Monday, September 21, 2009

UK - Teachers losing jobs by false allegations

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"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

UK - The Dark Side of Teenage Sex Offenders

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"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

TN - Mother Talks To Lawmakers About Child's Rape

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NASHVILLE - A local mother opened up to state lawmakers about the rape of her 5-year old son. _____ is pushing lawmakers to pass a bill that would create a juvenile sex offender registry.

The mother from Crossville faces an uphill battle. In one of the most public settings, _____ told her private story to state lawmakers.

"He was raped by a 15-year-old," said _____. "He had asked him to stop, explained that it hurt. The boy did not stop. He kept forcing himself on him."

_____ shared her story with hopes to convince lawmakers that like an adult sex offender registry, a similar one is needed for juveniles.

"People need to be aware of it, if people are not aware of it, how do they know to protect their kids," said Lightsey. "The juvenile sex offender's mother even agrees to this."

Both mothers are fighting for the same thing.

"I am the mother of the 15-year-old sex offender," said the offender's mother.

Lawmakers agreed a juvenile's crime does not need to be kept quiet.

"We don't want to brand children unnecessarily, but we don't want a rapist to hide, just because he's 15 or 16 years old," said State Rep. Henry Fincher (Contact).

Some child advocates and groups like the Department of Children Services are against the idea.

"I am very concerned about the negative impact of putting children on a sex offender registry," said Linda O'Neal, Commission on Children and Youth.

To them a juvenile sex offender registry can mark someone for life.
- So can an adult registry!

"We really need to give these children a second chance because the research is very clear that treatment is effective, and that most of them, overwhelmingly in the 90 percent range, they will never re-offend again," said O'Neal.
- Same with adult offenders!

"What about the 10 percent that are not rehabilitated that have committed a violent sex offense, like rape of a child, I mean are we going to let these ten percent continue to rape at will?" said State Rep. Debra Maggart (Contact).

The mother of that convicted 15 year old sex offender said her son maybe part of that 10 percent you cannot rehabilitate.
- My lord, this woman is basically throwing her kid a way!  Treatment helps!

"Upon more therapy, he actually confessed that he had confessed that he had stalked several other children," said the offender's mother.

The testimony was part of what's called a summer study committee for lawmakers.

"I think it's more important to protect our young children, our young innocent children, than a sex offender's name," said Lightsey.

Rep. Maggart will again file a bill that would create a juvenile's sex offenders registry in Tennessee. She has pushed different versions of it over the past two years.

If Tennessee does not create a juvenile sex offender registry, the state could lose out on millions of federal dollars, through the Adam Walsh Act.

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"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

SD - Sex Offender Registry Task Force Discusses Changes

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New developments in the debate over the state sex offender registry in South Dakota. After taking some public comment, a sexual assault study task force met Monday in Pierre.

The committee was created to review the current state laws on the sex offender registry and determine what changes need to be made to comply with federal standards.

The committee is also looking into making some possible changes when it comes to people wanting to get their names off the list....who do not pose a threat to the public.

This committee is discussing in detail a series of proposals for the state's registry.

These proposals come after many different testimonies during legislative session.

Seven members are on this committee and one of them, Senator Sandy Jerstad (Contact) of Sioux Falls joined us live on the phone on KSFY Action News Live At 6.

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"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

AZ - Family Speaks Out About Suing Walmart Over "Pornographic" Photos

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An Arizona family is suing Walmart after having their three daughters taken away from them.

_____ and _____ went to Walmart to have their family vacation photos developed.

Mixed in with the 144 snapshots were eight pictures of their little girls playing during bathtime, partially nude. At the time the girls were 18 months, four and five years old.

A Walmart employee quickly raised a red flag. The person called police who decided some of the shots could be child pornography.

These are some of the photos in question.

The family says the photos are innocent pictures.

"I don't understand it at all. They're photos that 90-95% of the families out there in America have these exact same photos. There's nothing to them," said AJ Demaree.

Child Protective Services removed the three girls from their home. A judge soon ruled the photos were harmless and after a month apart the girls went back home.

However, the damage was already done.

The school _____ worked at suspended her from her teacher job, and the couple says they were put on a sex offender list.

Now they're fighting back and suing Walmart.

