Wednesday, December 9, 2009

MT - Reservation Sex Offender Registration

Original Article


By Kyle Midura

BILLINGS - An effort to protect children is underway by better tracking sex offenders on reservations.

The Adam Walsh Act requires states to compile a sex offender registry and make it available online. Indian reservations have had compliance issues in the past, and federal and tribal law enforcement officials discussed solutions Wednesday.

Roosevelt County Sheriff Freedom Crawford said cooperation between agencies is key to success. "It's extremely important,” he said, “regardless of jurisdictional issues, regardless of if you're state or tribal, bottom line is we're here to protect our kids."

Tribes have until 2011 to come into complete compliance with the Adam Walsh Act.

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VT - Woman Sentenced for Sending Innocent Man to Jail

Original Article


By Brian Joyce

Barre - Tuesday was sentencing day for a former Norwich University student who framed an innocent man and sent him to prison for three months.

Prosecutors wanted Kellye Stephens to serve at least three months behind bars to balance the scales of justice. Prosecutors admit they may never know why Kellye Stephens lied to police to frame a man whose only crime was to fall in love with her after one date. The prosecutor indicated he believes she was lying again as a last minute ploy to avoid going to prison.

Washington County Prosecutor Tom Kelly wanted the judge to send 23-year-old Kellye Stephens to prison for 92 days, matching the jail time served by _____, the innocent man she framed with lies to police.

_____ and Stephens met at a function at Norwich University when she was a senior 21 months ago.

They dated once, and he fell in love with her and they exchanged a series of text messages and e-mails.

But she now admits she created phony e-mails supposedly from _____, containing death threats, which was the evidence that got _____ jailed without bail for 92 days until investigators realized she was the culprit.
- Come on, surely they could have checked the email headers to see where the emails came from, and saw that she did it and not him.  Apparently experts were not called in.

Her family hired a psychologist who testified that Stephens told him she had been sexually assaulted in high school and at Norwich University, and suffered from post traumatic disorder, so she made up the lies about _____ because she feared him.
- So I guess she is going to use that all her life, to justify ruining peoples lives?

"Whatever her stage of mind, she didn't have whatever it took to tell him face-to-face leave me alone," said he lawyer Kim Cheney.

Her lawyer requested no jail time, but the prosecutor asked for the 92 days as justice and indicated her 11th hour claims about sex assaults and psychological damage were more fabrications created to try to avoid prison.

"If the court can't trust the word of someone who takes that witness stand the system falls apart," said Kelly.

Stephens declined comment before Judge Brian Grearson struck a middle ground sentenced her to serve 30 days in prison.

"I think it's a little short but if that's what I can get, that's what I can get," said the victim _____. He told us it was not the 92 days he wanted her to serve, but it was what he and his lawyer had agreed would be enough after his family's insurance company recently paid him $10,000. to settle his lawsuit.

In response to Stephens claims that she was sexually assaulted at Norwich, University officials released a written statement. Norwich says it will wait to receive court documents upon resolution of the criminal case against Stephens before deciding its course of action.

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OK - Sex offender loophole

Original Article


CHANDLER - For a Lincoln County woman it's a nightmare each time she looks at her couch; her 4-year-old daughter allegedly molested by a 16-year-old boy who was spending the night with her son back in 2006. However, just two years after he was sentenced to a juvenile facility, state officials released Montia Robbins after he turned 19.

Not only was he released, but the state didn't require Robbins to be registered as a sex offender.

According to state law, a youthful offender only has to register for crimes such as rape and sodomy, not molestation

"If two counts of molestation charges does not qualify to be put on the sexual offenders list then there is something wrong," said the victim's mother.

The woman is now in the process of working with state lawmakers to help change the law.

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OH - Bill proposes to put GPS devices on homeless sex offenders

Original Article


COLUMBUS — Homeless sex offenders would be required to wear global positioning devices to track their whereabouts, under legislation being considered in the Ohio House.

Rep. Clayton Luckie (Email), a Democrat from the Dayton area, offered House Bill 369 after two women in his district were attacked by the same homeless sex offender.

