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Citizens United to Reevaluate Sex Offender Registries (CURSOR) is an organization that seeks to educate and inform New Hampshire citizens about our state’s sex-offender registry laws, how they both overreach and fall short of their goals, and what we can do about it. We recognize that not everyone registered as a sex offender is an actual ongoing public safety threat, and instead of perpetuating “feel-good” solutions that simply don’t work, we seek to bring real, evidence-based solutions to the table in order to deal with sex-offender management issues.
Our focus is the ineffective restrictions and regulations that waste taxpayer dollars and actually serve to undermine communities’ abilities to protect themselves effectively. This is not to say that we are completely against sex-offender registries as a whole, but what we are against is the broad brush approach that sweeps all offenders into the same basket. We do not sympathize with violent child molesters or predatory rapists. But we do understand that not every registered sex offender is indeed a violent molester or rapist, and we hope to educate and inform other New Hampshire residents as to this important fact about sex offenders and sex-offender registries.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
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BOSTON — A top official in Gov. Deval Patrick's administration is accused of sexually assaulting a boy in the steam room of a Florida resort and has been placed on unpaid leave.
Carl Stanley McGee (Pictured on the right), the assistant secretary for policy and planning, was arrested Dec. 28 after the suspected assault at the Gasparilla Inn and Club in Boca Grande, according to the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
McGee, 38, met the boy, who police said is between 12 and 16 years old, in a bathroom at the resort a day earlier where they engaged in small talk, according to the police report.
The boy told police he ran into McGee again the next day in the resort's steam room. McGee sat next to him, removed his towel, rubbed the boy's back and shoulders and performed oral sex on him, according to the police report.
The boy's father contacted police, who spotted McGee at the resort using a description from the boy.
McGee was freed on $300,000 bond on Dec. 30 and is to be arraigned Monday on a charge of sexual assault on a victim over 12 using physical force, according to authorities.
Messages left for McGee's lawyers were not returned Thursday, nor were messages left at two numbers listed for McGee in Boston.
"Mr. McGee was placed on unpaid administrative leave effective January 7th pending the outcome of the matter," Kofi Jones, a spokeswoman for Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Dan O'Connell, said in a statement.
McGee, who made $115,000 as a state employee, worked at Boston law firms before joining the administration. His marriage to John Finley IV in November 2005 was featured in The New York Times' Vows column.
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NBC's "To Entrap" a Predator
By DAVID ANDERSON
If you are not familiar with the program, a hugely rated NBC series named "To Catch a Predator" (TCAP)--now in its 8th season - lowers the standards, if that's possible, of our already revolting and brainless TV media to a new low.
NBC's partner in this endeavor is PervertedJustice.com--who are well paid as a consultant--stretching journalistic ethics right there. At P.J. adult "decoys" engage in sexually charged conversations online with adult men they find in role playing and other adult internet chat-rooms. Former Dateline anchor Stone Phillips concedes that "... in many cases, the decoy is the first to bring up the subject of sex." The web logs of their chats are published for all to see online.
NBC takes this one step further in their series - the decoys convince their marks to visit their (especially camera rigged) houses, ostensibly for an evening of under-age sex. When the men arrive they are lured into the house by the decoy, and several minutes later are ambushed by Chris Hansen.
We the audience have a front row seat. From dozens of camera angles we can see the "predators'" lust, surprise, confrontation, oppression, contrition, regret, fear, panic, and in the end to this perfect vouyeristic drama, their fall--take down arrest, and at times--for those who really appreciate the follow up blood, court arraignments. Throughout the decoy house confrontation the men generally have no idea they are being filmed from every angle. But Chris Hansen tells them--don't miss that priceless reaction.
Soon after arrival, the marks are ambushed as Hansen saunters into the kitchen of the set-up house with some breezy ironic line. Hansen proceeds to question them, letting them lie (as they all do), before presenting them with their own weblog transcript and surprisingly often, photos of their genitals they had previously sent the decoys.
Following this public humiliation, and Hansen's holier than thou castigation, he informs the men they are "free to go." The men are free to walk out of the house where each are arrested in a violent felony take-down arrest by the waiting police outside, and later charged with a grab bag of felonies. Wonderful. Sometimes viewers are treated to a search of their vehicles--all sorts of things come up then.
The entire mise-en-scene of the show is worthy of some analysis. It is a classic tragedy cum car crash voyeurism. Toweringly tall Chris Hansen is always standing--he's quite determined to have the marks sit down lower, thus he dominants the cowering, bewildered, frightened sinners. Unbeknownst to these men, the house is wired with cameras so everything said; every movement is recorded and after editing, presented to us the viewer as entertainment.
The men's private, deeply personal sexual emails are read back to them and to us in prurient nuggets of humiliation. And perhaps the most obnoxious part of the whole exercise is tall, looming, Chris Hansen's righteous indignation about their emails and situation. The award for Phony of the Universe is hereby won.
Hansen delights in reading the web-logs; full of predictable, salacious, intimate details of the previous internet chats in all their deliciously filthy glory. We see the men beg, plead, lie, and humiliate themselves like cornered animals, desperate and thinking it's a private conversation. And that's GREAT TV!
Hansen blatantly impersonates a law enforcement official to these poor saps--he addresses the men in language which can only be described as courteous officiousness; telling them to empty their pockets, keep their hands where he can see them, and insists the men sit down. Many of the men talking themselves into jail honestly believe they're under arrest.
NBC's "consultant" - Perverted Justice - has been around for a few years now, publishing conversations between adult men and phony 14 and 15 year olds to humiliate the men who try to seduce them. Doubts the men have about the decoy's ages are assuaged, the men are encouraged to become involved and to try to start a sexual relationship with these decoys. The vigilante aspects of this entire system are obvious.
The decoys are all adults but pretend to be younger. In the US generally we draw the line at various mid teen ages for sexual activities/consent. Without taking sides here, or asking for hate mail, it should also be noted that factually, in almost all times and places of human civilization; crossing all types of tribes, cities, empires, and jurisdictions, 14-15 years old has been an acceptable age for sex and marriage. As it is (with parental or court approval) in some US states today. The notion of 14 year olds being "children" is a recent, largely American construct. But the fact is, in TCAP's carefully selected legal jurisdictions, such behavior is statutory rape, or some computer based derivative crime thereof. From a gut perspective though, sex with a 15 year old seems like long way from the "child molestation" Hansen et al accuse their quarry of.
PJ's FAQ's addresses this age issue on their website, dismissing any country where teenage sexuality is legal as "Third World backwaters". When I queried that with a list of (non Third World backwater) countries with that age of consent in an email to PJ, they addressed their aggressive, holier-than-thou response to me as "Dear Pedophile". These people aren't fighting inappropriate sex, they're fighting Satan.
- Typical from them. Anybody questioning their tactics is a pedophile (to them). They GET OFF on pretending to be young females and they GET OFF on the harm they do to these people, and they also, in some cases, harass family members, stalk them, contact their employers, neighbors, etc.. Based on info from ex PJ staff who now work for Corrupted-Justice.com.
Hansen's famous line and greatest glee concerns the occupations of some of their victims; "What some of [these dirty molesters] do for a living might surprise you." See they're teachers, a rabbi, scout leaders, Iraq vets, and the like - "A respected doctor". Oh how wonderful of Hansen to protect us from his own manufactured fear! It SEEMS such careers employ men who desire teenagers for sex. Go figure! Hansen STOKES that manufactured fear. And notice he stokes it about people's weakest spots--their children.
