Monday, February 3, 2014

MA - Woman (Gabrielle Caughey) Charged with Making False Sexual Assault Claim

Gabrielle Caughey
Gabrielle Caughey
Original Article

02/03/2014

By Marc Fortier

A Massachusetts woman is facing charges that she lied to police about being sexually assaulted.

Gabrielle Caughey, 21, of Mendon, MA is charged with two counts of theft by unauthorized taking and one count of false report to law enforcement. She was released on $5,000 personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to be arraigned in Merrimack District Court on Feb. 25.

According to Merrimack Police, Caughey was arrested on Friday on a warrant stemming from an incident that was reported on Oct. 28, 2013. Caughey was a suspect in a theft from a residence. Upon investigating the allegations, it was found that the items in question were pawned at nearby pawn shops by Caughey.

Also during the investigation, Caughey claimed that she was sexually assaulted by a male subject. After further investigation, it was found that her allegations were false.

A warrant was later completed for Caughey's arrest and she surrendered herself to police without incident.


MA - State Rep. James Arciero gets an award for eradicating peoples rights?

Award for eradicating peoples rights?Original Article

The sex offender registry doesn't prevent crime or "protect" anybody, it only opens ex-offenders, their families and children up to harassment, bullying or worse. And now more will be victims of vigilantism!

02/03/2014

By Samantha Allen

WESTFORD - State Rep. James Arciero was recently recognized by the group Community VOICES for legislative efforts to the change the state Sex Offender Registry law.

Arciero, D-Westford, was awarded the "spirit of compassion" award at the Statehouse along with state Reps. Brian S. Dempsey, of Haverhill, and Eugene O'Flaherty, of Chelsea. According to Laurie Myers, president of Community VOICES, these legislators were pivotal in ultimately changing Massachusetts law regarding Level 2 sex offenders and their criminal information.

"Allowing citizens practical access to tools (parents) can use to keep themselves and their children safe is in the best interest of public safety," Myers said. "We appreciate the leadership shown by these three representatives, and we are grateful for the compassion they have shown the victims and survivors who were involved in advocating for this law."

Myers is a longtime victim's-rights advocate and founder of Community VOICES who has also been working on this issue for many years. The organization is a citizens group, founded in 2004 to support, advocate and represent victims and survivors of crime with particular emphasis on issues of sexual assault and internet safety.

The information regarding the crimes of Level 2 sex offenders has always been public information, according to the group, but in order for interested citizens to access it, they were required to go to their local police stations. Arciero filed legislation in the last two legislative sessions to affect change in the accessibility of that information. Level 2 offenders have in the past been convicted of such crimes as the rape of a child with force, indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14 and other crimes against children.

Success finally came, according to Community VOICES, when Gov. Deval Patrick signed the state budget containing necessary language to allow for the posting of the information online by the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry.

"Whatever we can do to make our neighborhoods safer for children and families is important," Arciero said. "This simple change allows individuals to instantaneously know who is living and working in their communities without the need to fill out paperwork at their local police stations."

"I believe it is in the best interest of the citizens of Massachusetts to have the right to see all the information available on these offenders in order to make their own determinations as to what steps to take to keep themselves, their families and their neighborhoods safe," Arciero added.

Before the awards were handed off to the representatives, Wena, a specially-trained service dog for victims of crime, walked them over and shook Arciero's hand.


CA - San Francisco claims website puts minors at risk

Morning paper and coffee
Original Article

02/03/2014

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The city of San Francisco on Monday sued a popular social-networking website, claiming it enables sexual predators to target minors.
- A person intent on harming someone can use ANY website to do their crime, so how is this different than MySpace, Facebook, Twitter or any other website?  If they sue and win, then who is next?

City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed the lawsuit against MeetMe.com saying that the site violates California laws by unlawfully publishing personal information such as profiles, photos and real-time locations that enable sexual predators to target children as young as 13.
- Doesn't Facebook and a ton of other sites do this as well?  This just seems to us like someone trying to make a name (and money) for themselves.  You could also say the same for the online sex offender hit-list.

The lawsuit said dozens of minors nationwide have been victimized in sex crimes by predators who relied on information obtained through the website of the New Hope, Pa.-based company.

The prosecutor said that about a quarter of MeetMe.com's 40 million users are under the age of 18.
- Okay.  So why are they talking to adults and other people they do not know?  Doesn't the site have the option to block people?

"MeetMe has become a tool of choice for sexual predators to target underage victims, and the company's irresponsible privacy policies and practices are to blame for it," Herrera said in a statement.

MeetMe CEO Geoff Cook said the company cannot comment on the pending litigation. But he noted the company has online safety programs and works with law enforcement.

"We care deeply about the safety of all of MeetMe's users. We review hundreds of thousands of photos posted to our services every day, and we compare the information provided by our users to a sex-offender registry," Cook said in a statement. "We employ a 24-7 team that responds to reports from our users and work closely with law enforcement when appropriate to assist in their investigations."

The site has been implicated in several crimes involving sexual assault and sex with minors in California, Herrera said in his complaint.

The lawsuit cited the case of a 29-year-old Citrus Heights man who was charged with multiple counts of sexual acts with a minor in August. Authorities said the man used the site to send sexually explicit photographs and text messages to teenage girls to begin a "sexting" relationship that led to a sexual encounter.
- So why did the teenage girls go meet someone they don't know?  That is dangerous for anybody!

Also, a 23-year-old Fresno man was arrested in October on suspicion of sexually assaulting a minor he met on MeetMe.com, and a 21-year-old Fair Oaks man was charged in July after he allegedly pretended to be a 16-year-old boy on the site and had sex with two girls, ages 12 and 15, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit is seeking to stop MeetMe from promoting underage users' information and to refrain from practices considered deceptive.


Should victims have a say in sex offender legislation?

Victim testifyingOriginal Article

02/03/2014

By Shelomith Stow

During a trial for any offense against a person, and most definitely when the charge is of a sexual nature, the testimony from the victim is the strongest factor in conviction. At sentencing, much credence is given to victim impact statements. When an inmate is eligible for parole, statements from the victim can make the difference between parole being granted or not.

But how about when former victims are involved with legislation affecting persons totally unrelated to the harm done to them and with the potential to affect persons far into the future? Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? Yet with the victims of sexual crime, it happens. Lauren Book (Video) has built a career by being involved with legislation, not only that which is appropriately focused on prevention but also that which targets registered sex offenders even though her abuser was not on the registry.
- Don't forget her father Ron Book (Video).

One has only to look at the alphabet soup listing of bills and legislation named after children who were murdered to see the impact that victims' families have. Yet the legislation pushed by these people do not target those who murder but rather those who commit sexual offenses, and there is no evidence that the motivation for the most notorious of these, the Adam Walsh Act, was even connected to a sexual crime.
- And the original intent of the Adam Walsh Act was for anybody who abuses children not just sexual crimes, and Adam's murder was never proven to be sexual in nature or who actually done the crime, yet they blamed Ottis Toole.


MN - Tough thing, isn't it, this 'due process'?

Due process of law
Original Article

02/03/2014

By D.J. TICE

This month a federal judge may issue a long-awaited ruling on the constitutionality of the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. Along with national controversies over vast government surveillance programs, MSOP’s troubles raise a basic question that we should occasionally challenge ourselves to answer:

Why should Americans respect constitutional rights that get in the way of government keeping us safe?

First, some background, courtesy of Gov. Mark Dayton:

Two months ago, Dayton released a remarkable document (PDF) — a letter to Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson that told the MSOP story with almost embarrassing candor.

[F]or many years,” the governor wrote, Minnesota “has kept its most serious criminal sexual offenders locked away with virtually no chance of release.” And like “most Minnesotans,” Dayton added, he is just fine with that.

As Governor, however,” he went on, almost with a note of regret, “I am responsible to carry out the laws … .” And the laws, he explained, say that offenders are eligible for release once they have served the prison sentences required at the time of their convictions — even under the “weaker laws” that applied to sex offenders years ago.

