Thursday, April 30, 2009
By Gavin Lesnick
A former Sheriff in Indiana will spend the next 10 years on sexual offender probation after pleading guilty to a felony charge of committing lewd and lascivious conduct.
Clarence Shepard, who served two terms as sheriff from 1983 to 1991, was arrested last October on accusations he touched a young girl inappropriately inside his North Fort Myers home.
As part of a plea agreement reached this week, the 77-year-old Shepard will be added to the sex offender registry and will spend the next decade on sex offender probation.
He will be required to undergo counseling and treatment and to wear a GPS ankle bracelet. He will also serve the next two years on house arrest, said Samantha Syoen, communications director for the state attorney’s office in Lee County.
“Based on the facts and circumstances of this case and the age of the defendant, we’re satisfied with the outcome,” Syoen said.
Shepard, a former president of the Indiana Sheriffs Association who served more than 20 years on the Evansville Police Department before winning his first term as sheriff, retired to Fort Myers in the early 1990s.
He was booked into jail the morning of Oct. 9, 2008.
According to police documents filed then, the victim told her mother Shepard touched her inappropriately, forced her to kiss him and made her touch his leg after he invited her into his home.
Reached by phone at his Florida home Wednesday, Shepard said he would not discuss the case and then hung up.
“I really don’t have any comment about it at all,” he said. “Thank you.”
Syoen said Shepard’s past as a decorated law enforcement officer was never considered as the plea deal was developed.
“The bottom line is the facts and circumstances of the specific case,” she said.
The felony conviction will likely not affect Shepard’s pension in Vanderburgh County, said current Sheriff Eric Williams.
“That money was earned long before this crime cocurred,” he said.
Broward County is looking for folks to serve on a task force about sex offender residency rules -- including a sex offender.
Sex offenders, and other community members, can send a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 954-357-6573 for consideration for membership by May 1. So will sex offenders need to create resumes that will include their crimes?
The task force will also include representatives from law enforcement, a homeowner's group and a mental health professional, among others.
The task force's mission will be to make recommendations to county commissioners about residency restrictions for sex offenders. The rules are so restrictive in Miami-Dade that many are living under a bridge and in Broward they are concentrated in specific neighborhoods.
Where: American’s Reality Check
When: April 30, 2009 - 9:00 p.m. Eastern
Please join us this coming Thursday, as we here at American’s Reality Check (ARC) hold a special show with our own Co-Host Mary Duval and her son Ricky.
As many know, Mary and Ricky recently visited Florida to be on the National Cristina show and while there visited the Julia Tuttle Causeway.
Their experience was emotional and the living conditions for those men and women touched both Mary and her son’s hearts. She, since coming home, has been working effortlessly to gather donations and send supplies to those who call this Causeway their ‘home’.
Mary, has also made a new acquaintance, with one of the men who’s license reads "Julia Tuttle Causeway" and as a special surprise he will join us on this special night and time to discuss first hand the actual living conditions under the bridge and what is being done in Florida, if anything to stop this violation of Human an Civil rights.
Hope to see you there!
ARC Hosts, Kevin and Mary (Ricky's Mom)
View the article here
By KAREN DAILY
An Aiken County detention center inmate is dead and another has been charged with his murder on allegations the suspect, late Tuesday, punched the victim in the face causing him to fall backward and hit his head on a concrete floor.
Andrew Nathan York, 37, of the 300 block of Outing Club Road in Aiken, is charged with murder. He was jailed on March 10 for breach of trust on allegations he took a car and didn't return the vehicle. He has criminal history that involved a number of misdemeanors dating back to 1995.
The victim, 55-year-old _____, of Charlotte Circle in Orangeburg, was being held on two counts of lewd act on a child under 16.
The Orangeburg man, who children called Santa Claus, was arrested on July 27, 2008, on allegations he fondled two children while he was working in Salley. According to police documents, the suspect touched the juveniles in a sexual manner and talked about sex with the children.
Detention center Capt. Charles Barranco said he did not know what precipitated the Tuesday evening argument, but said that question, as well as many others, are being posed by state agents.
Both men were housed in a dormitory-style housing unit, in a medium security area with direct supervision, when the fight broke out.
Barranco said he was not aware of any ongoing problems between the two or if the men knew one another, aside from being detained together.
