Thursday, March 26, 2009

AR - Father Accused of Shooting Sex Offender

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By Tenikka Smith

HELENA-WEST HELENA - A man in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, is behind bars accused of shooting a registered sex offender he claims raped his young daughter.

The shooting happened on March 25, 2009, on Oakland Avenue. Police charged 26 year-old Jimmy Haynes with first degree battery for shooting his girlfriend's father, registered sex offender _____.

According to police reports, Haynes accused _____ of raping his young daughter. Police say Haynes confronted _____ at his home, pulled a gun, and shot him in the leg.

_____ had a trip to the hospital, but he did not go to jail.

In the state of Arkansas, _____ is listed as a registered sex offender. He was convicted of first degree sexual abuse. He is listed as a Level 3 offender, which means he has a high risk of re-offending.

Helena-West Helena investigators say they did not arrest _____ because there is no proof of the sexual assault of which Haynes is accusing him.

Haynes also picked up a child endangerment charge. Police say that's because during his scuffle with Maxie, he tossed his loaded gun into the car near his two year-old son.

Police say this case should be a lesson to never take matters into your own hands. Detective Dennis Cox says, "An incident like this where matters were taken into their own hands, what they've done is more or less hurt themselves and their family. Because the seriousness of the situation it's a possibility the father is not going to be around for his children for a long time."

Jimmy Haynes is facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the felony battery charge.
- And I hope he serves every bit of it!

CA - 10News Examines Sex Predator Treatment Program

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Looks like the concentration camp is growing. ANd by me using the picture I used, don't get me wrong. I am trying to make a point. This is apparently a place you check into, but don't check out of. Which probably most "civil" commitment places are. I wonder, nationally, how many have been committed, and how many released? I bet the number released is very few!


SAN DIEGO -- Locked away in Coalinga State Hospital (Map) are 760 sexual offenders, with 60 of them from San Diego County.

Among the 60 is _____, a sexually violent predator who could leave Coalinga and move into a trailer stationed outside of Donovan State Prison in a few weeks.

The nearby community has expressed outrage over the plan.

"Understandably, people don't want sex offenders living with them. However, when there is no place for a sex offender to live, they become homeless," said social worker Ernie Marshall.

Marshall said that is in nobody's best interest. He oversees patient therapy and treatment for sexually violent predators at Coalinga.

"It's better to have someone where we know where they're at, and we can help them maintain their safety, than have someone where we don't know where they're at, under stress, who has nothing to lose," said Marshall.

10News received an exclusive look at the five-phase program designed to help patients maintain themselves, since many experts said there is no cure.

"Within that, it's primarily psychological in nature in that they're looking at what decisions and what thoughts or beliefs they had that made it OK for them to sexually offend," said Marshall.

Treatment ranges from psychiatric to chemical castration. There are checks and balances along the way to make sure the patient is not faking recovery.

"We do physiological testing of both deviant and normative sexual arousal patterns," said Dr. Shannon Kelly of Coalinga State Hospital.

Marshall uses a special machine that is sensitive to any physical arousal, as images and sounds of both children and adults are shown to the patient.

"We need to identify it, be able to target it in treatment," said Marshall.

A camera is used to make sure the patients aren't being deceptive, and even if a patient passes this test there is still the lie detector.
- Which is junk science, and not admissible in court!

"We just want to rule out any deception," said Marshall.

The patients have a real world simulation inside the hospital to prepare them for the outside life many have not seen for decades.

The hospital has a mall complete with a store, barber and library, and career learning centers.

Treatment providers boast about their record, as 11 patients have been conditionally released into society and none have re-offended.
- Only 11 out of 760?  But yeah, that is good, that none have reoffended.

Those who broke their terms of release, like _____ and _____, are brought back into the hospital.

Marshall said that was possible because of the tight security used for those who are housed.

"If they make a mistake very early in the process, they come back here. The goal is to help them identity that mistake so they don't make it again," said Marshall.

State law mandates that sex offenders be released after they have done their time for the crime.
- Just like prison, but this is just a second sentence.  All this treatment should've been given to them IN prison, not after the fact!

Mental health experts said this treatment is vital before that release happens.

According to the state, 135 sexually violent prisoners have been unconditionally released through the court system without treatment or tracking.
- But they still have to face the draconian registry and residency rules.  And how many of those are homeless?

Jesus Died! - Paul Washer

Jesus Died! - Paul Washer from I'll Be Honest on Vimeo.

PA - Hundreds of Pa. Juvenile Convictions Reversed

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Not sex offender related, but important, IMO.  I wonder how many sex cases he handled, and if other judges do the same for other crimes?


By MICHAEL RUBINKAM Associated Press Writer

Pa. court overturns hundreds of juvenile convictions issued by corrupt judge

Pennsylvania's highest court on Thursday overturned hundreds of juvenile convictions issued by a corrupt judge who took millions of dollars in kickbacks from youth detention centers.

The state Supreme Court ruled that former Luzerne County President Judge Mark Ciavarella violated the constitutional rights of youth offenders who appeared in his courtroom without lawyers between 2003 and 2008.

"Today's order is not intended to be a quick fix," Chief Justice Ronald Castille said in a statement. "It's going to take some time, but the Supreme Court is committed to righting whatever wrong was perpetrated on Luzerne's juveniles and their families."

In one of the most egregious cases of judicial corruption ever seen, federal prosecutors charged Ciavarella and another Luzerne County judge, Michael Conahan, with taking $2.6 million in payoffs to put juvenile offenders in privately owned lockups.

The judges pleaded guilty to fraud last month and face sentences of more than seven years in prison.
Hillary Transue, 17, who appeared in Ciavarella's courtroom in 2007 and spent a month in a wilderness camp for building a MySpace page that lampooned her assistant principal, was elated that her record would be expunged.

She did not have an attorney when she went before Ciavarella, nor was she told of her right to one.

"I feel incredible, not even just for myself, but for everyone who is involved in this whole thing, all of the kids who are going to have clean records now," Transue said.

The Supreme Court approved the recommendations of Berks County Senior Judge Arthur Grim, whom the justices appointed in February to review cases handled by Ciavarella.

He decided that expungement was the most appropriate remedy for low-level offenders who appeared in Ciavarella's courtroom without lawyers — a group he has said numbered "easily into the hundreds."

Under Pennsylvania law, a juvenile may not waive his right to an attorney unless the decision is made "knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily." The judge must also formally question defendants to make sure they understand their rights, something Ciavarella routinely did not do.

