Thursday, December 12, 2013

NJ - Former Plainfield Police Sgt. (Samuel Woody) Convicted Of Criminal Sexual Contact & Official Misconduct

Samuel Woody
Samuel Woody
Original Article

12/12/2013

PLAINFIELD - A former Plainfield police sergeant has been convicted of charges he falsely accused a city woman of crimes two years ago, then threatened her with jail time in order to coerce her into performing a sexual act, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Thursday.

Following a weeklong trial, a jury late on Wednesday found Samuel Woody, 43, guilty of second-degree official misconduct and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.

The date was July 24, 2011 when Woody, then a 12-year veteran of the Plainfield Police Division, arrested the victim, then a 27-year-old city resident, on bogus theft and burglary charges, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Jim Tansey, who prosecuted the case. As the woman was leaving Plainfield police headquarters after being released on a summons, Woody told her he wanted to meet her later, Tansey said.

Later, in an outdoor lot on Madison Avenue in Plainfield, Woody met with the woman. Using the threat of five years in prison, he coerced her into removing parts of her clothing and performed a sexual act on himself while in full police uniform, Tansey said.

The theft and burglary charges against the victim later were dismissed when no probable cause for her arrest was revealed in court, and the criminal contact of Woody subsequently was reported to police. A joint investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Special Prosecutions Unit and the Plainfield Police Division Internal Affairs Unit followed, and Woody was arrested in January 2012 and suspended without pay pending the investigation.

The conduct of this officer was not only criminal,” Park said, “but brazenly flagrant in the manner in which it violated the public’s trust.”
- What ever happened to "Innocent until proven guilty?"

Woody was remanded following Wednesday’s convictions. Sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 3, 2014, at which time he is expected to receive a term of up to 10 years in prison, including a mandatory five-year period of parole ineligibility on the official misconduct conviction, along with being barred from ever again holding public office in the state of New Jersey.


War on … the Fallout of Declaring War on Social Issues: Symposium Article: The Ticking Sex-Offender Bomb

Original Article

Corey Rayburn Yung
University of Kansas School of Law

December 12, 2013

Journal of Gender, Race and Justice, Vol. 15, 2012

Abstract:
(PDF) Much like the ticking-time-bomb scenario in the public debate about torture, the belief that sex offenders generally, and child molesters specifically, will inevitably commit new offenses has come to effectively frame societal understanding. The concept of the sex offender who is a ticking time bomb waiting to molest more children has served as the basis for sex-offender registration, residency restrictions, community notification, and civil commitment. Relying on strongly held myths about stranger danger, sex-offender recidivism, and sex-offender homogeneity, the criminal war against sex offenders shows little sign of abating. This Symposium Article explores the rhetoric and reality of the War on Sex Offenders and how the ticking-time-bomb metaphor reshaped the debates and policies surrounding sexual violence.


Symposium: Predators, Porn & the Law: America's Children in the Internet Era: The Disappearing Ex Post Facto Clause: From Substantive Bulwark to Procedural Nuisance

Original Article

Corey Rayburn Yung
University of Kansas School of Law

December 12, 2013

Syracuse Law Review, Vol. 61, No. 3, 2011

Abstract:
(PDF) The growing enactment of sex offender restrictions has been one of the most notable developments in criminal law in recent decades. Thus far, courts across the country have been relatively complacent in allowing legislatures to test the limits of various civil liberties. The Ex Post Facto Clause has been among the first constitutional victims of these new laws. Whereas the Clause was once construed as a substantive right protecting citizens against vindictive or arbitrary legislative actions often based upon the hysteria of the moment, it has become a hollow shell of its original form. Because courts have narrowly construed the purpose of the Clause to fair notice, the right underlying the Clause has ceased being substantive and become entirely process based. The result of this transformation is that the courts have provided a set of sure-fire legislative recipes for extremely punitive criminal statutes to survive challenges based upon the Ex Post Facto Clause.