Until now,” wrote Dayton, “the State’s tactic to avoid releasing … offenders after they had served their criminal sentences has been to commit them to a ‘treatment program’ … . In practice … these civil commitments have turned into virtual life sentences.”

MSOP is the “treatment program” — those quotation marks, by the way, are the governor’s — that is really just a tactic to impose retroactive life sentences on people who have served their time. After repeating that he rather prefers this arrangement, Dayton acknowledged that “this method of locking people away for life” might be found “unconstitutional.” This would put him, Jesson and the current Legislature “in the position of having to do what previous [state leaders] have avoided …

Like their duty, for instance?

But there’s no sense rushing into anything. Noting that Jesson had “courageously begun to implement the current … laws” — actually allowing a few MSOP patients to move toward closely monitored provisional release (as other states do with offenders like these) — and after adding that he has “great confidence” in her judgment and processes — Dayton then ordered Jesson to call the whole thing off and for the time being “oppose any further [release] petitions …

Why? Because of “political grandstanding” and “gamesmanship” in the wake of news reports about one of the proposed releases. (Several 2014 candidates for governor and the state’s attorney general had publicly condemned the proposed release.)

Dayton’s letter could be Exhibit A for the unconstitutionality of MSOP. To review: The governor of Minnesota orders his administration to drop its new, experimental efforts to actually “implement the laws” governing MSOP releases — which, in case you missed it, the governor doesn’t like anyway ­— and to do so expressly because the political heat is on.

Dayton is right, of course, that none of this is new; this isn’t really about him. On MSOP, Minnesota politicians have displayed bipartisan grandstanding, gamesmanship and gutlessness for 20 years. That’s how the state has come to have, per capita, the largest “treatment program” of this kind in the country (with about 700 clients at a cost of $120,000 per head, per year).

The question for Judge Donovan Frank is whether this state of affairs can possibly suffice as the due process of law guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

If so, we had better start calling it “due process.”

But why should we care about the constitutional rights of MSOP inmates, who truly are frightening?

The first reason is that if America doesn’t stand for the rule of law — and for equal legal rights for everyone — then it simply doesn't stand for anything. Or at least it stands for nothing more inspiring than the world’s best shopping.

If such an appeal to principle and civic dogma has lost influence, we may face a different kind of danger. The practical reason to respect constitutional rights — even when, like the governor, we’d really rather not — is apparently hard for many modern Americans to take seriously. Constitutional boundaries have weathered enough storms in our history (albeit not without breakdowns) that the threat of tyranny now seems far away and unreal.

But “enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm,” as James Madison warned in the Federalist Papers.

The power of “locking people away for life” is a fearsome thing that must itself be kept in a strong cage built of law and procedure. There is no guarantee that everyone who comes to wield that power will be well-intentioned, much less courageous in the face of the extreme political pressures that can arise from extreme circumstances.

This is where the issues surrounding MSOP bear a resemblance to the controversy over the federal government’s secretive surveillance regime in the war on terror. That too is awesome power that in the wrong hands could be a tool for despotism.

Mark Dayton is no tyrant. Neither is Barack Obama. Neither was George W. Bush. But America’s founders deliberately designed a government that contains no unchecked discretion that could be readily abused should a would-be tyrant ever actually appear at the helm. We should keep it that way.


NV - Supreme Court Delays New Sexual Offender Registry Law

Juvenile sex offenders
Original Article

If there is anybody in Nevada reading this who has a child who has to register as a "sex offender," you may want to contact legislature and speak out on this NOW!

02/03/2014

By Caroline Bleakley

LAS VEGAS - The Nevada Supreme Court has delayed the start of the sexual offender registry law, also known as the Adam Walsh Act.

The new law, which was to go into effect Feb. 1, would make the names of more sex offenders publicly accessible. The law says a sex offender, as young as 14 years old, must now publicly register.

The Nevada Department of Public Safety expressed concerns about the manpower required to implement the law and sought a delay.

