Wednesday, August 14, 2013

FL - Deputies: Woman (Tawny Blazejowski) stalked, extorted victims

Tawny Blazejowski
Tawny Blazejowski
Original Article

08/14/2013

ST. JOHNS COUNTY - A 39-year-old St. Augustine woman is accused of extorting and stalking six victims over the last year.

St. Johns County deputies said Tawny Blazejowski was using the Crime Stoppers tip line, the Department of Children and Families hotline, and the cyber tip line with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to make false reports of sexual and physical child abuse against the complainant.

Investigators said Blazejowski continually reported false crimes against several victims in an attempt to impact their personal and professional lives.

"There was enough evidence to support that it was her sitting at a keyboard actually sending out that information," said St. Johns County Sheriff's Sgt. Catherine Payne. "Stating that they were suspects of either physical child or sexual child abuse. So in turn the department of children and families would get involved."

During the investigation, detectives said they found evidence to support Blazejowski was using various means to threaten and extort her victims. Blazejowski was arrested in April and charged with two counts of extortion. She was released on $100,000 bond.

Deputies arrested Blazejowski again Wednesday on charges of extortion, four counts of aggravated stalking and making false reports to DCF.

"It appears there was some type of romantic relationship that went awry and that's how they are all connected," said Payne.

DCF said that they investigate any and all reports of abuse, but there is a limit.

"If we do get a pattern of false allegations, we will have our lawyer send them a warning letter first reminding them of the law false reporting in this state, but if that continues we will let the state attorney's office know about it," said DCF spokesman, John Harrell.

Blazejowski is being held in the St. Johns County jail with a bail set at $20,000.

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NC - State agrees to $12 million settlement for two wrongly imprisoned men

Original Article

Diigo Post Excerpt:
North Carolina’s State Bureau of Investigation and its insurers have agreed to pay $12.475 million to two innocent men who spent a total of 31 years behind bars.

The state agreed to pay $7.85 million to settle the state lawsuit filed by Floyd Brown, a mentally disabled man locked up for 14 years in a psychiatric hospital based on what his lawyers said was a false confession created out of whole cloth by an SBI agent. Brown has also reached a separate settlement with Anson County, whose sheriff’s deputies helped investigate the case. A federal judge has sealed the Anson County settlement; North Carolina law requires that all such court settlements be public records.


WA - Former Monroe cop (Carlos Martinez) facing child rape charges

Carlos Martinez
Carlos Martinez
Original Article

08/13/2013

EVERETT - A former local police officer charged with having sexual relationship with a girl for nearly a decade will be in court Tuesday.

Investigators said the sexual relationship between former Monroe police officer Carlos Martinez and his victim started when she was 14.

Detectives said they found sex tapes and other videos of the victim in Martinez' home that had been taken with a hidden camera.

Martinez left the Monroe Police Department in 2009 after his ex-wife accused him of abusing her.

In June, KIRO 7's Lee Stoll broke the story of the child rape charges and asked Martinez, who had been a police and school resource officer, for his response.

Are you the predator you told other parents to watch out for?” said Stoll.

"I have no idea what you're talking about,” said Martinez.

"You're being charged with child rape,” said Stoll.

Detectives first contacted Martinez in Texas two years ago, where he was living with the victim, who is now 24 years old.

Detectives said she told them she started having sex with the then-married officer long before she'd reached the age of consent.

Martinez’ first court appearance is Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

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NY - Sex offender wins temporary exemption from N. Tonawanda buffer zone law

Lawsuit - Legal Scales
Original Article

08/13/2013

By Thomas Prohaska

NORTH TONAWANDA – The city’s law barring sex offenders from living within a quarter-mile of a school, park or playground no longer applies to one man – the one trying to have the law invalidated in court.

State Supreme Court Justice Catherine Nugent Panepinto issued late last month a temporary restraining order barring the city from enforcing the buffer zone law against the plaintiff, [name withheld].

His attorney, Kathy E. Manley of Albany, said it’s a first step toward throwing out the law completely.

City Attorney Shawn P. Nickerson said Tuesday that Manley tried to persuade Panepinto to do exactly that in July 24 arguments before Panepinto.

Though [the restraining order] is certainly unfortunate, we’re fighting to uphold our law. [Manley] wanted to invalidate the law against all sex offenders in North Tonawanda, but I successfully argued against that,” Nickerson said.

Manley called the buffer zone laws “clearly invalid.”

They’ve been invalidated every time they’ve been challenged,” she said. “It’s not up to a locality to banish people and force them to live outside their borders. The state has pre-empted that field.”

Manley and other attorneys have been successful in knocking down local buffer zone laws all over the state, on the grounds that localities are constitutionally barred from passing a law tougher than the state’s own.

The state law bars sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, park or other facility where children gather, but it only applies to offenders on probation or parole. North Tonawanda’s law, like most local buffer zone ordinances, tried to govern all sex offenders.

Manley said she will file a summary judgment shortly to try to kill the North Tonawanda law completely. Nickerson said he expects there will be oral arguments sometime this fall.

These laws are counterproductive. There’s no evidence they protect anyone,” Manley said.

[name withheld], 55, a Level 3 sex offender – the most serious of the three groupings under New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act – was arrested several months ago on charges of violating the law.

According to the state sex offender website, [name withheld] lives on Keil Street, where Manley said he lives with friends. Nickerson said that’s within a quarter-mile of a playground.

North Tonawanda’s buffer zone law was first challenged in court in August 2011 by convicted child molester [name withheld], who said he was forced to stay in state prison after the expiration of his sentence because state parole officials vetoed his planned residence as a violation of the city’s law.

According to [name withheld]’s lawsuit, a school was 1,320 feet, or exactly one-quarter mile, from where he wanted to live.

[name withheld], 51, a Level 3 sex offender, finally got out of prison in January 2012, 10 months after his parole date, and is now living on Chilton Avenue in Niagara Falls, according to the state website. He remains on post-release supervision, so the state’s 1,000-foot rule applies to him, Manley said.

She thinks that’s why [name withheld]’s suit against North Tonawanda still hasn’t been decided, but things started happening when [name withheld] joined in after he was charged with violating the law.

[name withheld] was placed on the sex offender registry in 2001 after a third-degree sodomy conviction for having sexual contact with an 11-year-old boy.

Local buffer zone laws have been thrown out in recent years in the Town of Newfane, and in Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Saratoga, Warren, Nassau and Rockland counties. An Erie County case is awaiting decision, Manley said.

Nassau County appealed its defeat to the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court. Manley said its upcoming opinion will be the first higher-court ruling on the pre-emption principle which has been used to cancel all the buffer zone laws challenged so far.