Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CA - Kamala Harris Attack Ad: Steve Cooley a Sexist Coddler of Child Molesters

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By Peter Jamison

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris today released an online ad targeting her Republican opponent in the race for state attorney general. The ad assails Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, in so many words, as a sexist coddler of child molesters.

The video attacks Cooley for comments he made at a University of Southern California crime forum in 2009. Said Cooley, "You know what gets an initiative passed in California? Name it after a female... Jessica's Law, stuff like that." He was referring to a California law, similar to legislation enacted by other states, that imposes tougher penalties and residency restrictions on sex offenders. The law is named after Jessica Lunsford (PDF), a Florida girl who was raped and murdered in 2005.

Cooley opposed the ballot initiative that enacted the law, arguing that limits on where sex offenders can live would make it more difficult to track them. Asks Harris' new ad, "What does he have against laws named after 'females?'" The other two "questions" in the spot criticize Cooley's handling of environmental crimes in L.A. and his opposition to national health-care reform.

What can you say? It's never to early to play the gender card and exploit irrational fears of sexual predators in a big election, particularly since Harris is likely to face serious questions about her crime-fighting record in San Francisco.

Video Link

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UK - Woman (Eloise O'Donovan) jailed for making false rape claim

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By Helen Clarke

A SURBITON woman has been jailed after falsely accusing two men of raping her.

Eloise O'Donovan, 19, told police she was seriously sexually assaulted in Vale Road South, on July 26 last year. She identified the men, who were arrested, and officers from the Sapphire Unit started investigating the alleged attack.

But her lies soon unravelled and evidence against her version of events piled up, shifting the focus of the investigation on to her.

She was eventually arrested and pleaded guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice at Kingston Crown Court on June 17. The teenager was sentenced to two years in prison.

Investigating officer DC Aine Matthews said: "We are committed to conducting professional and impartial investigations that seek the truth and ultimately bring those responsible to justice. Making a false allegation is a rare but serious criminal offence, which puts those who are falsely accused through a very emotional ordeal."

"Where there is evidence of false allegations, we will refer cases to the Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether a prosecution is in the public interest."

AFRICA - Anti-Rape Condoms Being Distributed In South Africa

This is a comment left on the video, which I agree with:

Wow, I can only imagine how many pyscho b----es are going to use this to their advantage. Sounds to me like this can not only be used for defense but as a revenge tool as well. They wear it, seduce a guy, let's him get hooked and boom, now he goes to jail for rape and is a sex offender for life. Lovely. Do they design this thing with any features to protect THAT from happening? I doubt it.

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IA - Increase in juveniles fuels Iowa's spending on monitoring, confining sex offenders

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The high cost of monitoring and confining sex offenders who are subject to a slew of new laws in Iowa will be discussed by policymakers this week and later this summer.

State officials have discovered the cost is growing more than expected because more juveniles are being added to new 10-year and lifetime monitoring requirements for sex crimes, said Phyllis Blood, an analyst for Iowa's Sex Offender Research Council.

The council will discuss the change in the juvenile sex offender population Wednesday. A state public safety advisory board created by the Legislature this year also will discuss sex offender costs and potential policy changes at its first meeting in July.

The council recommended this year that lawmakers should focus the state's resources for supervision on the highest-risk offenders. The move came after a Des Moines Register probe in July 2009 showed Iowa's experiment with lifetime monitoring would cost at least $168 million over the next 20 years.

That amount excluded the cost of monitoring more juvenile offenders, whose numbers have been growing since an overhaul of sex offender laws in 2006, Blood said.

"The mean age for most of those adjudicated for (second-degree) sex abuse, the most common crime, is 16," said Blood. Most "are going to have to be monitored for the rest of their lives."

A 2006 change required most sex offenders to serve "special sentences" after completing their original prison or probation sentences. The law was intended to protect children from sexual predators, who previously could walk out of prison with few restrictions after serving their time.

The change took away juvenile court discretion in placing juveniles 14 or older on the sex offender registry for certain offenses.

Last year, 137 juveniles were also adjudicated delinquent for sex offenses - a 19 percent increase from 115 in 2008. Seventy-five will be subject to lifetime monitoring.

In addition to prison, sex offenders are also housed at the state's Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders in Cherokee. None of the 80 patients in the program - which costs about $6.85 million a year - has "graduated" from treatment in its 12-year history.

However, as many as nine patients have made enough progress that they may be allowed to return to their hometowns later this year, state officials have said.

ME - More Than 400 Convicted Sex Offenders Now Off State Registry

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By Rob Poindexter

Over the past decade, the Maine Legislature has made a number of changes to Maine's sex offender registry requirements. But according to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, not all of these changes have been constitutional.

Last December, the court ruled that some changes made to the sex offender registry had gone a little too far. "There are very few offenses where you would escape the registration requirement," says Attorney General Janet Mills, "the only constitutional question that has arisen, the only legitimate one, was the ex post facto one, where they tried retroactively applying the law."

Some convicted sex offenders who had already been sentenced were told their sentence had changed. Instead of being required to register as a sex offender in their communities for 10 or 15 years, they had to register for life. The Maine Civil Liberties Union was part of the group that challenged the new laws being applied retroactively. "You can't create new punishments for activities that have already happened," says Zachary Heiden, a legal director for the MCLU, "the cumulative affect of the legislature's actions were punishment for people for offenses they had already committed, and the constitution says you can't do that."

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court agreed and lawmakers in Augusta came up with a solution:

  • If an offender has only one prior conviction for a sex offense.
  • Was convicted of that offense between 1982 and 1999
  • Has been out of jail for at least 10 years
  • Has not been convicted of a felony in at least 10 years

They can petition the Maine Department of Public Safety to be removed from the sex offender registry. According to the state bureau of identification, more than 400 people have been taken off the registry since December.

State officials say moving forward, Maine's laws governing the sex offender registry will be both constitutional and strict. "Nobody should think when they plead guilty, or are found guilty of a sex offense in Maine, that they can escape the registration requirement. Nobody."

FL - Police: 18-Year-Old (Samaria Renford) Lied About Rape

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Teen Wanted Her Boyfriend To Take Her Back, Report Says

ORLANDO - Orlando police said the 18-year-old woman who claimed she was raped Monday was lying.

Samaria Renford called police after she wrecked her BMW on Rosamond Drive near North Orange Blossom Trail.

Local police are planning to discuss Tuesday morning the recent spike in false rape being reported.

The 18-year-old has been arrested after confessing when she was questioned about the details of the case.

The arrest report states that Renford told detectives she found her boyfriend cheating on her. So, she took his car and intentionally crashed it.

The report states Renford hoped if her boyfriend found out she was raped, he'd take her back and be nicer to her.

Renford faces charges of filing a false report.