When asked whether _____'s status as an accuses sex offender had anything to do with the fight, Barranco said he did not know, adding that state agents were still conducting their investigation.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agents were notified of the assault that Barranco said occurred just after the evening meal on Tuesday. SClBThe police captain said the supervisor responded to the assault within a matter of seconds.
York reportedly punched _____ in the face during the argument, causing the victim to fall backwards onto a concrete floor, officials have said. State agents said he had a severe fracture of his skull.
The Coroner's Office did not release the victim's name, pending notification of next of kin.
Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton did say the inmate was initially transported to Aiken Regional Medical Centers around 4:45 p.m. He was then transferred to Medical College of Georgia around 10 p.m., and later to the Neurology ICU where he was operated on for a subdural hematoma and skull fracture. Carlton said the man's condition continued to worsen, and he was pronounced dead at 3:53 p.m. Wednesday.
The inmate is scheduled for autopsy in Newberry today.
_____'s death is the first alleged homicide at the jail since Barranco said he took over as administrator two yeas ago. He said there has been one natural death reported.
Our society is full of advocates: advocates for the poor, advocates for the homeless, advocates for minorities. But where are the advocates for the sex offenders?
That’s a question that _____, a 20-year-old Saskatoon resident, may be asking himself right now. He was sentenced to a year in prison after downloading and sharing child pornography, and he is now waiting for a decision on whether his name will be added to a registry for sex offenders. _____ was evaluated by a psychologist and scored very low on various intellectual tests, which is one factor that might convince the judge to leave him off the registry. But I’d like to take a slightly different approach.
Last summer, at a philosophy conference, I attended a lecture on this issue by University of Alabama psychology professor Christopher Robinson. Among other things, he argued that the sex offender registry represents an arbitrary, double punishment of sex criminals and is applicable to too many offenses. For example, depending on the area, “sex offenders” can also include those guilty of streaking, burglary, surveillance, and kidnapping. Also, the fact that we register sex offenders but not, say, murderers, doesn’t make much sense. It might be explained by the strange taboo in society regarding sex, but that doesn’t make it any less irrational.
The issue of whether a certain person should be placed on a sex offender registry or whether such a registry should exist at all is difficult because it involves a unique type of punishment. While we may agree that rapists, who deprive their victims of freedom of choice, merit jail time – also a temporary deprival of freedom – how do we decide whether their names should be put on a list for the public to see?
As I see it, the sex offender registry is both excessive and not particularly useful. Especially in the case of those who have not committed sexual assault but consume child pornography – repulsive as it may be – the label “sex offender” is not an appropriate description; it suggests someone who has committed rape or assault, not someone like Dustin _____, who “ha[s] never been aggressive or sexual in any of his personal relationships.” To put him on a list for 20 years is disproportionate to his crime. While it could be argued that he is supporting the industry – keeping child porn sites alive by upping their page views – this link seems too indirect to hold him responsible for the pornography itself. Even if he never visited a single child porn site, the industry would still survive.
On the practical side, his trial and conviction have already been reported in the news. And who actually looks at these lists? (I did for the first time this morning, and found a bunch of shady-looking pictures from a shady-looking town near my home in New Jersey.) In the case of young children, you would hope that parents would not leave them with adults they do not know very well. And in the case of teenagers, it is unlikely that a 15-year-old is going to pull up the National Sex Offender Registry to make sure his cool new 20-year-old friend isn’t into child porn.
A registry for rapists and those who have committed violent crimes may be justified, but I haven’t taken a stand on that issue here. But in the case of other crimes, we should ditch the list – it’s an unwarranted punishment that serves little purpose.
Update: As of April 3, _____ was put on the sex offender registry and began his one-year sentence.
WICHITA (AP) — A former police officer in south-central Kansas is accused of offering to seek the dismissal of criminal charges against someone in exchange for sex.
The U.S. attorney's office announced Wednesday that 44-year-old Calvin Schaffer has been charged with defrauding the Goddard Police Department.
The indictment against him alleges that he offered to seek dismissal of criminal charges against a person he arrested in exchange for a sexual relationship between February 27 and March 25.
The indictment also alleges that while he was on duty on March 1 he used a police computer to send naked photos of himself to that person.
