Friday, February 20, 2009

TX - HPD: Boy says he killed man who sexually assaulted him

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This man has NO HISTORY OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE, based on this story. So this kid killed this man, and made up a story.

02/20/2009

By DALE LEZON

Dead man's nephew disputes boy's story, but says uncle led a violent lifestyle

A 15-year-old boy has told police that he shot and killed a man in northeast Houston this week after the man grabbed him on his way to school and sexually assaulted him, investigators say.

_____, a 51-year-old ex-convict, was found dead by his nephew at the nephew's house in the _____ block of _____ about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, police said.

That same day, investigators said, the teenager told Houston school authorities that a man had abducted him at gunpoint as he walked to school and taken him to the house and sexually assaulted him.

The boy said that he managed to get the man's gun and shoot him in the head, officials said. He then went to school and reported the attack.

The boy was taken to a hospital and an examination confirmed that he had been sexually assaulted, police said.

School officials alerted Houston police, and homicide detectives who were investigating _____'s death realized that he was the man the boy said he had shot.

According to investigators, neighbors reported hearing gunfire early in the morning. Police said no charges have been filed in connection with the shooting.

The shooting occurred in the home of Richmond Gary, who said his uncle had stayed with him for about two weeks after serving about 19 years in prison for a drug-related offense.

_____, 32, said he was not at home when the shooting happened.

"It's tough, but I know my uncle," he said. "I never expected anything of this nature, but with his lifestyle, gunplay comes in."

_____ had a number of convictions on his record in Harris County dating back to the mid-1980s, including burglary, theft and drug-related offenses.

According to records, he also has used the names _____ and _____.

_____ said he doesn't believe the boy's account that he was sexually assaulted. He said he suspects that the boy willingly had sex with the older man, because he had seen the boy at the house a few days earlier, looking at _____'s extensive collection of music CDs and tapes.

Investigators asked that anyone with information about this case call the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.


The new pornographers, Teens!

Courtesy of Citizens for Change (America)

02/20/2009

By Tracy Clark-Flory

What's more disturbing -- that teens are texting each other naked pictures of themselves, or that it could get them branded as sex offenders for life?

The photographs show three naked underage girls posing lasciviously for the camera. The perps who took the pictures were busted in Greensburg, Pa., and charged with manufacturing, disseminating and possessing child pornography -- and so were their subjects. That's because they are one and the same.

It all started when the girls, ages 14 and 15, decided to take nudie cellphone snapshots of themselves. Then, maybe feeling dizzy from the rush of wielding their feminine wiles, the trio text-messaged the photos to some friends at Greensburg-Salem High School. When one of the students' cellphones was confiscated at school, the photos were discovered. Police opened an investigation and, in addition to the girls' being indicted as kiddie pornographers, three boys who received the pictures were slammed with charges of child porn possession. All but one ultimately accepted lesser misdemeanor charges.

"Sexting," where kids trade X-rated pictures via text message, has made headlines recently after a rash of cases in which child pornography charges have been brought not against dangerous pedophiles but hormonally haywire teenagers -- potentially leaving them branded sex offenders for life. Just last week, there came news that a middle-school boy in Falmouth, Mass., might face child porn charges for sending a naughty photo of his 13-year-old girlfriend to five buddies, who are also being investigated. There's been plenty of outrage to go around: Some parents are angry to see teens criminalized for simply being sexual, while others find the raunchy shots pornographic, another blinking neon sign of moral decay in a "Girls Gone Wild" era. In both cases, it amounts to a tug of war between teenagers' entitled sense of sexual autonomy and society's desire to protect them.

It's rather stunning that in the same age of the Pussycat Dolls, Disney starlets' sexy photo scandals, Slut-o-ween costumes for kids and preteen push-up bras and thongs, teenagers are being charged with child porn possession for having photographs of their own naked bodies. That noise you hear? It's the grating sound of cultural dissonance.

According to these recent interpretations of the law, a curious teenage girl who embarks on an "Our Bodies, Ourselves" journey of vaginal self-discovery, and simply replaces a hand mirror with a digital camera, is a kiddie pornographer. The same goes for the boy who memorializes his raging boner or the post-pubescent girl who takes test shots of herself practicing the porn star poses she has studied online. Theoretically, this is true regardless of whether they share the pictures with anyone, and if they do share them, they could be additionally charged with peddling child porn.

There are plenty of examples of the moral and legal gray areas created as technology broadens our behaviors: cyber-cheating, MySpace bullying, online gossip, upskirting, employers' Web snooping. When it comes to "sexting," though, the potentially damaging implications -- for child pornography law, free speech and kids' sexuality -- are abundant. And it's not going away any time soon. A recent online poll found that 20 percent of teens have shared nude or semi-nude photos or videos of themselves, the majority with a boyfriend or girlfriend. (Sure, voluntary polls tend to be self-selecting, but the results seem obvious, maybe even understated.) Teens will, as they always have, experiment with their sexuality. But at a time when free hardcore porn is ubiquitous, technology is cheap and the Internet is a comfortable channel for expression and experimentation, is it really any surprise that this is a generation of amateur pornographers?

