Tuesday, September 24, 2013

CA - Overcoming Reentry Barriers

Video Description:
Jon Cordeiro talks about the challenges for registrants trying to re-integrate into the community after time in prison.

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UK - We don't need the paedophile hunters

Action speaks louder than words!
Original Article

Well as long as the police do not arrest these vigilantes, they are pretty much condoning it and just saying stuff in the news to make themselves look like they don't condone it, but actions speak louder than words, right?



Vigilante groups taking the law into their own hands in a bid to catch out suspected paedophiles are becoming an increasing concern for the police.

To begin with, these rebel groups, dubbed ‘the paedophile hunters’, of which many variations have sprung up across the Midlands, are proving a nuisance to the police who are continually issuing reminders to let them do the policing.

But the actions of such groups have come under the microscope after a Leicestershire man took his own life after falling into one of these traps.

Typically, the vigilante hunters, who have racked up thousands of online supporters, will attempt to lure in suspected paedophiles by posing online as underage girls.

After a meeting is supposedly agreed, members of the group will film the suspect, showing up before confronting him and then handing over the footage to the police.

But the truth is they aren’t needed.

In the words of Detective Inspector Andy Maxfield, of Staffordshire Police’s child exploitation team, they are doing more harm than good.

DI Maxfield told the Mail: “The issue is, looking at the evidence that has been gained, it is not acceptable in a court of law. The legislation surrounding this sort of thing is really tight.”

Morally, yes I get it, but these groups are doing more harm than good. The police use their own deeply covert tactics, so it’s more of a hindrance than help.”

While their intentions may be good, little is known about these vigilante groups and their leaders.

When they occasionally step from behind the keyboard, they have always maintained they are the good guys out to bring the bad guys to justice.

But are these simply individuals looking for confrontation, masking their actions with the explanation they are doing some good in the world?

DI Maxfield said: “My view is that these people have got the right morals – of looking out for children. That is brilliant. But it creates too many risks.”

But could they be wrong? Could they trap the wrong person – could an innocent person’s name be tarnished?

Last week, 41-year-old _____, from Church Gresley, was charged with attempted sexual grooming after being targeted by one of these groups.

When subsequently contacted by the Mail after the footage went viral, _____ vehemently protested his innocence, insisting he thought he had been chatting to an 18-year-old girl on a dating website.

He said he had been left isolated by members of his family and friends in the wake of the allegations.

Whether _____ is innocent or guilty has yet to be determined, but should these groups get the wrong man, those accusations cannot be withdrawn.

A similar group acting under the name of Letzgo Hunting closed down last week following the death of a man who they had confronted, raising serious questions about the actions of the ‘paedophile hunters’.

It appears that this is not an uncommon theme among suspects, with _____ telling the Mail that he had also considered suicide.

DI Maxfield said, for many reasons, the groups play a very dangerous game.

He said: “Imagine if they did get it wrong, the stigma that would come with being accused and it being all over the internet – the damage it would do to that individual.”

But even if they get the right man, there are still risks to be considered.

DI Maxfield continued: “There are really three issues. The main thing is the risks to themselves they are facing. Who’s to say what’s happening out there when they are meeting these people in predetermined places?

Then there is the risk involved with outing someone. There has been no risk assessment of the alleged offender – he hasn’t been convicted.”

Have they thought about the risk around children? Say this person is a paedophile. Just by doing that, the risk to the child, who they may be in contact with, is increased by 100 per cent.”

If people suspect a child is at harm, there is 101 or if a child is thought to be at immediate risk they should call 999. On most forums and websites like Facebook there is a CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) report button. That’s the way they should be going about reporting it.”

See Also:

Advocate: Sex offenders deserve another chance

Derek Logue on HLN

Referenced Story:

Video Description:
Can sex offenders be rehabilitated? Derek Logue is a registered sex offender who severed (served) 37 months for sexually abusing an 11-year-old. He now works with national groups to try to reform sex offender laws. What do you think about his advocacy work and his beliefs? Tweet @KyraHLN with the #RaisingAmerica hashtag or leave your thoughts on Facebook.com. For more stories like this, watch Raising America every weekday at 12 & 4 p.m. ET on HLN.

CO - Englewood woman (Forsythia Eliese Owen) accused of using baseball bat in murder of man she suspected of molesting a child

Forsythia Eliese Owen
Forsythia Eliese Owen
Original Article


By Ryan Budnick, Jaclyn Allen and Phil Tenser

ENGLEWOOD - An Englewood woman is accused of using a baseball bat to kill a man who she suspected of sexually assaulting a child.

Court records show that Forsythia Eliese Owen, 30, is accused of committing the murder on September 22.

Englewood police identified the murder victim as _____, 42. Officers found him in an alley between the 3600 block of S. Sherman and S. Grant Streets at 1:11 a.m. Sunday.

According to an affidavit obtained by 7NEWS, Owen confessed to officers in the Englewood Police Department's recorded interview room. She told the officers that the child, whose name is redacted from the document, said _____ "had touched and sexually abused her."

The officers asked if Owen was responsible for _____'s death.

"Owen stood up and said she killed him," the affidavit says. "Owen swung her hands back and forth and demonstrated how she struck _____ over and over again because of what he did to [name redacted]."

_____ suffered lacerations to his head and a skull fracture. Both arms, six ribs and his left hand were broken. His liver was also lacerated.

After describing the beating, the affidavit says Owen said, "I need a lawyer, or I should have just said this with a lawyer."

She continued to talk to the officers, however. She explained that she had learned _____ slept in the alley and approached him with the baseball bat while he slumbered. She described where she hit _____ and said he was still breathing when she left him in the alley.

_____ was taken to Swedish Medical Center, where police say he later died of injuries caused by blunt force trauma.

The affidavit also shows officers interviewed a man Owen visited on the day of _____'s death. The man said Owen told him _____ and another man had done something to the child.

Owen appeared in court on Tuesday for an advisement hearing and is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 27. She is being held in the Arapahoe County Detention Facility.

18th District Attorney spokeswoman Lisa Pinto said that Owen and _____ were acquainted.

Owen's record in the Colorado Bureau of Investigation database shows she was found guilty of assault involving a drugged victim in 2002 after two other assault charges were dropped by the DA. She was also arrested for a 2004 probation violation.

_____'s record includes drug and alcohol-related charges.

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CANADA - What if pedophilia is a genetic disorder?

Science lab
Original Article


New research has shown that pedophilia is not stemmed directly from childhood sexual abuse. Some of the new information on the disorder comes from the Center for Mental Health and Addiction in Toronto, where studies have been conducted on convicted sex offenders.
- Just because someone has the label "sex offender" doesn't mean they are a pedophile!

Increasingly, pedophilia is seen as an intrinsic disorder rather than a trait developed after suffering child sexual abuse. Genetic predisposition may delineate potential pedophiles: 30 percent are left-handed or ambidextrous, and many are about an inch shorter than average, with a 10 point below-average IQ. The disorder has been found and researched almost exclusively in men.

While many perpetrators of child sexual abuse are motivated by violent tendencies, and usually choose relatives as their victims, pedophiles are more likely to see children as romantic partners. Their sexual preference may be as biologically innate as any other, and although many pedophiles struggle with their desires, many are able to control their sexual urges.

Most psychiatrists have stopped trying to change pedophile’s sexual orientations, instead opting to help their patients find the best ways to control their sexual desire, sometimes through therapy and sometimes with hormone treatment. Is there a good way to create a support system for pedophiles that keeps children safe? How will new information about this disorder change the way medical professionals approach pedophilia?

