Saturday, January 12, 2013

ID - Idaho County Lawman (Daniel Funderburg) Admits to Sex Crime With Underage Girl

Daniel Funderburg
Original Article

01/11/2013

By GEORGE PRENTICE

An Idaho County sheriff's deputy is behind bars after pleading guilty Thursday to a felony charge of sexual battery in connection with his relationship with a 16-year-old girl.

In December, we first told you about 31-year-old Daniel Funderburg, who was placed on administrative leave in early December after being charged with lewd and lascivious contact. Prosecutors alleged that Funderburg had sex with the underage girl at his house, and that the girl had contracted a sexually transmitted disease as a result of the encounters.

Funderburg's sentencing is set for Tuesday, March 12, and a plea agreement is expected to include a three- to six-year suspended prison sentence, a fine, some local jail time, and completion of a sexual offender course.

This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that prosecutors are also deciding whether to file criminal charges against Idaho County Undersheriff Jim Gorges, who allegedly tried to get the mother of the victim in the case to drop the charges.

Funderburg remains at the Lewis County Jail on a $250,000 bond.


NM - Lawmakers to take up tougher sex offender laws


CA - Judge blocks sex offender online-ID law

Original Article

01/11/2013

By Bob Egelko

A federal judge on Friday barred California from enforcing a voter-approved law that requires 73,000 registered sex offenders to disclose their Internet identities to police.

The requirement would discourage offenders from exercising their right to post anonymous comments online about a variety of topics, including social and political issues, with little apparent benefit to public safety, said U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco.

"Registrants are likely to be chilled from engaging in legitimate public, political and civil communications for fear of losing their anonymity," Henderson said.

The law was part of Proposition 35, an initiative approved by an 81 percent majority in November that increased prison sentences for sex-trafficking crimes, such as coercing someone into prostitution.

Friday's order leaves most of Prop. 35 intact. It blocks only a requirement that all registered sex offenders in California, for past convictions of crimes ranging from indecent exposure to rape, provide police with their e-mail addresses, Internet user names and the names of their Internet service providers.

Henderson had issued a restraining order temporarily blocking the same Internet provision on Nov. 7, the day after the election. His new ruling is a preliminary injunction that would remain in effect indefinitely, although the state and the measure's sponsors could appeal it to a higher court.

The suit was filed by two unidentified former sex offenders and an advocacy group called California Reform Sex Offender Laws, which runs a website where the men post anonymous comments. Linda Lye, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing the plaintiffs, praised the ruling.

"Stopping human trafficking is a worthy goal, but the portions of Prop. 35 that limit online speech won't get us there," she said. "It's crucial that free speech remain free for all of us."
- Why do they get a way with making one bill that covers more than one issue?  If they want to handle additional issues, make another bill!  This should be illegal to do this, in our opinion.

Chris Kelly, a former chief privacy officer of Facebook who helped to sponsor Prop. 35 and similar laws in other states, said backers of the initiative were disappointed by the ruling but "we are confident that in due time this common-sense provision will be upheld by the courts."

Henderson acknowledged that Internet identification information could help police in some cases - for example, if a registered sex offender used a social networking site to recruit victims of human trafficking.
- So if you suspect a crime has been committed, then why don't you go get a warrant like you are suppose to?

But he said Prop. 35's requirement swept more broadly and would not prevent officers from making the information public. Police have other tools, such as subpoenas, to investigate online sex crimes, the judge said.


TN - Couple opens home, and heart, to registered sex offender

Original Article

God bless these people!

01/11/2013

By ALEXIS ZOTOS

HARRIMAN (WATE) – Several sex offenders are back in jail tonight after a two-day operation conducted by U.S. Marshals found they were violating the terms of their release.

In all, officers checked on 80 sex offenders in Roane County. Four of those were arrested for an array of crimes including drug and weapons charges.
- Which also shows that sex offenders have a low recidivism rate.  No arrests for new sex crimes, just technical violations.

