Friday, September 13, 2013

NE - Court dismisses Nebraska man's false rape lawsuit by Jennifer Valenta

Wrongly Accused
Original Article

09/13/2013

A Wymore man falsely accused of rape will appeal the dismissal of his lawsuit against Gage County and several of its deputies, his lawyer said Friday.

_____, 50, sued the county and law enforcement officials over his 2011 arrest, accusing officials of negligence and saying they violated his due process rights by conducting a reckless investigation and intentionally ignoring leads that would have exonerated him. The lawsuit sought an unspecified amount for lost earnings capacity, damage to his reputation and emotional distress, among other things.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl Zwart granted the county's motion for summary judgment, saying the defendants have immunity from liability.

_____ arrest came after Jennifer Valenta, 28, of Wilber told authorities she was raped by four men, including _____. Investigators later determined her injuries from the alleged attack were self-inflicted, and she admitted to fabricating the rape. She pleaded no contest to evidence tampering, false reporting and attempted prostitution and was sentenced earlier this year to 32 to 60 months in prison.

But _____ spent 23 days in jail while law enforcement investigated the rape allegation.

_____ said in his lawsuit that investigators ignored his pleas to interview witnesses at a local bar, where he and Valenta went after having consensual sex, who could have told them that Valenta appeared calm, visited the bathroom and ate while there.

The judge rejected this argument, saying investigators knew _____ frequented the bar, that the clientele were his friends and that Valenta had told them _____ threatened to hurt her if she reported the alleged rape. Also, Zwart said, officers believed three other assailants were still at large and, therefore, avoided contacting bar patrons to protect Valenta's safety.

"(T)he conduct of officers is not judged from the perspective of hindsight, they are not liable for bad guesses in gray areas, and they are not required to conduct perfect investigations to avoid suit for false arrest," Zwart wrote in her order. "They can be held liable under (the law) only for transgressing bright lines."

_____' attorney, Joy Shiffermiller of Lincoln, said Friday she plans to appeal the dismissal before the deadline next month. She believes there is a genuine dispute that a jury should hear.

"The law is clear. You have to do an even-handed investigation," Shiffermiller said.

Vincent Valentino, an attorney for the county and the law enforcement officials, said the judge "did an excellent job in analyzing _____' claims against the Gage County deputies under the law."


CANADA - American (Matthew Paul DeHart) holed up in Canada denies child porn charges, claims to be member of Anonymous hacking group

Matthew Paul DeHart
Matthew Paul DeHart
Original Article

09/13/2013

By Adrian Humphreys

Canadian authorities are seeking to deport an American man who claims he is a founding member of the notorious hacking group Anonymous (Wikipedia), accusing him of espionage (Wikipedia) against Canada’s national interests.

The story of Matthew Paul DeHart — once cloaked by court-imposed secrecy — is muddied, however, by his claim of being psychologically tortured by U.S. agents trying to recover sensitive national security information, by child pornography charges he faces in the United States and by concerns over an apparent psychotic break (Wikipedia).

Mr. DeHart, 30, was released on bail last month — after nearly five months in detention — as quietly as he was arrested.

He is currently confined to his parents’ care, apparently in the Toronto area, and is under constant GPS monitoring.

After Mr. DeHart’s April arrest by the Canada Border Services Agency, six detention reviews were held in private. After finally being released, a confidentiality order was issued by the Federal Court of Canada, which has now been lifted.

The Canadian government opposed his release, claiming he is a danger to the public and involved in espionage and the Minister of Public Safety unsuccessfully appealed when his release was granted.

It adds layers of intrigue to what began as sordid allegations of tricking boys into making pornographic video and photos of themselves.

He is charged in the U.S. with production and transportation of child pornography. In 2010, Mr. DeHart was arrested at the U.S. border, trying to return to Charlottetown, P.E.I., where he was enrolled in a welding course at Holland College. He collapsed in a Bangor, Maine, courtroom.

Last year, he was released pending trial on a bond secured by his parents’ two cars and his grandmother’s house. Before he could face trial, however, Mr. DeHart returned to Canada with his parents.