OH - Cincinnati police officer (Darrell Beavers) indicted on charges involving nude photos of teen to face judge

Darrell Beavers
Darrell Beavers
Original Article

12/12/2013

By Maxim Alter and Kareem Elgazzar

CINCINNATI - A Cincinnati police officer indicted on felony charges involving nude photos of a 17-year-old and the opening of a fake police substation in East Price Hill is scheduled to appear in a Hamilton County courtroom Thursday to either enter a plea or set a date for trial.

Darrell Beavers, 44, who has been with CPD for about 13 years, was indicted on one count of theft in office, one count of tampering with evidence and four counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance.

Deters said these charges date from June 2013 to Sept. 2013.

If convicted on all charges, Beavers -- a former player in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs -- faces the possibility of eight-and-a-half years in prison.

In October, Beavers was put on the CPD's Telephone Reporting Unit pending a grand jury decision. Following his indictment he was suspended on unpaid leave. Beavers earned $73,646.67 per year and was hired on August 19, 2001.

Beavers participated in The Cincinnati Police Explorer program, a program for teenagers interested in a career in law enforcement. Founded in 1973, the program is only open to young people age 14 to 21, according to its website.

In September 2013, the parent of a 17-year-old Cincinnati Police Explorer became concerned about his daughter’s contact with Beavers, Deters said. He later complained to the Cincinnati Police Department which resulted in an investigation into Beavers' activities.

It was later determined Beavers received nude photos of the teen, Deters said.

"Until I see the evidence, I can't comment on the case but he is a very, very well-received police officer and as far as I am concerned did well in the community," said Beavers' attorney, Carl Lewis, after the indictment was announced.

Beavers has served in District 3 since August 2008. In his August 2013 performance evaluation, Beavers exceeded all core and patrol performance standards, but only met standards in two categories: evidence management and compliance with policies and procedures.

He has earned 10 commendations for his police work, including one directly from former police chief Col. Tom Streicher Jr. in January 2007 for his work in the vortex unit, according to his personnel file.

"He's been a generally good employee," Assistant Police Chief Lt. Col. James Whalen told WCPO. "And this is obviously very disappointing."

He was named a neighborhood liaison officer in November 2010, according to his personnel file.

"We have supervisors and all kinds of rules and regulations, and he didn't obey any of them in this regard, our investigation show us," Whalen said. "As a neighborhood officer, we would have expected him to be out in the community and meeting with people and when we discovered he wasn't, we took this action."

Beavers Sets Up His Own Substation

(Video) Beavers is also charged with improper use of an apartment at 2600 Bushnell Street in East Price Hill.

An investigation revealed Beavers secured the apartment alleging that it would be used as a Cincinnati Police substation, Deters said.

"An officer on their own is not empowered to do that, we have a policy in place and he just didn't follow the police and submit it up the chain," Whalen said.

In an interview with WCPO's Jay Warren, apartment manager Marti Burcham said Beavers approached her earlier this year and asked if she would like a substation.

For Burcham, the thought of extra police security was a no-brainer.

"Two weeks later, he came back and said, 'yes, we were approved’ and we had to furnish an apartment and the electricity," Burcham said.

Burcham said she then began moving things into apartment No. 9, including a bed.

She was also told to put a Cincinnati Police Department sticker on the window of the stairwell, she said.

"I saw him move stuff in -- a computer and stuff like that -- and he hung the sign on the window, so I thought it was all perfectly legit," Burcham said.

Kathy, a resident of the apartment who asked that WCPO not use her last name, said she -- like Burcham – agreed with the idea of a substation at the complex.

"When I first heard that there was going to be a substation in our complex, I thought it was a really nice idea,” she said, “It's off the beaten path…security would really really be nice."

But as time went by, Kathy said something didn't seem normal.

"Only because they were never there, it seemed like if there was going to be some police presence in the neighborhood at least they would be there on occasion,” Kathy said. “An hour here and an hour there -- but it really didn't appear that way to me."

When the police searched the apartment in late September, they found a bed, bedding, food, personal lubricant, videos and a night vision camera that was property of the Cincinnati Police Department.