In a report to the Supreme Court released Thursday, Grim said he has determined that "a very substantial number of juveniles who appeared without counsel before Judge Ciavarella ... did not knowingly and intelligently waive their right to counsel."

Grim next will review cases involving more serious juvenile offenses.

Prosecutors have described a scheme in which Conahan, the former president judge of Luzerne County, shut down the county-owned juvenile detention center in 2002 and signed an agreement with PA Child Care LLC to send youth offenders to its new facility outside Wilkes-Barre.

Ciavarella, who presided over juvenile court, sent youths to the detention center and to a sister facility in western Pennsylvania while he was taking payments, prosecutors said.

PA Child Care LLC has not been charged. Former co-owner Robert Powell, who made the payments, has said he was the victim of extortion.

Even before the scandal became public in late January, youth advocates had complained for years that Ciavarella was a harsh jurist who deprived youths of their constitutional rights.

Youths were routinely brought before Ciavarella without a lawyer, given hearings that lasted only a minute or two, and then sent to detention for offenses as minor as stealing change from cars and writing prank notes.

In his report, Grim said "there was routine deprivation of children's constititional rights to appear before an impartial tribunal and to have an opportunity to be heard."

The Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center asked the Supreme Court to intervene in Luzerne County last year, citing statistics that Ciavarella was opting for detention in far high numbers than would be expected. The justices rejected the request without comment in early January, then changed their mind after Conahan and Ciavarella were charged.

Marsha Levick, chief counsel of the law center, said that the unprecedented scope of the scandal will take time to fully address, but that Thursday's order was a start.

"In a way it's low-hanging fruit, but certainly the Juvenile Law Center's position remains consistent — that all of these kids' records should be expunged," she said.

Levick said there are many inside the Luzerne County court system, including attorneys and probation officials, who had to know the rights of juvenile defendants were being routinely violated.

"Their failure to either individually or collectively speak out against what was going on in Judge Ciavarella's courtroom, I think, let all of these kids down," Levick said.

The judges and others tied to the scandal face at least three lawsuits, including one filed by the Law Center.

A defendant in two of the lawsuits, former Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Sandra Brulo, illegally tampered with juvenile court records last month in an attempt to evade liability. She pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal charge of obstruction of justice.

WARNING: New virus is spreading, well several actually

View the article here
April 1st Virus


COBB COUNTY - A notorious computer virus responsible for millions of dollars in thefts all over the world is now suspected in a Cobb County attack.

Experts believe the business manager at a local church is the victim of a Russian hacker -- and other metro computer users could be at risk.

Due West United Methodist Church is the latest target of an ungodly virus with the godly name Zeus.

Fran Kirby was on Wachovia’s Web site, but experts said she could have been the customer of any bank.

After she logged on, she thought the bank was doing a security check so she typed in a string of personal information. Minutes later, she called the bank.

“The guy on the other end said it was the Zeus virus and I said, ‘Zeus virus?’ I’d never heard of that,” said Kirby.

Zeus is a program that’s installed on your computer. You don’t know it’s being installed. You might be surfing the Web and it’ll be installed automatically.

Don Jackson is a cyber threat expert at SecureWorks in Dunwoody. He actually tracked the origin of the Zeus virus to a hacker in Russia. The program sits on your computer until you sign on to a financial site and then a fake page fakes you out.

“What they want to do is get some choice pieces of information they don’t already have – typically an ATM PIN number or a Social Security number,” said Jackson.

A hacker used the same virus to steal $6 million from U.S. banks in 2008.

Kirby has closed her accounts, but with her Social Security number exposed, she’s still at risk.

“That information is out there and it’s always going to be out there and she’ll be targeted in future attacks to see if they can update the information on her,” said Jackson.

“It really has brought home that there are some real evil people out there,” said Kirby.

Jackson said the best way to protect your financial business online is to surf with one computer and to buy a second computer only for finances.


Click the image to view the bill in it's entirety

KY - Laws Signed To Curb Prison Population

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By Jessica Noll

FRANKFORT - Gov. Steve Beshear (Contact) signed into law Thursday two significant pieces of legislation that will enable Kentucky to pursue long-term strategies for controlling rising prison populations while continuing the modernization of the Commonwealth’s penal code.

SB 4 offers both first-time and repeat substance abuse offenders an opportunity to receive substance abuse treatment during the pretrial phase of court preceding. If the treatment is completed successfully, they may never incur a subsequent felony charge—keeping them from going deeper into the criminal justice system.

“Senate Bill 4 represents a culture change in dealing with addicted offenders. We can keep these individuals in intensive treatment while they continue to work under strict supervision. This will protect the public while saving millions of dollars in corrections costs. It will also save the lives of those who successfully complete this treatment track,” said Sen. Dan Kelly.

Recent reports from the Criminal Justice Kentucky Treatment Outcome Study indicate that participants receiving prison or jail-based substance abuse treatment show significant improvement in positive behavior. What’s more, the percentage of participants receiving treatment who reported using any illegal drug during the 12 months after their release decreased by more than 50 percent from before incarceration.

“Ending the cycle of substance abuse and incarceration is imperative for the future of the Commonwealth,” Beshear said. “Through the leadership of Senator Dan Kelly, Senate Bill 4 will be the first step toward stopping the current revolving door of repeat offenders in Kentucky’s criminal justice system.”

This program is a unique and effective collaboration between all three branches of government: the legislative, which passed the law; the judicial, which must approve the participants; and the executive, which will oversee the program.

The program is estimated to save more than $1.4 million annually, based on 200 applicants.

Additionally, Beshear signed into law House Bill 372, which credits time on parole toward completion of an offender’s sentence, unless he or she had been returned to prison for the conviction of a new felony or had absconded while on parole. This measure codifies language in the current biennial budget.

This provision is being applied to inmates who have served time on parole and are back behind bars due to a technical violation, and offenders who are currently on parole. Inmates who are classified as violent offenders or who must register as a sex offender are ineligible.

The measure will save an estimated $15.4 million by the end of this fiscal year, and is expected to save more than $16 million in Fiscal Year 2010.

In order to further explore how to best reform the Kentucky Penal Code, Beshear signed into law Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 12. SJR 12 calls for the creation of a subcommittee of the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary to take a critical look at the broader picture of penal code reform and identify necessary changes to our criminal justice system.

A report of recommendations from this committee is due to the General Assembly no later than Dec. 1, 2009.

VA - Sen. Webb Calls for Big Changes in Criminal Justice

Courtesy of Criminal Justice blog


By Matt Kelley

Is it possible that we are finally on the verge of real reform in our criminal justice system? Could we look at a graph of the American prison population 20 years from today and see a peak right around 2009?

If I'm right and the combination of the stuggling economy, the new President and three decades of failed prison policies have finally brought about the chance for real change, then today could be a day to remember. A few hours ago, Sen. Jim Webb (Contact) announced the National Criminal Justice Act of 2009, which would create a blue-ribbon commission to "look at every aspect of our criminal justice system with an eye toward reshaping the process from top to bottom." I know commissions sometimes just add to the D.C. babble, but those words are nice to hear from a U.S. Senator.

Webb, who has been outspoken for years on the failures of the criminal justice system, explains his politically risky - and badly needed - move in the cover story of this Sunday's Parade Magazine and on a new website launched by his staff to support the NCJA effort. He has an impressive coalition of Democratic support for the coalition including, reportedly, the President of the United States and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Calling our prison system a "national disgrace," Webb says "we are wasting billions of dollars and diminishing million of lives." Amen.

This is the moment to make sweeping reforms in our drug laws and prison policies a reality. Webb is aware of the breadth of this problem and he aims to inform the country and its leaders. Let's get behind Webb's efforts and show our representatives that Webb isn't making a movement, he's simply bringing it into focus.

Email your Senators and Representatives today to let them know you support the NCJA and criminal justice reform in this country.

Parade Jimwebb Parade Jimwebb readthehook

VA - Court affirms SC's DNA databank law

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RICHMOND (AP) - A federal appeals court in Virginia has affirmed a South Carolina law requiring certain prisoners to provide DNA samples for the state's DNA databank.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond also said Thursday that the state can require prisoners to pay a $250 processing fee to help pay for the databank. But the court said the state can't require inmates to pay the fee before they are paroled or released.

The court rejected a convicted sex offender's claim that the 1995 law amounts to an unconstitutional after-the-fact punishment for inmates who were already in prison. The court said the law is not punitive.

FL - Fort Pierce police officer sentenced to 30 years' prison; declared sexual predator

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Yet another of the many perverted cops from Florida!


By Eric Pfahler (Contact)

FORT PIERCE — A Fort Pierce police officer was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison for molesting a 15-year-old girl in a Hutchinson Island beach parking lot.

Chief Assistant State Attorney Tom Bakkedahl asked Circuit Judge Larry Schack to sentence Dwight Toombs, 34, to 35 years in prison after Toombs was convicted Jan. 22 on four felony charges stemming from the Dec. 18, 2007 incident.

Friends and family asked Schack for leniency after describing Toombs as a family man and a Christian.

Defense attorney Jack Fleischman said he plans to file an appeal.

"We expected a high sentence, and we feel pretty confident about the appeal,” he said.

Before sentencing Toombs, who did not speak on his own behalf, Schack said: “This is really a very sad day on two levels. One because of what was done to that young lady and two, because it was done by someone we all rely on to protect our children.”

Toombs was sentenced after being convicted of lewd or lascivious battery or molestation, attempted lewd or lascivious battery, sexual battery on a 15-year-old by a government agent and lewd or lascivious conduct. Schack also declared him a sexual predator.
- What do they use to determine if someone is a predator?  If anyone knows, please leave a comment.

Toombs faced a maximum sentence of 65 years in prison.

Authorities said Toombs came across the girl, who was naked from the waist down, and her 20-year old boyfriend in a parked car at the beach and that Toombs fondled the girl using a glove while she was handcuffed.
- Hmm, so what about the 20 year old boyfriend dating a 15 year old?  The age of consent in Florida (I believe) is 16.  And why was she naked from the waste down?  I am only speculating, but it appears the 20 year old was attempting or was having sex with the 15 year old in a parked car.

Bakkedahl said law enforcement agents must be held to a higher standard because of their status within the community and added officers committing crimes undermines the judicial system.

“He is the Bogeyman to the criminal justice system from the criminal defense perspective,” Bakkedahl said. “The activities that he engaged in on this particular evening are things that will forever remain in the minds of people who someday will walk in this door, sit in that box and assess the credibility and character of law enforcement officers.”
- I wonder if the man was a white cop, would the sentence be the same?  I don't like bringing race into things, but from what I've seen of Florida cops being arrested for these types of crimes, they usually get lenient sentences, so why was this determined to be so brutal to deserve 30 years and a predator designation?

Fort Pierce Police Chief Sean Baldwin said the incident stained the department and agreed with the stiff sentence. Toombs is on administrative leave without pay until an administrative disposition is finished. Baldwin said the disposition should be finished within five to seven days.

“Every officer that takes the oath of office to serve understands that they’re given a great amount of responsibility and authority,” Baldwin said. “Along with that responsibility and authority comes greater consequences for violating the public trust. This isn’t a surprise that a police officer is held to a higher account than a regular citizen would be and I believe firmly that’s the way it should be.”
- So what about all the other perverted cops from Florida who got lenient sentences, compared to this man?

Gracie Miller, a pastor at Apostle Faith Church of Deliverance, was one of a handful of people to testify on Toombs’ behalf.

“He was a good man that got a bad deal,” Miller said.

UK - Serial sex offender found guilty

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YouTube Video

If all this is true, this is what the registries were meant for, although, the registry would not have prevented this either.  Also, he has not been to court yet, so he is suppose to be innocent until found guilty, but it seems like this news paper is convicting him already!


A serial sex attacker who targeted lone women in south London over a six-year period has been found guilty of rape and sexual assault.

_____, 44, of Colliers Wood, was convicted of two rapes and 24 sexual assaults but police believe he was behind at least 71 attacks on women.

He targeted women late at night in the Balham, Clapham and Tooting areas.

Scotland Yard has apologised for errors which meant he was not arrested until four years after becoming a suspect.

The case has been sent to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for a full review.

_____ will be sentenced at a later date. He also admitted two further charges of indecent assault and was found not guilty of one charge of indecent assault.

BBC home affairs correspondent Andy Tighe said the delay in apprehending _____ raised serious concerns among senior Metropolitan officers about the performance of the force's dedicated Sapphire unit that investigates sex crimes.

DNA was twice recovered from victims but, despite being known to police as a potential sexual attacker, following a 1995 charge of indecent assault, no DNA sample was collected from _____.

_____, a children's football coach, who worked as head chef at Camberwell College, was acquitted of the 1995 charge, but remained on the police database.