It's not clear if he has an attorney yet.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
View the article here
By Megahn Snyder
WICHITA - The former Goddard police officer who plead guilty to offering to drop charges against a suspect in exchange for sex will avoid prison time.
A federal judge sentenced Calvin Schaffer to two years probation, 50 hours of community service and a $500 fine.
- What about being on the sex offender registry for life? Just another slap on the wrist for one of the "Good Ole' Boys!"
In court, Schaffer told the judge he'd hurt his wife and family and that he was sorry for embarrassing the law enforcement community.
Prosecutors say Schaffer sent nude pictures of himself, using a Goddard police computer, to a woman he arrested for DUI.
"Nothing is more common than for a free people, in times of heat and violence, to gratify momentary passions, by letting into the government principles and precedents which afterwards prove fatal to themselves. Of this kind is the doctrine of disqualification, disfranchisement, and banishment by acts of the legislature. The dangerous consequences of this power are manifest. If the legislature can disfranchise any number of citizens at pleasure by general descriptions, it may soon confine all the votes to a small number of partisans, and establish an aristocracy or an oligarchy; if it may banish at discretion all those whom particular circumstances render obnoxious, without hearing or trial, no man can be safe, nor know when he may be the innocent victim of a prevailing faction. The name of liberty applied to such a government, would be a mockery of common sense." - Alexander Hamilton (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)
By Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, PhD
EDITOR’S NOTE – CONTENT WARNING: The following article contains subject matter that may be disturbing or upsetting to some of our readers, as it includes descriptions of violent crimes and deviant criminal behavior.
They are the world’s most elusive hunters. Using their looks, their status, and their personalities, female sex killers can be the most difficult to catch. I have studied serial killers all of my adult life and am the only profiler to interview a large group of female serial killers and create their profiles. I work with police on such cases around the United States, and from first- hand experience, I can attest to the fact that female rape murderers are clever.
Though rare, such predators are more common than the general public knows. Why? In most instances, when a female rapes and kills a victim, the act is done in conjunction with a male partner. As such, when caught, the females play innocent and blame the male. This strategy has proven highly effective over the years because people are hesitant to believe that a woman could rape and murder. But it does happen, and sometimes, the female will act alone.
Out of all the interviews I have done with male and female serial killers, the only offender who ever made me uncomfortable was a female sex killer. She had a long history of violence and killed with no remorse. What made her unique is that she was very open about her love for drawing blood using knives, and she said if she ever got out of prison, she would kill again.
These offenders are a unique breed in that they have a real taste for hurting helpless victims. They enjoy the feeling they get when using objects to rape. In fact, female rape killers will often use jagged instruments when they attack. These women are especially brutal with female victims, and almost always, they will mutilate the genitalia. Such women have told me that they chose to hurt their victims so viciously because it turned them on. Like their male counterparts, it was sexually exciting.
To capture their prey, these women use a rouse to trick their victims who are always smaller in size. They use their gender as a cover for their evil intentions because most people find it hard to believe that the fairer sex could rape and kill a child. However, children are not their only victims. Such offenders have been known to target adults since everyone is less wary of a woman. This allows these super predators access to almost any type of victim.
The killers are drawn to traditionally “feminine” jobs such as nursing, caregiving, teaching, or the sex trade. These fields give them natural cover to get close to victims. Like their male counterparts, female sex killers fantasize about rape and murder. However, unlike men, women tend to be less selective about the type of victims they choose. For instance, male sex killers typically prefer certain types of victim such as 20-year-old blondes. But for the women, victim age and gender are less important than opportunity. Female predators search for that which is easy to get. If she works in a nursing home, she may go after the elderly and rape them in their beds. If the woman works as a prostitute, she will target customers. If she teaches, she often sets her sights on students. These women crave what is familiar to them, and they watch their prey over time to assess how easy it would be to attack.