TCAP has nothing to do with protecting children; it's a Roman Amphitheater blood sport in the form of the lowest gutter journalism on the market today. Which is saying a lot. It's the ultimate car wreck type rubbernecking--to watch another person make life wrecking mistakes, to sin, be humiliated, and punished. What a wonderful feeling. Child molesters are our society's most hated members. Some of those caught in the TCAP trap are no doubt vile serial predators but it looks like most are just very sad and lonely men--virgins unable to get a date with adults, or often just reckless low class losers caught in a trap.
In today's America it impossible to criticize such "kiddy saving" as this without being branded a monster. PJ and TCAP have the upper hand morally. Were it to be so simple, the damage may not be so great. But people are going to jail for years and having their lives destroyed for these totally fake set-up sex chats, for our entertainment. And as with the war on terrorism, the ultimate effects are much more serious and counter-productive than may appear on the surface.
The series has directly resulted in one suicide in Texas where a 'predator' employed by law enforcement shot himself rather than be caught in the sting. The Columbia Journalism Review referenced below detail the specifics of that case. Additionally CJR explores how rare internet predators actually are. Furthermore, the payments from NBC to their "consultants" at PJ has raised the issue of checkbook journalism and resulted in the resignation/firing of a senior and accomplished NBC producer who challenged her employer's ethics regarding TCAP.
In the big picture, not only does TCAP have no discernable effect on child molestation, but similar to many laws passed in haste in response to public outrage, it may even be counter productive. The media love "stranger danger" when it comes to "your kids"--yet the real dangers to children, sexually, are primarily from relatives and family friends.
Such counter productive effects are a common result of our societal obsession with child abuse. (They can be seen also in the War on Terror.) Fox News and Bill O'Reilly in particular have been successfully lobbying states to require a 25 year mandatory sentence for first offense child molestation. Even with the greatest intentions in the world, a far stretch when talking about O'Reilly, such a law will only encourage real child predators to kill their victims/witnesses.
Its clear TCAP/PJ are not helping "the kids"--but rather helping NBC's bottom line, and PJ's demented cleansing agenda. Incidentally, it has been a huge money spinner for Hansen and NBC (see CJR). Hansen is getting his ratings and fame, PJ is getting the media coverage it craves, so who cares if dozens of misguided men have their lives ruined and one has his brains blown out? It is all in a day's ratings for NBC and coverage for a group whose name says more about themselves than their fight - Perverted Justice.
(A close examination of the Texas suicide can be found at Columbia Journalism Review "The Shame Game")
David Anderson is an attorney in NYC. His previous column for Counterpunch was on NYC subway searches. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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A new bill announced last week by the State Attorney General, and members of the State Senate and Assembly seeks to ban dangerous sex offenders from social networking Web sites and force convicted predators to register screen names and e-mail addresses with the state.
- Stop lying!! It's not just for dangerous sex offenders, it's for ALL sex offenders. This is more disinformation, so they can POLICE the internet and I believe this is a test bed, then they will be policing everyone and taxing the internet, watch and see. Just watch folks, every time they want to eliminate your rights, they will say it's in the name of "protecting the children" or "in the name of security!", which is just fear-mongering and the SHEEPLE are believing every bit of it.
The Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act, or e-STOP, will also allow sites such as MySpace and Facebook to screen for and block offenders.
- Why? Not all sex offenders are dangerous and trolling for kids to molest, this is just fear tactics to get a bill past, which will eventually expanded to police everyone.
Assemblywoman Ellen Young (D-Flushing) said restricting predators from the popular sites will help prevent them from using cyberspace to prey on children.
- BS! The only way to do this is to prevent them getting on the internet in the first place, and if the internet is so dangerous, why don't we have an age restrictions? Kids cannot drive until they are 15 or 16, drink until they are 21, so why not set an age limit for using the internet? POLICE STATE RISING!!!! A true predator can create a new identity in a matter of seconds, and then off they go to go about committing another crime, so this protects nobody, but removes our rights.
“Sex offenders using social networking sites pose an immediate risk to innocent and unassuming children. As our society’s technology continues to expand, so too must our vigilance in keeping this technology safe,” Young said. “We must ensure that we pass this legislation to safeguard our young people from the criminal minds who would do them harm.”
- I am so sick of this fear-mongering BS! This is like saying all blacks are murderers or all mexicans are drug dealers, or all whites are in the KKK. It's BS! Not all sex offenders are dangerous!!!!!! You can't even keep the streets safe, so how are you going to keep cyberspace safe? You are not, it's like the ENDLESS WAS ON DRUGS or WAR ON TERRORISM!!!!
According to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the e-STOP Act covers three areas: requires sex offenders to register all of their Internet accounts and Internet identifiers, such as e-mail addresses and instant messaging screen names, with the State Division of Criminal Justice Services; authorizes the Division of Criminal Justice Services to release state sex offender Internet identifiers to social networking sites and certain other online services, that may be used to prescreen or remove sex offenders from using the site’s services, and notify law enforcement authorities and other government officials of potential violations of law and threats to public safety; and requires, as a condition of probation or parole, mandatory restrictions on a sex offender’s access to the Internet where the offender’s victim was a minor, the Internet was used to commit the crime or the offender was designated a level 3 (highest level) offender.
- Yep, and a true predator who is intent on committing another crime, will create a new identity in a matter of seconds and commit another crime, so this is a placebo that does NOTHING, except the start of the POLICE STATE!! Not all sex offenders are dangerous! FEAR, FEAR, LOCK UP YOUR KIDS, DON'T COME OUT OF THE HOUSE, THE CRAZY SEX OFFENDERS ARE COMING FOR YOU!!!!!
Such offenders would be banned from accessing social networking Web sites, accessing pornographic materials, communicating with anyone for the purpose of promoting sexual relations with a minor and communicating, in most circumstances, with anyone under the age of 18.
- Again, not all sex offenders use these services to hunt for kids to molest, they use it to keep track of friends and family. And what right do you have from preventing them from viewing pornography? Child porn, yes, but adult porn? So now they cannot even talk with their own kids who may be under 18, WTF!!!!
“We have seen far too many times that in the hands of a sexual predator the Internet can pose a clear and present danger to New York’s most vulnerable,” Cuomo said. “With the Internet, sexual predators have found an ideal tool to prey on the innocent with anonymity. While government has enacted dramatic protections from sex offenders in recent years, existing laws have not kept pace with the rapid advances in technology.”
- BS, BS, BS, BS, BS!!!! FEAR, FEAR, WE ARE ALL DOOMED!!! Gang members, murderers, drug dealers, identity thieves, radical terrorist groups and many other people can use the internet to harm others as well, so why are you not policing them also?
Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth) co-sponsored e-STOP. Markey’s own Child Sex Abuse Victims Act of New York, which will extend the statute of limitations for sex abuse crimes and provide a one-year window to bring civil actions in New York State, was adopted by the Assembly last year.
“New York is the first state in the country to craft legislation with such strong online prohibitions and mandates requiring registered sex offenders to keep law enforcement informed of their online activity,” Markey said.
- Hell, most evil people in this world would love it if all criminals were shot on the spot, and I am surprised you are not "giving them what they want!" These laws are nothing but fear-mongering... People will see everything I am talking about, when the gestapo come for them!!!
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A defeat for a law that would protect children from online sexual predators in the House of Delegates.
Alicia's Law is named for a woman who was sexually assaulted when she was 13 by an online sexual predator from Virginia. The law would've provided money for more investigators and create three forensic computer labs.
Law enforcement agencies say they know of more than 19,000 computers in Virginia where hard core child pornography is being stored and shared, but say they don't have the resources to go after them.
An identical bill sponsored by Bath County Senator Creigh Deeds is still awaiting approval for funding in the Senate.
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Video is available at the site.
The Illinois State Fire Marshall is investigating what caused a former police officer's home to go up in flames.