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"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

NY - Suffolk eyes other locations to house homeless sex offenders

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Most now end up in Riverside trailer

The county is looking to set up as many as six homeless sex offender shelters in western Suffolk, Riverhead Town officials announced Monday.

The development appears to reveal a crack in the county's steadfast policy of housing all its offenders in construction trailers in Westhampton and outside the correctional facility in Riverside.

We're aware that [the county] is looking to locate trailers at several other sites up-Island, including Yaphank,” said Riverhead Supervisor Phil Cardinale. “They actually have a broker looking at them and trying to locate sites in areas that would not be near residential areas.”

He said the county is reviewing six potential locations outside of the East End.

Reached by e-mail, staff at the county Department of Social Services, which oversees the shelter program, did not deny the supervisor's claims.

Because of the ever-increasing residency restrictions passed by the Legislature and the increasing number of sex offenders who are homeless, released by state prisons, the number of homeless sex offenders has been increasing,” responded Greg Blass, a Riverhead resident and the newly appointed social services commissioner.

While it is difficult to find a shelter place that conforms to all the restrictions under law, we continue to explore every option available to us to deal with this situation,” he added.

Asked whether the county was looking to buy or rent the space, Roland Hampson, a social services spokesman, repeated Mr. Blass's words. “Every option available,” he said.

Mr. Cardinale said county officials are hoping to get the trailers set up in time for winter, when they expect as many as 75 offenders seeking shelter on any given night. The shelter in Riverside fits about 20. Eight can sleep in the Westhampton trailer, social services officials have said.

Since the arrival of the trailer in Riverside in 2007, community leaders have argued it is unfair for Riverhead-area residents to bear the full brunt of the county's growing problem with housing sex offenders. For its part, the county maintained not only that the jail parking lot is an ideal spot to shelter Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders, but that sites in western Suffolk were largely unavailable due to local laws restricting sex offenders' living quarters.

Mr. Cardinale said he released the information Monday to keep pressure on the county to continue in its quest for suitable locations.

The county in its own actions is betraying its long-in-coming conclusion that it is unfair, unwise and illegal to permit one location to bare the full burden of housing homeless sex offenders,” he insisted, noting the town is also suing the county over the issue.

There are no locations that will embrace this use, that's probably true; none of the legislators are going to stand up and clap,” he said. “But the truth is this is a burden that no community wants, so we should spread the burden.”

"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

FL - $2 million settlement for Broward man cleared by DNA

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By Paula McMahon - South Florida Sun Sentinel

Mentally challenged man in prison 22 years for crimes he didn't commit will receive $2 million from the Broward Sheriff''s Office

The Broward Sheriff's Office has quietly reached a $2-million settlement with _____, a mentally challenged man who was wrongly convicted and spent 22 years in prison for a series of murders that DNA later showed he did not commit, documents obtained by the Sun Sentinel show.

Under the terms of the settlement, reached with no fanfare, _____, who is now 57 but has the mental functioning of an 8-year-old, will receive a series of payments. He was paid $500,000 earlier this year and will receive $300,000 per year in each of the next five years.

The settlement in the civil rights violations lawsuit named the Broward Sheriff's Office, current and former sheriffs Al Lamberti, Ken Jenne and Nick Navarro, and former sheriff's deputies Tony Fantigrassi and Mark Schlein.

Broward sheriff's officials would not comment Monday and efforts to reach Fantigrassi were unsuccessful. Court documents show the settlement in the Broward civil lawsuit was reached in April.

In an email, Schlein wrote "For me, this case has been a constant reminder that the criminal justice system is imperfect. It has always been imperfect, and it remains so today -- even with the dramatic advances over the years in forensic science ... Perhaps most importantly, it is a powerful argument against the death penalty. Thankfully, it was not imposed in this case."

Last year, _____ settled a similar civil lawsuit against the city of Miami for $2.2 million.

_____'s attorney, Barbara Heyer, who worked on the civil cases for more than seven years, declined to comment and said _____ would not be commenting either. In previous interviews, she described the sheriff's officials conduct as "egregious." She will receive $800,000 in legal fees from the Broward settlement.

Since he was freed eight years ago, _____ has enjoyed spending time with his family and getting acquainted with his young grandsons, said Donald Spadaro, who acts as _____'s legal guardian because of his mental disabilities. "He enjoys going to their football games," said Spadaro.

_____ was sentenced to several life terms and served 22 years in prison for convictions in six murders and one rape he didn't commit in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. He was arrested in 1979 in Miami on a rape charge, then turned over to authorities in Broward who charged him with six murders.

The case became a notorious example of how mentally challenged people are particularly vulnerable to making false confessions under pressure from law enforcement.

The Broward Sheriff's Office and its deputies "fabricated evidence, concealed exculpatory evidence, tampered with witnesses, and coerced a false confession by intimidation and deception from [_____], who they knew was a mentally challenged person," the civil suit claimed.

Then-Deputies Fantigrassi and Schlein obtained _____'s now-discredited taped confessions. Fantigrassi has since retired and Schlein is an attorney with the state Department of Financial Services.

_____ was set free in June 2001 after DNA indicated the crimes were committed by another man, Eddie Lee Mosley, who was known as "the Rape Man" in his northwest Fort Lauderdale neighborhood. Mosley, 62, has been found incompetent to stand trial and is in a secure state psychiatric hospital in Chattahoochee, near Tallahassee.

_____ was 27 when he was arrested for rape by Miami police. According to the lawsuits, Miami and Broward sheriff's detectives coerced confessions from _____, who has an IQ in the 50s, and turned on and off tape recorders to feed him details of the crimes. The confessions were rife with inconsistencies.

The injustice came to light after John Curcio, who was a Fort Lauderdale detective at the time but now works for the Sheriff's Office, sought DNA testing in cases attributed to _____. That testing led to _____'s exoneration and helped clear Frank Lee Smith, who died of cancer on Death Row awaiting execution for another murder and rape that DNA attribute to Mosley.

In the Broward lawsuit, Heyer noted that the murders continued after _____ was arrested in 1979 and that this fact alone should have convinced investigators they had the wrong man.

"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

Perversion For Profit (1965 propaganda film)


Perversion for Profit is a 1965 propaganda film financed by Charles Keating and narrated by news reporter George Putnam. A vehement diatribe against pornography, the film attempts to link explicit portrayals of human sexuality to the subversion of American civilization, and briefly draws a parallel between pornography and the Communist conspiracy. The film is in the public domain, and it has become a popular download from the Prelinger Archives. Perversion for Profit illustrates its claims with still images taken from various soft core pornography magazines of the period, though with some portions of human anatomy obscured by colored rectangles.

To bolster his position, Putnam makes a reference to "Dr. Sorokin, the renowned Harvard sociologist". This individual is Pitirim Sorokin, a Russian-American who founded Harvard's Sociology department and served as the American Sociological Association's 55th president.

In an article discussing the Prelinger Archives for the San Francisco Chronicle, Peter L. Stein observes that the film has gained a different sort of utility than its producers intended: the parade of girlie magazine covers, men's physique pictorials and campy S&M leaflets continues, the film betrays a kind of prurience the filmmakers could hardly have intended. What results is a remarkable visual record of midcentury underground literature and sexual appetites, and a gloss on the values of the society that condemned them.

At the time the Chronicle article was written, Perversion was the Archive's second most popular download, superseded only by Duck and Cover. Ephemeral film scholar Rick Prelinger, founder of the Archive, views the popularity of such films as a sign the "unofficial evidence of everyday life" has become more interesting than "'official' documents from Washington or New York.

In 2004, a Prelinger Archive user going by the pseudonym "Trafalgar" produced a remix, in which short clips from the film are rearranged to make a pro-pornography advocacy video. Trafalgar's remix, entitled Come Join the Fun!, is available from the Internet Archive's open-source movie collection. The electronica band 3kStatic sampled audio from the original Perversion film for the title track of their 2005 album Perversion: for Profit. In 2008, the band Fight Like Apes sampled some audio for the track "Snore Bore Whore" from their album "Fight Like Apes And The Mystery of the Golden Medallion", and Greek trance artist Yintan has set most of the narration to music.

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"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

"Invasion" Of The Fear Mongers

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"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

TX - Registering youths debated

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HOUSTON - _____ is marking the days on her calendar until Sept. 30. That’s the day her 24-year-old son’s name and picture are expected to be removed from the state’s sex offender registry.

