Monday, December 19, 2011

FL - Teacher who had sex with student to go to prison for 3 years

Original Article


By Rafael A. Olmeda

FORT LAUDERDALE - A former Lauderhill Middle School teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student entered a no contest plea to aggravated child abuse charges Monday, accepting a punishment of three years in prison instead of a lifetime as a registered sex offender.
- So it's clear that the judge and everyone else who agreed to this, know that the registry is punishment!  But, if I understand things right, Florida is in compliance to the SORNA, and if that is true, isn't it in the law that anyone charged with a sex crime has to be put onto the registry?  I think I've read that over the years, but, I am not wishing her on the registry, since we know what it's like to be on there.

[name withheld], 27, was immediately granted a furlough and will have to surrender to begin her prison term by 8:30 a.m. Jan. 3. If she fails to appear, Broward Circuit Judge Lisa Porter said, the three years will be increased to 90 years.

Police arrested [name withheld] in April 2010 after a Lauderhill Middle School student claimed he had a sexual relationship with her that lasted nearly a year. Police said the relationship was revealed when the boy's girlfriend found incriminating text messages on his cellphone — a gift from [name withheld] for the boy's 14th birthday.

As part of the plea bargain, [name withheld]'s jail term will be followed by five years' probation, during which time she will not be allowed to take a job teaching children.

Prosecutors offered her another deal that would have kept [name withheld] out of prison but convicted her of sexual battery on a minor by a person with custodial authority — a conviction that would have labeled [name withheld] a sex offender. [name withheld] turned that offer down. Her lawyer, Bradford Cohen, said the prison term was preferable in the long run.

"This way, she doesn't have to register as a sex offender, which would follow you the rest of your life," he said. Acknowledging that his client was the adult who "should have known better," Cohen said one reason prosecutors agreed to the plea was that the student, who was 13 when the relationship began, was the pursuer.
- So above, they admit being on the registry is punishment!

"It was a serious lapse in judgment" on [name withheld]'s part, Cohen said.

Prosecutor Nicole Alvarez did not comment on the deal.

[name withheld] was formally sentenced to 30 years in prison on each of two aggravated child abuse counts and 15 years on each of two aggravated battery counts, a total of 90 years behind bars. Porter said that sentence will be applied if [name withheld] fails to surrender on Jan. 3.

Alvarez did not lay out the case against [name withheld], instead citing a probable cause complaint filed shortly after her arrest.

According to that report, [name withheld] met the student at Lauderhill Middle School in the beginning of 2009. In May of that year, the relationship turned sexual.

In April 2010, the student's new girlfriend told police that she intercepted text messages from [name withheld] to the student. "I'm tired of being the one chasing you," one read. "Why are you ignoring me?" read another.

Police monitored a phone call between the student and [name withheld] on April 19, 2010, confirming the sexual nature of the relationship, according to the report. She was arrested the next day.

[name withheld], of Plantation, was a high school student when she started working for the Broward School District in 2000 at Silver Trail Middle School in Pembroke Pines. She worked as a bookkeeper at the school and at Glades Middle School in 2003. In August 2006, she went to Lauderhill Middle as a full-time microcomputer technical specialist. She was a teacher from October 2007 to November 2009, when she took a clerical position at the district's Educational Technology Services department.

MO - Sex offender registration ruled lawful

Original Article


By Pat Murphy

A defendant convicted of drug trafficking could be required to register as a sex offender based on a rape conviction 20 years before the enactment of the federal sex offender registration statute, the 11th Circuit has ruled in affirming judgment.

Congress enacted the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) in 2006. The statute generally requires criminals who have been convicted of a sex offense to register with local authorities as sex offenders.

In this case, the defendant was convicted of drug trafficking in 2009. In sentencing, the trial judge required that he register as a sex offender under SORNA as a condition of supervised release. The registration requirement was based on a 1987 rape conviction in Alabama.

The defendant argued that application of SORNA to him violated the Ex Post Facto Clause.

But the court decided this month that SORNA’s registration requirement is civil in nature for ex post facto purposes and, therefore, there was no constitutional violation of the defendant’s rights.

The court explained that “when it enacted SORNA Congress did not intend to impose additional punishment for past sex offenses but instead wanted to put into place a civil and non-punitive regulatory scheme. Given that intent, the question under [U.S. Supreme Court precedent] is whether there is ‘the clearest proof’ that SORNA is so punitive in effect, as applied to those convicted of sex offenses under [state law], as to negate the intention that it be a civil regulatory statute. …

“That ‘clearest proof’ is lacking, as our application of the [Supreme Court’s] guideposts makes clear. Therefore, we reject [the defendant’s] ex post facto attack on SORNA’s application to him.”

The case is U.S. v. W.B.H., No. 09-13435 (PDF).

NE - Nebraska pardons board gives Lincoln murder convict a chance, but not Omaha rape convict

Original Article

The murderer is a white female (crime in 1991), while the rapist is a black male (crime in 1975).


By Deena Winter

LINCOLN - The Nebraska Pardons Board agreed today to schedule a hearing to consider commuting the life sentence of a Lincoln woman for her role in the 1991 murder of a 19-year-old Lincoln man.

Anna Liebers, 51, appeared before the Pardons Board seeking commutation of her sentence for second-degree murder of Jeremy Lorenz, whose burned body was found two days before Christmas in 1991 near a creek west of Malcolm. Prosecutors said she and Ricky Reichwaldt lured Lorenz there on the pretense of burglarizing an abandoned farmhouse and instead beat him to death and set him on fire.

Anna Liebers
She pleaded guilty to second-degree murder as part of a plea agreement and was sentenced to life plus six to 20 years for a weapons charge. She has been on parole since 2009 with minimal supervision.

The three-member Pardons Board – Gov. Dave Heineman, Attorney General Jon Bruning and Secretary of State John Gale – unanimously voted to give Liebers a chance to make a case for commutation during a February hearing before the board.

Bruning said she was a part of the crime and “didn’t do anything to stop the crime” but is no longer considered a threat to society. Gale said during his 11 years on the board it has only granted two commutations, and given the nature of Liebers’ crime, normally the board would have a pretty high threshhold for commutation. But she has served “considerable years in prison,” had excellent disciplinary records and has done well on parole, Gale said.

This is a heinous crime, no question about it,” Gale said.

Juneal Pratt
But the Pardons Board wasn’t as merciful with the request for commutation by Juneal Pratt, a 56-year-old Omaha man convicted of raping two teenage Sioux City women in Omaha in 1975. He has maintained his innocence and tried to use DNA evidence to prove it.

Dr. Kirk Newring, a psychologist who works with sexually violent, dangerous offenders and helped develop the state prison system’s sex offender treatment program, told the Pardons Board Pratt is at low risk of reoffending and could be treated in an outpatient setting. He said he’s successfully treated men like Pratt who have not reoffended, “knock on wood.” He was hired by Pratt’s supporters.

But in July the State Parole Board voted 3-2 against paroling Pratt, largely because he has refused to complete sex offender therapy for varying reasons.

Gale said there was “no way” he’d support giving Pratt a hearing given the sodomy and forcible rape of two sisters, assaulting an officer and escape attempts on his record.

I’m not about to consider his commutation,” Gale said.

Before the hearing, the Nebraska Innocence Project reminded Bruning of his 2005 comment about the board’s reluctance to commute sentences, when he was the lone dissenting vote in a commutation denial. He said, “This board used to commute people. Tough guys like Charley Thone and Jim Exon would commute people. We commute none. Why do we even have a Pardons Board?

But Bruning agreed with Gale, saying, Pratt has had many opportunities to complete the required treatment and failed.
- If someone put you in prison and told you to get treatment for a sexual problem when you didn't have one, would you?  I am not saying the man is or isn't innocent, I know nothing of the case except what is mentioned here.

We have faith in the Parole Board,” Bruning said. “They know what they’re doing.”

Pratt is being represented by volunteer attorney Tracy Hightower-Henne, president of the Nebraska Innocence Project, which works to get wrongly convicted inmates released, often through DNA tests. The group supported the so-called Beatrice Six, a half-dozen people who were wrongly convicted of a 1985 murder, exonerated by DNA evidence.

Pratt’s supporters say he had a flawless parole plan that included structured housing in Omaha, a full-time job and community support. Hightower-Henne says although she believes he is innocent of the crimes he was convicted of, “regardless of guilt or innocence, 37 years is enough.”
- And if they do get him off due to DNA evidence, I hope he gets a large sum of money, preferably out of the above peoples pockets, which I know won't happen, but it would be nice if it did.

One of the reasons Pratt has refused to complete sex offender treatment is that while taking the 24-month program at the Lincoln Correctional Center, he was assaulted – hit in the back of his head with a padlock on a belt. Hightower says it was a gang retaliation because he talked to authorities about another assault he witnessed. She said he chose to return to the Omaha Correctional Center and not complete the program for his own safety.

Pratt is still hoping DNA evidence will exonerate him some day. He’s appealing the Douglas County District Court’s denial of a second round of DNA testing to the Nebraska Court of Appeals, which will decide that issue next year.

Otherwise he is scheduled to be released when he’s 75.

Facebook - Still invading people's privacy!

Well it appears Facebook loves to stomp on peoples rights to privacy. So much for the Constitution and our freedom of privacy! That died a long time ago, apparently.

One of our admins, went to bed, got up, tried to log in, and Facebook had deleted their entire account without any warning whatsoever, and not even giving a reason why, just deleted!

Maybe Facebook should read this!

This person is NOT a sex offender, but was using a anonymous name, as many on Facebook do, who do not have their accounts deleted. Facebook does have in their terms of service, that a person will use their real name, so that was probably the reason, but, they could have said so and gave the person some time to change it, but they did not. There are thousands, if not more, people on Facebook who use fake names, yet they are still there. So it apparently is a discrimination issue, simply because the person was posting on their own profile and on the Sex Offender Issues page, articles about sex offender laws, etc. And like usual, you mention the word sex offender, and people automatically think you are one or something.

They then tried to create a new account, using another anonymous name, but after creating the account, verifying the email address, they then asked them this:

A persons phone number is none of Facebook' or anyone else's business. It's called personal and private for a reason. Imagine if you tried to walk into a grocery store, gas station, bank or some other business, and they would not even let you in the door until you gave them your personal information! Yes, you would be mad, just like this person and I am.

Well, after they entered a bogus number, it gave some error saying Facebook was overloaded and to try again later. So, later, they tried again with their real phone number, which it then came back with this:

So basically they cannot log back into Facebook at all, until they supply the Facebook cops with their personal information. So, they have decided to forget about Facebook and they will use Google+, for now, until Google decides to do the same thing.

Folks, this should be a warning to everyone, you no longer have any rights, especially to privacy.

You can visit us on Google+ here, or the links on the top left of this blog. We also still have a Facebook page, here.


Sex Offender Issues

TX - Sex offenders aren't the same

Original Article


By David Horsley

The last time I wrote about registered sex offenders, I was pilloried by readers who thought I was being too soft on criminals. Now the city of Amarillo is mulling an ordinance limiting where registered sex offenders can live.

So here I go again.

There are sex offenders and there are sex offenders. The way our well-intentioned but byzantine statute is written, it’s easy to become a convicted sex offender and almost impossible to get that blot off your record, once it adheres.

Some sex offenders have been convicted of truly heinous behavior — kidnapping, violence, using date-rape drugs, sex with children, etc. — and deserve to be locked up for a long time and monitored carefully after they get out of jail.

Other sex offenders are guilty of nothing more than being a teen and having sex with another teen who happens to be under the legal age when sex becomes lawful.

I agree 100 percent with people who don’t want to see Amarillo become a “magnet” for the former type of sex offender. No one in his right mind would want Amarillo to have more child molesters per capita than other cities have.

But to tar and feather the latter type of sex offender seems draconian to me.

For years I lived less than 100 feet from a registered sex offender. I found out he was a sex offender when a neighbor alerted me, perhaps because my own kids were small at the time. Like any father would, I started keeping an eye on the sex offender; I’ll call him Mr. X.

Here is what I saw Mr. X do: He would come out of his house in the morning and walk to his car, unlock it, get in and go to work; in the evening he would pull in the driveway, get out of his car, lock it and walk straight into his house.

I watched this routine for weeks, then months, then years, even as my interest in his behavior began to ebb. He never varied his routine. He never chatted with other neighbors. He didn’t do yard work. He stayed out of sight except as described above.

Here is my question to people who wish to severely restrict where sex offenders can live: Is it better to have sex offenders complying with the terms of their release, as Mr. X appeared to be doing, or is it better to make their lives so difficult that they go “off the grid” and disappear?

I think society is better served if the whereabouts of sex offenders is known and monitored, just as we monitor any other parolee. I fear creating a situation in Amarillo where we make it so hard for registered offenders to find a decent place to live that they think, “forget this!” and disappear.

My friend and former Amarillo College colleague Carl Fowler wrote what I thought was a well-reasoned column a few days ago on this topic. His conclusion is the same as mine: a one-size-fits-all approach to solving this problem doesn’t help, and we will not be doing ourselves a favor if we make it so hard for sex offenders to find residence that they go underground.

Then there is the matter of teens convicted of the “crime” of having sex with other teens. Of course our goal as parents is to delay sexual activity for our kids as long as possible, ideally into their thirties, but the data is in, and it’s not too favorable to the “abstinence only” crowd: most teens who become sexually active do so during their middle school or high school years.

And for this, we brand them with a scarlet letter “A?

Sorry, but I fail to see how this benefits society, the teen or anyone else.

Recently the Amarillo City Commission decided to delay voting on this issue until more data could be compiled. This seems a wise course. Let’s hear from learned men and women who have studied this issue carefully, and make sure we’re not creating a problem where none existed, or make an existing problem worse.

David Horsley is an Amarillo author and freelance writer, who also teaches English at West Texas A&M University.

CANADA - Homicide victim's mom wants registry of abusers

Original Article

How about instead of picking and choosing who goes on a public registry, we put all criminals on a public registry and similar laws as sex offenders have to live with? If it's good for one group, it's good enough for all groups.


By Carol Sanders and Kevin Rollason

The mother of Winnipeg's 38th homicide victim said she's glad a charge has been laid, but she wants a registry set up to notify the public when domestic abusers are released from jail.

"They should really do something about these men who hurt women," Adeline Nippi said. Her daughter Dominique McCann, 19, died Dec. 2 of extensive internal injuries suffered in what police said was a domestic beating.

McCann's bruised body was found in a home in the 400 block of Selkirk Avenue on Dec. 2.

Family members said McCann was a student at Children of the Earth School at the time of her death.

Police said McCann and a man she knew were walking together when an assault occurred on Dec. 1 at 9 p.m.

She was later found in the nearby home of someone she knew.

Hours later, despite the efforts of paramedics who rushed her to hospital, McCann died of her injuries.

On Friday at 8:30 a.m., Winnipeg police arrested a 25-year-old man and charged him with the slaying.

Donald Jacob Girard, of Winnipeg, is charged with second-degree murder.

"We are treating this as a domestic-related homicide," Winnipeg police spokeswoman Const. Natalie Aitken said on Saturday. The two knew each other and the man was known to police, Aitken said.

"I didn't really know him, but I've seen his face around," McCann's mom said of Girard, who is presumed innocent until proven guilty. "I'm glad he got arrested."

She said her daughter hadn't spent much time with her family since she entered the relationship.

"Ever since she met that guy we couldn't talk to her. She had to stay her distance from the ones who loved her the most," said Nippi, who was worried her daughter was in an abusive relationship but could do nothing about it.

If another man talked to McCann in front of her boyfriend, she would later pay the price, her mom alleged.

She hopes one day there will be a domestic-abuse registry similar to the sex-offender registry.

The public -- specifically women -- should be warned when men who beat women get out jail, for instance, she said.

"I don't want (any) woman going through what my daughter went through," Nippi said.

"And there should be no woman who has to go through what I am going though as a mother."

The American Government trying to ruin the internet

WARNING: Adult language, discretion advised!

Video Link