Saturday, April 28, 2012
By Karen Madden
While the state's sex offender registry is a good tool for parents to keep children safe, authorities say it shouldn't give them a false sense of security: Most new cases involve people who never have been convicted of a sex crime.
In 2011, about 93 percent of the felony sexual offense cases filed in Wood County involved defendants not on the state's sex offender registry, according to the results of a Daily Tribune analysis of Wood County Circuit Court records.
The Wood County district attorney's office filed 30 felony sex offense cases -- an average of about one every 11 days. Of the 30 cases, 16 involved child victims and another five were for child pornography charges. Only two involved people previously listed as sex offenders. Five of the cases were eventually dismissed, and three were reduced to misdemeanors. In addition to the 30 felony cases in 2011, authorities also filed charges against four people for violating sex offender registry rules.
Most offenders victimize multiple people before anyone reports the abuse, said Kelly Anderson, executive director of the Rape Crisis Center in Madison. Children are significantly more likely to be molested by someone they know than by a stranger.
"So, the safety issues for families are much more complicated than checking the sex offender registry," Anderson said.
Lt. Quentin Ellis, the Wood County Sheriff's Department's former juvenile crimes investigator, said by the time victims report a sexual assault, it's possible they've been victimized numerous times.
"The majority of the time, it is somebody they know," Ellis said. "That's far more common than the random someone they don't know preying on children."
Good parenting is a way to reduce the chances of children becoming victims, Ellis said. Communication and education go a long way toward protecting young south Wood County residents. Talking about "good touch-bad touch" and good and bad relationships is important, he said.
A change in a child's behavior or abilities can signal a problem, Ellis said. Parents need to make sure children feel safe communicating problems. Even children of vigilant parents can become victims.
"The sex offender website is more available," Ellis said. "With technology at people's fingertips, I encourage people to arm themselves with that."
The registry has readily available maps of where sex offenders live, Ellis said.
All convicted offenders who are on court-ordered supervision have rules they must follow, said Linda Eggert, Wisconsin Department of Corrections public information officer. The rules can include drug testing and agent contacts with family members, employers or treatment providers. The rules also can include unscheduled home visits and electronic monitoring, including GPS tracking of sex offenders' movements around the clock.
Department of Corrections agents look at the nature of the offense and an offender's criminal history when deciding which rules are appropriate, Eggert said. They also use an analytical tool to measure an offender's risk level.
"These are the key areas which assist an agent in developing the rules a supervised sex offender must follow," Eggert said.
The registry and the supervision offenders receive are important, but people still need to be cautious and remember the majority of cases filed involved first-time sex offenders, Ellis said. The best advice is if something doesn't feel right, check into it. If people believe something is off, it doesn't hurt to check with authorities, Ellis said.
|Thomas Patrick Kennedy|
I believe the "21" is a typing error. This article shows his age as 31.
KILL DEVIL HILLS (WAVY) - A North Carolina probation officer is facing sexual battery charge following accusations of misconduct from a woman to whom he was assigned.
Thomas Patrick Kennedy, 21, of Kill Devils Hills was arrested April 27.
The Dare County Sheriff's Office says the victim reported improper contact being "initiated by her probation officer during an interview with the officer."
Following an investigation into the claim, Kennedy was arrested and charged with sexual battery, a misdemeanor.
Kennedy was released on a $43,000 bond.
CA - Jury Selection Begins for the Alleged Kidnap and Rape Prosecution of Former Westminster Police Detective Anthony Orban
|Anthony Nicholas Orban|
There appears to be more to this story than what is being reported, see the video below.
West Hollywood (PRWEB) - Jury selection began today in People of the State of California v. Anthony Nicholas Orban (County of Los Angeles Case No. FWV1000794), where the former marine and Westminster Police detective is being prosecuted for multiple charges stemming from the April 3, 2010, alleged armed kidnap, rape, and sexual assault, of a woman at the Ontario Mills Mall. Orban, represented by criminal defense attorney James E. Blatt since his arrest, has plead not guilty by reason of insanity.
Anthony Orban, a decorated United States Marine Corps veteran and police officer, has no recollection of the crime or the hours that proceeded it. After serving honorably as his platoon leader in Iraq during the second Gulf war, Orban enrolled in the police academy and quickly became a detective with the Westminster Police Department. Orban was highly regarded within the department, and received numerous commendations for his work. Orban, however, was suffering from symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.). As he struggled to cope with the effects of P.T.S.D., Orban was prescribed a combination of the drugs Zoloft and Neurontin.
