Monday, May 18, 2009
This is how the "media" distort the facts. This man has not been convicted yet, so I don't think you can call him a sex offender, yet. And the lady should be in jail for harassment, assault, and becoming a vigilante. When people continually take the law into their own hands, and the police and/or judge slaps them on the wrist, what kind of message does that send to society? That it's okay to become a vigilante? I'm sure the lady is very angry, but vigilantism is, or was, against the law.
MORRISTOWN (AP) — A New Jersey man in court to be sentenced for assaulting and harassing teenage girls has been beaten in a corridor by the mother of one of his victims.
- Assumed victims! He has not been found guilty yet! Even if he is found guilty, it doesn't give her, or anybody else, the right to attack him.
The mother attacked 39-year-old _____ in the Morris County Courthouse in Morristown on Monday, tearing the buttons off his shirt. Sheriff's officers restrained her.
_____ wasn't injured. The Roxbury resident then was sentenced to five years in prison for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl last year and harassing and touching her friend. The volunteer sports coach had pleaded guilty in January.
He cried before the judge and apologized for his crimes. He says he wishes "this had never, ever, ever happened."
The woman who beat him hasn't been charged.
- Of course not, this is why vigilantism continues to this day! If she just up an attacked Joe Public, she would be charged with assault and battery, but because the victim was in court for a sex crime, she gets a slap on the wrist!
New Article (05/21/2009)
A police officer patrolling a high school on Monday spotted a man loading a rifle outside a nearby church and disarmed him, possibly stopping a violent encounter, authorities said.
Herbert Jones, 46, made references to pedophiles being inside First Parish Church after being taken into custody in an alley, said Police Capt. Vern Malloch. An Alcoholics Anonymous meeting was under way inside the church at the time.
Officer Steve Black, who was assigned to Portland High School, "probably avoided a tragedy" by noticing the armed man, Malloch said. The officer approached with his weapon drawn and arrested Jones without incident at 8 a.m. Malloch said that, to his knowledge, none of the AA participants was on the state's sex offender registry.
Jones previously participated in the AA group and was stalking a woman who remained a participant, Malloch told reporters. He had been drinking but passed a field sobriety test, Malloch said.
In addition to the 7 mm rifle, officers found a shotgun, ammunition and four knives inside his BMW convertible, and another rifle at his home, Malloch said.
Jones was charged with terrorizing, stalking, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a firearm in a school zone. A passenger in Jones' car was charged having a concealed weapon after police found a knife under his seat, Malloch said.
Jail records list no attorneys for the men, who were expected to make initial court appearances on Wednesday, a jail official said. Jones was held on $100,000 bail, while the other man was held on $100 cash bail.
CANTON - An 18-year-old Canton man was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison for engaging in sexual conduct with his 11-year-old girlfriend.
_____, pleaded guilty in Stark County Common Pleas Court to one count of rape.
Because of his age, county prosecutors dismissed part of the indictment that would have required Judge Taryn L. Heath to impose a life sentence on _____.
He still must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
The sexual conduct occurred in April. The girl and her family were staying with _____ and his family at the time, and the two considered themselves boyfriend and girlfriend, said Assistant Stark County Prosecutor Katie Chawla.
The girl’s age made it a crime for _____ to engage in sexual conduct with her. She has since moved to another state, Chawla said.
View the article here
Man, we really have a lot of stupid people running this country! Maybe they should compete with Ms. America? Yep, these are the people that the sheeple elected! Kind of reminds me of Nancy Pelosi!
By Craig Malisow
Sometimes legislative bills don't seem to be written in plain English, so it's always best to go straight to the bill's author to find out what's up.
But a bill authored by Republican State Senator Florence Shapiro of Plano seems remarkably straightforward: It prohibits registered sex offenders from "using the Internet to access pornographic material."
It would also establish a means for "a commercial social networking site or Internet service provider" to be provided with a list of said perverts, so such businesses can alert authorities if they're using those sites to prey on kids.
But what got Hair Balls was that first part -- about not allowing these pervs to look at any pornography, or as stated later in the bill, anything deemed "obscene." (The bill refers to the obscenity section of the penal code, which offers different definitions of obscenity, which include simulated sex.) Even though, as everyone knows, there is hardly any sex stuff on the Interweb, how would something like that even be enforced?
So Hair Balls called Shapiro, to see if she could elaborate. She was on the Senate floor as we talked, which might account for some of the ensuing strangeness.