It certainly isn't to 20-somethings like myself who came of age during the Internet's youth. By the time I was 14, I had seen my share of online porn and late-night HBO and made frequent use of the phrase "U wanna cyber?" in early AOL chat rooms. In high school in Berkeley, Calif., at least two student sex tapes were rumored to be making the rounds. I didn't have a cellphone camera or a webcam, thank god -- though I did have a Polaroid camera, which, to be sure, my longtime boyfriend and I toyed around with.

This is all part of how kids initiate themselves into our sexual culture long before they actually have sex. At one time, that meant a boy would flip through his father's stash of Playboys and a girl would try on her mother's ample bra. For me, it meant privately mimicking the stripper moves I had seen on TV and having online chats with people who occasionally turned out to be aging pervs. It was the best way I knew to try on, test out and confirm my femininity without actually having sex. (And that's having been raised by hippie parents who compared the spiritual magic of sex to "two star systems colliding in outer space.")

That sexual rite of passage remains, but today's teens have an entirely different notion of privacy than past generations. They grew up in the exhibitionistic Web culture of LiveJournal, YouTube and MySpace. They've seen girls on TV playfully jiggling their breasts for plastic beads, "Real World" cast members boldly screwing in front of cameras, Britney flashing her bald lady parts. These days, why would a girl be concerned about her silly topless snapshot circulating around school?

That's certainly the case with 16-year-old Melissa, a student at a high school near Greensburg-Salem, who has never worried about any of the X-rated pictures she's shared, because she cropped her face out of the photos, so "no one could identify me unless like [they] lifted up my shirt to figure it out haha," she wrote in a message sent on the blog platform Xanga. On her profile page, a rap song with the lyrics "I jus' wanna act like a porno flick actor" plays. It also exhibits a self-portrait she took with a cellphone camera of her reflection in a floor-length mirror; the sassy expression on her face matches the page's background: a sexy hot pink and lime green leopard print.

Joey, an 18-year-old who graduated from a San Francisco high school last year, has gotten X-rated snapshots from girls on his phone, through e-mail and on his MySpace page since he was 15. Some were longtime girlfriends that he swapped photos with and others were girls he'd just casually met; some pictures were suggestive, others were explicit. ("How graphic do you want me to get?" he asks, cautiously. "I've had girls send me photos of them fingering themselves.")

"Older adults have a short memory. There were things we did -- people flashed each other and played spin the bottle," says Elizabeth Schroeder, director of Answer, Rutgers University's program dedicated to promoting sexuality education. "This is this generation's way of doing that." Heather Corinna, the 38-year-old founder of Scarleteen, a Web site that provides sex-positive education for young adults, agrees: "Before we had this media, we had video cameras, before that film cameras, before that the written word, and all throughout, public or semi-public sex, ways of proclaiming to peers that one is sexually active or available to become so," she says.

But, clearly, there is a big difference between testifying on the wall of the boy's bathroom about the toe-curling blow jobs the school's head cheerleader gives and sending your buddies photographic proof. These digital offerings bring the potential for humiliation and blackmail if the photos or video get into the wrong hands -- and, let's face it, they often do. Acting as your girlfriend's personal porno star is one thing; ending up a pedophile's favorite child pinup is quite another.

There's good reason to be concerned about teens being self-pornographers. But many, especially legal experts, are disturbed by the fact that a healthy horn-dog of a teenager could be grouped in the same criminal category as a clinically ill pedophile. "These cases are picturing these teenagers as both predators and victims of themselves," says Amy Adler, a law professor at New York University who has studied child porn laws. "Child porn law was founded on a very different vision of what the major threat was."

That major threat, of course, is supposed to be adults who produce and peddle child smut. Reed Lee, a Chicago attorney and board member of the Free Speech Coalition, says: "A law to protect victims shouldn't send those very victims to jail."

Typically, kiddie porn is seen as exponentially harmful because it's more than the original sexual abuse: It allows for a reliving of the trauma every time another pervert gets ahold of the material. But "if the initial photograph was not taken as part of a traumatic episode and was, like it or not, part of a more normal teenage experience, the abuse rationale becomes harder to see," Adler argues. Still, plenty of child pornography cases have been prosecuted where the original photo is awfully benign -- for example, a family picture taken at a nudist camp that is discovered by a pedophile and then cropped to reveal only the naked kid.

