Thursday, April 26, 2012
UK - Jamie is 13 and hasn't even kissed a girl. But he's now on the Sex Offender Register after online porn warped his mind
By John Woods
Jamie was ten years old when he saw his first pornographic sex scene. During a sleepover, a classmate offered to show him ‘some funny pictures’ on his laptop.
‘At first I found it a bit scary and a bit yucky,’ Jamie told me as he shifted uncomfortably on his chair during our therapy session.
‘I didn’t know it was possible for people to do those sort of things — and there were lots of nasty close-ups. But it gave me funny feelings and the pictures started to stick in my head.’
For the next three years, while his parents assumed he was using his computer for his homework, Jamie visited porn websites for up to two hours a night.
Even when his school performance began to suffer, they had no idea of the murky world their shy, quiet son was inhabiting while upstairs in his bedroom.
While it’s not his real name, Jamie is typical of the young men I meet. He explained: ‘The websites led me to other websites and soon I was looking at even weirder stuff I could never have imagined — animals, children, stabbing and strangling.'
‘I stopped leaving my room and seeing my friends because when I was away from the pornography, I was dying to get back to see what else I could find.’
And it was only when the police came knocking one morning that Jamie’s secret life was exposed.
After identifying that someone in the house was accessing child porn, they took Jamie’s laptop away for examination. Jamie is only 13 — and he still hasn’t even kissed a girl, let alone had sex.
Though he is only a child himself, the result is that he has been put on the Sex Offender Register, blighting his life for the foreseeable future.
Even with intensive therapy, Jamie still suffers from deep shame — ‘as if it is written across my forehead’ — which has led him to fear he will never be able to form a healthy relationship with a woman.
As he told me at a recent session: ‘It still makes me think I might never have a proper girlfriend — because the pictures still come back to me sometimes. It make makes me want to shout, “Stop, stop.” But sometimes they still won’t go away.’
Jamie’s story is not unique. He is just one of the growing number of young patients referred by social services, youth offender services and police to the Portman Clinic — where I work as a psychotherapist. I would never normally consider speaking out in this way. But after much thought, I have come to the conclusion this is no longer just a private problem. It is a public health problem.
For the past 70 years our services, which are part of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, have been available to anyone who has committed any kind of offence.
But an increasingly large part of our caseload is taken up with young people whose behaviour has become out of control due, largely, to compulsive internet porn use.
This year alone, this has included 50 referrals of children under 18, and that’s just for North London, where we are based.
Yet even though we are one of the very few units in the country dealing with these issues, funding cuts mean mental health services are having to make drastic efficiency savings that significantly reduce our service.
Our patients are the young people for whom seeing thousands upon thousands of sexually explicit images is still not enough.
I regularly see boys as young as 12 who have convictions for looking at child porn because they did not realise they had crossed the line.
I also treat children who are so frustrated at being unable to live out their fantasies in everyday life — and so confused by the message of endless sexual availability on the web — that they have committed rapes or sexual assaults.
Another example would be Paul, 12. He has been referred to us because his obsessive sexual viewing habits have now spilled into the real world.
At school, he has been repeatedly exposing himself to teachers and other pupils in lessons.
And, at home, his appalled mother has found him walking around the house naked in a constant state of sexual excitement.
Another case is Andrew, aged 13, who was referred to the clinic because he has been abusing his five-year-old half-sister. Due to his two years of constant porn use, he has built up a complex fantasy world — so it was no big step for him to try to involve her.
Our research at the clinic has found that although the internet doesn’t create these problems, it can release interests which would never have surfaced otherwise.
Without virtual pornography, it’s my belief that Andrew would not have acquired his compulsion to abuse, let alone dreamt up the idea of involving his sister.
One of my regular patients, Jude, was referred to me at the age of 18 by social workers who were concerned that years of web porn use had not only made him socially isolated but a danger to others, too.
When a girl he liked did not return his feelings, he told me: ‘I feel like stabbing her.’ He also threatened to kill himself because he felt he would never be able to have a normal relationship, and admitted he liked ‘seeing women being hurt’.
A particular scenario he enjoyed thinking about was a man grabbing a woman’s throat and punching her in the face.