See Also:


Justin Bieber's behaviour plunges to new depths as he and friend Khalil Sharieff cavort with stripper...appearing to have forgotten all about his looming court cases

Justin Bieber and Khalil licking boobs
Justin Bieber and Khalil
Original Article

If she was of legal age, then what is the problem?

02/03/2014

By SOPHIA CHARALAMBOUS

Justin Bieber's behaviour appears to have become even more outrageous following his run-ins with the law.

A recent photograph of the 19-year-old singer saw him licking the nipple of a stripper's enormous fake breasts while his friend Khalil Sharieff sucked on the other.

The pair took part in the activity during a recent party together, and according to TMZ's sources, the stripper was hired to 'perform' for Justin and his friends at an LA recording studio.

The explicit photograph, shows the stripper pulling up her green top and turning her head to one side while holding her gigantic breasts in her manicured hands, ready to be enjoyed by Khalil and Justin.

Showing off her striped Playboy tattoo on her hip bone, the slight glimpse of her face appeared to show a big grin, suggesting her enjoyment from the activity.

The boys both shut their eyes out of sheer pleasure, and while Khalil couldn't help but cop a feel for himself, Justin's hands were nowhere to be seen near the stripper's chest.

According to sources, Justin even gave the stripper a love-bite on her nipple at the party.

Sources also revealed the stripper looked old enough to be Justin's mother.

Justin Bieber has reportedly been caught on camera in a series of 'compromising positions' with two strippers.

The 19-year-old singer was allegedly recorded on surveillance video in a lapdancing club in Queensland, Australia, last November and the raunchy footage features him 'spanking' the bare butts of the women and 'pulling off their panties with his teeth', RadarOnline.com reported.

A still image from the 12-minute 'crystal clear' video - which is said to be being shopped for sale to various media outlets for a 'fortune' - shows the Beauty and a Beat hitmaker wearing a baseball cap backwards with the two topless women, and a security guard can be seen standing near by.

A source told the website the singer is "in compromising positions and romping with two strippers during which he spanks their bum and pulls off their panties with his teeth".

Bieber's recent wild behaviour comes after a series of incidents involving police action - the latest being his arrest in Miami, Florida for a DUI, after resisting arrest and having an expired driver's license after participating in a drag race with Khalil.

He pleaded not guilty and was found to have Xanax and marijuana in his system.

Just days later the Beauty And A Beat singer was arrested in Toronto for allegedly hitting a limousine driver in December after a Toronto Maple Leads ice hockey game, and has now been charged with assault and is due to appear in court on March 10.

Earlier in January, he was accused of egging a neighbour's house in his expensive Calabasas, California community.

His house was raided by sheriffs which resulted in the arrest of his friend Lil Za who has been slapped with three felony charges, and TMZ claim that if found guilty Lil Za could face up to nine years in prison.


CA - Federal Police Officer (Jason Fougere) Accused Of Sending Nude Selfie To Woman Who Needed Help

Jason Fougere
Jason Fougere
Original Article

01/27/2014

By David Goldstein

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) - A federal police officer is under investigation for allegedly sending a nude selfie to a woman who had come to him for help.

Investigative reporter David Goldstein has the story you will see Only On 2.

Goldstein spoke to the woman (we obscured the West LA resident’s face) who was still upset by the selfie.

It’s scary,” she said, “I mean, this is a police officer.”

Goldstein confronted the officer outside a store.

Officer, did you send this … a naked picture of yourself?

The picture is almost a full-length nude. He allegedly sent it to the woman’s cell phone.

It’s shocking,” she said, “No one has ever sent me a nude selfie before. Let alone a police officer who I was going to him for help.”

The 31-year-old woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she and her mother went to the VA in Westwood last November.

She sent she went to look for a VA officer to help her search for her missing uncle, a veteran.

That’s when the woman said she ran into officer Jason Fougere.

She said the officer took her information and her cell phone number. He also reportedly gave the woman his card with his personal cell phone number written on it.

