Video Link | Original Article
Friday, January 22, 2010
Taco Bell statement
See the site above for more videos.
By VIC WALTER
'Alarmingly High' Number of Teens Claim Sexual Harassment at Work
Watch "20/20" tonight at 10 p.m. for the full report.
An "alarmingly high" number of high school students are reporting sexual advances from their adult bosses and other supervisors at some of the country's best known fast food operations, according to an official of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
"It's an incredibly serious problem," said Bill Cash of the EEOC in an interview to be broadcast tonight on the ABC News program "20/20."
"Employers that choose to use high school kids to work have a responsibility to protect these young people," Cash said. "We don't want them to be fondled, we don't want them to be raped."
The issue is being raised in a number of lawsuits, including cases now pending in California against Starbucks and a McDonald's franchise owner.
_____ of Orange County, CA claims a 24-year old supervisor at Starbucks made almost daily demands on her for sex, months after she began working as a 16-year old barista.
"I felt like I didn't have a choice," _____, now 20, told ABC News."I was ashamed and embarrassed. And I felt like he had complete control over my job... he knew all this stuff about my family and my friends and my school."
She says the supervisor would summon her for sex in hundreds of text messages, including one that said, "I'd liked to f--- tomorrow."
"It was an everyday, numerous times a day occurrence," _____ said. "And I just saw it and did what I had to do."
She says other Starbucks supervisors and managers knew what was happening but did nothing to stop the illicit relationship.
After the young woman's mother learned of the relationship, she alerted prosecutors who brought criminal charges against the Starbucks employee, Tim Horton. After claiming he did not know the barista was 16 years-old, Horton pleaded guilty to a felony charge of illegal sex with a minor and served four months in prison.
The family has sued Starbucks claiming the company failed in its responsibility to protect the young woman from Horton.
Starbucks executives declined to be interviewed but in a statement the company said, "These two employees concealed their relationship from Starbucks, which violated company policy. We are confident that the case will ultimately be resolved in finding that Starbucks is not at fault."
Hard Ball Tactics
The case turned ugly as the Starbucks law firm, Aiken Gump, used hard ball tactics to defend their client, including successfully seeking to make public the young woman's sexual history once it learned she had been interviewed for "20/20."
"They are trying to defend themselves by calling me a slut," she told "20/20." "It's intimidation. It's harassing to sit though deposition and just be re-victimized."
Federal judge Andrew J. Guilford agreed with Starbucks lawyers and ordered the information unsealed because of the company's need "to defend themselves" and "level the playing field."
Starbucks disclosed in court papers that the woman has had sexual encounters with 12 men other than Horton, seven of them before she met Horton.
Starbucks says it does have a strict policy against sexual harassment and managers dating baristas, but there is nothing specific about relationships with teens under the age of 18.
The case against McDonald's was brought by another 16-year old employee, _____, who says a 23-year old shift supervisor lured her into a back storage room and put his hands around her waist and pulled her close.
"He said, 'It's okay, don't be scared, you can trust me,'" _____ told ABC News. "I thought his plan was to try and rape me."
She said she broke away and went to another supervisor in hysterics, who she says told her not to be so upset because everyone knew the shift supervisor, who was later fired, was a pervert.
In a statement to ABC News, the McDonald's franchise owner Michael Godlove said there is a "strict policy prohibiting any form of harassment in our restaurants."
"When Ms. _____ complained about the incident, which occurred in 2007, we responded promptly and took appropriate action," the statement said.
In another case, a manager at a Taco Bell restaurant in Memphis, TN pleaded guilty to raping two of his 16-year-old high school workers, one of whom became pregnant.
"The first victim worked for him about two months before she was raped. The other young lady, he attacked her on the first day that she was working for him," said Cash, the attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
In a consent decree with the EEOC, Taco Bell, while denying any wrongdoing, agreed to pay several hundred thousand dollars to the teens and to begin a training program for its managers about dealing with high school employees.
In a statement Taco Bell told ABC News, "We are outraged that this situation occurred and committed to maintaining a workplace free from harassment in all of our restaurants."
"They make enormous profits based on the work of high school kids, and that's fine," said Cash. "That can be a great working relationship in many cases. But employers that choose to use high school kids to work have a responsibility to protect these young people."
