Tuesday, October 12, 2010
By Archith Seshadri
A Columbia County parent says she’s frustrated with the Board of Education’s Transportation Department after she made a call last week about bus routes. She recently found out a sex offender lives near a school bus stop so she contacted the board to change the bus route. But says they haven’t been very helpful.
The school board’s transportation director says they take into account where sex offenders live before they plan bus routes.
They do take that into consideration but the director says it’s the parents’ responsibility to walk the kids to the stop and wait. The director says bus drivers are not responsible for what happens before and after a student is picked up. But they are made aware if a sex offender lives in a subdivision.
Columbia County investigators say a sex offender can’t live or work a 1000 feet from a school, daycare, church or library but there aren’t any restrictions on living near a bus stop. And with restrictions like that it has one parent in Columbia County frustrated.
- This is not exactly true. It depends on when their crime was committed.
Leslie Cunningham lives in Martinez.
Cunningham: "She walks up this way around the curve out of my line of sight to the bus stop."
Cunningham's 12-year-old daughter rides the school bus. Her daughter walks to a nearby stop sign to catch the bus and sometimes waits for 20 minutes. The stop sign is about 250 feet away from her house. So she asked the school board to move the bus stop.
Cunningham: "Instead of having her walk all the way around the curve, could they just please have her walk around to this stop sign which is about 10 feet away."
- Why don't you get off your a-- and walk your kid to the stop?
And while Cunningham wishes she could walk her daughter to the stop and wait, she says with five other kids, it's very difficult at that time of day.
- So that's your problem!
Cunningham: "These are the people that are in charge of our children's safety when they're at school, when they're on their way to school, when they are anywhere but home. And they're not willing to put a child's safety first."
- Give me a break! How are they suppose to be "protecting" your child, when a bus is not even there? Have some guard stand at every single bus stop in the state? That is your job!
Cunningham says there are two stop signs near her house and the one where her daughter catches the bus is near a registered child molester's house.
Cunningham: "When you have a convicted child molester in the neighborhood your children have to walk to a bus stop that is very close to where he resides at, that's my concern."
The bus stop Cunningham wants is already used to pick up elementary kids.
Cunningham: “They'd rather be more worried about times, and making bus routes and making it through traffic instead of putting a child's safety first."
Cunningham wants the board to change the route before someone gets hurt and is frustrated with their response.
Cunningham: "You don't know as a parent you are sitting there all day wondering, did she make it to school ok, did she even get on the bus."
- Well, if you'd walk to the stop with her, you'd not have to worry about that, now would you?
The transportation director says it is on the agenda this week and they are going through that area. They haven’t yet made a decision on whether they'll change the bus route yet but plan to let the parent know by the end of the week.
Once again it seems that the future is even more uncertain for the former Julia Tuttle camp residents.
Do you all remember the last update posted, along with the images of the men staying on the door steps of the DOC? Well I have just been informed that in the past week or so there has been some new developments. They have all been ordered to move "twice."
Seems that the DOC officers advised the men that during a recent training session conducted. The attorney general, and the city mayor happened to be there as part of the training. Both took notice of the current conditions that the men were living under. The DOC supervisors were ordered to have the men moved, because get this, they said it was unconstitutional! What a joke! So after searching for a valid location that meets the ordinance requirements, the men were placed and told to stay at one location. Only to later be ordered by the police to leave. They were advised they were trespassing.
Now 3 of the men are living on the sidewalk, on the street corner of 37 Avenue and NW 46 Street. See Map.
And guess where else? You have 4 to 6 more men living on a patch of grass called "Martel Park" just before entering the Julia Tuttle Causeway. See Map.
Until I go visit both sites and speak with everyone staying there, this is all I have for now. Will keep you all informed.
And so the sheeple continue to believe the fear mongering campaign spread by the media and self serving politicians, instead of being parents! They want BIG BROTHER to be the parents of their kids instead of themselves taking responsibility! Bahhhh, Bahhhhh, nice little sheeple! The people in this video are the ones holding their children hostage!