Chillingly, he had already taken to following women late at night, and maintained he would become more of a risk to them if he was forced to give up watching porn.
All these cases are only the tip of the iceberg. For every young person who has come to the attention of police or social services, there will be tens of thousands more who manage to keep their habit under wraps — but who still face long-term consequences for their mental and emotional health. After all, we are rearing a guinea pig generation — a generation of boys and young men raised in a world where internet porn is freely on offer at any time.
Of course, critics who oppose restrictions will say pornography has always been with us; young boys have always looked at risque magazines.
Yet the advent of the internet — and particularly broadband over the past decade — means that never in human history has such a vast and relentless amount of it been so easily and freely available to all.
By Chris Grillot
In 2009, [name withheld] raped and murdered 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall in England.
[name withheld], a convicted double-rapist, coerced Hall into meeting him over Facebook. The catch: [name withheld] posed as an attractive 17-year-old boy.
To combat this type of crime, Rep. Ledricka Thierry, D-Opelousas, has proposed a bill that would ban convicted pedophiles from social networking.
Before I go on, protecting children is paramount, and there are instances of sexual crimes against children where the perpetrator deserves life.
That said, Thierry’s bill sparks a number of questions about its constitutionality and effectiveness.
House Bill 620 (PDF) would ban individuals convicted of indecent behavior with juveniles, pornography involving juveniles and computer-aided solicitation of minors, or video voyeurism, from social websites.
The bill defines a “social networking website” as any site whose primary purpose is “facilitating social interaction with other users of the website.”
It specifies that the websites must have capabilities that allow users to create Web pages or profiles about themselves that are available to the general public or other users as a “mechanism of communication.”
A “social networking website” doesn’t include sites that only provide photo-sharing, e-mail or instant messengers. It doesn’t include sites primarily for facilitating commercial transactions, and it doesn’t include ones primarily used for disseminating news.
In February, Chief Justice Brian Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana struck down the bill’s first incarnation, citing First Amendment violations.
Jackson believed the bill went overboard and banned use to most of the Internet.
The bill’s reincarnation — though approved by the House of Representatives — appears to have the same problem as its predecessor.
Because of the bill’s vague wording, it may cover much more than social networking and take away outlets for free speech.
It may cover professional networking website LinkedIn. It also seems to include sites like Yahoo!, which contains e-mail and news and allows users to make a profile.
And will it cover blogging sites like WordPress or iPhone social-networking apps like Foursquare?
At any rate, the bill may still cover a substantial amount of the Internet now that social networking influences new websites across the Web.
These questions need to be addressed before the bill is passed. Unfortunately, Rep. Thierry could not be reached for comment by press time.
Another problem is that the bill will affect more people than needed.
In a 2003 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only about 5 percent of nearly 9,700 sex offenders released from jail were rearrested for a new sex crime in three years.
These statistics show the bill ignores that most released offenders aren’t committing future crimes. In fact, the bill assumes all will commit another sex crime — and that it will occur online.
These offenders served their time. Is it right to continue punishing them for the rest of their lives?
The ban will inevitably be more harmful to convicted sex offenders ready to live a crime-free life.
And finally, the law will not affect those criminals willing to commit another crime.
People willing to break the law will break the law — that’s how they become criminals.
Though it may be illegal to register on a website under their real name, convicted sex offenders could register under a nickname if they are going to prey on social networking sites.
If passed, Thierry’s bill would simply say Louisiana is tough on child sex offenders, while creating a new crime only to be committed by those who have served their time — logging on to Facebook or trying to get a job via LinkedIn.
To make the bill more constitutional, Thierry could make the law narrower, possibly including only repeated sex offenders or sex offenders who were originally convicted of using the Internet to solicit sex.
Another suggestion is for Thierry to pass a bill to enhance sex offender rehabilitation rather than a bill to restrict outlets to free speech.
A blanket ban on social media will harm a majority of convicted sex offenders’ rights and keep them from engaging in social networking.
Right now, Louisiana requires sex offenders to register in an online database and have special driver’s licenses, among other duties. Social networking has potential — if used in the right way — to help integrate such criminals back into society, rather than ostracize them further.