What happened to _____ is not uncommon, experts say. The problem is especially prevalent in fast food restaurants where so many teenagers have their first jobs, said Susan Strauss, a consultant on corporate sexual harassment policies.
"They're vulnerable, they're young, they're new to the workforce," Strauss said of the teenage employees.
One in three high school students reported unwanted sexual advances in the workplace, according to a study in Maine.
By MICHAEL SCHMIDT
City Council refuses to repeal it even though a new state law makes it unenforceable. It could be subject to a court challenge.
DYERSVILLE - Jim Heavens has never shied away from discussing the city's stringent ordinance against sex offenders since its passage five years ago.
Now it's time to move on, the Dyersville mayor said.
"We just go back to the way we were," Heavens said. "We had the opinion of (City Attorney Marc Casey), and we allowed for people to have their say."
The Dyersville City Council decided not to act Monday on a repeal of an ordinance passed in 2005 that bans all sex offenders from residing within city limits.
Council member Molly Evers' motion to repeal died due to lack of a second.
Evers, a longtime opponent of the ordinance, cited a recent change in Iowa Code that takes away power from municipalities to adopt ordinances on residency of sex offenders.
In Chapter 692A, Section 27 of the Iowa Code, the law states "any motion, resolution or ordinance adopted by a political subdivision of the state is void and unenforceable."
Four days after the council meeting, Evers expressed her displeasure with the decision not to move forward.
"Dyersville should do the right thing now and bring its ordinance in accord with state law," Evers wrote in an e-mail to the TH. "Unfortunately, though, some people cannot admit it when they are wrong."
"At any rate, the Iowa statute speaks for itself. Dyersville's ordinance has no force or effect."
Casey said the ordinance is not required to be repealed, but it could be subject to a court challenge.
Casey argued the city's sex offender ordinance was adopted approximately four years before the state law was instituted.
"Thus, (the ordinance) was not adopted in violation (of the code)," Casey wrote.
Casey contacted the Iowa Attorney General's office (Contact) for "informal" advice before forming his opinion, according to Iowa Attorney General spokesman Bob Brammer.
"In our view, a local ordinance in this realm likely would be preempted by the specific language in the statute," Brammer said. "We encourage any city to consider and research if there are potential liabilities if the city enforces an ordinance that has been preempted or voided by state law."
Heavens said he's not concerned about litigation against the city.
"Somebody would have to show they were harmed that they can't live in the city limits of Dyersville," Heavens said. "We have never had (sex offenders) come here and ask us to live here."
An area law enforcement official questioned Dyersville's decision.
"How can they step up to the plate and not obey state law?," said Delaware County Sheriff John LeClere, whose jurisdiction covers a portion of Dyersville. "They can do what they want, but it opens them up to litigation."
LeClere agrees with the state's change, which kept the 2,000-foot residency ban around schools, libraries and day-care centers for only the most serious offenders against children.
"Short of finding an island out in the middle of nowhere to put them on, you don't have much of a choice," LeClere said.
By PAUL WALSH
A longtime college educator who commanded the Minneapolis Park Police for 14 years was charged Friday with sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy dozens of times from 2007 until this month at his Deephaven home and at his cabin.
Retired Capt. William Allan Jacobs, 66, of Deephaven, was arrested Thursday evening by deputies from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, said sheriff's spokeswoman Lisa Kiava. The Sheriff's Office added that Jacobs is also an attorney and has been involved with the YMCA's Camp Warren on Half Moon Lake in Eveleth.
A YMCA spokeswoman said that Jacobs is a past member of the camp's board, helps raise money for the camp and volunteers preparing the site before it opens for the season. The Y's Bette Fenton added that Jacobs has had a relationship with the camp "for a long time, many years" but would not have been at the camp at any time while campers were there.
Jacobs, who retired from the Park Police in 2001, also is on the criminal justice studies faculty at Minneapolis Community and Technical College in St. Paul, teaching three classes covering law enforcement: legal issues in law enforcement, search and seizure, and juvenile justice.
Those classes have been reassigned to other instructors, said school spokeswoman Dawn Skelly, who added that she cannot disclose whether Jacobs' employment standing with the school has changed. She said he's been a part-time instructor there since 1990.
