Tuesday, March 24, 2009
AZ - Attorney General's Office shows kids the dangers of Internet predators - MY GOD, WHAT FEAR-MONGERING!!!
By LiAna Arenas - 3 On Your Side
PHOENIX -- An estimated half million child predators are surfing the Internet at any given time and that means your child could be at risk.
- What a crock of s--t!!! There is only about 670,000 sex offenders in the whole country, and if 500,000 (round number) of them were actually out trolling for kids, there would be no kids left! STOP THE FEAR-MONGERING LIES!!! Why don't you show us the FACTS instead of hyped up BS statistics? I'm not even commenting anymore on this article, that first line blown their credit right out of the water!
What we found out really made all of us sick.
In last night's 3 On Your Side report, we showed you how quickly a child can be targeted by an Internet predator.
We posed as a 13-year-old girl and within seconds, grown men were posting nude pictures of themselves and asking us lewd questions.
Now, we'll show you what is being done to get the message across to kids that "the Internet is dangerous."
Fourteen-year-old Eduardo Trujillo spends a lot of time online, but when it comes to his personal profile, which describes himself to others, he's less than truthful about his age.
"It says I'm a male, 20 years old, and I live in Phoenix and I am a male, but I'm actually 14 years old," he said.
Fourteen is a far cry from being 20 years old and as easy as it was for Eduardo to fabricate an age it's just as easy for predators to make themselves appear as kids.
"You can lie easy on the Internet and say you're like a 14-year-old when you're like a 63-year-old guy," Eduardo said.
And for that very reason Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard is trying to alert kids that surfing the Internet comes with dangers.
"Many of the tragic stories that we've found have been because the parents were totally unaware of what their teenager was doing online," Goddard said.
To educate kids, Goddard's office is partnering up with Valley schools and conducting kind of a sting operation in hopes of showing children just how vulnerable they really are.
Goddard and his agents try to illustrate to kids that some of the people they're talking to online are not who they say they are.
Agents give a guy by the name of Danny as an example. Agents say Danny has apparently been surfing the Internet looking to chat.
"He says, 'I like poetry, plants, flowers and my perfect night would be cuddling by the fireplace," an agent said.
But in reality, Danny is not his name and he is a convicted sex offender. He's a level 3, which is the highest you can go as far as a sex offender, and his offense is luring a minor for sexual exploitation.
During the presentation, Goddard and his agents spring more news on the kids, informing them some students in the audience who thought they were communicating with other children over the past few weeks were actually communicating with agents who were posing as children.
For Eduardo and others, the dangers that come from the Internet finally sink in.
"It scared me to think that someone could do that to me or to one of my friends or someone I care about," Eduardo said. "Everyone needs to know this because it can easily happen to them or to anyone they know."
Sit down and talk to your kids about using the Internet and how they could become victimized if they're not careful.
There is a list of tips I want you to review. Those tips can be found by clicking here.
Once again, more proof that most sex crimes occur in the victims own home, not some stranger. So why are they not naming this woman? Oh yeah, she is a woman, I almost forgot! Got to keep that double standard going!
AKRON - A Uniontown woman was sentenced to 17 years in prison Tuesday for allowing her boyfriend to rape her teenage daughter.
Judge Patricia Cosgrove sentenced the 37-year-old woman to one year in prison for each year of her daughter's life.
The woman was also classified as a Tier III sex offender for life and is not allowed to have any contact with her two daughters.
The woman pleaded guilty to charges of rape, illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, permitting child abuse, tampering with evidence, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and forgery.
Detectives said the woman allowed her boyfriend to rape her daughter since the girl was 13. She also was accused of taking nude photos of her daughter.
Police also said the woman spoke with a man on the Internet in March 2008 and agreed to have the man fly her and her daughter to London, and that her daughter feared her mother was going to sell her into sex slavery.
The man never picked up the two from the London airport and the woman and her daughter returned to the U.S. the following morning. The daughter soon afterward reported the London trip and the years of abuse to her school guidance counselor.
The woman's boyfriend killed himself during the investigation.
Lompoc - A two-time, convicted violent sexual predator, _____ is now calling a rural area of Lompoc home.
New details are emerging about the cost to taxpayers, and its staggering.
According to the Department of Mental Health, it is costing the state $24,000 a month to keep _____ under a 24/7 monitoring system.
KEY News Reporter Coleen Sullivan joins us from the newsroom with the numbers and reaction.
Southern Ind. Woman Charged With Having Sex With 2 Boys
CLARK COUNTY - A southern Indiana woman is behind bars, accused of having repeated sexual relations with two boys beginning when they were 11 years old and ending before they were 13.
_____, 33, appeared in court Monday for the first time to face multiple charges.
According to a probable cause affidavit, in both cases, the sexual relationships with the boys largely took place at her home and, in at least one instance, at her New Albany hair salon. A not guilty plea was entered on _____'s behalf.
The case came to light after one of the boys told his mother after more than a year of keeping quiet. The boys were friends of _____'s daughter.
Court records indicate _____ bought clothing, football gear and games for one of the boys.
Those records also said _____ told the boy she loved him more than her own husband and said she'd go to jail if he told anyone about their relationship.
The _____ attend Safe Harbor Christian Church in Memphis, Ind. Ray Ramsey of the church said the couple worked with youth there, but said there's no indication abuse occurred at the church.
Ramsey said the _____ won't be allowed to work with youth pending the outcome of the case.
Prosecutor Steve Stewart said _____ had ample access to young boys because her husband is a football coach and because of the youth activities at church.