But it's tough to impress those kinds of nuances on kids, says Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Douglas. He once spoke to a high school class and tried to explain that, even though everyone seems to be "sexting," it "can literally destroy your life." The response? A boy rolled his eyes while making a grand jack-off gesture. "It's just the bullshit that adults tell them when they come to talk to them," he said. "It's tragically funny."

Douglas points out that the bungled law reveals fascinating cultural conflicts about childhood and teen sexuality. "I think the problem originates from the pathological fear that our culture, particularly the legal part of the culture, takes toward juvenile sexuality." He has defended numerous child porn cases and says prosecutors will treat the exchange of trial evidence like "an undercover heroin deal." Douglas says, "The fear is so enormous that it's like you're dealing with something radioactive. They don't consider the context or the meaning."

The context here is that teens are undertaking the sexploration that our porned culture at once dictates and forbids -- in the same way that girls are taught that there is desirable validation in their sexuality and then are shamed for actually being sexual. Rutgers' Elizabeth Schroeder says an example of this contradiction is that sex educators like herself have to fight an uphill battle just to get into schools, while all it takes is a click of a button and a kid can catch an episode of "G-String Divas." She once asked a group of 12-year-old boys what they thought it meant to be a girl and the first response was: "Girls are here to give lap dances to boys."


OK - Okla. Senate considers including ice-cream truck vendors in sex off. leg.

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Once again, fear mongering, and more punishment.  Why don't you talk to parents, and tell them to accompany their children to the truck to get the ice cream?

02/20/2009

Lawton - It's often one of the best parts of a kid's say - the time when the ice cream truck visits the neighborhood or park. It's an age-old tradition that most parents find harmless, but police and state lawmakers worry that some ice-cream men could be sex offenders who use their job to prey on unsuspecting children. The Oklahoma Senate is considering a bill that would outlaw sex offenders from dishing out frozen treats to kids across the state.

Ice-cream truck vendor could be the perfect job for a child predator, and while Lawton Police say they have never worked a case involving an ice-cream man doing anything bad to a kid, they say the might never have to do that if this bill passes.
- Not all ice cream vendors are men either!

As temperatures rise, you certainly will see-and-hear more trucks rolling through the neighborhood. "You're supposed to be able trust the ice cream man - they've been around for years," said ice cream vendor Krystal Deak. Paul's Ice Cream already has taken steps to protect its customers from bad guys. "We still do the background checks anyway, to make sure there are no sex offenders, or any felony warrants, or any other crimes they've committed," said Teak. "If there is, they're not going to drive."

Not every company is so cautious, which is why police sometimes worry. "The way the ice cream trucks operate, they're just strolling up and down the roads" said Lawton Police Detective Nancy Lombardo. "It gives them opportunities to watch for kids, to maybe even see where these kids live, see how supervised they are. They could bring them into the van and do something with them, so we don't want anything like that happening."
- So what about all the perverted cops who we are suppose to be able to trust?  What about them?

State lawmakers already have banned sex offenders from working at schools and daycares, and now are trying to cover as many bases as possible. While it's vendor Teak's business that's in the spotlight, she says she also thinks about her own kids. "I wouldn't want a sex offender selling ice cream to my kids," she said.

So far, police say they know of no children in Lawton who have been abused by ice cream vendors. Detectives say they have, however, arrested two sex offender in the past couple of days. One of those arrested is from northeastern Oklahoma, and the other is from the Lawton area. Both failed to register as sex offenders and were taken to jail. The ice cream truck bill also would require drivers to get a permit from the Oklahoma State Department of Health if passed by lawmakers and signed by the Governor. Some cities - such as Lawton - already require a permit.


ID - Commission works on fixing sex predator law

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02/20/2009

BOISE (AP) - Last year 11 violent sexual predators were released from Idaho prisons. But criminal justice officials say this year, no matter how high a sex offender's risk of reoffending is, he's not likely to be given violent sexual predator status.

Idaho's laws governing the sexual predator classification system were deemed unconstitutional by the Idaho Supreme Court in a ruling handed down last week. Members of the Idaho Criminal Justice Commission said Friday that it will take a year before a new, legally sound rule can be written.

Kathy Baird, the management assistant for Idaho's Sexual Offender Classification Board, says the wait is a public safety concern.

And Idaho appellate public defender Molly Huskey says the commission will look at other state systems and the ruling as it tries to prepare legislation to fix the law.


VT - Sex Offender Debate Clears Key Hurdle

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02/20/2009

MONTPELIER - House members worked into the night Thursday debating a bill that cracks down on sex offenders. The house gave preliminary approval of the bill by a vote of 131 to 2.

"These offenders for the most part are people we know, people we trust, they're members of our families," Rep. Ann Pugh (D) South Burlington, said during the debate.

The bill dubbed, S. 13 was written by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. It's a wide-reaching proposal that overhauls the state's system for handling sex offenders.

The rape and murder of 12 year-old Brooke Bennett of Randolph this summer prompted lawmakers to review Vermont's sex offender policies. Bennett's uncle, 42 year old Michael Jacques, a convicted sex offender, is accused of raping and killing his niece.
- You see, this man was a known sex offender, and nothing about these laws prevented this crime, and they do not mention that either, which I know they won't anyway.  And even with the new proposed laws, it's the same, it won't protect anybody.  It's just to appease the public, by punishing and torturing sex offenders to make everyone feel better.

Some provisions in the bill include... -- a new crime, sexual assault on a child, the crime has a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison. But prosecutors still have the option of offering a plea bargain. --funding for more special investigative units across the state. They are modeled after the successful Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations. --would expand the state's DNA database. --mandates new sexual violence prevention programs in schools.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have been watching closely as the house debates their bill.

"I think everybody in the building has the same goal of getting a bill that helps to protect Vermont's Children," Sen. Alice Nitka (D) Windsor, a member of the committee said.
- So tell me, how is this going to "protect" any children?  If someone wants to harm a child, they will do so, regardless of the number of draconian, unconstitutional laws you have on the books.

Final passage is expected in the House Friday. There are differences between the house and senate versions of the bill so lawmakers will need to hammer out a compromise before the bill heads to the governor's desk.
- So if the bills has passed the senate already, and the bill the house is going to review is different, shouldn't it be put back before the senate so they can re-review it, to make sure it's the same as what they passed?  Why is the bill different?


GOP: ISPs, Wi-Fi Must Keep Logs For Police

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02/20/2009

Proposed Data Retention Law Covers All Internet Providers, Even Your Home Wi-Fi Access, To Combat Child Porn

(CNET) Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points - even hotels, local coffee shops and home users - to keep records about users for two years to aid police investigations.

The legislation, which echoes a measure proposed by one of their Democratic colleagues three years ago, would impose unprecedented data retention requirements on a broad swath of Internet access providers and is certain to draw fire from businesses and privacy advocates.

"While the Internet has generated many positive changes in the way we communicate and do business, its limitless nature offers anonymity that has opened the door to criminals looking to harm innocent children," U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said at a press conference on Thursday. "Keeping our children safe requires cooperation on the local, state, federal, and family level."

Joining Cornyn was Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who said such a measure would let "law enforcement stay ahead of the criminals."

Two bills have been introduced so far - S.436 in the Senate and H.R.1076 in the House. Each of the companion bills is titled "Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today's Youth Act," or Internet Safety Act.

Each contains the same language: "A provider of an electronic communication service or remote computing service shall retain for a period of at least two years all records or other information pertaining to the identity of a user of a temporarily assigned network address the service assigns to that user."

Translated, the Internet Safety Act applies not just to AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and so on, but also to the tens of millions of homes with Wi-Fi access points or wired routers that use the standard method of dynamically assigning temporary addresses. (That method is called Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, or DHCP.)

"Everyone has to keep such information," says Albert Gidari, a partner at the Perkins Coie law firm in Seattle who specializes in this area of electronic privacy law.

The legal definition of electronic communication service is "any service which provides to users thereof the ability to send or receive wire or electronic communications." The U.S. Justice Department's position is that any service "that provides others with means of communicating electronically" qualifies.

That sweeps in not just public Wi-Fi access points, but password-protected ones too, and applies to individuals, small businesses, large corporations, libraries, schools, universities, and even government agencies. Voice over IP services may be covered, too.

Under the Internet Safety Act, all of those would have to keep logs for at least two years. It "covers every employer that uses DHCP for its network," Gidari said. "It covers Aircell on airplanes - those little pico cells will have to store a lot of data for those in-the-air Internet users."

In the Bush administration, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had called for a very similar proposal, saying that subscriber information and network data should be logged for two years.

Until Gonzales' remarks in 2006, the Bush administration had generally opposed laws requiring data retention, saying it had "serious reservations" about them. But after the European Parliament approved such a requirement for Internet, telephone and VoIP providers, top administration officials began talking about the practice more favorably.

After Gonzales left the Justice Department, the political will for data retention legislation seemed to ebb for a time, but then FBI Director Robert Mueller resumed lobbying efforts last spring.

This tends to be a bipartisan sentiment: Attorney General Eric Holder, a Democrat, said in 1999 that "certain data must be retained by ISPs for reasonable periods of time so that it can be accessible to law enforcement." Rep. John Conyers, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said that FBI proposals for data retention legislation "would be most welcome."

Smith, who sponsored the House version of the Internet Safety Act, had previously introduced a one-year requirement as part of a law-and-order agenda in 2007.

A 1996 federal law called the Electronic Communication Transactional Records Act regulates data preservation. It requires Internet providers to retain any "record" in their possession for 90 days "upon the request of a governmental entity."

