Thursday, October 22, 2009

OK - Man sets himself on fire, cops and firemen stand by and do nothing!

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A convicted sex offender burned to death when he set himself on fire as authorities served a warrant at his rural Tulsa County home Thursday.

Tulsa County sheriff’s deputies and state Pardon & Parole Board officers were sent to a house in the 14100 block of East Apache Street to contact _____, 47, Capt. John Bowman said.

After finding the house empty, the squad peered into a cargo van that sat in the cluttered yard about 3 p.m. _____, who was inside the van, reached out and slammed the door shut, Bowman said.

He then doused the van with gasoline and ignited it, Bowman said. Medics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Bowman said _____ had spent time in prison and had indicated that he would do anything to avoid capture.

There are a lot of people that will do a lot of things to keep from going back to jail,” he said. “To use a flammable liquid to ignite where they are, I have not seen that before.”

Investigators from the Tulsa Fire Department searched through the charred van into the evening, working around piles of garbage that were scattered about the property on the northeastern edge of Tulsa County.

Bowman said that because of the volatile nature of the incident, firefighters didn’t immediately enter the van to douse the flames. There were concerns that _____ might have been armed, but no weapons were found after a preliminary search.
- Oh come on!  If this were anybody else, the firemen would've jumped right in and did everything possible to put out the fire, but because it was a sex offender, you let him burn!

About 30 minutes after _____ set the vehicle ablaze, authorities entered it and discovered his body in the cab, Bowman said.

The deputies had intended to serve three protective orders on _____, and the parole officers were sent to revoke his suspended sentence for a Muskogee County conviction, Bowman said.

A relative of _____’ gave officials a key to the house, and two of his siblings were in the area as the van burned, Bowman said.

_____ was the subject of protective orders in both Tulsa and Rogers counties, court records indicate. He also had been convicted of showing obscene material to a child, lewd molestation and making lewd proposals to a child.

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

KY - Former Teacher Says Life 'Ruined' by Student Sex Claims

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Acquitted _____ Denied Sex With Student From Start; Didn't Stop Arrest, Trial

Former teacher _____ was found not guilty last week of having had a sexual relationship with a student, but that did not stop the rumor from destroying her career, getting her arrested and ruining her life, she said today.

"My life is ruined. Completely," _____ told "Good Morning America" in an exclusive interview. "My name has been dragged through the mud. I won't be able to teach again. Not because I did anything -- I did not -- but because of the situation."

Her ordeal started in December, when she was suspended from her job as a teacher and assistant cheerleading coach at a Kentucky high school after one of the male students, a 16-year-old football player, claimed the two had had a sexual relationship.

_____, 26, of Florence, denied that the encounters ever happened and argued that the only evidence against her were the ramblings of a high school kid who, at first, claimed the two had been involved in a threesome with another male student.

Investigators arrested _____ the next month on felony sex abuse charges.

"I think, honestly, it started because people overreacted," _____ said today. "They took something that they thought looked like what they wanted it to look like -- like a stereotype, 'a teacher is accused by a student,' and automatically, it happened. ... That's why I went to trial."

Much of the prosecution at last week's trial focused on the more than 800 text messages exchanged between _____ and the student in a period of about a month and a half.

But _____ said she "texts like that to everyone -- students, teachers, cheerleaders" and compared the number to the nearly 2,000 messages she'd exchanged with her boyfriend in similar time periods.

_____ said she did not send the student any sexually explicit text messages, although he did send her some. She admitted that she should have stopped the messaging altogether.

"I should've said, 'That's inappropriate.' I blew it off. It was something I dealt with on a daily basis with other students, other male students," she said.

The school district had no policy against text messaging, _____'s attorney, Eric Deters, said today, calling the accusations "preposterous."

_____, now working at a bank, said she would love to return to teaching but believes the scandal of the trial would follow her everywhere.

"It's what I've always wanted to do," she said. "I don't think I'll get that opportunity again."

Although it's unlikely anything will happen to her accuser, Deters said, _____ plans to file civil litigation against unspecified targets.

Teacher Suspended, Arrested, Found Not Guilty of Rumored Actions

_____ was a first-year English teacher finishing up a lesson on Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" when she was pulled out of her Dayton High School classroom in December and told she was being suspended.

"I thought it was preposterous," she said in July.

_____, a graduate of Northern Kentucky University, said she was inspired to teach by one of her former high school teachers.

When she was hired at Dayton High School, _____ said she found it challenging. The town was home to many low-income families and the schools often went without.

"I liked it a lot," she told ABC News in July. "It was a lot, a lot of work."

She was also an assistant cheerleading coach, putting her right in the middle of a throng of cheerleaders and football players who practiced and socialized side by side.

_____ said the beginning of her first year as a teacher was going well until early December, when she started hearing rumors in the hallway.

"There were a couple of students snickering about a teacher involved in a threesome," she said.

Then, the second boy, who was supposedly involved, then a senior, told her the rumors were about him, her and the accuser.

"I'm a first-year teacher," _____ said. "I didn't know what to do."

So she sought the advice of a fellow teacher, who told her to speak to the principal to get ahead of the rumor mill.

The principal, she said, "told me at the time ... usually these things die out. We'll look into it.'"

Rumor Leads to Job Loss, Arrest

For a few days, it seemed like the matter had petered out.

_____ said she was told that both boys told the principal there was no sexual contact. Other rumors that followed, including that the accuser's father drove his son to her apartment for sex, were also disproved, _____ said.

But on Dec. 15, when she was suspended, _____ said the principal told her that the accuser, who had been threatened with possible expulsion for lying about such a serious allegation, had recanted his denial and was accusing _____ of having sex with him.

_____ said she left school in disbelief and hired a lawyer.

_____ said that while she knew who her accuser was and had interacted with him as part of the football-cheerleading team dynamic, she never once laid a hand on him or any other student, nor had she even been alone with him in school or otherwise.

Somehow, she said, the boy had gotten her cell phone number, and the two had begun a series of text messages in October and November. But _____ didn't think anything of it, since 25 cheerleaders on the team had her number and text-messaged her also. And she knew of other teachers who texted their students.

But _____, whose apartment was photographed by Covington police, learned in early January that there was a warrant out for her arrest. She said a detective told her that she could come in and take a polygraph test that might clear the matter up.

So she did, but not before submitting to a private polygraph, which _____ said she "passed with flying colors."

When _____ got to the police station Jan. 8, she was told she could not take a polygraph test. After being placed in the waiting room for more than an hour, she was arrested on one count of first-degree sexual abuse.

Her parents bailed her out of jail a few hours later.

"I want to be exonerated," she said before the trial. "I want this case to be dismissed."

The jury deliberated for less than two hours before acquitting her in the four-day Kenton County trial.

Had she been convicted, _____ could have faced one to 5 years in prison, county Commonwealth Assistant Attorney Stefanie Kastner told ABC News in July.

She would have also had to register as a sex offender for 20 years.

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"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

How to use fear and a deceptive article to advertise your web site!

The article below, is apparently an advertisement disguised to look like a news article, and using this missing child's story to hype the fear factor of sex offenders. There has been no evidence at all, that this child was kidnapped, sexually abused and killed by a sex offender, but you would not know that by viewing the article, if you have not seen the news.

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

Halloween sex offender policies questioned

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By Jim GIidlen

Kids more at risk to get hit by a car while trick or treating

The rates of non-familial sex crimes against children under the age of 12 are no higher during the Halloween season than at any other times of the year, according to a study published in the September issue of Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment the official journal of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (published by SAGE). The findings raise questions about the wisdom of law enforcement practices aimed at dealing with a problem that does not appear to exist.

Using the National Incident-Base Reporting System, the study looked at more than 67,000 non-family sex offenses reported to law enforcement in 30 states across nine years. Taking into account such variables as time, seasonality and weekday periodicity, the researchers found no increased rate of sexual abuse during the Halloween season. Additionally, the number of reported incidences didn't vary before or after police procedures were implemented to prevent such abuse.

"We do not suggest that there is no risk on Halloween or that parents should abandon caution and supervision of their children," write the authors in the article. "But there does not appear to be a need for alarm concerning sexual abuse on these particular days. In short, Halloween appears to be just another autumn day where rates of sex crimes against children are concerned."

Research has found that the highest danger for children during the Halloween season was from pedestrian- motor vehicle accidents, not from sexual abuse by strangers.

"It is important for policy makers to consider allocation of resources in light of the actual increased risks that exist in areas besides Halloween sex offender policies," the authors conclude. "Our findings indicated that sex crimes against children by nonfamily members account for 2 out of every 1,000 Halloween crimes, calling into question the justification for diverting law enforcement resources away from more prevalent public safety concerns."

"How Safe Are Trick-or-Treaters?: An Analysis of Child Sex Crime Rates on Halloween" in Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment was written by Mark Chaffin, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; Jill Levenson, Lynn University; Elizabeth Letourneau, Medical University of South Carolina Family Services Research Center; and Paul Stern, Snohomish County Prosecutors Office. It is available free of charge for a limited time at

Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, the official journal of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, publishes the latest original research and scholarly reviews on both clinical and theoretical aspects of sexual abuse, thoroughly investigating its etiology, consequences, prevention, treatment and management strategies. The in-depth studies provide essential data for those working in both clinical and academic environments, including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and therapists/counselors, as well as corrections officers and allied professionals in children's services.

SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology and medicine. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC.

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

WV - Woman recants story of West Virginia abuse

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By Dugald McConnell

(CNN) -- A 22-year-old woman whose claims that she was abused in a trailer in rural West Virginia in 2007 helped send six people to prison now says she made up the story, her lawyer said Wednesday.

"She is recanting her entire story," attorney Byron Potts told reporters in Columbus, Ohio, about his client, Megan Williams, who moved there after the incident. "She says it did not happen. She fabricated it."

He added, "She wanted to get back at her boyfriend. She was mad at him."

In 2007, police acting on a tip found the black woman in a trailer with cuts and bruises. She said she had been stabbed in the leg and beaten, sexually assaulted, forced to eat feces and subjected to a racial slur by her white captors.

The suspects included a mother and son, a separate mother and daughter, and two men. All are still jailed, according to the prosecutor who handled the case.

The incident, which drew extensive media coverage, stirred outrage around the country. Civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton called for the incident to be investigated as a hate crime.

Last year, all six defendants pleaded guilty and were given terms of up to 40 years in prison.

Potts said his client was coming forward "to right the wrong perpetrated on these six individuals." He added that she told him all her injuries except for the bruises on her face were self-inflicted. The bruises, he said, were from an altercation she had had with her then-boyfriend before the incident in question.

Potts described Williams' feelings as "total remorse; that's why she's coming forward. She is remorseful for having these people spend time in jail."

Asked if she was being pressured to recant, he said, "No, she's not being pressured into this."

Williams had been expected to speak herself, but Potts said she would not appear before the news media because she was afraid for her safety.

He said she was "fully aware" that she might face criminal charges, "but she still wanted to go forward with this."

Brian Abraham, the former Logan County prosecutor who handled the case, defended the convictions. "The case wasn't based on her statements," he said, noting that Williams never testified in the case. "The case was based on the evidence discovered by the police, including the confessions of the six defendants."

He added, "All six of them have been in jail without filing appeals. If they file something afterwards, the evidence was pretty overwhelming for the charges on which they were convicted."

The current county prosecutor, John Bennett, said he could not comment on whether the case would be reopened. He said he represented one of the suspects in 2007 and so would let a judge decide how to handle the potential conflict of interest.

Sharpton said, "If they are being held under false information and she misled authorities, and if the authorities went solely on her testimony, then they should be released." But he added, "If there are other circumstances around the recanting, we should know what they are."

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

CANADA - Sex Offender Support Circles Help Keep Communities Safe

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By Joan Delaney

After Charlie Taylor was released from a federal penitentiary in 1994 the reaction from his home community of Hamilton was swift. There were angry calls for political intervention, picketing, heightened media attention, and 24-hour police surveillance.

Taylor was a high-risk pedophile who had just finished a seven-year sentence for sexual crimes against children—his fourth stint in jail for such offences. He was mentally disabled with no means of support and the people of Hamilton did not want Taylor around their children.

Could you put him on a Mennonite farm?” Bill Palmer, a prison psychologist asked Harry Nigh, a Mennonite minister and Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) community chaplain who already knew Taylor.

The farm idea didn’t work out, but Rev. Nigh gathered a group of volunteers, mostly Mennonite congregants, who set up a “circle” of support for Taylor to integrate him into the community while holding him accountable.

We had no intention of it being a project or a program. Actually, if I’d had any idea of what was going to happen, at least in that immediate short-term, I probably would have found a way to duck out of it,” says Nigh, referring to the seemingly insurmountable problems that cropped up initially.

Three months later Wray Budreo, one of Canada's most notorious pedophiles who had been in and out of prison for 30 years for sexually assaulting young boys, was released in Toronto.

Amidst another public outcry, a group of volunteers there organized a second circle with the same parameters, and Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA), sponsored in part by Correctional Services, was up and running.

There was the realization that maybe something was happening that we could give that could be a source of hope to other communities, because people just get paralyzed around this stuff,” says Nigh.

With a mantra of “No More Victims,” the main goal of COSA is to reduce the risk of future sexual crimes by assisting and supporting released offenders who are often shunned by their friends and family out of fear.

COSAs work closely with the police, and if the core member reoffends the police are notified immediately.

At the outset Rev. Nigh was sure that, like most pedophiles, it would be only a matter of time before Charlie Taylor reoffended. But Taylor died in 2006—12 years after his circle was formed—without ever committing another sex crime. Likewise Budreo, who died 14 years after his release.

Indeed, COSAs have been shown to have a positive impact on recidivism rates. A study by CSC compared a group of 60 high-risk sex offenders involved in COSA with 60 who had been released at the end of their sentence but who had not been part of a support circle.

The results showed that offenders who participated in COSAs had a 70 percent reduction in sexual recidivism compared to the non-COSA group. There was also a large reduction in violent recidivism in the COSA group.

For those in the COSA group who did reoffend sexually, the study found that the offenses were categorically less severe than prior offenses. This was not observed in the matched comparison group.

It was an innovative response to a complicated situation, and it caught on. Today, this uniquely Canadian initiative has been implemented across Canada, in several U.S. states, and in Britain’s Thames Valley region. Countries including the Netherlands, Bermuda, and South Africa are also showing interest.

We all work best when we are supported and held accountable,” says Eileen Henderson, the Restorative Justice Coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee Ontario who has worked with the Ontario COSA project for 10 years.
- This is something I have said for my entire life.  If you treat people like human beings, help them, and treat them with respect, it does help, and this program is proof.  We should implement it in all US states, IMO.

Typically, about five volunteers enter into an agreement with a newly released sex offender, called a “core member.” At least one volunteer meets with the core member on a daily basis for the first 60 to 90 days, while the others have weekly contact, and the full circle meets on a weekly basis. However, the circle’s involvement with the core member continues long term.

The sex offender, who is helped with such things as finding housing, securing a stable income, and attending medical appointments, pledges to abide by any conditions imposed by the court and to communicate openly with circle members.

It’s an environment where they can be open and honest about their past and what they’re thinking and feeling, at the same time knowing that there is acceptance, there’s support, but also accountability factored in,” Henderson says.

The relationship that develops between the sex offender and the other circle members is all-important, she says, as it strengthens the offender’s commitment to being accountable.

That’s our only real tie with the men that we walk with.... Accountability is all about the value of the relationship and the desire to move forward.”

As for core members, the CSC study found that they reported feeling less nervous, afraid, and angry as a result of their experience in a COSA. They also reported that they were more realistic in their perspectives, more confident, felt more accepted, and experienced pride for not reoffending.

It’s not that easy to get a sex offender to stop doing what they have been doing,” says Robert Gordon, director of criminology at Simon Fraser University.

So rather than having these folks locked up in perpetuity or at least until they’re way past the point when they don’t have any interest, [COSA] is a solution for communities, and especially for those communities who rightly have great concerns about discharged sex offenders living in their midst.”

COSA’s weakness, says Gordon, is that it depends on volunteers, which sometimes raises recruitment challenges. “But fortunately there appears to be an army of interested people coming from the faith communities.”

In the process evaluation for the CSC study, the majority of COSA volunteers said they were motivated by a “need to be involved” in their community, and more than three-quarters felt a sense of teamwork in their circles work.

"It gets into your soul I think,” says Henderson. “It’s just a very powerful community.”

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved

FL - School bus stop protest in Orange County

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This is the kind of stuff the people in congress, and police, need to put an end to. These offenders were here first, and constantly forcing them to move, just because some person wants them moved, is morally wrong, and unconstitutional.



ORANGE COUNTY (WOFL FOX 35) - A small group of Orange County citizens held a protest Wednesday. They say they don't want a school bus stop near an area where registered sex offenders live.

It all began two weeks ago when abuse survivor Barbara Farris discovered a bus stop along North Orange Blossom Trail surrounded by two trailer parks where nearly 100 sex offenders live, and some 200 more live within a 3-mile radius. But the Orange County School District says they won’t move the bus stop, because kids who live nearby need it. Farris said she is determined to keep the kids away from the sex offenders. At another small protest along Orange Blossom Trail Wednesday night, Farris said she’s found another to do that, by opening a daycare.

FOX 35 Reporter Tracy Jacim asked Farris, “Have you gotten a license?"

Farris responded, “I’m not going to respond to that."

Jacim asked, “A lot of people watching this tonight will say this is all just a bunch of talk. You're just looking for publicity. It's not going to happen. And even if you do get a license, your're not going to get any of these sex offenders to leave because they won't have to."

Farris replied, “They won't? Why not? They can't be near a daycare?"

Jacim said, “Nothing in the Florida statute says they wouldn't be grandfathered in.”

Farris said, “You've got them moving in every day, different offenders, boom, boom, boom. Day by day by day. That’s not grandfathered in."

Farris says if the daycare ploy doesn’t do it, she’ll take it all the way to Tallahassee and further. She says the laws need to be changed. She says she’s reached out to County Commissioner Fred Brummer (Email) who represents this district.

Brummer said, "She may have found a method to prevent future items. This may become a popular item. If it works, it may become a popular movement around every mobile home along 441 where some mom has the courage to go out there and apply for that license and spend the money every year to make sure a landlord doesn’t bring more offenders into the community.”
- And apparently you are all for it?

Jacim asked Brummer, “Are you for it?

Brummer replied, “I'm willing to try anything.”

"That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing." - Martin Luther King (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights)

© 2006-2009 Sex Offender Issues , All Rights Reserved