Stewart said it's possible there are more victims, but so far only the two boys have come forward.
_____ is charged with five counts of Class A child molesting of a child under 14, three Class C child molesting counts and child solicitation, a Class D felony.
If convicted of the most serious charge against her, _____ faces 20 to 50 years in prison.
_____'s husband declined comment about the case. _____'s attorney was also unavailable for comment.
Both boys are expected to testify at the trial.
The New Jersey Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear a case to keep an ordinance on the books that prevents sex offenders from living near schools, libraries and playgrounds.
In the case G.H. v. Township of Galloway, the court will hear arguments on whether towns can restrict where sex offenders live or if that conflicts with New Jersey's Megan's Law, which only notifies communities of their whereabouts.
The American Center for Law and Justice represents the Township of Galloway.
"Not only is the ordinance in question legal, it is critically necessary for protecting New Jersey's children from convicted sex offenders," said Vincent McCarthy, senior attorney the ACLJ.
"We are confident that the state's highest court, after reviewing the flaws in lower court decisions, will uphold the Galloway ordinance and take the necessary action to protect the children of New Jersey."
- You already have a state law, why do we need each town passing their own laws as well?
In 2005, the Township of Galloway enacted the ordinance, which required a buffer zone of 2,500 feet between the sex offender residences and places where children normally congregate - specifically, schools, playgrounds, parks and day care centers.
The ordinance was intended to compliment Megan's Law, which requires anyone convicted of committing a sex crime against a minor to register in the community in which he or she lives.
The law was challenged by a college freshman who was living on campus in a dorm. The student -- referred to as "G.H." -- was given 60 days to vacate because he is considered a sex offender due to an incident that occurred when he was 15.
The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law and the appellate court overturned Galloway's buffer zones, holding that they constitute additional punishment to the sexual predator who already has paid his or her debt to society.
- When in the hell are people going to stop using sexual predator where it's not needed. The law is about all sex offenders, not just those deemed predators. The two words do not mean the same thing!
They found that because Megan's Law was so "comprehensive," the state already influenced where sex offenders could live.
"This is a decision for the Legislature and not for each individual municipality," wrote Appellate Division Judge Joseph Lisa. "The fact that the Legislature refrained from enacting such a statewide restriction indicates a legislative belief that Megan's Law... already addressed the issue."
More than 100 towns across the state have laws prohibiting sex offenders from living near places where children congregate, but the legal challenge may change that.
- And imagine how that would be, when you are forced from town to town. Every town has different rules and regulations. This should be a state law, and not a town by town law.
OKLAHOMA CITY — A former western Oklahoma sheriff was sentenced to 79 years in prison Tuesday for using his power over female drug court defendants to force them to have sex with him.
Former Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess, 56, apologized to two victims but maintained that he was innocent of allegations that he had also abused others. Defense attorney Steve Huddleston described the sentence as "way too harsh" and said an appeal is planned.
A jury in Major County, where the case was moved because of pretrial publicity, found Burgess guilty in January of 13 felony counts, including five counts of second-degree rape. But jurors acquitted him of 23 other counts, including second-degree rape, forcible sodomy and rape by instrumentation.
Prosecutors alleged that Burgess sexually abused inmates and drug court defendants; he had been a member of a team controlling a drug court. Several female offenders testified that they feared they would be sent to prison if they did not provide sexual favors to him.
Burgess was convicted of rape charges involving two female drug court defendants, one of whom alleged that he had sex with her on multiple occasions at a motel. Burgess was convicted of sexually assaulting her in his car after arresting her on a drug court violation, but he was acquitted of the charges related to the motel incidents.
The jury that convicted Burgess had recommended a sentence of 94 years.
"I think it was harsh in the sense that he won 23 of the 36 counts," Huddleston said.
"It's basically a life sentence. I don't think it calls for a life sentence," he said.
Besides the rape counts, Burgess was convicted of three counts of bribery by a public official, two counts of forcible sodomy and one count each of kidnapping, sexual battery and engaging in a pattern of criminal offenses. The sexual battery conviction involved a female former sheriff's deputy he was accused of groping.
Burgess also was fined $15,000.
- Oh wow, bet that hurt!
Special prosecutor Mike Boring said he was satisfied with the sentence but regretted not obtaining convictions on the other counts.
"In the long run we're satisfied," Boring said. "The clear message is that if somebody chooses to engage themselves to act in a capacity with the public, they take on the incumbent responsibility to engage in that public service with duty, integrity and honesty, to do what is right to those over whom they have charge."
Under state law, an inmate cannot legally consent to sexual relations with a jailer or anyone else who controls the conditions of the prisoner's confinement. But Huddleston contended that drug court defendants were controlled by a judge, not Burgess, and that the women were hoping a verdict against Burgess in criminal court would lead to a payday for them in a civil case.
Allegations against Burgess surfaced after a federal lawsuit was filed against him on behalf of 12 former jail inmates in 2007. It alleged that sheriff's employees had inmates engage in wet T-shirt contests and offered cigarettes to those who would flash their breasts.
The plaintiffs' attorney, Greg Williams of Tulsa, said completion of the criminal case will allow the lawsuit to move forward.
By ADAM LIPTAK
SAFFORD - Savana Redding still remembers the clothes she had on — black stretch pants with butterfly patches and a pink T-shirt — the day school officials here forced her to strip six years ago. She was 13 and in eighth grade.
An assistant principal, enforcing the school’s antidrug policies, suspected her of having brought prescription-strength ibuprofen pills to school. One of the pills is as strong as two Advils.
