Saturday, August 31, 2013

GA - Dade County Man Speaks Out After Molestation Charge Dropped, but he had to sign over his parental rights of his youngest son?

News paper and coffee
Original Article

This sounds like a corruption ring or something. The man was aquitted of a crime, but they are demanding his parental rights of his youngest son? And it also happened to a woman as well? This is insane!

08/30/2013

By Webb Wright

[name withheld] is a Dade County businessman, part of a family-owned tire shop on Highway 301. He's also the father of three kids, who had his world shattered in May of last year.

"I would never ever do anything like this. I just want people to know that I'm a good person and I'm not what they made me out to be. I'm not a child molester, I'm a good person, I love my children, I love my kids."

This spring, the charge of an "immoral and indecent act" against a child was dropped by the District Attorney's office, in exchange for [name withheld] signing away the parental rights to his youngest son.

"I went through over a year of uncertainty not knowing what was going to happen to me not knowing if I was going to go to prison. Then I was faced with a decision if I just signed my rights away they would just drop it. If they had anything on me, if I had really molested my son, I don't think they would have dropped the charges like that."

Assistant District Attorney Len Gregor did not return our calls, but in a recent statement said the charges were dropped "based upon what is in the best interest of the alleged victim as expressed by his mother and psychologist, and upon termination of the defendant's parental rights."

"This torments me, every day, when I wake up in the morning, when I go to bed at night I'm tormented by this and I'll always be tormented by this. This decision to sign my rights away, I never ever will get over this. It's just so hard, it's just undescribable, words can't explain how this hurts inside," said [name withheld].

[name withheld]'s two other children continue to live with him...as he tries to get his life back together.

"Me and my two older children are just trying to get by the best they can. I just want everyone to know that this is not right, from what I was charged with, you know they should be a lot of investigating before someone is charged. I have not gotten to see my son in over a year and three months now. I love my son, I love all my children more than I can explain."

[name withheld] says he's also received support from [name withheld]. She was prosecuted by the same D-A's office in 2010. [name withheld] was acquitted of 22 counts of molestation in May of that year.


Torture in American prisons (Documentary)


Torture in prisons has been going on for a very long time. All these documentaries that claim to show you what it's like in prison, are a joke. You will never know what it's like in prison until you are sent there yourself. They will sugarcoat it for the TV.

And the irony, it's all on tape here, but nothing is done about it. Prisons are a joke, so is the IN"justice" system. They could stop the violence in prisons, if they wanted to, most of it anyway.



MO - Locked away, but not in prison

Jay Nixon's PR campaign
Jay Nixon's PR campaign
Original Article

In the photo to the left, Gov. Jay Nixon takes the podium in front of a civil commitment facility. Well, HB-301 has nothing to do with civil commitment, but it's about removing juveniles from the public registry. Just the usual PR campaign to help himself look "tough" on crime.

08/31/2013

By Jesse Bogan

FARMINGTON - [name withheld] misses the freedom of prison. Back then, he could keep his own stamps, even an electric razor. Back then, he could stockpile snacks in his cell and share what he didn’t want off his food tray with another inmate.

[name withheld] can’t share anymore. Now such trades are called an “unauthorized exchange.” Now, everything must be requested. When he wakes up, he asks for a basket that holds his toothbrush. Security aides ask for a “face check” when he takes a shower. At night, the bedroom door opens every 15 minutes for yet another round of checks.

I tell them, ‘Man, they don’t do this in prison,’” said [name withheld].

But this can’t be a prison.

In prison, inmates are serving sentences for crimes they’ve already committed.

[name withheld] is locked up for what he might do.

There’s no sentence for that, because [name withheld] isn’t an inmate at all.
- They are behind razor wire and from the above, it sounds worse than prison, so you can call them whatever you like, but THEY ARE PRISONERS!

He’s best categorized as an involuntary patient. And if the past is any indication, Missouri may never let him go.

[name withheld] is among 192 patients at the Sex Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment Services, or SORTS, program. Most live here in Farmington on a red brick campus hemmed in by double fences topped with spools of razor wire.

The facility is reserved for the worst few of the state’s thousands of sex offenders — pedophiles and rapists deemed so dangerous they are locked up even after having served prison terms.
- That is what they tell you, but we wonder, what is the criteria for being committed?  We are willing to bet that some have been committed who are not a danger to the public because the injustice system doesn't want to look "soft" on crime, especially ex-sex offenders.

Now, they are more accurately regarded as wards of a mental hospital operated by the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

[name withheld] is here because a jury was convinced in January that he had a “mental abnormality” that made him more likely than not to commit another sex crime if not confined to a secure facility. It’s a legal maneuver — harshly criticized by civil libertarians — that is channeling more and more people to Farmington each year.