James E. Blatt, who is known for his creative defense strategies and creating new defenses in the area of criminal law, contends that Mr. Orban's crime, was the result of a Zoloft-induced psychosis. "Due to his use of the prescription drug known as Zoloft, my client suffered a psychotic break from reality where he could not comprehend his actions and did not know right from wrong" stated Mr. Blatt, who then went on to say, "Had it not been for the use of Zoloft, this crime would not have occurred."
Mr. Blatt stated that Orban had no prior criminal record before the sexual assault and suffered from P.T.S.D after returning from Iraq and that he had been "overprescribed" with the anti-depressant Zoloft and anti-seizure medication Neurontin. Blatt said Orban's wife and other relatives, colleagues, and friends are completely shocked at the charges filed against the former Marine and Iraq War veteran and will continue to stand by him during the trial.
Westminster Police Chief Mitch Waller also stated to the OC Register (Published: April 9, 2010) that Orban had always been a good officer with an exemplary record who was recently promoted to detective. "Since we found out about this, we have been compelled to go back to his employment record, background record and polygraph test results," Waller said. "We are checking to see if there were any red flags we missed, and we haven't seen any."
Crimes of random violence by police officers are unusual, an expert said. "It's statistically bizarre to have an officer assault a woman in broad daylight and rape her like this case alleges," said Ronald Huff, a criminologist at UC Irvine. "This is really rare." (Published: OC Register April 9, 2010)
San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Deborah Ploghaus will be prosecuting this case and believes that Orban's duty was to protect and serve, as she stated to the OC Register (Published: April 9, 2010). "The crime is a random act of violence that could have happened to anyone, which is scary enough, but the fact it was committed by an off-duty officer, whose job it is to protect the public from crimes, makes this case especially horrific."
Anthony Orbana's trial is expected to last six weeks, and is being heard in the Rancho Cucamonga Superior Court, Department 7, before the Honorable Judge Shahla S. Sabet.
|Charles Farrell Long|
By Nick Dutton
ALBEMARLE COUNTY (WTVR) – Police said a 47-year-old former police officer, teacher — and most recently school volunteer — was arrested on child pornography charges.
The Albermarle County Police Department said Charles Farrell Long Jr., of Charlottesville, was charged with two count of possession of child pornography and two counts of production of child pornography.
Officials said police received a complaint about Long in December of 2011, which led to an investigation.
Long is a former Albemarle County police officer, former Reserve Deputy with the Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office — and a former teacher at Charlottesville Public Schools teacher, according to police.
Additionally, police said Long was recently a Albemarle County Public Schools volunteer.
Long is scheduled to appear in Albemarle Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on Monday.
FL - Governor signs bill to make everyone (Just School Officials) responsible for reporting child sex abuse
By Mary Ellen Klas
Prompted by the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, Florida’s victim advocates tightened the state’s laws to make it a third-degree felony for failing to “willfully and knowingly’’ report child sex abuse
TALLAHASSEE - After the Jerry Sandusky saga exposed the flaws in Penn State’s storied legacy, it revealed to victim advocates in Florida the need to fix the state’s child sex abuse reporting laws.
On Friday, Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill that requires anyone to report known or suspected cases of child sex abuse. The “Protection of Vulnerable Persons” law (PDF) also gives Florida the toughest mandatory reporting requirements in the nation for sex abuse violations on schools and university campuses, say victims advocates.
- Is it just for schools and universities? If so, then it's not much good, IMO!
Under the measure, which takes effect on Oct. 1, anyone — from university coaching staff to elementary school teachers to administrators to students — who “willfully and knowingly” fails to report any suspicious sexual abuse they encounter will face fines of up to $1 million per incident and face potential criminal charges.
Current Florida law requires mandatory reporting of child sex abuse only when the suspect is a parent or other caregiver of a child.
- No it only adds schools, but why not anyone who sees sexual abuse and doesn't report it?
“This law will break the culture we have learned so much about in the wake of the Penn State, Syracuse, and Citadel child abuse scandals, where institutions seemed to think the names of their institutions were more important than protecting children,’’ said Tallahassee lobbyist Ron Book, who, with his daughter Lauren, proposed and pushed for the bill.
- Oh, that explains everything!
Lauren Book is a sexual abuse survivor and the founder of “Lauren’s Kids,” a victims advocacy group. For the past 11 years, she and her father have sought to tighten Florida’s safety net for victims of sexual abuse and to strengthen the laws against child sexual predators.