For the past decade, her son _____ has lived under public scrutiny for a crime he committed when he was 12. He inappropriately touched a 7-year-old girl at his baby sitter’s house and was charged with aggravated sexual assault. After completing two years of therapy and probation, _____ had to register as a sex offender, which shocked his parents.

It frustrates me,” said _____, of Pinehurst in Montgomery County. “He was 12 years old when it happened. He’s not a threat to society.”

Her son isn’t alone. About 3,600 people on the state’s registry were added as juveniles, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, which administers the registry. Eleven were 10 years old when they registered.

The registry has 26 juveniles who currently are 13 to 16, according to state records. Many people are not aware that juveniles can be registered as sex offenders in Texas. Legislators made registration required for adults and juveniles when they established the sex offender registry in 1991. Texas does not have a minimum age for juvenile registration, but 10 is the minimum age for prosecution.

Juvenile registration is a sensitive issue that’s been debated by lawmakers, child advocates and crime victim proponents for the past decade. Those who support it contend that the community has a right to know about dangerous sex offenders — adult or juvenile — for protection. Critics argue that the negative consequences on juveniles and their families far outweigh any benefits to the community. No research suggests that registration makes communities safer, they said.

Access to court records for juveniles with delinquent backgrounds are generally restricted to protect them from shame and to give them a fresh start. But anyone can access the state’s online sex offender registry and see the juvenile’s criminal charge.

The registry, which went online in 1997, also makes available the juvenile’s address, where he attends schools and annual mug shots.

I feel like this is totally inconsistent with the way we as a society have determined is the right way to deal with juvenile behavior,” said Theresa Todd, director of the Texas Network of Youth Services. “To protect juveniles from public derision is our job.”

Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center, disagreed.

Once a juvenile introduces violence into sexual behavior, it’s hard to rehabilitate,” Ahearn said. “They are worthy of registration.”

Unlike adult sex offenders who must register for life, juvenile sex offenders are required to register for 10 years after they leave the juvenile system.

The vast majority of juvenile sex offenses are against other children, and the juvenile generally knows the victim, juvenile justice experts said.

Juveniles lack the maturity to manage their behavior because their brains are still developing, said Dr. Bob McLaughlin with ADAPT Counseling, a juvenile sex offender treatment provider in Houston. As a result, juveniles are more amenable to treatment than adult sex offenders and can be rehabilitated, he said.

Juvenile registration only makes treatment and rehabilitation much more difficult, experts said.

In some cases, juvenile sex offenders have safety zone stipulations as part of their probation, and they can’t go to certain places, such as parks or community centers. The restrictions can limit their social activities and job opportunities, which are key to their rehabilitation, McLaughlin said.

Allison Taylor, executive director of the Texas Council on Sex Offender Treatment, said restrictions are a mitigating factor when considering public policy on juvenile offenders.

Anytime you destabilize adults or juveniles, you increase the risk of recidivism,” Taylor said. “That is a public concern.”

_____ has spent 10 years trying to protect her son from being bullied and ostracized. She said she helplessly watched as _____’s self-esteem diminished.

In high school, classmates called him a rapist and child molester behind his back. He dropped out in the 10th grade.

He came to me and said, ‘Mom, I can’t take it anymore,’” she said. “He said, ‘Do people look at me and think I’m a monster?’ What do you tell him?

_____ said she knows _____’s actions were morally wrong but believes it didn’t merit him being labeled a sex offender.

His road to adulthood has been rocky. He has never had a steady job. He briefly got mixed up with drugs about two years ago and moved out of his parents’ house.

Failure to report a change of address, a registry rule, landed him in prison last year. He was released on parole in March and is living outside Austin, trying to get his life back on track.

_____, who did not want his last named used, to protect his identity, said that at 12 he did not realize what he did was wrong. He said he never was a sexual predator and feels like registration robbed him of his childhood because his life was filled with constant embarrassment.

Nearly every legislative session, Texas lawmakers have tweaked the sex offender registry law. A major change came in 2001, giving judges discretion in handling juvenile registration.

Judges have three options. They can waive registration or remove juveniles from the registry. The juvenile must petition the court for removal. Judges also can defer making a decision until after the juvenile successfully completes therapy. Those who work closely with juvenile courts say judges often chose to defer registration.

"TThey who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved