tuesday, February 5, 2008

TX - Perverted Justice founder confronted by TV reporter

LiveLeak Article Here

The true face of a 7 year old idiot!! Notice how he was all nervous, but as soon as the camera showed up, his kid show started up... He acts like a child.

Founder of the vigilante group Perverted Justice gets paid hundreds of thousands of dollars (to pretend to be a young female) by Dateline NBC to lure men to sting houses for the purposes of capturing them on video. NBC faces lawsuits on the stings and TV reporter Byron Harris confronts Xavier Von Erk about the highly questionable tactics used by the group. He becomes very defensive and insults the 35-year veteran investigative reporter from WFAA News8 of Dallas, Texas.
- Insults are his/their way, just check out Corrupted-Justice.com to see the TRUE nature of PeeJ and the geek squad he has working for him.


SD - House passes homeless sex offender bill

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02/05/2008

PIERRE – Homeless sex offenders still should have to register their locations, the South Dakota House said in a bill that passed 61-4 this afternoon.

State law requires sex offenders to register their address. Some sex offenders are homeless, so they have no address for the registry. The proposed law would require those people to register a location where they tend to be.

No one in the House spoke against tightening the registration of sex offenders. The debate was over an amendment by Republican Rep. Roger Hunt of Brandon to provide for the listing of several locations.

Rationale for the amendment was that people move around during a day or week, and so do homeless sex offenders, Hunt said.

“The amendment would require the person to inform law enforcement of all physical locations where that person would be,’’ Hunt said. “You don’t necessarily care where this individual sleeps, but you’d like to know when he’s in your neighborhood, by your house.’’

Republican Rep. Deb Peters of Hartford said it would force law enforcement to track down the sex offender at multiple locations.

“The burden should be on the sex offender to register,’’ she said.

The House rejected the amendment on a voice vote and passed the bill.

It goes next to the Senate for consideration.


WA - I'd like to see all of the kids in our state go unmolested

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02/05/2008

OLYMPIA -- A former prosecutor says he is fed up with sexual predators going unpunished. Don Brockett says our laws still protect offenders -- especially former priests. But now, there's an effort to change the law, all because of one ex-priest.

His name is Pat O'Donnell. At one time, he was Father Patrick O'Donnell of Spokane; now defrocked and confessing to the sin of child sex crimes.

"I know I did get involved in abusing some," O'Donnell said at his deposition. "One is Mr. Barber, who's here and I'm very sorry I ever hurt him."

Though he admits he molested dozens of boys, O'Donnell was never prosecuted and now the statute of limitations has run out. He's free and living in La Conner.

He's not required to register as a sex offender because he was never convicted.

"No he's not Father O'Donnell, he's Pat O'Donnell now and La Conner is very surprised and we were too that they didn't know that he was a molester," said former Spokane County prosecutor Don Brockett.

Brockett is now leading the effort to change the law eliminating the statute of limitations for all child sex offenders.

"To deter the molester who will have to think of looking over their shoulder the rest of their lives," Brockett said.

Brockett admits the law would not be retroactive. Neither O'Donnell nor any of the former priests and child molesters would be affected.

As far as getting a hearing this Legislative session? The deadline is Friday. Sen. Adam Kline said rather than giving it a hearing, he wants to send it to the Sentencing Guidelines Commission for study and recommendations for the next legislative session.

Those concerned about the bill fear it could reopen too many hard-to-prove cases. But Brockett says kids are depending on the protection.

"I'd like to see all of the kids in our state go unmolested," he said.
- This is the goal of almost everyone, but none of these laws will do that. Sex crimes have been around since the beginning of time. So nothing you do will ever prevent another sex crime.

Brockett is undeterred. He's spent 5-years fighting to get a bill passed.


OH - Up to 100 Richland County sex offenders appeal new state classifications

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02/05/2008 MANSFIELD — Up to 100 sex offenders living in Richland County have appealed new state classifications setting stricter requirements for residence reporting.

Richland County Common Pleas Clerk of Courts Lin Frary said the Ohio Attorney General’s office reclassified convicted sex offenders between July 1 and Dec. 1. Registered letters notified them they were placed in one of three new tiers.