And because no one has ever been released for completing the program since it was launched in 1999, the population keeps growing.

It’s not like ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ and it’s not like Club Med,” said state Rep. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington. “It’s like a dormitory you never leave.

Administrators say treating sexually violent offenders is a long process. So long, that some may never complete it.

Because of that, the number of patients keeps rising, and so does the tax bill. Operating the facility will cost $24.6 million this year — up $9 million since 2011. It’s about $300 a night per resident, enough for a room at the Four Seasons with a view of St. Louis.

It’s a blank check. But it’s one Missouri legislators have been happy to sign — especially when faced with the alternative of sending a [name withheld] back into the community.

It’s just one of those things. You kind of want to forget about the people in Guantanamo,” said Michael Wolff, former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri. “You kind of want to forget about the people in there, because they are not our best people.

But confining the state’s [name withheld]s to indefinite treatment as mental patients raises agonizing legal questions that Wolff and others have had to wrestle with.

Critics say the system pretends to provide therapeutic treatment, but in fact simply locks up its wards in a manner more harsh than prison.

They say it perverts the civil commitment process, using mental health as a false pretense to circumvent the criminal justice system.

They say it gives prosecutors and the state attorney general’s office too much say in deciding who gets locked up — allowing them to override the recommendations of state mental health experts

Missouri has stuck with — and even strengthened — its approach, even though other states such as Texas have shown success in treating offenders at a much lower cost and without raising as many concerns over civil liberties.

That leaves [name withheld] and his fellow patients at SORTS with little hope of ever rejoining society.

We are modern-day lepers,” he said.

MAKING IT HAPPEN

[name withheld] is here because of what pedophile [name withheld] said 15 years ago.

[name withheld], a former camp volunteer and day care worker in St. Louis County, had admitted to molesting more than two dozen children. Many of them were developmentally delayed. Near the end of his sentence, he was critical of the sex offender treatment offered in prison and vowed to embarrass state officials once he was free again.

I’m scared to death to go out on the street because I know what will happen when I see a child,” he told the Post-Dispatch in 1998. “There’s nothing a parent can do with any of us.

And there was nothing the state thought it could do from a public safety standpoint.

Within weeks, the Missouri Legislature responded with the passage of a sweeping law covering sexually violent predators.

Following the lead of other states, the Missouri law seeks to identify sexual predators nearing the end of their prison sentences. It then lays out a process for civil courts to decide if they need to be locked up in treatment.

The statute sets no time limit on confinement, saying the treatment should continue until the risk falls to acceptable levels.

But in practical terms, that’s never happened.

Former House Speaker Steve Gaw, D-Moberly, stood by his decision to sponsor the bill that created Missouri’s law.

But he added that the issue has many layers. Constitutional rights. Protecting the public. Medical science. Politics.

Policy is sometimes driven by one of those things, rather than the full gamut,” he said.

‘GOOD LORD’

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the civil commitment process used by Missouri and 19 other states and the federal government.

But the process has been hammered by a barrage of lawsuits and critics, who say it corrupts the concept of court-ordered mental health treatment.

It’s more appropriate for the criminal justice system to impose criminal penalties for sex offenders rather than using the guise of psychiatric civil commitments to incarcerate someone,” said Steven K. Hoge, a legal expert in New York with the American Psychiatric Association.

Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri, says holding somebody on expectations of future criminal behavior is “un-American.

The ACLU is party to an ongoing class-action lawsuit that essentially alleges SORTS, the latest name for the facility, is a prison disguised as a mental health facility. The suit seeks to improve treatment so that patients have reasonable chance of being released.

The Department of Mental Health would not allow a reporter to view active treatment at SORTS, only empty wards.

But the ACLU case and others filed over the years have unearthed troves of internal emails, memos and other documents.

Some raise questions of safety and mistreatment in the facility. One resident was awarded $25,000 in a federal suit on claims he was raped by a roommate known to be abusive. One employee was fired for sexual abuse of a resident, while another left amid a drug offense investigation.

Employees have also been seriously injured trying to control violent patients.

Some of the internal documents raise more fundamental questions about whether the facility is even capable of offering treatment.

Among the documents:
  • Early on, a doctor wrote in an email that the facility does “not have enough staff to provide the level of treatment that we feel is appropriate” or that an “accrediting body would feel is appropriate.
  • Good Lord” was the subject line in an email from a former clinical director who helped design the program. “(SORTS) is a closed system and appropriate investigative authorities cannot even get in there to investigate,” she wrote in November 2006, shortly after leaving the job. “The residents may have engaged in horrendous crimes, but if they are going to be confined indefinitely after they have served their original prison sentences, they deserve to be confined within the letter of the law.
  • In another set of emails in 2006, the chief operating officer at the time expresses concern about the punitive effect of handing out “months upon months” of restrictive activity for residents with excessive behavior violations.

A former director of nursing responded with concern about one particular old and “anti-social” patient. She wrote: “I told the staff please check under the hood, I fear he will be the color of his Navy blue sweat suit before anyone notices.

The nurse, Paula Bates, now 73, said in a recent interview: “For the most part, it felt so feudal. I think a lot of the guys have given up to the point they just don’t care and some are so mean they are dangerous even there.
- If you have no apparent hope of ever leaving, why would you want to participate in the first place?

U.S. District Court Judge E. Richard Webber weighed such complaints and concerns in a Civil Rights Act case brought by a SORTS resident first wrote out by hand. In the 2010 decision, Webber wrote that some treatment at SORTS likely fell below professional standards but not enough to “shock the conscious” to be declared constitutionally inadequate.

A COURSE ON RAPE

It was visitation day, and [name withheld], a new arrival at SORTS, was careful to keep his head up. Otherwise his prison-issue glasses would slide off his nose. He sat at a table in a dimly lit room with the word “RESPECT” written on a marker board along the back wall. There were three security aides nearby, one with fully tattooed arms.

I try to keep a positive outlook,[name withheld] said. “I let them know that my fight is not with them. It’s with the judicial system because of the way they got me.

[name withheld] is 56 and a grandfather. He has a little bit of gray showing through his short hair. He has a gimpy hand from punching through glass a long time ago.

But [name withheld] talks a lot about faith and has a docile manner, one that has fooled those close to him in the past.

Crack [name withheld]’s thick book of court records and there’s a story that starts back when he was a 7-year-old runaway in Kansas City. He was first sexually abused at 8 by a cousin, then again by a church member when he was 13 and later in a boy’s home.

As a young adult, he did a brief stint in the Marines. He struggled with drug addiction. He did time in Texas in the 1980s for armed robbery, credit card abuse and violating parole.

But his worst crimes would happen in his own home.

In 1997, [name withheld] pleaded guilty to statutory sodomy and child molestation.

Over a two month period, he had been giving his 12-year-old stepdaughter what he called “lessons on rape.” It involved him demonstrating inappropriate touching. He even had a certificate made up. The final exam was supposed to be sexual intercourse, but his stepdaughter told her mother beforehand.

[name withheld] was sentenced to 15 years.

In prison, he earned a GED and eventually completed sex offender treatment before he was paroled in 2008.

As part of his parole he was forbidden to have unsupervised visits with children. But he started dating a woman he’d grown up with who had two daughters. One of them was 10.

[name withheld] told investigators that he’d been babysitting her alone for hours at a time while her mother was at work.

The mother of the 10-year-old girl recently told the Post-Dispatch that while she knew [name withheld] was a convicted sex offender, he was also a peaceful man of faith. He told her that his former wife and an ex-cop had set him up.

He said he admitted to an offense that he really didn’t do,” she said.

According to the polygraph results, [name withheld] didn’t abuse the 10-year-old girl, but his parole was revoked for engaging in risky behaviors.

So after seven months of freedom, he landed back in prison to finish the remaining four years of his original sentence.

But it wouldn’t be the end of his time behind bars.

Missouri’s sexual predator law would make sure of that. And so would prosecutors and the state attorney general’s office, which needed only to convince a civil jury that he may be a threat in the future.

PROSECUTORS WEIGH IN

[name withheld]’s route from prison to the state’s SORTS facility started with a screening that he underwent just as he was completing his 15-year sentence.

Missouri uses such screenings to attempt to zero in on those likely to return to their crimes. Statistics show only a small percentage of sex offenders will do so. Of the hundreds screened by Missouri each year, 4 percent are flagged as possible risks.

[name withheld] was among that group, with an examiner saying he failed to internalize concepts from sex offender treatment in prison.

In nearly all cases, those who are flagged in the screening process wind up being locked up at SORTS.

The legal path to the facility is well-oiled — so much so that in one recent civil commitment hearing a St. Louis judge bobbed his head for 20 minutes, struggling to stay awake.
- So why wasn't the hearing canceled until the judge got some sleep?

In [name withheld]’s case he was sent to SORTS despite the opinions of several experts.

A multidisciplinary team of state mental health professionals unanimously agreed that [name withheld] shouldn’t be committed.

What followed with his case would highlight a key complaint critics raise against Missouri’s sexual predator law.

A team of prosecutors, including one from [name withheld]’s home county, convened to ignore the panel’s advice. They referred his case to Attorney General Chris Koster’s office, which hired its own expert and brought the case to trial.

In seeking to commit [name withheld], prosecutors had to refute an additional review by the Department of Mental Health, which operates SORTS. In it, a forensic psychologist determined that while [name withheld] is a pedophile, he didn’t meet the criteria of a sexually violent predator.

The decision ultimately fell to jurors.

Among them was Susan Darley, who said the main question in [name withheld]’s three-day trial wasn’t if he was a sexually violent predator, but if he should be let back into the community or put in treatment.

I have two daughters, and lots of people on the jury had kids, and they didn’t want this guy loose,” Darley said in an interview.

Darley and the other jurors didn’t know about all the experts who said [name withheld] wasn’t a right fit for SORTS.
- And this is not justice, this is withholding evidence, in our opinion.

She hadn’t even heard of SORTS. Nor was she told that being sent there for treatment was indefinite.

Still, Darley said the missing information wouldn’t have changed her vote on [name withheld], especially given his behavior on parole.

What’s the alternative?” she asked.

ANOTHER LOOK?

Wolff, the former Missouri Supreme Court chief justice, reviewed Missouri’s sexually violent predator law in 2003, along with others on the high court.

In that case, the court ruled that a patient’s due process and equal protection rights were not violated. Wolff agreed, though he filed a separate concurring opinion expressing doubt about the future legality of the system.

He said that while Missouri’s sexual predator law may be constitutional, the way that it is applied may not be.

The practices of the state over the next few years will show whether there is a meaningful attempt to treat those previously determined to be sick and dangerous, or whether these offenders will simply be warehoused without treatment and without meaningful efforts to reintegrate them into society,” he wrote.

Nearly a decade later, the program has nearly outgrown itself.

Each year, the Missouri Department of Mental Health asks lawmakers for a bigger budget so it can hire more employees and add a new ward so it can provide the treatment required by law. At last count, there were 530 full-time SORTS employees.

Fulton State Hospital, which dates to 1851, is now being used as an overflow facility. Significant rearrangements will need to be done there by 2016 to accommodate the growing SORTS population, administrators say.

Meanwhile, the oldest living patient is 85. Some have died.

While no one has completed treatment, four people in recent years have been granted strict terms of “conditional” release. Just one of them is allowed to venture away from facility property for a few hours at a time. He has an escort and GPS monitoring, and local police are notified well in advance.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, said Friday in an interview in Farmington that he continues to support paying the rising tab for the program.

This has provided a very solid public safety tool that has prevented a significant number of other offenses,” he said, speaking outside the fence of the SORTS program after a news conference on unrelated sex offender legislation.
- How can you seriously prove that it has "prevented" anything?

He said yearly reviews of each case and the analysis of annual budget requests to expand SORTS keeps the program and patient rights in check.

Judge Wolff is no longer on the Supreme Court. Now he’s dean of St. Louis University Law School. He hasn’t forgotten about the often quoted opinion he wrote a decade ago.

Does the law need another look?

He remains conflicted about a system where, in theory, patients can complete treatment and regain their freedom, but in practice, no one has.

The public aversion to sex offenders runs deep.

It’s not a subject where people want to explore the nuances,” he said. “You know, there is an old saying that you judge a society not by how it treats its best people but how it treats its worst. Well, this might be it.

EMPTY CALENDAR

[name withheld] keeps a stack of family photos in an envelope in his room. He said the only thing he has hung is a calendar. He doesn’t mark off the days.

He shares his bedroom in a ward called Hoctor 4 with two other men. One goes on so much, [name withheld] said, “he talks in his sleep.” He said another roommate recently died of cancer.

So a fourth bed sets empty, ready for another sexually violent predator coming down the pike. On Friday, 21 people awaited trials.

[name withheld] said he uses the bedroom like a chapel. He’s in the routine of getting up each morning between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. to bow in a corner and pray.

Sometimes I just listen, asking for guidance, strength to endure and to let God know that I love him and I am just going to live my life for him,” he said.

Seeking forgiveness wasn’t on his prayer list.

He believes he’s already paid his debt to society by serving a 15-year sentence. And he said he took responsibility for his crime and explored empathy for his victim while doing sex offender treatment in prison.

Now he wants to be free. He’s done.

Though there’s supposed to be up to 24 hours of treatment per week at SORTS, he’s part of a group that refuses to participate. Taking part would be like admitting he needs the therapy.

Instead, he’s trying to appeal his case — raising many complaints that others have failed to overcome in the past.

He’s not the first new arrival at SORTS to show up frustrated.

Administrators say patients have to get past all the drama before meaningful treatment begins. And treatment takes a long time.

Until then, at least patients like [name withheld] are securely maintained.

At least there are no more victims.

See Also:


WA - Benton County sex offenders' privacy rights upheld

Donna Zink
Donna Zink
Original Article

08/30/2013

By Tyler Richardson

A Benton County judge ruled in favor of a small group of low-level sex offenders Friday, putting the public release of their personal information on hold for the time being.

However, the ruling doesn't protect more than 400 other offenders who are not represented by attorneys, said Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Lukson. The county plans on releasing their information Sept. 6, unless the offenders are granted an injunction.

The personal information of a group of 12 sex offenders is not of a legitimate concern to the public and isn't necessary for its protection, Benton County Superior Court Judge Bruce Spanner ruled.

Their attorneys recently filed lawsuits on their behalf. Spanner was skeptical at first, but found through legal research that registration information can be considered confidential, he said.

The county could face penalties under the Public Records Act if it doesn't release the data, Lukson said.

Donna Zink (More Info), the former mayor of Mesa, requested the information on July 15. She plans to put the offenders' information online once she receives it, she said in court. Franklin County has already released its list to her.

"The people have the right to know who the Level 1 offenders are," Zink said during the hearing.

Richland attorney Greg Dow wants to lead a class-action lawsuit that would provide representation to the rest of the offenders who don't have lawyers. Spanner declined to certify the class action during Friday's hearing, saying he hasn't been provided with enough factual information.

However, Spanner dismissed Dow's motion without prejudice, meaning he can re-file and the judge can consider it again.

Dow, who represents one offender already, was optimistic that he will be able to form a class action and potentially block the release of other offenders' information, he said.

"These are the guys who desperately need representation," he said. "They should be protected."

Zink objected to the class action, arguing that not all of the offenders are the same and they aren't so numerous that they all can't be contacted.

Since the county sent offenders letters notifying them of Zink's request, more than 150 have called the prosecutor's office and sheriff's office seeking an injunction, Lukson said. The letters, which contain offenders' names and addresses, also are being withheld from Zink pending the outcome of the case.

Lukson attributed the high number of offenders without attorneys to the complexity of the legal system.

"People just had no idea what they were doing or the means to do it," he said.

Zink has received hate mail and threats since her request was made public, she said in emails. She told the court that she has been harassed and her ferret recently died, though she didn't know if the animal's death was related to her case.

In an email to Dow, Zink explains that she feels like she is being treated as a criminal for making the requests and is on "high alert" around her house.

"My motto is that I might get hurt but I will go down fighting and I am not without resources," she said in the email. "I said I don't like automatic weapons since they are not necessary. I never said I didn't own a gun."


CA - Law Lets Cops Jail People for Sleeping in Cars?

So in California the pass draconian and unconstitutional laws that force people into homelessness, and now they are arresting people for sleeping under bridges, in cars, etc? Come on, this is pure madness! Where does it end?


IN - Former cop (David Oldham) pleads guilty in standoff case / child porn

David Oldham
David Oldham
Original Article

08/29/2013

By Stan Maddux

LAPORTE - A former LaPorte County police officer has agreed to spend extra time behind bars.

Under a plea agreement reached Wednesday, David Oldham, 44, would serve two years in prison for criminal recklessness and resisting law enforcement, both Class D felonies, in connection with a police standoff in which he allegedly had a gun outside his LaPorte area home.

In May, Oldham was sentenced to 28 months in a federal prison for allegedly destroying digital images and videos of naked children that were on his home computer.

Oldham, 44, resigned as a patrolman with the sheriff’s office after the pornography charges were leveled in 2011.

Originally, police got involved because of concerns expressed by Oldham's wife over his relationship with a 12-year-old boy in his subdivision that included overnight stays at his home.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 9.

See Also:


WI - Lawyer (David Dudas) charged with sexual and physical abuse

David Dudas
David Dudas
Original Article (Video Available)

08/21/2013

By Alex Ronallo

APPLETON - A Fox Valley divorce attorney is accused of physically and sexually abusing his wife. 49-year-old David Dudas, formerly of the Town of Dale, is facing 31 separate counts.

During Dudas' motion hearing in Outagamie County Court Wednesday, the court commissioner made his thoughts about the case clear.

"Frankly, these are the most horrific domestic abuse allegations that I've seen in my 13 years on the bench," said commissioner Brian Figy.

The criminal complaint against Dudas is 21 pages long and lists 31 charges. They include first- and second-degree sexual assault, strangulation and suffocation and substantial battery.

The complaint outlines the night of July 21 at Dudas' home. The suspect's wife accuses him of raping, beating and strangling her to the point where her face was covered with blood. She told police she thought she was going to die.

Three of Dudas' five children also make statements in the documents that support their mother's claims from July 21. According to the complaint one of the children confronted his father, while another drove his mother to the hospital.

The complaint also references videos Dudas made of himself allegedly assaulting his wife dating back to March of 2012.

If convicted, Dudas faces more than 700 years in prison. His attorney told FOX 11 the situation has been taken out of proportion.

"I've been practicing almost 20 years and this is the most over-charged case that I've ever seen and I think the evidence will bear that out," said attorney Rob Bellin.

Dudas is currently still practicing law in Stevens Point while out on $750,000 bond. Wednesday, the court ruled against his request for a lower bond.

Dudas is also not allowed to have contact with his children, because some of them could be witnesses at trial. They range in ages from 3 to 20 years old.

Dudas' wife currently has a restraining order against him.

"Having someone arrested and thinking about what they might be charged with versus, in this case, where we have someone who knows what they're charged with, to me, is a difference. So I think the request we made last week was fair. I think the bond that was set was fair and I don't think it needed to be adjusted," explained Outagamie County District Attorney Carrie Schneider.

Dudas is scheduled back in court at the end of next month.


WI - Neighbors Rally Against Sex Offender Seeking Residence

Mob mentalityOriginal Article

They don't say if the man was breaking any laws and if he wasn't, then they have no say in if he can or cannot stay there, legally.

08/29/2013

By Nikki Junewicz

Leading up to the meeting, concerned neighbors went door to door and handed out flyers to spread the word about it. Their efforts paid off. Before a room of upset parents, the Green Bay Sex Offender Residency Board reversed itself and voted not to allow [name withheld] to live with his parents on Huron Road.

"I am not willing to put my children at risk, I will leave our home."

For Vickie Marquardt, sex offender [name withheld]'s residency hits close to home, literally. She lives right next door to 471 Huron Road with her three daughters.

"I would have left our home guaranteed, but now they will be happy that they know there will be no bad guy next door," explains Marquardt.

Marquardt was among the group of neighbors who came out to rally against [name withheld], saying all of the children in the area would tempt him into committing the crime again. Ultimately, they prevailed.

After [name withheld] apologized for his actions, and his parents threw their support behind him, the board decided he can't live there.

"I think if you're in a place where you're not wanted, it's more pressure on you, and that leads to more risk," said Board Chairman Dean Gerondale.
- And so does being forcibly exiled from every place you move to.

Which raised a concern for one board member, worried about the precedent this kind of decision may set.

"Everyone is going to complain about every person we put, everywhere we put them, I think we're setting ourselves up to fight that battle every month if we do this," said board member Renee' Keehan.

The board told [name withheld] he can come back to them in the future and request to live at that address, or somewhere else in the city.


MS - Mississippi sheriff (Mike Byrd) indicted on 31 charges

Mike Byrd
Mike Byrd
Original Article

08/30/2013

By HOLBROOK MOHR

JACKSON - A south Mississippi sheriff has been indicted on 31 counts, including charges accusing him of pushing an arrest in a murder case, even though a detective thought the suspect was innocent, and of snooping on employees at a restaurant that refused to accept a check from him.

The indictment against longtime Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd was dated Thursday and made public Friday. It charges him with using his office to retaliate against people he considered political and personal foes, including the police chief and a city alderman in Ocean Springs, one of the cities in Jackson County. The charges include fraud, extortion, embezzlement, witness tampering and perjury.

One of the charges said Byrd pressured a detective to sign a criminal affidavit and seek an arrest warrant against a man in a murder investigation in 2007 when the detective did not believe the man committed the crime. The indictment said Byrd was running for re-election at the time and wanted to be able to say there were no unsolved murders in the coastal Mississippi county of about 140,000 people.

An extortion charge in the indictment said Byrd pressured a female deputy to engage in sexual acts and threatened to give her a bad recommendation if she left his department.

Byrd's lawyer, Joe Sam Owen, did not immediately respond to a message left Friday at his office. A message left for the sheriff's chief deputy was not immediately returned.

District Attorney Tony Lawrence said in a written statement that Mississippi law prevents him from discussing the details of the case.

Several south Mississippi news organizations said Byrd turned himself in Thursday and was released on bond.

Byrd is a Republican in his fourth term.

Another of the charges said Byrd ordered the surveillance of Ocean Springs Police Chief Keith Davis in retaliation for Davis "embarrassing" Byrd by disclosing a July 2012 shooting involving narcotics task force agents. The shooting involved two agents, with one accused of shooting toward the feet of another in the task force headquarters. Byrd also is charged with hindering prosecution by ordering that evidence in the case be concealed.

Another count in the 15-page indictment said Byrd sent narcotics agents to perform surveillance on employees of a Mexican restaurant because the eatery had refused to accept a check from him. He's also accused of sending officers to watch a man who objected to the location of a hotel in Ocean Springs and using the power of his office in refusing to pay for repairs to his lawn mower.

James Hagan
James Hagan
Some of the counts are related to testimony in a case involving former Ocean Springs Alderman James Hagan, who was charged with child exploitation related to an alleged image on his city laptop. The district attorney's office later declined to prosecute the case.

Some of the fraud charges are related to the money it cost for the agents to conduct what the grand jury considered illegitimate surveillance ordered by Byrd.

Embezzlement charges accuse him of sending department employees to solicit money for at work at events like bass tournaments and paying them with Jackson County funds.

The Mississippi Supreme Court appointed Judge William F. Coleman, a retired Hinds County Circuit Judge, to preside over the case because the Jackson County judges recused themselves.


CANADA - Pedophiles Need Help More Than Handcuffs

Female doctorOriginal Article

08/30/2013

By Devon Murphy

Do you ever wish you could get inside the head of someone like a serial killer, or a sociopath and just see what's going on in his brain? Of course you do -- we all do, because the thought process of a person some might call a "monster" is a total mystery to most of us. It's really a shame that when people do decide to speak out, and deliver their angle, they so often get crucified by the closed-minded among us.

This week an article in The Atlantic, "I, Pedophile" piqued my interest -- just what does a pedophile think about himself?

The answer: He feels like he needs help to work through the hand he's been dealt.
One response I read on Facebook: "They should be executed en masse."

This is exactly the kind of attitude that precludes pedophiles from asking for help -- what will people think? Say? Do to me? That kind of attitude towards someone seeking help -- even if that someone is a pedophile -- is part of the problem.

The author of the Atlantic piece, while he has never harmed a child, is certainly not free from guilt. He was arrested and jailed for possession of child pornography, and rightly so. You won't find me defending the exploitation of children in this post, or wishing that all pedophiles could just run wild and free. What you will find is concern for the fact that there are virtually no programs to help those who are attracted to children deal with their urges before an offense occurs.

I'm talking about the pedophiles that most of us don't know that we know. The ones who have never offended, who may never offend, but who carry with them a terrible secret.

As the author of the article, David Goldberg, puts it:

"Most people hear that word and think of the Jerry Sanduskys and abusive Catholic priests of the world. Fewer people think about the millions who grapple with sexual feelings on which they can never act."

The price of this terrible secret is that most pedophiles live in silence due to the stigma they encounter and are only identified through the criminal justice system. At this point, they've already exploited someone -- at the very least, though the consumption of child pornography. Those children are exploited. They have no ability to consent, and they are victims. Rightfully, these men are treated as criminals.

But it's my opinion that if we track the sharing of those photographs and videos, as police do, and they lead us to someone, that prison might not be the best option for that person -- or at least shouldn't be the only option. These people need intense rehabilitation and therapy, and if you've seen the state of our prisons these days you know they're not likely to get it while locked up.

To those who think these men deserve no "special treatment," who should instead be released into the general population for a little inmate justice, I ask: what then happens when these men are released back into society? With no coping mechanisms, no support network, and only the memory of the violence inflicted upon them from people who knew "what they were." Why come forward and ask for help at your darkest hour when talking about your affliction has only ever brought you pain?

In his article, Goldberg describes pedophilia as being similar to homosexuality in that you can't choose who you're attracted to. While it's not my comparison to make, I'm not sure it's apt. Beyond the fact that the comparison pathologizes the queer community, I think pedophilia seems more akin to a mental health disorder. Both are chemical, both misunderstood, both can be frightening to the general public and both require treatment of some kind.

A dedicated treatment centre would have the ability to give sex offenders, and those who have thoughts of offending, both a space to discuss their thoughts openly in a non-judgmental environment, and assembles a group of people who will hold an offender accountable for his thoughts and actions once he re-enters society. Some of that treatment can include drug therapy, lowering the testosterone and thus the sex drive of the offender.

One such treatment facility, the Clearwater sex offender treatment program at the Correctional Service of Canada's Regional Psychiatric Centre (Prairies) conducted a study that proves the program's statistically significant effect on sex offenders. In their sample group of 80 high-risk offenders -- people who had been convicted of a sexual crime previously -- about 13 men were pedophiles. Five years post-release, the group as a whole had a 6 per cent rate of sexual reconviction, compared to the national sample of almost 15 per cent. However, pedophiles who did not complete treatment were twice as likely to re-offend.

And because pedophiles and sex offenders are often cut completely out of the community when they return to it, creating a community of their own in order to support each other is one option detailed in a 2007 New York Magazine feature (which I highly recommend).

In a Long Island town, where as of 2007 there were 45 registered sex offenders, seven of them lived in one home together. They paid rent, were visited by parole officers, had group therapy and followed all the house rules on pain of being evicted from the home. Mickey, the de facto house mother, himself a convicted sex offender, turned the place into a parole home for others getting out of prison with nowhere to go. This is a great example of how community, and being able to talk about what ails you, helps people learn and grow.

In the article he has one quote that really stuck out to me: "Nobody would help one bit. So we just did it on our own."

Maybe, just maybe, these people -- especially the ones who manage to live their lives without offending -- deserve our sympathy. Imagine being born into this sex-obsessed world with one of the only universally unacceptable sexual desires, and no way of talking about it without incriminating yourself. These are people who, through no fault of their own, must try to spend their lives actively avoiding what so many of us think about day in and day out -- sex with a partner we desire. That kind of silent struggle is enough to make any person implode, and we should take steps to create a space to talk about that struggle to alleviate some of the pressure.

Wouldn't the world be a safer place if people who were attracted to children could come right out and say it, and seek help to repress the urge to do something about it?

You can read any number of pieces I've written on the topic of women and rape, and my horror at the thought of it -- let alone the sexual abuse of a child. But I'm a firm believer that locking people up and moving on without discussion or any form of education is no way to solve anything. The more we understand about pedophiles -- and we can learn if we truly listen -- the easier it will be to help them help themselves.

We often scoff at those who don't go straight to the source when discussing a topic. Well, I think the author of "I, Pedophile" said it best himself: "Will the day ever come when we, as a society, reach out and offer [pedophiles] the help they so desperately need?"


MS - Fighting Child Porn

Child porn
Original Article

08/29/2013

By Tracy Armbruster

STATEWIDE - "Studies have shown that 20-percent of teenagers have seen a nude photograph of one of their classmates," recites the Mississippi Attorney General.

Jim Hood is cracking down on sexting, the sending of provocative messages and pictures via the internet or text messaging.

"We want them to understand it's a crime," expresses Hood.

According to state law, "No person shall, by any means including computer, knowingly send [...] or receive any photograph [...] video tape or other visual depiction of an actual child engaging in sexually explicit conduct."

Hood says even teens under the age of 18-years-old who send nude pictures of themselves are committing a felony.

"We don't prosecute them for it. Our hope is to try and educate them. But, it would be in youth court," explains Hood.

Anyone guilty of child exploitation could face up to 40 years in prison, up to 500-thousand dollars in fines, and have to register as a sex offender.

"This is just a problem we're seeing and it's a problem parents aren't aware of," warns Hood.

Hood urges parents to check their child's phone, the bill and request a copy of their child's text messages. Then, have a conversation about why it's wrong to engage in sexting.

Hood tells us illegal downloads of child pornography are decreasing in Mississippi. He says in January 2009 the state's top downloader of child porn was at 300 images per month. Today, it's about 50 images. Hood credits the severe punishments as to why fewer people are committing the crimes.


OH - BOO to sex offenders - Orwell may be first in Ashtabula County to restrict registered offenders on Halloween

Halloween sex offender hysteria
Original Article

08/21/2013

By STACY MILLBERG

ORWELL - Proposed legislation in the village could prohibit registered sex offenders from celebrating Halloween.

The proposed ordinance would establish a number of restrictions for registered sex offenders on Halloween.

Orwell Village Manager Jack Nettis said he believes there are other communities that have passed similar legislation; however, Orwell would be the first community in Ashtabula County to do so.

According to the ordinance, the purpose of the legislation is to “protect children from the dangers posed by sex offenders convicted of offenses against minors.”

The ordinance would require any sex offenders to abide by certain restrictions between the hours of midnight and 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31 and/or any other night that might be designated as Halloween by the village.

Sex offenders would be required to leave all exterior residential, decorative and ornamental lighting off during the evening hours, beginning at 5 p.m. until midnight; refrain from decorating his or her front yard and exterior of the residence with Halloween decorations; and refrain from answering the door to children who are trick-or-treating, according to the ordinance.

If the ordinance is violated, the person would be charged with a misdemeanor, according to the ordinance.

Nettis said council is taking its time to consider all the ramifications that might come from passing the legislation. The ordinance will go through the required three readings before being put to a vote. Nettis said it also gives the public an opportunity to voice their opinions on the proposed measure as well.

The ordinance was a suggestion by Village Police Chief Chad Fernandez, he said.

His feeling was it was just one more measure we can take to ensure the safety of our children,” Nettis said.
- Not including making himself look good to the sheeple.

Council held a second reading of the ordinance at its regular meeting Tuesday. The measure will be voted on at next month’s regular meeting Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.