Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Former MLC Member for Elwick and Glenorchy mayor, Terry Martin, sentenced to 10-months in jail for having sex with a 12-year-old and producing child exploitation material?

Terry Martin
Original Article

11/30/2011

By ZARA DAWTREY

Terry Martin is a free man a week after he was locked up for having sex with a 12-year-old.

The former MLC Member for Elwick and Glenorchy mayor of 15 years walked out of the Supreme Court in Hobart yesterday surrounded by his legal team.

He was found guilty of having sex with a young person and of producing child exploitation material, at the end of a four-day trial on Monday last week.

Justice David Porter yesterday handed Martin a 10-month jail term, backdated to Monday last week, when he was taken into custody.

The judge wholly suspended that sentence from yesterday on the condition Martin be of good behaviour.

Justice Porter also chose not to place Martin's name on the sex offender register, finding his offending was directly caused by hypersexuality resulting from Parkinson's disease medication.


As he was no longer taking it the judge said he presented no risk to the community.

He gave a multitude of reasons for his decision and said expert medical evidence "unequivocally proves" the medication was to blame for symptoms which caused his offending and he should be sentenced accordingly.

" ... a highly individualised approach should be taken [to sentencing] in these circumstances," Justice Porter said.

The 54-year-old Martin remained silent and did not react as he made his way down the court steps. His lawyers said he would not be making any comment.

As he turned into St David's Park Martin was accosted by outraged relatives and supporters of the child with whom he's had sex with and had photographed at his Claremont home in September, 2009.

He moved grim-faced through the shouting, swearing group.

Defence lawyer Peter Barker last night told the Mercury Martin had endured a terrible ordeal and there was no cause for celebration.

He said his client was a very unwell man who did not deserve to be locked up purely because his doctor had prescribed him a medication with terrible and unexpected side-effects.

Justice Porter had earlier given 11 determinations he made in considering Martin's sentence.

These were:
  • The complainant was genuinely exploited.
  • A wide disparity existed between the ages of Martin and the complainant but there was no suggestion he was seeking an underage sex partner.
  • There was no suggestion he was aware of her true age.
  • There was a large number of pictures taken of the girl and kept as they were locked in Martin's study, "they could have fallen into the wrong hands".
  • The pictures were at the lower end of the legal scale in terms of child exploitation material.
  • Martin was not the complainant's "sole corrupter".
  • The commission of the crimes was directly connected to medication Martin was prescribed "but for the medication he would not have engaged the services of sex workers".
  • The medication lowered his inhibitions and affected his moral capacity.
  • He gave police his full co-operation and potentially provided the evidence that saw him charged.
  • His reputation has been severely harmed, if not destroyed.
  • There is no likelihood of reoffending.

Justice Porter said there was no question the fate of the 12-year-old was "outrageous and deplorable in the extreme" but said the man and woman responsible had been dealt with.

"Mr Martin has served as something of a lightning rod for community outrage," Justice Porter said.

"The matter should end here."


How Useful Are Public Sex Offender Registries?

Original Article

11/29/2011

By Romeo Vitelli

One of the most controversial issues raised during the recent provincial election campaign here in Ontario dealt with the promise by Progressive Conservative Leader, Tim Hudak, to make the provincial sex offender registry accessible to the public. While publicly accessible sex offender registries have been available in the United States for years, the proposed policy was viewed with alarm by police forces across Ontario as well as various grassroots organizations and treatment professionals dealing with sex offenders (myself included). Dalton McGuinty's narrow victory put an end to the Hudak plan, but the issue will likely resurface in future elections.

Do public sex offender registries actually protect society from offenders? (No!) Though access to sex offender registries continue to be limited to police and correctional agencies here in Canada, the passage of Megan's Law in 1996 forced U.S. states to make specific details from sex offender registries public and the process was accelerated by the 2006 Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which forced the passage of Sex Offender Registry and Notification (SORN) systems in all U.S. states and territories. The most recent statistics by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports more than 700,000 convicted sex offenders (PDF) (Which includes deceased offenders and duplicate records) in registries across the United States. Attempts at creating a nationwide database have been stymied by how the independent state registries are operated and the wide differences in how sex offenders are treated from one state to another.

In recent years, politicians and community activists have used high-profile media cases to highlight problems in existing SORN systems and to urge more stringent safeguards in dealing with known sex offenders in the community. These calls for tightened security have hampered community-based sex offender treatment programs and often deprive offenders of the necessary community resources that might actually reduce re-offending (Recidivism Studies). In many legal jurisdictions, increased restrictions on where registered sex offenders can live (i.e., establishing "safe zones" around schools and playgrounds) which have often left offenders homeless to avoid being declared in breach of supervision conditions. While Megan's Law and related legislation granted states some latitude in dealing with sex offenders, the stringent reporting guidelines laid down by the federal Adam Walsh Act has raised serious concerns by state governments, especially over the Act's failure to distinguish between sex offenders in terms of risk level.

Despite outrage over high-profile cases involving strangers abducting children, they remain relatively rare compared to the overwhelming majority of sex offenses. To identify the types of offenders who are typically found on sex offender registries, a research study by a team of researchers led by Alissa Ackerman of the University of Washington was recently published in the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. Using information on 445,127 registered sex offenders taken from sex offender registries across the U.S., the researchers examined arrest characteristics, demographics, victim information, and perceived risk. The offenders examined in the study were from public registers only and did not include the lowest risk offenders in some states whose information is only available to law enforcement agencies. Not surprisingly, the sex offenders in the study were overwhelmingly male (97.7 per cent) and ranged in age from 12 to 99 (although the average age was 44.8, some states allow minors to be charged as sex offenders). Only 11 per cent of registered sex offenders are currently in prison or in mental hospitals and the rest are on community supervision. In addition to offenders who are still registered despite being deported or listed in more than one community, approximately 6,923 sex offenders from 43 states are officially listed as homeless. An additional 5,349 offenders are listed as "absconded" or whose whereabouts were otherwise unknown.
- So you see, she found that only 5,349 offenders are missing, whereabouts unknown, but people like John Walsh and others continually say it's well over 100,000.  I strongly doubt that.

While not all states provided information on victims, approximately 90 per cent had victims who were minors and one-third had victims younger than 10. In terms of victim gender, 87 per cent of all sex offenders had female victims only, with the remainder involving either male victims or both male and female. Gathering data on the specific nature of the offense was even more difficult due to differences in state laws relating to age of consent and type of criminal offense (e.g. convictions for "sodomy"). The available statistics didn't allow for distinguishing between first-time and repeat-offenders or whether violence was used in the offense. Breaking down the offenders in the study in terms of actual risk to the public was even more difficult due to differences risk definition and how that information was given in public databases. While Minnesota and Nebraska only included high-risk offenders in their databases, the other states showed a wide variation in risk level.


Empowering Parents

Video Description:
Teens and clinicians share their advice about how to talk to kids about Internet pornography.


VA - No jail time for former state police captain (Edward Hope) after sex crime guilty plea

Edward Hope
Original Article

11/29/2011

By Tracy Sears

A former Virginia State Police captain will not serve jail time for the molestation of his former step-daughter.

On Tuesday morning, Edward Hope stood stoically before a Brunswick County judge and pleaded guilty to one felony count of aggravated sexual battery against a child under the under of 13.

The guilty plea was a part of a plea agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The judge sentenced Hope to 20 years in the state penitentiary, but suspended the entire sentence. Instead, Hope will be on supervised probation for two years and be forced to register as a sex offender.

The sexual battery charge stems from a November 2003 incident at a hunt club in Brunswick County. Marsha Garst, a special prosecutor assigned to the case, says Hope molested his step-daughter inside a camper while on a hunting trip.

[name withheld], who was 7 years old at the time of the assault, says after years of silence, she's finally getting justice.

"I'm going to focus on school, sports, activities, family and friends," said a smiling [name withheld].

[name withheld] is now 15 and hopes to attend James Madison University and become a teacher.

She says a school essay on personal struggles, written by her older sister, prompted her to break the silence in 2008.

"It's good if you tell because I feel a big stress comes off of you," said [name withheld]. "If you tell, people can help you."

[name withheld]' father says he wrote Virginia State Police shortly after his daughter's confession to report "they had a predator among them."

In court, Garst outlined three years of abuse that [name withheld] and her two sisters endured at the hands of their step-father, while living in their Hampton Park home in Chesterfield County.

Hope was arrested in January 2009 and charged with several counts of child abuse, but the case was declared a mistrial in Chesterfield after three jurors admitted to lying on their questionnaires.

Chesterfield prosecutors declined to retry the case after [name withheld]' therapist suggested it would be too traumatic.

[name withheld]' mother, [mother name withheld], insisted that her daughter receive justice, so the case was reassigned to another special prosecutor and tried in Brunswick County.

"It's been a real struggle … we've been through three attorneys and three court dates," says [mother name withheld]. "It's hard because you want to move on and heal and you can't heal until you have some closure."

Garst explained to the judge on Tuesday that the plea agreement was "in the best interest of [name withheld]."

While the family says they are disappointed that Hope will not serve prison time, they say his admittance of guilt is justice enough.

"I'm very sad about it," says [name withheld]' grandmother, [grandmother name withheld]. "But he stands so proud and he's so manipulative and he's a pedophile psychopath, to get him to admit guilt was a tremendous step."

The judge demanded that Hope have no contact with [name withheld] or any other family members.


TX - City mulls sex offender restrictions

Original Article

If it affects those already charged, convicted and sentenced, then it's ex post facto punishment.

11/28/2011

By KAREN SMITH WELCH

Convicted sex offenders would be barred from living near public or private schools, day care and youth centers and public parks and pools in Amarillo if a proposed ordinance becomes law.

The measure would make it illegal for offenders to live within 1,000 feet of those places as well as public recreation areas or video arcades.

City commissioners are expected to discuss the plan during a public work session scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at City Hall.

These types of ordinances have become more common in Texas, and there have been some (court) challenges to them that have resulted in some guidance for us to look at as we draft them,” City Manager Jarrett Atkinson said.

The idea originated during a private meeting in which commissioners heard legal advice regarding downtown redevelopment.

The conversation stemmed from concerns about problems in the central business district expressed by business owners along Southwest 10th Avenue and elsewhere, Atkinson said.

I think we’re just in a more heightened state of awareness that begins with the central business district but could have a positive effect on other neighborhoods in the city,” he said.

A search of the state’s online sex offender registry turned up 436 registration records for convicted sex offenders living in Potter County and 182 for convicted offenders living in Randall County.

The database cannot be searched by city.

Restrictions like those being considered in Amarillo are permitted as long as they leave offenders with other choices of places to live within city limits, City Attorney Marcus Norris said.

The residency restriction would apply to people who are required to register on the Texas Department of Public Safety sex offender database because of convictions under state law for unlawful restraint, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, indecency with a child, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, prohibited sexual conduct, burglary of a habitation, online solicitation of a minor or compelling prostitution or sexual performance by a child.

A day care center would be defined as a facility providing care, training, education, custody, treatment or supervision for at least 13 children for less than 24 hours a day.

Children would be defined as those younger than 17.

The draft law wouldn’t apply to convicted sex offenders who have complied with state registration requirements and already are living in close proximity to locations where children gather.

But if those offenders move, they would need to comply with the new restrictions, Norris said.

Those who were minors when they committed the offenses and were not convicted as adults would not fall under the restrictions.

Nor would the restrictions apply in cases where offenders complied with the ordinance and places where children gather opened afterward within the specified distance.

The proposed ordinance also allows a defense for people proved to be listed on the database in error.

The restrictions would not apply to homes near colleges or universities, trade or business schools or home schools.

The draft law defines any location where someone lodges for 14 or more consecutive days as a permanent home.

A temporary home is defined as a place where a person lives for 14 or more days during a calendar year, even if it is not that person’s permanent address, or where a person routinely lodges for four or more days in a month.

The ordinance would apply to people convicted of substantially similar offenses under federal, foreign or military law or the laws of other states.

Violations would be punished by a fine of no more than $500, and each day the violation continues would be considered a separate offense, according to the Amarillo Municipal Code.

  • What: The Amarillo City Commission is scheduled to discuss proposed residency restrictions for convicted sex offenders during a public work session.
  • When: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday
  • Where: Room 303 at City Hall, 4509 S.E. Seventh Ave.


Should you be a Registered Sex Offender?

Original Article

You can also click the "Sexting" label above to see all related posts on this subject.

11/29/2011

By Autumn Ruddick

Not all PAHS High School students have heard of students using their cellular devices to send inappropriate images to one another. Most students would never think of using their cell phone to send nude pictures of themselves to another person. However, with evolving technology around every corner, it’s not surprising to see teens find ways to use their cell phones to try to spice up their relationships or encourage a potential hook-up, but what many don’t know is that these ‘fun’ little snapshots could cause major problems in your future. Taking racy photos of yourself and sending them to other students or individuals may seem innocent and cute in the short-term, but look down the road, and you could have a huge problem on your hands.

What many students don’t know is that by taking a ‘sexy’ cell phone snapshot, they could be risking a lot more than simple public humiliation by half the school seeing a nude picture of them circulating around campus. Being caught with racy photos of a minor on any device could get you a charge of possession of child pornography, and get you a spot on the SEX OFFENDERS REGISTRY. That’s right—your innocent picture could end up next to a 30-year-old rapist in the area, even if you are a minor yourself. Those who take pictures are just as liable. Besides the possible charge of distributing child pornography, the discovery of nude photos of someone can seriously tarnish their reputation. Once you commit something such as a electronic image to the airwaves it becomes very permanent and virtually impossible to remove the digital imprint you have so naively created. If you are feeling a little frisky, challenge yourself to stop and think of the consequences, put down your cell phone, and go do your history homework instead.

Think you could never get in trouble? Think again. Take for instance the two teens charged with possession of child pornography in January 2010 after being caught with explicit photos in Lacey, Washington. The students, aged 13 and 14, got a hold of a nude photo of another student, and leaked it to dozens of other students across Thurston County. The photo was forwarded to students in four different middle schools. If the students are convicted, they could be forced to register as sex offenders. Although it may seem far-fetched, this is not an isolated incident. Six high school students faced child pornography charges in Greensburg, Pennsylvania in January 2009, and none of the students were even 16 years old. Whether you are in middle school or high school, this could happen to you if you don’t think twice before hitting ‘send.’

Any time you send anything risky, whether is be sexually explicit or not, you’re risking the possibility of your ‘private’ message going viral across your school, town, or the Internet. Girls, is this picture you are about to send something your own father would want published and distributed of his little girl? Boys, if your think having ‘the talk’ with your mom was awkward, are you really going to enjoy talking about her seeing a picture of your unmentionables that got forwarded across town or visiting you in juvenile detention center for possession of pornography?

The potential consequences don’t stop at law-enforcement and parental units. Imagine going to college, earning a degree and working hard for years to land an interview for your dream job, only to be turned down when a Google-search of your name pulls up nude pictures you took in high school. Public relations are a huge part of business nowadays—even if your Facebook profile doesn’t live up to a company’s standards, your chances of being hired are considerably cut-down when you distribute lewd pictures of yourself.

The moral of the story is this—Ladies; you are worth more than a grainy topless shot in your bathroom mirror. Guys, really, if you have any kind of Internet connection known to man-kind, is it worth a potential possession-of-child-pornography to push for a dirty picture; have some respect for girls who might be the future mothers of your own children some day? Distributing inappropriate pictures of yourself via your cellular device can cause more problems than it’s worth, so think twice before you click that send button!


NM - Attorney General's Office Warns Of 'Pedobear'

Original Article

See the video at the link above.

11/28/2011

Images, Car Stickers Depict Cartoon Bear Some Find Inappropriate

ALBUQUERQUE - The New Mexico Attorney General's Office (Article) cautioned parents against an Internet image they said is really a sexual menace called the "pedobear."

It started out as a joke, but authorities said the bear has spiraled into something much darker and more evil than they could've imagined.

Some images depict the pedobear snatching a little girl, dangling a carrot over two children and joking about not using condoms.

"This is the most disturbing one of all, it has the bear and it says, 'Too young to talk, too young to testify,'" said Lynn Southard with the AGO.

Authorities said the bear actually started off as an image mocking pedophiles but that pedophiles have embraced the bear and are using the image themselves.

Southard said authorities have seen several cars in Albuquerque and southern New Mexico sporting large pedobear stickers. She said that other than getting the word out, there's not much the AGO can do.

It's not illegal to have a pedobear image in public, but that didn't stop members of the community from voicing their opinions.

"It's insane because you end up questioning everything, especially when you have children," said parent Chris Lopez.

"It's very scary, it's a very scary situation that's been brought to our attention that these vehicles are circulating around New Mexico," Southard said.

Authorities said some people may be sporting the pedobear symbols as a joke, but they said that doesn't make law enforcement take the images any less seriously.


URGENT - The PROTECT IP Act Is Very Real and Very Bad — Call Now to Block It

Original Article

11/28/2011

By Parker Higgins

The PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) is the evil step-sister of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the much-criticized Internet blacklist bill introduced in the House last month. They’ve got a lot in common — both bills would allow the government and private rightsholders to censor the Internet for Americans, and both bills have faced strong opposition from regular citizens, business leaders, and public interest groups.

In one way, though, PIPA is much worse: while SOPA is still in the House committee stage and has been the target of extraordinary public opposition, PIPA is already out of committee and poised for consideration of the full Senate. That means PIPA is a few dangerous steps further along in the process of becoming law. And with only a few weeks to go in this legislative session, the Senate may try to rush the bill through before the public has a chance to respond.

We're not going to let that happen. Despite their efforts to push this through under the radar, folks who care about the Internet and innovation are tracking this bill and getting the word out. You can help, in an old-school and very effective way: Pick up the phone.

Right now, the best response to this threat is to let your Senator hear your voice, explaining why you as a constituent think PIPA is such a bad idea. That’s why we’ve joined with many other public interest groups, including Public Knowledge, Fight for the Future, Demand Progress and others, in asking the public to call in to the Senate.

Even if you’ve already used our action alert (and thank you), please take a few minutes now and get on the phone with your Senator’s office. Let them know that Internet censorship is unacceptable.