Friday, August 28, 2009

OH - Four arrested in Monday murder of a registered sex offender

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They don't mention this man is a sex offender, in the article, but in the video they do. Also, what is the point of the news media publishing people's home addresses? What purpose does that serve?

08/28/2009

By RUSS ZIMMER

All alleged to have gang affiliations

NEWARK — One of the four suspects with alleged gang ties in a Monday night stabbing death is pregnant and the father might be the man she is accused of helping to slay, according to the victim's aunt.

Jason C. Stone, 20, last known address 33 S. Sixth St., Newark; Beth A. Doty, 29, last known address 33 S. Sixth St., Newark; William F. Withem, 45, last known address 39 S. Sixth St., Newark; and William C. Snyder, 33, last known address 60 Poplar Ave., Newark, were each charged with complicity to murder in connection with the stabbing death of _____, 25, at a West Harrison Street rooming house. Sgt. Steve Baum said Stone is believed to be the stabber.

The motivation for the deadly assault and the suspects' possible gang involvement are unanswered questions right now, Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt said.

Newark police were called to the house on a report of a disturbance by an unknown 911 caller. Unable to locate the disturbance or who reported it, the officer began to check on the welfare of residents in the rooming house and discovered _____'s body in an upstairs bedroom, police said.

He had been stabbed in the head, chest and back and died from internal bleeding, according to the Licking County Coroner's Office.

_____'s aunt, _____, said Friday afternoon that her nephew and Doty, who has a pending divorce case, dated for about a month earlier this summer.

During her initial appearance Friday at the Licking County Municipal Court, Doty told Judge David Branstool she was pregnant. Oswalt would not comment on the dynamics of the _____-Doty relationship and any possible role they may play in the killing.

_____ said Doty, her goddaughter, told her that the unborn child might be _____'s.

However, _____ does not believe the police have the right suspects, all of whom she has known for years except for Snyder, because Withem, Stone and Doty all allegedly were at the hospital with Withem's wife.

_____ said that Withem did drive Doty to the house that night, but only to pick up clothing.

"He's not that type of person," she said. "He wouldn't drive somebody over there to do a murder."

According to an arrest warrant affidavit unsealed Friday morning, an eyewitness placed all four at the rooming house when the stabbing occurred. This individual told police he was in a neighboring room with Doty and Snyder when he "heard a door slam open and then heard the victim scream several times in agony, 'stop,'" the affidavit states.

This followed a verbal altercation between the victim and Snyder in the victim's upstairs room, the affidavit continues. Stone's "body language" indicated he was upset, the eyewitness said.

After the ruckus next door subsided, someone yelled, "Let's go," the eyewitness reported, and Snyder and Doty left the room. Before exiting, Snyder told the eyewitness something along the lines of, "You did not see anything. Don't say anything to anyone or you'll end up like John!" the affidavit alleges.

Detective Steve Vanoy, lead investigator on the case, wrote in the affidavit that video from a nearby convenience store verified what the witness had said about Withem driving the group to and from the house. A second witness provided corroborating information implicating the suspects, police said.

Oswalt said the investigation is focusing on two possible motives, but he wouldn't elaborate on those.

As for the gang affiliations alleged in each defendant's bond recommendation sheet, Oswalt said that several people interviewed by police have indicated that the suspects might be involved in some sort of organized crime activity. How established or active this network was is not known, he said.

All four are being held at the Licking County Justice Center. Bonds were set by Branstool at $1 million for Stone, $750,000 for Withem and Snyder and $100,000 for Doty.

Vanoy had asked for bond to be set at $750,000 for everyone but Stone, against whom he requested a $1 million figure. Stone threatened to kill at least two of his co-defendants if they talked to investigators, a bond recommendation sheet states.
- They are basing bond amounts on hearsay?  Come on.  Bond should be $1 million for all of them, IMO.

Those charges might be modified, Oswalt said, and additional counts of tampering with evidence, intimidation of witness and obstruction of justice might be considered against each when the cases are presented to the grand jury next week. Oswalt said it was too early to tell whether the offenses would be classified as aggravated murder and, if so, whether Stone's case would contain death penalty specifications.