Crews in Beardstown responded to the 1200 block of Wall Street around 12:30 yesterday morning.
Stephanie Wright has more on the story.
Former Beardstown officer Shane Lisenbee is accused of having sex with a girl and committing a sexual act with a boy. Both were under the age of thirteen.
His wife Stephanie is accused of having sex with a boy.
Early Wednesday morning, their home went up in flames.
Fire Chief Bobby Joe Brown said, "When we arrived, the porch at the front of the structure was fully involved and the window at the front here and also at the north side of the structure. So much flames were coming out."
Investigators are talking with neighbors and witnesses who may have seen or smelled something. And with the owners still in jail, they say there are no early indications of what caused the fire.
"Does that factor into your investigation at all... The possibility of arson?? It definitely gives us something to look at."
The state's fire marshall is assisting Beardstown with the investigation. Crews say you really can't put a time line on how long that will take. It could take a couple days, or a couple of months.
The state fire marshall's office says investigators still have a lot more work to do. No word yet on a damage estimate.
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My question is, why do they need to search the contents of someones laptop, which is personal property, without any warrant? What is someone, say, from Microsoft had company secrets on it, and now some border guard could easily steal their secrets. This is BS, IMO. What gives them the right to search a laptops files?
BURLINGTON - When Sebastien Boucher stopped at the U.S.-Canadian border, agents who inspected his laptop said they found files containing child pornography.
- So why were they snooping around on his laptop? What right do they have to do this? I could understand checking the outside to make sure it's not a bomb or something, but the contents are not going to explode...
But when they tried to examine the images after his arrest, authorities were stymied by a password-protected encryption program.
Now Boucher is caught in a cyber-age quandary: The government wants him to give up the password, but doing so could violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination by revealing the contents of the files.
- I would tell the government to kiss my a$$ and you prove I have what you think I have. That is the way the justice system works, innocent until proven guilty, or at least how it was back in the days.
Experts say the case could have broad computer privacy implications for people who cross borders with computers, PDAs and other devices that are subject to inspection.
- Why are they subject to inspection? That is the real question! This is just more Big Brother crap and eventually they'll want your DNA, finger prints, eye scans, stool sample, etc...
"It's a very, very interesting and novel question, and the courts have never really dealt with it," said Lee Tien, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based group focused on civil liberties in the digital world.
For now, the law's on Boucher's side: A federal magistrate here has ruled that forcing Boucher to surrender the password would be unconstitutional.
The case began Dec. 17, 2006, when Boucher and his father were stopped at a Derby Line, Vt., checkpoint as they entered the U.S.
Boucher, a 30-year-old drywall installer in Derry, N.H., waived his Miranda rights and cooperated with agents, telling them he downloads pornography from news groups and sometimes unknowingly acquires images that contain child pornography.
Boucher said he deletes those images when he realizes it, according to an affidavit filed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
At the border, he helped an agent access the computer for an initial inspection, which revealed files with names such as "Two year old being raped during diaper change" and "pre teen bondage," according to the affidavit.
Boucher, a Canadian with U.S. residency, was accused of transporting child pornography in interstate or foreign commerce, which carries up to 20 years in prison. He is free on his own recognizance.
The laptop was seized, but when an investigator later tried to access a particular drive, he was thwarted by encryption software from a company called Pretty Good Privacy, or PGP.
A grand jury subpoena to force Boucher to reveal the password was quashed by federal Magistrate Jerome Niedermeier on Nov. 29.
"Producing the password, as if it were a key to a locked container, forces Boucher to produce the contents of his laptop," Niedermeier wrote. "The password is not a physical thing. If Boucher knows the password, it only exists in his mind."
Niedermeier said a Secret Service computer expert testified that the only way to access Boucher's computer without knowing the password would be to use an automated system that guesses passwords, but that process could take years.
The government has appealed the ruling.
Neither defense attorney James Budreau nor Vermont U.S. Attorney Thomas Anderson would discuss the charge.
"This has been the case we've all been expecting," said Michael Froomkin, a professor at the University of Miami School of Law. "As encryption grows, it was inevitable there'd be a case where the government wants someone's keys."
Authorities have encountered such dilemmas before, but have used other methods to learn passwords, including installing surveillance devices that capture keyboard commands. Sometimes investigators have given up before a case reached the courts.
In a 2002 case, the FBI used a keyboard program to obtain gambling records from the computer of Nicodemo Scarfo, Jr., the son of a jailed New Jersey mob boss.
In another case, an officer found child pornography on the laptop of a man who flew into Los Angeles International Airport from the Philippines. But a federal judge later suppressed the evidence, ruling that electronic storage devices are extensions of the human memory and should not be opened to inspection without cause.
That case didn't hinge on a password, though.
Orin Kerr, a law professor and computer crime expert at George Washington University, said the distinction that favors the government in Boucher's case is that he initially cooperated and let the agent look at some of the laptop's contents.
"The government can't make you give up your encryption password in most cases. But if you tell them you have a password and that it unlocks that computer, then at that point you no longer have the privilege," he said.
- Sure you do, it's called "your right to remain silent!"
Tien, the attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said a person's right to keep a password secret is a linchpin of the digital age.
Encryption is "really the only way you can secure information against prying eyes," he said. "If it's too easy to compel people to produce their crypto keys, it's not much of a protection."
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A class assignment about Sex Offender Living Beneath the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Miami Beach. Yes, I went alone and they were very nice. Remember kids, just because a sex-offender can't live next to your kid's school doesn't mean a murderer or a crack dealer can't. Also, Sex-offender does not mean pedophile (though some are pedophiles). You can be registered as a sex offender for slapping a girl on the a$$ and peeing in public (look it up).
Regardless of the fact, I do not condone what these people did, but they did their time and this is where we stick them? Give me a break. And as some one who spends a lot of time hating things (see other vlogs), you should really look at the facts.
Only about 3-10% (differing stats) of sex offender will commit a crime again (less than any other crime) and to be honest your kid has a better chance of being killed by a drunk driver than being molested (I know, they are both pretty bad). Also forcing people into desperate circumstances were jail is a better option will make the situation a lot more dangerous to society. I am sorry to the victims and I hope one day you find peace, but the hysteria has to stop. Pick a constitution once in a while, people. It's Liberty and justice for ALL (I know, not the constitution) Comments can be sent to me via myspace if you wish... no more youtube comments and I will answer you back. I'm sick of idiots.
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Why does this sound like more fear-mongering to whip the public into a frenzy, so they can get more money? If they know there is this many computers, then they have investigated it, get a warrant and go arrest the people! This whole article sounds like BS to me. Now if they knew this many houses had drugs in them, you can bet they'd be knocking down the doors right now, so why is this any different?
RICHMOND (AP) -- One simply reads: "GOOD! 3yo gets raped during bathtime. she cries!" Another: "Lolita Rape Torture."
Law enforcement officials have identified more than 19,000 individual computers with such hard-core child pornography files on them in Virginia, but said they simply do not have the resources to investigate all of the suspected sexual predators.
- So who investigated them? Someone apparently did. So get warrants and go arrest the people. This just sounds like you are reaching for more tax payer money to me, or trying to scare the hell out of people to divert their attention from the war or something. Having child porn doesn't make a person a sexual PREDATOR!!!
Members from Virginia's two Internet Crimes Against Children task forces were in Richmond on Wednesday to push "Alicia's Law," named after a Pennsylvania teen who was brought to Virginia by an online predator, raped and tortured.
- Yep, this is the reason, another bill in the name of some child. STOP HUMANIZING BILLS!!!
Del. Brian Moran's bill would provide more than $32 million over the next two years to expand law enforcement and forensic capabilities to investigate crimes against children, and to train and educate prosecutors and parents on the dangers of Internet predators.
