Friday, August 22, 2008

CT - Child Safety Zones

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08/22/2008

Under "Megan's Law" convicted sex offenders must register with a state-run database

Host: John Dankosky
Guest(s): Mark Boughton, Tara Knight, David D'Amora
Contributor(s): Libby Conn, Catie Talarski

Under "Megan's Law" - convicted sex offenders must register with a state-run database. But some communities have taken this idea even further.

Cities like Danbury and Bristol have created so-called "Child Safety Zones" - which make public parks, beaches, swimming pools and recreational facilities off-limits to sex offenders. Other ordinances like this put limits on where sex offenders can live.

Meanwhile, the town of West Haven has tabled a planned Child Safety Zone law - amid legal concerns about the constitutional rights of sex offenders.

Today, Where We Live, we'll talk about whether laws like these keep children and communities safer - or whether they further punish offenders who have already served their jail time.


UT - Logan woman arrested after husband found dead from stabbing

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08/22/2008

A Logan woman accused of stabbing her husband in the back with a knife and killing him has been arrested, according to police.

Officers were called to a report of domestic violence between a husband and wife near 200 West and 200 North in Logan just before 9 p.m. Thursday. Investigators were unsure today how long the dispute had been going on, but believe a neighbor was the one who called police, said Logan police Capt. Eric Collins.

When officers arrived, they found James Harper, 48, with a stab would to his back. He was taken to Logan Regional Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Shortly after, Harper's wife, Bonnie Harper, was arrested for investigation of homicide and intoxication.

"She had evidence on her person. The murder weapon was in proximity to her," Collins said. "Neighbors heard (James Harper) make utterances of being stabbed by his wife."

What started the fight and led up to the stabbing was still being investigated today. Collins did not know Friday morning if officers had been called to the Harper house for any prior domestic violence-related incidents.

"We're still investigating the hours preceding his death," Collins said.

Court records, however, outline what appears to have been a turbulent relationship for over a decade between the couple.

In March, Bonnie Harper filed a restraining order against James, according to 1st District Court records, claiming cohabitant abuse. She did the same in 1995 in Washington County, according to court documents, but requested the petition be dismissed less than 10 days after filing it.

James Harper was a registered sex offender, convicted in 1997 of second-degree felony sex abuse of a child. Most recently, he was charged on Tuesday in Cache County's 1st District Court with two counts of DUI, failing to remain at the scene of an injury accident and driving on a suspended license, according to court documents.

Harper was also charged in 1995 and 1996 with simple assault, court documents state.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com


IN - Metro officer charged with raping woman

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08/22/2008

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The SWAT team arrested a metro police officer for allegedly raping a woman while on duty.

Investigators said it happened on the east side last Friday.

Officer Anthony Smith is facing seven felonies including rape and sexual misconduct. The Marion County prosecutor said Smith is the tenth metro police officer to be charged in the past four months.

Investigators said former police officer Anthony Smith first made contact with the victim at a gas station on 21st and Emerson. Smith told the victim she had pretty teeth. The victim left and drove toward I-70. That's when police said Smith pulled her over for an outstanding warrant.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Smith told the victim he could lock her up, but wouldn't if she rode with him on a few runs.

"This officer used his authority, his position to satisfy his own selfish desires rather than protect someone who needed protection," said Chief Michael Spears of the Indianapolis Metro Police Department.

Investigators said Smith eventually took the victim to his "spot" in an east side industrial park where he allegedly raped her.

"I'm sickened by his conduct. Literally sickened," said Chief Spears.

Police said they didn't find the used condom at Smith's spot, but they did find unused condoms in his trunk. Police are also trying to figure out if Smith has brought other victims to his spot in the past.

"We will continue to look at other traffic stops he's made in the past," said Chief Spears.

Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said, "The alleged conduct is egregious and Officer Smith is not above the law."

The prosecutor said Smith admitted to having sex with the victim in his police car, but claims it was consensual. The chief dismissed him from the force on Monday.

In wake of the recent arrests with in the metro police department, the prosecutor's office has set up the Justice Integrity Hotline at (317) 327-5437. The prosecutor said it'll allow people to report misconduct without going to the police.

Report by Liza Danver, WISH. Edited by Hyacinth Williams.


AR - Duckworth to serve 10 years for stealing purse Duckworth

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10 years with 5 suspended for stealing a purse? What the hell? I think that sentence doesn't fit the crime. So much for the constitution, it's not worth 2 cents any more.

08/22/2008

A former University of Arkansas Razorback football player who played in the NFL will serve a five-year prison sentence for stealing a woman's purse at a Dickson Street bar.

Bobby Duckworth, 49, of Fayetteville entered a negotiated guilty plea to theft of property on Thursday before 4 th Judicial Circuit Judge William Storey.

Duckworth was sentenced to 10 years - five years in the Department of Correction and five years suspended. He received credit for serving 26 days in the Washington County Detention Center.

He is accused on July 25 of taking three credit cards and some cash from a woman's purse he lifted and later ditched in the bathroom of the bar. Fayetteville police said in the arrest report that Duckworth admitted to the theft.

Duckworth sat down at a table with two women at Willy D's and struck up a conversation. A few minutes later, the women left their purses and stepped away from the table to get away from him, according to the report.

When he left the table, the two women returned to learn from the waitress that someone had found a billfold belonging to one of them in the men's restroom, the report states. The victim then noticed three credit cards and some cash missing from it.

Duckworth also faced charges filed earlier this year involving fraudulent use of a credit card and theft by receiving involving a motor vehicle. That case will not be prosecuted because of lack of evidence, said Chreea Stanimirovic, 4 th Judicial District deputy prosecutor.

Duckworth is a registered sex offender from another state, Stanimirovic confirmed.
- So!

Duckworth was a wide receiver for the Razorbacks from 1977-80. In 1980, he led the Hogs with 20 receptions for 461 yards and two touchdowns. He is tied for 12 th on Arkansas' career touchdown receptions list with nine.

Duckworth played for five seasons, 1982-86, in the NFL for the San Diego Chargers, Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles. He had pro career totals of 82 catches for 1, 784 yards and 13 touchdowns.


CA - Prominent Businessman Arrested for Child Molestation

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08/22/2008

Police say 64-year-old Steven Bimson was arrested in Las Vegas after police found him slumped over the wheel of his car along a freeway in an apparent suicide attempt.

Steven Meredith Bimson, 64, of Carmel Valley, a former marketing manager for a San Diego car dealer, was taken into custody Wednesday in Las Vegas by U.S. Marshals.

Bimson, who was wanted for allegedly molesting children under his care since 1974, was found inside a vehicle pulled over on a freeway shoulder. Law-enforcement officials said he had attempted to commit suicide by running a hose from his exhaust pipe inside one of the vehicle's windows.

A warrant was issued for Bimson's arrest last Friday. He faces multiple counts of sexual assault on a minor.

"The combined efforts of participating agencies in the fugitive task force brought about the swift capture of this sexual predator," task force commander Greg Doss said.
- Swift capture of a man who was almost dead?  I guess creating and passing sex offender laws is one way to control the population.  What group of people will be the next target for eradication of civil and human rights?  What is next?  Firing up the concentration camp ovens?

Since 1996, he has been volunteer for the local chapter ofRotary International. Bimson was even honored for his outstanding service helping the less fortunate, NBC 7/39 reported.

Investigators are asking anyone who may more information about the case to contact the San Diego police.

Bail for Bimson has been set at $500,000. He is in custody in Nevada pending an extradition hearing.


WI - New Holstein passes sex offender ordinance

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08/22/2008

Law similar to one being proposed by Sheboygan alderman

The New Holstein City Council this week passed an ordinance that bans sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of anywhere children may congregate, officials said Thursday.

The ordinance — in the works since April — was unanimously approved Wednesday, said Ald. Rosalie Fromm, who introduced the measure. Sex offenders are now prohibited from living near a school, licensed day care center, park, trail, playground, church or any other location designated by the city where children gather.
- And how many people do you know of, who have committed a sex crime near any of these places?  90% or more of all sexual crimes occur in the victims own home, so pushing them out into the woods will do nothing to protect anybody, except forced exile by the state.