The investigation is not closed and the potential exists for more developments, Oswalt said.

For _____, the arrest of several friends and the loss of her nephew has made this an unbelievably rough week, she said.

She was close with her nephew and the two talked on the phone often, she said.

"He was cut down in his prime. He was only 25," she said. "He just had a birthday two days before he died."




"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


Recidivism rates for sex offenders?

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Finally someone posting more accurate recidivism rates, instead of the BS high recidivism rate, which is false.

08/28/2009

AC360°

The 18-year mystery surrounding the kidnapping case of Jaycee Dugard ended this week when a sex offender admitted to correction authorities that he abducted her.

Dugard was 11-years-old when she was snatched from the street in front of her house in 1991. She had two children with the man accused of taking her and since her kidnapping she has lived in her alleged abductor’s backyard, in a shed. All of this played out in a residential neighborhood.

All of this got us thinking – what are the recidivism rates for sex offenders? We found this report released a few years ago by the Department of Justice. It is a study based on convicted sex offenders who were released from prison in 1994.

Here are some of the findings from the study:

  • Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. If all crimes are included, 43 percent of sex offenders were rearrested for various offenses.
  • Sex offenders were less likely than non-sex offenders to be rearrested for any offense –– 43 percent of sex offenders versus 68 percent of non-sex offenders. But sex offenders were about four times more likely than non-sex offenders to be arrested for another sex crime after their discharge from prison –– 5.3 percent of sex offenders versus 1.3 percent of non-sex offenders.



"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


FL - Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer cleared of latest charges in St. Augustine

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08/28/2009

By Paul Pinkham

Former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer _____ was acquitted Friday of failing to register as a sex offender and lying on a driver’s license application.

Jurors deliberated four hours after a five-day trial before delivering their verdict, ending the 61-year-old rocker’s latest legal ordeal.

_____ hugged and kissed his lawyers and numerous friends and family who showed up to support him.

I feel very blessed,” he said. “I was in the hands of six people that really paid attention.”

He said waiting for the verdict was in some ways more stressful than the aftermath of the 1977 plane crash that killed three band members, the road manager and two pilots.

I have never felt a feeling in my life like the feeling of waiting for that verdict,” he said. “It’s a feeling so deep inside you. It’s so hollow, and you feel so helpless.”

_____ said the acquittal now frees him up to ask the governor to set aside his 1993 guilty pleas to attempted capital sexual battery and lewd assault charges on two young girls in Jacksonville Beach. He will have plenty of supporters in that effort, including one of the girls, his now-20-year-old daughter _____, who said Friday she believes the crime never happened.

_____ was in court for much of the trial to support her father, who she didn’t meet until she was 18. She said she has never believed her father sexually assaulted her or any other child.

If those charges were true, I wouldn’t be here supporting my dad,” she said. “I love him, and I know that he is a good person.”

She said he pleaded guilty because the state offered him probation and he was facing a potential of 25 years to life in prison.
- You see, they threaten you with a long sentence, just so you will accept the plea, and in 99% of the time, people accept it, and they know that.  Never accept a plea deal, IMO.  Take it to trial!

In closing arguments Thursday, Assistant State Attorney Kelly Wark confessed a love for Lynyrd Skynyrd’s music but urged jurors not to be swayed by “sympathy or sadness at the tainting of an American legend.”

She said the law is clear that he should have registered as a sex offender because he worked and stayed in Florida. After he was arrested for that she said he failed to provide a correct address, resulting in a second arrest a week later. Wark said he clearly violated the law by swearing to Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles workers that his old St. Johns County address was still correct.

He is not above the law,” she said. “He made choice after choice after choice with the assistance of everyone who loves him to violate the rules.”

Wark said _____ had no problem following the rules during his eight-year probation sentence.

But defense attorney Craig Williams insisted _____ no longer lived in Florida and therefore wasn’t required to register in the state. The only reason he came to Florida in November 2007 was to reinstate his driver’s license after a series of mistakes by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Revenue, Williams said.

