Wednesday, May 23, 2012

MD - Lobbying Your Representatives In Annapolis

This video is tailored for Maryland ex-offenders, but the advice is the same for all other states, and I recommend others watch it.

Video Description:
David Smith and Stewart Levy of FAIR. David talks about the nuts and bolts of how laws are made in our state capitol. Stewart talks about how to make your voice heard and fighting bad legislation. Recorded December 3, 2011.

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NY - Ultra-Orthodox Jews Rally to Discuss Risks of Internet

Original Article

05/20/2012

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

It was an incongruous sight for a baseball stadium: tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men, all dressed in black suits and white shirts, filing through the gates of Citi Field on Sunday, wearing not blue-and-orange Mets caps but tall, big-brim black hats.

There was no ballgame scheduled, only a religious rally to discuss the dangers of the Internet.

More than 40,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews were expected to attend — a sellout in a season where the average attendance at a Mets game has been barely half that. The organizers had to rent Arthur Ashe Stadium nearby, which has 20,000 seats, to accommodate all the interested ticket buyers.

The organizers had allowed only men to buy tickets, in keeping with ultra-Orthodox tradition of separating the sexes. Viewing parties had been arranged in Orthodox neighborhoods of Brooklyn and New Jersey so that women could watch, too.

For the attendees, many of whom said they came at the instructions of their rabbis, it was a chance to hear about a moral topic considered gravely important in their community: the potential problems that can stem from access to pornography and other explicit content on the uncensored, often incendiary Web.

Inside the stadium, a dais was set up by the back wall of center field, where rabbis led the packed stadium in evening prayers and offered heated exhortations to avoid the “filth” that can be found on the Internet. English translations of the speeches appeared on a jumbo digital screen, beneath an enormous “Let’s Go Mets!” sign.

Still, many attendees readily conceded that the Internet played a big role in their lives.

Shlomo Cohen, 24, of Toronto, said he used the Internet for shopping, business and staying in touch with friends — “Everyone needs e-mail,” he said.

Mr. Cohen said he came to Citi Field on Sunday because the rally was a good way to remind his community to keep temptation at bay.

Desires are out there,” Mr. Cohen said, adding that men could be particularly susceptible. “We have to learn how to control ourselves.”

For an event billed as taking aim at the Internet, signs of the digital age seemed to pop up everywhere.

On a No. 7 train headed toward the stadium, several men wearing the clothing of the ultra-Orthodox whipped out smartphones as soon as the subway emerged from the East River tunnel, poking at e-mail in-boxes and checking voice mail messages.

Several opponents of the rally gathered outside the stadium, including a crowd that stood by police barricades holding signs that read, “The Internet Is Not the Problem.”

Many of the protesters said they shared the religious beliefs of the attendees but wanted to show support for victims of child sexual abuse, some of whom in ultra-Orthodox communities have been discouraged from calling the police and have been shunned after the crimes against them were reported.

The rally in Citi Field on Sunday was sponsored by a rabbinical group, Ichud Hakehillos Letohar Hamachane, that is linked to a software company that sells Internet filtering software to Orthodox Jews. Those in attendance were handed fliers that advertised services like a “kosher GPS App” for iPhone and Android phones, which helps users locate synagogues and kosher restaurants.

Nat Levy, 25, who traveled from Lakewood, N.J., to attend, said he frequently surfed the Web at a cafe, overseen by a local rabbi, that filtered out certain types of online content and monitored which Web sites he visited.

He said he often used the Internet to deal with customers for his company. “You get to do business the same way,” he said. “I have unlimited access, but it’s done in a kosher manner.”

Eytan Kobre, a spokesman for the event, delivered a more intense message to reporters outside the stadium. “The siren song of the Internet entices us!” he pronounced in a booming voice. “It brings out the worst of us!

Still, Mr. Kobre confirmed that the event would be broadcast live on the Internet, via a stream available to homes and synagogues in Orthodox communities around the New York area. He said the general public would not be able to gain access, but several unauthorized streams appeared soon after the rally began.

The rally was also a hot topic on many Twitter feeds on Sunday evening.

The gathering had the feel of a gigantic family reunion — or perhaps, given the single-sex attendance, the religious version of a scouts’ jamboree — but many guests had arrived with only a friend or two.

It may look like a community because we all look the same,” said Mr. Cohen, of Toronto. “But I don’t know almost any of the people here.”

For some attendees, the dangers of the Internet seemed more in line with the usual complaints voiced by any New Yorker tethered to a BlackBerry or besieged with Twitter messages.

Raphael Hess, 29, of New Jersey, pointed at his LG phone and said he found peace in simply keeping its Internet connection turned off.

Life is more pleasant without it sometimes,” he said with a shrug.


