Tuesday, August 21, 2012
By MORGAN COOK
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation late last week that will allow professionals who treat sex offenders greater access to the offenders' medical and legal records, officials said Tuesday.
Brown signed the legislation, AB 1835 (PDF), on Friday, to amend an existing law that dictates how convicted sex offenders are monitored upon release from jails and prisons, according to a media advisory released Tuesday by the office of Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego.
When AB 1835 takes effect Jan. 1, it will enhance existing law by extending records access to more state-certified professionals who evaluate the risk that registered sex offenders pose to communities, officials said. Existing laws allow only some professionals to see records including offenders' criminal histories, probation reports, and psychological evaluations.
"This measure provides the appropriate information to sex offender treatment professionals performing evaluations so that they can do their jobs effectively, protect our children and keep our neighborhoods safe," Fletcher said in the advisory released by his office. "It is critical to our ongoing reform efforts."
Fletcher introduced the bill to help ensure "proper implementation" of Chelsea's Law, a one-strike penalty that can lock up for life some violent sex offenders who target children, according to the advisory.
State lawmakers passed Chelsea's Law in 2010 to toughen penalties for some convicted sex offenders and extend monitoring efforts when the offenders are released from jails and prisons. Lawmakers said the law was aimed at reducing the chance that convicted sex offenders will commit similar crimes in the future.
Fletcher introduced the law after Chelsea King, 17, was raped and murdered by registered sex offender John Gardner near Lake Hodges in Escondido. Gardner also admitted raping and murdering Escondido teen Amber Dubois.
By MATT MILLER
An East Pennsboro Township man and former Mount Carmel police officer who had thousands of images of child pornography on his home computer will spend the next 8 years in federal prison.
U.S. Middle District Senior Judge William W. Caldwell imposed that penalty this morning on Blaine R. Handerhan, 56, after Handerhan's lawyer insisted his client's obsession with child porn stemmed from a mental health condition.
The sentence, which is less than the 10-year prison term sought by Assistant U.S. Attorney James T. Clancy, was levied six years after investigators tracked the illegal material to Handerhan's computer.
Handerhan, who is also a former volunteer firefighter, was working with the Mount Carmel Police Department in Northumberland County at the time the material was found. He was indicted in federal court in 2010 and pleaded guilty in the case last year.
Defense attorney Brian Perry said Handerhan, the father of 10-year-old twins, amassed the porn because he is a hoarder afflicted with obsessive compulsive disorder.
Handerhan, formerly of Jonestown, Lebanon County, has undergone treatment for the condition and is now able to control his hoarding, said Perry, who said Handerhan retired from the police force. He urged Caldwell to consider Handerhan's record of community service in choosing a penalty.
Handerhan said he realized he needed mental health care after police searched his home. "I did not sit back and make excuses. I had a responsibility to get me right," he told the judge.
"I am just so embarrassed that this happened. I think of those poor children (in the videos). I just cannot imagine the pain they are going through," he said.
Clancy urged Caldwell to remember that Handerhan was a police office when the crime occurred. Handerhan should have been investigating who was distributing the porn, not collecting it himself, Clancy said.
In pressing for a decade-long jail term, Clancy said "deterrence must take a front seat" to try to steer others away from committing similar crimes.
Caldwell called Handerhan's offense an "ugly crime." Those who watch and collect child porn perpetuate the abuse of its victims, he said.
At Clancy's request, the judge also imposed $75,000 in restitution on Handerhan that is to be paid to one of the victims portrayed in the child porn images Handerhan possessed.
Handerhan's arrest resulted from a joint probe by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI.
By DOUGLAS QUAN
Study said to reveal clearest picture yet of these murderers and their victims
Drawing from the largest-ever sample of sex-related homicide cases in Canada, a pair of researchers have developed what they say is one of the clearest portraits yet of the people who commit these unusual crimes and their victims.
Contrary to previous studies that suggested sexual murderers were socially inept individuals who “blitzed” unsuspecting victims, many sexual murderers are not socially isolated and often utilize a ruse to make contact with their victim, the researchers found.
“The current study uncovers very important differences that could prove useful for the investigation and profiling of these crimes by the police,” the researchers wrote.
The release of the study this month in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology comes just months after the nation was gripped by the gruesome sex-related killing and dismemberment of Concordia University student Jun Lin.
Luka Magnotta, a one-time porn actor and model, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in relation to the killing.