Hair Balls: Does [this] mean that you do not want anyone convicted of a sex offense to look at sex by consenting adults online?
Shapiro: I have no idea... this is an agreed-to bill that came with the Attorney General, myself, and the online providers. It's model language that came out of [the American Legislative Exchange Council].
(OK, so it turns out Shapiro wasn't sure of all the particulars in the bill she attached her name to. But she explained to us that "The whole purpose of this is that we are seeing more and more young people on the Internet, and social networking of course is one of the major issues."
- Anything about sex offenders is good to get the votes and brownie points they need to "look good" to the sheeple.
She then said that the bill would prohibit certain sex offenders from joining social networking sites...which it doesn't.)
Shapiro: We need to be able to have that list [the sex offender registry list] and make that list available to the social network providers to prevent these people from going online.
- Yep, she's a total idiot!
HB: So they can't even use Facebook or MySpace, then, to talk to other adults?
Shapiro: Oh yes they can. Absolutely.
HB: They can?
Shapiro: I'm sorry, what did you just ask me?
- You see, most politicians do not care what the public thinks, she is not even paying attention!
HB: Can they use a social networking --
Shapiro: No. If they are convicted, no.
HB: They can't even talk to an adult.
Shapiro: No, that's correct....Facebook is not one of them. These are social networks. This is like Friendster and MySpace. I don't know that...I don't remember about Facebook....Facebook is one of them, you're right, you're right....No, the answer is no they cannot....This would prohibit them, if they're on probation or they're on parole, this would prohibit them from using the Internet for purposes of communicating with minors.
- But most use social networking sites to talk to ADULTS, not kids!
HB: But it also prohibits them from looking at anything that can be deemed obscene, which includes certain movies, certain art...
Shapiro: Are those things on MySpace or are they on Facebook? I don't think they are. They can use the Internet -- they just can't communicate with minors....They can look at anything they want, as long as it has nothing to do with the children.
- She is definitely an idiot!
Um, actually, the bill says they couldn't. So ultimately, Hair Balls wound up a lot more confused than before we even made the call. But the important thing is this: as long as well-informed lawmakers are out there passing sensible legislation that they actually take the time to read (if not write), we should have absolutely no fear for the safety of our children. Or something.
Florida Supreme Court PDF
So will we see him in prison, and on the sex offender registry? After all, this was a sex crime.
TALLAHASSEE - Panama City attorney James Harvey Tipler was disbarred Thursday by the Florida Supreme Court for multiple violations and unethical conduct including trading sex for attorney fees.
Tipler, 58, also practiced in Alabama. The court reviewed referees’ reports from three Florida Bar discipline cases which recommended that Tipler be found guilty of various acts of professional misconduct and subjected to various sanctions, including disbarment.
In one case, the referee had found that Tipler represented a client, an 18-year-old mother, in Bay County, Florida, on a charge of aggravated assault. Tipler charged his client a fee of $2,300 and entered into a fee agreement with her that allowed a “credit of $200 for each time she engaged in sex with Respondent” and a “$400 credit if she arranged for other females to have sex with him.”
For his misdeeds, Tipler was charged with racketeering and four counts of prostitution. He ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of solicitation of prostitution.
The Florida Bar filed a complaint against Tipler, and the matter was stayed pending the resolution of a disciplinary case in Alabama arising out of the same incident. Tipler admitted that the agreement existed and that he engaged in sex with his client and another woman in exchange for credits toward the amount the client owed Tipler in attorney fees. Tipler also admitted that his actions were morally and ethically wrong.
After the disciplinary case worked its way through the three levels in the Alabama disciplinary system, the Supreme Court of Alabama suspended Tipler for 15 months. Tipler failed to file a copy of the suspension order with this Court within 30 days of the effective date of the suspension. Nevertheless, after the matter in Alabama was completed, The Florida Bar filed an amended complaint and moved for summary judgment. The referee granted summary judgment in favor of the Bar.
- He should be suspended for good, in prison and on the sex offender registry, but, like usual, the "Good Ole' Boys" have a different set of laws!
In another matter, the referee found that in Alabama, Tipler represented a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case arising out of a patient’s death. Tipler attempted to submit into evidence a videotape depicting the patient on the day before the surgery that allegedly resulted in his death. To authenticate the tape, Tipler questioned the patient’s son as to whether the tape was accurate. The videotape Tipler attempted to submit was edited from the original version to delete or move scenes that would have been harmful to the plaintiff’s case. Further, the patient’s son had never viewed the edited tape and, thus, unknowingly gave false answers concerning the authenticity of the tape during Tipler’s questioning.
