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Fearful Mom Attacks 7-Foot Sex Offender
Woman Held in Child Predator's Bat Beating; Man Arrested for Failing to Register
Standing 7 feet 3 inches tall and registered as his state's highest-risk type of sex offender, William Baldwin is tough to miss in his Pierce County, Wash., neighborhood.
Wielding a bat, Tammy Lee Gibson, 40, Baldwin's neighbor, found the man and beat him so badly that he needed to go to the hospital before officers arrested him again for failing to register as a Level 3 sex offender at a new address.
He sat Friday in the Pierce County Jail on $20,000 bond -- the same jail where Gibson was being held on $15,000 bond.
Gibson faces felony assault and harassment charges tied to the beating, which occurred shortly after Pierce County sheriff's officers distributed fliers notifying residents that Baldwin, 24, had moved into the neighborhood.
Gibson originally told police that Baldwin had molested her daughter but later pulled back the accusation, claiming instead that she had seen Baldwin talking to her 10-year-old daughter last July 4. The flier from the sheriff's office, she said, made her snap.
- So who is she going to "snap" on next? Will they be lucky enough to live?
"If I had to do it again, I would do it again," Gibson said in a jailhouse interview with Seattle news channel KIRO. "The picture in my head of him talking to my daughter in front of my house scared me."
- She has a record of assault, and above proves she'd do it again, so she is high risk as well, and should not be let out of prison for awhile, IMO.
Gibson said that she wanted Baldwin to know that no children were going to fall victim to him in their neighborhood as long as she lived there. She would have killed him if she could, she said.
"I was thinking he would never hurt any child again," she told KIRO. "I guess I never got that far."
Gibson admitted in the interview that Baldwin had never touched her 10-year-old daughter. The thought alone, however, "made me crazy," she said. She also claimed Baldwin had given her daughter fireworks in the past.
Baldwin was booked on Tuesday for failing to register as a sex offender after deputies interviewed neighbors in the area who said that he had been living in the area for several months. It was not until recently that he had completed the paperwork required to register at his new home.
Baldwin is a registered Level 3 sex offender in Washington state, originally convicted of first-degree child molestation for an incident in which he forced a 5-year-old girl to touch his penis during a game of hide-and-seek. While on parole for that incident, Baldwin lured another 5-year-old neighbor into a backyard doghouse and touched her vagina. The convictions define Baldwin as having a high risk of re-offending.
Baldwin also sat down for a jailhouse interview with KIRO. He described Gibson's approaching him, verifying his identity and picking up a bat.
"She picked it up and all of a sudden just started hitting me," Baldwin said. "She was hitting me like a man who would beat someone with a bat."
While Gibson said that she knew Baldwin, he denied ever talking to her in the past, instead claiming he may have seen her at some point in the neighborhood. He insisted that he never made any type of sexual advance toward her young daughter and has not been in any trouble with the law since his release from prison in April 2002.
"I'm not like that anymore," Baldwin said. "I was at a low point in my life and I did wrong to kids and people, but nobody should have to go through something like that."
Baldwin's status as a Level 3 sex offender required law enforcement to circulate a flier featuring his name, image and conviction information throughout his new neighborhood. While he said he agrees with the notification process and took responsibility for his own crimes, he also suggested that law enforcement stop using fliers in place of Internet postings and going door-to-door to prevent attacks like Gibson's.
"It's right for people to know," he said, "but I think they should let people know in a different way."
- No it's not, when they know, this is what happens. It has been proven over and over.
The Gibson incident was the second time someone attacked him because they knew he was a sex offender, he said.
Det. Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, told ABC News that the office has received calls from people supportive of Gibson and offering to help pay her bond.
Troyer added that Gibson is "not a soccer mom in a minivan who lost her temper."
"She's been in jail before on assault and drug charges," Troyer said.
Troyer said he did not condone the beating Gibson gave Baldwin.
"If everybody went out and beat up a sex offender, we're going to have to stop doing notifications," he said.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
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Wonder how many other people who were probably innocent, have been put into prison for the same reason?
A child porn possession charge lodged against a Department of Industrial Accidents investigator fired for having smut on his state-issued laptop has been dismissed because experts concluded he was unwittingly spammed.
“The overall forensics of the laptop suggest that it had been compromised by a virus,” said Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley.
Nationally recognized computer forensic analyst Tami Loehrs told the Herald Michael Fiola’s ordeal was “one of the most horrific cases I’ve seen.”
“As soon as you mention child pornography, everybody’s senses go out the window,” she said.
Loehrs, who spent a month dissecting the computer for the defense, explained in a 30-page report that the laptop was running corrupted virus-protection software, and Fiola was hit by spammers and crackers bombarding its memory with images of incest and pre-teen porn not visible to the naked eye.
Two forensic examinations conducted by the state Attorney General’s Office for the prosecution concurred with that conclusion, Wark said.
Still, Fiola, 53, whose wife, Robin, described as “computer-illiterate,” wants his day in court. He intends to sue the DIA for “destroying our lives.”
“Our lives have been hell,” said Fiola, a former state park ranger now living in Rhode Island. “I hope to recover my reputation, but our friends all ran.”
DIA spokeswoman Linnea Walsh confirmed Fiola “was terminated,” but declined to say if any internal discipline has been meted out as a result of his name being cleared in court.
- So much for innocent until proven guilty. In today's world, you are automatically guilty and must prove your innocence, so with this being the case, I am willing to bet there is TONS of innocent people in prison. Does Mike NiFong ring a bell to anyone? Anything for a conviction...
“We stand by our decision,” she said.
Fiola’s attorney Timothy Bradl is at a loss to understand why.
“Imagine this scenario: Your employer gives you a ticking time bomb full of child porn, and then you get fired, and then you get prosecuted as some kind of freak,” he railed.
“Anybody who has a work laptop, this could happen to,” he said. “Mike Fiola is a hunt-and-peck kind of computer guy. He can barely get on the Internet.”
Fiola’s troubles began in November 2006 when, seven years into a job probing workers’ compensation fraud, DIA gave him a replacement laptop for one that was stolen.
Months later, DIA information technology officials noted that the data usage on Fiola’s Verizon wireless bill was 4 times greater than his colleagues’. After discovering the child porn , Commissioner Paul Buckley fired him on March 14, 2007.
DIA turned the matter over to state police who, after confirming “an overwhelming amount of images of prepubescent children engaged in pornographic poses” were stored on the laptop, persuaded Boston Municipal Court to issue a criminal complaint against Fiola in August 2007.
After poring over the laptop, Loehrs reported to the court “with 100-percent certainty that the laptop was compromised by numerous viruses and trojans, and may have been hacked by outside sources.”
“There is no evidence to support the claim that Michael Fiola was responsible for any of the pornographic activity,” she wrote.
All the porn, she said, was located in the laptop’s cache, a computer feature that stores copies of Web pages. Consistently, Loehrs’ findings noted, there was “no apparent origin or user interaction preceding the pornographic activity,” some of which was downloaded “fast and furious.”
Wark said Fiola’s case was offically expunged from the court Tuesday.
Ottis Toole | Jeffrey Dahmer
I am not suggestion anything here, but notice in the 1st video, he mentioned he was NOT into child molestation or child killing. Seems to me like Jeffrey Dahmer is more likely the person who killed Adam Walsh, but I'm not an expert on these issues. Henry Lucas and Ottis were known to be pathological liers, and Jeffrey was already a sex offender. Anyway, I just saw a show in TV about Ottis Toole, then found these videos.
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KING COUNTY -- The former Kennewick teacher and wrestling coach who pleaded guilty to assaulting male students begged the judge for leniency on Friday.
William B. Pickerel, who is 73 years old and in poor health, pleaded with the judge at his sentencing.
"Now I'd like mercy. I don't want to die in prison," he said amid tears.
Pickerel admitted he had sex and inappropriately touched four boys he took to professional sports games on his own time. He was a longtime teacher and coach at Kennewick High School who would chaperon groups of teenage students to Seattle.
During his years as a teacher, Pickerel reportedly made hundreds of overnight trips to Seattle with students.
