Monday, April 14, 2008
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And yet another perverted cop from Florida getting busted! More here.
POLK COUNTY (Bay News 9) -- Mulberry Department of Public Safety Deputy Chief Jody Beaudry turned himself in to the Polk County Jail Monday.
He is charged with sexual battery, a first-degree felony, and engaging in unlawful sexual activity with a minor, a second-degree felony.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) began investigating Beaudry after receiving a complaint alleging Beaudry had a sexual relationship with a juvenile female in the fall of 2004.
The offense allegedly occurred while Beaudry was working as a supervisory uniformed Mulberry Department of Public Safety police officer and acting in an official capacity.
Upon learning of the allegations, Deputy Chief Jody Beaudry was immediately placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the results of FDLE's investigation.
Beaudry has been employed at the Mulberry Department of Public Safety since 2003 and has been serving as deputy chief since June 2007.
He is presently on unpaid administrative leave and is being held at the Polk County Jail without bond pending a hearing before a judge.
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The 10-year-old boy accused of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old boy on a Howell Public Schools bus in May pleaded no contest today to a charge of gross indecency between males. This will keep him off the state’s sex offender registry. He is set to be sentenced on May 23.
He will also be placed on consent calendar relating to the charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, meaning that if he successfully completes probation-like requirements, such as counseling, he will be able to avoid a criminal record.
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The little boy was described by his principal as "shy and reserved."
It was late last month, and he was being questioned about allegations that he groped another Treeline Elementary student on the school bus in Lehigh Acres.
Eyes downcast, he admitted it.
A report was filed with the Lee County Sheriff's Office, but the boy was not arrested. Instead, he was suspended from school five days.
In the special victims unit of the sheriff's office, Sgt. Michael Christiansen said about two or three reports of child-on-child sexual abuse are made each week.
"It does happen more often than you would think," he said. "For us, in terms of charging a juvenile with a sex offense, we look at the experience and mentality of the child. We have a guideline of about 13, but we have to look at each case individually."
A common offense
About 4,000 children each year are referred to the Children's Advocacy Center in Fort Myers for medical evaluations by law enforcement and the Department of Children and Families.
Sally Beckett, director of the Child Protection Team at the center, said that about 47 percent of the cases there are alleged sexual abuse. Of those, 25 percent involve allegations of child-on-child sexual activity.
"You're going to have the child who is just exploring their sexuality with other children," Beckett said. "Then you're going to have the children who are experiencing abuse-reactive behaviors, and then you'll have the juvenile offenders."
She said it is typically younger children who are in the curious, exploring stage. Others are those children who are reacting to some type of abuse they have suffered by acting out against another child. And juvenile offenders are typically older and wield their power over a younger, weaker child.
The effects on victims and consequences to offenders vary.
"We do get cases where there is a 5-year-old with another 5-year-old touching body parts," Beckett said. "In those cases, we're just going to bring the kids in to make sure it's just normal play and the child wasn't victimized. But if it's an older child, say a 12-year-old and a 6-year-old, that's going to be suspicious."
Bill Boyer, director of offender services at the center, said that while children who act out sexually may have been abused themselves, that's not always the case and there is no red-flag profile.
A child offender
Boyer said 85 percent of children have had some kind of sexual experience by the time they are 13. The biggest indicator that it has crossed a line to an abusive behavior, he said, is if one child has some advantage over the other - being older, smarter, bigger or in a position of authority.
"There are so many differences between adult and children sexual offenders, with adult sexual offenders most likely to have a character disorder," Boyer said. "They have sociopathic tendencies or deviant arousal. Children's brains haven't developed those patterns yet, and so most of what they're doing is abuse-reactive behaviors - not even just sexual, but physical or emotional."
He said another factor may be easy access to pornography on the Internet, which he said is sexualizing children at a much younger age.
Peter Pollard is the public education director for Stop It Now! a national advocacy group based in Massachusetts that aims to prevent child sexual abuse. He said it would be impossible to know the full scope of the issue because it's so underreported.
"A lot of people dismiss it, and say, 'Oh, it's just boys will be boys,'" Pollard said. "People have extreme visions of who a sexual offender is. They assume it's someone who is a predator, so there's a tendency to discount their child's behavior. But early intervention is very likely to produce positive results."
Boyer said most offenders don't fully understand how their behavior affects the victim. During outpatient offender treatment, he works for about a year each with 80 to 100 teens 14 and older in Lee County. Younger children are referred to the Family Alliance. The majority, he said, do not re-offend.