A police officer commands, and should command, the respect of the entire community. When an individual police officer betrays that trust, it devastates the entire community which is why the Cincinnati Police Department and my office place the highest priority on these types of cases and will not tolerate this behavior,” Deters said.

The theft charge against Beavers is based on his use of the apartment for free and claiming it was for official Cincinnati police business.

Count two of the indictment alleges Beavers destroyed a cell phone after he became aware of the official police investigation into his activities.

Beavers also worked with Camp Joy (Video) in Clarksville, Ohio, for several years, where he was paired with dozens of campers – ages 10 to 12.

Officers at the camp are often paired with children for a week, giving them the chance to reach out to inner-city kids in hopes of preventing problems later down the road. The partnership between the camp and the police department has existed since 1969.

"Once they've reached a certain age, it's kind of hard to grasp, to bring them back,” Beavers said about his efforts at the camp in an interview with 9 On Your Side in 2012. “If you can save them now, you can talk to them now, you can probably reach out and be able to change a lot of their behavior," he said.

Beavers told WCPO that it is important for the children at the camp to understand who the police are when they see them out and about in their neighborhoods back home.

"A lot of these people are victims of their environment,” Beavers said. “We want the children to come out, outside of their environment...come to an environment where there's nature, where they feel safe, they feel comfortable, they feel no threats at all."

Beavers added, "You shouldn't be afraid of the police. We're the ones we want you to come to if you're in need. We want you to come to us."

He is scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m.

See Also:


KY - Mental exam ordered for ex-representative John Arnold

John Arnold
John Arnold
Original Article

12/12/2013

LOUISVILLE (WDRB) - Former State Representative John Arnold must undergo a mental exam before he can testify in his own defense.

Arnold resigned from office in September after female staff members said he had touched them inappropriately and made vulgar comments.

He was scheduled to appear before a state ethics panel on Thursday, but that hearing has been rescheduled for February to allow Arnold time to undergo the exam.

That test will decide whether Arnold is mentally competent to testify.


OH - Changing Sex Offender Penalties (Audio)


Scott talks with Derek Logue about the push to get penalties for sex offenders changed


TN - Chief of staff (Ryan Loskarn) for Sen. Alexander arrested over child porn charges, fired

Ryan Loskarn
Ryan Loskarn
Original Article

12/11/2013

By Shayla Bezdrob

The chief of staff for Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., was arrested Wednesday on allegations involving child pornography.

Alexander, saying he was "stunned," fired the veteran aide, Ryan Loskarn, and replaced him before close of business Wednesday afternoon.

"The courts will judge Mr. Loskarn's guilt or innocence, but under these circumstances, he cannot continue to fulfill his duties as chief of staff of this office," Alexander said in a statement. "Therefore, as of today, I have removed him from the payroll."

Earlier in the day, Alexander revealed that agents had searched Loskarn's home. A Justice Department spokesman confirmed that Loskarn, 35, was arrested "based on probable cause for possession and distribution of child pornography charges."

"He remains in custody pending a court hearing that is expected to be scheduled for tomorrow at the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C.," the official said.

The case is being handled by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, though other law enforcement agencies are involved. The involvement of the Postal Inspection Service indicates mail may have been used in some fashion in connection with the allegations.

Loskarn served as chief of staff for about two years, after working as staff director when Alexander led the Senate Republican Conference. He previously worked for former Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona and other lawmakers on the House side.

Loskarn also was named one of Roll Call's "Fabulous 50" Hill staffers in 2011.

"I am stunned, surprised and disappointed by what I have learned," Alexander said in a statement. "The office is fully cooperating with the investigation."

Alexander announced that he's named his legislative director, David Cleary, as his new chief of staff.


LA - Lake Arthur officer (Damon Broussard) accused of rape, molestation

Damon Broussard
Damon Broussard
Original Article

12/10/2013

By Michael Cooper

LAKE ARTHUR (KPLC) - A Lake Arthur police officer has been charged with aggravated rape and molestation of a juvenile, state police said.

Troop I spokesman Stephen Hammons said 37-year-old Damon Broussard, of Egan, was arrested Tuesday following an investigation.