Upon objection by the defense, the trial court conducted an inquiry and disallowed the entry of either the original or edited tape. Additionally, based on Tipler’s answers to questions posed to him during the inquiry, the trial court held Tipler in criminal contempt after a show-cause hearing. A grand jury indicted Tipler for perjury, a first-degree felony. Tipler eventually pleaded guilty to interference with judicial proceedings, a misdemeanor.
After a successful first appeal by Tipler within the Alabama disciplinary system, the Supreme Court of Alabama ultimately determined that Tipler’s conviction was a “serious crime” and reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings.
Thereafter, Tipler was suspended for 120 days in Alabama. Tipler failed to file a copy of the suspension order with this Court within 30 days of the effective date of the Alabama suspension. Nevertheless, the Bar filed a complaint against Tipler. Tipler did not file an answer to the complaint or respond to the Bar’s requests for admission. The Bar moved for summary judgment, and Tipler eventually consented to summary judgment on guilt. Accordingly, summary judgment was granted on all the factual allegations and rule violations.
In addition to his Alabama disciplinary proceedings, Tipler has disciplinary proceedings pending in California. Tipler testified before the referee that a stipulation submitted to the referee and entered into evidence was a final stipulation with the State Bar of California.
In fact, the stipulation was not final. Rather, Tipler was referred to California’s Alternate Discipline Program (ADP) by the disciplinary judge. The disciplinary judge noted that if Tipler was not accepted into the ADP, the stipulation would be final, subject to the approval of the California Supreme Court. At the time of the proceedings before the referee, the California case was pending before the ADP judge. Hence, there was not yet a final disposition in the California proceedings.
In the third matter, the referee found seven instances of misconduct, wherein Tipler misused over $57,000 in funds received from various clients and failed to diligently prosecute the clients’ cases or even communicate with the clients. The case types ranged from dissolution of marriage to real estate to copyright infringement.
In addition, Tipler secured fees based on intentional misrepresentation and fraud. In most of the cases, Tipler charged an excessive fee, failed to comply with the Bar rules governing trust accounts, and failed to protect the clients’ interests by refunding unearned fees.
Further, Tipler committed conversion and criminal theft in many of the instances. In one instance, Tipler labored under a conflict of interest. In some instances, Tipler failed to respond to inquiry letters sent by the Bar to his record address.
In the court’s unanimous decision, Chief Justice Peggy Quince opined that “He satisfied his own sexual appetite with a client as a sex-for-fees arrangement. He altered evidence and caused a witness to unknowingly give false testimony. He has charged his clients excessive fees and stolen their money. He has failed to maintain a trust account. He has broken public confidence in the profession of the practice of law by neglecting his clients and failing to prosecute their cases. He has prejudiced the administration of justice by misrepresenting facts to multiple courts. And, through the disciplinary process in these cases, he has been dilatory, deceitful and evasive.”
Quince wrote that while the court questions “whether Tipler is truly amenable to rehabilitation,” the justices took into account the mitigating factors in his case, including emotional problems and a mental impairment, and chose not to disbar him permanently. He can reapply after a period of time.
- You see? He should be in prison, disbared permanently and on the sex offender registry, IMO, but, he's a lying, stealing, perverted, corrupt lawyer (like many), and the government has another set of laws for corrupt folks! Now, the average citizen, if they did all this to someone, they'd be in prison for a very, very long time.
And more proof the public cannot handle the online registry, and more proof it should be taken offline, like it was originally, and used by police only!
By Elizabeth Dinan
PORTSMOUTH — At least seven Islington Street businesses were painted with grafitti over the weekend, some with messages targeting a sex offender from the area.
“Charly Paul rapes children 20 years get out of town,” someone painted on the side of Kline's furniture.
“Charly Paul is a monster,” was painted on one side of Olde Port Traders, while the other side was tagged with the message, “Charly Paul get out of our town.”
The messages target Charles Paul, 43, whose last known address is the Brewster Street rooming house, in the same area of the vandalized businesses. Paul was convicted of two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault in Rockingham County Superior Court in February of 1987 for raping a North Hampton girl “and leaving her for dead,” retired Capt. Janet Champlin told the Herald last August.
“Obviously it’s somebody who has something to do with that case,” Police Lt. Rodney McQuate said Monday. “We’ll be looking at that.”