Wow! If I was in this situation, I'd be suing this lady for potentially a death sentence.
By Sophia Voravong
FRANKFORT - A Clinton County teenager has avoided prison, but must abide by strict probation requirements, for lying to a sexual partner about having HIV.
Heather Tatro, 19, of Frankfort, had been slated to stand trial beginning today in Clinton Circuit Court.
She instead pleaded guilty on Sept. 29 to violation of failure of carrier's duty to warn persons at risk, a Class D felony if the nondisclosure is intentional.
She instead pleaded guilty on Sept. 29 to violation of failure of carrier's duty to warn persons at risk, a Class D felony if the nondisclosure is intentional.
That same day, Judge Linley Pearson of Clinton Circuit Court sentenced Tatro to 222 days incarceration. However, that was negated by a combined 222 days credit Tatro received for time already served in the Clinton County Jail and for good behavior.
The Frankfort Police Department began investigating Tatro in early June, after a 22-year-old man who slept with Tatro learned that she might have HIV.
Indiana law requires HIV carriers to tell their sexual partners before engaging in high-risk sexual activity.
According to court documents, the man met Tatro on the social networking site MySpace on May 26. He asked Tatro whether she was infected after hearing a rumor that Tatro had AIDS or HIV.
However, Tatro lied.
The two had sexual intercourse on May 29 and three to four times the following week.
The man told investigators that he was again told on June 5 that Tatro had HIV and confronted her. This time, Tatro admitted that the rumor was true.
Tatro also was ordered on Sept. 29 to pay $765 in restitution to the victim, along with paying for any other medical or counseling costs the man may require.
She also must complete sex offender treatment, avoid Internet use and not possess pornography while on probation.
By Mark Blacklock
A POLICEMAN raped and indecently assaulted a string of women while on duty, a court heard yesterday.
Sexual predator Stephen Mitchell deliberately chose vulnerable victims who would not be believed if they complained, it is claimed.
As he molested one woman while searching her next to his patrol car, the 42-year-old is said to have bragged: “I am the law – I can do anything”. He told another victim: “No one is going to believe a thief.”
But yesterday he appeared in the dock after 16 women complained.
Mitchell denies five allegations of rape, six of indecent assault and 15 of misconduct in a public office between 1999 and 2006.
One victim was a masters student who was handcuffed and raped over a sofa, heard Newcastle Crown Court.Another was a 17-year-old with emotional problems who he is said to have fondled on the charge desk in the juvenile detention area of his police station.
He is also accused of taking 20-year-old escort girl Carrieanne Downs to have sex in his car before giving her heroin. Other women were forced to perform oral sex and other acts in cells, a fingerprint room and interview rooms, and he had sex with victims in cars or in their homes, the jury was told.
In return, it is claimed he offered to drop charges. He promised to get one woman’s children out of care.
Prosecutor Paul Sloan QC said Mitchell, who was based at Newcastle upon Tyne’s Pilgrim Street station, was confident of never being caught because he picked desperate women he thought would not be believed.
He said: “Each of the complainants was a vulnerable female, whether because of drug abuse, health problems, domestic circumstances or a combination of those factors."
“The defendant took advantage of their vulnerabilities, usually providing or offering favours, but requesting – and in some cases requiring by force – sexual favours in return.” Mitchell is said to have encountered the masters student when she was 21 and addicted to heroin.
He threatened to expose her for an alleged role in a Post Office fraud. After two years, she had completed rehab and had started college. Mr Sloan said she agreed to meet Mitchell because he had promised to hand over “evidence”, but he became “angry, abusive and violent”, handcuffing her and raping her.
The defendant was confident the women would not report him “because who would believe the word of a thief and drug addict against that of a serving police officer?” said Mr Sloan.
The trial continues.
Original Post: "I got justice!"