Police in Wandsworth borough realised a repeat sex attacker was operating in September 2002 and identified _____ as a suspect in February 2004.

In December 2002, a patrol spoke to _____ and submitted a report after a member of the public reported seeing him following a woman in Clapham.

But, despite him appearing on their radar several more times, he was not arrested until January 2008 when detectives from Scotland Yard took over the case.

IPCC Commissioner Deborah Glass has vowed a thorough review of what went wrong.

"The public will understandably ask if some of these attacks could have been prevented and indeed, if the police took the victims as seriously as they should," she said.

_____'s victims ranged in age from late teens to their early 60s and all of his victims were strangers who were walking alone, late at night.
- It's alleged!

In most cases, the victims were grabbed from behind and forced to the ground.

These attacks took place between August 2001 and October 2007.

'Inadequate work'

Police believe _____ may have been responsible for dozens of other attacks and have launched a help line for potential victims.

Previous reporting bans on the case were lifted with his convictions and he is scheduled to be sentenced later this year after undergoing psychiatric testing.

Judge Shani Barnes praised officers who finally caught _____, but reserved sharp criticism for the "years of inadequate work" that had allowed him to elude capture for so long.

Commander Mark Simmons, who is responsible for sex attack investigations at the Met, said there was "no explanation" for why _____ was not picked up sooner and vowed to learn lessons from the case.

"I have no explanation for that. That goes absolutely to the heart of why it has been referred to the IPCC," he said.

Mr Simmons said officers fear that the _____ case, combined with a series of other high profile blunders , has damaged the confidence of victims of sexual violence.

He added said the Met is responding to its alleged failings and will set up a new dedicated sex crimes command.

MA - Neighbor from hell settles with Coakley’s office

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People like this lady, Deborah May, should be on some kind of registry, so neighbors who may be gay, know of her homophobia! And why do they not post her picture online so everyone knows who she is?


By Ethan Jacobs - Associate editor

Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office settled an anti-gay harassment case yesterday with Deborah May, a Norwood woman who allegedly terrorized a gay man living in her apartment complex. May is believed to have spread rumors among neighbors that he was a pedophile and sexual predator, harassed him into taking down a Pride flag from his apartment, shouted anti-gay epithets at him on multiple occasions, physically confronted him in his yard, and filed a baseless complaint against him with the Norwood police claiming that he exposed himself to her. Last January Coakley’s office won a preliminary civil rights injunction against May forbidding her from harassing her former neighbor or anyone else based on their sexual orientation or from contacting the neighbor and his family. Coakley’s office announced that as part of the settlement that civil rights injunction will be extended for three years. Here is the release from Coakley’s office detailing the settlement:

DEDHAM - Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office entered into a settlement with a Norwood woman, Deborah May, which resolves allegations that she repeatedly harassed and intimidated a former neighbor because he is gay.

"Hate-motivated conduct cannot be and is not tolerated in Massachusetts," said Attorney General Coakley. "Everyone in this state is entitled to reside in their home free of bias-motivated harassment and intimidation. Our office will continue to aggressively pursue cases where intolerance interferes with another person’s civil rights."
- So I wonder if the same applies for those who are registered sex offenders?

The Consent Judgment, approved late yesterday by Norfolk Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh, prohibits May from threatening, intimidating, or coercing the victim or anyone else in the Commonwealth on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation. It further prevents May from contacting or communicating with the victim or his family, and requires her to stay at least 500 feet from him and his residence, and 500 yards from his place of employment. A violation of the injunction is a criminal offense punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and two and a half years in a house of correction, or, if bodily injury results from such a violation, a $10,000 fine and up to ten years in state prison.

The injunction against May will remain in place for three years. May resided in the same apartment building as the victim at the time that the case was filed. Since then, May has relocated.

The Attorney General’s lawsuit, which was filed in December 2008, arose out of May’s alleged continued harassment of the victim over the preceding year. On January 6, 2009, the Commonwealth obtained a preliminary injunction prohibiting the offending conduct.

The Attorney General’s Office sought relief under the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, which is commonly referred to as the hate crimes statute, and the state’s Antidiscrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing (Does this also pertain to sex offenders, who are being denied housing?). Under the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, the Attorney General’s Office has the power to obtain an injunction in cases where a victim has faced threats, intimidation, or coercion because of his or her race, religion, or disability, among other protected characteristics, or where the threats, intimidation, or coercion interfere with the victim’s ability to engage in a protected activity, such as using public ways or voting in an election.

This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Miller of Attorney General Coakley’s Civil Rights Division with the assistance of Kimberly Strovink of the Civil Rights Division and Dean Bates of Attorney General Coakley’s Investigations Division.

NJ - N.J. Teen Busted for Her Nude Pics

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If a 14 year old can be charged with molestation or another sex crime, then they should be able to be charged with child porn, IMO.


By Jennifer Millman -

The social networking world is rife with sexual exploitation of young children, but it rarely happens that the exploiters are the children themselves.
- If it is, then show me the facts to back up this claim!

A 14-year-old girl was arrested Tuesday for allegedly posting nearly 30 naked photos of herself on MySpace, according to

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tipped off police that someone was posting naked pictures of a teen on a MySpace profile.

As it turns out, the culprit was the teen herself.

Authorities investigated the case for a month before zeroing in on the suspect, who said she posted the pictures for her boyfriend’s pleasure. Anyone who was online “friends” with the girl through the site or knew her name could see the pictures.

The teen was charged with one count each of possession and distribution of child pornography. Police remanded her into her mother’s custody.
- So if she was charged with 30 counts of child porn possession and distribution, what was her sentence?

A sheriff’s department spokesman told that more arrests in the case are possible.

MI - Michigan Man Sentenced to 90 Days in Prison for Sex Act With Car Wash Vacuum

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Boy, that sure sucks! Is he going to be placed on a vacuum abuse registry? :)


SAGINAW - A man police caught performing a sex act with a car wash vacuum has been sentenced to 90 days in prison.

_____ must also submit to drug testing.

The 29-year-old from Michigan, was sentenced Wednesday at Saginaw County Circuit Court.

_____ pleaded no contest to indecent exposure last month.

Police say _____ was arrested after a resident called officers early on Oct. 16 to report suspicious activity at a car wash in Thomas Township, about 90 miles northwest of Detroit.

Savage's attorney, Philip Sturtz, didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.

OR - Grant Helps Police Track Sex Offenders

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Video is available at the site.