Ms. Redding, an honors student, had no pills. But she had a furious mother and a lawyer, and now her case has reached the Supreme Court, which will hear arguments on April 21.
The case will require the justices to consider the thorny question of just how much leeway school officials should have in policing zero-tolerance policies for drugs and violence, and the court is likely to provide important guidance to schools around the nation.
In Ms. Redding’s case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled that school officials had violated the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches. Writing for the majority, Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw said, “It does not require a constitutional scholar to conclude that a nude search of a 13-year-old child is an invasion of constitutional rights.”
“More than that,” Judge Wardlaw added, “it is a violation of any known principle of human dignity.”
Judge Michael Daly Hawkins, dissenting, said the case was in some ways “a close call,” given the “humiliation and degradation” involved. But, Judge Hawkins concluded, “I do not think it was unreasonable for school officials, acting in good faith, to conduct the search in an effort to obviate a potential threat to the health and safety of their students.”
- Are you kidding me? This was flat out illegal! If they wanted this done, they should've contacted the police!
Richard Arum, who teaches sociology and education at New York University, said he would have handled the incident differently. But Professor Arum said the Supreme Court should proceed cautiously.
“Do we really want to encourage cases,” Professor Arum asked, “where students and parents are seeking monetary damages against educators in such school-specific matters where reasonable people can disagree about what is appropriate under the circumstances?”
- Why is it so hard to contact the police? If a teacher or principal strip searches anyone, they should be thrown in prison!
The Supreme Court’s last major decision on school searches based on individual suspicion — as opposed to systematic drug testing programs — was in 1985, when it allowed school officials to search a student’s purse without a warrant or probable cause as long their suspicions were reasonable. It did not address intimate searches.
- Even searching someone's purse should be illegal. School officials are not cops, so why are they doing police jobs? This country has gone completely mad!
In a friend-of-the-court brief in Ms. Redding’s case, the federal government said the search of her was unreasonable because officials had no reason to believe she was “carrying the pills inside her undergarments, attached to her nude body, or anywhere else that a strip search would reveal.”
The government added, though, that the scope of the 1985 case was not well established at the time of the 2003 search, so the assistant principal should not be subject to a lawsuit.
Sitting in her aunt’s house in this bedraggled mining town a two-hour drive northeast of Tucson, Ms. Redding, now 19, described the middle-school cliques and jealousies that she said had led to the search. “There are preppy kids, gothic kids, nerdy types,” she said. “I was in between nerdy and preppy.”
One of her friends since early childhood had moved in another direction. “She started acting weird and wearing black,” Ms. Redding said. “She started being embarrassed by me because I was nerdy.”
When the friend was found with ibuprofen pills, she blamed Ms. Redding, according to court papers.
- It's friggin' aspirin for God's sake!
Kerry Wilson, the assistant principal, ordered the two school employees to search both students. The searches turned up no more pills.
Mr. Wilson declined a request for an interview and referred a reporter to the superintendent of schools, Mark R. Tregaskes. Mr. Tregaskes did not respond to a message left with his assistant.
Lawyers for the school district said in a brief that it was “on the front lines of a decades-long struggle against drug abuse among students.” Abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications is on the rise among 12- and 13-year-olds, the brief said, citing data from the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Given that, the school district said, the search was “not excessively intrusive in light of Redding’s age and sex and the nature of her suspected infraction.”
- How would you like someone strip searching your child?
Adam B. Wolf, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents Ms. Redding, said her experience was “the worst nightmare for any parent.”
“When you send your child off to school every day, you expect them to be in math class or in the choir,” Mr. Wolf said. “You never imagine their being forced to strip naked and expose their genitalia and breasts to their school officials.”
In a sworn statement submitted in the case, Safford Unified School District v. Redding, No. 08-479, Mr. Wilson said he had good reason to suspect Ms. Redding. She and other students had been unusually rowdy at a school dance a couple of months before, and members of the school staff thought they had smelled alcohol. A student also accused Ms. Redding of having served alcohol at a party before the dance, Mr. Wilson said.
- Yeah, all accusations, and like I said, school officials are not the police! This is what you get when you have zero tolerance, which equals NO COMMON SENSE!
Ms. Redding said she had served only soda at the party, adding that her accuser was not there. At the dance, she said, school administrators had confused adolescent rambunctiousness with inebriation. “We’re kids,” she said. “We’re goofy.”
The search was conducted by Peggy Schwallier, the school nurse, and Helen Romero, a secretary. Ms. Redding “never appeared apprehensive or embarrassed,” Ms. Schwallier said in a sworn statement. Ms. Redding said she had kept her head down so the women could not see that she was about to cry.
Ms. Redding said she was never asked if she had pills with her before she was searched. Mr. Wolf, her lawyer, said that was unsurprising.
“They strip-search first and ask questions later,” Mr. Wolf said of school officials here.
Ms. Redding did not return to school for months after the search, studying at home. “I never wanted to see the secretary or the nurse ever again,” she said.
In the end, she transferred to another school. The experience left her wary, nervous and distrustful, she said, and she developed stomach ulcers. She is now studying psychology at Eastern Arizona College and hopes to become a counselor.
Ms. Redding said school officials should have taken her background into account before searching her.
- Who cares about her background, school officials should not be doing police work, period, and especially strip searches!
“They didn’t even look at my records,” she said. “They didn’t even know I was a good kid.”
The school district does not contest that Ms. Redding had no disciplinary record, but says that is irrelevant.
“Her assertion should not be misread to infer that she never broke school rules,” the district said of Ms. Redding in a brief, “only that she was never caught.”