Police were notified about the first instance of graffiti at 8:04 a.m. Saturday when walls at Olde Port Traders, Robbins Auto and Kline's furniture were reported as vandalized. Shortly after, a message was found scrawled on a wall at Celebrity Sandwich reading, “Charly Paul rapes children.”
An officer then found a large symbol spray-painted on the side of the closed Getty station and more at Washburn Plumbing. Safeway Storage on McDonough Street was also tagged and all of the graffiti was made with black spray paint.
McQuate said police seek information from anyone else who owns property damaged by graffiti. He said if the person is caught, they will be charged with a felony because the cost of the damage exceeds $1,000.
Anyone with information is urged to call the anonymous Crime Stoppers line at 431-1199, or visit the Crime Stoppers Web site.
By MARTHA STODDARD
LINCOLN — The long arm of the law may soon reach further into the virtual world of the Internet to protect children from sexual predators.
- Wrong, it's not to protect children, it's to trample on someones rights! A dangerous predator can easily create a new email address in a matter of minutes, and be off on their way.
Nebraska lawmakers passed a bill 48-0 Monday that would bar dangerous sexual predators from using social networking sites, such as Facebook or MySpace, to prey on children.
- The law, is about banning ALL sex offenders from social networks, not just those who are dangerous. And also, I am willing to bet it affects those on probation and/or parole only!
If signed into law by Gov. Dave Heineman (Contact), Legislative Bill 97 also would make it a crime to entice children using personal digital assistants, such as Blackberries, or cell phones and would beef up penalties for various sex offenses.
But it would give teenage "sexters" a break from being convicted of possession and distribution of child pornography.
The bill provides an "affirmative defense" for those younger than 18 who send sexually explicit photographs of themselves to others, as long as the photos are only of the sender and the sender believed he or she was sending them to a willing recipient who was at least 15 years old.
A similar defense would be afforded those younger than 19 who receive a "sext" message.
The bill would require higher level sex offenders and those convicted of crimes against minors to register their e-mail addresses, instant messaging identifiers, chat room names and any domain names, blogs or Internet sites so their Internet use could be easily tracked.
Parents could obtain such addresses to check whether their kids were being contacted by convicted sex offenders, who typically contact youngsters under false names and ages.
- And you see, they admit here, "under false names," but fail to mention a truly dangerous person could create a new email in a matter of minutes, and do the same! And, if they'd look, there have been many studies that prove that many teens are sent sexually explicit emails, photos, IM's, and others by other peers, not some strange adult! Here is one MAJOR study!
The bill also would give prosecutors more leeway to introduce evidence of past sexual crimes by a defendant, which could show that a defendant has a propensity to commit such crimes.
Another provision of the bill would require criminal records checks of people hired to provide transportation to children or vulnerable adults and would prohibit the hiring of those charged or convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude.
Among other bills passed Monday:
- Dangerous dogs: Owners of dangerous dogs could face up to a year in jail if their animals attack again and cause serious injury to a person under LB 494, passed 48-0. The bill would apply to animals previously declared dangerous. Owners could face up to five years in prison for a repeat offense. The bill also mandates veterinarians and veterinary technicians to report suspected animal abuse.
- State Fair: Grand Island would get to count the $1.5 million cost of relocating a soccer/ballfield complex toward the $8.5 million the city has to contribute for moving the State Fair under LB 224, passed 43-2. The city was to raise $2.5 million of the total from private donations but has collected only about $1 million. The bill clears the way for Grand Island to become the new home of the fair in 2010.
- Teacher retirement: School employees and the state would do their part to keep school retirement plans healthy under LB 187, passed 49-0. The bill would increase employee and state contributions for five years, starting with the coming school year. Schools also will have to put more into employee retirement plans under a compromise developed by the Legislature.
- County ordinances: Counties could soon pass ordinances to control things like junk cars, topless bars, graffiti and false burglar alarms under LB 532, passed 45-4. The bill was introduced on behalf of Sarpy County, which argued that it needed ordinance power in its vast housing subdivisions that sit outside cities, which already have the power to pass ordinances.
- Flood control: A $134 million flood-control project in the troubled Papillion Creek basin could be financed through a bond issue under LB 160, passed 36-12. The bill was sought by the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District, which has said it plans no tax increase to finance the bonds. One cent of its taxing authority is already being devoted to flood-control work.
Looks like we need to send this "Governor" and the other two, some facts!
By Thomas Allen
MONTGOMERY – Governor Bob Riley (Contact) on Monday signed bills that prevents convicted sex offenders from living with 2,000 feet of a college or university and raises the school dropout age from 16 to 17.