Because Internet addresses remain a relatively scarce commodity, ISPs tend to allocate them to customers from a pool based on whether a computer is in use at the time. (Two standard techniques used are the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol and Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet.)

In addition, Internet providers are required by another federal law to report child pornography sightings to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which is in turn charged with forwarding that report to the appropriate police agency.

The Internet Safety Act is broader than just data retention. Other portions add criminal penalties to other child pornography-related offenses, increase penalties for sexual exploitation of minors, and give the FBI an extra $30 million for the "Innocent Images National Initiative."

By Declan McCullagh
Copyright © 2009 CNET Networks, Inc., a CBS Company. All rights reserved.


IN - Residents want sex offender removed

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Another Article Here

02/20/2009

By Mike Corbin

BROOKLYN (WISH) - Brooklyn residents are definitely at odds with their town board over one man. They're afraid for their kids and say the board isn't hearing their concerns.

Residents packed Thursday night's public meeting regarding convicted child molester Dennis Waltz. His offense dates back to 1997 in Montgomery County.

"It scares me because they've got small children living in there," said Vickie Cadwell. "My kids play around here and I've got a 13-year-old daughter."

Waltz is living with relatives in Brooklyn. While he's already served his time, residents are concerned because he's living on the edge of a school zone.

State law dictates that sex offenders register with the state and live at least 1,000 feet away from schools. Residents who attended the meeting expected the town board to take action against Waltz. But town board president Reverend Frank Sams -- Waltz's brother in law -- didn't show up for the meeting. The board didn't take action, citing 30 days given to Waltz to leave the home on his own.

"I called for Frank to step down because I think he's self-service now and not public service," said board member Jeff Brabaum. "I believe he's lost the confidence of the town."

Brooklyn resident Katherine Burke agreed.

"Five minutes! It'll take less than five minutes to murder this child's spirit and you're gonna give him 30 days to murder many children's spirits in our community!" said an outraged Burke.
- Give me a break!  This man is disabled, and cannot even get out of bed, yet you claim he is going to murder many children.  Talk about someone scared of their own shadow!

The town board tried to remove Rev. Sams from office, but the vote failed. Sams attended an executive session Thursday night, but not the full board meeting.

24-Hour News 8 visited Waltz inside his home where young kids do indeed live, but neither he nor family members wanted to talk.

Waltz must be out of the home by March 4 or face possible arrest.


LA - Social worker accused in rape of Angola inmate

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02/20/2009

ST. FRANCISVILLE - West Feliciana Parish sheriff's deputies have arrested a Louisiana State Penitentiary social worker on one count of aggravated rape involving an inmate.

Sheriff's Capt. Spence Dilworth said Thursday that 32-year-old Gary Dewayne Midkiff of Baton Rouge is accused of using threats of violence on Oct. 7 to force the inmate to allow Midkiff to perform oral sex on the prisoner.

Dilworth said the inmate accused Midkiff of threatening to make false accusations against him in order to have correctional officers beat him, and the inmate said he submitted to Midkiff's demands in the belief the threats were real.

Detectives said Midkiff denied the allegations, but prison investigators and sheriff's detectives found four other complaints from different inmates accusing Midkiff of inappropriate sexual conduct.


CA - Former Sheriff's deputy in High Desert to face multiple sex charges

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02/19/2009

VICTORVILLE - A former sheriff's deputy will go to trial on charges that he sexually assaulted nearly a dozen women while he was on duty, asking several of them to bare their breasts like the "Girls Gone Wild" videotapes in exchange for lenience.

Matthew Linderman, who was assigned to handle retail theft crimes in the High Desert, faces 28 counts, which include kidnapping, extortion, sexual battery, soliciting a bribe and soliciting a lewd act, involving women he encountered from 2005 to 2007.

After listening to testimony from case investigators, Judge Larry Allen determined sufficient evidence existed to move forward with the case against Linderman at a hearing Thursday in Victorville Superior Court.

In one case, Linderman arrested a woman after she allegedly stole products from a store at the Victor Valley Mall in July 2007.

Linderman put the handcuffed woman in the back of his cruiser, explained that he does favors and said he could reduce her offense to a misdemeanor, Sgt. Rod MacDonald testified the woman later told detectives.
- A cop cannot reduce anyone's crime to anything.  They are not a judge!

"She said that Linderman asked for a 'Girls Gone Wild,'" MacDonald said, referring to the videotapes of young women who bared their breasts.

When the victim refused, Linderman took her to the sheriff's substation inside the mall, where she eventually removed her shirt. The defendant took photos and then touched her inappropriately, according to court testimony.

"She said she felt violated at that point," said MacDonald, adding that she was scared and intimidated by the possibility of going to jail.

Linderman, 31, of San Bernardino, has denied the charges, and his Los Angeles-based lawyer Michael Schwartz questioned the credibility of some of the women's accounts and whether they could be corroborated.