Sex crimes against children is a controversial subject. But we cannot let emotions and stereotypes against certain people justify harming First Amendment rights.
There is a compromise to be made.
Why not focus on helping rather than creating lifelong punishments?
By Jerry DeMarco
Former Ramsey Police Officer Jeffrey Kimmel was back behind bars yesterday, charged with sexual assault and child endangerment while on supervised release for stealing more than $133,000 from his former department and union three years ago.
Kimmel, 49, was re-arrested yesterday after a grand jury returned an indictment with the new charges, records show.
He was also charged with violating the terms of the state Intensive Supervision Program.
Although sentenced to six years in July 2009 in connection with the thefts, state Department of Corrections records show that Kimmel served seven months before being released into the supervisory program.
The New Jersey Intensive Supervision Program "provides a structure in which certain offenders, sentenced to state penal institutions in the traditional fashion, are afforded an opportunity to work their way back into the community under intensive supervision," according to Harvey M. Goldstein, the NJISP manager.
The program "requires that offenders present a plan, which gives full assurance to a Screening Board and a Resentencing Panel of judges, that their return to the community will result in a positive social adjustment and will not jeopardize the public’s safety," Goldstein wrote on the state judiciary's web site.
Besides providing the "life plan," participants must undergo drug testing, stick to strict curfews and meet frequently with their supervisors. They must hold full-time jobs or receive vocational training and fulfill community service requirements.
"By no means is the Intensive Supervision Program a 'slap on the wrist',” Goldstein said. "It is, as the name implies, 'intense.' For that reason, this program is not suited for everyone facing a prison term, and success is not assured."
Violators can end up back in prison serving out their original terms.
A former dispatcher and traffic officer, Kimmel had been PBA Local 155's treasurer before his arrest. The 14-year department veteran was known for his good works, including giving children's car seats to parents who couldn't afford them.
Kimmel, who made a public apology and paid back more than half of the money, has three children of his own.
He was being held without bail last night in the Bergen County Jail pending a court hearing on the new charges.
By Megan O'Rourke
DAYTON (WDTN) - Ohio laws are giving sex offenders a free pass to disappear in your community. Local leaders argue the law allows offenders to register as homeless rather than give an exact address where they live lets them off the hook.
By not giving an address, notification cards cannot be sent out to the community and it is difficult for authorities to monitor the offenders’ whereabouts.
- Well, have you asked yourselves, why are they homeless in the first place? Well, because of the very laws the self serving politicians are passing, that is why. The online registry and residency laws prevent ex-offenders from re-integrating back into society, instead they turn them into homeless lepers who cannot find a job, due to the registry, or a place to live, due to the residency restrictions and the registry. So, if you want the problem to be fixed, repeal the laws.
Currently, there are 1,000 registered sex offenders living in Montgomery County, of them, 55 reported that they were homeless.
"It's hard to track it and it's hard to verify that they are doing the right thing," said Bill Taylor, a Senior Inspector with the United States Marshals Service.
Taylor is in charge of the Marshals' sex offender investigations branch. He only intervenes when offenders cross state lines, but thinks Ohio's law is far from perfect.
"It frustrates me to no end. I want to know where they are," he added.
Other local leaders agreed.
At one time, there were six sex offenders registered as homeless in Miami County. That may not sound like a lot, but because it's a predominately rural area, the number was alarming to officials.
As a result, the Miami County Sheriff's Office decided to require homeless offenders to check in every day.
- And when they cannot afford a bus ticket for the ride to the local gestapo office, then what? Throw them in jail/prison where you really want them in the first place? It's a catch-22 situation.
"We believe that the statute requires them to notify us when they change address. So, if they change address daily, they are required to notify us," explained Chief Deputy Dave Duchek. "If they fail to do that, then they are in violation of the statute".
Since implementing the new requirements, the number of sex offenders registering as homeless in Miami County has dropped to just one.
Chief Deputy Duchek called the strict reporting requirements effective, and in his opinion, well-within the law.
"There's some debate with the current statute of whether we can require them to come daily. We believe we can, but it's not clearly spelled out in the statute," added Duchek.