A few days later, the woman said she received a text message asking if she had a boyfriend and if she wanted to go for coffee sometime.

I quickly responded that I was in a meeting,” said the woman, “and I couldn’t talk right now.”

She said the officer then sent her a selfie — this one in his full uniform.

He allegedly wrote, “Here’s something to remember me.”

She said she deleted that text.

Goldstein asked her what she thought about the text and that picture.

We laughed, because it was shocking,” said the woman’s mother. “That we would get a picture of a police officer in uniform, that we met the day before. What do we need that for?

From there, the women said the texts became increasingly graphic and dirty.

One complimented the woman on her large breasts.

Your boobs are humongous,” he reportedly wrote on one text. “They must be fake. Those will be the first fake t–s I touch.”

That’s when the women said the naked selfie followed.

She texted him back, that he was “way out of line.” She added the officer was “very disrespectful. Please DO NOT contact me.”

Fougere allegedly replied, “Very sorry! I won’t contact you anymore!

When Goldstein caught up with Fougere outside a store, he said the officer had nothing to say.

The VA said they were doing an internal investigation regarding the alleged misconduct. The officer has been reassigned without any law enforcement authority while the probe is conducted.

The woman said that was a good thing.

He’s supposed to be there to protect these veterans,” she said, “and this is how he’s acting.”


UK - Renewed bid to make it difficult for those wrongfully convicted to claim compensation

Theresa May
Theresa May
Original Article

So they want to falsely convict you and lock you up, but when someone proves you did not do the crime they don't want you going after them? So if your ex falsely accuses you of sexual abuse or anything else, your reputation is ruined!

02/03/2014

By Mark Hennessy

The British government will this week make a renewed bid to pass legislation that would make it nearly impossible for those wrongfully convicted of crimes to claim compensation after they have been released.

The clause was included in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, which was easily passed last year in the House of Commons but rejected by the House of Lords last month.

Under existing law in England and Wales, an individual can win compensation if new evidence is presented that shows “beyond reasonable doubt that there has been a miscarriage of justice”.

Home secretary Theresa May wants a stricter test whereby compensation would be paid only “if the new or newly discovered fact shows beyond reasonable doubt that the person was innocent of the offence”.
- Aren't you suppose to also convict someone based on facts beyond a reasonable doubt?

Despite MPs’ backing for her plans, the House of Lords voted for an amendment to ensure compensation is paid where it becomes clear the evidence is “so undermined that no conviction should be based on it”.

Tomorrow, the legislation returns to the House of Commons to consider the changes made by the Lords – where the home secretary will have the numbers to overturn the peers’ changes, unless Liberal Democrat MPs revolt.

Last year, one member of the Birmingham Six, Billy Power, who was wrongfully convicted of bombings in the 1970s, said Mrs May’s plans mean that “the standard presumption of innocence would be abolished” in English law.

Introducing new legislation that makes it impossible for a person wrongfully convicted to pursue compensation leaves that person open to the unchallengeable impugning of their character by the media and others,” he said then.

Following their release, the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four successfully sued a number of British newspapers for claiming their innocence had not been proved.

That will not be possible in future if the home secretary’s plans succeed.

In its Philips ruling, the Supreme Court in London decreed compensation will only be paid in cases where new evidence emerges that is so significant no conviction could safely be based upon it.

Helena Kennedy, who represented the Guildford Four, said the demand that those released should have to go further and prove their innocence beyond reasonable doubt is an affront to the system of law.

It flies in the face of one of our key legal principles, which acknowledges that it is very difficult for people to prove their innocence. It is very difficult for people to prove they are innocent beyond reasonable doubt,” she said.

Prove that you didn’t leave a bomb in the pub, or prove that you didn’t set that fire. In a few cases, DNA can prove innocence, and in a few an alibi can be bullet-proof, but I assure you that those cases are rare.”


VA - 13News Now Investigates: Sex offenders near school bus stops

Oh the horror!
Original Article

02/03/2014

By Nick Ochsner

VIRGINIA BEACH - A 13News Now investigation has uncovered hundreds of registered sex offenders living just hundreds of feet from school bus stops.