- Yep, and I'm sure much of this money is being diverted into the WAR!!! I don't know this for a fact, but we never had this so called problem until the "war on terror" started, then they are whipping people into fearing anything that moves so we give them money to "protect us!" And the sheeple are buying it all...
"We know the enormity of the problem. We need to apply the necessary resources to get the job done and investigate, arrest and ultimately put these child sexual predators behind bars," Moran, the House Democratic Caucus Chairman, told reporters at a news conference.
- Again, having child porn doesn't make someone a predator it makes them a sick criminal.
Later in the day Moran received somewhat bad news when members of a House Appropriations subcommittee tabled the bill while they try to find money to fund the initiative in a tight budget year. Moran said he was disappointed but remained hopeful because they agreed with the idea and didn't kill the bill outright.
- And you can bet, if this bill is passed, it will come out of your pocket!
Virginia ranks eighth per capita nationwide in the number of transactions of child pornography over the Internet. Since 2005, the ICAC task forces have identified more than 215,000 folders containing child pornography that Virginians have shared on Web sites commonly used to share music and other files.
- So why aren't you shutting down the ISP hosting the child porn? Contact the ISP and tell them to DELETE THE FOLDERS!!! See who created them, and go arrest them.
Each transaction is a felony in Virginia.
Officers have identified 1,956 computers containing child pornography in Virginia Beach -- the most of any Virginia locality. The problem exists even in the state's small towns, with tiny Pound in far southwest Virginia being home to 53 unique hard drives containing child porn.
The ICAC team has identified one computer in Sandston near Richmond that has made at least 187 transactions, sharing pictures and videos of infants and young children being brutally raped and molested.
"We're not talking about girls that are 13, 14, 15 years old, although they can still get that. We're talking about infants and toddlers," said Lt. Michael Harmony, commander of the Southern Virginia ICAC Task Force.
A 2005 Department of Justice study suggested that 55 percent of those convicted of possessing child pornography admitted to illegal contact with children. The ICAC task forces have found that local children are the victims in about 30 percent of the discovered files.
"These are not just people who are looking at photographs. These are people that are looking at photographs and getting ideas from the photographs and then acting out those impulses on children," said Camille Cooper, with the National Association to Protect Children.
"Alicia's Law" was named for Alicia Kozakiewicz, who in 2002 as a 13-year-old met 38-year-old Scott Tyree online and went with him to his Herndon home, where he chained her to the floor in his basement for four days while he beat and raped her. He currently is serving a 19-year federal prison sentence.
The legislation would expand Virginia's two ICAC task forces, create three regional forensic labs that would focus only on child exploitation cases, provide grants for local law enforcement agencies to increase their work catching sexual predators, and provide money for training and education on Internet safety.
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Looks like someone has it right for a change...
NEWPORT CITY -- The Newport City Council has no authority to notify the public about where sex offenders or any other convicts live in Newport City, or to create offender-free zones around schools.
Attorney William Davies told the council Monday that the council could face lawsuits.
Davies said he researched the city charter and the state statutes that give municipalities their powers in Vermont.
"I see nothing that allows you to undertake the concept of notification or to curb the residence of someone who has satisfied the requirements of the legal system," Davies said.
"My recommendation is that the chief of police should not undertake notification," he said.
"My job is not to win lawsuits. My job is to avoid lawsuits," he added.
"That's what we want," responded City Mayor Elwood "Woody" Guyette.
The council became involved in the issue of sexual offenders living in Newport City when Michael Jones, 48, a registered sexual offender, prepared to live at Sias Avenue near Newport Elementary School.
He was released from prison on Jan. 20 after he "maxed out" his 10-year sentence for sexual assault on a 17-year-old girl. The state considers Jones a low risk to re-offend and underwent sexual offender treatment while in prison.
The Department of Corrections alerted the city council, the police and two local schools in advance about Jones. Parents have lobbied the city council to create offender-free zones around schools and a notification policy about sexual offenders.
Jones is not being supervised by corrections because he has completed his entire sentence. The city police department had no involvement in deciding whether Jones is a risk.
The state has strict guidelines about how the public can be notified about the whereabouts of a sexual offender.
Parent Neila Anderson-Decelles said she found Davies' advice sound but "morally bankrupt."
"It's not the responsibility of corrections. It's not the responsibility of the chief (of police). It's not the responsibility of the city council. Who is it the responsibility of to protect the kids?" Anderson-Decelles asked.
- You!!!! You became a parent, so teach your kid the rules of this cruel world. It's not the governments job to tell you when to wipe your a$$ or anything else. You asked a question, now be a responsible parent and protect your own kids.. Stop being sheeple and letting the government dictate everything for you, so you have someone except yourself to blame when something does happen.
"My kids are safer knowing where he is," she said of Jones. "I can protect them from offenders I know are there."
- No they aren't, you are living in wonderland!! What about the serial killers who may live next door? Or other criminals? What gives you the right to know where someone is or lives?
She said she is appalled that Vermont does not have school-safe zones, and asked the city to create them.
Alderman Paul Monette said that safe school zones would push sexual offenders to live almost completely outside the city limits. He said that's why the Legislature did not create offender-free zones for sexual offenders.
She promised to take her concerns to local legislators.
The state has left decisions about punishment and rehabilitation for offenders up to the judicial branch, Davies noted.
- More with the word "punishment!" These laws are all about punishment, and NOT rehabilitation, therefore they are unconstitutional. What kind of society have we become who are hell bent on torturing people and not trying to fix the REAL problems?
And it's up to the Legislature to decide if penalties aren't harsh enough, he added.
The city has only certain authorities granted by the state, Davies said. They involve snow removal, sidewalks and bicycle paths, utility poles, fire arms regulations, pedestrian traffic, the regulation of vehicular traffic, and the ability to license itinerant vendors and alcohol vendors, Davies said.
He also pointed out that the city and its police chief have no expertise to decide which offenders and which class of crimes warrants public notification. The police depend on the judicial system and the Vermont Department of Corrections for information about whether any sexual offender is a high risk to re-offend, Davies said.
"I believe you'd open yourself up to liability because you lack expertise," he said.
"How do you notify people? Do you have the expertise to tell people what to watch for?" Davies asked.
And how does the council decide which classes of offenders are higher risk than others, Davies asked. "Arsonists, assaulters, burglars, murderers. Where does it stop?"
The Department of Corrections can't tell the city council or chief of police to do public notification about the whereabouts of sexual offenders, Davies said. It's up to the state to issue notification.
"The legal advice is to notify nobody," Davies said.
"Not even schools?" Guyette asked.
"Nobody," Davies said.
It would be more appropriate for the council to encourage corrections to notify the schools, which is what happened, Davies said.
The council noted that it was unusual for corrections officials to alert the city about an offender.
Guyette told Anderson-Decelles that the council takes the issue very seriously, but could not act on her requests.
View the article here
ELKHART — Surveillance video released by the Elkhart Police Department shows inappropriate behavior by police officers. The incident happened Thanksgiving morning while a woman from out of state was waiting for a ride home. She posed for inappropriate pictures with the officers.
The police department says it is embarrassed. No criminal charges were filed in this case, but one officer resigned, a city employee was fired, and the department suspended six other officers. The assistant chief says releasing the tapes is a way to move on from the incident.
The woman arrived just before the 3 a.m. The state police arrested the man she was riding with for drunk driving. Police brought her to the Elkhart Police Department to arrange a ride home. Police say the woman engaged in suggestive banter with the officers.
At 4:06 a.m, she posed for provocative pictures with Cpl. Benjamin Eaton, then with Safety Officer George Collard.