He called the circumstances of _____’s arrest a “paperwork nightmare” and “mountain of calamity.”

He said St. Johns deputies never consulted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Internet site, which would have shown _____ with a North Carolina address. They lost a document showing _____ notified the department when he moved from Crescent Beach in 2002, only to find it again two months ago, Williams said. And they ignored repeated phone calls from Williams’ office the week of _____’s arrest that he said could have resolved the matter.

If _____ had resided at his old Florida address, Williams argued, he would have lived there free of charge without the knowledge of the family living there now for five years. He noted that when he learned St. Johns deputies were looking for him in 2007, he immediately called one of them, got in his car and drove to Florida the next day.

Mr. _____ doesn’t think he’s above the rules. In fact, Mr. _____ did everything in his power to comply with the rules,” Williams said. “When people explained to him what he was required to do, he did it.”


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


MI - Hysteria hits home - Michigan's unfair anti-sex laws

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08/27/2009

By Rudy Serra

This month, the British journal The Economist (Vol. 392, Number 8643 "America's Unjust Sex Laws") warned that "America's ever stricter approach to sex offenders is doing more harm than good." The same is true in Michigan.

No one supports sexual violence or the exploitation of the vulnerable. Most sex offender registration laws are enacted during the passionate hysteria that follows a high-profile rape or murder. It is important to think carefully about the effectiveness of such laws, as well as their unintended consequences.

We need to think about whether sex offender registration really protects children or other vulnerable people. There is evidence that they are superficial "feel good" devices that allow politicians to pander to our outrage, but have no real, long-term effectiveness. Easy, superficial answers often do more harm than objective, scientifically verified responses.

Murderers, kidnappers, armed robbers, vandals and arsonists are not required to register. If repeat-offenders and violent rapists were the only people on the sex offender list, there would be little reason for concern. When the lists expand to ensnare people who pose no danger, committed no sexual offense and are not likely to commit any other crime, they need to be re-considered. When the same laws have a devastating, disparate impact on an unpopular minority, like LGBT people, the need for reconsideration is urgent.

The Economist warned that under "the Adam Walsh Act of 2006, another law named after a murdered child, all states will soon be obligated to make their sex offender registries public." They noted that there were more than 647,000 registered sex offenders in America as of December 2008. In Michigan, more than 43,964 people were registered sex offenders by 2009. Over 2,000 of these Michigan registrants were juveniles.

According to The Economist, "America registers more than four times as many people as Britain, which is unusually harsh on sex offenders. American sex offender registries continue to grow because registration is for life."

Studies show that over 65 percent of the registered offenders in one state (Georgia) "posed little threat" to anyone. A study that included Canada, the U.S. and Britain found that more than 75 percent of registered sex offenders had not repeated any offense after 15 years. These statistics are inconsistent with the language in Michigan's law that claims that all sex offenders pose a "potential serious menace."

Despite the political hysteria that promotes the simplistic "get tough" approach, law enforcement officials complain that "if there are thousands of offenders on a registry, it is harder to keep track of the most dangerous ones" (The Economist, p. 22). The Georgia Sheriff's Association complained about registration of "a man who was convicted of statutory rape two decades ago for having consensual sex with his high school sweetheart, to whom he is now married."

Similarly, this year a Michigan man applied for a pardon from his conviction for criminal sexual conduct with a woman to whom he has now been married for many years. In another case, a member of religious community had voluntary sex with a girl over 19 not knowing that she had a developmental disability. The courts found she was unable to give consent, and the man now has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

In another Michigan case, a 12-year-old boy was sneaking out at night to have sex with another 12-year-old boy. One admitted he was gay while the other denied it. As a result, the gay child was pressured to plead no contest to criminal sexual conduct after being assured that, since he was a juvenile, there would be no adult criminal record. The other boy was not charged.

Years later, after the gay child was an adult, the law was changed. Now he has to register as a sex offender. As a result, he has lost several jobs and now experiences vandalism and harassment from neighbors.

