Thursday, August 15, 2013

PODCAST - How Safe Are Trick-or-Treaters? An Analysis of Child Sex Crime Rates on Halloween

Halloween Sex Offender Hysteria
Original Article

09/2009

Description:
(PDF) States, municipalities, and parole departments have adopted policies banning known sex offenders from Halloween activities, based on the worry that there is unusual risk on these days. The existence of this risk has not been empirically established. National Incident-Base Reporting System crime report data from 1997 through 2005 were used to examine daily population adjusted rates from 67,045 nonfamilial sex crimes against children aged 12 years and less. Halloween rates were compared with expectations based on time, seasonality, and weekday periodicity. Rates did not differ from expectation, no increased rate on or just before Halloween was found, and Halloween incidents did not evidence unusual case characteristics. Findings were invariant across years, both prior to and after these policies became popular. These findings raise questions about the wisdom of diverting law enforcement resources to attend to a problem that does not appear to exist.

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CANADA - Ex-police officer (Stephen Laurence Huggett) faces new child-sex charges

Stephen Laurence Huggett
Stephen Laurence Huggett
Original Article

08/14/2013

By SHERRI ZICKEFOOSE

A retired Calgary police officer convicted of child porn charges is facing new sex allegations involving a seven-year-old girl.

The molestation incidents are alleged to have happened in the early 1990s after the man met the girl’s mother, police say.

Police began investigating in 2001, but didn’t have enough evidence to lay charges at the time, officials say.

But when allegations of sexual assault against the man’s ex-girlfriend surfaced in January, police say evidence corroborated the 1990s case.

Stephen Laurence Huggett, 59, of Calgary, is charged with invitation to sexual touching and sexual interference with a child under 14 years.

The allegations involve inappropriate sexual behaviour and touching.

He was arrested without incident Tuesday and released on bail Wednesday.

Huggett, who retired in 2007 after 25 years with the Calgary Police Service, was sentenced in August 2009 to nine months in jail after being convicted of possessing child pornography.

Police say they have hundreds of exhibits investigators are looking through, including recordings, computers and other electronic devices.

We reopened the case and recontacted the victim,” said Insp. Cliff O’Brien of the CPS major crimes unit.

We’re not done. If there’s evidence of other offences then we’ll lay more charges.” During the 1990s, Huggett was a general patrol officer.

The charges against him are serious, police say.

It doesn’t matter if you are a police officer, a retired police officer or what your occupation is. If you’ve committed these crimes then we’re going to continue to investigate,” said O’Brien. “I hope that’s a message to people that we’ll keep working on these files. We will find you and we’ll lay charges.”

The victim from the 1990s case is getting help from victims’ assistance and HomeFront, police say.

She’s getting support that way. I can’t imagine what that would be like for her,” said O’Brien.

During his earlier trial, Huggett admitted possessing 64 movies and 20 images of child pornography, which he had begun downloading and viewing while he was still an active police officer.

At the time, Huggett claimed he downloaded the images as part of his own effort to investigate child pornography.

A judge called the material “grotesque.” The images were extremely graphic with children as young as one year old, with most girls between six and 16 years.

In that case, Huggett was placed on probation for two years after his release, ordered to provide a DNA sample for the national sex-offender database, not use the Internet for anything but work or to communicate with family members, and be registered as a sex offender for 10 years.

Huggett is also facing a trial stemming from January charges of sexually assaulting a former girlfriend.

The complainant, who was in an on-again, off-again relationship with Huggett that ended two years ago, told investigators Huggett forced her on six occasions to have sex against her will and put a pistol in her mouth.

He is facing a jury trial for those charges.

Huggett’s next court appearance is Aug. 29.


UK - Anger of 19-year-old from Cornwall who was wrongly accused of rape in Manchester after DNA blunder

Original Article

Diigo Post Excerpt:
A teenager who spent months behind bars wrongly accused of rape after a DNA blunder has spoken of his ‘relief, anger and disgust’ after the charge was dropped.

[name withheld], 19, was due to stand trial next month in connection with a sex attack on a woman at Plant Hill Park in Blackley.

The M.E.N. revealed yesterday how his DNA – taken in connection with a separate matter – had contaminated a sample from the victim while being processed at a laboratory run by LGC Forensics.

Mr [name withheld], from Truro in Cornwall, is now considering taking legal action – and his lawyers are calling for a public inquiry into the blunder, which could lead to other rape and murder cases being reopened.

Mr [name withheld] was arrested at his home about three weeks after the October 2 rape and brought to Manchester after the results of the compromised DNA test were sent to cops.

During interview he insisted that he had never even been to Manchester. But LGC, a company used by Greater Manchester Police to carry out scientific testing in thousands of cases a year, insisted there was a definite match.


OR - Former Umatilla tribal police officer (Fermore Joseph Craig Jr.) pleads guilty to unwanted sexual contact with woman, lying to FBI

Fermore Joseph Craig Jr.
Fermore Joseph Craig Jr.
Original Article

08/14/2013

By Bryan Denson

A former Umatilla tribal police officer pleaded guilty this week to making unwanted sexual contact with a woman while off duty last May and lying to the FBI about it, government prosecutors reported.

Fermore Joseph Craig Jr., a 43-year-old Pendleton resident, faces up to five years in prison for making false statements to the FBI, and his conviction will require him to register as a sex offender. He had served as a Umatilla Tribal Police officer for about 15 years.

Craig faces sentencing before U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman on Nov. 4.

"Sexual assault is always a heinous crime," U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall said in a news release. "But when a tribal police officer, whose very duty is to protect the members of a Tribal Nation, commits such an act, the impact is especially egregious as it violates the trust and safety not only of the victim, but the entire tribal community."

Craig intentionally touched the woman on May 11 without her permission and to arouse and gratify his sexual desire, according to prosecutors. When the woman came forward to disclose the abuse, the FBI and Oregon State Police investigated.

Two days after the incident, Craig lied to investigators.


GA - Our Voices Heard... On the Road to Reform at NCSL

Gail Colletta and Shana Rowan
Gail Colletta and Shana Rowan
Original Article

08/15/2013

USA FAIR's exhibit at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Atlanta, Georgia was well received by state representatives from throughout the country - allowing hundreds of contacts over the three-day event.

Executive Director Shana Rowan was joined by Gail Colletta, President of the Florida Action Committee and Caution Click, in staffing USA FAIR's table. Reform advocates from Women Against the Registry, RSOL, SOSEN, Illinois Voices for Reason and Texas Voices conducted similar outreach at a nearby exhibit - providing double coverage to the largest annual gathering of state legislators.

Shana and Gail reported that legislators very much appreciated the information we provided on low sex offender recidivism, the ineffectiveness of residency restrictions, the harm that the registry inflicts upon the family members of registrants - as well as a host of other issues, including the Adam Walsh Act, juvenile offenders, and the public registry.

Many expressed strong interest in learning more about evidence-based policies that can do a better job at protecting the public than current laws, which several legislators acknowledged were emotionally driven.

Thumbs up to all who attended!  YOU ROCK!According to Shana, "The presence of sex offender law reform advocates at this national conference represents a maturing of our movement, but it is just a beginning. State organizers need to continue their work in their respective states and we need to be back at this conference next year and every year until we have reason-based laws from coast to coast."

USA FAIR wishes to thank all of its donors who made attending this conference possible.

2013 Summit Highlight (By NCSL)


TN - Officer (John Edwin Puckett) was arrested on charges of statutory rape after being accused of having sex at least twice with an underage girl

John Edwin Puckett
John Edwin Puckett
Original Article

08/14/2013

By Brian Wilson and Josh Cross

A former Westmoreland police officer was arrested on charges of statutory rape after being accused of having sex at least twice with an underage girl.

John Edwin Puckett, 49, was arrested by the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday and charged with aggravated statutory rape and soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor.

According to an affidavit filed in a Sumner County Court, Puckett admitted to Westmoreland Police Chief Kenneth Smith that he had sex with the unidentified girl. Puckett then resigned his commission.

Smith confirmed the affidavit’s account in an interview Wednesday, saying he went to the Puckett’s house on Tuesday morning when the officer failed to show up for work.

Smith said Puckett told him that he had gotten himself into major trouble and needed to resign.

That threw me for a loop,” Smith said. “I was speechless at first.”

The affidavit also stated a sheriff’s deputy found nude photos of Puckett on the victim’s cell phone, as well as a video of him performing a sex act. The former officer declined to talk with investigators, the document said.

Authorities were alerted to the case when the girl’s mother was told of the allegations. The mother then “confronted the defendant who had admitted he had sex with her daughter” on two occasions, the affidavit said.

Smith said he and other officers in Westmoreland, a town of 2,200 people about 18 miles northeast of Gallatin, are still shocked at the charges against Puckett, a man they say was regarded highly since he was hired two months ago. Puckett also is a former longtime Sumner County Sheriff’s deputy.

Nevertheless, the chief said he has no issue with how the investigation has been handled into the officer he once supervised.

When a police officer crosses a line like this, it needs to be dealt with and he needs to be charged,” Smith said.

Westmoreland Mayor Mike Carter said Wednesday that he was also caught off guard when he learned of Puckett’s arrest.

When I was made aware of it, it came as a shock because we like to think our police department is as professional as any police department,” he said. “It’s very unfortunate for the city, our police department and everybody involved, families and so on.”

Puckett passed all of his background checks before he was hired, Carter said.

We had an opening,” Carter said. “There was no reason not to hire him.”

Puckett remains in the Sumner County Jail in Gallatin on a $150,000 bond, said an official from the Sumner County Jail. His initial court date is scheduled for Sept. 4, she said.


MT - Former Glendive officer (Taylon Jeffery Bain) admits to sex charges

Taylon Jeffery Bain
Taylon Jeffery Bain
Original Article

08/14/2013

A former Glendive police officer admitted Wednesday to having sexual relationships with several teenage girls dating back to 2004.

Taylon Jeffery Bain, 27, appeared before District Judge Richard Simonton in Glendive, where he pleaded guilty to four felony counts of sexual intercourse without consent and a single felony county of sexual abuse of children.

In August of 2012, Bain was charged with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent, two counts of sexual abuse of children and one count of solicitation of tampering with physical evidence.

One of the sexual abuse charges and the tampering charge were dropped from amended charges filed in Dawson County on Wednesday.

The remaining sexual abuse charge accuses Bain of having "images of a child engaged in sexual conduct" on two different cellular telephones.

Charging documents say that he had a sexual relationship with a young teenage girl in 2004. The accusation came up again in 2010 and investigators learned that three other teenage girls claimed they'd had sexual relations with him.

Bain served as a Glendive police officer from October 2006 to August 2007. The affidavit says he met the girls through events around the community.

All four girls were under the age of 16 at the time of the alleged relationships.

The tampering charge stems from an allegation that Bain contacted one of the girls and asked her to get rid of pictures she had of him after federal agents came to his home in 2010.

Bain previously posted a $50,000 bond. Simonton ordered a pre-sentencing investigation, after which a sentencing date will be set.