Thursday, April 19, 2012

TX - Three More Dallas Cops (Zenae Humphries, Jeffrey Lewis, Charles Walker) Were Fired Yesterday, Two For Sexual Related Crimes

Charles Walker
Original Article

Instead of the motto "To Serve And Protect," it should be changed to "To Rape And Molest!"

04/19/2012

By Greg Howard

Dallas Police Department Chief David Brown, who's made a habit of announcing department firings on the DPD Facebook page, announced three more firings late yesterday, including one officer accused of molesting a relative in Rains County.

Here's the rundown:

Officer Zenae Humphries of the South Central was caught lying after getting into a car accident on June 27, 2011, while she was in a marked vehicle. The four-year vet had her children with her at the time of the accident, and an investigation concluded that Humphries "did not devote her full time and attention to Police Department business, caused false information to be entered into an accident report and was untruthful to a supervisor."

Humphries was also involved in a ruckus with an acquaintance while in Kentucky on Christmas Day, when she shot at the rear tire of the victim's vehicle, the department said.

Southwest's Senior Corporal Jeffrey Lewis was terminated after the Public Integrity Unity found that the officer made unwanted sexual advances toward a woman who called for help. After Lewis responded to the call, he returned to her residence and touched her. And internal investigation found him guilty of lying and adverse conduct. He'd been on the force for 15 years.

Officer Charles Walker from the Southeast Division was let go after a Rains County Grand Jury indicted the fourth-year officer of "10 counts of Indecency with a Child by Sexual Contact and two counts of Sexual Assault," DPD announced. Walker posted a $120,000 bond and was released.


IL - Reformers: sex offender mandate would hurt Illinois

William Haine
Original Article

04/19/2012

By Patrick Yeagle

Other states shrugging off law because of costs

As Illinois lawmakers debate a bill to increase registration requirements for sex offenders under a federal mandate, reform advocates say it would cost the state too much. They say many other states have declined to enact the federal law for the same reason.

Currently, most sex offenders in Illinois are required to register for 10 years. Among other provisions, Senate Bill 3359 (PDF) would increase that to 15 years for less serious crimes and 25 years for more serious crimes. Sex offenders who don’t register or don’t update their address or other information would then have to register for life. It would also require offenders to register while traveling

The bill is intended to bring Illinois into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. State Sen. William Haine, D-Alton, sponsors the bill and has pushed similar bills in previous legislative sessions. A phone call seeking comment from Haine was not returned.

But a handful of groups in Illinois oppose the law, saying it would actually decrease public safety by concentrating police resources on sex offenders – many of whom are unlikely to re-offend. In Illinois’ currently tight budget situation, reformers are also raising the issue of the cost of implementing tighter requirements.

Tonia Maloney, director of Illinois Voices for Reform, points to a study by the Justice Policy Institute, a national think tank, which estimates Illinois would spend nearly $21 million to implement the Adam Walsh Act, but would reap less than $1 million in federal grants tied to the law.

We’re really, really broke over here, and I think they need to look at that a little more,” Maloney says.

Thirty-five other states have declined to implement the federal law because it costs more to implement than the penalty for not doing so. The National Conference of State Legislatures says only 15 states have implemented the law, and many states continue to struggle with issues the law would create, such as in-person registration requirements, the length of time juveniles would stay on the registry, and retroactive punishment for offenders already serving their sentences.

Mary Dixon, legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, says Ohio’s adoption of the Adam Walsh provisions has spurred about 7,000 individual challenges to the law in that state’s courts. Dixon said one Ohio court found that the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, as well as the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of due process.

You’ll have adults who finished nine-and-a-half years (on the registry) with no new offense and no new violation, who then are bumped to 25 years,” Dixon says. “This means not only that you have to register X number of times per year for all of those additional years, but that all of the additional laws apply: you can’t be in certain places, you can’t have certain jobs, you can’t be around kids. Right now, we have a high level of compliance with our registration laws – around 93 percent – and this creates a very bleak long-term picture for people who are otherwise compliant.”

Haine’s bill would allow a sex offender to petition for removal from the registry if the victim was between 13 and 17 years old and the offender was less than five years older than the victim. That’s a common situation in Illinois, known as a “Romeo and Juliet” relationship, and a bill to decriminalize it in Illinois failed in the previous legislative session. Under Haine’s bill, the ability to petition for removal from the registry would only kick in after the offender served 10 years on the registry, however, effectively exempting them from the increased registration term of 15 years.