For the hearing, evidence must meet only the low level of probable cause to proceed to trial, Schwartz explained.
- Not when it's Joe Public and an accusation of a sex crime, but here, it's a cop, so once again, the double-standard kicks in.

"It's a very different picture at trial," said Schwartz.

Other incidents involving Linderman occurred after a welfare check, traffic stops, a child-custody handoff and at a Victorville grocery store, according to prosecutors.

Sometimes, he followed up with the victims seeking more photographs. In two instances, victims orally copulated Linderman, according to court testimony.

The defendant is out of custody on $500,000 bail. The judge denied a request to increase bail or take the defendant into custody for public safety, instead agreeing to fit Linderman with a GPS tracking device.

Linderman returns to court March 2 for formal arraignment.


CO - Bradford's sex-offender bill 'will probably just die'

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02/19/2009

By MIKE SACCONE

State Rep. Laura Bradford’s (Email) plan to toughen prison sentences for sex offenders that target children died Thursday, one week after lawmakers failed to either pass or kill the bill during a committee hearing.

Rep. Claire Levy (Email), D-Boulder, said she decided not to place the Collbran Republican’s bill back on the calendar after Bradford did not file a motion to bring House Bill 1144 back for a rehearing.

“I could (have) put it back on the calendar today to do that, but it will probably just die,” said Levy, the chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Thursday was the deadline for House committees to pass most bills originating from House lawmakers.

House Bill 1144 would have required judges to sentence sex offenders targeting children 14 or younger to at least 20 years in prison.

The House Judiciary Committee deadlocked on a motion to kill the bill last week, leaving the measure in legislative limbo.

Bradford, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, said earlier this week she attempted to craft an amendment to her bill this week to bring the state’s prosecutors on board.

District attorneys from around the state, including Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger, oppose Bradford’s bill because it would limit their ability to obtain treatment for less serious sex offenders and achieve their goals of keeping tabs on sex offenders via plea bargains.

Provided the bill even survived the House Judiciary Committee, it was unlikely the House Appropriations Committee would approve of its price tag, nearly $139.5 million over the next five years.

House Bill 1144 is Bradford’s third bill to die in committee out of four she introduced this year.


FL - Paid the price, needs some help

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You can contact this news media here, or leave an email to the editor here.

02/20/2009

Editor:

I am a former sex offender and I need a place to move my 36-foot, fifth-wheel trailer so I can live in peace.

I do realize lots of people don't want people like me around, but my offense took place 38 years ago and there has never been a reoccurrence. I just want to live my remaining years in peace and not be bothered by petty people.

I am 65 years old and totally disabled. Can someone out there please lend a helping hand?

I have been totally sober and alcohol-free for the past 19 years. I don't party. I stay to myself and don't involve others in my life. It's just me and my lil' dog.

Richard E. Rankin

Arcadia


VA - Greene woman gets jail time for teen sex

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Another female, more double-standard BS! I am sick of this s--t!

02/20/2009

By Tasha Kates

A Greene County woman will spend 14 months in jail after admitting she had consensual sex with three high school students.

Tammy Harlow Cox, 40, pleaded guilty in Greene’s juvenile court Thursday to five counts of contributing to a delinquency of a minor by having sex with them. As part of Cox’s sentence, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge Susan L. Whitlock restricted the defendant’s proximity to schools, playgrounds and athletics fields for the rest of her life. (But, see below, she will NOT be on the registry either!)

Cox was a parent of a William Monroe High School student in the fall and had been to the school’s football field to take pictures, according to defense attorney Andre A. Hakes.

Both Hakes and Common-wealth’s Attorney Ronald Morris declined to comment on how Cox met the three victims.

Morris said information about Cox came out while authorities were investigating an incident involving the football team.

In September, Greene schools Superintendent David Jeck informed parents that two football players had been charged in connection with a hazing incident at the high school. The e-mail also said an adult reportedly had inappropriate contact with high school athletes.

Morris said Cox pleaded guilty Thursday to charges involving three victims, whom Hakes described as between 16 and 17 years old. Whether the three teens were members of the football team is unknown.

One of [the victims] was threatening to tell on her if she didn’t have sex with him,” Hakes said.

Hakes said her client suffers from bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, adding that Cox’s mental condition causes poor judgment and insight. (Yeah right, this is never a defense if the offender is male!)

“I feel that Miss Cox was also a victim, as well as being convicted of these offenses,” Hakes said.
- No, she was not a victim, she had sex with three (that we know of) boys!

Cox was charged Oct. 3 with two felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a child and three misdemeanor charges of rendering a child delinquent by having sex with them. Morris said Thursday that he reduced the felony charges because he wouldn’t have been able to prove that Cox was in a supervisory or custodial relationship with the victims.
- What difference does this make?  She had sex with three boys!