PORTLAND - Portland police officers said Wednesday that federal grant money has drastically improved their ability to keep tabs on the city's registered sex offenders.

In 2008, the Portland Police Bureau received a $300,000 federal grant to create a unit dedicated to the city's sex offenders. The Sex Offender Registration Detail, or SORD, patrols the streets to verify sex offenders live where they claim they're living.

The grant pays for three officers per day, who are dedicated to making contact with Portland's registered sex offenders.

"Somebody is actually going out and checking on it to make sure they are living where they say they are," said Officer Jason Jones.

Jones has been working with the detail since its inception. He said the mission has been highly effective. Since last April, the unit has verified addresses on more than 90 percent of the city's offenders, police said.

"We now have a system in place where we can actually hold them accountable," Jones said.

On Wednesday, police said they learned about one sex offender accused of failing to register. Within hours, police said they tracked down Eric Denham and arrested him.

The unit aims to make face-to-face contact with 10 to 15 people each day. So far, officers said, their goal has worked.

"They know there are more watchful eyes out there to verify what they say," Jones said.

The grant that funds the Sex Offender Registration Detail is good for three years. Police expect SORD to continue to operate for at least two more years.

GA - Sex Research

Georgia General Assembly | More Videos

Two professors from Georgia State University testify before the Senate Higher Education Committee, concerning allegations behind the types of courses offered by Georgia’s Public Universities.

GA - Senate Bill 91, which seeks to add a $5 surcharge for strip club patrons, is discussed

SB-91 | Georgia General Assembly | More Videos

GA - Legislators discuss how sexual predators are categorized in the Georgia code

SB-157 | Georgia General Assembly | More Videos

GA - A bill seeks to modify Georgia laws pertaining to the disclosure of child abuse records is heard in committee

SB-79 | Georgia General Assembly | More Videos

GA - Crimes against minors are discussed

HB-123 | Georgia General Assembly | More Videos

GA - A measure to expand the definition of kidnapping

HB-575 | Georgia General Assembly | More Videos

GA - The House gives final passage to a measure barring registered sex offenders from serving on school boards

SB-14 | Georgia General Assembly | More Videos

SWEDEN - Cop fined for outing child sex offender

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By David Landes

A Swedish police officer who blew the whistle on a convicted paedophile’s plans to start a youth education centre has himself been fined for defamation.

In the summer of 2007, policeman Kent Eriksen met the man in question and later learned that he had been sent to prison for molesting a 13-year-old boy.

Eriksen subsequently heard through an acquaintance that the same man was planning to open the education centre for young people.

“I began to look into it further and discovered the project was getting money from the Swedish Inheritance Fund,” he told The Local.

The government-administered Swedish Inheritance Fund (Arvsfonden) consists of unclaimed inheritances of deceased Swedes and was created in 1928 when the Riksdag abolished the right of inheritance for cousins and distant relatives.

Money from the Inheritance Fund is awarded to “non-profit organizations and other voluntary associations wishing to test new ideas for developing activities for children, young people and the disabled.”

Altogether, the convicted paedophile had received about 6 million kronor ($743,000) from the fund to launch an education centre for young people with special needs.

According to the Expressen newspaper, the man had been convicted for luring a 13-year-old boy from a public swimming pool with the promise of a chance to ride on the man’s motorcycle.

The man then took the boy to his home and sexually molested him. In the coming months, the man took the boy to his home and several occasions, where he had both oral and anal sex with the boy.

When police raided the man’s home, they found pictures of child pornography in the man’s computer as well as pornographic videos featuring children.

The man claimed the boy was lying about the abuse and that the child pornography in the apartment wasn’t his, but the court rejected the man’s claims.

While government officials were thankful to receive the police officer’s tip, and consequently cut off funding for the project, Eriksen’s attempt to be a Good Samaritan resulted in charges of defamation.

In its ruling, the Stockholm District Court noted that the sexual molestation charge was four years old and that Eriksen was unaware of the specifics of the case.

In addition, the convicted paedophile’s education centre was directed for young people over 18 years of age rather than children.

“Viewed objectively, therefore, it was not justifiable to bring the conviction to the attention of the Inheritance Fund,” wrote the court.

Eriksen was ordered to pay a total of 80,000 kronor, including attorney fees, compensation to the paedophile, interest, and a fine of 48,000 kronor.

As he is considering an appeal, Eriksen didn’t want to comment on the specifics of the ruling other than expressing his dissatisfaction with the court’s decision.

“I’m disappointed with the ruling, that’s for sure,” he said.

Nevertheless, he doesn’t regret his actions.

“If I had the same choice and the same information today, I would have acted in the exact same way,” he said.

“I’m convinced by my ideological and moral convictions that I did the right thing.”

Despite the court’s decision, Eriksen doesn’t feel that Swedish defamation laws should be changed to better protect whistleblowers.

“There’s nothing wrong with the laws themselves,” he said.

“As far as I’m concerned, I haven’t broken the law.”

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TN - Puppy Mill Bill Usurps Animal Abuser Registry

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Bring it on! If sex offenders are to be on an online registry, then what is good for the goose is good for the gander! Put all felons on an online registry, the more the better. Then we can really see some law suits in the making!  It's ironic though, that when it is about sex offenders, everyone is all for it, but when it might affect them, then they find something unconstitutional or not right about it.  I think all sex offenders, and those associated with a sex offender, should start sending emails, snail mail and talking with legislature to just create one big criminal database.  That would help us in knocking these draconian laws down, IMO.  What do others think?


By Amy Lieberman

Puppy Mill Bill Usurps Animal Abuser Registry: An effort to publicly document animal cruelty felons has been sidelined as Tennessee legislators struggle to get the needed support. Now their focus is on a more favorable commercial breeding bill.

NASHVILLE - A unique bill is circulating through the Tennessee legislative body, calling for all convicted animal cruelty felons to be documented on a public, online registry.

But a divisive rural-urban playing field within the legislature has placed the bill, the Tennessee Animal Abuser Tracking and Verification Act, on hold, perhaps for the long-term.

"Whenever a new type of provision like this gets out there, it's sometimes difficult to get the support of it. There is often the perception that it would have high costs." said Stephan Otto, legislative director for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
- Funny how none of this is EVER discussed when it is about sex offenders!  Come on, if it saves one animal from abuse, isn't it worth it?  And I think I have a right to know where all the animal abusers live around me!

Otto first drafted a model of the bill nearly eight years ago.