The "gray area" in the current law allows for open interpretation from county-to-county.
Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck does not think adding extra reporting requirements would hold up in the court of law.
"I don't think they can require additional (reporting requirements) and I really don't know when you get down to it, if any county really makes anyone report more than they are legally obligated to report," he said.
However, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer told 2 NEWS at one time his office was requiring homeless sex offenders to register every day, but prosecutors instructed them to stop because it was unconstitutional.
It was a decision Plummer said he did not agree with and would like to change.
"I think if they are homeless, they need to register every day," said Sheriff Plummer. "We need to know exactly where they are and where they are staying. If it's an inconvenience for them, then do it right, claim a residence. Then we can notify your neighbors that you are truly living there".
Plummer said it is a loophole in the law that needs to be addressed. He would like to see state-wide legislation that tightens the reigns on offenders who register as homeless.
- Your laws are forcing them into homelessness, and now, because of your laws, you want to punish them more? I believe, if the Constitution was still valid, that that would be an unconstitutional ex post facto punishment and the law should be shot down.
"What I am going to do is check with the Attorney General and see if there is a ruling on that," he added. "If not, then I am going to get with the legislators and get the law passed, get it changed in our favor.”
DE - “Operation Second Wind” Focuses On Sex Offender Compliance for Tier II Offenders in New Castle County
And guess what? The media continually says sex offender recidivism is very high, which we know is false, but here is yet another example that that is false. Out of all these people they checked, arrested, etc, none were charged with any new sex crime. Go figure!
The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (video) was enacted on July 27, 2006. In addition to establishing a national sex offender registry law, the Act made significant changes to sexual abuse, exploitation, and transportation crimes. The Act created new substantive crimes, expanded federal jurisdiction over existing crimes, and increased statutory minimum and/or maximum sentences.
Operation’s Goal and Objective:
Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement team up and perform compliance checks on Tier II Registered Sex Offenders in New Castle County Operation as first phase in a statewide effort.
Participating Law Enforcement Agencies:
- Delaware State Police Sex Offenders Apprehension and Registration Unit
- Delaware Attorney General’s Office
- New County Police Department
- Wilmington Police Department
- Department of Corrections – Delaware Probation and Parole
- University of Delaware Police Department
- Newark Police Department
- Middletown Police Department
- Elsmere Police Department
- United States Marshals Service District of Delaware
“Operation Second Wind” was the result of a collaborative effort of numerous Law Enforcement organizations throughout New Castle County.
The joint compliance initiative combined approximately 48 Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Officers in New Castle County and took place randomly over a four month period beginning in January, 2012. The Operation culminated in a sex offender wanted persons round up the week of April 2, 2012.
During Operation Second Wind, 710 compliance checks were conducted in New Castle County of Tier 2 Sex Offenders. A total of 29 offenders were found to be non-compliant for a compliance rate of 96%. The focus of the enforcement phase of the operation included any wanted sex offender in the state of Delaware.
As a result of these enforcement efforts, there were 31 total arrests made during the operation. 27 sex offenders were arrested for Failure to Register/Failure to Verify; 2 sex offenders were arrested for Violation of Probation of prior sex offenses and 2 arrests were made for subjects with Capias’ on Failure to Appear for previous court appearances.
The U.S. Marshals Service for the District of Delaware opened 13 federal cases under provision of the Adam Walsh Act for ongoing investigation and potential prosecution based on information obtained during this operation.
Operation Second Wind demonstrates how through the collaborative efforts of all Law Enforcement agencies, when working together, can assist in making Delaware a safer place for our children to live and grow.
This is part of the Delaware State Police’s Sex Offender Apprehension and Registration Unit’s (SOAR) ongoing effort to ensure our sex offender population is doing what they are legally required to do.
A 97 percent compliance rate from a previous operation targeting Tier 3 offenders statewide coupled with a 96 percent compliance rate for this Tier 2 operation for New Castle County is indicative that the system and its inherent safeguards/checks and balances are lending themselves to knowing where the population of Sex Offenders is residing within our community. Similar operations for Kent and Sussex Counties are in the planning stages at this time.