Maloney says that doesn’t do enough to distinguish between offenders who are likely to re-offend and those who aren’t.

If people don’t know anybody on the registry, they believe they’re all child molesters who are going to re-offend,” Maloney says. “We’re trying to show that there is a difference between actual child molesters and young people who just made a mistake.”

See Also:


Overreach on sex offenders makes Americans’ lives living hell

Original Article

04/18/2012

By Sady Doyle

Around two years ago, six ICE agents entered the home of a 20-year-old man named Adam while he was sleeping. They put a gun to his head and informed him they had a warrant to search his premises for child pornography.

Adam is a musician and was a frequent user of the peer-to-peer file-sharing website Limewire, which he used to download and share music videos. The search of his computer hard drive yielded 2,331 videos, most of which were music and a small portion of which were adult porn. Two suspect child porn videos featuring girls aged 16-17, and another video apparently featuring a three year-old, had been downloaded and deleted.

Adam claims that the downloads were accidental, and that although he occasionally indulged in adult porn (like many men his age), he has no interest in child pornography (CP), never sought it out and deleted the downloaded items as soon as he realized what they were. The fact that the forensic evidence showed that the items were never viewed and that there was no record of any keyword searches that would indicate he was looking for CP would seem to back up that claim.

But it didn’t matter: Adam was charged with possession of child pornography, and was warned by the prosecutor that if he did not plead guilty, the charge would be upgraded to distribution (as a file-sharing site, Limewire is an automatic distribution tool), so he would then be looking at 15-25 years in a federal penitentiary. Seeing no way out, he took a guilty plea, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, 15 years of probation and a lifetime on the sex offender registry.

As a native of the state of Florida, when Adam is eventually released from prison, he will be subjected to among the most severe registration rules in the country. He will be required to register every time he moves. Failure to register or violation of any of the terms of his probation (attending a family function where children are present, for example, or visiting a friend who has a child) will result in an automatic return to prison for an indefinite period. His voting rights may never be restored. His chances of finding meaningful work, or any kind of work, are slim at best. And it will be next to impossible for him to find a decent place to live.

Residency laws for sex offenders are so restrictive that in many jurisdictions, they cannot live within 2,500 feet of any church, school, daycare center, playground or bus stop. These restrictions have effectively eliminated any eligible housing for sex offenders in many urban areas and, as evidenced in this documentary (and below), have forced hundreds of men to live like lepers in tent dwellings in the Florida swamps, with no running water or electricity.


Sex offender registries date back to the 1940s but they did not become mandatory in all states until the 1990s, when Congress began passing a series of laws such as the Jacob Wetterling Act (1994), Megan’s Law (1996) and the Adam Walsh Act (2006) – all named for children who had been abducted, molested or killed. The registry was intended to prevent other children from falling victim to a similar fate, a desire shared by everyone. But the laws have so drastically expanded what qualifies as a sex offense, there are now over 700,000 Americans on the registry (pdf), many of whom have never harmed a child and are unlikely to ever harm a child, rendering it a self-defeating tool.

In some states, for instance, public urination is enough to get you on the registry, as is mooning, streaking, flashing or visiting a prostitute. A 19-year-old boy who has consensual sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend can be charged with statutory rape; a teenage girl who posts naked pictures of herself on any kind of file-sharing site can be charged as a distributor of child pornography. Anyone who accesses the wrong kind of porn, accidentally or otherwise, as Adam did, will also be branded with the sex offender label. In at least 17 states, that label is for life.

None of these categories of offenders is likely to harm a child. Studies have found that only 1% of men convicted of viewing child pornography have gone on to commit a hands-on sex offense, yet they are among the most severely punished group of offenders.

The money, time, effort and manpower required to keep such broad categories of offenders (and so-called offenders) under surveillance is money, time, effort and manpower that is being diverted from monitoring those who pose a genuine threat. The argument, of course, is that when it comes to protecting children, you cannot take any chances. But there are sophisticated risk assessment tools available, and in use, that are far more effective means of identifying danger than making hundreds of thousands of people’s lives unliveable.

It’s easier, though, and politically more palatable, to declare zero tolerance for sex offenders and to keep passing laws that look good on the books. Never mind if they are actually counter-productive when it comes to actually keeping children safe.