Ten minutes later, she climbed on the information desk and got into a provocative pose there, too. Collard came around to the other side of the desk and snapped a photo.
Later, an officer came out and seemingly put an end to the behavior. Just after 6 a.m., the woman left with relatives.
Once the department found out about the incident, it fired Collard immediately. Eaton resigned. Then Former Chief Pam Westlake suspended six officers without pay.
Cpl. Andy Rucker, Cpl. Ben Kruszynski, Sgt. Jim Ballard, Sgt. David Baskins, Sgt. Todd Thayer and Lt. Chris Snyder were all found to have committed neglect of duty.
Cpl. Rucker and Cpl. Kruszynski were also found to have committed conduct unbecoming an officer. The Board of Public Safety upheld that punishment. The officers also had to undergo ethics training. Current Asst. Chief Tim Balyeat told WSBT News the department has learned from the incident.
“It's been very humiliating,” Balyeat said. “It's been very embarrassing for the men and women of this department. I don't believe another incident like this will occur.”
All of the other officers are back on the force. Police say they waited until now to release the tapes because of the ongoing investigation.
Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill decided not to file criminal charges in the case, but called the conduct “unbecoming, inappropriate and otherwise an embarrassment to the department.”
Despite the release of the video, the police department considers the matter closed.
BAD QUALITY VIDEOS - I did not record them, just posting them here.
Ohio Senate vote on Senate Bill 10 (Adam Walsh Act), an unconstitutional law violating the rights of 30,000 Ohio citizens.
See www.ConstitutionalFights.org for information.
Ohio Senate Bill 10, also known as the "Adam Walsh" law was furiously and irresponsibly enacted on January 1, 2008. Because the Ohio Legislature passed this law in a reactionary manner for politically correctness and to gain federal funding, they failed to responsibly review the legislation or study the impact, objections, nor constitutionality of the law. As a result, there are Constitutional challenges and court filings proceeding all over the state of Ohio which are challenging this legislation.
The law imposes retro-active restrictions and requirements on offenders who were either convicted of or pleaded guilty to any sexually related offense. Many of these offenders have satisfied all conditions, consequences and requirements of their offense, which may have occurred up to 10 years ago or more. Imposing new retro-active punishment on them constitutes a violation of the Ohio and United States Constitution with regard to its Double Jeopardy provision.
Yet this law imposes, among other things, a life-long registration requirement on them, meaning they are legally required to register with the local sheriff offices four times every year until they die to register every detail of their living conditions and location. Many of these people have fulfilled all previous registration requirements for a period up to 10 years already. This retro-active punishment is a violation of State and US Constitutional Rights, relating to Ex Post Facto provisions.
Beyond this, these offenders will now be re-classified in accordance with federal guidelines with no individual review by a court or judge, based solely on the offense which they committed. Universal re-classification of sex offenders into federal mandated tiers without the individual review before a court of law and judge is a violation of the Separation of Powers provision of the Ohio and United States Constitutions.
This law violates the ex post facto, double jeopardy, and separation of powers provisions of the Ohio Constitution and the United States Constitution. And it constitutes breach of contract of original plea of the offenders. As the conditions of punishment are now changed years after the plea agreement was made.
We ask for your support in signing this online petition which will be forwarded to legislators to help revoke this unconstitutional law:
View the article here
This is an article from CNN which is a little more detailed.
MIAMI (AP) -- The state of Florida is trying to dissolve a community of sex offenders living under a bridge that includes a gym, kitchen, living room and two dogs.
The men have lived under the Julia Tuttle Causeway for a year. They say limited money and strict local ordinances make it nearly impossible for them to live anywhere else.
But state officials are telling them to leave.
"We're urging them to find a residence. We want them to be able to reintegrate into society," said Gretl Plessinger, a spokeswoman for the Florida Corrections Department.
- But you will not allow them to reintegrate into society, these very laws prevent that. More lies! You people just get off on punishing people like this.
"We are hopeful that if we push them, they will be able to find a residence that's better."
- Do you think they want to be homeless? They tried, but they were told to live there, and that was the only legal place they could stay. Now you are forcing them out. Now where are they to go? Admit it, you want them all back in jail or prison...
The state first advised the 19 registered Tuttle dwellers last week that they must move. Since then, five of the men have found homes. A sixth has gone missing, a reflection of the angst over the order.
Plessinger said probation officers have given the men lists of possible locations to look for housing. The offenders were initially given 72 hours to find housing, but Plessinger said it was simply to motivate the men to get started. There is no firm deadline.
All told, corrections officials count fewer than 50 homeless sex offenders statewide. About nine lived under the Oakland Park Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale until authorities abruptly evicted them last month, an incident Plessinger said prompted the wider demand for relocation.
"We're trying to be proactive, give the offenders time to find a place," she said.
Three of those evicted from beneath the Oakland Park bridge are now camping out in the Everglades, Plessinger said.
Carlene Sawyer, president of the Greater Miami chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, called the under-bridge housing "cruel and unusual punishment" that gives the community a "false sense of security."
The situation is garnering the attention of state lawmakers. Democratic State Rep. Jack Seiler said that while restrictions to keep sex offenders away from children are good, communities are trying to "one-up" each other with tougher and tougher restrictions.
- So when is the gestapo going to round them all up and throw them into concentration camps? This is what it's coming to, and you are wasting time on offenders who are not a danger to society, instead of monitoring TRUE predators, you are torturing ALL offenders, which is cruel and unusual punishment. But, I guess when you get all states doing this, it will no longer be consider cruel and unusual, just cruel. This INJUSTICE SYSTEM NEEDS AN ENEMA!!!
He said the state may have to adopt uniform standards.
- I thought that is what the Adam Walsh act was about, which is no better.
"There has to be some place in a greater metropolitan area where these individuals can reside and we can monitor them," Seiler said. "If we push them all underground or out of areas where they can be monitored, that is not in the best interest of public safety."
- Yeah, it's called a home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The offenders' community is like no other.
Just beneath where motorists pass, in the angled area where the bridge meets a concrete slope, there are domed tents, a cream-colored sofa beside a large generator-powered television and XBox, and stacks of canned food and drinks.
The air is tinged with sea salt, and the sound of cars passing overhead is relentless. Yet perfect Atlantic waters make it strangely serene.
At the bottom of the slope, there is a makeshift kitchen with a table, grill and jugs of water that residents fill more than a mile away. The community has a canoe for fishing, a weight bench, and a spot favored by a pit bull named Tigger and a German shepherd named Blackie.
On pillars supporting the bridge, and on the slope, residents have spray-painted their thoughts: "We 'R' Not Monsters." "They Treat Animals Better!!!" "Why?"
Juan Carlos Martin, a 29-year-old on the sex offender list for lewd or lascivious exhibition to a victim under the age of 16 -- a crime he says he didn't commit -- said it's been impossible for him to leave the bridge. He has been rejected from 15 jobs because of his record and can't find a place he can afford that's in compliance with the law.
Martin sits on his couch and sucks on a cigarette as a tiny white kitten peaks out from behind a stereo that no longer works. A gold crucifix hangs from his neck. He is off probation now, but he says he feels no freedom.
"What the law's doing to us is totally wrong," said Martin, who has lived here about six months. "Society will see that we aren't animals."
- No they will not, they have all been brainwashed, like the sheeple they are, and will not believe anything. They do not even read the FACTS or listen to EXPERTS in the field of sex offenders. It's just evil, pure evil what they are doing in this country, and
The things the little girl said - Few things disturb us like the sexual abuse of a child. But what if it's not true?
View the article here
On the evening of Aug. 22, 2005, a camcorder clicked on in a gated community called Pristine Place.