- Give me a break! I am sick and tired of this guilty until proven innocent crap! You should not have been doing strip searches.
Ms. Redding grew emotional as she reflected on what she would have done if she had been told as an adult to strip-search a student. Dabbing her eyes with a tissue, she said she would have refused.
“Why would I want to do that to a little girl and ruin her life like that?” Ms. Redding asked.
This is why those who have been abused or a family member who has been abused, should not be making laws, they are biased, and will not see the past their own emotions, like Mr. Book!
By Scott Wyman
Lobbying and lobbyists are involved in almost every item on the County Commission’s weekly agenda. But that took a weird turn Tuesday.
Ron Book, a prominent South Florida lobbyist, wanted commissioners to delay a public hearing on a proposed ordinance that restricts where convicted sexual offenders can live.
He will be busy at work in Tallahassee on April 14 when the county planned to hold the hearing, but told commissioners he would like to be there to speak about the proposal. Book has strong views about the need for such oridinances.
- Yeah, his own daughter (see video) was molested, but he doesn't say by whom, of if they were a family member, which statistics show that that is a probability. He is biased and cannot see past his own emotions, and the more reason why he should have NO input on the issues.
Commissioner John Rodstrom, who has pushed the ordinance, refused to delay. The hearing remains at 2 p.m. April 14 at the Governmental Center in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
- Well, Mr. Book thinks the world revolves around him, apparently!
“I don’t see how I can defer it just because Ron Book wants it deferred,” Rodstrom said.
At Rodstrom’s request, the commission earlier told its lawyers to draw up an ordinance prohibiting sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a school, day care center, park, bus stop or playground. The ordinance would only effect unincorporated areas, primarily Broadview Park.
- Wow, with these very laws increasing the homeless situation, they continue to boast and pass more insane, draconian, unconstitutional laws. WHERE IS THE ACLU? Click the JULIATUTTLE link above to see all related articles.
Broadview Park is a small working class neighborhood no larger than a square mile, yet it’s home to 5 percent of all sexual offenders in Broward County. Currently, the area is covered only by the much less restrictive state standard that bars sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of such facilities.
- Hell, why don't you just make it 10, 50 or 100 miles? Might as well!
Almost all of Broward’s 31 cities have laws establishing stronger restrictions than state law about where sex offenders can live. The majority extend the no-live zone to 2,000 feet or more from places where children congregate. Fort Lauderdale banned sex offenders from living in 90 percent of the city, a ban of about 1,400 feet.
Broadview Park is bordered by State Road 7 on the east, Florida's Turnpike on the west, Peters Road on the north and Interstate 595 on the south. The neighborhood of 7,000 has been the subject of a long-running debate between Plantation, Fort Lauderdale and Davie over which city should annex the area.
View related articles
By VIKKI THOMAS
A teenager is selling her virginity online to pay her college fees – but she has a long way to go before reaching her target of £50,000.
Eighteen-year-old Alina Percea is offering a weekend of unprotected sex but has only drawn bids of £5,000 so far and has just three days to go.
The brunette, from Caracal in Olt county, Romania, posted her advert on a German dating website saying: “I want to meet a gentle, respectful and generous man."
"I have a gynaecologist’s certificate proving I’m a virgin."
Providing the winning bidder has a health certificate showing that he is free of disease, Alina will forgo the use of condoms.
She hopes that through the auction she will meet her HUSBAND.
She said: “I want the first time I have sex to be special so I wouldn’t want it to be a quickie."
“The man who proves the most generous can stay with me for a full weekend but he has to pay for everything if we travel and stay in a hotel.”
Many years ago, I would go into chat rooms as well, and I know for a fact, a lot of robots are created to send you links to porn sites, etc. Even if you did not request it, it's automatic. Just enter any chat room, say nothing, and you will get someone or some robot (program) sending you links.
By Robert Roy Britt, LiveScience Senior Writer
Many teens are routinely exposed to pornography and sexual advances from strangers on the Internet whether they seek it or not, according to a new study sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
In chat rooms, the youth are sexually pursued, the study found.
Separate research detailed the extent to which teens seek advice on sex and relationships from anonymous peers on the Web -- and the ways they keep parents out of the loop.
Teenagers are often inadvertently exposed to porn when they conduct unrelated Web searches, said Patricia Greenfield, a psychology professor and director of UCLA's Children's Digital Media Center.
Greenfield studied the topic at ground-level, entering a chat room targeted at teens.
"The sexuality expressed in a teen chat room was public, linked to strangers and had nothing to do with relationships," Greenfield said. "It was very explicit and focused on physical acts, and often associated with the degradation of women. I started to receive private instant messages, including a crude sexual advance, just by hanging out at the chat room, even though I had not participated in any of the ongoing conversations."
'I was pursued'
The unsolicited advances could be daunting for adolescents, Greenfield said.
"I was not looking for unsolicited personal messages, sexual or otherwise, but once I decided to enter the chat room, I could not avoid being exposed," she recalls. "I was pursued sexually."
Much of the innocence of childhood is lost "with today's all-pervasive sexualized media environment," Greenfield said. "By late childhood, it has become very difficult to avoid highly sexualized material that is intended for an adult audience."
The results show of this and other studies released Wednesday how teen Internet use has evolved quickly, said Amy Sussman, National Science Foundation (NSF) program officer.
"They illustrate both the dangers and opportunities on the Web, as well as debunk popularly held but incorrect notions about teen Internet use," Sussman said. "The guidelines based on the research should be helpful to parents and policy-makers alike."
