Monday, July 1, 2013

FL - Well what do you know, 10 more police officers in Florida busted for sex crimes

Lakeland Police Cruiser
Lakeland Police Cruiser
Original Article

Florida is filled with police committing sexual crimes, as seen here.

07/01/2013

LAKELAND - Lakeland's police chief plans to meet with city commissioners after a sex scandal rocked the department.

The meeting will focus on how to move forward after a civilian employee claimed over the past 10 years she has engaged in sex acts and sexually suggestive behavior with as many as 10 officers while they were on duty.

Five of the officers were supervisors or ranked members of the department, the report says.

The sexual encounters were both consensual and unwanted, while occurring in police cruisers and in the department itself, according to a report.

Three officers, Sgt. Bryan McNabb, Sgt. Rusty Longaberger and Sgt. David Woolverton, are accused of providing false testimony.

Capt. John Thomason, Lonaberger, Woolverton and Lakeland firefighter David Bivens have been put on administrative leave.

Lt. Al Wilson and McNabb have been placed on "modified assignment."

The city of Lakeland said it is conducting an internal investigation.


GA - Sex offender numbers rising

Homeless Georgia sex offender living in a tent in the woods
Homeless Sex Offender
Original Article

07/01/2013

By GORDON JACKSON

WOODBINE - Communities across the nation have made it clear they don't want registered sex offenders in their neighborhoods.

Their photographs, names, addresses and crimes are published in newspapers and online, which serves to warn residents of their whereabouts.

But there is little residents can do to prevent registered sex offenders from moving into a neighborhood if it's not a restricted area.

In Georgia, which has one of the strictest registration requirements in the nation, it's illegal for a registered sex offender convicted after July 1, 2008 to live within 1,000 feet of a child care facility, church, school, private park, recreation facility, playground, skating rink, neighborhood center, gymnasium, school bus stop, public library, or public or community swimming pool.

Until 2010, it was punishable by 10 to 30 years in prison for a registered sex offender to be homeless. The change is creating challenges for local authorities responsible for checking on their whereabouts on a regular basis.
- 10 to 30 years in prison for being forced into homelessness by the states draconian laws?  I don't think that is correct!

Recently a homeless registered sex offender was forced to vacate a shed in St. Marys that was once part of a county park mistakenly built on private property. Authorities knew the offender was living in a shed but never cited the man with trespassing because a complaint hadn't been filed by the property owners.

The owners were unaware the man was living there until they began marketing the property. They had him removed.

"We've had people living in tents before," said Deputy William Terrell, a Camden Sheriff's Office spokesman. "That's one of the side effects of the law the way it is now."


Although state law requires local authorities to confirm the residence of a registered sex offender only once a year, Terrell said his department checks on them monthly.

"We photograph them to prove we know where they are," he said.

They are also required to re-register in person within three days of their birthday each year, when they are photographed and fingerprinted.

When deputies check on offenders, they visit the site where they say they live. If an offender isn't home, a note is left telling the person to contact the sheriff's office. Some offenders also have cell phones that deputies can call if they aren't home.

"If they don't call, we'll put forth the best effort to locate them," he said. "You keep going back."

Homeless offenders are required to notify authorities within 72 hours of changing sleeping locations.

"Some try to push the time limit," Terrell said.

It was his job to check on the whereabouts of offenders more than a decade ago when there were fewer than 30 on the list. Now, deputies check once a month on the whereabouts of 100 offenders living throughout Camden County.

"It seems to be steadily growing," Terrell said. "It's getting to be a lot of work to keep track of them. It's terrible, because there is always a victim."


OH - Hookup Shocker: The Sex Is Legal, but Talking About It Is a Felony!

Seventeen Magazine
Original Article

06/28/2013

By Jacob Sullum

This week the Ohio House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill ostensibly aimed at fighting "human trafficking" that makes it a crime to "solicit" a legal act: sex with someone who is 16 or 17 years old. The age of consent in Ohio is 16. Yet under H.B. 130 (PDF), a 20-year-old who asks a 16-year-old to have sex with him, or a 21-year-old who does the same with a 17-year-old, thereby commits a fifth-degree felony, punishable by six to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. He also has to register as a sex offender. But if the teenager broaches the subject, or if the sex proceeds without any explicit verbal reference to it, no crime has been committed. Here is the relevant provision:

No person shall solicit another, not the spouse of the offender, to engage in sexual conduct with the offender, when the offender is eighteen years of age or older and four or more years older than the other person, and the other person is sixteen or seventeen years of age, whether or not the offender knows the age of the other person.

Since there is no requirement that money change hands, this provision criminalizes ordinary sexual propositions if one person is 16 or 17 and the other is at least four years older when it is the older person who makes the suggestion, even though the sex itself remains legal. Having sex is fine, as long as you don't talk about it beforehand.

The elimination of any knowledge requirement, which is problematic even when the "solicitation" involves someone below the age of consent, is especially so when the person approached is 16 or 17. Since the difference between a 16- or 17-year-old and an 18-year-old may be difficult to discern, someone keen to avoid a felony charge would be wise to demand proof of age before saying anything about sex. And if the object of his attention happens to have a fake ID—as teenagers pretending to be older than they are sometimes do, especially when they go to bars or clubs—that is no defense. As Granville, Ohio, attorney Drew McFarland notes, the bill imposes a "strict liability" standard, meaning that "even an honest mistake is unforgiven." McFarland, who drew my attention to this bill, suggests one such scenario:

A mature 17-year-old is lawfully in a liquor-serving establishment and meets a 22-year-old who suggests they go back to his or her place for some sexual fun. Under this change in the law, the 22-year-old is guilty of a felony.

Legislators already define "human trafficking" broadly enough to include consensual sex (when it occurs in exchange for money). Now Ohio is poised to classify merely talking about consensual sex, even when no money is involved, as a species of sexual slavery.

The Ohio Senate is expected to take up the bill after returning from its summer break.


NM - New sex offender law starts Monday

Newspaper and CoffeeOriginal Article

06/30/2013

By Maria Guererro

New laws for sex offenders take effect in New Mexico tomorrow.

One of those laws closes a loophole for offenders from other states.

Starting tomorrow, offenders who are registered in another state will be required to register again here in New Mexico.

Sex offenders will also have to give their emails and onscreen nicknames, including any names they use for social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Governor Susana Martinez says law enforcement will be able to keep track of who they are contacting, and how they are communicating with adults and children.


IN - Online threats become crime

Original Article

06/30/2013

By Julie Crothers

Threats posted on social media sites are nothing new, but a law that takes effect Monday will make posting such threats a crime punishable by jail time.

The law extends the charge of intimidation to include using social media sites to post threats.

Part of the change in state law is simply an attempt to play catch-up with technology, said Mike McAlexander, Allen County’s chief deputy prosecutor.

We’re attempting to keep up with the moving target that is social media and working on defining those things as they come up,” McAlexander said. “ … It’s a struggle.”

In the past, he said, text messages and comments posted on the Internet were used more as corroboration than as evidence of a crime.

But now, prosecutors will be able to use the posts in proving that the threats are happening, he said.

The legislature is trying to give us more tools to be able to prosecute these crimes,” he said. “The intimidation or threat is just as great whether it’s been said face to face or coming in from an email, Facebook post or text message.”

Indiana lawmakers’ decision to expand the intimidation statute to include social media was in part triggered by the experience of state Sen. Michael Crider, R-Greenfield.

Crider, a retired Indiana conservation officer from Hancock County, serves as security manager at Hancock Regional Hospital, located east of Indianapolis.

While Crider was working security, a patient at the hospital went online and posted threats to Facebook.

He posted threats that he was going to come down to the hospital and, as he described it, was going to ‘shoot up the place,’ ” Crider said.

Police were notified and began watching the man’s Facebook page, he said.

It was later discovered he was off his prescribed medication, but the situation caused quite a stir among hospital employees, Crider said.

I had doctors and nurses who, the night before, walked to their cars in the dark and the next night were asking for a police escort,” he said. “The thing I realized was somebody doesn’t actually have to carry through with the threat to have that real chilling affect.”

Crider’s local prosecutor determined that there was no case to be made against the man because the threats were made against the hospital and not an individual.

Crider then approached legislators with a proposal to close the gap in the law and tighten language to make sure social media were addressed specifically.

I think it’s definitely a big step in the right direction,” Crider said about the bill.

Local effect

Reporting and investigating social media threats have been problems since sites like Facebook and Twitter were created, said Ron Galaviz, Indiana State Police spokesman.

As long as there’s been a way to communicate electronically, there’s been emails, text messages and now posts on Facebook with these kinds of threats,” Galaviz said.

Part of the challenge, he said, is that some people, including children, might not realize that what they are posting is criminal.

Once this goes into effect and people realize it’s a crime, it’s possible the reporting of it will increase,” he said.

Galaviz said state police investigate all calls about social media threats – and that won’t change.

We’ll do the same thing, file the report and send it off to the prosecutor’s office, but now there’s more fight in the law,” he said. “It could be just two people blowing off steam … but especially in this day and age, these threats have to be given their due credibility to avoid looking over something that might come back later and make us wish we would have looked into it more diligently.”

Most local officers are used to dealing with social media threats regularly, said Allen County Sheriff’s Department Spokesman Jeremy Tinkel.

We take reports of threats and problems from Facebook and sites like that on a daily basis,” Tinkel said. “ … It varies, we may have a couple calls a day or we might not have anything.”

Tinkel said most of the threats are between family members or friends, and range from middle school students up to adults. Tinkel said he attributes most of the threats to something he calls keyboard courage.

People think of it as a fantasy world, like it doesn’t mean anything. If you’re sitting in the safety of the four walls of your house, you suffer no immediate repercussions because the person you’re threatening isn’t sitting in front of you,” he said.

But once information about that threat spreads, it leads to an investigation that in the past has been a headache for officers and prosecutors, he said.

When the sheriff’s department receives a report about a threat, usually by way of a phone call from the individual being threatened, an officer will respond and fill out a report, Tinkel said.

Most people who are contacted about their threat quickly say they didn’t mean anything by it or were just venting, but each case is investigated, he added.

It’s usually just people bantering back and forth, making threats to each other on Facebook,” he said. “But if someone does feel threatened and calls us, we are going to investigate that because the potential is there.”