- No it doesn't, IMO, it just shows that ex-sex offenders, for the most part, are complying with the laws, even if they are unconstitutional and draconian. So of course the police are going to turn this into a way for them to "toot their own horn," and to make themselves look better to the sheeple, when in fact, it's the offenders who are doing what they are suppose to be doing, obeying the laws and not committing new crimes.
U. S. Marshals Office Comments: “The Marshals Service for the District of Delaware was glad to be a participant in this operation with our State and Local Law Enforcement partners, in making sure that all provisions of laws regarding sex offender’s registration compliance were being met. We will continue to assist our law enforcement partners with apprehending those non-compliant and wanted sex offenders so they will be held accountable for their actions. The Marshals Service is committed to making our communities and neighborhoods safer places to live”.
Comments from Attorney General Beau Biden: “Sex Offenders have forfeited their right to be anonymous. Thanks to the constant efforts of the Delaware State Police Sex Offender Apprehension and Registration Unit, and periodic compliance checks like this, we’re ensuring that predators register and verify their location as required with the State. Knowing where predators are helps law enforcement and families keep our kids and communities safe.”
- Once again, it's not because of anything the police did, it's because ex-offenders are obeying the laws, and not all sex offenders are predators or have harmed children, but, they are the scapegoats for self serving politicians to use to exploit for their own personal gain.
The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Bill that proposes to do away with the age of consent and deem any sexual relations with a person aged below 18 years as rape regardless of whether it is consensual sex or not. At present, the age of consent is 16 years in most parts of India.
- So I guess many kids, being kids and having sex, will now be considered criminals and ruined for life?
The Prohibition of Sexual Harassment of Women in the Workplace Bill was referred to a GoM.
With the Cabinet having passed it, the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Bill is likely to be tabled in the current session of Parliament, sources in the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare said.
It is a landmark Bill that for the first time recognises how rampant the problem of child sexual abuse is and seeks to address it. The Bill has been drafted as per the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on HRD which had said that the present age of consent clause should be treated as irrelevant up to the age of 18 as below that age, an individual is deemed as a child. The Indian Express had reported in February about the proposal to abolish age of consent.
If the Bill is passed in Parliament, it might, however, give rise to a situation where two laws take two different positions on the same offence. The Ministry of Home Affairs, in its the proposed amendments to the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act, even while making rape a gender neutral assault, thereby terming it sexual assault, has sought to retain the age of consent clause provided the consent is not obtained against the person’s will through use of violence, intoxication, impersonation etc.
Meanwhile, penal provisions proposed in the Bill for assaults of sexual nature on children range from three years’ imprisonment to life in jail. It also proposes penalties for trafficking and child pornography — maximum imprisonment of one year for both.
The Bill defines “aggravated sexual assault” as sexual assault by a police officer within his jurisdiction, a public servant taking advantage of his position, manager or of a person on the staff of jail remand home etc and proposes a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment. The Bill also lays down procedures for investigators probing a complaint of child sexual assault on how to take a child’s evidence so as not to traumatise him/her.
The Cabinet also approved a proposal from the department of biotechnology to establish a joint funding initiative called “R&D for Affordable Healthcare in India” with Wellcome Trust, London.
VA - Age of Consent is 18, Detective Brent Taylor pleads guilty to solicitation of sex from a 17 year old, walks free
The age of consent in Virginia is 18, this kid was 17, so why is he walking free when the average citizen (not a officer) would be in jail and/or prison and on the sex offender hit-list?
The lead detective with the Fredericksburg Police Department is now officially a convicted felon and off the force, but he's not behind bars.
On Monday, 47-year-old Brent Taylor pleaded guilty to charged of soliciting a teenage boy for sex, stemming from a January incident in which he repeatedly had sex with a 17-year-old boy. However, a judge suspended Taylor's entire 6-year prison sentence.
During the case, the teenage victim refused to participate in the prosecution and Taylor's attorney stressed that the teen was a willing participant.
- It doesn't matter, he's under the age of consent. Apparently it's good to be a cop, you can get a way with things most people are ruined for life for.