Hiding from parents
The teen chat room participants talked about sex "a lot of the time," Greenfield said. "They were referring to various forms of sex, all in code, without using words about sex. The coded sexual allusions were still devoid of feelings and relationships."
If a parent enters the physical room, a child might type "POS" (parent over shoulder) to explain temporary quietude or absence from the virtual chat room, said co-researcher Kaveri Subrahmanyam.
A separate study, also reported today, found that some teens seek health advice from their peers on bulletin boards as a way to avoid the awkwardness of talking about sex with their parents.
"Questions referring to sexual techniques prompted a lot of interest in the teen sexual health issues board, and so did interpersonal aspects of sex, such as problems with boyfriends and girlfriends regarding whether or not to have sex," according to Lalita Suzuki and Jerel Calzo, also of the NSF-funded center at UCLA.
Examples of the questions and comments teenagers post on online bulletin boards:
- "My boyfriend wants to have sex and I agreed, but now I don't want to ... I'm afraid that if I say no he'll break up with me."
- "I'm embarrassed around my mom."
- "How do I ask a girl out, or at least talk to her?"
Another study looked at Internet use by 200 students aged 12 to 15 in upper middle class suburban California schools. It found that instant messaging is the most common activity, done to "hang out" with friends and relieve boredom.
The students also spend 31.4 minutes per day, on average, visiting Web sites, mostly to download music.
No surprise: "The Internet appears to serve social functions similar to the telephone's," said study leader Elisheva Gross.
Other research, released last month, found that teens use Internet exchanges to virtually pair off, by exiting a chat room to engage in one-on-one instant messaging. They provide prospective partners with "a/s/l" (age, sex, and location) information.
What to do?
The findings may not surprise parents who've managed to track the problem.
In a 1998 study, nearly half of students in grades three through eight reported visiting Web sites with adult content. That figure is probably higher today, Greenfield said.
What's a parent to do?
Greenfield recommends keeping lines of communication open with children, and surfing the Internet with young children. And in particular, boys at risk for aggressive, antisocial behavior should have access to pornography strictly limited, Greenfield said.
"Without supervision, the risks far outweigh the potential benefits of unsupervised Internet use for young children," she said.
NEW CITY – A former NYPD cop for eight years, over two of them as a sergeant, was sentenced Monday in Rockland County Court to five years in prison and 10 years parole for attempted sodomy in the first degree.
Jaimie Katz of Nanuet resigned from the force prior to pleading guilty.
Authorities had alleged that Katz sexually abused a victim beginning when the boy was 12 years old dating back to 2003. The abuse occurred in a number of locations including Katz’s home and in Manhattan.
The court also imposed sex offender conditions on Katz and issued an order of protection on behalf of the victim and his family.
Katz also pled guilty in Manhattan to similar charges. He awaits sentencing there and will serve a concurrent term as the Rockland sentence.
You see, money talks! If you are rich enough, you can buy your way out of a situation, and not have to be on the sex offender registry, like in this case. And they probably used donation money made by the people attending the church, to pay to silence someone!
By GLENDA ANDERSON - THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Diocese to pay 2 men, who were Lakeport parishioners
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa has agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle a sexual abuse lawsuit filed against a Lake County priest, the attorney for the plaintiffs said Wednesday.
Attorney Richard Simons, reached by phone in London on Wednesday, also disclosed for the first time that there was a second plaintiff in the lawsuit against the Rev. Ted Oswald and the diocese. He said the second man was not mentioned previously because he wants to remain anonymous.
The two men will split the settlement, which does not include an admission of guilt, Simons said.
Adrienne Moran, an attorney for the diocese, said Wednesday the money will come from a diocese self-insurance liability policy plus revenue held from the sale of property on Montgomery Drive in Santa Rosa next to St. Eugene's Parish. She said she could not divulge any other details of the settlement.
The self insurance is provided by the Ordinary Mutual Insurance Co., a group created and owned by 12 dioceses in the Western United States.
Neither the identified plaintiff, Christopher Griego, 32, nor Oswald, 63, could be reached for comment Tuesday or Wednesday.
Calls to Bishop Daniel Walsh on both days were not returned. An employee said the bishop was "very busy."
Oswald is no longer an active priest, according to the diocese, but continues to live in Lakeport and refers to himself as Father Ted on his cell phone voicemail.
The lawsuit claims Oswald sexually abused two boys between 1988 and 1995 while he was serving at St. Mary Immaculate Church in Lakeport and the boys were young parishioners.
Simons said Oswald used his position of authority, combined with bribery of gifts and liquor to coerce the boys into sexual relationships. The relationships with the boys were overlapping, the attorney said.
Oswald was the 17th priest in the Santa Rosa diocese to have been accused of sexual molestation, church officials have said. The church has acknowledged paying nearly $25 million to an undisclosed number of people who asserted they were molested by at least six priests. Most victims were preteen boys when the incidents were alleged to have occurred.
Griego claimed the priest's actions caused "emotional distress, psychological harm and injury to his mental and physical health."
The lawsuit filed in Sonoma County Superior Court in 2007 contends that Diocese of Santa Rosa failed to protect Griego.
In addition to being a priest, Oswald had been a chaplain for the Lakeport Police Department and Lake County Sheriff's Office. He is a former police officer and a Vietnam veteran.
He was ordained a priest in Rome in 1984 after which he was assigned to St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Ukiah. He moved to Lake County four years later.
