Tuesday, September 25, 2012

PA - A Lancaster City man accused of felony sex abuse has been acquitted, but he remains in jail, for over 1 year?

Original Article

09/25/2012

By Chris Papst

A Lancaster City man accused of felony sex abuse has been acquitted, but he remains in jail.

Lancaster Online is reporting that last year this suspect was charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl. But even though he was acquitted, he’s not free quite yet.

37-year-old [name withheld] has been in the Lancaster County Prison since September of last year.

The charges he was acquitted of could have sent him to jail for a very long time. But after just two hours of deliberation, a jury came back and found him not guilty on all counts.

He maintained though the trial that he was innocent. According to Lancaster Online, [name withheld]’s wife has now filed for a PFA protection from abuse order.

But [name withheld] violated it by calling her. Now he must have a hearing on that violation, which will be in October.

So even though [name withheld] was found not guilty is court, he still remains in jail on $10,000 bail.


PA - Legislation would make child sexual abuse awareness part of school curriculum

Original Article

It's about time they did this, but only if they use facts and not the usual lies we've heard over the years.

09/25/2012

Lawmakers in committee show unanimous support to advance bill

HARRISBURG - So far, lawmakers are showing unanimous support for new legislation designed to help school-aged children protect themselves against sexual abuse.

The bill would make Pennsylvania the fifth state in the country to require children to be taught in school about sexual abuse. Tuesday morning, the House education committee voted to advance the bill to the full House of Representatives without an objection.

If the bill becomes law, public schools would have to incorporate child sex abuse awareness into their health curriculum. Parents could opt their children out of the program, but only after they themselves review the materials.

Lebanon County Rep. Mauree Gingrich introduced the bill. She says child sex abuse is a sensitive topic and one that, as things stand today, children may not learn the signs of at home or school.

"It's too important to wonder if they know what to do. We need to know they know what to do. And this definitely will make a difference on the prevention side," said Gingrich.

The bill calls for age-appropriate lessons nearly every year from kindergarten through eighth grade. Gingrich hopes the bill might get a vote in the House by next week.

The bill will also have to be taken up by the Senate and signed by the governor before it becomes law. You can read the full bill here.


PA - Former policeman sentenced for abetting sex trafficking scheme

Ronald Miko
Original Article

09/25/2012

By Joel Hendon

An FBI press release of September 24, 2012 announced that Ronald Miko, 37, of Reading, Pennsylvania, was sentenced today to 38 months in prison for obstruction of a criminal investigation. Miko was a police officer in the city of Reading when he utilized a room in a house at which convicted federal defendants Paul Sewell and Michael Johnson operated a prostitution business that trafficked females who were under the age of 18. Between May 2, 2011 and June 7, 2011, Miko wired money to Johnson’s federal prison account to prevent the communication of information to criminal investigators regarding Miko’s involvement in that business.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge C. Darnell Jones ordered three years’ supervised release with 450 hours community service and a $1,000 fine.

Ronald R. Miko, 38, told U.S. District Judge C. Darnell Jones II that he never expected to be addressing a judge about committing a crime. "I know what I did is wrong and I accept full responsibility," Miko said, "I am embarrassed before everyone in my life.” (The Reading Eagle)

"The defendant was a sworn officer who took an oath to protect the community," Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle L. Morgan said. "Instead, he openly associated for several years with a person actively engaged in egregious crimes - crimes which ultimately resulted in the exploitation of children." (Ibid)

The case was investigated by the Allentown Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Berks County District Attorney’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle L. Morgan.


GA - Cobb man wrongfully kept on sex offender registry and sent to prison for 14 months

Original Article

09/25/2012

COBB COUNTY - A Cobb County man said he's not bitter after spending more than a year in jail on a sex-offender registry violation when he wasn't even supposed to be on the registry.
- He should be, in our opinion.

[name withheld] said he's been homeless at times during the ordeal, sometimes living in his van.

His lawyer says it's frightening he wound up with a home in the jail, though key people in the system have now stepped up to make it right.

"You know how the movie — 'Waiting to Exhale.' Finally able to exhale and just say, 'Wow. Thank you God, it's finally over,'" [name withheld] said.