On Jan. 6, prosecutors say that Taylor used the site Daddyhunt.com to get together with the teenage victim. The web site facilitates hook-ups. After driving to Fairfax County in an unmarked car to pick him up, they had sex at a Motel 6 off Route 17.
When Taylor left, the teen got locked out of his room and police picked him up while walking down the highway. They arrested the detective when they returned to the motel.
In Fredericksburg, opinions widely differ on the judge's decision.
"If he is old enough to consent, he is old enough to consent," Fredericksburg resident Dan Reiff said.
- That's the problem, the age of consent is 18, he's 17.
However, some think its the wrong move that Taylor is not only spared prison time, but may not even have to register as a sex offender.
|Steven Vigorito Jr.|
By SAMANTHA HENRY
PATERSON (AP) - A New Jersey police officer sent a 12-year-old girl explicit photos of himself in uniform and tried to set up a sexual encounter with her, days after meeting the girl while assisting her family in an unrelated police matter, authorities said Wednesday.
Woodland Park Police Officer Steven Vigorito Jr. pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges ranging from attempted aggravated sexual assault to luring and enticing a child. He was being held on $250,000 bail following his arrest while on duty Tuesday night. A message left after-hours for the public defender who represented him at the arraignment was not returned.
Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes said the girl's mother complained to the police department on Monday that the officer had made inappropriate comments to her daughter, had given her his private cellphone number and had asked her to text him. Woodlawn Park Police Chief Anthony Galietti said they immediately contacted the prosecutor's office, whose detectives posed as the girl and started exchanging texts with Vigorito.
The texts became increasingly explicit over the course of several days, prosecutors said. Vigorito eventually texted the girl photographs in which he was exposing himself while wearing his police uniform and arranged to meet her for a sexual encounter, prosecutors alleged.
The girl was never in harm's way, and never exchanged texts with the officer, Valdes said.
"What is so disturbing about this, is the person who was to assist the family, ends up preying on the family," Valdes said.
The 39-year-old Vigorito has been with the police department for 12 years in Woodland Park, a small suburb about 15 miles from Manhattan. The town, known until a recent voter-approved name change as West Paterson, is a bucolic, leafy borough of neatly landscaped homes adjacent to Paterson, a grittier, more industrialized urban neighbor.
Vigorito, who New York television station WABC-7 reported is a married father of two, was arrested Tuesday night in the police station while on the night shift, according to Galietti, who said the patrolman was suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
The arrest of one of the 25 officers on the force has shaken the small department, Galietti said.
"It's very upsetting, when you have one of your own do something like this. It's very upsetting," he said. Galietti added that department officials had acted immediately upon receiving the family's complaint about the officer, and had no hesitation in alerting the prosecutor's office.
"When this came to light we went into it head-on. We didn't care if it was one of our own," he said. "I'm the father of five kids, and this is wrong. It's a very inappropriate situation. Unfortunately, he (Vigorito) had a badge at the time."
CORPUS CHRISTI - A former Corpus Christi police officer, accused of having sex with a teen girl, will be released on bond from federal custody.
Robert McChester Junior was arrested a couple weeks ago on charges he contacted a minor over the internet for the intentions of having a sexual relationship.
A federal judge set a $100,000 bond for McChester, but prosecutors filed a motion to appeal that.
Today, a judge decided McChester can be released on that bond.
Prosecutors say McChester met the teen while he was a security guard at Tuloso Midway High School and she was a student.
They say the two became friends on Facebook and started a sexual relationship.
During today's bond hearing, an investigator said McChester was Facebook friends with at least 70 other students from the same school.
So, the defense attorney said McChester could be a danger to these kids too and shouldn't be released on bond.
But McChester's lawyer said this point is "nonsense."
Keith Gould said, "If he has some friends that our students on his Facebook account...they try to make it sound like that's criminal. I'm not so sure that's a crime and I'm not sure where they were going with that."
The judge ruled there wasn't enough evidence to prove McChester was a threat to the community, so he'll be released on bond.
But, he has several conditions to follow.
There are at least 20 conditions listed including, house arrest with GPS tracking, a trace device on his home phone, internet service cut from the home and he can't visit areas with children like schools, movie theaters or restaurants.
Gould says McChester may be released from prison as early as Thursday.