According to a 14-page report by King County prosecutors, Pickerel took at least 20 trips per year with Kennewick High School students. On at least half of those trips, Pickerel was looking to take advantage of the boys, the report said.
Detectives said on his trips to Seattle, Pickerel paid for a hotel room with two beds for himself and three teens. Two boys then slept in one bed while he shared the second bed with the third teen. The report states he began touching his alleged victim once the teen fell asleep and if the boy didn't stop him, Pickerel would service the teen, detectives said.
In the report, Pickerel admits he "victimized numerous boys over the course of 27 years." All were between the ages of 15 and 17 at the time of the alleged assaults.
"In Pickerel's own words, he admitted 'it's a shame that there are so many that I don't remember what each happened,' the report said.
Pickerel was charged with two counts of sexual misconduct in the first degree, one count of sexual misconduct with a minor in the second degree and two counts of child molestation in the third degree.
On Friday former students and friends who've known Pickerel for more than 30 years also also asked the judge for leniency on his behalf.
"Oh, Mr. Pickerel, my heart goes out to you and to the parents and victims," said the judge.
But in the end, the judge sentenced Pickerel to ten years in prison, citing his violation of the trust that exists between students and teachers.
Pickerel was also initially charged in Benton County Superior Court with one count each of first- and second-degree sexual misconduct with a minor. Court documents say in that case, he allegedly had sex with a teenage boy in Kennewick after returning from Seattle and, in a later overnight trip to the west side, inappropriately touched another teen as the boy slept.
Benton County prosecutors later decided to dismiss those charges after Pickerel pleaded guilty to his charges in King County.
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Interactive | Predators among us series (Archive)
The Miami-Dade Public Defender's Office says a confluence of county and city rules has made it virtually impossible for sex offenders to find a home.
The Public Defender's Office is challenging the constitutionality of Miami-Dade's sex-offender residency ordinance, arguing it essentially banishes poor sex offenders from the county and, in some cases, leaves them homeless.
The office has offered up an unprecedented argument: that the county's ordinance, combined with numerous city ordinances, make it nearly impossible for sex offenders to find housing.
Supporters of the laws, however, insist that restrictions are necessary to protect children against convicted child rapists, molesters and other sexual predators.
- Not all sex offenders are rapists, molesters and predators, that is your problem in thinking..
The constitutional challenge comes as recent restrictions placed on sex offenders have come under fire around the nation. In South Florida, more than three dozen municipalities have passed ordinances that prohibit sex offenders from living within certain distances of places where children congregate, including parks and schools.
Many argue that the laws simply push sex offenders underground or, in some cases, under the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Miami-Dade, where a group of sex offenders has been camped out for more than a year because they have nowhere else to go.
Nine Miami-Dade County judges held a preliminary hearing on the issue this week, peppering both sides with questions about the local ordinances.
The county attorney urged the judges not to toss out the county ordinance.
"You're being asked to break some pretty new ground, to do something that's never been done before," assistant county attorney Thomas Logue said.
Legal experts say it's not clear whether the Public Defender's Office's tactic will work. Generally, legal challenges are mounted against a single law, viewed in a vacuum, not against the cumulative effect of various laws.
An Iowa law restricting where sex offenders could live was deemed constitutional because the federal courts ruled there were still places in the state open to them.
- That was Iowa, not Florida!
Florida State University Law School professor Wayne Logan said the Miami-Dade public defender's argument that the patchwork of local ordinances essentially blankets the county is a novel one.
"The accumulated effects of the local and state ordinances may constitute banishment," he said.
- Why don't you go back and read some of the legislatures quotes, their have stated their goal is to put all sex offenders in prison, so IMO, that is what they are trying to do, make it impossible, so they get them on some technicality, and then arrest them.
Professor Corey Yung, of John Marshall Law School in Chicago, said South Florida's overlapping ordinances may be ripe for a challenge.
"No one I know has raised the overlapping issue, either successfully or unsuccessfully," he said. "But Florida is one of the few states that has so many of these less-than-state-level residency restrictions."
In Miami-Dade, 18 cities, and in Broward, 24 cities have passed residency restrictions for sex offenders. Most of the ordinances prohibit sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a school or park. But some of the ordinances extend the buffer zone to as far as 3,000 feet.