According to the criminal complaint, Jacobs' arrest at his home came after authorities set up and monitored a phone call that day between Jacobs and the boy. In that call, the complaint said, the boy told Jacobs that he feared that their contact resulted in him contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Jacobs responded during the call that he was "clean," the complaint added.
Jacobs is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, remains held on $1 million bail and is scheduled to appear in court Monday. The charges note that Jacobs was "in a position of authority over the victim."
Sarah Jacobs, a college student in Moorhead, Minn., said that her Uncle Bill never married, has no children and is the uncle she has had "the closest relationship with. ... I have the hardest time believing this is true. I have to believe there must be some mistake."
According to the Sheriff's Office, the victim told detectives that Jacobs sexually abused him on multiple occasions beginning when he was 12 while the two were on a camping trip. The boy reported that the years of abuse included "inappropriate touching, sex acts and penetration," the Sheriff's Office statement said.
"The charges are disturbing especially since this is an individual who was trusted by so many," said Sheriff Rich Stanek, who added that anyone with information about this case should call his office at 763-525-6216.
According to the charges, the abuse occurred as recently as this month. The criminal complaint adds:
The boy said Jacobs first touched him sexually in the summer of 2007 while they were on a camping trip. Jacobs left his tent, entered the boy's tent and touched him from his chest to his pubic hair. The boys had to move Jacobs' hand away several times before the touching stopped.
Later in the year, Jacobs would arrange trips with the boy, picking him up either Friday night or Saturday morning. They would spend the day together doing various activities, such as seeing a movie.
Numerous times at Jacobs' home the defendant showed the boy pornography on a laptop computer before taking the boy into a bedroom and fondling him. The boy said these instances of abuse occurred nearly 30 times from late 2007 until the spring of 2008.
In the summer of 2008, the abuse at the Deephaven home escalated to Jacobs penetrating the boy and giving and receiving oral sex. Additional abuse occurred during multiple trips to Jacobs' cabin up north and continued until this month.
In a search of Jacobs' home by investigators, "biological evidence" and his computer were collected, the complaint said.
Authorities are not aware of any other victims in this case, said sheriff's inspector Kip Carver, who said that his office is "early into the investigation," which he described as "active."
Jacobs joined the force as an officer in 1975 and became captain in 1987, making him the force's commander, said Robert Goodsell, the department's current interim commander.
Jacobs also is on the national board of the Park Law Enforcement Association, a professional organization dedicated to "improve law enforcement and visitor protection services in park and recreation areas."
By Bryan P. Sears
Brochin, Frank see need for those who have more than one residence
Citing a registered sex offender who splits his time between a home in Annapolis and one in Towson, two state legislators from Baltimore County are sponsoring bills to require such offenders to register any address where they reside.
Sen. Jim Brochin (Email), a Democrat who represents the Towson area, said he plans to file a bill in the next week that would require convicted sex offenders to provide all addresses where they reside.
“The public has a right to know when violent sex offenders are living in their neighborhoods,” Brochin said.
- Show me, in the constitution, where they are granted this right? And what about the right to know about the murderers, serial killers, gang members, drug dealers, DUI offenders, etc live?
Del. Bill Frank, a Republican who also represents the 42nd District with Brochin, plans on filing a similar bill in the House of Delegates.
Brochin said he is seeking the change after some Campus Hills residents came to him expressing concerns about a man who is a registered sex offender in Annapolis but lives up to five days a week in their neighborhood.
_____, 26, pleaded guilty to the second-degree rape of his 4-year-old stepdaughter and served 26 months of a 13-year sentence. Baltimore County Circuit Judge Susan Souder suspended the balance of the sentence in May 2008 and placed _____ on five years of supervised probation.
At that time, _____ was ordered to register as a violent sex offender and was ordered to enter a counseling program in Anne Arundel County. He was also ordered to have no contact with children, according to court records.
_____ provided the state sex offender registry only with an address in the first block of Parole Street in Annapolis and said he works at the Columbia mall.
Court records show that _____ rents a room in the Annapolis home.
State records show that _____ and his wife, _____, own a home in the 900 block of Starbit Road in Towson. The couple’s two daughters plus a daughter of _____ also live at the home, according to court records.
