Thursday, September 2, 2010

OH - A dangerous walk to school

Original Article

Then why don't you be a parent, and walk with them, or take them to school yourself! Stop blaming others for your problems, and stop trampling on others rights, unless your rights are eradicated as well. The Constitution guarantees everyone equal rights, and doesn't say you have a right to know who lives around you, or the right to force people from their own homes. These laws are unconstitutional! Many studies have been done which prove, where someone lives has nothing to do with if they will commit a similar crime. STOP BELIEVING THE FEAR-MONGERING from the media & politicians. Taking a different route does nothing, and your kids are more likely to be hit by a car than some "molester" harming them!

09/02/2010

By Allison Brown

TOLEDO - Victoria Szymanski, a South Toledo parent, said it's too dangerous for her kids to walk to school because more than 200 sex offenders live nearby.

Depending on the route her children take, she knows several sex offenders live nearby.

Szymanski doesn't want her kids walking through shady neighborhoods. One of her children attends Jones Junior High School and her other children attend Walbridge Elementary.

"I was very upset," she said. "I just kept thinking about her safety and all the different child molesters and sex offenders she would have to walk within that stretch."

Although it's a lot of exercise, she's not risking her family's safety. Szymanski walks with them when she can.
- Good, she should be doing this.  Teach them self defense.  Educate them, etc!

As an alternative, Szymanski tells her daughter to take a different route to school sometimes.

"She has to walk down the (Anthony Wayne) Trail, and then take the Collingwood (Boulevard) exit, and cross busy roads," the concerned parent said.

The walking route, though, isn't necessarily safer either since there's plenty of traffic along the Anthony Wayne Trail.

The mother of three said she's at a loss without Toledo Public Schools transportation. Walking to class for students is the most likely option because of June's budget transportation cuts.

In addition, the option to ride TARTA isn't in the budget. Szymanski also believes riding TARTA is not the safest.

"They would expect you to pay $40 a month and transfer downtown," she said. "With the early morning winter hours, I don't want her downtown in the dark."

The school district is expected to receive $7.6 million in federal funds from the recently-signed Jobs bill. TPS School Board President Bob Vasquez is hoping to focus on transportation with that money.

Szymanski said the funding can't come soon enough.

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CA - Examining Chelsea's Law

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ID - Former police officer (Stephen Young) sentenced for child molestation

Original Article
Older Article

09/02/2010

By Jamie Grey

BOISE -- A former Boise Police officer who police say molested at least four children under two years old was sentenced to 25 years in prison in Ada County Court Wednesday.

Fourth District Judge Michael Wetherell handed down the maximum sentence late Wednesday afternoon for 58-year-old Stephen Young. Young must serve at least 12.5 years before he is eligible for parole.

Young pleaded guilty in June to one count of sexual battery of a child after striking a deal with prosecutors.

Ada County Sheriff's deputies say back in March, Young admitted to molesting four young children.

Ada County prosecutors revealed today that Young has confessed to molesting four more victims, all of whom are either family or family friends. This latest confession brings his victims to at least 13, but police say that number could be more than 20.

"He absolutely has no idea of the havoc and confusion and trauma he has unleashed," Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Jean Fisher said.

Young has confessed to molesting at least a dozen of his family members and family friends, all of whom were babies or toddlers at the time. Prosecutors say the abuse happened over a period of more than 30 years. The confessions have come out over the last six months, with the most recent just this week.

Three parents of victims read statements to the court and Young during the sentencing hearing, two of which said they believed the true amount of victims will never be known as they don't believe Young will ever fully confess the truth.

"I just know that there's still more. There's a lot more. There's a lot more that he needs to come clear with for himself," a mother of a victim said.

"I still do not believe that he has provided a complete list of victims. I don't think we will ever know the full extent of the damage he has caused," a father of a victim said.

From the defense table, Young apologized to his victims, family, and the community for betraying their trust.
"I wish I had the power to take back the evil I have done. I wish that being deeply sorry could somehow heal the hearts I have broken," Stephen Young said.

The judge recognized Young's crimes could likely have gone unknown and unpunished had he not confessed, but the judge focused on the impact Young's family and victims will forever face.

"There is no sentence that I can impose on you that the victims or their families is ever going to feel is severe enough," Fourth District Judge Michael Wetherell said.

For some family members the lasting impact is too great for them to ever look past.

"I think there is too much damage that has been done. I hope for him as a human being that he can make things right, but I think, like I said there's too much damage done, and there won't be any reconnection," a mother of victims said.

Although the state could pursue more charges against Young for the latest round of confessions, prosecutors said they probably will not after today's 25-year sentence.

Investigators say they have evidence Young was molesting other children during his time as a school resource officer in the Boise School District, though those children were not related to his job. He worked at a half dozen schools between 1995 and 2005.

Boise Police Chief Michael Masterson issued this statement following Young's sentencing:

Most importantly, my thoughts go out to the victims of these crimes and their families. The crimes committed by Mr, Young are appalling and unconscionable.

I applaud and appreciate the professional and thorough work of the Sheriff’s Office investigators and Ada County Prosecutors, and support the judgment of the court in today’s sentencing decision. Mr. Young took an oath to protect others and he grossly violated that trust. My hope is today’s sentencing will bring some measure of closure and assist in what is most assuredly a very difficult healing process for victims and their families.

Despite the fact the case against of Mr. Young surfaced following his retirement, it’s timely to reiterate that both members of the community and members of the law enforcement profession expect the highest level of professional and ethical conduct from officers, both on and off-duty. The vast majority of those in law enforcement are proud to quietly but honorably serve their community, do so with distinction, and have my fullest and most sincere admiration and support.

Young was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

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NY - 'America's Most Wanted' host makes child-porn-targeting software available to Onondaga County sheriff

Original Article

09/02/2010

By Robert A. Baker

Syracuse - John Walsh, the host of Fox Television’s America’s Most Wanted, joined Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh this morning in a news conference announcing a couple of new law enforcement initiatives.

Software designed to catch the exchange of child pornography between peer-to-peer computer users will be tried in Onondaga County in what the television host said will be a trial project for the state of New York.

Walsh was involved in Operation Orange Tree, Florida’s first use of the secret software that can recognize child pornography. That operation resulted in the arrests of 77 people on charges ranging from child pornography to sexual battery, according the Florida governor’s office.

Fifteen of these creeps were exchanging a manual on how to have sex with a child under 8 and get away with it, even if it is your child,” Walsh said.

Walsh was so impressed that he arranged to have it made available for free to the local sheriff’s office, he said.

The software can recognize child pornography and identify the sender and receiver without the sender and receiver being aware, Walsh said. He said he was not privy to the exact way it works.

Kevin Walsh said after the software flags a picture as child pornography, the officers secure search warrants for both involved in the peer-to-peer exchange. The concentration will be on Onondaga County and Central New York exchanges, but on the Internet, the two involved could be anywhere.

The sheriff’s office would share information with other agencies and will be partnering with other counties.

The sheriff’s office is also in discussions with Time Warner Cable on getting a dedicated cable channel that will show the faces of registered sex offenders living in the county, the two Walshes said.

That idea came from a discussion the two had. John Walsh is a native of Auburn and the two have known each other since school, Kevin Walsh said.

My belief is that soccer dads and soccer moms can go to a TV channel and see if a predator lives next door,” John Walsh said.

The continuous showing will feature current photos of registered sex offenders and will also show those whose location is known as well as offenders who have not reregistered as the law requires and their location is not known, Kevin Walsh said.

The sheriff said he is arranging a meeting with Time Warner officials to work out the details.

John Walsh is the father of Adam Walsh, who at 6 years old was abducted and killed in 1981. "America’s Most Wanted" is entering its 24th season this fall, and claims to have aided in the capture of 1127 fugitives around the world.

America's Most Wanted Host John Walsh in Syracuse for News Conference


IN - County looks at sex offender fee

Original Article

This is called extortion!

08/31/2010

By ERIN MEYER

Proposed $50 fee would help offset expenses of monitoring offenders

HANCOCK COUNTY — Acting-Hancock County Sheriff Donnie Munden wants sex offenders to help pay for police efforts to monitor their whereabouts.

He has made a recommendation to the Hancock County Commissioners that the county adopt a policy requiring sex offenders to pay a $50 annual fee to help support the sex offender registry, an online database that makes public the home addresses of those who have been charged sex crimes or labeled sexual predators.
- I think that may be for the donuts instead!