"During the investigation, detectives found that Broussard engaged in sexual activity several years ago with a child who was under 15," Hammons said in a news release. "Detectives also discovered that Broussard engaged in sexual activity with a different child, who under 13."

Hammons said that there is no indication the alleged incidents occurred during Broussard's duties as an officer.


IN - Derek Walton, Franklin County Sheriff's reserve deputy, charged with child exploitation

Derek Walton
Derek Walton
Original Article

12/12/2013

LIBERTY - A Franklin County Sheriff’s Office reserve deputy faces child exploitation charges after a federal investigation.

Joseph H. Hogsett, a United States Attorney, unsealed the criminal complaint Monday against Derek Walton, 31, of Liberty.

Walton’s arrest was the result of an Operation Community Watch investigation into email accounts dating back to 2011 that allegedly sent images and video of child pornography, according to Hogsett. Some of those emails, Hogsett stated, were sent from an account accessed from the Franklin County Security Center.

These cases are always difficult, both as a prosecutor and as a parent,” Hogsett said. “They are even more troubling when the allegations involve a law enforcement official who was entrusted with protecting Hoosier communities. This is what Operation Community Watch was designed to do, however – hold accountable those who endanger our children, no matter who they are.”

A search warrant executed at Walton’s home on Aug. 16 as a result of the email investigation also revealed a thumb drive and video camera with images of a minor girl in Walton’s possession, Hogsett stated. In addition, materials also revealed Walton may have been involved in a white supremacist group. The investigation is ongoing.

Walton worked with the Franklin County Sheriff’s office since 2004, according to the criminal complaint. He also formerly served with the Richmond and Laurel police departments.

Hogsett stated an initial AOL account linked to Walton was disconnected in 2011. A second account traced to Walton was found while federal agents were investigating a sexual offender who exchanged emails with him.

Walton faces decades in federal prison if convicted, Senior Litigation Counsel Steven D. DeBrota and Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary A Myers stated.


UK - Overhauls sentencing for sex offences

Morning paper and coffee
Original Article

Does this also account for police officers or others in positions of trust to be punished more harshly?

12/11/2013

Sex offending celebrities could see their public image used against them when being punished as part of an overhaul of decade-old sentencing guidance for British judges.

Previous "good character" may be considered as an aggravating factor when it has been used to commit a sexual offence, new guidelines drawn up by Britain's Sentencing Council said.

In practice, this means in the future the likes of disgraced broadcaster _____, who used his fame to commit crimes against women and children, could receive more severe sentences.

Covering more than 50 offences including rape, child sex offences and trafficking, the official guidance places more emphasis on the long-term and psychological impact on victims than the previous 2004 guidelines it will replace next year.

The new guidelines also bring in higher starting points for sentences for some offences, such as rape, which the new guideline now allows a starting point of 15 years for top category sentences.

"Across the justice system, changes have been made to ensure that the alleged offenders' behaviour and the context and circumstances of the incident are scrutinised, rather than the credibility of the victim," Chief Constable David Whatton, national policing lead for violence and public protection, said.

Other significant changes include the removal of "ostensible consent" from the guidance, that is, the idea that a child over 13 can agree to sex, while greater emphasis will be placed on grooming by individuals and gangs.

Although work on the new guidelines started a number of years ago, it comes after a series of high-profile sex offence cases, which have had an impact on attitudes towards sex crimes.

Revelations about disgraced TV presenter _____ saw high numbers of sex attack victims come forward, while cases involving grooming gangs in Rochdale and Oxford raised questions about social care and attitudes to victims.

Sentencing Council chairman Lord Justice Treacy said: "This guideline will make real changes to the way offenders are sentenced for these very serious, sensitive and complex offences."

"It will help judges and magistrates sentence in a way which protects our communities from this kind of offending and the suffering it causes."

Lord Justice Treacy said the new approach would bring about sentences that reflected what the victim had been through and take in a full profile of what the offender had done, such as grooming victims or abusing trust.

"No-one wants more people falling victim to offenders who come before the courts, and public protection is central to this guideline, whether this is by jailing offenders or, where appropriate, imposing a rigorous treatment order and other restrictions to prevent reoffending," he said.

The new guidance also takes into account the increased use of technology in sex offending since the previous guidelines were issued.

In many of the offences, a new aggravating factor is "recording the crime", as filming and photographing victims has become more common.

Due to the growth in online offending, the Council has included offending committed remotely, such as via a webcam, when dealing with offences like sexual activity with a child.

See Also:


NY - Former inmates sue sheriff, others

To protect and serve?
Original Article

12/11/2013

Monroe - A series of lawsuits filed in federal court this week name Monroe County, Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn, and a former jail sergeant.

The plaintiffs are five women who were each victims of sex crimes while they were inmates in the Monroe County Jail.

Former Monroe County Jail Sergeant Robert Wilson pled guilty this year to more than twenty crimes involving seven female victims. The crimes included rape, sexual abuse, and official misconduct and Wilson’s plea deal resulted in a six-month jail sentence, ten years of probation, and registration as a Level 2 sex offender.

The lawsuit against Wilson, Monroe County, and Sheriff O’Flynn details numerous sexual encounters from 2010 to 2012 between Wilson and the five women. Each occurred while inside the women’s jail facility in Brighton.
  • In one case a plaintiff claims Wilson encouraged her “to strip tease in her cell while he watched” and later “directed” her to perform oral sex.
  • In another case a plaintiff claims Wilson called her away from the cell block for “unscheduled medical appointments” and “lead her into an unoccupied office” where he engaged “in personal, flirtatious and sexually explicit conversation.” Plaintiff later claims Wilson directed her to “write sexually explicit letters to him, which she did” and “Wilson wrote a sexually explicit letter” back to her.
  • That same plaintiff also claims Wilson took her to his Spencerport apartment after she was released and “tried to force” her to have sex “but allowed her to give him oral sex instead.” She also claims Wilson “continued to stalk” her in phone calls “proposed sex, including sex for money and sex with other participants.” She claims he “frequented, at an unreasonable rate, the salon where (she) was employed at and demanded that she cut his hair.”
  • Another plaintiff claims Wilson entered her jail cell, sat on her bunk, and “directed her to show him her breasts.”
  • Another plaintiff claims Wilson called her out into a hallway because he had cleaning for her to do but “instead of cleaning” Wilson took her to a private room where he had sex with her.

"These are five women that are at the lowest point in their life,” said attorney Robert King who represents all five victims. “What we know is that this happened time after time after time, woman after woman after woman, inside the jail and in some instances outside the jail after they were released.”

In each of the lawsuits the plaintiffs claim that “other members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office allowed Sergeant Wilson to be alone with” the women. One plaintiff claims in her lawsuit that the Sheriff’s Office was “alerted to the inappropriate relationship” and “did not investigate.”

If they did investigate, the investigation was not sufficient” and the office “did not take action to remedy the situation and prevent future harm” according to that plaintiff’s lawsuit.

The lawsuits allege violations of the victim’s constitutional rights to due process, liberty, and their rights to be “free from cruel and unusual punishment.” Allegations of “inadequate training and supervision” were also made against Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn and Monroe County.

Efforts by 13WHAM News to contact Wilson were unsuccessful. The lawyer who represented him on the criminal case was reluctant to comment since he had not been retained for this civil action.

A spokesman for Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn told 13WHAM News that the office does not comment on pending litigation. A spokesman for Monroe County also did not provide comment.


CT - UConn Student (Isabella Himmel) Accused Of Making False Rape Complaint Has Charges Dropped

Rape cardOriginal Article

12/11/2013

By CHRISTINE DEMPSEY

VERNON - A University of Connecticut student accused of falsely claiming she was raped had her charges dismissed Wednesday in Superior Court in Rockville.

Isabella Himmel of Chicago was arrested in September 2012 and charged with second-degree falsely reporting an incident, second-degree making a false statement and second-degree breach of peace.

She was accepted into a diversionary program a year ago; the program required her to write a letter of apology to UConn's police chief, make a $500 charitable donation and do community service. If she completed the program successfully, she was told, the charges would be dropped.

"I was pleased today that the court did dismiss the charges against my client," her lawyer, Richard Brown, said Wednesday. "At no time did she make any admissions of any wrongdoing in the matter."

Himmel claimed she was raped by a group of men the weekend of August 25 and 26, 2012 — the weekend students moved onto campus.

She told police she was grabbed from behind by her hair on Route 195, or Storrs Road, and held down by as many as five men, according to the warrant for her arrest. One hit her in the face with something she thought was a skateboard, she said.

After she was raped, she ran back to her apartment near campus, taking her boots off along the way, she told police.

The university issued an emergency announcement to more than 30,000 students, faculty members and other staff warning that police were investigating a report of an aggravated sex assault.

Police reviewed surveillance video of Himmel walking on Route 195, and while she wasn't always in view, they never saw her getting attacked, running or taking off her boots, according to the warrant.

She eventually told police she may not have been assaulted at all, the warrant states. She takes medication that weakens her muscles, she said, and she may have fallen.


ME - Maine's sex offender registry under microscope

Morning paper and coffee
Original Article

12/12/2013

By Paul Merrill

AUGUSTA - Maine's Sex Offender Risk Assessment Advisory Committee is meeting in Augusta on Wednesday afternoon one week after WMTW News 8 learned that state public safety officials lost track of a Berwick sex offender.

The Department of Public Safety is conducting a full review of the way it tracks registered sex offenders because of the case involving 23-year-old _____ of Berwick. _____, a convicted sex offender, was arrested last week after police said he tried to lure fourth- and fifth-grade girls with candy outside a Berwick elementary school.

Police said _____ failed to re-register with the state sex offender registry in August.

The State Bureau of Identification was supposed to send a letter to _____ and, if necessary, contact the Berwick Police Department.

Neither of those things happened.

Public safety officials blame a clerical error and admit they're not sure how many other sex offenders may have fallen through the cracks.

WMTW News 8 spoke with officials in Auburn about how their city tracks sex offenders.

Deputy Police Chief Jason Moen tells us the department began taking a more proactive approach about five years ago.

Each officer is assigned to keep tabs on two sex offenders living within Auburn.

Moen said the city's system serves as a check to protect the community from any possible failures at the state level.

He said Auburn's system works and points out that the level of registered sex offenders living in Auburn has dropped by about half since the department implemented the new procedures.

Moen suspects that many of the offenders moved out of the city because they didn't like the department's new policies.


WV - Committee to Introduce Bills Protecting Children

Linda Phillips
Linda Phillips
Original Article

12/11/2013

By ASHTON MARRA

A bi-partisan House committee focused on the issues of woman and children across the state will introduce four bills to the full legislature for its consideration in the upcoming session.

If every Delegate is thinking properly, they’re going to do the right thing by voting for these,” said Delegate Linda Goode Phillips, chair of the Select Committee on Crimes Against Children.

I think these are more from the heart, common sense bills. We want to protect the children.”

The bills were announced during a press conference at the Capitol Tuesday.

Legislation:
  • Misdemeanor Child Abuse Charge- Creates a misdemeanor offense of child neglect by a parent, guardian or custodian that creates substantial risk of bodily injury, punishable by fine and/or prison time, first offense carries a requirement that offender complete a parenting class
  • Misdemeanor Child Neglect Charge- Creates a misdemeanor offense of child neglect by parent, guardian, or custodian that creates a substantial risk of bodily injury, punishable by fine and/or prison, first offense carries a requirement that offender complete a parenting class
  • Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography- Modifies language in existing law so each frame in a video or image file in a folder or collection of images would be counted as separate image for purposes of prosecution, offense defined as accessing with the intent to view such material to automatic file sharing tools, adds additional felony charges for those viewing more than 500 images and repeat offenders
  • Parental Rights- Clarifies the court’s authority to bar visitation rights to a child who was conceived as a result of sexual assault