So it's been a month, and I have great news! I hope you'll post this to your blog to show other RSOs that they do have the ability & the right to fight back against police misconduct.
Today I wrapped up an out of court settlement with the attorney who represents the city where my incident took place. I will be receiving a healthy chunk of cash as a result of the officers involved. To recap my situation in the quickest way possible, this is the story.
I was at a protest in December. The police were called. They ran all of our names. They discovered I had a conviction of sexual battery 6 years back for getting drunk and grabbing the butt of my ex-girlfriend's friend. Not a proud moment, but obviously not the worst story. The officers ignored my up to date registration & arrested me for failure to register. While handcuffed the proceeded to call me a pedophile, child molester, piece of s---, among other things. One officer announced to the crowd that I "beat and molest 11 year old girls." All of which are brazen lies. I've never harmed a child, nor had an unhealthy view of them. All I did was grab someone's rear. I was arrested, booked, and had to spend a bundle to bail myself out.
Since this time I filed a lawsuit, and an internal affairs investigation on the officers involved. I will be receiving a settlement which I won't disclose for personal reasons, needless to say I am VERY satisfied with it. Also, all the officers involved received disciplinary actions. The cop who announced to the crowd that I "beat and molest 11 year old girls" was relieved of his employment at said police department. One less bad cop out there.
So I hope my story will help other people out there. I want other RSOs to have the guts to stand up for themselves. I know first hand how humiliating this can be, having this label. But you cannot give up your humanity. You may have lost your privacy, your dignity, and yes, even your safety when signing on to be a RSO. However you still have rights. You have the right to pursue happiness. You have the right to voice your opinion. If you feel your rights are getting violated, go to an ACLU meeting. If you're harassed by neighbors and other people, call the police. If the police won't do their job or if they harass you, file an internal affairs investigation of your own. Believe me, even if you don't get anywhere with it, the fact that they were part of an internal affairs investigation will stain their record wherever they go.
It is really, really easy to give up hope and become a cynical person due to this stuff. I truly believe that there's so many people out there railroaded into unfair convictions. Forced to suffer unneeded abuse because of mistakes they have made. However if every one of the hundreds of thousands of sex offenders out there started sticking up for themselves in the face of embarrassment and adversity, the noise generated will force lawmakers and other law officials to start making some hard choices about how they use us as political cannon fodder. No one is going to do it for you.
By Liz Ozaist
At 37, Meredith Maran made one of the toughest decisions of her life, one that would result in her biggest mea culpa: She accused her father of molesting her as a child.
Her new memoir, "My Lie: A True Story of False Memory," chronicles her experiences with repressed memories and what ultimately led Maran to recant her claim. In an equally candid interview, the journalist discusses her saga, which unfolded at a time when the entire country was embroiled in a now controversial, Salem Witch Trials–like panic over sexual abuse.
Lemondrop: As accusations go, incest is a pretty weighty one. What factors led you to make such a serious accusation against your father at 37?
It was a constellation of precipitating events that were personal and political. The reason I wrote this book is because I was both horrified and fascinated as a journalist by the fact that so many people at the time [mid 1980s into the early 1990s], myself included, got swept up into believing that fathers, mothers, daycare workers, you name it, were mass abusing children and participating in satanic rituals across the U.S.
There was a social mania going on. We had just discovered that incest was not a one-in-a-million phenomenon -- it was more like one in three. And I was one of the journalists on the forefront trying to sell people on this statistic, which no one believed at first. But once the culture discovered it, we made a product line out of it. Oprah came out saying she'd been abused, made-for-TV movies dominated the airwaves, and it just ballooned from there. During this time, it seemed like every man was being labeled a molester, and claims were being made that one in three women were walking around with buried memories. The whole world flipped for this mania -- and I went with it.
You had persistent nagging doubts about your claim from the beginning. Why did it take you nearly 10 years to finally say it didn't actually occur?
There was never a moment that I knew with absolute certainty that it had happened. I'd had a troubled relationship with my father since I ran away from home at 16, and I'd always questioned the reasons why. So when I started to write articles about incest and repressed memories, the idea that I was also repressing memories from childhood wasn't entirely implausible. But I always had my doubts. Yet it wasn't until my father had a heart attack, when we weren't speaking, that I realized, "If I ever want to see him again, I need to talk to him now." Throughout those years we didn't communicate, it was a real torment not to feel sorry for the "bad guy" in this story. I now realize that I did this terrible thing, and I take responsibility for it.
What was worse? Saying your dad molested you, or admitting it was a lie?
Initially, I felt an equal measure of horror and relief in both cases. But I think saying that it happened at 37 was easier than realizing, at 45, that I may not be a happy person ever again after what I'd done, after destroying my family over a lie.
Why were the 1980s such a ripe time for this type of Salem-esque momentum to take hold?
There was this really strange confluence coming together then. We had a delayed reaction to the 1960s going on, a backlash against free love. Middle America was taking back its repressed sexuality. The epidemic swept through small towns quickly; one day, everyone had their kids in preschool, and the next, all the kids in town were being pulled out of class, loaded onto buses, and shipped to therapists for hypnosis. There were also many well-educated women out there with rage and confusion about their 1950s upbringings, which placed a lot of importance on the father figure. And when people are looking for a scapegoat, they'll find it.
Do you still believe in repressed memory, or do you feel it's a product of our psychiatrist-dependent culture? You mention in the book that there's no record of it pre-1800.
It's a very loaded question. I do believe there's such a thing as repressed memory, and the point of my book is not to discredit those who really have blocked out horrible events from their pasts. The book has produced interesting discussions about the topic. For example, I've gotten a lot of mail from Holocaust survivors and war veterans who say they wish they could forget, how they'd give anything to lose those memories.
At one point, you talk about research that indicates people who've been molested are more likely to become molesters themselves, and how this pattern is much more prevalent among men than women. Can you expand on this?
I haven't been following incest research closely in the last ten or so years, but at the time that I made my accusation, I was submerged in it. The common wisdom at the time was that if you went to a prison and talked to men of violent crimes, the vast majority of them came from violent homes and they tended to re-enact the sex abuse enacted on them. Females from abusive families, however, were less likely to do this and they were more likely to deal with their issues in therapy.
When you finally came out with your accusation against your own dad, whose reaction shocked you the most?
My brother. Not only because he was so willing to believe me, but because I later learned that he also went to a therapist to discuss whether he'd been abused.
Is there anyone who doesn't speak to you as a result of what happened?
No, although my accusation definitely left scars on my family that will never heal, and there's no way around it. Just yesterday I spent the day with my stepmother and we talked about how the book has raised questions, yet again, among family members. Everyone has a lot to say and I don't expect that will ever end. As a mother, I can also say that I've been accused of things by my sons that I don't agree with, but I would never discredit them.
Has there been any backlash to your book? What about sex-abuse victims who now feel as though this book discounts their credibility?
That was certainly not my intention, and I feel horrible if that's what some people take away from the book. It also makes me question if they really read the book. I devoted lots of pages to discussing stories of actual abuse. But dialogue is good, even if someone reacts negatively. I recently responded to a woman who took issue with the book and asked what in the book led her to the conclusion that abuse survivors would now no longer be believed. She said it was the title of the book, and the fact that it was getting publicity. I respected her feelings, but it's a personal memoir and I can't alter what actually happened -- unless I change the title to "My Lie, Your Truth."
How is your relationship with your father today? Do you think there's a part of him that can never forgive you 100 percent?
My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's not long after I took back my accusation, so we're trying to move toward forgiveness quickly. He's made it very clear that he hopes the book will be successful, and he even came to the book-launch party. To be honest with you, the experience has allowed us to have a rebirth of our relationship. I haven't been this close to him since I was a small kid. It's forced us to be very honest with each other.