Residents in the Towson neighborhood became aware of _____ late last summer after his family moved into the Campus HIlls home. One of the neighbors, who asked to not be named, said "the comings and goings of _____ was odd."
- Come on, odd how? A man cannot come and go when they want now?
_____ was frequently seen waiting at a convenience store for the bus that takes his kids to school to leave the area before going to his home, the neighbor said.
"Just the fact that he's around in an area with lots of kids — it seemed to us like a loophole," the neighbor said.
Elizabeth Bartholomew, manager of the state’s sex offender registration unit, said it is not unusual for sex offenders to have more than one address.
She cited one case in which a man registered in Garrett County lives several days a week in Baltimore County because of a job. The offender registered at both addresses.
“We have the ability to put as many addresses on the Web site as the offender has,” Bartholomew said.
But offenders are not now required by law to register more than one address unless they stay there two consecutive weeks at least 30 days in 12 months, Bartholomew said.
Bartholomew questioned _____’ current registration, saying that it would be unlikely he would need to have a second address because neither is particularly closer than the other to where he works, as in the Garrett County case.
“This sounds like a failure to provide a new address or be deceptive in some way,” Batholomew said.
- Well, he is following the law, from what is said above. So you are assuming he has malicious intent.
Bartholomew said state and county officials rely on tips from the public to identify offenders who are not complying with the law.
By JEFF BURNSIDE
Sex offenders catch a break from Miami-Dade County, sort of.
The restrictive laws regarding registered sex offenders in Miami has many living under a bridge --about 40 people cramped under the Julia Tuttle Causeway.
In response, the Miami-Dade County Commission eased restrictions slightly regarding where they can live late Thursday night. But they added new restrictions too.
The old rules kept sex offenders and sex predators from living within certain distances from schools, playgrounds, parks, bus stops, and anywhere else children gather.
The distance varied from 1500 feet to 2500 feet from city to city.
In the new ordinance, passed unanimously, the entire county went to 2500 feet but placed those restrictions on only schools.
Commissioners and other supporters said it may help get more of the sex offenders and predators out from under the bridge.
The encampment of 30-40 registered sex offenders and sex predators beneath the Causeway is entrenched, they say, because laws preclude them from living almost everywhere.
Across the bay in downtown Miami, the Miami-Dade County Commissioners OKed a move to make the county’s 2500-foot law supersede other laws from cities within the county.
Commissioner Pepe Diaz said it’ll actually create more places for offenders to live.
"Well, basically, before there was some municipalities, I think, it was a hundred percent of their coverage," Diaz said. "Now, based on the county law, there might be opportunities of little areas that have opened up."
The biggest criticism of the old restriction was that most sex offenders and sex predators, like anyone else, are home at night. So restricting where they live means restricting where they are at night, when schools and playgrounds are, of course, empty. Critics said the restrictions were pointless unless they were aimed at where offenders go during the day.
So the county commission also passed a new loitering zone of 300 feet aimed at daytime activity.
"That's why this law is so effective,” said Diaz. “It's not about nighttime. Yea, you're right, they're sleeping. But it’s really about the daytime and them walking and saying hi to Mr. Friendly. Mr. Friendly keeps talking and eventually says 'come into my house.'"
It’s unlikely the new law will be challenged in court because the American Civil Liberties Union
(Contact) does not oppose the changes.
WV - HB-3102 - Police exploiting sex offenders, making them pay a fee which is deposited into the State Police Retirement Fund???
This is more proof the exploitation of sex offenders by passing unconstitutional extortion fees, are pure punishment! So now, sex offenders are paying their retirement? Keep in mind, this is a bill and not a law yet, so it's probably just some idiot politicians trying to look tough on crime to further their reputation and career. What an incentive, the more sex offenders you create, the bigger your retirement plan will be!
H. B. 3102
(By Delegates Caputo, D. Poling, Swartzmiller, Longstreth, Boggs, Hall, Argento, Morgan, Miley, Fragale and Paxton)
[Introduced January 13, 2010; referred to the Committee on Pensions and Retirement then Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §15-12-2c, relating to requiring sex offenders to pay a fee which is to be deposited into the State Police Retirement Fund.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §15-12-2c, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 12. SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION ACT.