His new lawyer said [name withheld] was not supposed to be on the sex offender registry when he was arrested for violating the sex offender registry law in 2008.

But that fact didn't register with the criminal justice system until this year and he did 14 months in jail as a result.

"What gave you the strength to get through all this?" Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne asked [name withheld].

"Knowing that I was innocent. Knowing I was innocent and trusting in God," [name withheld] said.

"He should never have spent a single day in jail," attorney Ashleigh Merchant said.

Merchant said [name withheld] had a 1994 misdemeanor in another state that required he register until 2004. But an officer mistakenly told him he had to remain on the registry beyond that.
- He should have hired a lawyer when the officer told him that.  Just because an officer says you must be on the registry, doesn't mean it's true.

"It's absolutely terrifying the system doesn't catch this until so far down the line," Merchant said.

Merchant said though [name withheld] had a letter from the state where he got the misdemeanor, the jury never heard he didn't need to be on the registry and he was convicted of breaking the registry law.

"Seem like everything just broke inside of me. Because I never thought that I would be found guilty with all of the evidence," [name withheld] said.

Merchant said when she got on the case after [name withheld] was convicted, she brought the issue to Cobb County Senior Assistant D.A. Anna Cross, who quickly grasped what had happened, spoke to the D.A. and agreed to void the conviction.

"It's not often that we get to undo a wrong like that, and to be able to tell your client that this nightmare's over finally is a really good feeling," Merchant said.
- And this speaks volumes!  How many other people are still in jail/prison for something someone said that wasn't true?

Merchant said the original misdemeanor involved an inappropriate-touching allegation.

She said the retired GBI in-house counsel, Mark Jackson, who for years played a key role with the sex offender registry, played a key role as an expert in establishing that [name withheld] had been done wrong.

Merchant said Jackson deserves credit too.


GA - Do you have kids who are underage and having sex? Well, you could wind up wearing the sex offender label!

Original Article

09/25/2012

Quitman County[name withheld], 40, and [name withheld], 34, were indicted yesterday in Quitman County and charged with Child Molestation; and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.

The charges stem from an investigation conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Sylvester Field Office at the request of the Quitman County Sheriff's Office.

[name withheld] and [name withheld] failed to act responsibly when both had knowledge of juveniles engaging in sexual activity.

Both defendants were booked into the Quitman County Jail.


Friend Verifier - Facebook App Doesn't Work

We've installed and tested this application, and it doesn't work! Since ex-offenders are discriminated against on Facebook (See section 4, item 6), and elsewhere, many do not use their real names, and to be honest, neither should you! Even for those who do, it doesn't spot them, so this is another application which has good intentions, but is flawed and provides people with a false sense of security. We noticed they have other services, where you must pay, so, this is probably their way of getting to you, so you will use their other paid services, by exploiting the sex offender hysteria. When you allow the government to put criminal records online, it's only a matter of time before your personal records are also online. That is our opinion of course.

We posted a comment on their Facebook page, with a link to this post, and as expected, they posted the usual lies and slander, as seen in the photo below. This just shows the type of ignorance and biased people we are up against.


Click the image to enlarge, if needed

Video Description:
Friend Verifier is a Facebook App powered by Verify Anybody that allows you to scan your friends and pending friend requests on Facebook against the United States Sex Offender Registry.
- So what about all other criminal records?  Wouldn't you like to know if one of your "friends" is a serial killer or thief?


FL - New scam accuses computer users of viewing child porn

Original Article

09/24/2012

CRAWFORDVILLE - The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office Financial Crimes Unit has received two calls about a new computer scam, according to Sheriff Donnie Crum.

The two potential victims said they were both using the internet when a pop-up advertisement appreared. The ad indicated that it was from the FBI and the user had been viewing child pornography on their computer. The pop-up further stated that a fine of $200 could be paid and the computer could be unfrozen. In order to pay the fine, the site requests the user purchase a "Money Pack" or "Green Dot" card.

Sheriff Crum warns residents that this is a scam and not to send any money. It is also recommended that the computer have a full virus/malware/spyware scan completed and to have a virus/malware/spyware protector installed.