Colorado saw a like bill in 2002, but it was eventually shot down; Tennessee is the only other state to have since proposed instilling the registry system. It would look and operate much like databases inspired by "Megan's Laws," which require all convicted sex offenders to be publicly registered.

"It's like how you are able to know if you have a sex offender, or a potentially dangerous person, living in your community," explained Leighann McCollum, the Humane Society of the United States' Tennessee state director. "If somebody has been convicted of setting an animal on fire, I wouldn't necessarily want my daughter going over there to play at his house. It's good to know."
- But why are we picking and choosing?  Why not put all felons on an online registry?  That would include corrupt officials, abusive cops, politicians, gang members, murderers, drug dealers, DUI offenders, anyone!  By picking and choosing, then you are discriminating!

The law would target those convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals, or people who "intentionally kill or cause serious injury to an animal," McCollum said.
- Yeah, where have I heard that before?  This is the intention, but eventually many would be included on the registry who do not fit the above!

The bill has some loopholes, as someone who was convicted for facilitating dog fighting, a felony, would fall on the list. On the other hand, someone who orchestrated cock fighting sessions, which is a misdemeanor in the state, would be exempt.

All convicted animal abuser felons would be placed on a list accessible to the public online, on a statewide level.
- Again, why don't you just get it over with, and put ALL CRIMINALS on an online database so everyone can see all the criminals living around them?  Why are you selecting certain people?

"These would be really violent, dangerous offenders," McCollum said. "This is not your average farmer who has to shoot one of his cattle."
- If it passes, watch and see what happens!  It will become a nightmare, just like all the other BS registries they say one thing, but do another!

The bill passed through the state senate in February 2008, but stalled in the House; state senator Doug Jackson, a co-sponsor of the bill, said the measure is not likely to get revisited this year.

"We're so focused on passing a puppy mill legislation right now and that really is taking a lot of time," Jackson said. "We don't want to diffuse the bill here and stir up opposition. There is a lot of suspicion from some lawmakers involving animal rights advocates."

Jackson and District House Representative Janis Sontany (D-Nashville) are sponsoring both the registry bill, as well as the puppy mill one, or the Commercial Breeder Enforcer Act. Their decision to push the state's two main animal-related bills perhaps speaks to the larger legislative body's wariness of tackling animal welfare at all.
- So is the bill going to be named after some high profile case where a animal was killed?  Like maybe the Michael Vick issue?  We could name it after some dog that was killed, so it tugs at the hearts and emotions of all in the public, like they do with all the sex offender laws.

The registry plan is "a great bill," Jackson maintained, which would "provide a tremendous amount of information to people at a low cost."

Yet some legislators have expressed concern about high costs the program would create, and that the bill might unjustly target farmers and ranchers.
- So what?  You never considered this with the sex offender bills, so why with this?

"We were constantly trying to diffuse that type of paranoia," Jackson explained.
- Yet they fuel the paranoia of sex offenders, claiming they are out hiding behind bushes just waiting to jump out and molest someone.

The battle, in the end, proved insurmountable before the House recessed, much to the sponsors' and McCollum's dismay.

"I was very disappointed to realize that people didn't understand the difference between routine livestock handling and torturing an animal, that they didn't understand, in this day and age, that these are dangerous, violent offenders who will move on to humans," McCollum said.
- You are assuming they will move onto humans.  Where are the facts to back up this BS?

Cruelty extends beyond urban and rural borders, she also said.

"People in the country view animals differently than people in the city, but we are trying to make them understand that, whether city or country, that normal, stable human beings don't torture animals."

The program would have "minimal" costs, according to McCollum, as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation already maintains a comparable database for sex offenders.
- Once again, why single out sex offenders and people who abuse animals?  Why not go all the way and put all criminals on the database?

The way the system now stands, Otto says, is "really problematic," making it nearly impossible for breeders or shelters to perform accurate background searches on prospective pet owners.

"Records could be kept at a county level, and there is not any centralized database for people to check, so people can move around to different parts of the state, or out of state, and it is often hard to track crimes of this type," Otto explained.

That means a convicted animal felon could technically cross state lines and continue to adopt or purchase animals with few obstacles to overcome. Otto says he has seen this happen several times, with abusers operating under various pseudonyms, or simply moving every few months.
- So where is the facts to back up this statement?  I like dealing in facts, nor hearsay or made up stuff!

"It's important that these people are tracked to prevent future offenses," Otto said.
- I'd love to have a registry of politicians who have committed some crime, so we can keep better track of them.  Sounds good to me!  People like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barney Frank, Bill Clinton, Mark Foley, to name a few.

Yet Jackson and Sontany say they are willing to place this bill on the back-burner, in hopes of passing the puppy mill bill. As of now, Tennessee has no restrictions on commercial breeders or mill operators, save basic animal cruelty laws.

"This [puppy mill] bill doesn't have nearly the stigma attached to it, I guess I should say," McCollum said.

The push to monitor such practices has received a considerable amount of support, according to Sontany, who agreed that it is not nearly as controversial a measure as the abuse tracking bill.

"We've received a lot of support from the community on this bill," she said. "It's actually going to soon start being considered on committees."

Tennessee is joining many other states in trying to bust puppy mills, a trend Otto says is likely to carry through into coming years.

"There are puppy mill bills popping up everywhere," he said.

North Carolina, Indiana and Oklahoma are all currently considering similar measures.

In 2008, six major mill operations were raided in Tennessee; the largest bust, which occurred last summer, involved 747 animals, McCollum said. She estimates that the state hosts approximately 400 separate mills.

The measure is not aimed to target private breeders, and would affect anyone who "maintains 20 adult non-sterilized females for the purpose of selling their offspring," McCollum said.

"When you have 700 animals in your backyard, operating as a business, you should have some oversight, and be accountable to your consumer. It should be required to provide a basic standard of care for animals keeping in your kennel."

The law would also mandate all commercial kennels register their business. That licensing could create a $1.3 million increase in tax payments to the Department of Revenue, Sontany said.

A committee hearing is set for this bill next week, and several more have been scheduled.

"We're very hopeful that this will get passed this year," Jackson said.

The animal abuser registry, though, might have to wait a little more to experience any substantial traction.

OH - Ohio bill tackles 'sexting' among teens

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A Warren County state representative says he will introduce legislation to address the growing problem of "sexting," a practice of minors sending nude photographs and videos through cell phones.

State Rep. Ronald Maag (Email), R-Lebanon, said his legislation would make the creation, exchange and possession of nude materials between minors by a telecommunications device a misdemeanor of the first degree.