Current law prevents sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of an elementary, middle or high school. The new law signed Monday adds colleges and universities and also prohibits sex offenders from loitering within 500 feet of school bus stops.
“Alabama continues to take aggressive action to protect our young people from sexual predators,” said Governor Riley. “Sex offenders are some of the most dangerous criminals, not only because of the horrific nature of their crimes but also because they are some of the most likely to re-offend.”
- Well Governor, this shows what a very ignorant man you are. If you'd read the studies, you will find out what you said above, is totally false. And also, not all sex offenders committed a "horrific" crime, so are labeled sex offenders for urinating in public, from a drunk stupor, after a night out on the town, or teens who had consensual sex. I'm sure it will be a nice day in Alabama, when you are out of office!
The bill was sponsored by Representative Jamie Ison (Email) in the House and Senator Hinton Mitchem (Email) in the Senate.
The new law raising the school dropout age takes effect with the upcoming school year. It was sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr.
“Students who are considering whether to stay in school or drop out face a monumental decision that will impact the rest of their lives. I hope this extra year will help students gain a better understanding of the consequences of dropping out, and I believe this new law will also help our efforts to improve Alabama’s dropout rate.”
By SHAILA DEWAN
In an age of advanced forensic science, the first step toward ending Kenneth Reed’s prolonged series of legal appeals should be simple and quick: a DNA test, for which he has offered to pay, on evidence from the 1991 rape of which he was convicted.
Louisiana, where Mr. Reed is in prison, is one of 46 states that have passed laws to enable inmates like him to get such a test. But in many jurisdictions, prosecutors are using new arguments to get around the intent of those laws, particularly in cases with multiple defendants, when it is not clear how many DNA profiles will be found in a sample.
The laws were enacted after DNA evidence exonerated a first wave of prisoners in the early 1990s, when law enforcement authorities strongly resisted reopening old cases. Continued resistance by prosecutors is causing years of delay and, in some cases, eliminating the chance to try other suspects because the statute of limitations has passed by the time the test is granted.
Mr. Reed has been seeking a DNA test for three years, saying it will prove his innocence. But prosecutors have refused, saying he was identified by witnesses, making his identification by DNA unnecessary.
A recent analysis of 225 DNA exonerations by Brandon L. Garrett, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, found that prosecutors opposed DNA testing in almost one out of five cases. In many of the others, they initially opposed testing but ultimately agreed to it. In 98 of those 225 cases, the DNA test identified the real culprit.
In Illinois, prosecutors have opposed a DNA test for Johnnie Lee Savory, convicted of committing a double murder when he was 14, on the grounds that a jury was convinced of his guilt without DNA and that the 175 convicts already exonerated by DNA were "statistically insignificant."
In the case of Robert Conway, a mentally incapacitated man convicted of stabbing a shopkeeper to death in 1986 in Pennsylvania, prosecutors have objected that DNA tests on evidence from the scene would not be enough to prove his innocence.
And in Tennessee, prosecutors withdrew their consent to DNA testing for Rudolph Powers, convicted of a 1980 rape, because the victim had an unidentified consensual sex partner shortly before the attack.
Such arguments, defense lawyers say, often ignore scientific advances like the ability to identify multiple DNA profiles in a single sample.
Defense lawyers also say the arguments ignore the proven power of DNA to refute almost every other type of evidence.
In a case before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, for example, Lynne Abraham, the Philadelphia district attorney, argued that the defendant, Anthony Wright, was not entitled to DNA testing because of the overwhelming evidence presented at trial, including his confession, four witnesses and clothing stained with the victims’ blood that the police said was found at Mr. Wright’s home. The Pennsylvania DNA statute requires the courts to determine if there is a "reasonable possibility" that the test would prove innocence.
Prosecutors say they are concerned that convicts will seek DNA testing as a delay tactic or a fishing expedition, and that allowing DNA tests undermines hard-won jury verdicts and opens the floodgates to overwhelming requests.
"It’s definitely a matter of drawing the line somewhere," said Peter Carr, the assistant district attorney who handled the case of Mr. Wright, who was accused of raping and killing a 77-year-old woman. The defendant did not request testing until 2005, three years after the statute was passed, Mr. Carr said, and in his view there was no possibility that the test would show innocence.
"There’s also the idea that you want finality for the victim’s sake," Mr. Carr said. "If someone else’s semen was found at the crime scene, we’d have to talk to the victim’s family about whether the victim was sexually active."