Natalie Shelton, bleached blond and 25 at the time, sat on a couch wearing a tight white tank top and a blue denim miniskirt.
To her left was her daughter. The 6-year-old girl with brown, shoulder-length hair slouched on the couch with her arms crossed and looked at her mother.
"Okay," Natalie's neighbor friend Patti said from behind the camera.¶ "Okay," Natalie said."Will you tell me," Natalie said to her daughter, "what you said after our Chinese food about your dad? Can you tell me?"
"He cut my hair," the little girl said.
"Could you tell me," Natalie said, "what else you told me?"
"Well," the little girl started. She brushed her hair behind both her ears. "He touches -- sometimes he touches my tu-tu, and my private parts, even my butt."
"Is your tu-tu your private part?"
"Um-hum. And then he sticks his finger in my butt and tu-tu."
"So he sticks his fingers in your bottom and in your tu-tu?"
The little girl nodded yes.
The tape lasted just a few minutes. At the end, Natalie looked at the camera, held the look, then looked back at her daughter.
"Okay," Natalie said to the little girl. "You did really well. I'm so proud of you.
"Give me five," she said.
The little girl reached out to her mother and gave her a soft, low five.
"Okay, Patti," Natalie said. "That's it."
* * *
Thirty years ago in this country, there were 6,000 confirmed cases of child sexual abuse -- by 2000, that number was 300,000.
That doesn't necessarily mean that many more children are being abused. It just means that many more are saying something. Statistics vary -- many cases are never reported because of shame and guilt, and those that are reported sometimes get reduced to lesser, nonsexual charges -- but estimates put the number of girls who are sexually abused somewhere between one in three and one in five. Most are abused by someone they know and trust.
Over time, the state has developed a system to handle the mass of these cases that come through the courts. The system involves law enforcement, the state attorney's office and child welfare services. The system moves in a regimented way, and with a two-tiered goal -- to prosecute the offender, and to protect the victim.
But not all cases are the same.
This is just one case, and yet there are good reasons it has been talked about around the Hernando County Courthouse for more than two years. Attorneys have called it "nuts," "lunacy" and "scary." It has challenged, at the very least, the ability of the system to adjust to the unexpected and the extraordinary.
Systems don't have common sense. They are not nimble and they don't adapt. People do.
But what if the people don't?
What happens then?
* * *
This case started the way these cases almost always start -- with an allegation, and fast.
No one saw the home video in the beginning. But Natalie called the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, and the Sheriff's Office called the state Department of Children and Families, and by the next afternoon the little girl was being interviewed by a woman from the state Child Protection Team. The little girl wore a pink shirt. The room was filled with toys.
"Okay," the little girl said, "this is going to be fun."
She said she was in the first grade at Hernando Christian Academy.
She was asked if it's good or bad to tell lies.
"Bad," the little girl said.
"All right. So why did you have to come here and see me ... ?"
"Well, it's because my dad, he touched me in the private parts."
The little girl described his penis, his pubic hair and a white "wax." She talked about how he "played barbershop" and cut her hair, and said the sexual abuse happened once, at his house, with his fingers, knuckles and hands.
"Actually," the little girl said, "it happened two times."
"When was the other time?" the interviewer asked.
"I think it was Tuesday."
"Well, no, last week was Wednesday. I think probably he touched me on that day."
"It was," the little girl finally said. "I asked my mom. She said it was Wednesday. So I believed her."
This interview lasted 42 minutes. The interviewer wrote in her report that the child had given "clear disclosure of sex acts." The little girl, she wrote, should be kept away from her father.
* * *
Later that evening, her father sat across from sheriff's Detective Shawn Terry in a small, gray-walled room in the Sheriff's Office.
The detective told Ron Shelton what the little girl had said.
"That is a lie," Ron said, "a total, whole, whole lie."
"Okay," the detective said. "So the child is lying?"
"I don't know except her mother is brainwashing her," Ron said.
Ron met Natalie in the fall of 1997. He's 61, a trim, tough, emotional man. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio, as a self-described "hell raiser," was addicted to painkillers and Valium for 20 years, and ran bars, nightclubs, convenience and liquor stores. He also did accounting work for many of the city's strip clubs. One of them was the Fantasy Club. Natalie danced there, and she needed a place to stay. Just two nights, Ron said. He says the manager said she was 19. She was 17, it turned out, and a runaway, which made Ron anxious.
"Now," Ron told the Hernando detective, "I've got a huge problem."
The solution: On Oct. 20, 1997, they got married. Ron likes women in their early 20s, and says so, and had been married six times before. He married Natalie, he insists, to rid himself of potential legal trouble for harboring an underage runaway, and Natalie married Ron to feel like an adult.
The little girl was born Sept. 12, 1998. Ron and Natalie got divorced in 2002. At one point, according to records, Ron had sole custody because Natalie's own mother and sister told a judge that she wasn't living an appropriate lifestyle. Later that year, Ron and Natalie moved to Florida, lived separately and split custody -- Ron had her during the school year and Natalie took her in the summer. Ron kept some accounting clients, and Natalie worked at Mons Venus, Tampa's best-known strip club.
"Tell me," the detective said, "what the motivation is for Natalie to program your daughter and say that you touched her or molested her."
"Because Natalie kept throwing up to me, okay, 'I got nothing out of the divorce.'"
"So she wants money from you?"
"That's the whole thing," Ron said. "She wants support."
Ron has two grown children from a previous marriage whom he doesn't see anymore. He has been in trouble in the past for not paying child support. But his friends from Columbus say something in him changed when the little girl was born. Ron says her birth brought him "peace."
"If I was raping a 6-year-old," he told the detective, "... take me someplace and kill my f------ a--, okay?"
Then he took a Computer Voice Stress Analyzer test.
Ron was asked if he did what his daughter said he did.
He said no.
The machine said he failed.
* * *
Ron was arrested Aug. 24, 2005, at 10 a.m.
That day, the detective's cell phone called Natalie's cell phone at 3:17 p.m., 3:18, 6:55, 7:00, 8:44, 8:45, 8:46, 10:18, 10:19, 10:25, 10:25 again, 10:32, 11:16 and 11:29. Natalie answered five of those calls. The conversations were short.
* * *
Two days later, prosecutor Marlene Wells made the state's case against Ron in his first bail hearing. Ron appeared on a TV screen via video from the county jail.
The detective told the judge that the little girl had been examined the day before by a doctor from the Child Protection Team.
"The report," he testified, "advised that the child was positive for sexual abuse history."
Those words come up a lot in these cases.
Here's what they mean: The child said what the child said.
In this case, the exam was "normal," the doctor wrote in her report. No physical signs of abuse. That's true in approximately 85 to 95 percent of these cases, according to the doctor, because those areas of the body heal quickly, like the inside of the mouth. But what the little girl said during the exam was what she already had said, and now also that her daddy's penis had gone inside her, and also that he had made her watch pornographic movies, and also that he had taken pictures of them together in the shower.
Bob Morris was Ron's first attorney.
"The only case that exists against my client," he told longtime Circuit Judge Jack Springstead, "are the allegations of a 6-year-old girl ... "
"The child's testimony is remarkable," Springstead said in his decision, "in that it describes with particularity and detail acts that a child of that age and the tender years she is would not be aware of unless she had physically experienced or observed these matters.
"The bond motion," he said, "is denied."
The charge: sexual battery of a child under 12. The punishment: life in prison.
* * *
That same day, the detective's cell phone called Natalie's cell phone at 7 a.m., 7:01, 9:13, 11:12, 11:18, 1:17 p.m., 12:52, 1:36, 1:38, 1:41, 7:20, 9:13, 10:59 and 11. Natalie answered five times -- again. The conversations were short -- again. Over the next month, he called her 30 more times, and text messaged her seven times, and late one night someone saw his unmarked car parked in the driveway of Natalie's house.