§15-12-2c. Registration fees and penalty for failing to pay.
(a) A person who is required to register under this article is to pay at the time of registration, or a change of registration, with the West Virginia State Police as required under this article, a fee of $25. If at the time of registration, the person who is required to register is unable to pay the fee, the State Police may allow the person sixty calendar days to pay the fee. Fees collected pursuant to this section are deposited into the West Virginia State Police Retirement System and are in addition to employer percent-of-payroll contribution.
(b) Any person who fails to pay the required fee under this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction shall be confined in jail for not more than ten days or fined not more than $100 or both. In addition to, in lieu of the punishment prescribed herein, the court may require the person found guilty of such misdemeanor to participate in the litter control program.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
Just another politicians trying to make a name for themselves by "looking tough" on crime, while wasting tons of tax payer dollars on GPS which does not prevent any crime. See the video at the site above.
TULSA - Oklahoma State Senator Dan Newberry (Email) wants level two and three sex offenders in his state to wear electronic tracking devices.
He said his bill filed in the Oklahoma State Senate will better protect citizens from individuals who are most likely to re-offend.
- How? I'd love to hear his explanation on how it will "protect" anybody! If a person is intent on committing a crime, they will. If they cut it off, commit the crime, how will that protect anybody?
"So many times these folks don't even show up and register, and then we spend lots of dollars trying to find them," Newberry said.
- So what makes you think they'd not cut off the GPS device and vanish? You can only punish someone so much before they react.
Newberry said his bill would mandate electronic monitoring of level two and three sex offenders. He said the legislation comes in the wake of a 2-year-old Tulsa girl being abducted by a sex offender who completed jail time.
"Police were trying to locate her and happened upon this abandoned truck where they found him and the girl inside of it," Newberry said.
- This is tragic, but like I said, how would a GPS protect anybody? If he wants to commit a crime, he'd cut off the thing, vanish and commit whatever crime he was intent on doing. Just a waste of money!
He said the technology would give law enforcement agencies instant access to accurate information.
- Not if it's cut off, and also, it's not "instant!" Look it up and you'd see it's not.
"So that in the event that another Amber Alert goes out we can look at the computer program and know exactly where they are," Newberry said.
- If they have not cut off the device!
Under the way his bill is currently written, offenders would be required to pay for the tracking device and monthly monitoring service.
- Thus becoming homeless, can't afford it, then back to jail/prison, which I believe is the intent!
Newberry says tracking devices including monitoring service costs about $300 a month.
If the person was unable to pay, Newberry said a sponsor would have to be obtained.
- And who is the "sponsor?" If the tax payers want this, make them pay for it!
Newberry said the Department of Corrections already has the personnel and computer systems in place to handle the addition of level two and three sex offenders to its monitoring program.
"It could be very helpful," said Clay Thomas, who oversees 85 sex offenders for the Sequoyah County Sheriff's Department.
He said Newberry's legislation could help law enforcement agencies solve crimes faster.
- Again, if the device is cut off, then how would it help?
"(It would) tell us where they were at, what time they were there and the exact location," Thomas said.
Thomas said he fears one thing.
"I see it being very costly for us to be able to enforce it," he said.
Newberry said he hopes to have his bill passed out of committee and brought to the Senate floor for a vote by the end of February.
If that happens, the bill would then go to the House for approval.
So why does Kentucky even have a Constitution? Apparently it's been dead for awhile now. Section 19 states:
(1) No ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be enacted. (2) In any instrument heretofore or hereafter executed purporting to sever the surface and mineral estates or to grant a mineral estate or to grant a right to extract minerals, which fails to state or describe in express and specific terms the method of coal extraction to be employed, or where said instrument contains language subordinating the surface estate to the mineral estate, it shall be held, in the absence of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, that the intention of the parties to the instrument was that the coal be extracted only by the method or methods of commercial coal extraction commonly known to be in use in Kentucky in the area affected at the time the instrument was executed, and that the mineral estate be dominant to the surface estate for the purposes of coal extraction by only the method or methods of commercial coal extraction commonly known to be in use in Kentucky in the area affected at the time the instrument was executed.