MA - ACLU challenges Lynn sex offender law

Tim Phelan
Original Article

04/18/2012

By Taylor Provost

LYNN - The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the city of Lynn on behalf of area sex offenders challenging the legality of the city’s sex offender ordinance, City Attorney James Lamanna said Tuesday.

Last week we received a call from the ACLU that they intended to file a lawsuit...on behalf of at least five Level 3 sex offenders living in Lynn,” Lamanna said.

The ordinance in question bars any Level 2 or Level 3 sex offender residing in Lynn from living within 1,000 feet of a school, park or other private or public recreational facilities. The Lynn ordinance is based on a Barnstable ordinance that was upheld in court, Lamanna said.

The ACLU is taking a different tack and essentially arguing there are so many schools, parks and playgrounds in the city (that) the ordinance has placed an unfair burden on the individuals,” Lamanna said. “They indicated they filed a preliminary injunction and gave us 10 days to respond, and we will respond as quickly as possible.”

City Council President Tim Phelan called the ordinance “common sense” and said the ACLU’s argument was an example of political correctness going too far.
- No it's not common sense, many studies show these residency restrictions do nothing to prevent crime or protect anybody, they just force people into homelessness and exile, and are unconstitutional.  But hey, the Constitution died a long time ago, right?  Show me a list of any offender who committed his crime at any of the places mentioned!

They should have thought about that before they committed the offense to make them a level 3 offender,” he said. “When you do things that egregious you’re deemed likely to re-offend, and I feel good about (the ordinance) because I’ll do anything to protect the children of this city."
- But that is the point, the law doesn't protect anybody, it just helps you "look" tough while actually doing nothing, it's merely a placebo.

The city sent notices to 25 individuals that they were violating the ordinance, Lamanna said, and gave them the opportunity to prove they lived with an immediate family member, including a mother, father, child or spouse. About nine people produced evidence they met the exception and the rest were due to receive citations starting today.
- They should not have to prove anything, you should have to prove they are in violation of the law, that is how it's always worked, until corruption set in.

Ward 1 Councilor Wayne Lozzi said he felt “hopeful” the ordinance would withstand the ACLU’s challenge. If it does not, he said the council wouldn’t hesitate to tighten and tweak the rule until it passed legal muster.

If they rule adversely to our ordinance, I think we would have to revisit it and adjust it so it would meet whatever legal requirements it may be overturned for,” Lozzi said.

Lamanna said he anticipated the issue would be decided at a court hearing in Newburyport in early to mid-May, but the city would hold off on issuing citations until then.

The sooner we can resolve this, the better,” he said.

A check of the city’s list of Level 3 sex offenders by the Item in January showed about 15 out of the 64 Level 3 sex offenders in the city living near schools and parks.

The Sex Offender Registry Board is a state agency that classifies offenders according to risk. A Level 3 sex offender has been classified by the state as most likely to re-offend and most dangerous to the public.

John Reinstein, legal director of the Massachusetts branch of the ACLU, did not return phone calls from the Item Tuesday night.

I don’t need a judge or the ACLU to tell me what’s right or what’s wrong, and this is where common sense takes over,” Phelan said. “The right thing to do is to keep Level 3 sex offenders away from schools, and away from playgrounds and away from parks.”
- The right thing to do is for you to obey your oath of office and defend the Constitution and everyone's rights, not just what makes you feel and look better to the public!


TN - Former state trooper (Wade Williams) faces sexual assault charges of a minor under 15

Wade Williams
Original Article

04/18/2012

COOKEVILLE - A former Tennessee state trooper was taken into custody on Wednesday for having a sexual relationship with a minor.

Wade Williams is charged with two counts of aggravated statutory rape, sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.

The victim is a female under the age of 15.

According to authorities, the case originated after a complaint was received.

"A charge of this nature is always disturbing, but it is particularly so when a law enforcement officer is accused. This type of behavior does not represent the men and women who put their lives on the line to serve and protect the citizens of Tennessee," Department Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said.

Williams turned himself into the Pickett County Sheriff's Department Wednesday morning.

He has since been released on $100,000 bond.

Williams resigned from his position earlier this year.


OH - Sex offenders live near schools despite law

Original Article

This is because the law is unconstitutional, and if the Supreme Court and judges were doing their jobs and upholding their oaths of office, they would deem them as such, but the Constitution is not worth the paper and ink it's written with anymore. Besides, how many sex crimes can you name have occurred at a school, daycare or park? Probably zero!