"I felt we needed this in our city because the other areas … were all getting their own ordinances, and these people were going to filter down into the smaller cities," Fromm said.

There are 13 sex offenders living in New Holstein who range in age from 23 to 56, according to the state's sex offender registry. At least 50 Wisconsin communities have passed ordinances since November 2006 establishing residency requirements or barring sex offenders from loitering in areas children congregate, according to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

"We were really interested in making sure our children were safe and protecting them, and we're thinking this would be probably one way we could enhance that," said New Holstein Mayor Dianne Reese. "(We) thought it would be wise to be on the cutting edge … rather than dragging our feet and not protecting our city."
- Cutting edge?  Come on.  You are just following the bandwagon, and this will do nothing to protect a any child from a person who is intent on harming a child, nothing!

Fromm said sex offenders merit special consideration because of the nature of their crimes and the high rate of recidivism.
- What high rate of recidivism?  You are an ignorant person who is just following the bandwagon instead of doing homework to see you are wrong.  Check out my Sex Offender Studies blog, and you will see the recidivism rate for sex offenders is LOWER than any other criminal, except murderers.

"I think our people and our children in this area should have the right to say who lives next door to them and has contact with their children," she said.
- So what gives them the right to say who can and cannot live around them?  What about if a sex offender doesn't want you around them either?

Ald. Jerry Hallstrom said he voted for the proposal only after other proposed restrictions were removed, including a clause that would have kept sex offenders from walking near the designated areas.

"I realize these are sexual offenders, but they've also served their time in prison, and the restrictions were rather binding," Hallstrom said.
- So you say "sex offenders" as if they are not human beings.  THEY ARE HUMAN BEINGS!

The New Holstein regulation passed the same day Sheboygan Ald. Jim Gischia publicized his plan to introduce a similar ordinance in Sheboygan. Gischia's ordinance, which he plans to introduce within two weeks, would prohibit sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of the same areas listed in the New Holstein plan.
- So does that mean if they live 2001 feet away, they are all of a sudden magically OK?  The buffer zone could be 100 miles, and it still will not protect someone from a person who is intent on harming someone.

The New Holstein ordinance — which like the Sheboygan proposal was modeled after an ordinance in Green Bay — would not apply to sex offenders who already live in the restricted areas or who would be living with an immediate family member with at least two years of residency there. It also would not apply if a school or other entity covered by the ordinance is built after a sex offender moved in.
- So a school or other "entity" should be charged with child abuse, if they open a place near a sex offender.  You and I know, that if a place opened up near a sex offender, all hell would break out.  So they should not be allowed to open any place that deals with children anywhere near a sex offender.

Violators can be fined up to $500 for each day they live in violation of the restriction, as can any landlord who rents to a sex offender in a restricted area. Offenders would be allowed to seek a waiver from the residency rules through a hearing before the Sex Offender Residence Board, which will be comprised of five citizens.
- Five citizens?  Oh wow, like they are going to OK someone to this?  This is just insane.  What about some experts who deal with sex offenders, and civil/human rights experts?

The ordinance also establishes a Neighborhood Watch Committee, the duties of which include establishing and maintaining a database with information on all sex offenders living in New Holstein.
- So I guess you are saying here you need another database because the state registry isn't working?  Is that what you are saying?  Sounds to me like that is what you are saying.  So what is another database?  Just more wasted money!

A paroled sex offender on the run from authorities was found hiding out in New Holstein in June, when he was captured by a task force led but the U.S. Marshal Service, officials said. Roy D. Jackson, 28, had cut off his tracking bracelet while on supervision in Milwaukee County.
- And this also proves my point, a person who doesn't want to obey any of these draconian restrictions will not, and GPS doesn't protect anybody either, just more wasted money...  Hell, lets just eradicate all peoples civil and human rights and be done with it.  Might as well!  If you do it for one group of people, who will be next?  Gays, blacks, hispanics, who?

Reach Eric Litke at (920) 453-5119 and elitke@sheboygan-press.com.