The killers tend to have spotty work histories as well as a string of failed relationships. They dabble in sexual relationships and will try everything from lesbianism to child molestation. Emotionally they find it hard to be “centered,” and family will cover for the women when they engage in strange behavior. In looking at their backgrounds, their life pattern tends to be as follows:
- Child abuse (victim of)
- Acting out (violent against animals & other children)
- Sexually promiscuous
- Psychopathic behavior (stealing, fire setting, lying)
- Attaching to steady figure (older male)
- Increased time alone
- Practicing violence
The interesting part of this pattern is that when looking back, it is easy to see how the women progressed. And there is almost always someone who knew about the increasingly dangerous behavior but did nothing to stop it. There is a tendency in families to hide problems, and those that produce female rape murderers are no exception. The crimes are so aberrant that even those close to these women find it hard to believe that their child/friend/spouse could do such things. The women are well aware of this and use it to their advantage. At every turn, they will plant doubt into the minds of those who question. They will act strange on purpose to try to confuse people. Then they turn on the water works and cry to appear innocent. The thing that tends to be consistent with these killers is that people around them will say that the women were “strange” or “unusual.” Others will even say that the women made them feel uncomfortable at times, but again, because of their gender, people are reluctant to be suspicious.
Once caught, the women go to emotional extremes and will do everything from attempting to seduce investigators to acting out in an almost psychotic like way. When female rape murderers are cornered, they are more likely to talk than other female killers. However, their ‘confessions’ will be self serving and filled with lies. They will be flamboyant and spin tales of their own horrific abuse in order to garner sympathy. However, make no mistake, such women are devious and know exactly what they are doing. They use the rarity of their crimes to hide the truth of what lies beneath their façades. These types of crimes are actually becoming more common, so parents must become educated about this ‘newer’ predator that is stalking their children. As awareness grows, expect to see the discovery of more of these types of crimes. When society realizes what has been hiding in its midst, an innocence will be lost, but protection will be gained. People will be shocked when they discover what happened in the Sandra Cantu murder case. But the horror will provide the necessary wake-up call and education that parents need in order to be forearmed in the future.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D., heads the Violent Crimes Institute, and is author of The New Predator, Vulture and the soon-to be published Disturbed: Terrorist Behavioral Profiles.
GPS is like the fire alarm in your home, once it beeps so often, for low battery, eventually you ignore it.
By MONICA BUCHANAN
Tracking bracelets were supposed to make Southbury residents feel safe. Instead, they are sending the wrong signal – maybe even no signal at all.
In September, the GPS tracking system came under fire when the ankle bracelet worn by David Pollitt, a convicted serial rapist, malfunctioned. Residents who live in Pollitt’s Southbury neighborhood say the bracelets can’t be trusted.
“I don’t feel comfortable with it. It’s not reliable,” Cathy Baisch of Southbury said.
“There are so many cloaking devices and ways to run interference, not to mention the problems with the device’s construction,” said Matt Devan of Prospect.
In the state, 81 sex offenders are equipped with GPS monitoring bracelets like Pollitt’s. Neither the state, nor the company that makes them keeps count of the number of times they malfunction.
The executive director of administrative services for the judicial branch said the technology does “glitch” from time to time.
“Frankly, most of them are false alarms, things like low battery, GPS unit out of position, things like that,” said Thomas Siconolfi.
Earlier this month, New Haven police spent hours searching the Long Island Sound after a jogger found an electronic monitoring bracelet floating in the water. Police said the parolee it belonged to was never found.
Siconolfi said the bracelets use tamper-resistant technology, but will not alarm if the offender is in a dead zone.
- Apparently that "tamper-resistant" technology isn't working!
Another problem the state is dealing with is response time. Siconolfi said it takes an average of 15 to 20 minutes for police to respond to any GPS alerts -- and that’s only if the bracelet has a cell signal to communicate the violation. Some lawmakers are outraged.
“It’s absolutely too much time, because by the time the system responds to the violation of this type, the damage has been done and people have been hurt for life,” Rep. Demetrious Giannaros said.
- And once again, you are assuming someone committed a crime, which in most cases, is not the case, except maybe cutting the device off.
There’s also concern when it comes to monitoring the offenders. Right now, there are no probation officers on the clock on weekends, meaning a call from the vendor to police reporting an alert could go answered.
“This is the first I’m hearing about this. It’s totally unacceptable,” Giannaros said.
Those in charge of the program wanted to fix the problem by opening a monitoring center here in Connecticut.
Right now, most offenders are monitored by employees in Florida. It carried a price tag of $400,000 and at last check, was put on hold indefinitely.