Friday, January 7, 2011

OH - Ohio Senate Candidate Eric Deaton Indicted For Sexual Conduct With A Minor

Original Article

This is a little old, but still relevant. If what they say is indeed false, then whomever pressed the charges should be charged with making a false statement and receive the punishment he would receive, if convicted.

09/01/2010

By Jon Bershad

Eric Deaton, an Ohio candidate for Senate running for the Constitution Party, has been indicted for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. Police say that in 2006 and 2007, Deaton had an “inappropriate relationship” with a 15 year old girl whom he met while acting as an elder for his church. Deaton held a press conference today where he and his attorney, Jon Paul Rion, claimed the accusations were false and politically motivated.

From Ohio’s WDTN 2:

“Police said they had hotel receipts and video to prove their case.

But Deaton’s attorney, Jon Paul Rion questioned the timing of indictment. It comes close to election time. Rion also said the hotel surveillance video and receipts would help prove that Deaton was innocent.

Rion said Deaton had passed a 4-hour long polygraph test.”

Deaton plans to stay in the race despite his legal trouble. It will be interesting to see if his political endorsements (including some Tea Party and Family Values organizations) stand behind him or all vanish following this news. In the meantime, his campaign has been forced to disallow comments on their official Facebook page after the indictment led to some “harrassing” posts.




GA - Georgia watches as justice decays

Original Article

01/06/2011

By Wyc Orr

Justice is a right purportedly so highly prized in Georgia that we have emblazoned the word on the official state seal, which also proclaims “wisdom” and “constitution” as hallmarks of what we cherish as citizens. So as our Legislature prepares to convene next week, how’s justice faring in our state?

Judged by recent events, the answer is not encouraging. Indeed, we are seeing Dr. Martin Luther King’s admonition that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” playing out in Georgia, plaguing both victims and suspects alike.

Just last week, a state trooper was shot dead, allegedly by a suspect who had been released from pre-trial confinement for unrelated charges, a release mandated by the Constitution, which our judges are sworn to uphold. Who can doubt that the trooper was a victim of injustice? Or that others are sometimes victimized by those released by an underfunded, overburdened and unfairly criticized court system that possesses no legal, constitutional or viable alternative to those releases, or by our strapped prison system, which itself faces closings and shortages?

In a growing number of cases, proceedings have ground to a halt, with accused indigent defendants locked up without lawyers, trials or appeals. Cases now well known in the legal community — Weis, Phan, Flournoy, Cantwell, and others — have exposed the reality of impoverished defendants locked up for as long as five years without trial or meaningful defense, rotting in jail. In the Cantwell case, the trial judge held that “the Georgia indigent defense system is broken.” A just society does not lock up its citizens with no trial for years on end. Nor does it torment the victims of crime with endless waits for justice.

The specific causes of this failure are many: The transfer of the public defender system from the judicial to the executive branch in 2007, followed by the removal of the system’s director from the employ of its governing council and placing that position under the governor in 2008, leaving that council a figurehead, unable to implement its decisions and effectively operate the system. For several years now, the state has diverted money from the indigent defense fund created to fund it, depriving public defenders of well over $20 million. Ignoring the pleas of the judiciary, the state has slashed funding for part-time, retired judges who relieve congested court dockets, and has underfunded crime labs, impeding prompt analysis of evidence and prosecution of cases.

What does the state propose to do about it? Judging by the pronouncements of Georgia’s executive and legislative leaders, little. Rarely do we hear officials include our justice system in their lists of priorities. A notable exception thus far: state Rep. Rich Golick, R-Smyrna, chairman of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee, has drafted legislation that will attempt to redress some of the disabilities imposed on the public defender system.

Only the Legislature, aided by Gov.-elect Nathan Deal, can remedy the pattern of injustice in Georgia. Judges can usually act only in individual cases, but cannot themselves constitutionally cobble together a comprehensive remedy for massive, systemic denials of justice. The courts — funded by less than 1 percent of the state budget — cannot appropriate money.

How ironic that injustice prevails in a state that began as a colony led by James E. Oglethorpe to establish a safe haven for those unjustly imprisoned in England. Our roots matter. The whole world is hardly watching. But those who truly care about “liberty and justice for all” — as more than a hollow phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance — should.

Wyc Orr, a former state legislator, is a Gainesville attorney and a member of the governing council of the public defender system.