Michigan's "Sex Offender Registration Act" (MCL 28.721) dictates that a person must register for life if they have one conviction for criminal sexual conduct or contact (MCL 750.520b, c, d or g). This is true even if the alleged contact is touching the clothing of the victim (a misdemeanor).

This law, of course, is intended to regulate involuntary sex, so many people support registration. It is important to know, however, that you are also required to register for life if, during your lifetime, you have three convictions under the "disorderly person" law.

This means that in Michigan you face lifelong sex offender registration for neglecting to support your family (MCL 750.167(1)(a), for being a "window peeper" (MCL 750.167(1)(c), or for being a "vagrant" (MCL 750.167(1)(g)).

Even though vagrancy and non-support have nothing to do with sex, Michigan law requires lifelong sex offender registration. Astoundingly, begging in a public place (MCL 750.167(1)(h)) also warrants life-long sex offender registration.

No reasonable person could conclude that such a law is fair. Such a law is not even reasonable. It is a product of anti-sex hysteria.

Supporters argue that since three convictions are needed under this section there is some protection. Many LGBT people know, however, that you need not do anything illegal to be charged with a crime. Undercover cops still pretend to be gay men cruising for sex in Michigan and innocent people still get charged with solicitation, indecent exposure and lewdness. They face a lifelong stigma for seeking unpaid, private, voluntary sex with another apparently interested adult.

Amazingly, under Michigan law, lawyers face lifelong sex offender registration if they have three convictions for loitering in "a police station, police headquarters building, county jail, hospital, court building or other public building or place for the purpose of soliciting employment of legal services." This violation clearly has no connection to sex, nor does it include violence.

Under Michigan law, if you get three convictions for "jostling or roughly crowding people unnecessarily in a public place" you can spend the rest of your life as registered sex offender (MCL 750.167(1)(l) and MCL 28.721).

The same law requires lifelong registration for one conviction under our sodomy law (MCL 750.158 - which is still enforced even after Lawrence v Texas). Voluntary, unpaid, anal sex in Michigan can get you 15 years in prison and lifelong sex offender registration. Likewise, oral sex in public or in private, or even indecent exposure (MCL 750.335a) can result in lifelong sex offender registration.

Most sex offenders are members of the family of the victim and most are heterosexual. Anti-gay politicians exploit stereotypes of LGBT people being a threat to the children in order to win votes. By doing so, they victimize people who are not a threat. This makes the vulnerable even more susceptible to victimization.

Sex offender registration laws were meant to protect the public from violent, repeat offenders. As a result of "get tough on crime" political pandering, they have become counter-productive.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


SC - Tracking Sex Offenders Online

My question is, how come we never see a child in the news (rarely), who was solicited online by some adult or teen? It looks to me like this is "crime" created by law enforcement itself. Most people in chat rooms are cops and idiots in the first place. From other studies I've read, rarely are actual kids in these rooms talking about sex. So it sounds to me like a blow out of proportion BS campaign. Again, why do we not hear of real kids being victimized on the news all the time? See here, for one of those studies.

Video Link



"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


FL - Skynyrd drummer testifies in his sex offender case

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08/28/2009

By Paul Pinkham

____ is charged with two counts of failing to register as an offender.

ST. AUGUSTINE - Former Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer _____ told a jury Thursday he never meant to violate Florida's sex offender registry law and the charges against him resulted from a "convoluted" series of mixups.

"I was just trying to get my [driver's] license," _____ testified. "I'm a long-haired, hippie freak ... but when somebody in authority tells me something, I try to listen and comply."

He told jurors: "I'm more nervous now than when we opened up for the Stones."

_____, 61, is charged with two counts of failing to register as a sex offender and one count of giving false information on a driver's license application. All are third-degree felonies carrying a maximum five-year prison sentence.

He pleaded guilty in 1993 to two counts of lewd and lascivious assault in Jacksonville Beach.

Prosecutors contend _____ moved back to Florida in 2007 and didn't register within 48 hours as required by law. They note he gave his old Crescent Beach address when applying to reinstate his driver's license.