There are predators out there that prey on women and children in our society, putting not just the public but our families in danger,” Luckie told members of the House’s Criminal Justice Committee today. “Are there better ways to track and monitor people convicted of major sexual crimes but do not have a permanent address? I believe there is a better way.”
- That may be true, but as usual, it will not prevent another homeless person from attacking another person either. And who is going to pay for it?  Tax payers of course, which they should, they wanted all this.

The untold tale of family abductions: 3 girls missing, an international hunt

Original Article


By Stephanie Chen

(CNN) -- Christine Belford agreed to let her ex-husband take their three daughters to Disney World for a two-week vacation. In August 2007, the Delaware mother kissed her little blond girls goodbye.

Those two weeks were unsettling for Belford, then 34. The couple went through a bitter divorce in 2006 which resulted in joint custody of the children. Belford said when the girls were with their dad, they were always difficult to reach.

Two days into the trip, Belford connected by cell phone with her oldest daughter, Laura, then 5. Already homesick, chubby-faced Laura cried as her father checked them into a hotel room.

"I want to come home," Laura pleaded with her mother.

But Laura and her sisters wouldn't return to their Delaware home for 19 months.

Their father, David Matusiewicz, pleaded guilty to international parental kidnapping and bank fraud charges in September. He faces up to 30 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday. CNN attempted to reach Matusiewichz in jail through his attorney, Heriberto "Eddie" Medrano, in Houston, Texas, but Medrano did not return the calls.

Kidnapping victims like Laura and her sisters -- Leigh, then 4, and Karen, then 2 -- often don't make national headlines the way victims of alleged abductions by strangers do, such as Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart. But each year, most child abductions are perpetrated by someone the victim knows.

The U.S. Department of Justice reports more than 200,000 children are victims of family abductions in the United States each year. Of that figure, about 56,500 cases are reported to local law enforcement authorities and require investigation, studies show. In comparison, the U.S. Department of Justice reports an average of 115 stranger abductions a year.

Family abductions commonly involve children under 6, too young to comprehend that a crime is occurring, studies show.

Over the last few decades, high divorce rates have led to custody disputes and to kidnappings, experts say. Yet the public still perceives family abductions as a less serious crime because the victims are with a family member who is less likely to hurt them.

"The view is that this is not really a criminal problem," said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. "[The view is] this is a civil problem and lawyers need to work it out."

There are 1,600 unsolved family abduction cases involving children who have been missing for more than six months, he said.

A puzzling escape

In 15 years on the police force, Cpl. Jeff Shriner of the New Castle, Delaware, Police Department said he found Matusiewicz's abduction of his children to be the most bizarre missing person case he'd encountered.

Normally, the perpetrator in a family abduction is located within hours or days. Sometimes, abductions occur because the parent is angry, Shriner said, but they usually change their minds within a few days.

But Matusiewicz "was a needle in a haystack and that needle was buried very deep," said Shriner, who was assigned as the lead detective on the case.

Shriner quickly determined the Disney World vacation never happened.

Sales records showed Matusiewicz's mother, Lenore, had purchased a 33-foot Winnebago mobile home weeks before the disappearance, according to court records. She also was missing.

That month, Matusiewicz had sold his optometry business to a partner, police said. He had also committed mortgage fraud by forging his wife's signature on a $249,000 loan from a bank in Delaware, police said.

The couple had met in 1993 when Belford worked as a receptionist at an eye doctor's office in Delaware. Matusiewicz worked as an optometrist there. They were married in October 2001.

The couple's union became problematic in 2003 when his parents moved in, Belford said. Matusiewicz was a loving father to his girls, but during the breakup, she said, the couple had problems.

Some parents say they take their children away to protect them from an abusive or unfit parent, said Liss Hart-Haviv, founding executive director of Take Root, a national organization that works with victims of family abduction. In other instances, Hart-Haviv said, parents may take children out of spite.

"The critical thing to remember," she said, "is there's not one face to family abduction. It's a multifaceted issue."

Abduction goes abroad

In most family abduction cases, studies show victims often remain within the country. But circumstances are changing. Easier access to foreign countries and a growing number of intercontinental marriages have made international hideouts more common, missing children experts said.