Our investigation began after Jennifer St. Martin found a registered sex offender living right across the street from her son's bus stop in Virginia Beach. She was shocked to find that on the Virginia State Police's database.

Her shock turned to outrage when school administrators told her they would not move the stop.

The director of transportation for Virginia Beach Public Schools, David Pace, said there are simply too many sex offenders living near school bus stops to change where children gather and wait for the bus.

Instead, Pace said, it's up to parents to make sure their children are safe as they wait for a ride to school.

"We look at this as a partnership with the parent. the safety of that child is the responsibility of the parent, the school bus driver, the school personnel and our transportation staff," Pace said.

Monday night at 6 p.m. on 13News Now, watch what happens as we plug 100 sex offender addresses into the Virginia Beach school bus stop finder.

Follow Up:


OR - Bill proposes life sentences for certain sex offenders

Peter Courtney
Peter Courtney
Original Article

02/02/2014

By Hannah Hoffman

Some sex offenders could be subject to mandatory life sentences without parole — a sentence currently reserved exclusively for murderers — under a bill introduced by Senate President Peter Courtney.

Senate Bill 1517 wasn’t the product of lobbying by law enforcement, parent groups or the Department of Corrections, Courtney said. It was his idea and bubbled up from an experience he had years ago, serving on former Gov. Barbara Roberts’ task force on child sex abuse.

It messed me up for a while,” he said. “I learned a lot of lessons from that. There are sex offenders, and then there are predatory sex offenders ... I’m not convinced you can cure what’s going on inside them. I think they’re very, very dangerous.”

The bill applies only to three crimes: first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and first-degree sexual penetration, and it targets only those predatory offenders that meet four specific criteria. A jury or judge would have to find that a defendant:
  • Was at least 18 years old at the time of the crime;
  • Scored “high risk” on a sex offender risk assessment;
  • Exhibits a tendency to injure others or target children under 12;
  • Presents a serious danger to the public.

The district attorney bringing the charges also would have to find that a defendant meets these criteria before recommendnig this sentence to a jury or judge.

The element of risk plays heavily into the bill.

It is designed to send predatory sex offenders to prison for life before they can hurt more children, Courtney said. Oregon law currently carries harsher punishments for people who have committed multiple crimes.

This bill would allow a life sentence for a first-time offender who appears highly likely to abuse children again.

Craig Prins, executive director of the state’s Criminal Justice Commission, said the sex offender risk assessment that would be used to determine that level of risk is called the “STATIC-99R”, which was created in Canada.

It was designed using a statistical analysis of sex offenders. Researchers mathematically evaluated various criteria to determine how strongly they impact a sex offender’s likelihood of committing another sex crime.

For example, sex offenders who had at least one male victim were statistically more likely to sexually abuse another child, so a male victim will yield a higher score than solely female victims.

It’s not theory, it’s just math,” he said.
- It's Voodoo and/or Minority Report.

Many sex offenders have a low probability of committing their crimes again, Prins said. “Sex offender” includes everything from a 19-year-old who had sex with a 15-year-old to the most heinous crimes. It’s a broad category, he said, and not every offender is the same.

The risk assessment used in Courtney’s bill uses statistics to weed out the “predatory” offenders — the ones most likely to commit the worst crimes again.
- Well that is the intention, but if history is a lesson, they will just start locking up many who are not a threat, to life in prison, but only time will tell.

This is a very specific kind of offender, and they’re trying to have a very informed approach to that sentencing,” Prins said.

Courtney said he has yet to find another state with a law that deals so harshly with these crimes, and Prins didn’t know of one either. Oregon does allow a life sentence for some repeat sex offenders, but it isn’t mandatory, and it doesn’t apply to first-time offenders.

Courtney said he doesn’t know if the bill will get a hearing, let alone pass. However, he said it’s an important conversation to have and he believes in his idea.

I’m not saying other crimes aren’t horrible,” he said. But “it’s very important that we don’t take the chance that they do it again.”