Thursday, September 27, 2012

FL - State Helps Lauren Book Launch Sex Abuse Prevention Initiative In Schools

Lauren Book
Original Article

If she does it without introducing her own hate into the mix, then we approve, and this should be done across the country. Erin Merryn is another person who has been pushing for this.


By Sascha Cordner

The state launched a new initiative Thursday that educates elementary school about sex abuse prevention. The effort is inspired by sexual abuse survivor Lauren Book, who’s also the creator of the new program called “Safer, Smarter Kids.”

In a kindergarten classroom of Tallahassee’s Apalachee Tapestry Magnet School of Arts, Lauren Book read a book called “Do You Have A Secret?” As she was reading, she continually asked the kids questions as part of the “Safer, Smarter Kids” curriculum.

Do you think it’s okay to keep an unsafe secret if someone asks you too," asked Book.

"No," replied the kids.

"Louder, I can’t hear you," exclaimed Book.

"Nooo," screamed the kids.

"Very Good," Book told the kids. "It is not okay for somebody who has done something that they’re not supposed to do to tell you to keep that secret.”

Lauren Book is a sexual abuse survivor, who was abused by her nanny for six years when she was a child. She and her father now run “Lauren’s Kids,” a group that aims to educate adults and kids about sexual abuse. But, Book says she didn’t want to stop there, and unveiled her new initiative that educates elementary school kids statewide about child abuse prevention in six, 30-minute lessons:

They learn things like their safety stop sign, which gives them five or more seconds to stop and think about a situation makes them feel. They talk about their TFA, which is ‘Think, Feel, and Act.’ What do they think about a situation, how does it make them feel, and how are they going to act upon that? We do address the difference between safe touch and unsafe touch. And, we do that from a place of fun, not fear," said Lauren.

"And, we go over strangers! 90-percent of the time children are abused by someone they know, they love and they trust, and a lot of times, kids think it’s somebody wearing black, with messy hair, a bad nose, that has a gun, a knife, or a sword, who’s about to kidnap them.”

Both sides of the aisle worked together in the 2011 Florida Legislature to make sure Book's initiative got funding. Democratic Senator Bill Montford says as a result of Book’s lobbying efforts, her initiative was able to get off the ground of Florida.

When you can get the Florida Legislature to put out millions of dollars for a program that has this much of an impact and do it so quickly, you know it’s a good program," remarked Montford. "I have four grandchildren, got another one on the way, October 29th, and I’m so glad that they will have the opportunity to go through this program themselves. So, as a grandfather, as a legislator, as a senator, I fully embrace this effort.”

Book was joined by other lawmakers, like Representatives Alan Williams and Michelle Rehwinkel-Vasilinda as well as the state’s Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins and Superintendent of Leon County Jackie Pons Schools in launching the effort.

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CANADA - Former Nunavik cop (Joe Willie Saunders) jailed 18 months for sexual assault

Joe Willie Saunders
Original Article



A former officer with the Kativik Regional Police Force is now serving out an 18-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to sexual assault in August.

Joe Willie Saunders, 25, of Kuujjuaq, first accused of sexual assault causing bodily harm, pleaded guilty Aug. 24 to the lesser charge of sexual assault, in connection with incidents that court documents say took place Feb. 5 and Feb. 6, 2010 in Kuujjuaq.

Quebec judge Renée Lemoyne sentenced Saunders to 18 months in jail.

She also declared him as a sex offender and required him to submit DNA samples, which will be included in the national registry of sex offencers.

The National Sex Offender Registry provides rapid access by police to information about convicted sex offenders. Through this registry, an officer is able to request a search for registered sex offenders living in a given area.

Saunders will remain on this list for 20 years.

The court also imposed a 10-year firearms prohibition on Saunders.

At the recent meeting of the Kativik Regional Government council in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik’s police chief Aileen Mackinnon fended off complaints about cops’ behaviour in their communities.

Although many recent incidents involving members of KRPF were mentioned by regional councillors, the sexual assault conviction of Saunders was not discussed.

But Mackinnon did say that a tougher code of ethics is being drafted for the police force.

The KRPF said in a Sept. 27 statement that, “prior to his conviction and sentencing, Joe Willie Saunders was dealt with as provided for under the law, the KRPF code of discipline and the collective agreement. Specifically, he was suspended immediately following the event and brought back on administrative duties after three months. Mr. Saunders is no longer a member of the KRPF.”

IL - Former East St. Louis cop (Ramone T. Carpenter) admits lying about sex with scared driver

Ramone T. Carpenter
Original Article



EAST ST. LOUIS — Former East St. Louis police patrolman Ramone T. Carpenter pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of lying to federal authorities about obtaining sex from a female driver who was trying to avoid arrest.

Carpenter, 40, was fired July 10 along with another officer, Christopher Parks, who was with him early on May 8 when they stopped a young female driver.

According to police and the federal charges, between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. May 8, Carpenter and Parks stopped the 25-year-old woman near Louisiana Boulevard and 26th Street in East St. Louis. She was drunk, had an open container of alcohol and was driving without a license or insurance. Carpenter let her continue driving her vehicle to her house.

At the house, he and Parks found her underage children had been left home alone. The victim said she was taken to a secluded part of the park, where she performed oral sex on Carpenter to avoid going to jail. The woman later filed a federal complaint, saying her civil rights had been violated.

The federal indictments for making false statements during a civil rights investigation were filed July 17. They state that Carpenter lied to federal investigators about being in Jones Park that morning and about the sex act. Parks was not charged.

Carpenter faces up to five years in federal prison on each count and a fine of up to $500,000 for both counts at his sentencing on Jan. 3.

U.S. District Judge Michael J. Reagan said Carpenter entered "an open plea," which means that the government, represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Weinhoeft, did not recommend a sentence. Reagan told Carpenter that for what he did the sentencing guidelines call for probation to six months in jail. But, he said he does not have to give him a sentence within that range.

As a now convicted felon, Carpenter can never be involved in law enforcement and can not carry a weapon.

"That's a significant consequence," Reagan said.

Then he told Carpenter that that he no longer has the right to vote, hold public office, work in the health care field, serve as a juror, work for a federal institution or a contractor who is working on federal property.

Carpenter told Reagan he lives in Fairview Heights, is married and has three children, And, he said he has not worked since he was terminated. Carpenter said he filed for his unemployment but was denied because of what he did while employed as an East St. Louis patrolman.

Carpenter told Reagan he has up to a year and a half in college education and is looking for work.

"The power to arrest is the power to deprive someone of their liberty. Used properly and professionally, such power is valid. However, the conduct described in the indictment deprived this victim of more than her liberty -- it also deprived her of her dignity," U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton said.

The case was investigated by the Metro-East Public Corruption Task Force, the Illinois State Police and FBI. Weinhoeft is prosecuting the case.

Carpenter was represented by William D. Stiehl Jr.

Stiehl told Reagan that while Carpenter pleads guilty to the fact that what is contained in the stipulation of facts -- which are the victim's words about what happened to her -- Carpenter is not necessarily saying everything she said is factual. "It may become important later," Stiehl said.

The victim, whose name was not released, told federal agents that Carpenter "groped and fondled her in a sexually inappropriate way" during what purported to be a law enforcement frisk.

When federal agents interviewed Carpenter to determine whether Carpenter violated the victim's cilvil rights in Jones Park, Carpenter said he had not been in Jones Parks. And when questioned about the oral sex, Carpenter denied that it occurred and asked the agents "Why would I?"

Reagan told Carpenter when he speaks to probation personnel to make sure he is completely honest.

"They work for me. If you lie to them, you lie to me," Reagan said to Carpenter.