"Victim empathy is a big part of what we do," Boyer said. "We have projects where they have to explain their cycle, how their victim was harmed, identify the secondary victims like parents and grandparents. They gain a lot of insight."
One such project was an "Empathy Tree." Victims decorated shoes to demonstrate what they had been through. The shoes were strung on the branches of a tree. The offenders then created leaves marked with apologies.
Boyer said that about half of all child-on-child cases happen between family members, usually siblings. Beckett said it's the most underreported type of abuse.
"A lot of it is kept hidden because it's a tough situation for the parents," Beckett said. "You love all your children, so what do you do?"
It can cause complications for families, who may have to make different living arrangements or go through intensive counseling. But Boyer said parents should be encouraged to come forward because there are services available for both offenders and victims.
"It needs to be reported because both children should get help for what's happened," he said. "You also want to overcome whatever the catalyst so it doesn't happen again."
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DERRY – Residents can have their say tomorrow night about a proposal that would restrict where in Derry registered offenders against children can live.
The proposed ordinance, penned by Councilor Kevin Coyle, would prohibit offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools or day care centers or within 500 yards of other places where children frequent, such as playgrounds, parks, the Children's Metamorphosis museum and the Boys & Girls Club.
Violators would face $500 fines for their first offenses and $1,000 fines for subsequent offenses. Since it's a local ordinance, offenders would not face any jail time for violating the conditions.
Derry has 25 registered offenders, whose crimes include child molestation, rape, Internet soliciting and possession of child pornography, according to the online database. The offenders who already live near schools and other places where children congregate would be grandfathered into the ordinance.
Talk of enacting an ordinance started almost immediately after Douglas Simmons, a convicted child killer, moved to an East Broadway apartment, near a private school, a library and a park. Simmons had spent 22 years behind bars and five years on probation after admitting to murdering a 6-year-old girl and sexually abusing her body in Norwich, Conn., in 1981.
Simmons properly notified police of his arrival shortly after relocating, and there were no local or state regulations preventing his move. Simmons moved back to Connecticut after an outpouring of community outrage.
Derry would become the sixth New Hampshire community to pass an ordinance regulating where offenders can live. Coyle modeled his proposal after Dover, which was the first of the communities to pass the regulations. Dover's ordinance is being challenged in court by a convicted sex offender.
Supporters of sex offender ordinances say they can increase public safety by keeping potential predators away from children. Opponents say they do not prevent crimes and may entice offenders to go underground.
Tomorrow's meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Derry Municipal Center's third-floor meeting room. The public hearing is expected to begin around 8:10 p.m., according to the meeting's agenda.
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COLUMBUS — Forget about passing notes in study hall; some teens are now using their cell phones to flirt and send nude pictures of themselves.
The instant text, picture and video messages have become part of some teens' courtship behavior, police and school officials said. The messages often spread quickly and sometimes find their way to public Web sites.
"I've seen everything from your basic striptease to sexual acts being performed," said Reynoldsburg police Detective Brian Marvin, a member of the FBI Cyber Crime Task Force of Central Ohio. "You name it, they will do it at their home under this perceived anonymity."
Westerville Central High School senior Jerome Ray said he's received such unsolicited messages, including one from a classmate while he was sitting with his girlfriend.
"A lot more girls are aggressive," said Ray, 18. "Some girls are crazy and they are putting themselves out there."
Candice Kelsey, a teacher from California, said some teenage girls think they have to be provocative to get boys' attention. As a result, they will send photos they hope their parents never see.
"This happens a lot," said Kelsey, author of Generation MySpace: Helping Your Teen Survive Online Adolescence. "It crosses every racial socio-economic group. Christian kids are doing it. Jewish kids are doing it."
Male teens are also doing it.
For instance, a central Ohio high school teen made a sexual cell phone video of himself and sent it to female classmates. One of the girls forward the Westerville South High School's video to at least 30 other people.
A study last year found teens are placing more of an emphasis on image and fame than in the past. Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University who studies young people's trends, found that teens are more confident and assertive than ever before.
"Adolescents are not known for thinking things through, that's a generational constant," she said. "Now, with the technology that is out there, instead of taking a picture and passing it around the classroom, it's online, which is a whole different ball game. (Teens) don't see it that way."
Mark Raiff, a principal at Columbus' Olentangy Liberty High School, said some of his students and their cell phones have caused trouble.
"They don't see anything wrong with it," he said. "It leaves me speechless."