Whitlock sentenced Cox to 12 months of jail on each charge — the maximum sentence for misdemeanor counts — but suspended portions of each charge, for a 14-month active sentence. Morris said the remaining time was suspended on condition of three years of good behavior.

The charges to which Cox pleaded guilty will not require her to be registered as a sex offender. However, Morris said the charges are offenses that prohibit proximity to children.

“She will forever be prohibited from loitering within 100 feet of a school, and forever prohibited of being within 100 feet of a playground or athletic field or gymnasium,” Morris said. “A violation of that would be a felony.”
- So how can they not make her registry, but still treat her as if she is a sex offender?

Part of Whitlock’s sentence also will prevent Cox from having unsupervised contact with juveniles who aren’t in her custody.
- So basically, she is a sex offender, but not on a registry!

Cox, who did not speak on her behalf in court Thursday, was taken into custody after sentencing. She is expected to serve her sentence at the Central Virginia Regional Jail.


FL - Woman accused of sex with teen gets jail time

View the article here

Hell, pretty soon, everyone in Florida is going to be on the sex offender registry.  And here is more double-standard BS!

02/19/2009

A 31 year old woman who was accused of having sex with a 16 year old boy will spend the next three years in prison.

Stacey Sheldon stood emotional before Orange County Judge Alicia Latimore Thursday as she waived her right to a jury trial.

"Ms Sheldon just accepted responsibility in her case,” said Assistant State Attorney Ryan Vescio. “She's going to be going to prison three yrs will be on record as a sex offender for two years following."
- Three years, for having sex and also producing child porn, which they do not mention, and only 2 years on the registry.  Why not on the registry for life, like all MEN are?

Vesico said Sheldon did the right thing.

"She gave a confession to law enforcement,” he said. “We recovered a video of her and the child victim engaged in the sexual activity so there really weren't many issues at trial.”
- This is called "producing child porn!"

According to Vescio the victim's sister found Sheldon's cell phone with pictures of Sheldon having sex with the boy after Sheldon accidently left it at the boys home last September.
- And more child porn!

The boy later told authorities that they had met the previous July and had engaged in sex acts several times before getting caught.

Vescio said the family agrees with Sheldon's plea.

"The family wants this to be over with," he said. "They want her to accept responsibility and they want to be able to move on with their lives so they were in agreement with the resolution."
- Funny how they always say this, when the offender is female, but when the offender is a male, they want them in prison for life.  More discrimination!  I wonder if sex offenders can sue for discrimination, since males always get longer sentences than females, that is discrimination.  Just like crack users get longer sentences than cocaine users, same different, except based on gender!

Meanwhile Sheldon's attorney, Joshua Meyer, said she has had time to think about her actions.

"I think she realizes it was a mistake,” he said. “She's informed me that it won't happen again, she's sorry about this.”
- Well, many sex offenders also know what they did was wrong, and nobody believes them, because many of them are males.  If it's a female, you believe them.  Come on, that is pure discrimination and double-standard.  I thought we were suppose to have "equal justice for all?"  Guess not!

Sheldon was handcuffed and taken away from the courtroom by deputies.

"You know had this case gone to trial and she lost she was looking at a considerable amount of more time,” Meyer said. “But I don't believe the victims were looking to go forward in that direction.’
- And thus the reason she should've taken it to court, IMO.  They always scare you with a long sentence, like life in prison, just so you will accept a plea instead.  It's easier on them, and gets the case over with, so they can move on to the next victim of the system.  If you ever get accused of a sex crime, even if you did it, TAKE IT TO A JURY TRIAL!!!

Meyer added Sheldon's ready to pay for what she did.

"I think this has definitely changed her life and she'll have a chance to prove that when she comes out," he said. (Well, if she was treated like all the MALES accused of the same crime, she'd not be able to "get on with her life," she'd be hounded for life.)


TX - Bill targeting online predators calls for sex offenders to report e-mail addresses, cellphone numbers to state

View the article here

02/20/2009

By EMILY RAMSHAW / The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN – Registering as a sex offender has made it hard enough for _____ to have anything resembling a normal life.

The Dallas County man, who received deferred adjudication more than a decade ago for having sex with a 14-year-old when he was 18, has his address and photo on file for the world to see – not a selling point, he says, for potential employers, landlords or girlfriends.

Now, Texas lawmakers want _____ and other registered sex offenders to also report their e-mail addresses, cellphone numbers and online screen names to the state, and to give social networking sites permission to boot them offline. Unlike the information sex offenders currently must report, this data would not be available to the public.

Supporters say that will crack down on online predators and help local authorities keep track of registered sex offenders.

"The dangers children face online are very real," (Not based on a study done by people you hired!) state Attorney General Greg Abbott said Thursday, appearing with U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, to tout new efforts to crack down on online sexual predators. "These are common-sense changes to ensure our efforts keep up with the ever-changing technology these predators are using."