On April 3, 2013, all three claimed refugee protection, saying Mr. DeHart had been psychologically tortured in the United States and feared persecution if he returned.

His father, Paul, is a minister in an Indiana church, a calling he had after leaving the U.S. Air Force where he worked in military signals intelligence; he intercepted, transcribed and processed foreign communications. His mother, Leann, works at a seminary, also following a career in the U.S. military.

Mr. DeHart, himself, had Top Secret clearance with the Air National Guard, according to previous court testimony, although he was eventually discharged from the military over concerns he was prone to depression, seen as incompatible with remotely flying drone aircraft.

But it was in Canada that he dropped his bombshell.

He says in his asylum claim he has been a member of the hacker group Anonymous since it was founded. During his online activities he obtained a leaked government document relating to the national security of the United States, court heard.

He says that is the root of his trouble.

He claimed the child pornography charges are a ruse for U.S. agents to retrieve the security document and investigate him for espionage. It was in pursuit of this sensitive information, he says, that he was psychologically tortured during interrogations in August, 2010.

He alleges he was drugged, subjected to psychological torture and questioned by FBI agents. While in custody, he was diagnosed with a psychotic break and has shown signs of post traumatic stress disorder (Wikipedia), Federal Court heard. He claims this was a result of the torture.

At previous hearings in the U.S., a government lawyer asked Mr. DeHart’s father about his own service in military intelligence and about colleagues he kept in touch with, including those from a posting in Germany.

He was also asked about any “online alter-egos or personas” that his son might have assumed. His father said he was aware his son played online games, including World of Warcraft, Halo and Tribes but was unaware of more.

There has not yet been a hearing to test the veracity of Mr. DeHart’s unusual claims.

Canada has been a refuge for Mr. DeHart before.

Shortly after the Deharts’ house was searched by police and his computers seized, Mr. DeHart enrolled in an eight-week language course in Montreal, living with a host family, and then in a welding program in Charlottetown.

His parents drove him to P.E.I. in July, 2010. Afterwards, they spoke every night, saying family prayers together over an online Skype link, his father testified earlier.

In order to process his student visa he had to leave Canada and apply at the border. In August, he took a bus from Charlottetown to Calais, Maine, and crossed the border back to St. Stephen, N.B., on foot.

He was stopped at the border and arrested on a charge of possession and distribution of child pornography.

He is now back in Canada but his future is uncertain. His immigration arrest suspends his refugee claim pending an admissibility hearing.

Mr. DeHart’s Toronto immigration lawyer, Lily Tekle, said she consulted with her client and he declined to authorize her to comment because of ongoing proceedings.


MS - Jeffrey Havard Discusses His Case With Injustice Anywhere Radio

Wrongly accused
Original Article

09/13/2013

By Bruce Fischer

Jeffrey Havard currently sits wrongfully convicted on death row in Mississippi for the sexual assault and murder of his girlfriend’s six-month-old daughter.

The truth is the infant slipped from Jeffrey’s arms while lifting her from the tub, causing her head to hit the toilet. The death was a tragic accident, not a murder. Jeffrey Havard is innocent.

Jeffrey’s conviction resulted from a rush to judgment by unqualified medical staff and ineffective counsel. According to two national leading experts, Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. James Lauridson, the evidence supports Jeffrey’s claims.

Jeffrey Havard recently discussed the details of his case with Bruce Fischer on the Injustice Anywhere Radio Program.


CA - 'Post-Snowden Era' Audit of CA Sex-Offender Monitoring

Internet & Mouse
Original Article

09/11/2013

By MARIA DINZEO



SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The NSA's controversial domestic surveillance program factored into a 9th Circuit hearing Wednesday on California's monitoring of sex offenders.

Proposition 35, passed by voters last year, mostly aims to punish human traffickers, but also mandates that sex offenders give police a complete list of their usernames, screen names, email addresses and Internet service providers within 24 hours of setting up a new account or screen name. Failure to do so carries up to three years in prison.

Two anonymous sex offenders who were convicted in 1986 and 1992 quickly filed suit, challenging the provision as overly broad and a burden on their right to anonymous online free speech, such as posting on Internet forums.

U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson gave the class an injunction earlier this year.

At an appellate hearing Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Robert Wilson noted that California has been collecting information on sex offenders since November 2012, with no incidents of retaliation by police or suppression of free speech.

"There's no getting around the fact that California has been collecting this information form tens of thousands of registrants for a year and a half, with none of the problems that plaintiffs complained about," Wilson said.

Judge Jay Bybee interjected: "It's very difficult to quantify chilling, isn't it?"

"We're dealing in the post-Snowden era where we're wondering if all of our Internet communications are being monitored by the NSA," he added. "And we've got a little different situation here, but these are folks that are going to have to report all of their monikers that are used on the Internet and have no idea whether the police are regularly trolling to monitor everything that they say on the Internet."

Wilson replied: "It's just as improper for law enforcement as anyone else to be monitoring this noncriminal communications. There has to be a nexus between criminal activity and looking at this information."

He added, "There is no possible way of writing a statute any narrowly than we have now."

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents the plaintiff sex offenders, worries that a police record of usernames and screen names will stop registrants from posting freely on the Internet without the fear of retaliation.

"This is a law that directly targets speech," ACLU attorney Michael Risher said. "What registrant is going to want to make a comment on his local newspaper's website about the police department, a nasty comment, knowing they have his identifier on file? It's very easy for the police to make a registrant's life difficult."

The attorney for Prop. 35's backers said the law mandates a simple registration requirement that does not disclose the registrant's identity.

"Proposition 35 imposes a registration requirement, it doesn't regulate speech," attorney James Harrison said. "It doesn't prevent sex offenders from speaking online, even anonymously. It doesn't require registration as a condition of speaking; it doesn't require sex offenders to disclose their identity when they speak; it doesn't suppress a type of viewpoint, or any viewpoint at all."

"Internet identifiers are in today's world, essentially a virtual mask," he continued. "To the extent that Prop. 35 affects expressive activity at all, it's not different than the requirement that sex offenders provide law enforcement with their aliases and other identifying information."

Use of the Internet by sex offenders to commit crimes rose between 2000 and 2006, the lawyer added.

"The fact that a registered sex offender didn't use the Internet to commit his first crime or facilitate it doesn't mean that he might not use the Internet in the future," Harrison said.

This point failed to sway Judge Mary Schroeder.

"That's true of all of us - that just because we haven't been sex criminals in the past, that we might not be in the future," Schroeder said. "I don't see how that the sex criminal [act] itself is a predictor of use of the Internet."

Harrison replied: "While I understand that not every sex offender will be recidivist or use the Internet to facilitate their crime, this burden on sex offenders is very low compared to the benefit to law enforcement and the public at large in protecting themselves against predators."

Risher, the ACLU lawyer, called Harrison's point specious.

"Many registrants pose no more risk of re-offending sexually than do people who have never been convicted of a sex offense," Risher said.


CA - Release net identities of sex offenders, state urges

Internet & Mouse
Original Article

09/10/2013

By Bob Egelko

The state asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to allow enforcement of a voter-approved law requiring 73,000 registered sex offenders in California to disclose their Internet identities to police.

The law was part of Proposition 35, approved by an 81 percent majority in November. U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson of San Francisco blocked the Internet disclosure requirement from taking effect, saying it was not narrowly targeted at preventing sex crimes and would discourage offenders from exercising their free speech right to post anonymous comments online.

At Tuesday's appeals court hearing, a state lawyer said the law would help police solve sex crimes with an Internet component - like recruiting or harassing victims online. It would not intrude on privacy or free speech, he argued.

"It just gives law enforcement a directory, if they need to (locate) someone in a hurry," Deputy Attorney General Robert Wilson told the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. "Private communications are still off limits to law enforcement."
- How is knowing someones Internet ID's going to help find someone quickly?

But attorney Michael Risher of the American Civil Liberties Union said Prop. 35 would allow police to release any information they considered necessary to protect the public, including a sex offender's Internet identity. He also said the measure applies to all websites and to offenders whom authorities do not classify as dangerous.

"This is a law that directly targets speech," Risher told the three-judge panel. He said it would deter online criticism of police and government agencies, and also said Henderson had found that many of the online sites covered by Prop. 35 posed no risk of sex trafficking.

The ballot measure required all Californians who must register as sex offenders, for crimes ranging from rape to indecent exposure, to provide police with their e-mail addresses, Internet user names and the names of their Internet service providers.

When Wilson assured the court that police would keep the information to themselves and would not monitor private e-mails, Judge Jay Bybee suggested the public might be skeptical in this "era where we're wondering whether all our information is monitored by the NSA (National Security Agency)."

But Bybee also noted that another federal appeals court had upheld a similar Utah law in 2010. Risher replied that the Utah law placed more restrictions on release of private information, and also argued that the court in that case had been too deferential to the government.

See Also:


TX - East Texas town blocks sex offenders from areas with 4 or more kids

Original Article

09/10/2013

By Carol Christian

Reflecting a national trend, an East Texas community has redrawn the boundaries of where registered sex offenders can live.

The Nederland City Council on Monday unanimously approved an ordinance amendment that prohibits registered sex offenders from residing within 1,000 feet of places where children typically gather.

Previously the community about 90 miles east of Houston specified that registered sex offenders could not live within 1,000 feet of schools, daycare centers or parks.

Now, in addition to the original prohibition, the amended ordinance rules out sex offenders living within 1,000 feet of libraries, churches or various other facilities, including studios with instruction in the arts or sports that offer classes for four or more children, said City Manager Chris Duque.

"We have a lot of dance studios and twirling academies," Duque said by phone.

Also on the list are private recreational parks that include public pools, playgrounds or youth athletic fields, he said.

In addition, registered sex offenders in the community of about 17,600 will be required to post signs at their residences between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. The signs, to be maintained and issued by the Nederland Police Department, will let children know that the residence is not participating in Halloween and will likely include the Nederland Police Department's phone number, Duque said.

"We will print those yard signs and distribute them to registered sex offenders and monitor (sign recipients) to make sure they're complying," he said.

When the original ordinance was passed in 2006, there were six exceptions to the restrictions, including the circumstance in which a school, daycare facility, or park was constructed or located within 1,000 feet of a sexual offender's existing residence, according to the online municipal code for Nederland.

The ordinance hadn't been reviewed since it was passed, Duque said.

While residence restrictions are popular, there's little evidence they work, according to the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, based in Beaverton, Ore.

On its website, the association states, "There is no research to support that adult sex offenders' proximity to schools or parks leads to recidivism."

Duque said he was aware of that argument but said he nonetheless viewed the amended ordinance as a help in protecting the community.

"That's one of our main jobs as a government organization," he said.

The amendment is expected to take effect in a few days, subject to final approval by the city's legal department, Duque said.

Those who were complying with the existing ordinance are not subject to the amendment, he said.


CANADA - Toronto police officer (Dariusz Kisielewski) charged with making child pornography

Dariusz Kisielewski
Dariusz Kisielewski
Original Article (Video)

09/10/2013

By Tim Alamenciak

Const. Dariusz Kisielewski is suspended with pay after his arrest by Peel’s Internet child exploitation unit.

A veteran Toronto police officer who neighbours describe as a friendly man and father of two is facing charges, including making child pornography.

Information from his own police force prompted an investigation by Peel Regional Police that resulted in the arrest.

Const. Dariusz Kisielewski, 44, is scheduled to appear for a bail hearing Wednesday morning in connection with charges of making and possessing child pornography, as well as three counts of voyeurism.

Neighbours in Old Malton Village, a small cluster of homes north of Pearson airport, were shocked to hear the allegations.

The neighbourhood is nestled in a residential area near the intersection of Derry and Airport Rds. Jets can be seen flying overhead as school buses unload kids on a nearby corner. Paul Jolly, who used to live across the street from Kisielewski, said he frequently saw a Toronto police motorcycle in the officer's driveway.

Kisielewski has two children, one late teens and another a pre-teen, according to Jolly.

He was the nicest person,” Jolly said, adding Kisielewski's eldest child is blind.

The Peel Regional Police Internet Child Exploitation Unit acted on a search warrant last Thursday, arresting Kisielewski at his home, following an investigation started in July. He has been in custody since.

Peel police Const. Lilly Fitzpatrick said the force received information from Toronto police that prompted the investigation.

Toronto police spokesperson Mark Pugash confirmed Kisielewski, an officer assigned to 22 Division, has since been suspended with pay awaiting the result of the case.

Kisielewski is a uniformed constable and a primary responder, meaning his job is to answer calls on patrol, a police source told the Star, adding that none of the allegations are related to his work or committed on work time.

Const. Fitzpatrick said she couldn’t verify how many alleged victims there are since the investigation is ongoing, but she said Kisielewski faces three counts of voyeurism.

Desmond Reid, who has lived beside Kisielewski for 15 years, said the family next door mostly kept to themselves.

Reid said Kisielewski was friendly with him, but they didn’t spend time together. The charges came as a shock.

I never would have thought,” Reid said. “Wow. Wow.” Nobody answered the door at the Kiselewski house, the two-storey brown brick building that he took full ownership of in 2005.

Prior to that he shared ownership of the house since 1996. Two different last names — Kisielewski and another — are still written on separate doorbells on the house.

Kisielewski has appeared on Ontario’s “sunshine list,” the annual list of public sector employees making $100,000 or more, for four of the last five years. In 2011, the most recent year documented, he earned $108,282.20.

In 2009, the Polish police service commended a Const. Dariusz Kisielewski in a letter thanking Toronto police for hosting police officers from the Silesia Regional Group of the Polish section of the International Police Association.

According to the regional Polish police’s website, Kisielewski was born in Poland and has worked for the Toronto police since 1988.

After thanking Police Chief Bill Blair and 22 Division, the letter also reads: “last but not least, to Constable Dariusz Kisielewski from 22 Division Toronto Police Service. It is due to such people as Darek that the word policeman sounds proud, boundaries are vanishing and the IPA motto ‘Servo per Amikeco’ stays timeless. The city of Toronto can be proud of such police officers as him.”


LA - Ascension Parish deputy (Todd Tripp) fired, charged with Child Pornography Possession

Todd Tripp
Todd Tripp
Original Article

09/10/2013

By Alissa Vilardo

Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office investigators have arrested a member of the Department on charges of indecent behavior with juveniles and possession of child pornography.

According to Sheriff Jeff Wiley, a report was received on Tuesday morning that an employee had exchanged inappropriate text messages and photographs with a 15-year-old who resides in another parish.

Sheriff Wiley indicated that the employee, Todd Tripp, 24, of 921 A West Elren St., Gonzales, has been employed by the Sheriff’s Office for 18 months and was in training to become a patrolman.

I instructed detectives to make this case a top priority and within hours they had run a search warrant at Tripp’s home, seized electronic devices, and brought him in for questioning,” Sheriff Wiley Said.

According to Sheriff Wiley, detectives were able to determine that Tripp did meet the youth on at least one occasion, at a public place in Baton Rouge. He added that this investigation “is far from concluded, but due to the nature of the allegation and text messages that we saw, I felt compelled to act swiftly.”

Sheriff Wiley added that Tripp’s employment with the Sheriff’s Office was immediately terminated and that he has been booked into the Ascension Parish Jail. Bond has not yet been set.


CA - Bill boosts penalty for sex offenders who cut GPS

GPS ankle monitor
Original Article

09/11/2013

SACRAMENTO - Sex-offender parolees who remove or disable their satellite-linked tracking devices would face an increased penalty under legislation sent to Gov. Jerry Brown.

A law passed two years ago to ease prison overcrowding sends parole violators to county jails instead of state prison. But many serve little or no time because jails have become overcrowded.

SB57 (PDF) by Democratic Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance requires that the state parole board order offenders who remove their GPS-linked ankle bracelets to serve six months in jail. It was narrowed from the original version, which would have sent offenders back to state prison.

The measure received final approval from the state Senate Wednesday with a 39-0 vote.