Eric Beauregard, a criminology professor at Simon Fraser University, and Melissa Martineau, a senior research specialist with the RCMP, analyzed RCMP records related to 350 sex-related homicides that occurred from 1948 to 2010.
Each murder case involved some sort of sexual activity. For instance, there was evidence of sexual intercourse or the victim’s body was positioned in a sexual manner or was missing clothes.
The researchers found that the average age of sexual murderers was 28. Sixty-six per cent were white and 29 per cent were aboriginal. As for marital status, 57 per cent were single and 15 per cent were separated or divorced. A majority of offenders – 80 per cent – had no prior sexual convictions.
“The investigative strategy of prioritizing ‘known sex offenders’ would thus likely be unproductive as the majority of sexual murderers have no prior convictions for sexual crimes,” the researchers wrote.
The average age of victims was 27. Ninety per cent were women, 63 per cent were white and 33 per cent were aboriginal. Eighteen per cent of victims were known to engage in prostitution.
The researchers found that most offenders selected their victim at random, and most – 41 per cent – used a con to approach their victim, such as befriending the victim or asking for the victim’s help. Only a minority of sexual murderers surprised their victims, such as attacking them in their sleep, or “blitzed” their victims by quickly overpowering them through violence.
“This finding is important for the investigation of these cases as it suggests that in almost half of the cases, sexual murderers possess the necessary social skills to approach their victims under false pretence,” the researchers wrote. “This once against contradicts the image of the introverted social inapt offender as depicted in previous studies.”
Contrary to non-sexual homicides, offenders in sexual homicides rarely used firearms. Instead sexual murderers typically beat or strangled their victims. If a weapon was used, it was typically a knife.
Researchers noted that “overkill” – the act of inflicting more grievous bodily harm on a victim than is necessary to cause death – was reported in 43 per cent of sexual homicides.
In six per cent of cases, the offender dismembered the victim’s body.
By Jackie Orozco
MEMPHIS - A mother nearly beat a man to death with a baseball bat. She says she did it because the man sexually assaulted her sons, both under ten years old.
Lakeshia Richmond, 27, has been charged with aggravated assault. She posted bond Sunday morning. Richmond says the man she nearly killed is a community football coach. She claims her children weren't the only ones who were molested by the coach.
"I asked my son, did he touch you bad, did he touch you down there and my little boy said yes and I said was it just you and he said no, he touched some more kids,” Lakeshia Richmond told ABC24 News.
- So she nearly killed a man based on allegations from her child, not based on evidence! This vigilante mentality needs to stop, and I hope she is in jail/prison for a long time for her crime, and if the man did what she and her son claims, then yes, he should be punished for it as well.
Richmond is referring to Coach Red. He is one of the coaches of Richmond's 8 and 9 year old sons' football team. They practice at Magnolia Elementary school in South Memphis. She says it's normal for her kids and their teammates to spend the night at one of the coach’s house but she became concerned when the head coach called her Saturday for a meeting with Coach Red. It’s only then that she said her children told her what happened.
- Why are kids spending the night with their coach in the first place?
"My 8 year old said he wanted to play hide and seek and that he (Coach Red) grabbed my 9 year old’s hand and put it on the coach’s private part and my 9 year old said, ‘no that's bad, that's nasty' and the coach said no this is what college people do,” said Richmond.
On her way to the meeting Richmond saw Coach Red in the 1800 block of Person Avenue and couldn't hold back.
"He was running away,” said Richmond. “I didn't say anything to him I just blinked out. When I saw him, I saw my kids being hurt, that’s it.”
Neighbors say Richmond chased the coach down the street to a neighbor’s carport and then started beating him with a bat.
“There was blood splattered all over my carport,” said a neighbor Jackie Woods. “She beat his head open, split his head."
Richmond says she did call police to report the coach but everything happened so fast.
“I was hoping the police made it to him before I did,” said Richmond. "He was saying he didn't do it and he was sorry. If you didn't do it why are you saying you're sorry? What are you sorry for?"
Neighbors don't believe Richmond should have been taken to jail for beating the coach.
- I do, she committed a crime, and hopefully she will be in jail/prison for a long time for attempted murder.
“I probably would have beaten him too. I'm serious. I would've just lost it, really I would have,” said Woods.
- Wow, so now it's okay, based on no evidence, but just accusations, to murder someone?
"If that's truly what happened I probably would've responded the same way. I’m going to defend my family,” said another neighbor Willie Gholston.
Richmond doesn't know how long the supposed abuse has been going on but says 8 other children are saying the same story.