In October, Japanese authorities released an American man, Christopher Savoie, who was jailed for allegedly trying to take back his children from his estranged wife. His wife, Noriko Savoie, had fled with the children to Japan in August, authorities say. Japanese officials said the couple's U.S.-recognized divorce did not apply in Japan. Christopher Savoie, who was not charged, returned to the U.S. The children remained with their mother in Japan.

A multilateral treaty known as the Hague Convention was ratified in 1980. It provides member countries with rules on returning abducted children under the age of 16. Today, more than 80 countries have signed the treaty. But with countries that haven't, like Japan, determining what happens to the children is murky.

In Belford's case, local and federal agencies initially launched a search for the girls. They began in New Jersey, where Matusiewicz was raised. Then they combed through dozens of leads in Virginia and West Virginia. A tip led them to become suspicious the girls might be in Texas or Mexico.

By November 2007, authorities shifted their attention to Central America. They hunted for Matusiewicz in Panama and Costa Rica over the next year. Locating him was tricky, authorities say, because he relied on cash transactions and limited phone calls with his family in the United States.

"He was very smart and did a lot of things before leaving and during the time he was gone to cover his tracks," said Rick Long, chief deputy U.S. Marshal in Delaware, who helped with the search efforts.

It wasn't until March 2009 that a lead, on which authorities declined to elaborate, brought law enforcement officers to a town about 40 miles outside of the Managua, Nicaragua.

There, at the end of a 19-month search, authorities discovered the girls inside a messy Winnebago trailer, overfilled with items from their Delaware home, said a U.S. Marshal who arrived on the scene. Matusiewicz had less than $100.

Reunited at last

Christine Belford took the first flight she could to Nicaragua. Her girls were healthy, though disheveled. The eldest, Laura, now 7, told her mother about sleeping on the beach in Costa Rica. The once-plump girl had become thin. Her autistic daughter, Leigh, now 6, hadn't received treatment. When Leigh smiled, Belford noticed her teeth had rotted.

The most changed child was Karen, who left at age 2. She had transformed from a baby into a 4-year-old who could speak and run alongside her sisters.

Family abductions are less likely to result in death or sexual abuse than stranger abductions, but psychologists warn that the experience can still greatly impact a child's development. In three decades counseling family abduction victims, clinical psychologist Linda Gunsberg has seen children with trust, identity and attachment issues. The deceit and the abrupt changes in living conditions can cause a child to be confused, anxious and depressed.

"The younger girls say they miss Daddy," said Belford, now 37. "I tell them he's in time out right now." Laura, the oldest, is doing well in the second grade, but she continues to experience nightmares. During the time she was abducted, she was told her mother was dead, Belford said.

"She's in her angry phase," Belford said. "I tell her it's OK to love them and miss them because they are still your dad and grandma."

In September, the grandmother, Lenore Matusiewicz, 64, was sentenced to 1½ years in prison for her role in the abduction. She is being held in Baylor Women's Correctional Institution in Delaware.

"She is very sorry for her choice," said her attorney, Demetrio Duarte Jr., based at a Texas firm. "In life, it's not all black and all white. To be severed from mom wasn't the right thing to do. To be severed from grandma isn't the right thing to do. It's just tragic."

WI - North Hudson sets sex offender free safety zones

Original Article


By Jon Echternacht

Certain parts of the village have been set aside as restricted areas sex offenders are forbidden to reside near following action by the North Hudson board of trustees last Tuesday.

Police Chief Mark Richert presented the board with a map outlining the areas in the village that would be restricted and summarized the eight-page document detailing the ordinance.

The purpose is to try and protect our children,” Richert said.

Richert pointed out that a Supreme Court decision forbids banning sex offenders from living anywhere in the village.

The ordinance is aimed at child sex offenders and restricting them from living or congregating with 200 feet of the safety zones which include parks, schools, five registered daycare centers and the Bible Baptist Church, the chief said.

Are our children going to be safer if we pass this ordinance?” asked trustee Daryl Standafer.

Richert said the answer was impossible to state absolutely. Hammond and Hudson have passed (similar) ordinances. Somerset and New Richmond are working on similar law, the chief said.