He will propose that minors who show nude pictures of themselves through text message may be charged with the same penalty.

“Certainly this is an issue that needs to be confronted,” Maag said in a statement. “Local prosecutors have brought to my attention that under current Ohio law these teens could be charged with a felony and classified as sex offenders. There is concern that this may not be appropriate for these minors.”

Maag referred to a recent study that showed that one in five minors across the country has either sent or received these types of pictures and videos.
- Again with the infamous "1 in 5" bogus statistic!

The legislation would apply only to teens under the age of 18, separate from similar adult offenses which carry felonious charges.

One case was prosecuted in Mason when nude photos of a 15-year-old girl were found on a freshman boy’s cell phone. Both teens were given misdemeanor charges for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

I think what these teens need is education about how this type of behavior could affect their lives,” Maag said in the statement. “This legislation does not affect the state’s ability to try actual sex offenders. What it does is clarify the law regarding incidences such as these.”

Warren County Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel worked with Maag and suggested such a law be created to make it a misdemeanor, said her spokesman, Matt Nolan.

"The problem right now is the actual laws in place are all felonies and sex offender registration can be required," Nolan said. "We don't feel the intent of those laws is to address this. This law that Rep. Maag is bringing forward better deals with new technology and the new situation we are facing."

NH - Juror becomes a defendant - Research of sex offender brings contempt charge

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By ANNMARIE TIMMINS - Monitor staff

A Newbury man faces a heavy fine for derailing a recent sexual assault trial by researching the defendant online and allegedly telling fellow jurors the man was already a convicted sex offender.

Jurors had not been told that part of _____'s past during his trial for child sexual assault, because doing so would have violated the court's rules of evidence. And Judge Diane Nicolosi told the Merrimack County Superior Court jurors not to read accounts of the case or to research _____, of Laconia, or other facts on their own.

Paul Christiansen said yesterday that he ignored Nicolosi's order and disclosed _____'s past conviction during the second day of jury deliberations because he thought jurors deserved to know.

The consequences were serious - for the alleged 9-year-old victim at the center of the trial and for Christiansen.

Nicolosi declared a mistrial after learning Christiansen had "tainted" the jury pool, meaning the girl will have to testify again if county prosecutors retry _____. It's something they are seriously considering, they said yesterday. And Christiansen is charged with contempt of court; if convicted, he could be ordered to reimburse the court for the cost of holding the three-day trial.

Court Clerk Bill McGraw hadn't tallied that figure yesterday but said it would include the stipend and mileage paid to jurors for their service as well as the court's time.

After his arraignment yesterday, Christiansen said he's sorry the alleged victim may have to take the stand again. And he's unhappy _____ is free while prosecutors decide whether to bring the case to a second jury.

But Christiansen said he doesn't regret his decision to tell jurors _____ had sexually assaulted a child before. According to the state's sex offender registry, _____ was convicted in 1996 of felonious sexual assault on a child between 13 and 16 years old. The recent case against him involved the same charge against a girl who was 6 at the time of the alleged assault.

"If it's someone's third offense for driving while intoxicated, shouldn't you know?" Christiansen said outside the courthouse yesterday. "If it's a fourth theft charge, shouldn't you know? Everybody should (be concerned) that jurors are not told everything."

There have been national stories of jurors jeopardizing cases by conducting their own investigations during trial, but McGraw said it's not been a frequent problem in Merrimack County. He said the last case he recalled was at least a decade old.

"I've found jurors are very conscious and cognizant of what they are told to do," McGraw said. "What they can't consider - they take that very seriously."

George Waldron, the deputy Merrimack County attorney, asked the court shortly after the trial to find Christiansen in contempt of court. Yesterday, Nicolosi arraigned Christiansen on that charge - but it took her two tries.

The first time, Christiansen refused to take his seat in the courtroom because he was unwilling to recognize the court's authority. Nicolosi ordered Christiansen be taken to a holding cell in the court's basement until early afternoon when he was given a second chance for arraignment.

Christiansen was more cooperative that time but still struggled a bit with bailiffs before taking his seat. He was accompanied in court by his father, Carl Christiansen, and his uncle, state Rep. Lars Christiansen, a Republican from Hudson. Both men discouraged Christiansen from participating in the court proceeding because, they said, they too don't recognize the court's authority.

Afterward, both men defended Christiansen and said he was only doing his civic duty by revealing _____'s past.

TX - Judge rules child killer unfairly labeled sex offender

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Just think, if this would've not been done, anyone who kills a child by DUI or accident, or due to a drive by shooting or for many other reasons, would be a sex offender for life, even when the crime did not involve sex!



Convict deserves hearing on whether he lacks sexual control, judge says.

Convicted child killer _____ deserves a hearing on whether he lacks sexual control, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. The ruling gives _____ a chance to shed the sex offender restrictions that have helped keep him confined for more than six years at a Del Valle facility for parolees.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel found that state parole officials imposed the sex offender restrictions on _____, 48, without first providing him advance notice of the allegations against him and without a hearing, written notice of their decision and other due process rights.

Yeakel's findings brought an end to _____'s due process and equal rights lawsuit against the state, which went to trial last year. But it could lead to a flurry of lawsuits filed in Austin federal courts challenging how parole officials have imposed sex offender restrictions on other parolees, lawyers familiar with the subject said.
- As it should!  If no sex was involved, then the person should not be on a SEX offender registry!

Calls for comment to the Texas attorney general's office, which represents parole officials in court, were not returned. _____'s lawyers declined to comment.

_____ was convicted of murder in the 1982 killing of 8-year-old Kendra Page in the playground of a Southeast Austin elementary school, and he was sentenced to 30 years in prison. He later received another four years for having a weapon in prison. During last year's civil trial, lawyers said he admitted during sex offender counseling that he also sexually assaulted the girl.
- So why was he in sexual offender treatment, when the crime, as originally sentenced, had nothing to do with sex?  If this would've came out in court, then I can understand it.

Under the state's mandatory supervision law, which has since been changed, he was released in 1993 when his time served and good-behavior time equaled the length of his sentence. He was put on parole, then returned to prison in 1994 after a curfew violation.

In 2002, he was transferred to a minimum security section of the Travis County Jail when his time served and good behavior credit again equaled the length of his sentence.