The WCSO Financial Crimes Unit has been in contact with the Green Dot company’s fraud department and they are aware of the situation. The F.B.I. is also aware of the situation and is taking appropriate action.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says that this is a well-known and documented scam that has been used before and has now resurfaced. If you are or know any scam victims, contact WCSO Detective Matt Helms at 745-7190.


AL - Ex-cop (Kevin Owens) pleads guilty to sex crime with child under 12

Original Article

09/25/2012

By Stephanie Nelson

A former Andalusia police officer and unsuccessful 2006 candidate for sheriff will now have to register as a convicted sex offender after pleading guilty Monday in two separate cases.

Kevin Owens, who was 39 when arrested in 2007, faced charges of sexual abuse, rape, sodomy and intimidating a witness in the incidents following allegations that he engaged in sexual intercourse with a female by forcible compulsion and he subjected a child under the age of 12 to sexual conduct.

On Monday, and moments before his trial was set to begin, counsel was able to negotiate a plea deal in the cases. Owens admitted to the behavior before Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan, pleading guilty to sexual misconduct in the first case and assault III in the second.

Members of the victims’ families were pleased with the day’s outcome.

I’m just happy he admitted in open court that he was guilty,” said the mother of one of the victims. Her daughter was 3 at the time of the incident, she said. “We didn’t want to push for trial to protect our daughter from any more bad things.”

The state was represented by Trishia Mellburg and Barry Matson, both members of the Office of Prosecutorial Services.

These families were very patient, and now, very relieved,” Mellburg said. “The victims and their families were able to get closure and move on. They’re the importance of getting this case resolved.”

Owens, who was represented by Monroeville attorney Chris King, was given a one-year suspended sentence, placed on two years of supervised probation and ordered to pay an assortment of fees and fines in each case. The time is to run concurrently.

He was also ordered to refrain from contact with the victims and the victims’ families, as well as unsupervised visitation with any minor while on probation.

Owens is also required to provide the state a DNA sample and to register as a convicted sex offender; however, since sexual misconduct is a misdemeanor offense, it is not required that his information be posted on the online database.


SC - Ruling could lead to change in sex offender monitoring

Original Article

09/24/2012

By Jody Barr

COLUMBIA (WIS) - The state Supreme Court is working on a ruling that could allow some sex offenders to avoid mandatory lifetime GPS monitoring.

State law requires people convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct or lewd act on a child to fall under lifetime monitoring if they violate parole or probation.

A Greenville County woman is challenging that law after a probation violation forced her into wearing an ankle monitor for the rest of her life.

A jury convicted then 26-year-old [name withheld] of performing lewd acts on a 14-year-old girl, a relationship she admits to.

[name withheld]' attorney, Christopher Scalzo, asked the court to allow sex offenders an opportunity for a hearing, so a judge can decide whether they pose the threat that would require lifetime monitoring.

The justices' comments from the bench recognized that not all offenders pose equal threats to children.

"This was what an 8 month relationship she had with an underage person. Clearly wrong, clearly illegal, but, there was no predatory nature," said Justice Kay Hearn.

"She was a sex offender, she was convicted, she was punished, but when you talk about whether to monitor her for the rest of her life because she poses a danger simply because she violated parole, then what they're simply saying is one size does not fit all," said Chief Justice Jean Toal.

State probation attorney john Aplin admitted flaws with the law, but says his agency has no choice but to enforce the mandatory lifetime monitoring law.

"I'm not going to stand up here and say this is the best statute I've even seen written, and could it be done better," said Aplin.

[name withheld]' attorneys want either a chance for a hearing or a review at some point, but for those who live as victims of sex offenders, any change in the law, they say, is going easy on all sex offenders.

"It's not a far-fetched belief to believe that's softening of the sex offender laws in this state," said victims advocate Veronica Kunz. "If anything, the laws need to be a lot stronger."

Kunz heads the state's Victims Assistance Network and is outspoken about the sexual abuse she says she suffered at the hands of her father. She says lifetime monitoring of all sex offenders gives their victims the peace they need to carry on.

"If they're out walking around trying to live their life, they owe crime victims the duty to be accountable to law enforcement for their whereabouts," Kunz said.

A ruling could allow offenders a chance to have a judge decide whether they fit the case for someone who needs 24-7 monitoring. We don't know how long it could take for a ruling to come down.