- Yeah, and they are turning Florida into sex offender ghettos, and forcing people into homelessness due to their lobbying for draconian residency laws.
The Book said they didn’t realize the state’s mandatory reporting laws were so weak until learning of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. Sandusky was arrested last year on charges that he sexually abused at least eight boys over a period of 15 years. After his arrest, Penn State fired Sandusky’s supervisor, the college’s long-time coach Joe Paterno, who died earlier this year. The college’s athletic director, Tim Curley, was also accused of perjury and failing to report suspected child abuse.
- Hmm, so at any time, did Ron Book know or suspect his daughter was being molested by their nanny?
The new law requires anyone to report suspected sex abuse and provides $2 million to promote the sex abuse hotline at the Florida Department of Children and Families and adds 47 additional hotline counselors.
Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston, said she initially expressed concerns that the bill was an overreaction to the Sandusky saga and worried that the initial plan to fine universities $5 million per incident went too far. But, after the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary, and Sen. Lisbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, agreed to narrow the scope and reduce the penalties, she supported the bill.
“Whenever you have a high profile case, the Legislature can have a knee-jerk reaction and there can be unintended consequences,’’ Rich said.
- Yep, and that is how they have always reacted, and they continue to cause people to suffer due to their knee-jerk reactions.
The new law also requires hotline operators to refer abuse reports to law enforcement and requires universities to turn over their abuse reports to prosecutors.
“We used to think we needed to simply create a hotline and get counseling services to people but we learned that people still don’t want to tell,’’ Book said.
“Ninety percent of the childhood sex abuse may be committed by someone you know but 95 percent is preventable through education and awareness,’’ Book said. What’s worse, he added, is according to national data “the average predator commits 123 separate offense to separate individuals before they are caught.”
- Still spewing his BS I see, but what did one expect? He's living in Wonderland!
In addition to imposing fines on universities, the bill increases from a misdemeanor to a third-degree felony the penalties for those who knowingly fail to report child abuse. In addition, it raises the prison sentence from one year to up to 15 years and increases potential fines from a maximum of $1,000 to a maximum of $5,000.
Legislators also set aside $1.5 million, or up to $3,000 per victim, to help victims relocate.
OH - Former Hebron police officer (George B. Gibson) accused of 10-year sexual relationship with 8-year-old girl, fathering 3 children
|George B. Gibson|
Update: Ex-officer convicted of sex with teen, his girlfriend’s daughter
By Jessie Balmert
HEATH - A former police officer accused of having a sexual relationship with a girl that spanned 10 years and led to three children while he was on the force was arrested Friday morning.
George B. Gibson, 43, was suspected of engaging in sexual contact and conduct with a young girl between Aug. 21, 1993, and Aug. 31, 2003, Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt said. The girl was 8 years old when the suspected sexual abuse began, Oswalt said.
The girl, whom Gibson knew through her mother, was 15 years old when she had Gibson’s child, who is now 10, Oswalt said. They have two other children, age 7 and 19 months, together, he added.
Gibson worked as an officer for the Hebron and Union Township police departments while the suspected sexual abuse occurred. His police officer certification was suspended because of inactivity in February 2006, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
During his time in Union Township, he was disciplined for failing to respond to dispatches, resulting in Licking County Sheriff’s Office deputies being sent in his place. Gibson left the department after a disciplinary hearing, Union Township Police Chief Paula Greene said.
Greene said she did not know what Gibson did with his personal life, but was concerned the alleged behavior occurred while he worked for the police department.
Hebron police officers also were unaware of the alleged behavior at the time, Hebron Lt. Larry Brooks said. After Gibson left the department, Brooks said he would see Gibson around Heath with the girl, who looked young.
“I thought, ‘That’s not right,’” Brooks said.
- And yet he did nothing about it?
The alleged behavior was uncovered during Licking County Child Support Enforcement Agency proceedings when officials realized that their oldest child was conceived when the mother was 15 years old, Oswalt said.
On Thursday, a grand jury charged Gibson with one count of gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony, one count of rape, a first-degree felony, two counts of corruption of a minor, fourth-degree felonies, one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony, and five counts of sexual battery, third-degree felonies.
The indictment was sealed until Gibson’s arrest Friday morning, because authorities were concerned he might leave the area, Oswalt said.
Gibson has hired an attorney and has not made a statement to Heath police, who investigated the incidents, Oswalt said.
A bond hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.