PA - State Senator Anthony H. Williams spoke at the State Capitol in support of SB 1381

Why pass a law to fix another problem? If people are committing sex crimes and not being punished, then that is a problem with your injustice system, not something a new law will fix.

And why just educators? It's also people in your own government and police force who are committing a lot of the sex crimes, which can be seen below.

http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/2007/07/corruption-links.html

No matter how many laws you pass, to make yourselves look better to the sheeple, if someone is intent on committing a crime, they will.

Remember Mark Foley, David Vitter and the many others? The government did basically nothing to them, so why aren't you passing a "STOP MARK FOLEY" bill into law?


Video Description:
State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams joined victims, advocates and community leaders from across the state to call on the legislature to pass Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1381, the S.E.S.A.M.E. ("Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation") Act, to protect students from teacher sexual abuse by ending a practice known as "passing the trash," which allows offenders to escape prosecution and relocate to another school district.


CA - S.B. COUNTY: Halloween restrictions for sex offenders proposed

Original Article

In the entire history of this country, only one crime occurred on Halloween where a child was sexually assaulted by an UNKNOWN sex offender. It is also important to note that the parents were not with the child when it occurred. So if you are so freaked out on Halloween, why don't you be a parent and either go along with your child, or not celebrate the occasion in the first place!

05/22/2012

By IMRAN GHORI

San Bernardino County is considering prohibiting registered sex offenders from participating in Halloween activities, joining several other jurisdictions, including Riverside, that have approved similar measures.

The Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 on Tuesday, May 22, to have county counsel research the proposal and return with a proposed ordinance at a future meeting. Supervisor Janice Rutherford was absent.

Measures restricting what registered sex offenders can do on Halloween have become popular in recent years with Riverside County, Temecula, Hemet and Ontario passing ordinances.
- Just because something is popular doesn't mean it's right!

They include prohibitions against sex offenders passing out candy, decorating for the holiday, or turning on outdoor lights.

Supervisor Gary Ovitt, who proposed the idea, said he would like to see San Bernardino County consider similar measures.

We want to make sure we’re proactive in making sure our children don’t go to the wrong door step,” Ovitt said.
- Once again Big Brother trying to step in and run your life for you.  Why don't we tell parents to be parents?

His proposal would also bar registered sex offenders from taking part in Halloween activities outside their homes and from opening their doors to anyone but law enforcement on Halloween night.
- And this is probably for those who are on probation and/or parole only, not all ex-sex offenders.  And there is no law saying you must answer the door on any given day, so just because a police officer comes to your home, doesn't mean you have to answer it.

The county proposal would apply only to unincorporated areas.

Advocacy groups such as California Reform Sex Offender Laws have argued that such ordinances are unconstitutional while researchers say they have found Halloween no riskier than any other autumn day when it comes to sex crimes against children.

A 2009 study by a group of University of Oklahoma professors examined nine years of crime data in 30 states and found no increase in sex crimes on or around Halloween.


OK - Gov. Mary Fallin signs Oklahoma sex offender bill

Mary Fallin
Original Article

Once again the media fear mongering machine gets it wrong. See this article for more information.

05/23/2012

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin has signed legislation that bans registered sex offenders from living with minor children.

Fallin signed the measure into law on Tuesday. Its author, Rep. Mike Sanders, says it will help protect Oklahoma children.

Previously, state law didn't prohibit a sex offender from living with a minor child. Sanders says he was surprised to learn that a sex offender was living with a child in his district.

He says it seemed illogical to ban sex offenders from living near schools but allow them to live with a child.

Sanders says he is happy state lawmakers and Fallin supported his efforts to fix the loophole. He says the new law will complement reforms by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services to make the state safer for children.


LA - Man labeled child sexual predator awarded $160,000

Original Article

05/22/2012

By Eric Heisig

A judge has awarded $160,000 to a Bayou Blue man who said he was labeled a child sexual predator via a series of emails and flyers sent out by Houma Police.

[name withheld], 51, filed suit against Terrebonne Parish and Houma Police officer Angela Domangue and said his reputation was damaged when Domangue sent out notices to local schools that he was "watching school children" and to call police if he was seen. [name withheld] was never arrested, ticketed or charged in any way, though court papers say police had received several reports about him "stretching in a provocative way."

The suit was first filed in federal court in 2008 but was re-filed in Terrebonne District Court last year. Late last month, District Judge Johnny Walker ruled in favor of [name withheld], saying he was publicly defamed by the notices and his right to privacy was violated when personal information was dispersed, court papers say.

On Monday, Walker awarded [name withheld] $140,000 worth of damages and $20,000 for his medical expenses. [name withheld] had sought treatment for the anguish caused by the situation, court papers say.

Barron Whipple, [name withheld]'s attorney, did not immediately return a message for comment.

