Friday, November 8, 2013

AR - Cop (Brandon Carter) Chased and Tased Woman After She Refused to Show Him Her Breasts

Police officer with taser
Original Article

10/31/2013

By Erik de la Gaza

LITTLE ROCK (CN) - A city cop in Arkansas chased a woman through her workplace, shooting a Taser at her, because she refused to show him her breasts, the woman claims in court.

Ashlea Bennett sued the City of Haskell, Ark. and its police Officer Brandon Carter, in Federal Court.

She claims Carter "demanded that she expose her breasts to him" after he entered her workplace while on duty and wearing his uniform.

"Carter's demands to the Plaintiff to expose herself to him occurred multiple times," she says in the lawsuit.

It continues: "That the Plaintiff refused to show her breasts to Carter."

"That, upon her refusal, Carter drew his City of Haskell-issued electroshock Taser weapon from his utility belt, pointed the weapon at plaintiff, and threatened to deploy the same against her if she would not expose her breasts to him."

"That, upon seeing the threat of unlawful force, the plaintiff took physical flight and ran from Carter."

Officer Carter then "proceeded to physically chase the plaintiff through her place of employment," the complaint states.

It continues: "That, while chasing the plaintiff, Carter activated and deployed his electroshock Taser weapon in 'drive stun' mode numerous times at or directed at the plaintiff. That Carter did these actions with the intention of causing fear, imminent fear of bodily harm, and/or emotional distress to gain the plaintiff's compliance with his sexual demands."

Bennett claims that before this Dec. 13, 2011 incident, Carter had made "inappropriate sexual comments" to her on multiple occasions "and demanded that she expose herself to him."

She claims that before Carter chased her around her office, "the City of Haskell was aware, or should have been aware, of complaints made about or issues concerning Carter's conduct, including, but not limited to, his inappropriate sexual actions occurring under color of law."

Haskell, pop. 3,990, is about 30 miles south of Little Rock in Saline County.

Bennett seeks compensatory and punitive damages for constitutional and civil rights violations, assault, failure to train and supervise, negligent supervision and outrage.

She is represented by Clinton W. Lancaster of Benton, Ark.


MN - Sex offender dispute gets political

Politics as usual
Original Article

This just shows that they don't want people to get out of civil commitment and that they love to exploit ex-offenders, fear and children for their own political agenda!

11/08/2013

By PATRICK CONDON

ST. PAUL (AP) - The fate of a convicted rapist up for release from Minnesota's sex offender treatment program became a potential issue Friday in next year's governor's race.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, up for re-election next year, is at odds with his fellow Democrat, Attorney General Lori Swanson, who wants to block the state from releasing _____. Dayton is backing his human services commissioner, Lucinda Jesson, who doesn't oppose _____'s provisional release from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program.

Dayton's position drew fire from state Rep. Kurt Zellers, one of the Republicans vying to run against him next year. At a Capitol news conference, Zellers said he believes _____ is still dangerous and that the state should keep him in custody indefinitely.
- So is Mr. Zellers an expert in the field of treating ex-offenders, or is he just using this for his election campaign?


Zellers, a former House speaker from Maple Grove, said the primary job of elected officials is to "protect the people you represent. Letting Mr. _____ go would be failing in that duty."
- Your job is to also obey the constitution and other peoples rights, which you are failing at!

Minnesota's treatment program allows offenders who finished prison sentences to be indefinitely confined. It's the subject of a class action lawsuit by people who say they have little chance to go free even if they successfully participate in treatment. Only one person has ever obtained a successful conditional discharge from the 18-year-old program.

Eric Magnuson, a former state Supreme Court justice, has said the state is at risk of having a judge dismantle the program in a way that's objectionable to state policymakers and residents. He's leading a state task force to recommend alternatives to state legislators.

_____, 58, was convicted three times of sexually assaulting teenage girls. After finishing prison terms, he has been civilly committed to treatment since 1991. A Department of Human Services panel has recommended his supervised discharge, which is supported by his program treatment team. Jesson did not oppose that recommendation, but asked for an independent examination of _____ before a hearing on his request before a panel of state judges.

Bob Hume, a spokesman for Dayton, said Zellers is wrong to suggest that Dayton or administration officials have the authority to hold such offenders for life. He also said it's wrong to suggest that _____'s release is imminent, noting that the new examination would happen in January and that the judicial panel would have time to weigh the findings.

The administration plans to make recommendations to lawmakers ahead of next year's session on possible legal changes related to sex offenders, Hume said.

Swanson opposes _____'s release, citing experts who as recently as 2012 found _____ was still potentially dangerous. On Friday, Swanson's office was before the judicial panel asking it to set an evidentiary hearing in the matter similar to a trial.

Zellers acknowledged the legal threat facing Minnesota's program. But he said if it were struck down while he was governor, he would push for the state to fight releases on a case-by-case basis.
- But aren't these already on a case-by-case basis?  So you'd be doing nothing new!

Zellers is one of four leading Republicans hoping to challenge Dayton next year.

Hennepin County Commission Jeff Johnson said he believed it would be a bad idea to release _____. But he said it's wrong to politicize an issue that he said needs a bipartisan solution.

"If I were governor, I would be checking politics and press conferences at the door and working overtime with leaders from both parties to figure this out," Johnson said. "The governor and the Legislature are going to need to find an alternative to the system we have or the court's going to do it for us, and I guarantee we won't like the way that looks."

The other candidates, businessman Scott Honour and state Sen. Dave Thompson, sounded similar notes. Honour said Zellers had the opportunity to do more about the issue when he was House speaker — echoing a criticism leveled by Dayton's spokesman.

"Clearly this is a dangerous person," Thompson said. "But in the long term, we are going to have to confront what is potentially a legitimate constitutional challenge to our civil and criminal commitment laws."


UK - (Daniel Martin) 10 years for killing sex offender

Daniel Martin
Daniel Martin
Original Article

11/08/2013

A man who admitted killing a convicted sex offender in a flat fire in Worcester has been jailed for 10 years.

Daniel Martin, 25, set fire to a wheelie bin and pushed it up against the front door of _____'s flat in the early hours of December 14, 2011, sparking a rapidly spreading and ferocious blaze in which the 52-year-old was killed.

Sentencing Martin for manslaughter at Birmingham Crown Court, Mrs Justice Thirlwall said the crime was "shockingly stupid".

She said he had intended "to do something so frightening, it would cause him to move away from the area where he had lived since 2001".

"You say you threw stones at his window to try and wake him and say you saw a light come on," she added.

"Whatever you did, it was too little too late."

"You say your intention was only to frighten the victim and the prosecution accept you did not intend to kill or attempt to cause really serious harm."

She added she was "not satisfied" Martin was a danger to the public, but he "was a liar and thoroughly anti-social", with a lamentable record of previous convictions, albeit not for similar offences.

Mrs Justice Thirlwall also accepted Martin had expressed genuine remorse for his crime.

She also heard prosecution evidence indicating Martin had an IQ in the lowest percentile.

Mr _____ died of smoke inhalation in what the judge said must have been a "terrifying experience", in which he would have known he would almost certainly die.

Mrs Justice Thirlwall added the fire spread quickly, burning through the door and up Mr _____'s stairway into the Chedworth Close flat.

His burned body was found by firefighters slumped against a radiator.

The victim, who was openly gay, had five convictions for gross indecency and indecent assault in the 1980s and 1990s against teenagers aged between 14 and 17 in Leicester and Birmingham, with his last conviction in 1999.

The former doorman moved from Birmingham to Worcester in 2001.

Martin, formerly of Canterbury Road, Worcester, was separately jailed for six months and two and a half years respectively for two burglaries, carried out before his arrest for Mr _____'s killing in October last year.

He was further imprisoned for six months for assaulting another man in the street in Worcester, with all the sentences ordered to run concurrently.

Afterwards, Mr _____'s sister _____ said his death had had a devastating effect on the health of their parents, who were unable to come to terms with what happened.

"Both of my parents passed away without having an answer to their only son's death, and before Daniel Martin admitted his guilt (in June)," she said.

She welcomed the outcome as "some comfort" for the family's grief.

"Despite what Andrew did in the past he did not deserve to die in such a cruel way," added Ms Charleson.


UK - 70 sex offenders live in Hartlepool – and number is on the rise across the region

Original Article

11/06/2013

Two sex offenders were hauled back to prison for breaching restrictions last year while the number of registered abusers rose across the region.

There were 70 sex offenders living in Hartlepool during 2012/13 and the total across the Teesside area stood at 559 – up from 545 a year earlier and much higher than the 417 registered in 2010/11.

The information has been released in a report on the work of the area’s multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA) in managing sex offenders, violent offenders and other dangerous criminals.

The report shows that Stockton has the largest number of sex offenders with 216 while 140 live in Middlesbrough and 133 in Redcar and Cleveland.

The total figure equates to 114 registered sex offenders per 100,000 people living in Teesside.

The report explains how sex offenders, violent offenders and others classed as dangerous are managed in the community through MAPPA.

It says there were no offences committed by level 2 and level 3 offenders, where there is more than one agency required to manage the offender.

There were also no serious case reviews, which are held when a child dies or suffers serious harm from abuse.

Jenny Mooney, chairman of the Teesside MAPPA strategic management board and governor of Holme House Prison, said: “I continue to be pleased with the levels of partnership working in Teesside to protect the public, particularly in such times of austerity.”

We all know that the safety of public is paramount and MAPPA’s success is in the information sharing and partnership working to ensure that happens.”

The fact that no serious further offences were committed under MAPPA by Level 2 or Level 3 offenders during the last year, and that there were no serious case reviews means that the arrangements are working.”
- Not really!  Ex-offenders have the lowest recidivism rate of all other ex-felons, except murderers, so you cannot justify that due to your program, in our opinion.

People will understandably be concerned about offenders living in communities however the report provides a case study about how this works in practice and the robust arrangements that are in place. I hope this provides some reassurance that by continuing to share information, we are indeed protecting communities.”

The MAPPA process started on Teesside a number of years ago when probation, police and prisons were brought together to provide systems for the management of offenders.


AR - Special Report: Tracking Sex Offenders

Sheriff John Staley
Sheriff John Staley
Original Article

11/06/2013

LONOKE - Pedophiles and other convicted sex offenders living in one central Arkansas county are facing stricter enforcement than ever before.
Pedophiles are rare, not the norm like the media loves to portray!

So strict, some of these men and women choose to just move away.

After leaving jail or prison, sex offenders register with the county they live in.

"If they've offended like that, they're probably going to do it again," Sheriff John Staley said. "That's just my opinion."
- Yes that's just your opinion that is not backed up by facts.  The facts are that registrants have a very low recidivism rate for new sexual crimes.

Typically, the offender must go to the sheriff's department to keep their information up-to-date.

But in Lonoke County, Corporal Steve Morgan and Staley also go to them, sometimes catching an offender off guard.

"We're not here to pick on anybody or be mean to folks, but they're going to follow directions," Staley said.

When they make surprise visits to registered sex offender homes, deputies make sure their personal information is correct, everything from the car they drive to the job they hold is checked.
- Registrants need to also realize, when the police come to your door, if you are not on probation / parole, you do not need to let them in or answer any of their questions! All they need is to see that you live there. If they ask other questions like who lives with you, which car is yours, where do you work, etc, tell them to refer to the registration information you provided when you registered.

While some play by the rules, detectives say it's just easier for others to move out of the county as they look for a place where they may be able to slide by with some mistakes.

"I've had three do that just this week," Morgan said.

He credits those offenders moving to a recent sex offender round-up and the department's unannounced visits.

It's extra enforcement some counties or cities may not do.
- It's harassment in our opinion!

"I think sex offenders are starting to notice, and they're starting to want to go to other places where they're not as strict," Morgan said.

It's a goal the sheriff says he's accomplishing by getting tougher on those who pose the biggest threat to children.
- A majority of those on the registry are not a threat to children, many have not even harmed children, yet the police, media and others continue to lump them all into the usual child molesting, predator pedophile who hides behind bushes waiting to pounce on your child, which is totally BS!

"I've got kids," Staley said. "My No. 1 priority is our children, and we've got to keep our kids safe."
- So how does verifying where someone sleeps at night keep children safe?  If an offender wanted to harm a child your Gestapo visits, nor the registry and residency laws would prevent that!

Morgan says once convicted, sex offenders must stay on the registered list for at least 15 years.

Right now, there are more than 100 registered sex offenders in Lonoke County.


AR - Sex Offenders, Experts Question Effectiveness of New Restrictions (Poll)

Questions
Original Article

Please click the link above and take the poll as well.

11/06/2013

LITTLE ROCK - After serving their time, some sex offenders can be on another list for the rest of their lives.

Convicted sex offenders are required to register with their local law enforcement office for at least 15 years, often much longer than that.

Now some registered sex offenders and their families are saying this branding is doing more harm than good.

"Sam," a registered sex offender who asked to have his identity concealed, calls every day a battle.

"No sooner did we move and the house was getting egged," he says. "They spray-painted on the porch that I need to move. Why keep attacking me?"

Another registered sex offender we'll refer to as "C," says he sees the same struggles.

"Two kids in the area accused me of fondling them," C says. "You want to crawl into a hole and you're afraid."

The Arkansas House of Representatives passed legislation earlier this year prohibiting level three and four sex offenders, considered the most likely to re-offend, from swimming areas and playgrounds in state parks.

They also can't live within 2,000 feet of any school, day care, public park or youth center.

These men say the restrictions, along with the sex-offender stigma, make it nearly impossible to find a steady job and safe place to live.

"Sir, many of our employees are going to be uncomfortable with your working here, so we're not going to be able to hire you," C recalls hearing from a prospective employer.

Spouses of sex offenders say these restrictions also tear apart their families, frequently hurting the most vulnerable.

"I can't tell you how many times my daughter has come home crying because children told her she shouldn't be allowed to live with her dad because he's a rapist," says Carrie Moore, who is married to a registered sex offender.


"It's been really hard. We live in a mobile home," Lynn Gilmore says. "We will never have the American Dream."

Lora Morgan, Director of Arkansas Time After Time, works with legislators to change sex-offender laws, saying current laws can force an offender to commit other crimes just to stay on their feet.

"So a sex offender, they might have done 5, 10, 15 years in prison, then once they got out, the day they're released, that's when their 15 years starts on the public registry," Morgan says.
- We are not sure, but we believe the 15 years starts once the person is off probation / parole, not once they get out of prison.

University of Arkansas-Little Rock professor Dr. Tusty ten-Besel says there are some misconceptions about sex offenders.

"Previous research has shown us that less than 10 percent will actually commit another sex crime," she says.
- Recidivism studies.

Dr. ten-Bensel is interviewing registered sex offenders to also find out if current law and rehabilitation programs are working effectively.

"If these laws are helping, 'Wonderful,' that's what we'll say. If it's not, then maybe we need to go back and revisit these laws to make it more effective," she says.

It may be years before all the information for her research is gathered, but the offenders we talked to say whatever it shows, life on the list will likely never change.

"We are the low-hanging fruit on the trees," C says.
- Sex offenders are today's scapegoat!  No other ex-felon has to register for life and told where they can and cannot live.

Are sex offender laws prohibiting convicted men and women from becoming a productive part of society?
- Take the poll at the link at the top of this article.  Our opinion, YES!


PA - Law requiring lifetime registration for juvenile sex offenders is unconstitutional, York County judge rules

Unconstitutional
Original Article

11/07/2013

By Matt Miller

In a decision that seems destined for the appeals courts, a York County judge has ruled unconstitutional a two-year-old Pennsylvania law that imposes lifetime registration requirements on juvenile sex offenders.

Senior Judge John C. Uhler issued his ruling against the juvenile registration provisions of the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act while weighing the cases of seven county teens adjudicated as having committed serious sex crimes.

Uhler found that the registration mandate "unconstitutionally forecloses a court's considerations of the many unique attributes of youth and juvenile offenders" under age 18 and improperly treats them the same as adult sex offenders.

SORNA, as the act is known, also doesn't take into account the greater capacity juvenile offenders have to reform, he noted.

The state law was passed by the Legislature in late 2011 to comply with a federal law, the Adam Walsh Act. The state faced a loss of federal funding if it didn't adopt a measure compatible with the Walsh Act.

Uhler's ruling is in reply to a challenge mounted on behalf of the seven York County youths by the county public defender's office, the Juvenile Law Center and the Defender Association of Philadelphia. The children involved were subject to registration after being found to have committed crimes including rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault. They were ages 14 to 17 when the offenses occurred.

In a statement issued Thursday, officials of the Juvenile Law Center and the defender association called Uhler's decision a "landmark ruling."

"It is our hope that this decision will result in similar findings across the commonwealth," said Riya Saha Shah, a staff attorney with the law center. "To impose this (registration) punishment on children is to set them up for failure."
- The same can be said for adults!

County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tim Barker said his office is reviewing Uhler's decision for a possible appeal to the state Supreme Court. A decision is expected next week, he said.

"We're thoroughly going through everything," Barker said.

Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed, president of the Pennsylvania District Attorney's Association, predicted an appeal is likely. Prosecutors are well aware of arguments for and against the juvenile sex offender registration requirement, he said.

"I'm not surprised that the judge would rule this way," Freed said. "We'll see what happens in the appeals courts."

"We'll see what happens in the appeals courts." - Cumberland County DA David Freed, president of the Pa. District Attorneys Association

He said it is often difficult to obtain adjudications for juveniles on serious sex crimes because judges know the lifetime registration requirement will apply.

In his decision, Uhler cited studies that juvenile sex offenders are less likely to reoffend than adults who commit sex crimes. SORNA unjustly paints adult and youth offenders with the same brush, he concluded.
- Adult ex-offenders already have a low recidivism rate of 5% or below.

"These provisions were enacted despite a minimal legislative history with regard to how they would impact juvenile offenders, or whether such provisions are necessary with regard to juveniles," the judge wrote.

"The court finds that juvenile sex offenders are different than their adult counterparts...that the rate of recidivism of juvenile sex offenders is low (so is the adult recidivism rate), that they are likely to have their registration status made public and that they are likely to suffer various forms of irreparable harm as a result of being required to register," Uhler found.

In ruling in favor of the seven York County youths, he ordered state police to remove them from the sex offender registry.

Juvenile Law Center and defender association officials said two other similar cases are pending before judges in Lancaster and Monroe counties.

"We agree that all children who act out sexually should be held accountable, but they should also get treatment," said Aaron Marcus, an assistant defender with the defenders association. "All children deserve a chance to grow up and move on with their lives."
- So do adults!