Convicted offenders had 60 days to contest their new classification. Some offenders may also file motions relieving them of community reporting requirements, if that wasn’t required in their case before, Frary said.

The clerk of courts believes the onslaught of appeals is likely to end this week.
- I would not count on this...

Changes in sex offender classifications are a result of Ohio Senate Bill 10, which imposed more stringent reporting.

“Ohio is now supposed to be in step with the federal Adam Walsh Act,” Frary said.
- So they can get grant money. Money is all it's about. These laws will NOT protect anybody, they are just a placebo to make the public feel good.

Senate Bill 10 organized sex offender classifications into three tiers (see below). Each tier has registration requirements ranging from 15 years to lifetime. In-person verification at the county sheriff’s office also varies by tier, from annual to every 90 days.

Click image to enlarge it


Reclassification caused a major spike in the common pleas court caseload at the beginning of the year, Frary said.

The clerk’s office processed 21 administrative appeals of government agency decisions in 2007. This year there have already been 83, most filed by those appealing the new sex offender classifications, Frary said.

According to Frary, many convicted sex offenders filed appeals without a lawyer.

“We had people coming in saying ‘Do you have petitions (to contest this)?”

The final total may be reduced somewhat, as cases are merged where both the sex offender and their attorney filed with the court, she said.

Ben Kitzler is among area attorneys representing clients appealing reclassification. He will contest the constitutionality of reclassifying large groups of people based on an edict from state legislators.

“They have taken a system that used to classify people into different categories, based on a judge’s consideration of the case after hearing evidence and weighing facts about the offender and about the offense,” Kitzler said.

Judges decided whether that individual was a predator who might harm the community by reoffending, or a person who made a bad mistake, he said.

Under SB 10, the sole consideration for classification is the specific number of the offense the person was convicted for under the Ohio Revised Code.

We have taken the discretion from the hands of judges and simply enabled a lot of politicians to decide,” Kitzler said. “The law says at the end of your case, you should know what your punishment is.”

The attorney said he’ll be interested to see how local judges respond to the appeals.

“Let’s be honest, this thing is going to be decided ultimately at higher levels, by larger organizations,” he said.


IN - Vigilantes Use Online Sex Offender Map to Burn Down Wrong House

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This is exactly why the registry needs to be taken offline, like it was before this bogus hysteria, the public keeps proving over and over they cannot handle the information responsibly. See these links for more proof. Arson, Death, Harassment, Stabbed, Suicide and Vigilante.

02/05/2008

We've reported on plenty of tools and services designed to help you locate nearby sex offenders, all designed with the hopes of enabling parents to keep their children safe. Critics of these tools often say that they can make those sex offenders targets of retribution crimes by would-be vigilantes, and that seems to be just what was attempted in a case of arson in Evansville, Indiana.

There, a trailer full of equipment sitting in the driveway of a house was ignited by arsonists who also scribbled "GET OUT PERV" on the garage door. The vigilantes, however, seemed to have the wrong address. A man who was recently arrested for soliciting a police officer posing as a teenage girl lived a few houses down from where the crime took place.

So, wrong address, arsonists. Maybe you should use Google Maps the next time you're going to dish out some illegal and poorly spelled retribution?
- And maybe you should stop giving them ideas!!


GA - Southern Center for Human Rights - Legislative Update #2– 2008 Georgia General Assembly

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02/05/2008

Southern Center for Human Rights

Legislative Update #2– 2008 Georgia General Assembly

Days 6-10

Updates on SCHR’s Priority Issues

Eyewitness Identification Reform

As a result of the Study Committee two bills to address the issue of Eyewitness Reform have been introduced: HB997 - Witness Identification Accuracy Enhancement Act and HR1071 Law enforcement agencies; develop and implement written policies (Benfield) will be considered by the House Judiciary NonCivil committee on Wednesday February 6th.

Mistaken eyewitness identifications contributed to over 75% of the more than 185 wrongful convictions in the United States overturned by post-conviction DNA evidence. Inaccurate eyewitness identifications can confound investigations from the earliest stages. Critical time is lost while police are distracted from the real perpetrator, focusing instead on building the case against an innocent person. A Study Committee in the House has been meeting for the last year and will bring legislation to reform Georgia’s eyewitness identification procedures. This legislation comes in the wake of the release of John White, the seventh Georgia man to be exonerated by DNA evidence, all of whom were wrongly convicted primarily based on eyewitness testimony.

Sex Offender Residency Restrictions

HB 908 passed the House on Tuesday; here are the votes. To view the debate on line, click here and then select January 29th on the calendar. The debate on HB 908 starts 37:10 into the webcast. (Direct link here)
We are deeply grateful to the legislators who courageously spoke out and voted against this legislation, especially Rep Alisha Thomas Morgan, Rep Randal Mangham, and Rep Roberta Abdul Salaam.

On June 20, 2006, the Southern Center for Human Rights filed a class action lawsuit challenging the 1,000 feet restrictions set forth in HB 1059, Georgia's new sex offender legislation. In November 2007, the Georgia Supreme Court declared the residency restrictions unconstitutional, stating that it was in violation of people on the registry’s property rights. HB 908 was introduced to reinstate the residency restriction for all but home owners. HB 908 will next be heard in the Senate Judiciary committee but we do not know when yet. We have posted extensive information on this law and the pending legislation. Please take action against HB 908.

Death Penalty

HB 578 limits the time a habeas can be filed after a death sentence. It passed the House Judiciary Non Civil Committee last Monday and then the full House on Thursday, It now goes on for further consideration in the Senate.

SB 21 specifies the sentence for killing a police officer, firefighter or judge would be either Life Without Parole or the Death Penalty. I’m happy to report that this bill lost in Senate Judiciary Committee with a 4-5 vote and will go no further this session.

We will keep you updated on these issues and more. Please don’t hesitate to call or send an email if you have any questions or concerns about these issues.

All the best,

Sara

Sara J. Totonchi
Public Policy Director
Law Offices of the Southern Center for Human Rights
83 Poplar Street, N.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404/688-1202 voice
404/688-9440 fax
stotonchi@schr.org

The Southern Center for Human Rights is a non-profit, public interest law firm dedicated to enforcing the civil and human rights of people in the criminal justice system in the South. Based in Atlanta, the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) brings class action lawsuits on behalf of people confined in prisons and jails; represents people facing the death penalty who would otherwise have no representation; and challenges unconstitutional and illegal criminal justice practices that target the poor, people of color, and marginalized groups. SCHR accepts no government funding, and for over 30 years has relied entirely on the support it receives from individuals, law firms, and foundations to carry out its work.

Please click here to view our most recent newsletter online


AZ - Tempe cop arrested for sex crime

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02/05/2008

A Tempe police officer was arrested Tuesday morning in connection with threatening and trying to distribute sexual images of himself and a woman unless she agreed to perform sexual favors for him.

Officer Curt Baumgarth could face charges related to computer tampering, because police suspect he ran criminal history information on men that the woman knew, said Tempe spokesman Sgt. Mike Horn. He was arrested at the Apache Boulevard Police Substation, 1855 E. Apache Blvd.

Baumgarth had some sort of previous relationship with the woman, police said. It’s unknown what type of relationship the two had.

Police were first contacted by the woman on Wednesday when she told officers that since October the officer has been harassing her through repeated phone calls and text messages, Horn said.

Police said the harassment then escalated this month, when Baumgarth threatened to distribute sexually explicit images of the cop and the woman together.

“During this time, Baumgarth advised the victim that if she agreed to perform sexual favors for him, he would not distribute the images,” Horn said.

Police didn’t release additional information on the case, but are scheduled to hold a 3 p.m. press conference.


Abercrombie's 'Obscenity' in Eye of Beholder

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People always say, violent video games, music, TV, etc does not affect people. BS!! Why do they use sex to sell products then? And if you do not think these ads affect you, you are kidding yourself. No a days, kids see sexy commercials and sex everywhere, and then people wonder what is going on with the kids. Well, wake the hell up and see what is around you and you might just see!!! But, I'm sure you will all stay in denial, just so you don't have to deal with the issues. But then when something occurs to you, you raise hell about it and demand the government do more to protect you from whatever it is..

02/05/2008

Parents Say Provocative Images Encourage Teen Sex, While Cops Say 'Oops'

Posters of scantily clad youths that were seized by police at an Abercrombie & Fitch store in a Virginia mall this weekend may be inappropriate for young children, but they are not obscene, according to legal experts.

Virginia Beach police apparently have agreed. On Monday, they dropped charges against the clothing company that markets to prep chic teens through sexually charged imagery.

The window displays went up in 363 stores across the country in mid-January, including the Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach.

One of the posters showed three shirtless young men, one with his upper buttocks revealed. The second one revealed a woman's breast — with all but the nipples.

Was the police response to the store an overreaction? Yes, according to legal experts. Though local laws can vary, courts require that the image show sexual activity or a "lewd display" of genitals, says Lawrence Walters, an Orlando, Fla., lawyer and First Amendment specialist.

"There is not a chance any jury in America would find the photo obscene under these standards," he said.

Virginia police had referred to City Code Section 22.31, which says it is a crime to display "obscene materials in a business that is open to juveniles," said police spokesman Adam Bernstein.

The manager of the store could have faced a fine of up to $2,000 and a year in jail.

Walters said police may have misread the standards for obscenity, as is often the case. He also said they improperly seized the posters without a search warrant, which constitutes prior restraint, which is barred by the Constitution.

"In a free country, we don't limit what people can view, watch or read by what is acceptable to minors," said Walters. Protecting children is a "job that belongs to parents."

Others in the community see it differently.

"I am glad they took them down," Gina, a mother of three and operator for the Virginia Beach police, told ABCNEWS.COM. "Every time I go to the mall I see those beefy, meat market posters. I'd like to understand why they can go so far."
- Because it sells products and fattens their wallets. Wake up lady, you are apparently still in wonderland..

Discrimination Suit

This wasn't first time Abercrombie & Fitch had been threatened with a legal fight. In 2004, it agreed to pay $40 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the company of promoting whites over Latino, black, Asian American and female applicants, according to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Abercrombie & Fitch has earned a reputation for its racy catalogs and photography that adorns its store displays and shopping bags. Each year, thousands of teenagers across the country get their parents to buy them the latest T-shirt, jeans, jacket or underwear from A&F.

The company even marketed a line of thongs for young girls, designed to stick out of the low-cut jeans.

Tom Lennox, vice president for corporate communications, told ABCNEWS.COM the brand is "provocative and undeniably sexy," a marketing approach that contributed to $3.3 billion in sales in 2006.

No Worse Than Plumber

Sexy yes, but obscene? Not by anybody's definition, the company maintains.
- I don't you speak for everybody. I find this kind of marketing to sell a product, sick and disgusting personally...

"The marketing images in question show less skin than you see any summer day at the beach and certainly less than the plumber working in your kitchen," said Lennox in a prepared statement.

"This is an incredible overreaction by local city officials that would be comical, except for its potentially serious legal implications."

In 2003, the company halted publication of its seven-year-old A&F Quarterly catalog because of complaints from Christian-based groups and parents. Lennox said the company hoped to relaunch the catalog in London this spring.

Abercrombie officials say that their average buyer is 20 years old and that its models are older than 18, but some parents believe they now market to the preteen set.

For decades, Abercrombie & Fitch was an upper-crust sporting goods and apparel shop — a "high WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) travel emporium," according to University of Georgia advertising professor Tom Reichert.

Sales were languishing in 1993, and after a takeover by The Limited, company officials brought in creative genius Sam Shahid, who had lead sexy ads for Calvin Klein and Banana Republic.

"It was a real turnaround story," said Reichert, who about Shahid in "The Man Behind Abercrombie and Calvin Klein's Sexy Ad Campaign."

Store sales jumped from $6 million in 36 stores in 1993 to $1.3 billion and 500 stores in 2002, according to Reichert. Today, Abercrombie boasts 700 stores nationwide, but its image has changed.

"My grandfather went shopping expecting to get a pair of slacks and the music was blaring and kids were swarming all over the place," he said. "He made an about-face."

Reichert said teens are most vulnerable to sex-based advertising.

"It's all about being popular and relationships," he said. "Who is your girlfriend and your boyfriend? All the hormones and peer pressure and fads make them more sexually attractive and more popular when they wear what the crowd is wearing."

The National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families led a boycott against the company in 2003. The action halted the publication of its quarterly including The Christmas Field Guide. The 120-page catalog featured photography by Bruce Weber, known for his homoerotic imagery.

"I can't believe they continue to force these ads in an attempt to be creative," said Jack Samad, senior vice president for the coalition. "It's an attempt again to desensitize the audience, especially with spring break coming up and that store is visited by a high number of college students."

The group, which aims "to embrace, live out, preserve and advance the truth of biblical sexuality," said some of the ads — while not overtly showing nudity — suggest the models have just had sex.

"Their ideology is it's all right to expose your body in front of the opposite sex without repercussions," said Samad.

Parents Are Hypocrites

But young people who grew up wearing Abercrombie's clothing say they are wise to the company's marketing tactics.

Alex, who would not use his last name because he works as a buyer for one of Abercrombie's largest competitors, told ABCNEWS.com that this controversy can do nothing but help the company's sales.

"I think it's been the key to their success," said the 23-year-old from New York City. "Back in high school the quarterly periodical had those sexually charged ads and you had to be 18 to buy them in the store. That is what got teenagers excited about wearing the brand."

The clothing, he said, has a revealing fit — "low-rise jeans, tight around the thighs, the size scale is smaller than normal. They don't hire many overweight employees and the bigger sizes are harder to reach in the stores."

Still, he believes young people are more open to their sexuality than previous generations and the brand reflects that. And parents' complaints are hypocritical, he said.

"It's ridiculous, because the kids can't afford these clothes," said Alex. "Where are they getting all the money to buy them? It's the parents."


FL - Options running out for sex offenders evicted from bridges

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02/05/2008

Boundaries left many living under bridges, until now

About 50 sex offenders statewide who call bridges, parks or other public spaces home have been told they must find a new place to live, and it better have walls.

Caught off guard last month when the Department of Transportation evicted as many as nine sex offenders living under the Oakland Park Boulevard bridge, the state is cracking down on those who haven't been able — or haven't wanted — to find permanent housing.

Last Tuesday, probation officers arrived at the state's most infamous home for sex offenders, a bridge under the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Miami, and told 19 people they must relocate. Officials are giving offenders similar ultimatums across Florida, although no one will be arrested immediately because "being homeless isn't a crime," corrections department spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said.

State law requires all people on probation to have permanent addresses so officers can pop in for surprise visits or make sure they aren't violating curfew. But after the 2005 rape and murder of a 9-year-old Central Florida girl at the hands of a convicted sex offender, many cities restricted sex offenders from living near places where children gather.

That sharply cut their housing options and many wound up registering a bridge as their residence.

"We're urging them to find housing, and jobs for those who are out of work, and we're helping them with that," said Plessinger. "To manage these offenders, we must know where they are. And Fort Lauderdale made it clear that we didn't want to be in that situation."

Last month Fort Lauderdale police, acting on a Department of Transportation trespassing notice, evicted offenders living under the Oakland Park Boulevard bridge. Because offenders can't relocate without permission, several of them made frantic calls to corrections officials, Plessinger said.

The state decided to put more pressure on offenders to find a real home and many have already been placed with friends and relatives who live outside restricted boundaries. Others have been more reluctant or unable to find affordable homes in approved areas, causing corrections officials to escalate their push.

"I want to make it clear that we have not imposed a deadline, but we want these offenders to re-enter society," Plessinger said. "Many of them have had ample opportunity and, frankly, have stopped trying. That's not an option; they have to find homes."

Lee Chang, 25, thought he would live in his mother's home in Miramar after being released in September for lewd and lascivious battery on a minor. But they learned soon after she rented it that the house is in a restricted area.

Now he's at a halfway house after spending four months sleeping in a car parked under the Oakland Park Boulevard bridge.

He shared the mosquito-infested space with four other sex offenders. The state Department of Corrections allowed them to stay there if they could not find anywhere else to live that did not violate city laws.

"I don't think anyone would want to be in this situation," Chang said one night while sitting on the car hood.

Last month, even the bridge went off limits.

Some of Chang's bridgemates were moved to a campsite in the Everglades, said Joellyn Rackleff, spokeswoman for the corrections agency.

"It's a temporary stopgap until they find something," said Rackleff.

The lack of housing poses "a serious problem," said state Rep. Jack Seiler, D-Wilton Manors, chairman of the Broward County Legislative Delegation. "What you don't want to have happen is to have them just drop off the map."

Lobbyist Ron Book, who pushed for stronger laws, was unsympathetic. "When an individual gets convicted for sexually deviant behavior, at the end of the day nobody wants them living in their apartments," he said.

Critics say the laws create a false sense of security, because most offenders can still be near children during the day.

"It's naive to believe we can solve the problems of sexual abuse by banishing criminals from our communities," said Dr. Jill Levenson, assistant professor at Lynn University in Boca Raton and a sex crimes policy analyst.

In addition, Florida law treats "Romeo and Juliet" offenders — typically, a couple in which one sexual partner is underage — the same as predators and pedophiles. Therapists say that when convicted felons cannot secure a place to live, it's more likely they will resume a life of crime.

The state did not classify Chang a predator. In 2005, authorities charged him with lewd and lascivious battery against afamily member. He said he's not sure what happened because he was drinking and smoking and blacked out.

"I don't own this charge because it's not me," Chang said. "I'm not like those other guys." He served two years and a month and is on probation for 12 years.

"I knew [finding a home] was going to be hard," said Chang. "But I didn't know they would put me under a bridge."

The Department of Corrections told him to be there from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. At first he was the only one, but within months at least four other men showed up. Some were predators, forced to wear ankle bracelets so they could be monitored.

Every night at about 9:45 p.m., Chang would arrive in his father's red Mercury Tracer with a bottle of water and his cell phone. He said he never felt truly safe, but he learned how to sleep in the car despite discomfort to his 5-foot-11-inch frame. With no bathroom, the mosquito-infested site smelled strongly of urine.

He spent his nights playing games on his cell phone, fishing or listening to his car radio. At 6 a.m., he headed for Miramar to return the car.

His mother, Mercedes Lopez, said she worried about her son's safety.

"You have so many crazy people," said Lopez. "You don't know if someone is going to go there with a gun and shoot everybody."

Miramar city attorney Jamie Cole defends the law, saying not all of the city's housing falls within the ban and "to have sexual offenders living within a short distance of a place where children congregate would be counterproductive."

Chang's attorney, Chris Mancini, said such laws are unconstitutional and create a critical mass of homelessness.

Considering where some of the offenders ended up, Chang said, the halfway house is not bad.

"I get to sleep now," he said. "I have a roof over my head."


TX - Former Deputy On Trial For Sex Assault Charge

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Why do we NEVER see these corrupt cops on the evening news?

02/04/2008

HOUSTON -- A jury began deliberations Monday in the trial of a former Harris County deputy charged with sexually assaulting a child.

Eric Spiller was accused of having a relationship with a teenager three years ago. He was fired from the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office.

Defenses attorneys contend the case against Spiller is a fabrication.

During closing arguments, Spiller's wife wept in the front row. Spiller allegedly cheated on her to have an affair with a 16-year-old girl.

"He uses his uniform as a dating service and he immediately goes after (the girl) because he knows she's vulnerable," prosecutor Teri Bennett said.

Prosecutors say Spiller befriended the girl who was struggling with depression and self-esteem problems. The girl said the relationship quickly became sexual, including trysts in Spiller's patrol car.

But Spiller's attorneys said the girl cannot be believed.

"She lied about being in being chat room and who she was. She lies about lying, lying about people and then lies about them," defense attorney Heather Hall said.

Defense attorneys offered a wide array of potential motives for fabricating the charge, from mental illness to parental pressure to anger over Spiller's refusal to leave his wife.

"This is a woman who has a interest in filing charges," Hall said.

But prosecutors said the evidence, phone records and witnesses confirm Spiller initiated the affair, and pursued it in spite of warnings from the girl's mother and his superiors to leave her alone.

"I'm asking you to find him guilty because he is guilty and he needs to be held responsible for what he's done. He is not the victim here," Bennett said.

The jury panel deliberated for five hours Monday without a verdict. Deliberations resume at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

If convicted, Spiller could get up to 20 years in prison.

He served 10 years with the Precinct 4 constable's office.