But at one home, you may be surprised by what they found, a couple opening their home, and their hearts, to help one of those convicted sex offenders.
- Why does compassion surprise people these days?

After working as a corrections officer Russell Powers and his wife, Addie, decided they no longer wanted to sit on the sidelines but instead take an active roles in making a difference in people's lives.

"You see things you can't fix and me and my wife talked about it and we decided let's do all we can, if we can just save one, one. If everyone tried to save one, what a better world it would be," Russell Powers.

But they didn't stop with just one. For 19 years the Powers have been taking care of children and mentally handicapped young adults as family-base providers through the organization OmniVisions.

"Are there difficulties? Sure, but the rewards are far greater," Powers explained.

Currently, their situation is a bit more complicated, one of the individuals in their care is a 23-year-old registered sex offender. That means the Powers' address shows up on the state registry, and they are subject to surprise inspections by law enforcement like the one just the other night. But they say it's all worth it.

"It's worth it when you see the effort the young man puts into it, what he's trying to do with his life, then you realize how small your sacrifice is compared to what he's doing," Powers said.

Powers can't go into details of what happened in the past but says he wishes people knew the truth before they jump to the worst case scenario when hearing the term sex offender.

"You want to speak for them. You want to go out in the community and say if you knew what they've been through and what they've had to endure and if you had any idea, you could understand," he said.

But while they can't change everyone's mind, the Powers can make a difference in the young man's life that now lives under their roof.

"Hopefully one day they'll be a member of society that's a positive thing, and they can pick up the pieces and move on with their own life," Powers said. "That's the ultimate goal, for them to achieve their ultimate goal and that's to be able to function in this world on their own."
- As long as they are forced to be on the online hit-list, living a normal life is almost impossible!

The Powers have three young adults living in their care through the Omnivisions program, which is similar to foster care.

Omnivisions says the fact that one of those individuals is a registered sex offender was just a happenstance, the incident that led to the young man's conviction happened before he lived with the Powers. He has been living with them for just over four years.

Throughout the last two decades the Powers have taken in 15 children and young adults into their home.


TX - Bill May Force Sex Offenders to Identify Themselves Online

Original Article

Maybe someone in Texas, via the Freedom of Information Act, get the names, addresses and photos of all those in congress, and post their personal information online? Kind of like the news media did in New York to gun owners.

01/11/2013

By Omar Villafranca

A new bill in the Texas Legislature would force sex offenders to identify themselves on social networking sites.

Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, said he is pushing House Bill 23 (PDF) in part because social media sites such as Facebook aren't doing their jobs.
- It's not their job to force people to divulge their past crimes!

"When you become a member of Facebook, you agree to the terms and conditions, and one of the terms and conditions now is that you cannot be a sex offender, a convicted sex offender," he said. "Now, of course, it's not enforced and so now this is being left up to other states to make sure we have enforcement mechanisms."

If passed, the measure would make certain sex offenders who still have Internet access privileges put specific information in their profile. The information would include identifying themselves as a sex offender, the type of offense and where the offense took place, as well as the offenders' full name, date of birth, sex, race, height, weight, eye color and hair color. The offender's current address or where they hope to live would also have to be included.
- So he claims Facebook is not doing their "job" by kicking people off the site, so instead of coming up with an unconstitutional law to force Facebook to obey their own terms of service, he just wants to name and shame them online?

"In this day of the Internet, we are doing so much more online, and we need to make sure we're being pretty vigilant about who we're communicating with," Fischer said.
- Yes you do, but that doesn't mean stomping on someone's rights because you are not doing your job and being vigilant about who you talk to.  What a hypocrite!

The bill doesn't include any specifics on who would enforce the bill should it become law. A spokesman for Fischer said while offenders do have to register with local law enforcement and DPS, exactly who would enforce the measure will be decided in the legislative process.