Miami-Dade's ordinance uses the 2,500-foot zone, but specifically says that any city ordinance that is stricter should take precedence.
An expert hired by the Miami-Dade Public Defender's office found that there were only 880 available housing units in the county where sex offenders can legally live. Of that number, only 98 of those units rent for $1,200 or less.
There are more than 2,000 registered sex offenders in the county, and more than 1,300 fall under the county's residency restrictions.
Assistant Public Defender Valerie Jonas pointed to the sex offenders who have been camping under the Julia Tuttle Causeway as evidence of how the county's ordinance is unconstitutional.
"They're living under the causeway because they couldn't find any other place to be," she said, calling the conditions "degrading, sordid, dangerous."
Logue and victim advocates insist that blanket restrictions are necessary because of the high recidivism rates among sex offenders.
- Well, the victim advocates do not know what the hell they are talking about. Study after study shows recidivism rates among sex offenders are LOWER THAN ANY OTHER OFFENDER, except murderers. Check for yourself here.
"You're being asked to declare as unconstitutional a popular ordinance that protects children, our most vulnerable population, from convicted sex offenders," he said. "God forbid the ordinance is declared unconstitutional and a child gets molested."
- It doesn't protect children, why can't you idiots see that? It's a false sense of security. 90% or more of all sexual crimes occur in the victims own home or close family, so this is basically FORCED EXILE AND HOMELESSNESS!!!
That's the type of argument that prompted residency ordinances in the first place. But law enforcement groups in Florida and around the country increasingly oppose the laws, arguing they're expensive to enforce and don't accomplish their goals. Instead, they push sex offenders underground, making them harder to track and potentially more dangerous, some experts say.
- But politicians don't care what experts say, apparently, and if you did away with these laws, how would they be elected?
"It's become increasingly difficult to find places for sex offenders to live," said Gretl Plessinger, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Corrections.
The majority of homeless sex offenders in the state are in South Florida, she said.
Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein lobbied for a uniform law for the entire state. He fears the various ordinances in Broward are nearly impossible for his clients to abide by.
"They have no reason to follow the law because it's the law that has them with no place to live or work or way to start a new life for themselves," he said.
Thus far, efforts in the state Legislature to pass a statewide sex offender residency law that preempts all the local ordinances have failed.
- Because everyone has huge egos, and don't want to look like they are supporting sex offenders, that is why they are passing, to save their reputation and possibly careers... Instead of upholding the constitution, they'd rather eradicate peoples civil/human rights to save themselves!
The various local laws and ordinances still garner popular support.
- Because the politicians and media have been force feeding the pubic lies. It's called creating a hysteria to distract people from the war and other issues, plus it gives them brownie points for the next election. PATHETIC IF I MUST SAY SO, BUT TRUE!!!
"Do we want people who have been convicted of sexually deviant behavior to peer out of their bedroom windows out into a parking lot or playground where children congregate?" asked Miami-Dade Homeless Trust Chairman Ron Book, whose daughter went public about her ordeal of being molested by a baby sitter.
- Do we want the "thought police?" Sounds like this is what they are wanting to me. You are assuming all sex offenders are hiding in the bushes ready to pounce on someone. FEAR_MONGER!!!! If someone has been sentenced and done their time, LEAVE THEM THE HELL ALONE!!!
After resolving some technical issues this week, the judges tentatively scheduled a trial on the issue for August, with Judge Edward Newman presiding, and Judges Sam Slom, Beth Bloom, Jose Fernandez, Mary Jo Francis, Maria Ortiz, Louis Krieger-Martin, Norma Lindsey, Antonio Arzola all attending.
The judges can issue a joint ruling, or can each rule only on cases in their courtrooms. Depending on how they rule, and whether either side appeals, the case has the potential to undo the county's sex offender ordinance.
- THEY NEED TO STOP THE BS AND TAKE THIS UP TO THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT, FOR ALL STATES, PERIOD... THE LAWS ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND ANYONE WHO STILL BELIEVES IN THE CONSTITUTION CAN SEE THAT...