* * *
Human instinct is to want to protect children, and to believe them. But experts estimate that between 1 and 4 percent of allegations of child sexual abuse turn out to be lies. Out of 300,000, that's either not a lot, or a heck of a lot.
The little girl started therapy in early September.
She was angry, fearful and having nightmares, according to her therapist's notes. She was locking doors at home and hitting and kicking at school. She told her therapist she didn't trust anyone anymore.
She drew a picture of daddy stabbing mommy. She drew a picture of daddy's house on fire.
"I hate myself," she said.
The allegations kept coming.
She said daddy put her in boxes and trash cans.
She said daddy would dress like a woman.
She said daddy put his penis in her "four times."
She said daddy's girlfriend put her mouth on her vagina.
She said daddy dug a hole in the yard and told her he'd put her in there if she wasn't good.
DCF opened a case to try to terminate Ron's parental rights.
The Sheriff's Office, the State Attorney's Office, the courts -- they're supposed to protect, and they're supposed to prosecute. There is a presumption that the truth will emerge from this process.
Just what people were doing to try to find it wasn't always clear.
The detective called the child protective investigator and told her that the little girl was just looking for attention with the allegations about the other woman. The detective said the little girl gets more attention the more stories she tells. Natalie called and said the same things.
The child protective investigator wrote in her notes that the detective "determined that there was enough evidence to keep perpetrator incarcerated." A different caseworker said the detective had told her that the other allegations would "muddy the water."
The little girl's allegations didn't stop.
She said daddy held her under water in the bath.
She said daddy ate her poop.
Thomas Dikel, a child clinical psychologist from Gainesville, interviewed the little girl, who told him that all this abuse had started when she was 2 or 3 years old. "Her story is reliable," Dikel concluded in his report.
Ron hired attorneys Jack Maro and Mark Rodriguez. Maro had Ron take a polygraph test.
Same questions. Same answers.
Different result. This one said Ron was telling the truth.
On Jan. 23, 2006, there was another bail hearing in front of Stephen Rushing, the new circuit judge in Hernando. Motion denied. Still no bail.
After the hearing, though, Natalie and her neighbor friend, Patti, went upstairs to the State Attorney's Office and gave Wells, the prosecutor, the videotape they had made before calling the Sheriff's Office five months earlier at Pristine Place.
Natalie thought it would help the prosecution.
"What we have here," attorney Mark Rodriguez said in a bail hearing in February in front of Judge Rushing, "is an allegation of sexual battery by a child. The statements of the child is the evidence. That is it. That is the evidence."
Rodriguez also told the judge about what the detective had taken from Ron's home: four computers, nine cameras, 13 rolls of film, a camcorder and 18 floppy disks. Nothing sexually inappropriate.
"I'm going to find," Rushing said, "that since the criminal offense is punishable by life in prison as a capital sexual battery that no bond is still appropriate."
Jail's not a nice place -- especially not for guys with Ron's charges. Ron says he did what he had to do to protect himself. At some point, one of Hernando's most notorious lawbreakers, a career criminal who is now in state prison until 2037, came to him, saying he'd heard about his case from people on the outside.
People were saying Ron hadn't done what he was said to have done. The career criminal "let people know," Ron said later. No more problems in jail.
The little girl, meanwhile, kept coming with new allegations.
She said daddy would pop the heads off her dolls.
She said daddy would blow his nose and rub it on her tu-tu.
She was asked how many times daddy had touched her.
"About 64 times."
She started with a different therapist in Tampa. She buried dolls in the sandbox and said she wanted everybody to die. She ripped the pants off the woman doll and made the man doll "have sex" with her.
The little girl was 7-1/2.
Court cases move slowly. That's normal. But usually with that time comes greater clarity. This case was eight months old and getting only more muddled.
One of the workers from DCF visited Natalie's home. The little girl showed the caseworker pictures of men printed off the county jail Web site and said they also had molested her. Natalie told the worker she and the neighbor friend, Patti, had been printing them out. The DCF worker's notes from the meeting described Natalie as "rambling" and "incoherent."
The little girl said there were "lots" of people who abused her.
She said she wanted to go to court to tell the judge that no one was going to take her from her mother and that her father was an "a--h---." The worker asked the little girl where she had learned that word. From her mother, she said.
And she said her uncle back in Ohio -- the husband of Natalie's sister -- also "had sex" with her on a visit up there the previous November.
This was the middle of April 2006. The caseworkers and their supervisor had Natalie in for a meeting. The supervisor said all these new allegations needed to be investigated by the detective.
Natalie told them she'd call him.
"He always answers my calls," she said.
The detective came in and told the supervisor that all this new information could damage the criminal trial. Natalie was "distraught" and "agitated," according to department notes from the meeting. The supervisor made her take a drug test. She tested positive for marijuana and Valium.
Natalie talked on the phone the next day to one of the caseworkers. The caseworker told Natalie that some of the other workers in the office had noticed how strange she had been acting around the detective.
"Do you think they know I slept with him?" Natalie said.
The supervisor called the Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff's Office started an internal affairs investigation on the detective.
* * *
May 11, 2006. Another bail hearing.
"Every place this child goes," attorney Jack Maro said, "she gets molested by somebody."
"She's never recanted," said Wells, the prosecutor.
Rushing said in his decision that he was "concerned" about the litany of allegations. The video from Pristine Place was no longer a secret. Wells had sent Ron's attorneys a letter about it two weeks after getting it. But the judge said the little girl hadn't backed off her initial allegation. And he acknowledged the lack of physical evidence, but said that didn't necessarily mean "things didn't happen."
Still no bail.
The next day the psychologist and the Child Protection Team interviewer met with Natalie. Now their questions were for her. They needed to know about her showing the little girl the inmate pictures off the Internet, and asking if she had been molested by these people, too. They concluded the little girl had not been molested by the people from the Internet, but they did learn more about Natalie:
She had a history of using marijuana, according to their report.
She had "limited parenting education."
She had had just one job -- "exotic dancer" -- and was an unemployed high school dropout. She was being financially supported by a married dentist in Pennsylvania.
Also: "Natalie states that she has a history of 'using' men. She states that she has had relationships with men to obtain things. She states whether it be gifts, cars, financial support, that she knows how to 'hustle' people."
Meanwhile, in the developing internal affairs investigation, one of the DCF workers told the investigating sergeant that Natalie's "reality and fantasy blend."
The Child Protection Team interviewer said she had heard the detective, who was married, call Natalie "hot" and "almost perfect."
Natalie told the sergeant that the detective was "hitting on her" from the start and that they had had consensual sex once and "made out" more than that in the first couple of weeks of the investigation. She said she thought it would get her better service.
* * *
There were two separate allegations made against the uncle in Ohio. Both came from Natalie. The first was in April: The little girl said the uncle had molested her. The second was in May: The little girl said the uncle's daughters told her that he had molested them, too.
In mid May, the Ohio investigation was over.
The detective in Ohio had allegations similar to the allegations in Florida -- but made the opposite decision. He closed the case on the first allegation with "no further action" because there was no physical evidence, he said. He dismissed the second allegation as "unfounded" because the uncle's daughters said that what Natalie had said just wasn't true.
In mid June, after Ron had spent almost 10 months in jail with no bail, Wells, the prosecutor, floated a plea deal. In exchange for guilty pleas on two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child, Wells offered 10 years of probation and a $10,000 fine.
The case was getting shakier overall, and this was an unexpected opportunity for Ron's attorneys: Now they could make the argument that even the prosecutor no longer thought Ron was dangerous enough to be held in jail with no bail.