DC - Child Porn Probe Leads To FBI Headquarters

Original Article

01/05/2011

Target claims inquiry is just a “misunderstanding”

The government’s pursuit of suspects trafficking in child pornography recently led federal agents to a familiar address--the FBI’s Washington, D.C. headquarters, where a bureau official is the subject of an ongoing criminal probe, The Smoking Gun has learned.

The investigation by the Department of Justice’s inspector general is focusing on FBI employee Joseph Bonsuk’s receipt of nearly 80 illicit images that were e-mailed to him by an Illinois sex offender whose rap sheet includes felony convictions for bank robbery and solicitation of a minor.

In a telephone interview last night, Bonsuk, 51, acknowledged that he is under investigation, but said that the matter was a “misunderstanding” and a “mix-up.” Bonsuk, who claimed he is cooperating with probers, said that FBI officials had told him yesterday not to discuss the ongoing investigation. While adding that he was “totally innocent,” Bonsuk, said that he has not been told that he will avoid criminal charges.

That direction was apparently triggered by TSG inquiries to the agency’s press office about Bonsuk. Kathy Wright, an FBI spokesperson, refused to disclose Bonsuk’s job title, his responsibilities, or how long he has worked for the bureau. Claiming that FBI policy barred disclosure of such details about a public employee, Wright also declined to say whether Bonsuk’s job status has changed in light of the child porn investigation.

Bonsuk told TSG that he works as an FBI management and program analyst.

Court records reveal that Bonsuk’s name surfaced in the wake of an FBI probe of [name withheld], an Illinois felon who was arrested in December 2009 for allegedly sharing hundreds of illicit images and videos via the GigaTribe peer-to-peer network. A criminal complaint notes that [name withheld], 29, unknowingly allowed access to his child porn stash to three different undercover operatives.

Following his arrest, [name withheld], “voluntarily authorized the FBI to take over control of and use his ‘online presence.’” This tactic allows agents to secretly assume control of a suspect’s screen names, nicknames, and e-mail addresses, which can provide immediate access to networks of child porn traders.

While reviewing a Yahoo account used by [name withheld], FBI agents discovered “several exchanges” with an AOL e-mail account. One March 2009 correspondence from [name withheld] to the AOL account included a file with 78 child porn images. After the file was sent, [name withheld] received an e-mail from the AOL account saying, “I don’t want kiddie porn scary.” [name withheld] responded, “well duh pick through for the teen stuff I sent how it came to me.”

A subsequent subpoena revealed that Bonsuk was the AOL account’s subscriber. His contact information included telephone numbers at his Baltimore home and “day telephone number (202) 324-8494, which is a number at FBI Headquarters,” according to an affidavit sworn by a Department of Justice investigator.

After realizing that Bonsuk worked for the FBI, investigators secretly copied the hard drive of Bonsuk’s office computer. While a forensic examination did not turn up any illicit images, a variety of evidence retrieved from the machine linked him to the AOL address “utilized by Bonsuk on March 13, 2009 to receive child pornography.”

At Bonsuk’s request, a TSG reporter forwarded him a search warrant that recently allowed agents to seize a “CD containing e-mail content” from his AOL account. He did not reply to messages left for him this morning seeking comment on the warrant’s contents.

[name withheld], who spent about four years in federal prison for his bank robbery and solicitation convictions, is currently being held without bail at the federal lockup in Chicago. He was named in a four-count July 2010 indictment charging him with possession and distribution of child pornography.


NC - Former police officer (Kurt Marcus) offered plea deal in child sex case

Original Article

01/07/2011

HUNTERSVILLE - Two local mothers said they feel disappointed after learning of a potential plea deal in Lincoln County for a former police officer who is accused of indecent liberties with minors.

Kurt Marcus, a former police lieutenant, is charged with four counts of indecent liberties with a minor. He was offered a plea deal in which he would serve four months of active time for pleading guilty to one count of indecent liberties.

If found guilty on all counts, the maximum Marcus could be sentenced is 10 months for each count.

The mothers of the two girls involved said they understand the need for a plea agreement, but that Marcus should face a stiffer punishment as a police officer.

Sadly, the justice system, I feel, is broken,” one mother said.

Eyewitness News is not identifying the women in order to protect the identities of their daughters.

The mothers said they trusted and respected Marcus.

He seemed like an almost down to earth, good old country boy from the mountains,” one mother said.

Then, they said, they learned that their daughters claimed he touched them at his home in Iron Station.