_____'s lawyers with the Texas Civil Rights Project sued state prison and parole officials, saying that his parole conditions were so tough, they essentially would lead to his incarceration in Del Valle until his sentence expires in 2017. They said _____ is being treated differently from other parolees in his situation because of the high-profile nature of his crime.

For example, _____ could not move into the community unless he found a place to live and job to help pay for it. But he was only allowed to use a job search facility for parolees for four hours a week and was escorted by a parole officer to job interviews, according to testimony in last year's civil trial.

The sex offender conditions on his parole required him, among other things, to attend counseling and prohibited him from working near places where children congregate.
- Again, why, when the original sentence had nothing to do with a sex crime?

"_____'s sex-offender status and related stigma have likely contributed to his inability to secure employment," Yeakel wrote. "Despite state witnesses' assertions that they would 'love' for _____ to find a job ... the state informs _____'s potential employers that he is a sex offender."
- And he is NOT a sex offender, not based on the original conviction!  Hell, why don't you just label all criminals sex offenders?  That is basically what you did here!

Lawyers for parole officials said the restrictions were necessary to keep the community safe.

Yeakel dismissed _____'s claims that he is unfairly being treated differently than similar parolees, saying he did not consider them given his decision on the sex offender restrictions. _____ could re-file those claims.

He based his ruling on Coleman v. Dretke, a 2004 case decided by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The case was brought by _____, who, like _____, was not convicted of a sex offense but was subject to sex offender restrictions while on parole.

In that case, the 5th Circuit ruled that the sex offender label is so serious that the state needs to hold a hearing before imposing it — and even then, the state could only tag _____ as a sex offender if he were found to "constitute a threat to society by reason of his lack of sexual control."

Following that ruling, Texas officials began sending some parolees, such as _____, a letter from a parole officer informing them that the state was reviewing their sex offender restrictions and inviting a written response. A parole board panel then decided in secret whether to continue the restrictions; the parolee wasn't told what information was used to make the decision.

At _____'s trial, parole officials said that providing a full hearing — where a parolee or his lawyer could challenge the information given to the panel — would be too costly and time consuming.
- He is entitled to this.  You should not have slammed him with the label if you didn't want to go through this mess!

Yeakel disagreed.

"Despite the state's notice to _____, without the state informing him what evidence would be used against him, _____ was unable to prepare an informed response to the state's position," Yeakel wrote. "Adversary hearings could assure that all relevant issues are considered."

Yeakel's ruling is significant because for the first time it lays out what type of due process rights are expected under the Coleman ruling, said Bill Habern and Richard Gladden, who assisted _____'s lawyers and have filed a series of cases challenging the state's imposition of sex offender restrictions on parolees.

Yeakel's ruling is now law in the Austin federal court, they said.

Gladden said that thousands of Texas parolees who were not convicted of a sex offense but have sex offender restrictions on their parole now have strong standing to sue state parole officials in the Austin court. If the state does not change its practices, those lawsuits could prove costly, they said.

Though Yeakel's ruling did not address _____'s remaining legal challenges to his confinement, the judge seemed to encourage parole officials to ease his restrictions.

"The court is certain that the state will use the hearing and review process," he wrote, "to re-evaluate all of _____' parole conditions ... and consider such reasonable changes as will enhance _____'s opportunity to safely reintegrate into society."

MI - Rehabilitating sex offenders

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To get Michigan back on track, the governor is being forced to make some tough decisions.

Governor Granholm plans to cut $100 million from the prison system. That's enough to close two state prisons and force parole boards to think about letting some 4,000 prisoners free. That number would include sex offenders.

The state will have to re-evaluate everyone who is eligible for parole. If a prisoner has been sentenced to a two to ten year sentence, the state would like to parole them around the two-year mark. The hope is that they would get more help by re-joining society, resulting in less repeat offenders.

Chuck Wilson works for a privately funded group that helps ex-cons get used to life outside of prison, a transition that can be extremely difficult for sex offenders.

"When people say sex offenders, they get the idea this person did something really bad and that's not all true," said Wilson.

Wilson says that on sex offender registry websites, chronic child molesters are listed right next to people arrested for urinating in public.

"Our laws are written as such that, that minor offense is the same category as an extreme pedophile," said Wilson.

Wilson has been working with _____ since he was released from prison in October.

"I was arrested for molesting a nine-year-old boy," said _____.

After 23 years, _____ maxed out, meaning he was never given parole. Newschannel 3 asked _____ how many times he was up for parole, and he told us 16 or 17 times.

_____ is listed on the sex offender registry, since he's not on parole he receives no help from the state. Stories like _____'s will soon be ancient history since cons will now be paroled sooner.

Milton Wells is part of the Michigan Prisoner Re-entry Initiative, he works with 480 parolees in Kalamazoo County, but with cons being paroled sooner, that number will jump by close to a hundred in 2009, about 20 percent of which are sex offenders.

"The question becomes would you rather an individual just be let out on the street or would you rather them come out under supervision," said Wells.

Wells says sex offenders can be among the hardest prisoners to reintegrate into society since they can't live within 1,000 feet of a school.

"It's a challenge for housing," said Wells, "and certainly in a down market for jobs it's going to be a challenge because the employer is going to say why hire an individual with baggage."

_____ can testify to the difficulties facing sex offenders who've been released from prison, he was rejected from several jobs and even shelters won't take him, or didn't have room. Like many other ex-cons he has few options.

"The next night I ended up in the park because I had no place to go," said _____.

_____'s been luckier than some, he now has an apartment, some income and a decent chance at starting a new life, although he knows he may never be able to shake his past.

"To me, on my own, I'm already past that," said _____, "but to society, maybe not."

Between 40 and 50 percent of people released from prison wind up back behind bars. For sex offenders, that number is actually a little lower.

Milton Wells and the Michigan Prisoner Re-entry Initiative have had success in reducing that figure by five to ten percent. Starting in 2010, all parolees will have to go through the program.

FL - New sex offender ordinance

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By Max Turnier - WINK News

FORT MYERS - A new Lee County ordinance may place tougher restrictions on where sex offenders are allowed to go.

In a 5-0 vote Tuesday night, Lee County Commissioners supported the ordinance which broadens the definition of "child safety zones."

Those areas include beaches, playgrounds, public swimming pools, amusement parks like Sun Splash in Cape Coral and any location that could be considered a customary gathering place for children.

"I feel very strongly that that should be enforced," said parent Jess Gordon at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. "I think values for all families in the area need to be preserved."

A draft of the ordinance is up for review at the state level. Lee County leaders say it could be approved within the next two weeks.