But _____, who has a home in North Carolina and is living with a friend in Virginia, said he doesn't live in Florida and hasn't in years.

He said he drove to Florida to reinstate his license after receiving a letter from the Department of Revenue. He said the department canceled it after mistakenly thinking he had stopped paying child support. In fact, he testified, his youngest child had turned 18.

_____ said he used the Crescent Beach address because he planned to use his new Florida license to obtain a license in North Carolina. The old address had been on there for years, and he said he just decided to "let it ride."

"I was wrong," he said. He said he later gave police the Nocatee address of a friend so that police would be able to find him when he stayed there during visits to Florida.

Earlier Thursday, _____'s lawyers presented three witnesses who testified he is so disorganized and unfocused that people in his life have to help him with details.

Among them was Michael Latimer, a Miami accountant who runs a trust that pays all of _____'s bills and collects royalties and other income. Latimer testified the trust has total and irrevocable control over _____'s finances, and he would know if _____ purchased, rented or maintained property in Florida.

Circuit Judge Wendy Berger said she expects the case to wrap up after closing arguments this morning.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


GA - Wendy Whitaker, symbol of flawed sex offender law, rearrested

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08/28/2009

By Scott Henry

_____, the Harlem, Ga., housewife who was the subject of a 2006 CL cover story about Georgia’s then-new — and constitutionally shaky — sex offender law, has been arrested for failing to register a new address.

_____ is the lead plaintiff in a three-year-old lawsuit challenging the law by the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights.

In 1997, when she was 17, _____ was convicted under Georgia’s antiquated sodomy law — overturned the next year by the U.S. Supreme Court — for performing oral sex on a 15-year-old classmate. She was sentenced to five years probation and has had to register annually as a sex offender ever since.

At the time the suit was filed, _____ had been forced to move from her new house because it was too close to a church day-care. The law’s residency requirement prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, playground or other place where children congregate.

Since then, several provisions of the law have been struck down or enjoined, including measures that criminalized homelessness among sex offenders; forced sex offenders to leave homes they’d bought before the law was passed; and prohibited sex offenders from volunteering at church. The bulk of the draconian law — authored by state Rep. Jerry Keen (Email), R-St. Simons — remains in force as the lawsuit languishes in federal court.

In _____’s case, because it was her husband’s name, not hers, on their home mortgage, she was allowed to return to her house — after living with relatives in a rural trailer park — only due to a temporary court injunction.

But this past Monday, police in Columbia County arrested _____ at her mother’s house, charging her with failing to register a new address. If convicted, she faces a 10- to 30-year prison sentence under Georgia law. Last year, a bill to reduce the penalty for failure to register passed the state Senate, but Keen was able to kill it in the House.
- She could potentially get more time in jail or prison for a violation, than the "crime" itself.  Yes, that is excessive punishment.

At this writing, _____ remains in jail, unable to make her $10,000 bail.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved


FL - Man Commits Suicide But Found Not Guilty for Sex Crime

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This just shows, that just the potential label of sex offender is enough to drive someone to suicide, and this proves the laws ARE punishment!

08/27/2009

By Tiffany Griffith

A rape suspect commits suicide before hearing he was found not guilty.

Thursday afternoon, 57-year-old _____ was found dead in his St. Augustine home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

He faced charges for a sexual battery he was accused of committing against a young girl in the early 1980s. The alleged victim is now an adult and pursued the charges with the State Attorney's Office.

_____ was arrested in 2004 and was in a St. Johns County courtroom to hear the verdict today. The judge allowed a recess before the verdict, and during that time, _____ went to his residence in the 100 block of Stokes Landing. Investigators with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office say _____ committed suicide during that time.

As the judge allowed the verdict to be read, he sent deputies to check on _____. As they found _____' body near the balcony of his home, the jury found him not guilty.

The Medical Examiner's will confirm the cause of death. Foul play is not expected, but investigators are not excluding any possible causes.


"The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of a civilization. We must have a desire to rehabilitate into the world of industry, all those who have paid their dues in the hard coinage of punishment." - Winston Churchill (United States Constitution)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved