Wednesday, February 19, 2014

PA - Ex-cop (John Clement Nauroth) gets 120 days house arrest and 18 months probation in sexual assault of an 11-year-old female

To protect and serve?
Original Article

02/19/2014

By ROBERT BAKER

A former Nicholson police chief was sentenced Wednesday morning (Feb. 12) to 120 days house arrest followed by 18 months probation in the sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl in 2012.

John Clement Nauroth, 72, preferred to let his attorney do the talking when he appeared before Wyoming County President Judge Russell Shurtleff.

Attorney Paul Ackourey said his client, who was Nicholson’s police chief in the 1970s, had been a good husband and led an exemplary life in the community for decades.

He led a good life up to that terrible day when something terribly wrong happened,” Ackourey said.

He noted that Nauroth admitted responsibility for indecently touch the young girl.

Court papers say that Nauroth met the girl on March 10, 2012, at his residence and took her to a cabin on his all-terrain vehicle where he asked her to sit on his lap. It is then that he allegedly kissed the youth and assaulted her.

Ackourey said that his client rapidly declined after the incident and suffered serious physical ailments.

I think the physical toll on her has had collateral impairment on him, but in light of his otherwise good character I would ask you to consider a standard intermediate punishment of probation,” he told the judge.

But, district attorney Jeff Mitchell pleaded with the judge to give Nauroth jail time despite a plea arrangement that only held him accountable for one misdemeanor count of indecent assault when he originally also faced five felony counts of aggravated indecent assault, and corruption of minors.

The victim was 11 years old and showed incredible strength and courage to get free of the then 70-year-old defendant,” Mitchell said. “She has developed emotional problems and her mother is here in the courtroom today. I am asking for some period of incarceration on behalf of the victim and what she went through.”

In handing down the sentence, Judge Shurtleff also told Nauroth that in addition to the house arrest, probation, and a $2,500 fine, under the Adam Walsh Act he would have to register as a sexual offender for the next 15 years.


FL - Florida lawmaker says DHS should face "tough questions" about its new sex offender evaluation director

Rep. Matt Gaetz DUI Photo
Rep. Matt Gaetz DUI Photo
Original Article

Mr. Gaetz was arrested for DUI, refused a breathalyzer test, and didn't have his license suspended like the law mandates (here), wants closure, yet he continues to exploit ex-offenders for his own gain? He's also pro-Marijuana legalization. How hypocritical of him! Maybe Florida needs a DUI registry, make it retroactive, then put Mr. Gaetz on it?

02/17/2014

MADISON (WXOW) - The man hired to be the new sexual offender evaluation director for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) resigned from a similar position in Florida last September, after defending the rights of sex offenders and allowing the number of offenders tagged as "sexual predators" to drop by more than half under his watch.

A DHS spokesperson says the agency has selected Dr. Daniel Montaldi to head up sex offender evaluations at Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston, but notes that the "hiring process is not complete."

Sand Ridge specializes in treatment services for offenders committed under Chapter 980, Wisconsin's sexually violent persons law.

Dr. Montaldi last served as the lead administrator for Florida's Sexually Violent Predator Program.

He resigned that position one day after the Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper wrote an article raising questions about is views and record.

As in Wisconsin, Florida law allows the state to keep sexual predators locked up after their prison sentences end. Dr. Montaldi was in charge of the staff that would evaluate those offenders before they were released and recommend those likely to re-offend for continued confinement.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, the number of sex predator recommendations dropped considerably under Dr. Montaldi. In the year before he became director, the program flagged 213 offenders as potential predators. In the year under Dr. Montaldi's direction, that number dropped to 86.

"We learned that Florida had been releasing violent sexual predators under Mr. Montaldi's watch and that those violent sexual predators were re-offending, sometimes even the day or the same week they were released," Florida State Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-District 4) said on Monday.

Rep. Gaetz is the Chair of the Florida House Sub-Committee on Criminal Justice, who says he found not only Dr. Montaldi's record troubling, but also his comments on the civil rights of sex offenders.
- All human beings are entitled to civil rights, period, so if it offends you then you are not adhering to your oath of office to uphold the Constitution and the rights of others!

The Sun-Sentinel reported that in an August 2013 email to members of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, Dr. Montaldi wrote: "The value of liberty in a free society must also extend to society's most feared and despised members. The civil rights of even sex offenders is still an important moral value."

"I think the people of Wisconsin should have a lot of questions about somebody that was essentially run out of the State of Florida because he used a position as an administrator with our sexually violent predator program to increase the propensity for releases for some very, very dangerous people," said Rep. Gaetz.

But in its statement, DHS downplayed those concerns.

"Dr. Montaldi has experience, expertise and philosophies that align with the Department's role under Chapter 980 with regard to the treatment and supervision of sex offenders as well as sex offender re-offense risk assessment. He is widely recognized as a content expert in risk assessment and we are eager to have him join our staff," wrote DHS Spokesperson Stephanie Smiley.

Smiley said that because the hire is not yet complete, she cannot confirm a start date or salary for Dr. Montaldi, but says the starting salary for the position was listed to go as high as $122,316 annually.

See Also:


MI - Candidate Endorsement

User story
The following was sent to us via the USER STORY form and posted with the users permission.

By Chad:
As a group, sex offenders and their loved ones have had a hard time organizing a political group. While some groups have been formed and have affected positive change, the reality is that a law maker doesn't really want the group’s endorsement for election or re-election for obvious reasons. Perhaps the time has come then that we begin to get creative.

If being endorsed by a collective group of Sex Offenders for re-election would surely do more harm than good, then let us start publicly endorsing the candidates that we really want to lose. In Michigan, State Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) is a perfect example of someone whose main purpose seems to be to introduce sex offender legislation.

I would love for a collective, organized group to announce their endorsement of him for re-election. I believe it would be the most effective way in getting people to not vote for him. While it sounds counter-intuitive to take that approach, it would certainly be more effective than supporting the candidate running against him publicly.

As a basis of our endorsement, we acknowledge his active participation in the law making process and trust that if elected, he has the wherewithal to get other lawmakers to go along with him.


Don't laugh at me - Mark Wills - Lyrics


MO - Sex offender faces a different kind of limbo

Civil Commitment (SORTS)
Civil Commitment (SORTS)
Original Article

02/19/2014

By Jesse Bogan

STE. GENEVIEVE COUNTY - There is a special wing here at the county jail that holds nine detainees who were convicted long ago for sex crimes. They already served their time in prison.

Still, they wear bright orange jumpsuits as they await another kind of trial.

Flagged as possible sexually violent predators, the Missouri attorney general’s office wants them held indefinitely at a secure state mental institution called Sex Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment Services, or SORTS.

But first, in most of their cases, juries will be asked to make a rare decision in the American legal system — keep them locked away on the expectation of another crime.

Somebody with a crystal ball believes I may commit a crime in the future. And they want to lock me up for the rest of my life in a mental institution out of fear,” detainee _____ said from jail last week.

_____, 49, who had a condo in Ballwin before going to prison in 1997, compared the civil commitment legal procedure to throwing a DWI offender in prison before getting pulled over for a repeat offense.

To me, it makes no sense,” he said.

The U.S. Supreme Court assured in a 5-4 decision that it does.

But few have seen the civil commitment process play out the way it has for _____ — or for as long. He’s been detained and awaiting trial — mainly at the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Department Detention Center — since he finished his prison sentence at the end of 2006.

Since then, three juries have failed to agree on a unanimous verdict needed to commit him to the care of the Missouri Department of Mental Health.
- Why is it even going to three juries?  After the first, if they failed to say he needed commitment, then he should've been released.  Seems to me like they want him committed regardless of what "experts" say or a jury.

A fourth jury was selected Tuesday in St. Louis County.
- Really?  So I guess you will continue to get new juries until you get what you want, in the mean time wasting a ton of money!

I am going to my fourth trial now after six years, and I am hopeful that I’ll go home,” _____ said from jail.

FEW ABSOLUTES

The jury for _____’s latest case won’t be told about the mistrials, nor SORTS, a facility that has been criticized by civil libertarians for being a prison disguised as a mental hospital. A civil lawsuit against SORTS leaders that has been crawling through U.S. District Court says there is little evidence showing that SORTS residents can progress through treatment and be released back into the community.
But _____’s situation is a different kind of limbo.

He’s found himself tangled in a legal web that isn't holding him at SORTS, nor in prison, but rather in jail, where he’s been playing board games and watching television the past six years.