He is not just your ordinary guy. He's not your neighbor. He is supposed to be somebody to protect you,” one woman said.

For that reason, the women said they want Marcus to face the full weight of the law. But they understand that because he has no criminal record, he could get off with a few months of prison time.

And a trial would pit the words of two young girls against that of a 14-year law enforcement veteran.

I mean, this is somebody you are supposed to trust,” one woman said.

Marcus was placed on leave from the Huntersville Police Department in September. He resigned at the end of November.


WA - Bail set for former cop (Ryan Graichen) accused of sex crimes

Original Article

01/07/2011

By Kristin M. Kraemer

A Benton County judge reduced bail Thursday for a former police officer accused of offering girls money to perform sex acts but refused to go as low as a defense attorney wanted because "these are terrible offenses."

Judge Robert Swisher set bail at $250,000 for Ryan Graichen, 35, of Kennewick, who resigned from the Portland police force in 2007 during an investigation.

Graichen sobbed and looked back at his family in the audience when the judge denied his request for $50,000 bail.

His lawyer, Nicholas Jones, explained it still would be difficult for his client to raise that amount but said it was reasonable. He proposed placing Graichen on electronic home monitoring or ordering him to stay away from certain areas, particularly Columbia Park, where the crimes allegedly occurred.

But Deputy Prosecutor Anita Petra implored Swisher to keep the bail at $500,000, saying there is new evidence on film seized from Graichen's home that reportedly shows two "young women" in his living room.

The allegations are that Graichen had approached three teenage girls in the park June 13 and offered them each $300, alcohol and marijuana if they would go back to his house and be filmed while he performed a sex act.

"Simply put, he is still a threat to our community," Petra said.

Graichen was arrested by Kennewick detectives in December after he was identified by four girls in connection with two separate incidents last summer.

In the second incident, he confronted a teen boy and girl June 15 and asked them if they were interested in going back to his home and putting on a show for him, court documents said. He offered the girl $500 if she would watch him masturbate, documents said.

When police searched Graichen's home, they reportedly found a locked gun safe with 14 guns and 30 DVDs and a mini video cassette.

Officers also seized a binder with pictures of teen girls in bikinis and other more explicit photos, court documents said. Some of the girls appeared to be 15 to 16.

Graichen has pleaded innocent in Benton County Superior Court to two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of sexual abuse of a minor. Trial is set for Feb. 14.

Graichen was hired by the Portland Police Department in 1998 and was a school resource officer when he came under investigation nine years later for filming high school girls at a school dance and basketball games and zooming in on their private areas, according to news service accounts.

A statewide police policy panel later revoked his police certification for violating the state's moral fitness standards for police.

Jones, in asking for the lowered bail, said Graichen has been a Benton County resident for four or five years and has had "gainful employment" for three years with a Richland cabinet and floor covering company. His client is not a flight risk because that job still is available if he can get out of jail, he said.

The $500,000 bail is "a more punitive amount than anything," argued Jones, who said these weren't violent crimes because there are no allegations that bodily injury was inflicted. Jones also said he would like to get some outside evaluations and counseling for Graichen.

On a $30,000-a-year salary, "it might as well be a no-bail hold," Jones added. "I think even $50,000 is pushing it."

The judge agreed that $500,000 was too high, but noted that the victims likely did not know Graichen and these "terrible offenses" were uninvited.

"I'm assuming that these allegations are true. I don't know that they are, but I'm entitled to ... " said Swisher, who told the attorneys he had read the two-page probable cause affidavit in the case. "No one was hurt, but the potential was there for big-time problems."


CA - Ex-deputy (Thomas Terry Triplett) pleads guilty in child sex crime case

Original Article

01/06/2011

By Raul Hernandez

A former Ventura County Sheriff’s Department deputy pleaded guilty Thursday to four counts of a lewd act on a child.

Thomas Terry Triplett, 41, of Camarillo, also pleaded guilty to two counts of oral copulation with a child younger than 16 years old. Triplett also admitted to the special allegation that he engaged in substantial sexual conduct during the commission of these crimes.

Ventura County Superior Court Judge Edward Brodie set sentencing for Feb. 24.

During the court proceedings, prosecutor Anthony Wold told Triplett that the sentence on all of these counts is 12 years and eight months in prison.

But as part of the plea agreement, Wold said Triplett would serve 10 years and eight months behind bars.

Triplett must register as a sex offender and pay restitution to the victim, who is a relative. Triplett will be on parole for five years after his release from prison.

The 40-year-old Triplett was a 15-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

Triplett stood inside a detention cell inside the courtroom while facing Wold, who read him portions of the pink-sheet plea agreement that Triplett had signed.

Triplett’s lawyer, Willard Wiksell, said in an interview that his client has led a “blameless life,” was a law-abiding citizen and now, he has chosen to accept full responsibility for his crimes.

There is no excuse. His life is ruined and he feels terrible,” said Wiksell, adding that his client is deeply remorseful for what he did.

It is a significant sentence.”

Wiksell said Triplett wanted to spare family members the anguish of further court proceedings.

The judge accepted the plea agreement and said he was convinced Triplett entered into it voluntarily and understood the constitutional rights he was giving up by signing it.

Any questions of me or your attorney about what you are doing?” the judge asked Triplett.

No, sir,” he replied.


FL - PC Commissioners Debate Effectiveness Of Sex Offender Restrictions

Original Article

Like the general public, they hear the words "sex offender," and immediately they assume the worse and do not listen to experts or the facts, just their own personal feelings, or, they don't want to look "soft" on crime. This is not a debate!

01/06/2011

Panama City - Do residency restrictions prevent sexual offenders from committing new crimes?
- No. Many studies have been done to show that they do nothing to prevent crime nor protect anybody, but they do increase the number of offenders who become homeless. Don't you folks remember the Julia Tuttle Causeway? Guess not! Most sexual crimes occur in the victims own home, and sex offenders have the LOWEST recidivism rate of any other criminal, but you would not know that because you don't care about facts, just what will save your own careers, or make you look better to the mob!

The Panama City Commission will consider that question next week. They’re scheduled to decide whether to pass a new ordinance that reduces the distance offenders are allowed to live from places where children congregate.

The revised ordinance would leave the barrier at 2,500 feet for predators but reduce it to 1,000 feet for offenders. Judges assign the designation; predators are typically repeat offenders with tendencies toward violence and stalking.
- It doesn't matter if it's 2,500 feet or 10 miles. If a person is really dangerous, do you really think a "buffer" zone is going to make a difference? No it won't. Where they sleep at night has nothing to do with if they will commit another crime or not. 1,000 feet is better, but the same still applies. It doesn't prevent anything nor protect anybody, period!

In two preliminary votes, commissioners Billy Rader and Nancy Wengel have sided with PCPD Chief John Van Etten, who told commissioners that easing restrictions would open the door to the city.

Rader said he’s on the side of the chief. “I just don’t see the urgency and the reasoning behind this,” said Rader. “Why do we need to make it any easier for a sexual offender… to have access to children?
- Not all sex offenders have harmed children, and again, do you not know about the Julia Tuttle Causeway and the increasing number of homeless offenders roaming the streets due to these exile zones? I guess you are like Nancy Pelosi, got to pass it to see what's in it (i.e. Don't read the bills, facts or even care!)

Florida’s law restricts offenders and predators from living within 1,000 of schools, churches, bus stops and playgrounds. The cities of Springfield, Panama City Beach, Parker, Lynn Haven and Callaway have 2,500 foot barriers. Bay County’s setback is the same as that required by the state.

Commissioner John Kady, who proposed the change, said the city ordinance should mirror state law. “I think it’s important that we keep in step with that,” said Kady. “I think it protects us legally [and] gives us an ordinance that’s defensible.”

A 2009 Broward County study found that setbacks did not achieve their intended effects of protecting children or reducing repeat offenses.

Waylon Graham, a Panama City attorney whose client is accused of violating the city ordinance, says communities may be going too far. “You cannot banish these people… you cannot send them all to Cuba and you cannot make them all live at the rescue mission,” said Graham. “They do have a right to live in our community if they’ve served their sentence.”
- Well, those who were banished to the Julia Tuttle bridge, which was closed due to the person who created it, Ron Book, and he moved them using tax payer money, into hotels and motels, are now once again homeless and living in the DOC parking lot or elsewhere.

A public hearing and vote on final passage is scheduled for Tuesday, January 11, at City Hall.


NY - Mike Spano talks about Megan's Law

I am not sure when this video was taken or the issue discussed. From the intro to the video, on the board, it shows 1995. So it may be from that year. I am not an expert, but the story sounds made up to me, but I could be wrong.