This was not good before, and by forcing a woman to live there is asking for problems. Is the state going to be blamed if she is raped by someone? I doubt it, but they are the HEARTLESS BASTARDS that are doing this. WHERE ARE THE HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS? Hell, do they even exist anymore? Also, it looks like they have given her a trailer to live in, and if she is not raped, then it will show that the people are not as dangerous as people think. So what's next? Are you going to also be sending child sex offenders to live under the bridge as well? Every RSO or anyone who cares who is reading this, email the ACLU of Florida (firstname.lastname@example.org) and bombard them with emails until something is done, this is just cruel and inhumane punishment, period!
By FRED GRIMM
It's as if _____ has been thrust into a bizarre social experiment.
Forcing so many men to live like post-apocalyptic trolls beneath a bridge in the middle of Biscayne Bay wasn't quite mad enough. Now they've added a woman.
For two years, a colony of convicted sex offenders under the Julia Tuttle Causeway has lived in a public health travesty, without water or toilets or electrical service. They sleep in tents, shacks, the back seats of cars in the last realistic address in metropolitan Miami unaffected by city and county sex-offender residency laws.
The numbers have been growing steadily as more convicted sex offenders emerge from prison and are consigned to finish out their wretched lives under a bridge.
The population was up to 52 men Monday. And _____.
In a peculiar nod to gender equity, the Florida Department of Corrections informed her last week that she too had only one residency option in Miami-Dade County -- the Tuttle. "They just give me a blanket and a pillow and sent me . . . here?" she asked, talking over the incessant thump-thump-thump of the freeway traffic overhead. "I just broke down."
- At any other time in history, if people were being forced into homelessness and into dangerous situations like this, they would be sued and forced to pay compensation for these human rights issues. Just wait folks, if they treat one group of people like this, eventually we will all be treated like animals!
A community backward enough to create a subterranean de-facto prison camp of male sex offenders thrusts a single woman into the mix -- just to see what happens.
- And we all know what would happen if they put males and females living together in prison, so it's only a matter of time, and if I was that woman, you can bet a multi-million dollar law suit would follow!
It's an ironic setting for _____. The 43-year-old woman, who grew up in poverty and neglect in the Brownsville section of Miami, told me she was sexually molested at age 6 and gang-raped at 16. "I have a hard time trusting men," she said.
- And just because she has a sex offender label, they throw her in with others. It's only a matter of time before she is victimized by someone, as well as being victimized by the state.
In 2004, _____ pleaded guilty to a charge of lewd and lascivious exhibition (without physical contact) with a minor. She claimed Monday the charge was unfounded but at the time a plea offer with one year probation and no prison time seemed prudent. Except she twice failed to meet sex-offender registration requirements. Her probation was revoked. She did 10 months at Broward Correctional Institute.
She repeated a common refrain -- sometimes delusional -- among the bridge outcasts. "I never would have done that plea deal if I'd known they'd send me here. I could've fought those charges."
But offender laws leave the state Department of Corrections (Contact) no options for a sex offender. _____'s parole officer did find her a motel room for three days last week. And she was offered a slot in a residential offender program in another county. But Johnson refused to leave Miami. "All my family lives here. I've never been any place but Miami."
It was probably a foolish decision, but Johnson harbors some vague notion about gutting it out beneath the Tuttle until her parole ends May 5. "Then I can find some place to live." She seems unable to grasp that residency restrictions are forever.
Meanwhile, the men beneath the Tuttle gave her a battered old camper trailer. "We watch out for her," insisted Juan Carlos Martin, who has been under the bridge so long that the address on his driver's license reads "Julia Tuttle Causeway Bridge." He said it was as if city, county and state officials purposely cram more and more men into an unliveable, hopeless, crowded space, knowing that eventually something awful might happen. And now they add a woman.
Martin said, "They need to get her out of here."
View the article here
And yet they expect laws to protect children when they cannot protect themselves? Read the rest of the article at the link above.
According to the great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller, nephew of banker David Rockefeller, and former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (Contact) the internet represents a serious threat to national security. Rockefeller is not alone in this assessment. His belief that the internet is the number one national hazard to national security is shared by the former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and Obamas current director Admiral Dennis C. Blair.
It really almost makes you ask the question would it have been better if we had never invented the internet, Rockefeller mused during the confirmation hearing of Gary Locke (see video), Obamas choice for Commerce Secretary. He then cites a dubious figure of three million cyber attacks launched against the Department of Defense every day. Everybody is attacked, anybody can do it. People say, well its China and Russia, but there could be some kid in Latvia doing the same thing.
Jay Rockefellers comments reveal an astounding degree of ignorance or if not ignorance, outright propaganda. Since the September 11, 2001, attacks the government has cranked up the fear quotient in regard to cyber attacks and so-called cyber terrorism, a virtually non-existent threat except in the minds security experts and politicians. In the years since the attacks, not one real instance of real cyberterrorism has been recorded.
View the article here
By Wendy McElroy
Is it the new 1-in-4 statistic?
I don't mean the widely-circulated '1-in-4 women will be raped in their lifetime' but a statistic that suggests '1-in-4 accusations of rape are false.'
For a long time, I have been bothered by the elusiveness of figures on the prevalence of false accusations of sexual assault. The crime of 'bearing false witness' is rarely tracked or punished, and the context in which it is usually raised is highly politicized.
Politically correct feminists claim false rape accusations are rare and account for only 2 percent of all reports. Men's rights sites point to research that places the rate as high as 41 percent. These are wildly disparate figures that cannot be reconciled.
This week I stumbled over a passage in a 1996 study published by the U.S. Department of Justice: Convicted by Juries, Exonerated by Science: Case Studies in the Use of DNA Evidence to Establish Innocence After Trial.
The study documents 28 cases which, "with the exception of one young man of limited mental capacity who pleaded guilty," consist of individuals who were convicted by juries and, then, later exonerated by DNA tests.
At the time of release, they had each served an average of 7 years in prison.
The passage that riveted my attention was a quote from Peter Neufeld and Barry C. Scheck, prominent criminal attorneys and co-founders of the Innocence Project that seeks to release those falsely imprisoned.
They stated, "Every year since 1989, in about 25 percent of the sexual assault cases referred to the FBI where results could be obtained, the primary suspect has been excluded by forensic DNA testing. Specifically, FBI officials report that out of roughly 10,000 sexual assault cases since 1989, about 2,000 tests have been inconclusive, about 2,000 tests have excluded the primary suspect, and about 6,000 have "matched" or included the primary suspect."
The authors continued, "these percentages have remained constant for 7 years, and the National Institute of Justice's informal survey of private laboratories reveals a strikingly similar 26 percent exclusion rate."
If the foregoing results can be extrapolated, then the rate of false reports is roughly between 20 (if DNA excludes an accused) to 40 percent (if inconclusive DNA is added). The relatively low estimate of 25 to 26 percent is probably accurate, especially since it is supported by other sources.
Before analyzing the competing figures, however, caveats about the one just mentioned are necessary.
First, the category of 'false accusations' does not distinguish between accusers who lie and those who are honestly mistaken. Nor does it indicate that a rape did not occur, merely that the specific accused is innocent.
Thus, there is a drive by voices for reform, like the Innocence Institute, to improve eyewitness identification techniques within police departments.
For example, the Innocence Institute suggests "Police should use a 'double-blind' photo identification procedure where someone other than the investigator -- who does not know who the suspect is -- constructs photo arrays with non-suspects as fillers to reduce suggestiveness."
Second, even if false accusations are as common as 1-in-4, that means 75 percent of reports are probably accurate and, so, all accusations deserve a thorough and professional investigation.
Third, the 1-in-4 figure has 'fuzzy' aspects that could influence the results. For example, Neufeld and Scheck mention only sexual assault cases that were "referred to the FBI where results could be obtained."
It is not clear what percentage of all reported assaults are represented by those cases. As well, the terms 'rape' and 'sexual assault' are often used interchangeably, especially when comparing studies, and it is not clear that they are always synonyms for each other.
Nevertheless, the FBI data on excluded DNA is as close to hard statistics that I've found on the rate of false accusations of sexual assault.
Where do the other figures come from and why is there reason to doubt them? Let me consider the two statistics that I have encountered most often.
"Two percent of all reports are false."
Several years ago, I tried to track down the origin of this much-cited stat. The first instance I found of the figure was in Susan Brownmiller's book on sexual assault entitled "Against Our Will" (1975). Brownmiller claimed that false accusations in New York City had dropped to 2 percent after police departments began using policewomen to interview alleged victims.
Elsewhere, the two percent figure appears without citation or with only a vague attribution to "FBI" sources. Although the figure shows up in legislation such as the Violence Against Women Act, legal scholar Michelle Anderson of Villanova University Law School reported in 2004, "no study has ever been published which sets forth an evidentiary basis for the two percent false rape complaint thesis."
In short, there is no reason to credit that figure.
"Forty-one percent of all reports are false."
This claim comes from a study conducted by Eugene J. Kanin of Purdue University. Kanin examined 109 rape complaints registered in a Midwestern city from 1978 to 1987.
Of these, 45 were ultimately classified by the police as "false." Also based on police records, Kanin determined that 50 percent of the rapes reported at two major universities were "false."
Although Kanin offers solid research, I would need to see more studies with different populations before accepting the figure of 50 percent as prevalent; to me, the figure seems high.
But even a skeptic like me must credit a DNA exclusion rate of 20 percent that remained constant over several years when conducted by FBI labs. This is especially true when 20 percent more were found to be questionable.
False accusations are not rare. They are common.
Wendy McElroy is the editor of ifeminists.com and a research fellow for The Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif. She is the author and editor of many books and articles, including the new book, "Liberty for Women: Freedom and Feminism in the 21st Century" (Ivan R. Dee/Independent Institute, 2002). She lives with her husband in Canada.
Earlier this week, NTV reported that former sheriff's deputy LeRoy Svoboda was arrested for sexual assault. Based on an affidavit on file at the Valley County Courthouse in Ord, Svoboda was accused of having sex with a mentally handicapped woman, who became pregnant and delivered a baby in January.
This is an edited summary of the affidavit. Certain details, such as the victim's name and that of the baby have been withheld by NTV, in the interest of preventing any further harm to the woman.
Nebraska State Patrol evidence shows that a 28-year-old mentally handicapped woman gave birth to baby girl January 26, 2009 at her home. An official with the Family Advocacy network in Kearney has sworn out an affidavit and will testify that during a forensic interview the woman said that LeRoy Svoboda had sex with her and that he was the father of her child. The sexual intercourse occurred at Svoboda's residence in Ord.
A psychologist examined the woman and determined that she's a vulnerable adult and further determined that she's not able to self advocate or make informal decisions on her own behalf. Officials say that she can't make her own decisions about whether to have sex. The psychologist also said the woman had an IQ of 50, which is classified at the lower end of what is known as the mildly defective range.