The concern may lie with not passing the measure. “If we are the only village without (such an ordinance) we will become a resting place for child sex offenders,” Richert said.

Richert said the ordinance only applies to registered sex offenders of child victims. He said there are three sex offenders currently living within North Hudson that are exempt from the new law. “Only one fits the ordinance but lives outside the safety zones,” he said.

The board passed the ordinance by a 5-0 margin; trustees Sandra Whalen and Jim Thomas were absent.

FL - Killer Targeted Sex Offenders

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MO - Sex Offender Laws Gaining Strength In Missouri

Original Article


By Kate Stacy

Sex offender laws are gaining strength in Missouri and across the nation.

But how they're enforced is creating a challenge for many law enforcement agencies. Only one out of 50 states is up to compliance with federal regulations when it comes to tracking criminals.
- Maybe because much of the laws are unconstitutional, and will cost more to implement than to not.  But, as usual, politicians do not check this before they enact unconstitutional laws, and thus sucking more money from the people under the false assumptions that they will actually prevent a crime or protect you, when they do neither.

It's being called an unfunded mandate. Nevertheless, one that keeps our communities safer.
- How?

Sheriff's and police departments have more power to crack down on sex offenders. But they're having a hard time doing it.

The workload's enough to make your vision blurry. For every flag on the map, Greene County has a sex offender to keep up with.

"As of Mid-December we have 430 names on the list," says Captain Randy Gibson with the Greene County Sheriff's Office.
- Well, if they'd stop monitoring all offenders and only monitor the 5% or less who are truly dangerous, then maybe they could actually do something.  Each year more laws are passed, eventually the police will be doing nothing but monitoring sex offenders.

Changes in federal and state sex offender laws have authorities trying to stay on top of a growing case load.

"It's a laborious process that won't be done any time soon," says Gibson.

In the spring, law officers got word from the Missouri Supreme Court that offenders from 1979 to present needed to register. 2010 brings new challenges. A federal sex-offender law takes effect in July. It would create a national registry, making it tough for people to move to avoid the law, and increasing punishment for those who do.
- Well, that is an unconstitutional (ex post facto) law as well, which is a direct violation of the Constitution, which many took oaths to defend.  So when we are in a time of Martial Law or something close to it, don't expect the cops and government to uphold their oaths, they are not doing it now, so why do it at all?  Why even have a constitution?  And once again, they say over and over these laws are not punitive, but many news papers and politicians continually add punishment to their discussion, why?  Because they know punishment is exactly what these laws are.

"The challenge is to take the state statute and match to the federal statute and find where in the ranking those offenders go," says Gibson.

The federal law includes about two decades more records than Missouri's law. It's also a three tiered system, classifying the severity of the offense and the time span an offender needs to comply with registering.
- They do not tier people based on the likelihood they will re-offend, but simply based on their crime, which is flawed from the start.  Hell, everything the government does is flawed, just look at the current administration!

In the long run, that would mean some names would expire from the list, creating less work for officials. But on the front end, the unfunded mandate creates a lot of extra work, even when the registry is short.
- So, since the sheeple wanted these laws, tax them to pay for the tons of monitoring, police jobs, and everything else.  They wanted it, so make them pay for it, then we'll see how bad they actually want it.

"We have 70 in Webster County," says Sheriff Roye Cole of his county's offender list.

Keeping tabs on offenders is half the job description for two staff members. The Sheriff says the federal restrictions will be added to their list.

"It's not a matter of federal or state law. We will enforce it," says Cole.

For many departments that creates a stretch of personnel and finances, but it's still a priority.
- Meanwhile, gang members, drug dealers, thieves and other criminals are running wild, or could be.

"We'll keep working at this rock pile until we have some progress," says Gibson.
- Well, like the "war on drugs," plan on being here awhile...  It's a unending "war!"

Some states plan to ignore the order from congress on this federal tracking law.
- As they should.

It could mean fines and loss of grant funding at a time when departments need all the money they can get.
- So what, you loose a little, but it would cost MORE to enact the laws, so you are actually gaining money, in a sense.

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