"They're suffering, they toss and turn at night, and they really just ain’t been sleeping because they've been scared. They were even scared to tell me. I mean I’m their mom,” stated Richmond. “If I don’t protect them then who will?"
The coach's family refused to speak with ABC24 News on camera but they did say he's innocent. He was in critical condition but is now stable now at the MED. No charges have been filed against the coach. Memphis Police are still investigating this case. Richmond is expected to be in court Monday morning.
At the end of the article it says he died in 2005. So why do they need to look for more victims and rake the families name through the mud?
Saint John has hired a private investigation firm to look into new sexual abuse allegations against a former police officer, the late Kenneth Estabrooks.
Estabrooks, a former sergeant, was convicted in the late 1990s of abusing children decades earlier, while he was a police officer.
In 1975, Estabrooks had admitted to sexually abusing children, but he wasn't charged or fired.
Instead, he was transferred out of the police department into the city works department, where he was in charge of tire maintenance for city vehicles until he retired.
The city has now hired Toronto-based Investigative Solutions Network Inc. to look into at least one other historical complaint against Estabrooks that surfaced earlier this year, Mayor Mel Norton announced on Tuesday.
"On behalf of council, I want to assure the public that the City of Saint John and its officials took immediate action on the complaint," and contacted the private firm "shortly after," he said.
"We want to make sure we’re righting a wrong," said Norton.
But it is "historical in nature," dating back to the mid-1970s, said private investigator David Perry.
City officials received a "partial complaint" regarding allegations of sexual abuse in early 2012. "Upon further review, it was learned that the allegations were against" Estabrooks, who was a police officer between 1953 and 1975, Perry said.
Asked whether the complaint relates to the time Estabrooks was an officer, or when he was in city works, Perry said he couldn't say because it might lead to the identity of the victim.
"But I can tell you that what we’re going to be looking at is both," he said.
"It is reasonable to assume, based on what we know historically, that there are other victims who have not been heard from," he said.
"It takes one brave individual to step forward to usually get an investigation like this going and quite often that can inspire others who’ve been struggling with the same issues to find the strength to actually come forward and talk about it for the first time."
"I suspect that we may hear from others."
Because Estabrooks is dead, there is no requirement for a criminal investigation, said Perry.
But he and his partner, Ron Wretham, intend to thorough investigate the latest complaint and "seek out any other potential victims," he said.
There is no deadline for potential victims to come forward, said Perry, declining to say whether additional complaints have already been filed.
"I’m just going to tell you that this started with one complaint and we’ve investigated that complaint thoroughly and we’re going to continue our work until we’re finished," he said.
He also described the investigation as being in the "infancy stage."
The private investigators will submit a confidential report to the city at the conclusion of their investigation and the city will offer support and counselling to all victims, Perry said.
Estabrooks was found guilty in September 1999 of indecent assault against four children, dating back to the 1950s. The abuse included fondling and oral sex.
He was sentenced to six years in prison.
At the time, the New Brunswick Police Commission described the city's handling of the case as substantial and unprofessional.
Estabrooks died in 2005.
|Michael Alan Chilldres|
VIRGINIA BEACH - A former Virginia Beach police officer was sentenced to 10 years behind bars Monday for child sex crimes.
45-year-old Michael Alan Chilldres pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated sexual battery on April 30.
He'd been on suspension without pay since he was arrested in December 2011 for aggravated sexual battery and taking indecent liberties that occurred over three years with a child younger than age 13.
He hasn't been employed since May 2012, spokeswoman Grazia Moyers told WVEC.com
Chilldres had been with the Va. Beach Police Dept. since November 1993.
The judge Monday imposed a 30-year sentence and then suspended 20 suspended years, Commonwealth's Attorney spokeswoman Macie Pridgen told WVEC.com.
By CAITLIN TRAYNOR
ONEIDA — After holding off on taking action locally, the Common Council will consider sending its proposed sex offender residency restriction law to Albany.
The local law would prohibit Level 2 and 3 sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds and daycare centers. The state’s Sexual Offender Registration Act doesn’t set any residency restrictions, but sex offenders may be prohibited from living in certain areas as part of their probation or parole terms.
A resolution on Tuesday’s council meeting agenda calls for the proposed local law to be forwarded to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Senate, Assembly, Sen. David Valesky, D-49, and Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-111, for inclusion in a bill (S1475) currently in the Senate that would amend correction law, the executive law and penal law to restrict sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of any school building, park or child care facility.