Barry Scheck, a co-founder of the Innocence Project, a New York legal advocacy group that uses DNA to help the wrongfully convicted, said that most prosecutors no longer resisted testing in cases like Mr. Wright’s, where there is one perpetrator. More obstacles arise, Mr. Scheck said, in cases with multiple defendants or cases where a test result might point to another suspect, even if it does not clearly prove the innocence of the defendant.
In one such case near Austin, Tex., a defendant who was convicted in the bludgeoning death of his wife requested a DNA test on a bloody bandanna found 100 feet from the house. On its own, a test of the bandanna would not prove the guilt or innocence of the defendant the same way testing semen in a rape case might. But if it matched DNA found at the scene of a similar crime in the same county, or DNA in a database of convicted felons, it would be significant evidence that someone else might be responsible — the kind of evidence that might plant a reasonable doubt in a juror’s mind or lead to a confession by a perpetrator.
Although such matches have been found in many cases, most state DNA statutes focus only on whether a test alone could prove innocence. The purpose of Tennessee’s DNA statute, a court there said, was "to establish the innocence of the petitioner and not to create conjecture or speculation that the act may have possibly been perpetrated by a phantom defendant."
Law enforcement officials often say, "We’re not going to consider the possibility that a third party did it," Mr. Scheck said, adding, "which is completely crazy because you use the databank every day to make new criminal cases."
In Mr. Reed’s case in East Baton Rouge Parish, the district attorney who first prosecuted the case and now his successor, Hillar C. Moore III, have appealed every DNA-related ruling in Mr. Reed’s favor and objected to even a hearing on the matter.
They have argued that Mr. Reed’s identity was not an issue in the trial because he was identified by the defendant, even though DNA evidence has repeatedly contradicted eyewitness identifications. They have argued that there was no way of knowing whether the evidence would yield a usable DNA profile — a question that would be settled by testing it.
The victim testified that two attackers had sexual intercourse with her, but the prosecutors now argue that it might have been only one, Mr. Reed’s accomplice. Even if Mr. Reed’s DNA was nowhere to be found, said Prem Burns, the first assistant district attorney, he would still be guilty of aiding the rapist.
Mr. Reed’s lawyers have argued that a test on a rape kit and semen could prove his innocence if it shows two distinct profiles and neither is a match.
But Ms. Burns said that under her reading of the law, the mere possibility that the test would show two profiles is not enough — Mr. Reed has to demonstrate, in advance, that a favorable test result would resolve his innocence without question.
But the prosecutors also seem to believe that Mr. Reed’s arguments are far-fetched. "There are simply too many ‘ifs’ in this case," Mr. Moore wrote in a recent appeal.
Prosecutors said much the same when Douglas Warney, convicted of murder in Rochester in 1997, argued that a DNA test could lead to the real killer. They called his assertion "a drawn-out kind of sequence of if, if, if." Yet that is exactly what happened after Mr. Warney’s DNA test, and the killer, when he was identified, confessed.
Nina Morrison, a lawyer for Mr. Wright, said: "The one thing I’ve learned in doing this for seven years is there’s no reason to guess or speculate. You can just do the test."
By Christopher White, National Sexuality Resource Center
Rather than focusing on how harmful and dangerous sexting is, we should be talking to young people about healthy sexual behaviors.
The sensationalizing, melodramatic, "scare-the-crap-out-of-you", hype machine that passes for mass media these days is once again doing its best to ensure that parents are ready to break out the chastity belts, pass out whistles for "stranger danger" encounters, install nanny software on their home computers to block adult content, and this time, take away their cell phones to ensure that they are safe from the big, bad, sexually predatory world out there. Yes, I'm talking about the attention the "recent phenomenon" labeled "sexting" has gotten in the mainstream media in the last few weeks. According to the news reports I found via a simple Google search, sexting is a very dangerous activity that could damage your future and ruin your life - although there wasn't really much of an explanation of how this could happen. Instead of getting caught up in yet another panic, let's take a rational look at this "new" behavior as well as some of the real concerns that a more responsible press might address.
First, sexting is not new. Cell phones are no longer new; texting is no longer new; and even sending photos via a cell phone is no longer a new technology. And before there were cell phones, there was the internet and a similar panic about teens emailing nude photos or posting nude photos online. There was even a Veronica Mars episode about it as well as numerous Law and Order: SVU episodes (I heard that SVU has already had an episode about sexting, but I haven't seen it yet). Before there was this "new" technology, teenagers engaging in this "new" behavior wrote each other explicit notes, gave one another nude Polaroids, and spent hours talking "dirty" to each other on the phone - and I seem to recall that all of these, including secretly recorded phone calls, were passed around my high school.