The suit stems from an incident on October 2008, when [name withheld] was running on a public jogging path and stopped near St. Gregory Barbarigo School, 441 Sixth St., court papers say. Children were outside playing, and while he told a school employee that he was "merely resting between running intervals," police were called, the petition says.

Officers arrived and — without arresting [name withheld] or issuing a citation — asked him to leave and not to return.

The lawsuit says police officers, specifically Domangue, investigated his background. It also alleges his picture, birth date, descriptions of his physical appearance, the car he drove and other personal information were sent to several local schools. The schools are not named in the suit, but court papers listed Houma Junior High, the School for Exceptional Children and Lacache Middle School.

"In short, Mr. [name withheld] had been characterized as a sexual danger to local children," court papers filed on [name withheld]'s behalf say. "Such a characterization brought shame to Mr. [name withheld] and his family and caused him ongoing mental anguish and distress."

The findings of fact submitted by the parish said [name withheld] was seen "rotating his hips," "thrusting his hips forward" and "pushing on a chain link fence with his body, licking his lips and looking at (the children)."

He had been previously warned by officers not to return to the area, court papers filed by the parish also say.

After he returned a second time, Domangue produced the flyer and sent it out to four elementary schools. The act was not against any Houma Police policy, the findings say, and Domangue did it because [name withheld]'s repeated presence alarmed her.

Police Chief Todd Duplantis declined to comment after the judge's decision was handed down.

It was not immediately clear if the parish would appeal the suit. Alexander Crighton, the parish's attorney in the suit, did not return multiple phone calls.


Interpol targets 55 suspects using social network sites for child sex abuse images

Original Article

05/22/2012

(CNN) - An Interpol investigation into social networking groups exchanging child abuse material has targeted 55 key suspects in 20 countries, including the United States, and 12 children have been identified and removed from harm, the agency said Tuesday.

An unspecified number of the suspects have been arrested, said Interpol, the world's largest international police organization.

The international operation, which targeted child sexual abusers trading online images, identified suspects in 19 other countries: Australia, Bosnia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, England, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, The Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey, and Venezuela, Interpol said.

The covert online investigation began in October 2010 in New Zealand, where authorities alerted Interpol's crimes against children team after discovering Facebook, Socialgo and grou.ps were being used to exchange significant amounts of "abusive and exploitative pictures," Interpol said in a statement.

Working with U.S. authorities, the Interpol inquiry found about 80 groups "engaged in the display or distribution of previously seen and unseen child sexual abuse images," Interpol said.

Facebook officials assisted the investigation after authorities identified key targets and their associated groups, Interpol said.

Maarten Quivooy, general manager of New Zealand's Regulatory Compliance Operations, said the Internet destroys jurisdictional boundaries and that protecting children is now a global responsibility.

"Trading in or viewing these images is ... offending because it involves real children often being abused both in real time and over time, and when these images of children being sexually abused are released onto the Internet, they live on forever," Quivooy said in a statement.

"Terms such as kiddiporn and child pornography make the physical sexual abuse of a child appear consenting. No child is capable of consenting to sexual activity — therefore all sexual depiction of children is abuse," he said.

Mick Moran, the head of Interpol's crimes against children unit, said the operation highlighted international cooperation.

"While disrupting these networks is a significant part of the investigation, what is more important is that innocent children and in some cases babies have been rescued from physical abuse," Moran said in a statement.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said his agency will "work tirelessly with our international law enforcement partners to protect children wherever they live and to bring justice to criminals wherever they operate."

The 55 suspects allegedly created groups that posted images of children under age 13 being abused, Interpol said.


NV - Police officer (Garrett Vandereecken) arrested on charge of lewdness with minor

Garrett Vandereecken
Original Article

05/22/2012

By Antonio Planas

A Las Vegas police officer was arrested Tuesday afternoon on a recommended felony charge of lewdness with a minor under 14.

Police said Garrett Vandereecken, 43, turned himself in to the Clark County Detention Center at 3 p.m. He remained in custody at 4:30 p.m. Vandereecken was being investigated by his own department's Juvenile Sexual Abuse Detail.

Vandereecken was assigned to the Northwest Area Command. He has been with the department for four years. He has been relieved of duty without pay pending both internal and criminal investigations.

Vandereecken's arrest marks the second time this year Las Vegas police arrested one of their own.

On Feb. 1, 33-year-old John Norman was arrested on felony charges of co­ercion and oppression under the color of office and misdemeanor open or gross lewdness.

He was accused of pulling over two women last year and coercing them into exposing their breasts.

Norman is also accused of groping one of the women.

Two additional women also came forward to the Metropolitan Police Department and alleged misconduct against Norman.

Police said those allegations did not rise to the level of crimes, but Norman might have violated department policies along the lines of conduct unbecoming of an officer.

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