State Patrol investigators got two oral swabs of DNA from the woman. On the same day they collected 2 oral swabs from baby's mouth. On March 2nd, 2009, patrol investigators interviewed Svoboda and he also gave two oral swabs. The swabs were tested for matching DNA at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. The DNA tests confirmed he is father of the baby.
Svoboda's last known residence was an address in Grand Island.
He is being held on one count of first degree sexual assault. That is a Class 2 felony punishable by up to 50 years in prison.
Click a link, go to jail. From Declan McCullagh at CNet comes a story sure to chill the heart of any geek who's ever spent time trolling the Net's dark underbelly. Temple graduate student Roderick Vosburgh is looking at three to four years in prison for clicking on the wrong link. Vosburgh was visiting an adult message board and followed a hyperlink to a site that claimed to host images and videos of sub-18-year-olds cavorting in a hormonally induced fashion. Except that the link was posted by the FBI, and the site was a honeypot that did not serve up any naughty images but did collect his IP address. A few months later Vosburgh found himself face down on the ground in front of his house, wearing handcuffs. A jury recently convicted him of "attempting to download child pornography," a federal crime that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. Not viewing kiddie porn, not possessing it, but attempting to. (Though they did also find him guilty of possessing two thumbnail images of naked kids, which could have gotten on his computer in any number of ways.)
Nobody can possibly condone kiddie porn, but this case suggests a scary precedent. If I created a site called www.underage-p***y.com where I posted pictures of kittens in provocative poses, you could be guilty of intending to do bad things based on what you thought might be there, not what actually is. At the very least, you could experience an unpleasant visit by the Feds, where they dragged you off and impounded your computers and every storage device in your house. Personally, I would like to see my tax dollars being spent chasing bigger fish than lonely grad students sitting at their PCs at night. Orwell wasn't wrong, his timing was just a little off.
By Greg Angel
Scott Ford faces 10 total charges
PETOSKEY -- A former Emmet County sheriff's deputy will go before a judge next month facing numerous crimes investigators say he committed while on duty.
Scott Ford, 39, was arrested Tuesday.
In papers filed Wednesday in 90th District Court in Petoskey, Ford, a nine year veteran of the office, is accused of soliciting sexual favors from a woman while he was on the job. This allegedly happened on several occasions "up and until the date of December 7, 2008," the affidavit stated. Ford met her while she was part of a stalking complaint investigation.
"Deputy Ford was terminated after these allegations surfaced December 19, 2008 at which time I contacted the Michigan Sheriff's Association to conduct an investigation," said Sheriff Pete Wallin.
During the independent investigation conducted by the MSA, it was later learned that a jail inmate also spoke of improper contact with Ford while he was on duty. She claimed in one such instance Ford had groped her during a traffic stop in July of 2008 while her six year old son slept in the backseat.
The woman, who Ford knows through law enforcement contact, also claimed he had come to her residence on several occasions demanding Morphine which she had a prescription for.
According to the affidavit filed with the court, the woman did pass a polygraph test which was administered by the Harbor Springs Police Department.
Because the alleged incident occurred during a traffic stop, 7 and 4 News asked if it was caught on the patrol car's dashboard camera. Sheriff Wallin and the Emmet County Prosecutor were both unable to comment because of the pending litigation.
Ford now faces a total of 10 different misdemeanor and felony charges including:
2 charges of obstruction of justice
2 fourth degree criminal sexual conduct charges
4 felony firearm charges
2 charges of failing to aid a sheriff
"Obviously these are allegations until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law," said James Linderman, prosecuting attorney for Emmet County. "These are the same charges that any other person in the community could be charged with if they did a similar type of conduct." As for Sheriff Wallin, he says his office will not tolerate any kind of misconduct.
"Misconduct as is alleged will not be tolerated by this office," Wallin said, adding "this is not a reflection of the other fine men and women that continue to serve the citizens of Emmet County."
Scott Ford is currently free on a $10,000 bond, but is due back in court April 8 to be formally arraigned.
By Grant Duwe, William Donnay and Richard Tewksbury
In an effort to reduce sex offense recidivism, local and state governments have recently passed legislation prohibiting sex offenders from living within a certain distance (500 to 2,500 feet) of child congregation locations such as schools, parks, and daycare centers. Examining the potential deterrent effects of a residency restrictions law in Minnesota, this study analyzed the offense patterns of every sex offender released from Minnesota correctional facilities between 1990 and 2002 who was reincarcerated for a new sex offense prior to 2006. Given that not one of the 224 sex offenses would have likely been prevented by residency restrictions, the findings from this study provide little support for the notion that such restrictions would significantly reduce sexual recidivism.
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge has voided a county ordinance that would have restricted where registered sex offenders may live in the Pittsburgh area.
U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster's ruling, issued Friday and posted online Monday, says the ordinance conflicts with state laws meant to help rehabilitate sex offenders and reintegrate them into society.
Allegheny County Council passed the ordinance in October 2007 banning sex offenders from living within a half mile of schools, licensed child care facilities, community centers and public parks.
The American Civil Liberties Union (Contact) says the ordinance amounted to after-the-fact punishment and that offenders will have virtually no place to live in the county.
The county hasn't said if it will appeal.
Bring it on, the more criminals on a public accessible database, the better. But, how again will having these people in a database help save lives? But, I doubt it would pass, because then many of the state legislature, police and others would be in the database as well, and they don't want that.
State Sen. Eric LeFleur (Email) wants to create a centralized database of all drunk drivers. The Department of Public Safety and Corrections would maintain the database if it's approved by the Legislature. News 2's Claire Hatty gets answers on why some say it could save lives.