See Also:

Fred Berlin, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Sexual Behavior Consultation Unit, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Hy Malinek, Ph.D., Clinical and Forensic Psychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills; certified by the California Superior Court as a professional testimony expert; he also consults with U.S. Attorney’s Office in cases of sexual molestation and risk assessment and California’s Department of Mental Health in civil commitment of high risk sex offenders

CANADA - Vigilante (Phillepp Rick George Amos) slain by own machete - Accused sex offender charged with murder

Bloody murder
Original Article


By Mike McIntyre and James Turner

A Winnipeg man may have been trying to carry out vigilante justice against an accused sex offender when he was disarmed and killed with his own weapon, the Free Press has learned.

Phillepp Rick George Amos, 25, was beaten and stabbed to death Friday outside a North End apartment block. On Monday, police announced 26-year-old _____ had been charged with second-degree murder.

Police sources revealed new details about the unique circumstances allegedly behind the city's 19th homicide of the year.

Amos had apparently armed himself with a machete when he went to the courtyard of the complex at Robinson Street and Flora Avenue just after 4 a.m.

"He went looking for a skinner," a veteran officer with the Winnipeg Police Service said Monday. A "skinner" is the slang term used for sex offender. "He had knowledge an (alleged) skinner was there and wanted to vigilante him." However, Amos was overpowered and ended up being attacked with the machete. He was rushed to hospital but could not be saved.

_____ had been living in the area while out on bail for allegedly raping a female acquaintance. He was charged in 2009 with aggravated sexual assault. The case remains before the courts.

Court documents show _____ is accused of confining the woman, choking and sexually assaulting her. He was also out on probation at the time of that alleged incident for previous convictions, including causing a disturbance and possessing stolen property.

The charge of aggravated sexual assault -- which means the accused allegedly wounded, maimed, disfigured or endangered the life of the victim -- is the most serious sexual offence in the Criminal Code, and carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

"My brother didn't like abuse against women. He always stood up for people who couldn't defend themselves," Grace Amos said Monday.

She doesn't believe there was any history between Amos and the man accused of killing him. But she said he may have learned about _____ from friends and associates in the neighbourhood, then decided to confront the man.

"I'm at a loss for words right now. He's gone and he's not coming back," said Amos.

_____ is being held in custody. None of the allegations has been proven and he is presumed innocent.

Amos was out on bail at the time he was slain and was under a curfew. Amos was also wanted on a warrant after missing court last week.

He was charged in connection with the seizure of ammunition July 27.

The police stolen-auto unit considered Amos among their highest-risk offenders. He was being monitored by a community corrections worker and a probation officer.

Amos said she doesn't want her brother to be known for his criminal past. She said he endured a "rough life," which included foster placements.

"He is gone, his family is hurting," she said. "I grew up with him, I know what kind of person he was."

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OR - Sex offender clinic in neighborhood ‘crazy’

Original Article


By Carla Castano

BEAVERTON (KOIN) - The proximity of a Beaverton sex offender clinic to schools has residents in the neighborhood upset and speaking out.

The Center for Behavioral Intervention, 4345 SW 109th Ave., is in a house converted for use commercially. It serves about 120 sex offenders.

The house was damaged by arson Saturday morning. Deputies have described these as “the worst sex offenders.”

There are seven schools within 2.5 miles of the center, including three elementary schools. A Chuck E. Cheese also is nearby.

Parent Aurora Olivia said having sex offenders that close was “crazy,” while neighbor Katrina Harley said it was “a terrible idea.”

I guess I can kind of understand why someone would be that upset, but I don’t think you should burn a building down. Maybe you should write your legislator or senator,” Harley said.

The sex offenders who get treatment at this facility will go without the counseling services for at least two weeks while repairs are done.

But Sgt. Bob Ray of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said there’s no reason to think the residents are in danger.

It doesn’t mean the community is in any sort of danger,” he said. “These offenders, there are other avenues for them to get their treatment and for the process to continue. While this is privately owned it is monitored by the state.”

Each of their parole or probation officers will check in with them during the closure. Co-owner Cori Jensen said, “This was not one of our guys who did this.” She would not comment, however, on why she thought the Center for Behavioral Intervention was targeted.

No one has been arrested and the investigation continues.

FL - Lawmakers to debate sex offender reforms in typical knee-jerk fashion

Rep. Janet Adkins
Original Article


By Sally Kestin

The state's sex offender laws will be the subject of scrutiny Tuesday as Florida legislators begin to discuss how to better protect the public from dangerous predators.

Among the wide-ranging reforms under consideration: broadening the definition of predators and creating an oversight board for sex offender monitoring.

Legislative leaders bumped fixing sex predator laws to the top of their agendas after a (fear mongeringSun Sentinel investigation published in August found that rapists and pedophiles freed by the state went on to molest more than 460 children, rape 121 women and kill 14.

"There's nothing we're not going to look at,'' said Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, a Fort Myers Republican. "These are the most violent and the most predatory among us and we want to make sure we do all that we can to keep them off the streets as long as possible.''

Committees in the Florida House and Senate will begin to discuss making changes to sex offender laws at two hearings Tuesday.

The 1999 Jimmy Ryce law, named in memory of a murdered South Florida boy, allows the state to keep the most dangerous sex offenders confined after their prison terms end. But the Sun Sentinel series found nearly 600 were convicted of new sex crimes after being reviewed under the law and let go.

Legislators will examine specific proposals, including:
  • Allowing judges, prosecutors and arresting police agencies to refer sex offenders for possible confinement.
  • Expanding the definition of violent sex crimes to include more offenses.
  • Allowing prosecutors to seek confinement even when the review team of state psychologists disagrees.
  • Requiring the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to monitor released predators and possibly even sex offenders who are not labeled "predators" and do not make the cut for confinement.
  • Requiring judges to impose a minimum sentence of about 50 years for some sex crimes, depending on the circumstances and other factors.

Another idea is to allow sex offenders sentenced to county jails to be evaluated under the law. Currently, only prison inmates, minors in juvenile justice custody and adult offenders found not guilty by reason of insanity are reviewed.

That change would potentially catch offenders like _____, who is charged in the June abduction, rape and murder of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle of Jacksonville. _____'s history included exposing himself to children and trying to lure girls to his van and kidnap them.

_____ was reviewed under the law twice, the second time in 2006 after returning to prison for a non-sex crime. A state review team found he did not qualify as a predator, and _____ went free.

He was arrested again in 2009 for impersonating a social worker and trying to persuade a woman to bring her granddaughter to a McDonald's to meet him. But because _____ was sentenced to jail instead of prison, the case did not trigger a predator review.

"That is a loophole that needs to be closed,'' said Sen. Rob Bradley, an Orange Park Republican who is working on sex offender legislation with Benacquisto. "I think there's things we can do to broaden the entities and individuals who can refer potential predators."

The Sexually Violent Predator Program at the state's Department of Children & Families decides which offenders should be recommended for continued confinement at a treatment center in Central Florida. Prosecutors determine whether to pursue the cases and must convince judges or juries that the offenders are likely to attack again if released.

A former prosecutor, Bradley said legislators are considering expanding the department's review team of mental health professionals to include input from sex crimes prosecutors and cops, and possibly victims, "to give some perspective or real-world impact.''

Knee-jerk reaction
Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is working on similar legislation in the House, said some of the state's reviewers "may have gotten Stockholm Syndrome'' and become sympathetic to the offenders.

Last week, Dan Montaldi, head of the department's predator program, resigned after the Sun Sentinel questioned his record of low referrals and an email he wrote, urging his mental health peers to stand up for the rights of sex offenders.

Legislators said the criteria the state uses to determine whether an offender should remain confined should be reviewed. The Sun Sentinel found the department applies a narrow interpretation of a predator, focusing only on those with multiple offenses and victims, and passing over the rest.

"I think too many people have become risk-averse throughout the process, and we're letting people go simply because we're afraid to lose at trial,'' said Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican and chairman of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. "We're choosing administratively not to proceed in cases where the evidence seems to suggest we should.''

Gaetz's committee will meet Tuesday afternoon and hear testimony from experts including prosecutors, police, victims' advocates and the Department of Children & Families. Earlier Tuesday, two Senate committees – Judiciary and Children, and Families and Elder Affairs – are scheduled to hold a joint session on sex offender reforms.

Rep. Irv Slosberg, a member of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, said the state should consider providing sex offender treatment to inmates in prison and creating a sex offender review board to oversee policies.

"We should find out how our money is spent,'' said the Boca Raton Democrat. "This whole thing needs a lot more oversight than we have right now.''

See Also:

TED - Elizabeth Loftus: The fiction of memory (Video)

Video Description:
Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus studies memories. More precisely, she studies false memories (Wikipedia), when people either remember things that didn't happen or remember them differently from the way they really were. It's more common than you might think, and Loftus shares some startling stories and statistics, and raises some important ethical questions we should all remember to consider.

Clearing Your Name

The following was sent to us via the contact form and posted with the users permission.

From the email address, this lady apparently works for Steve Wilkos (or claims to), and I am sure everybody knows who he is or how he treats ex-sex offenders, but we are posting this anyway.

By Nicole:
In my experience people who have to register as a sex offender, or people who have been charged with a sexual crime are consistently judged and assumed guilty.

I work for a confrontational talk show, and my goal is to clear these individual's names entirely. Stop the hate. Stop the bullying. Stop affecting my job/family/state of mind.

I am reaching out to your website because you have a lot of followers who are repeatedly being tagged as a sex offender, even if they were found innocent.

If this sounds like something one of your followers could be interested in please forward along my email address.

Thank you!


NJ - New Jersey's SOMU is a complete waste of resources

The following was sent to us via the contact form and posted with the users permission.

The comments below are in regards to this post.

By C:
I can tell you from first-hand experience that New Jersey's SOMU is a complete waste of resources. The SOMU officers care about satisfying their own sadistic pleasures through insane abuses and not about anyone's best interests. As if New Jersey's Parole system isn't already overworked, they actively peruse long-settled court cases for out-of-state offenders (whose sentences include the court's permission to return to their home state after their sentence is served), bring them back to New Jersey and tell them they have to remain in NJ for the rest of their lives unless "another state is willing to accept them under the ICAOS" and dump them in homeless shelters that are already struggling to house New Jersey's native homeless. This is in stark disregard for case law that already exists on this matter. (SANCHEZ v. N.J. STATE PAROLE BD.)

Furthermore, the shelter in Passaic County is directly across the street from a playground.

I have 5 years worth of experience to tell you. Things that would make Hitler throw up. Email me if you want the lowdown on New Jersey. But I'm writing to tell you that I personally know of an offender who, WHILE ON GPS MONITORING, committed another sex offense and nobody knew about it until the girl reported it a year later. NJSPB EMU officers are required to review each offender's GPS map daily (it's written in the N.J.A.C.). I will get this offender's permission to share his story with you.

Please consider me a contact for any information you need on New Jersey's parole system.

Oh, and off-topic, here's a story where one of my former officers was arrested (there's plenty of others too). (PAROLE OFFICER ARRESTED IN CORRUPTION SCHEME - PDF)

This is one of the most corrupt law enforcment agencies in the nation.

CA - Thank you for your blog

The following was sent to us via the contact form and posted with the users permission.

From K:
Thank you for your blog. I found it by pure accident and I too am a RSO. I was using LimeWire (Wikipedia) to download music, and I even paid for LimeWire to make it legal. I happened to enter a wrong music name and then that's when I found CP. I was convicted on 3 images and got 36 months away from my son and wife. I have lost them all. Every week I must attend "treatment" for my "problem" which the government has ruled out that I do not have a problem. Sadly, many days I do consider suicide and can't even think that in my life I would consider such an act. I don't have a real job, working only temp work. My rent is due and I can't pay it. My staple of food is protein mix and soy milk. I have lived off my credit card and now I can't do that anymore. I had an excellent career and could finally live life a bit. Now I am nearly broke and can't find work. Thank you for all you do and please connect with http://californiarsol.org/. They had a national conference that was fantastic.