But opponents say the legislation would add another layer of data to a state sex offender database that already contains too many inaccuracies. And it would make it even harder for sex offenders who have served their time to participate in modern society. To _____, now 33, it's simply a higher price than he should have to pay for a one-time mistake.
- I agree, it's ex post facto punishment, which is against the constitution, and those in government, TOOK A OATH, to uphold the constitution of the US and state.  So, APPARENTLY THEY LIED, as usual!  They should all be FIRED for breaking that oath of office.

"What's next, a chip in my brain? A scarlet letter?" asked _____ (You already have a scarlet letter), who lives with his parents, is attending junior college and feels such a strong stigma against sex offenders that he asked that his last name not be used. "Are they going to look me up on dating Web sites? Check out my Facebook page? Now I'm going to be punished for being computer literate."

Texas' current registry requires sex offenders to report their address, birth date, height, weight and race to local authorities, and to keep an up-to-date photo on file. This information is available to the public on searchable Web sites.

The proposed bill would make it a state jail felony not to also register e-mail addresses, cellphone numbers and other online identifiers, such as screen names and social networking monikers, with the state.

The data would be provided to social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook so they could pre-screen their customers and, if they choose, refuse service to sex offenders. (Which is discrimination!)

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, and Rep. Aaron Peña, D-Edinburg, would also ban the highest-risk sex offenders on probation or parole from using the Internet to view pornography, which supporters say could be a gateway to committing sex crimes.

The bill is a response to growing concerns that sex offenders are using new technology to prey on children online – fears fueled by reality TV series like Dateline NBC's "To Catch a Predator." Abbott and Shapiro cited recent reports that there are 90,000 registered sex offenders with MySpace profiles.
- Yeah, so what?  If there were 1 million, how many of them are actually doing anything wrong?  Except being a member?  Just because they are using the site, doesn't mean they are doing anything wrong.  Greg Abbott is just grandstanding.  There is also probably MILLIONS of others using the site, who are sex offenders that have not been caught yet.

"Our children, our grandchildren, they're all on the Internet," Shapiro said. "There's got to be a structure in place to prevent convicted sex offenders from being all over these sites."
- This is just nothing but pure fear-mongering.  Why don't you make sites specifically for children? And kick them off MySpace and FaceBook?  You are just discriminating based on a label.  Meanwhile, they let other criminals on these sites, who are probably also harming your child, like drug dealers, gang members, online bullies, you name it.  Yet they are free to stay.

State officials routinely site statistics that one in five children between 10 and 17 have received a sexual solicitation online (yeah, but they don't tell you, it's by peers, and not predators), but a recent Harvard University study found that the overwhelming majority of these solicitations are from other teens or their peers – not adults.
- Yeah, and this one in five "statistic" is BS!  See here.  It's just one of those magical round numbers to use to make it sound worse than it actually is.  They do not tell you most are by peers, because they need the statistics to boast about.  That is why they do not like the study done by their own team of professionals, who said the online hysteria is just that.  Here is another "statistic" they use, saying there are "50,000 online predators" at any given time, another round number that sounds good, but they have no proof that it's a fact!

Critics of the proposed expansion of the database also note that the registration system, which contains information on nearly 50,000 Texans (another magical round number), is already riddled with errors and omissions. A 2006 Dallas Morning News review of the registry found it was highly inaccurate: Roughly half of North Texas sex offenders could not be located, and one in six were living somewhere other than their registered addresses.

"We need to take a deliberate look at where the system is failing, as opposed to making all these little additions to it," said Annette Burrhus-Clay, executive director of the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. "While it seems like a good idea on the surface, I'm not sure this brings us any closer to the safe communities we want to have."
- Nobody can provide the "safety" you want, except yourself.  History has proven, THE GOVERNMENT (BIG BROTHER) CANNOT PROTECT ANYBODY!  Did they protect the 3,000 or so people on 09/11?  Have they protected children from drive by shootings?  Have they protected people from corruption in their own ranks?  No, so why do you think the government can protect you?  They will only enslave you, hell, we are already slaves, just open your eyes and you will see that.

If the goal is safe communities, human-rights advocates say, convicted sex offenders are far less likely to commit new crimes if they can successfully re-enter the community. Finding safe housing and a good job often requires Internet access, social networking sites and e-mail accounts – all things sex offenders may shy from if they're burdened with registration requirements.
- Since the dawn of time, nobody has been safe, it's an illusion of safety.  If a criminal wants to do something, they will.

"If we make it so that people just don't want to have online identifiers, it's going to make it even more difficult for them to conduct job searches, to respond to e-mail inquiries about housing," said Sarah Tofte, a researcher with Human Rights Watch. "It will make it next to impossible for them to try to establish some stability in their lives."