The council is not expected to take action on its own local law Tuesday.
By Zach Myers
Indianapolis - State lawmakers will meet this week to begin the process of strengthening Indiana's sex offender registry law.
Changes must be made in order to bring Indiana's law up to federal standards, which were spelled out in 2006.
That federal law followed the case of serial child molester Joseph Edward Duncan III, who is currently on death row in Terre Haute, after committing several murders and kidnappings in three different states. The resulting law made it a federal crime to move to a different state without updating the sex offender registry in those states.
Indiana's sex offender registry has been vastly improved in recent years. However, last year, Indiana was one of more than 30 states that were penalized $180,000 in federal funding for not meeting all the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, or SORNA.
- Yeah, they didn't accept the bribe money.
Steve Luce, executive director of the Indiana Sheriffs' Association, said several loopholes in Indiana's law need to be closed.
"I think we've kind of created a system through statute, statutory changes, that has made the registry very complex," Luce told Fox59.
Luce will be one of the local authorities presenting suggestions Thursday to the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy study committee at the statehouse. Possible changes could include keeping sex offenders on the registry longer, broadening the definition of a sex offense and collecting more personal information from convicted offenders.
- Basically more unconstitutional ex post facto laws to further punish ex-offender who have paid their debts to society.
The challenge is making sure convicted felons follow a law which is inconvenient for them. That, Luce said, is still best handled at the local level.
Indiana's 92 sheriff’s departments are charged with overseeing registration of offenders. However, Luce believes there could be a leadership role for the attorney general's office. That could result in a new partnership between the attorney general and sheriff’s departments around the state.
"And we just want to be able to tighten the process to where they are succeeding in the registration process, but at the same time, nobody is falling through the cracks," Luce said.
Making all the necessary changes could take about two years, Luce said. He does not believe the changes would impact the local budgets of sheriff’s departments.
The study committee will hold their first meeting Thursday at 10 a.m. at the statehouse.
OH - Ohio Supreme Court to Consider Whether a Court May Impose Sex Offender Registration Requirements Months After Sentence is Imposed
The Ohio Supreme Court will consider whether, after a court makes a sentencing entry in a criminal case involving a sexually oriented offense, the court can later require the defendant register as a sex offender under the Adam Walsh Act.
The case is State v.Raber. Argument is scheduled for Tuesday, August 21, 2012.
The defendant pleaded guilty to a single count of sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor. The court sentenced him to sixty days in jail, thirty of which were suspended, and placed him on probation for two years.
According to the Court of Appeals (PDF), “At the sentencing hearing, the [trial] court expressed uncertainty about whether [the defendant] would be required to register as a sex offender. With the agreement of the parties, the court took the matter under advisement so that counsel could have the opportunity to brief issues related to sex offender classification. The court later determined that . . . [the defendant] would be required to register as a sex offender only if the conduct underlying [the defendant’s] conviction was non-consensual."
The court held an evidentiary hearing at which it determined that the conduct was not consensual. The trial court ordered the defendant to register as a sex offender.
The Defendant argued to the court of appeals that the trial court did not have jurisdiction to determine whether he was a sex offender because it no longer had jurisdiction over the case after entering a final judgment of conviction and sentence. This argument is based, in part, upon the language of the Ohio Adam Walsh Act, which requires the “judge [to] provide the notice to the offender at the time of sentencing.”
The court of appeals rejected this argument. The court reasoned that the determination that a defendant is a sex offender “constitutes a separate and distinct judgment from the judgment of conviction and sentence.”
The state argued in its brief, in part, that the process of having a later hearing on the sex offender registration issue was done with the consent of the defendant. The brief states:
Putting off the registration question but imposing the jail sentence greatly benefited [the defendant] because it allowed him to serve his jail time in between his college semesters. Yet despite his agreement to and his benefit from this bifurcated process, [the defendant] now complains that he was treated unfairly. The Court should not condone such mischief.
The defendant responds that the state had an opportunity to appeal the decision of the trial court to not impose sex offender registration requirements at the time of sentencing. The defendant also suggests that because sex offender registration is “punitive” the procedure in this case “violated the [defendant’s] constitutional rights of Due Process and Double Jeopardy under the 5`h Amendment of the United States Constitution” by reopening “the case long after final judgment” and holding “further hearings.” This is, the defendant, because the constitution forbids a court, “Once divested of jurisdiction,” from adding “further punishment [to] a defendant’s original sentence, even if the omission was accidental or otherwise.”
A decision is expect in early 2013.