Rodriguez filed an immediate motion for another bail hearing.
Almost as quickly as she had offered it, Wells pulled the deal.
It didn't matter.
"He ain't taking anything," Rodriguez said.
At the scheduled hearing the same arguments were made. One side: The only evidence is the allegation. The other: The girl has never recanted.
But the balance had tipped. Judge Rushing changed his mind. He cited the other unfounded allegations. He mentioned the plea offer and the possibility of probation. He set bail at $75,000 per count.
Ron's friends from Ohio came up with the money -- 10 percent of the bail amount -- and Ron went home. A week later he sat at his kitchen table.
"They know they have no case," he said.
"I'm not guilty. I'll die and go to hell before I admit to that."
In the ongoing internal affairs investigation, Natalie took a polygraph test, and failed it.
The detective denied everything.
He said all those calls were for work. He said he didn't remember calling her "hot" and "almost perfect" but once did call her "Little Miss Hot to Trot Stripper." He quit before the end of the investigation and went to work for the Brooksville Police Department.
A month later, the Sheriff's Office finished its internal affairs investigation, and the conclusion was that Detective Shawn Terry had not had an affair with Natalie Shelton. "Unfounded."
Then, a month after that, Bill Gladson, the new supervisor at the State Attorney's Office in Brooksville, who had been there only for a few months, took a long look at the case.
On Sept. 14, 2006, he signed a short, one-page document.
It ended like this: "INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO SUSTAIN A CONVICTION."
The prosecution was stopped.
Wells didn't like the decision. She wanted to take it to trial. Gladson told her no.
He also wrote a memo. The memo focused on the video made that first evening when Natalie gave her daughter the low five in Pristine Place.
"Watching this tape," Gladson wrote, "gives the viewer the impression that the mother was possibly coaching the child. The investigators with CPT were not aware of the existence of this tape at the time of their interview of the child.
"This video tape," he continued, "caused irreparable damage to the credibility of the child."
Almost 13 months after the initial allegation, the criminal case was over.
* * *
Nov. 16, 2006.
"Can a child be convinced to believe in something that is not true?" Rodriguez asked Dikel, the psychologist, in one of his depositions.
"Santa Claus," Dikel said.
"Okay. So you're saying yes?"
"Okay. So children can be convinced that certain things are true that are in actuality not true?"
"Children," the psychologist said, "as well as adults."
* * *
The criminal case is over. In December, DCF dropped the case to terminate Ron's parental rights, but the custody battle is still going.
The little girl is 9 now. She lives with Natalie in Ohio. DCF caseworkers, DCF attorneys, the girl's guardian ad litem from Florida, the girl's therapist in Ohio -- they all have said over the last year-plus that they think that's the best situation for the child.
"DCF works from a perspective," Rodriguez said. "Their job is to protect the child. Their job isn't to find the truth. They're not in the business of finding the truth. ... That's up to the State Attorney's Office."
Wells, the prosecutor, left Brooksville after the case, and has been with the State Attorney's Office in Orlando since March. She said in the internal affairs investigation that she didn't think the video showed coaching. She said in an interview last fall that she still believes the little girl.
Here is what the detective said about Natalie in one of his depositions:
"Sometimes you have probable cause, and probable cause can come and it can go. It can dissipate. And I felt like my probable cause was quickly dissipating on the case and I was starting to get a little anxious about it from Natalie's behavior. ...
"I felt," he said, "like everyone had been duped."
Ron has filed notices to sue just about everybody who had anything to do with the case against him: the Sheriff's Office, the State Attorney's Office, DCF, the doctor, the psychologist, Natalie. The list goes on.
"I could disappear into the clouds, go back to Columbus, live out the rest of my life," he said last fall.
"But I don't want that.
"I want my daughter."
Natalie, for the last nine months, has not been getting support from the dentist in Pennsylvania -- who met Natalie at Mons Venus, and who in his almost three years with her bought her a used BMW, a vacation to Puerto Rico and the three-bedroom house in Pristine Place.
"Natalie's just, you know, I don't have concerns for her taking care of the child," the DCF caseworker said in a deposition. "Sometimes she gets a little upset and a little hysterical. But that's just Natalie's personality."
Will the little girl still live with Natalie?
With Ron again at some point?
With relatives? A foster family? In a therapeutic residential group home?
"There are questions about this case that we're never going to be able to answer," said Elliott Ambrose, Natalie's attorney in Brooksville. "That doesn't mean some of the allegations weren't true."
June 11, 2007. Columbus, Ohio. The little girl sat for 2 1/2 hours with a new child psychologist for a court-ordered evaluation.
"I get confused all the time," the little girl told the psychologist. "It's my specialty. My memory isn't good at all. It's a problem.
"I try to stop doing something. I try to stop saying things that aren't true. ... But it's just my memory and I can't help it."
"What's weird about me," she continued at another point in the evaluation, according to the psychologist's report, "is that I have visions.
"I get a vision in my eyes.
"Do you guys have anything to stop the visions?
"Do you have medicines to stop it? I need it now.
"I can't take it anymore," the little girl said.
She has no friends, she told the psychologist. She's lonely. She's not very smart, she said. She doesn't make good grades, but she still likes her teacher, she said, because "I can get what I want from her.
"It's easy to trick people," the little girl said.
Her mother, she said, is "smart as heck."
She said several times that she wanted to get pregnant by the time she was 16.
But she also talked about the allegations against her father.
"If I have to see my father, I will fake vomit," she said. "I'll fake hanging myself." She began to suck on a puppet in the psychologist's office. "I would do anything not to see my dad. I'd put a tack in my foot. I'd cut off my leg. ... I'd cut out my eyeballs. I'd donate my kidneys. I'd make my body into shreds." She showed the psychologist her bellybutton and began to laugh. "Ron never loved me," she said. "He did bad things to me." She rolled around on the couch in the office and started to talk baby talk.
"I'm tired," the little girl said.
* * *
Natalie is 27 now. She lives with her fiance and the little girl in a suburb of Columbus in a small but nice house in an orderly community with square lawns and white fences.
Her doorbell rang one recent afternoon. She came to the door.
She's petite. She had on black pants, a black shirt, a pink scarf, was barefoot and had a bulging pregnant belly.
"You came all the way from Florida to talk to me?"
The little girl was in the breezeway. She's in the third grade now and still has shoulder-length brown hair. She said she liked reading and that she read 20 minutes a day. Then she left for the grocery store with the fiancee.
Natalie went into a large, clean living room with high ceilings and a big-screen TV set on the floor and sat on a leather, cream-colored couch.
She said the videotape wasn't the reason the criminal case was dropped.
"Wherever there's humans involved," she said, "there's room for error."
She said she's off drugs. She said her fiance is working and is the father of the baby on the way. She said she works three mornings a week at the desk of a local athletic club and that she's "in line" to give facials and body treatments when she passes her final certification test.
She said she stands by her allegations against the detective.
"He had a job to do," she said, "and he didn't do it."
The fiance and the little girl got back from the grocery store. The fiance went into another room. The little girl went down to the basement.
"She doesn't suck her thumb anymore," Natalie said. "Sometimes I'll catch her. She said it makes her feel safe. But she doesn't say that she's scared that daddy's coming back anymore."
Natalie was asked if she ever questioned any of her daughter's allegations.
"There isn't a doubt in my mind it happened," she said, "with how descriptive she was, how consistent she was. With all of it, all of it, but especially Ron, of course.
"The only thing I question is: How is she functioning if all that happened? Then I hear from therapists that kids are really resilient.
"I think the human mind is so powerful," Natalie said, "that you can block out certain things."
It was quiet. The door to the basement was open. The little girl could be heard down there playing.