Which brings me to the second issue at hand, the real problem is not the sexting itself but the nonconsensual actions that are taking place later. I think it is pointless to argue whether or not it is appropriate or inappropriate for young people to send explicit photos or texts to their boyfriends and girlfriends because I believe they should be allowed to make those decisions for themselves and that it is our responsibility as teachers, parents, and other adults to help them make wise decisions and not just panic after the act has occurred. What should be a greater concern are the things that are happening when one party feels jilted and decides to seek revenge on their ex. Sending photos out to friends and family members or posting them online without the consent of the other person is an assault on that individual in an attempt to cause them great harm and suffering and is where we should be focusing our greatest efforts at stopping a behavior, if that is the action most needed. Instead, certain groups are pointing their finger at the person whose photo was distributed without her permission and putting the blame on the victim. And yes, I say "she" because it is once again girls who are being targeted during this panic because it is their virtue and purity that need protecting otherwise they damage their futures - boys, apparently, will just be boys and it's not such a big deal when guys put up photos of their body parts.
One issue that is very real and should be a huge concern is that young people who are sending each other photos risk the possibility of being charged with distributing child pornography, both the sender and receiver. If this were to happen, the young person could be labeled as a sex offender for the rest of their lives and be forced to warn neighbors, inform employers, and become ineligible for certain types of jobs when they get older. The real outrage should be over these outdated laws regarding age of consent, statutory rape, and child pornography through which young people are charged and convicted when engaging in consensual behaviors. (NOTE: before the firestorm starts, let me stress that I am not talking about situations where there is a 45 year old man distributing/selling/purchasing sexually explicit photos of children; I am talking about 18 year olds who may be charged under these laws when their 16 year old boyfriend or girlfriend sends them a nude photo during a consensual act.) These laws NOT the act of sexting are what could do damage to someone's future and destroy their life.
Rather than focusing on how harmful and dangerous sexting is, we should be talking to young people about healthy sexual behaviors including the difference between consensual and nonconsensual acts. We should provide them with the truth about possible unintentional consequences and issues related to trust and dating in relationships. We should not be focsing on punishing young women or men for sending explicit or revealing photos in any medium, but we should ensure that ANYONE who distributes those photos, uses them to seek revenge, or in any other way without the consent of the original sender is warned that they could face criminal charges.
On another note about cell phone useage and healthy sexuality, there was a great article in the New York Times this week about young people using their phones to get information about sexuality and it mentioned one of our friends and colleagues at ISIS, Inc. It's a great example of how we can shift our focus on how harmful technology can be for young people and start focusing on how we can use technology to reach them in new ways and help them make healthy and responsible decisions about their sexuality.
View the article here
As we all know, those who scream the loudest, usually are diverting attention from themselves!
Female Fox coworker details lewd behavior of cable TV star
Hours after Bill O'Reilly accused her of a multimillion dollar shakedown attempt, a female Fox News producer fired back at the TV star today, filing a lawsuit claiming that he subjected her to repeated instances of sexual harassment and spoke often, and explicitly, to her about phone sex, vibrators, threesomes, masturbation, the loss of his virginity, and sexual fantasies. Below you'll find a copy of Andrea Mackris's complaint, an incredible page-turner that quotes O'Reilly, 55, on all sorts of lewd matters. Based on the extensive quotations cited in the complaint, it appears a safe bet that Mackris, 33, recorded some of O'Reilly's more steamy soliloquies. For example, we direct you to his Caribbean shower fantasies. While we suggest reading the entire document, TSG will point you to interesting sections on a Thailand sex show, Al Franken, and the climax of one August 2004 phone conversation. (22 pages)
You could've fooled me. See here, read the stories, then ask yourself the same question in the title. I think the title is wrong!
By AMAN BATHEJA
AUSTIN — Some state lawmakers want to tweak how Texas deals with sex offenders, sparking a thorny debate over how to strike the right balance between protecting children and allowing low-risk offenders to avoid a lifetime of shame.
Bills this session would regulate how sex offenders use the Internet, bar them from certain jobs and require homeless offenders to report regularly to law enforcement agencies.
There is also a pushback of sorts from those who feel that the current laws may go too far.