04/18/2012

By Mark Gokavi

Enforcement challenged as many offenders fight to stay in homes

The sexual offender registry is far from the safety net originally intended because of loopholes, legal challenges and court decisions, including a recent ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court, say area officials.

Following another change in the state sex offender law earlier this month, a Dayton Daily News examination found that sex offenders often end up living within 1,000 feet of a school or day care, sometimes legally.

The public thinks the law is very clear-cut, but because of court rulings the sex offender laws can be confusing to the public,” said Ron Van Nuys of the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

That confusion trickles down to where a sex offender can live, including the proximity to a school or day care.

Over time the appeals courts have chipped away at different parts of the sex offender laws and this in return also complicates the enforcement of it,” said Van Nuys, who is Greene County’s Sex Offender and Registration and Notification (SORN) officer.

There are 2,443 registered sex offenders — not all counties’ lists show juveniles — in Montgomery, Greene, Warren, Butler, Miami, Clark, Darke, Champaign and Preble counties.

In Greene County, more than 80 percent of the 139 adult registered sex offenders live within a mile of a school or day care.

To calculate that number, the Dayton Daily News cross-referenced all the 139 listed offenders’ addresses against Greene County schools, preschools and daycares and asked the SORN director about those offenders near the 1,000-foot boundaries.

Several of those also live within 1,000 feet of such facilities, but do so legally, either because they committed an offense before a law change or because they owned their house previously to committing a sex crime.

In Montgomery County, officials said nine registered sex offenders are currently being prosecuted for living too close to a school or day care — six in Dayton and one each in Northridge, Miamisburg and Huber Heights. Eleven more have charges against them for registration violations.

In addition, 63 of more than 1,000 registered sex offenders in Montgomery County live within 1,000 feet of a school or day care but are not subject to the law — 54 committed their offense before the law changes and nine are juvenile offenders, who are not subject to the boundary.

The Ohio Supreme Court has deemed unconstitutional multiple parts of the state sex-offender law passed in 2008 to comply with the federal Adam Walsh Act (AWA).

The court cases have shown that sex offenders couldn’t be subjected to guidelines retroactively since that may violate the due process and double jeopardy clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Dissenting judges have written that the AWA rules are not punitive toward offenders, but rather for the public’s safety.
- Not punitive?  Why don't they live with the "scarlet letter" for a couple years, then tell us it's not punitive!

The latest of three court decisions was an April 3 ruling that struck down, by a 5-2 vote, part of Ohio’s sexual offender law that subjects juvenile offenders to mandatory, lifetime sex-offender registration and notification requirements.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio said it supports prosecution and conviction of sex offenders, especially repeaters.

But the ACLU says on its website that sex offenders are entitled to some basic constitutional protection.

In December, ACLU of Nevada attorney Maggie McLetchie told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that similar laws punishing sex offenders by upping their tier classifications and forcing some to move because they were near a school were unconstitutional. “It was being applied retroactively,” McLetchie said. “We needed an injunction because parole and probation officers were telling our clients they had to move.”

Church has a ‘mission’

One of the highest concentrations of offenders near a school or day care in Greene County is a two-mile radius around the Fairborn Preschool and Daycare at 100 N. Broad St. in Fairborn. The area is home to 36 registered sex offenders.

Eight of those are within a quarter-mile of the day care housed in the St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Nearly all committed their crime before the sex offender laws changed in 2003 and 2007, so the 1,000-foot barrier doesn’t apply to most of those offenders.

We are very lucky that we have a very low teacher-to-child ratio here,” said Mary Gale, director of the school.

I’m confident that the children are watched carefully. When we’re out on the playground, it’s obvious when someone is walking by that we are not familiar with.”

After a Dayton Daily News inquiry, one registered sex offender who was bound by the 1,000-foot boundary (near the church) was told to move. The offender had been living in violation since January, when he told officials that his stay would be temporary. He is moving to a Xenia motel that is not near schools.

That same offender pleaded guilty in Clark County of trying to solicit sex from a Springfield police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl. That led to a search of his computer, which yielded 138 images of child pornography. He also was charged in Greene County but successfully appealed to not be classified as a habitual offender.
- Wow, and his crime never occurred near a school, daycare or park, how shocking!

The same man was found guilty in 2009 in Greene County of illegal use of a minor in a nudity-oriented material or performance.