Rep. Todd Smith (Contact), R-Euless, filed what he has called his "teenage lovers bill" in March. The bill would let defendants petition a judge to exempt them as a registered sex offender under a strict set of circumstances: the age-based offense was consensual, the victim is at least 13 years old and the defendant is no more than four years older than the victim.
- So what if the kids are 11 and 13, or 12 and 14? Kids this young have had sex!
Smith’s bill first met some resistance. After he and other supporters made it clear that it would not stop convicted offenders from being punished for their crimes, the bill passed the House nearly unanimously and is now awaiting a vote in the Senate.
Democratic Rep. Chris Turner (Contact) of Arlington was among a handful of members who voted against the bill.
"If a 17-year-old has an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old, I was concerned about the consequences of relaxing those restrictions," Turner said.
The overall impact of Smith’s bill would likely be minimal, said Sgt. Cheryl Johnson, head of the Fort Worth Police Department sex crimes unit. About 1,400 people in Fort Worth are on the sex offender registry. Smith’s bill would likely allow fewer than 10 of them to petition to get off the list, she said.
"A lot of the cases that we see that are truly 'Romeo and Juliet,’ there’s usually more than a four-year difference," said Johnson, who added that she wasn’t opposed to the bill.
Texas began requiring sex offenders to register in 1991. In recent years, lawmakers have beefed up the restrictions and surveillance.
Phillip Taylor, a Dallas therapist who has treated sex offenders, questions the value of closely monitoring low-risk sex offenders.
"The assumption seems to be that there’s a zero-sum game and any law that makes things more difficult for someone who is labeled a sex offender somehow benefits society or benefits the victim," Taylor said. "It’s an odd notion."
This legislative session, groups such as San Antonio-based Texas Voices, which supports Smith’s bill, have been out in force at committee hearings advocating for changing the laws to put less of a burden on low-risk offenders.
Allison Taylor, executive director of the Council on Sex Offender Treatment, has said that she would like to see the state switch to "risk-based registration" that takes into account that not everyone on the registry is a child predator.
A Parker County woman is among many relatives of registered sex offenders watching how the Legislature alters the offender tracking system. She asked that her name not be used to avoid drawing attention to her son’s placement on the registry. Under current law, he will be on the registry for life after being convicted of two counts of indecency with a child for relationships he had with two teenage girls when he was 19.
She said the burden of having a relative on the registry, especially the distance requirements from places children gather, falls on the whole family.
"If he’s with me, I have to stop and think about everything I do," she said. "He can’t go to McDonald’s."
She said she hopes lawmakers consider whether everyone on the list should be treated as a threat to children.
"I’m not proud of what he did, but for him to pay the rest of his life is ridiculous," she said. "He’s not a child molester."
Tom Gaylor with the Texas Municipal Police Association said the support for Smith’s bill has affected the debate on some bills focused on high-risk offenders.
"From a law enforcement standpoint, I think the message is getting a little muddied," Gaylor he said. "Law enforcement isn’t interested in tracking someone who is a Romeo and Juliet case. We want to know about the predators."
Gaylor pointed to an effort by Rep. Tan Parker (Contact), R-Flower Mound, to require sex offenders with victims 14 or younger to have RSO (short for "Registered Sex Offender") printed on the back of their driver’s license for 20 years.
He said it would help police in various situations when they cannot easily look up whether a person is on the registry.
Parker proposed the measure as an amendment to another bill last week. Some lawmakers questioned whether the bill would improve public safety or make life more difficult for sex offenders.
"One of the next steps I suppose is maybe we ought to tattoo these people," said Rep. Harold Dutton (Contact), D-Houston. "Therefore everyone would know who they are, and that’s what frightens me about this. Sometimes I think government reaches too far, and I think this is one of those times."
The amendment failed. Parker said he wasn’t sure whether all members understood whom the bill targeted and how it would aid police and other groups.
"The bill would specifically focus on the child predators, not the Romeo-and-Juliet-type cases," Parker said. "It’s certainly a critical issue."
Sex offender bills SB 492: Would ban sex offenders from working as emergency medical service personnel. From Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound
Status: Passed Senate, in House
SB 689: Would require sex offenders to register their e-mail addresses, Internet accounts and cellphone numbers with law enforcement. From Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano
Status: Passed Senate, in House
SB 1181: Would bar amusement parks from hiring anyone convicted of a sexual offense. From Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston
Status: Passed Senate, in House
HB 2153: Would require sex offenders who are homeless to provide a geographic location for their address and report to local law enforcement every two weeks. From Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington
Status: Passed House, in Senate