As the mistrials rack up, he has no idea when it will end.

It could go on the rest of my life,” he said.

Part of the challenge is there are few absolutes about _____’s case, other than he hasn't been on the streets of St. Louis County for a long time, which is the way some officials want to keep it. They see a pattern in his behavior.

_____ was first arrested in 1983, at age 18. He got caught sticking his hand in the pants of a 5-year-old girl playing in a yard. _____ pleaded guilty to sexual abuse and was sentenced to probation. He underwent sex-offender treatment.

_____, at 5 feet tall, stands out for his size. After graduating from Parkway South High, he earned an associate degree from St. Louis Community College at Meramec. But he was never able to land the career in business that he wanted.

By 1997, he’d been arrested again for molesting a 7-year-old girl. Her hearing-impaired parents used sign language and tears at the criminal trial to describe what their family had been put through by their former friend.

He seemed such a nice person,” the father testified. “He was so friendly, like family to us. He was taking advantage of us, and that makes me very angry.”

_____’s attorney asked for probation. Prosecutors wanted 25 years.

St. Louis County Circuit Judge Robert S. Cohen sentenced _____ to 10 years in prison.

I have to be concerned about protecting this little girl and other little girls like her from the likes of you,” Cohen said.

_____ is essentially on trial again in St. Louis County for that same concern, even though he hasn't committed another crime.

RISK FACTORS

While in prison, _____ was admitted to the Missouri Sex Offender Program. Participants are encouraged to explore empathy for victims and develop a plan to prevent a relapse. Graduates have some of the lowest reoffense rates compared to other criminals released from prison.

_____ was kicked out of the program for lack of progress. The second time around, he completed it.

In a 2006 report, evaluators recommended that _____ transition to community supervision, rather than “prolonged incarceration” that could “erode progress made in treatment.” The report asked that he continue therapy after being released from custody. He was instructed to stay away from children and to participate in polygraph testing to ensure compliance with parole.

_____ was never released.

A different evaluator flagged his file near the end of his sentence for possibly meeting the criteria of a sexually violent predator (another evaluator didn’t). A corrections report says _____ self-reported molesting other victims. _____ told an evaluator that he made up victims to satisfy a demanding therapist, according to records in the case.

Actuarial testing tools, similar to those insurance companies use to predict future damage, also showed an increased risk to reoffend.

A panel of mental health professionals agreed that _____ fit the criteria of a predator. So did a collection of prosecutors. A judge was convinced there was probable cause to hold him for evaluation.

Then _____ got a break.

It came in the form of a Department of Mental Health report that said _____ does not belong in the SORTS program. Although he “suffers a mental abnormality,” he isn't “more likely than not” to reoffend if he was free.

Richard G. Scott, who wrote the 13-page report, continues to testify on _____’s behalf.

PROVING HIMSELF

St. Louis County jurors in his previous civil commitment hearings were surprised to hear _____ is still on trial.

Kimberly Zeman, 57, was in the jury box in 2010. That jury deadlocked 6-6, according to the court file.

I don’t think anybody on the jury thought he wouldn’t do it again if he got out,” Zeman said in an interview. “But if we went based on the law, he passed every test, and I think that was a problem for a lot of people. We had to go by the law, not by what we thought.”

The second trial was closer. Nine wanted to turn _____ over to mental health authorities; three voted to free him, including Richard Herbert, 76, a retired trucking company supervisor.

He served his time. He should be released,” Herbert said. “Of course all the females, they said he should be incarcerated. They all had kids.”

Herbert said the jury wanted to know more about what commitment would entail, but those details weren't shared.

Dan Kapsak, 40, was the jury foreman of that trial. Before he agreed to be interviewed, he said his comments were not associated with his job as a federal prosecutor in Illinois. He said the three dissenters on the hung jury seemed to base their decision on public policy arguments, not the evidence.

He was in disbelief that the third jury also failed to get a verdict and that a new one was being seated.

That speaks to how serious of a threat the state thinks _____ is,” Kapsak said. “They are willing to spend the taxpayer money and keep moving forward.”
- So tell me again, what is the purpose of a jury?

Over the past six years, _____ has spent about $75,000 trying to defend himself.

I’ve had to sell my house, my car. All my finances are gone,” he said.

His adoptive father, a retired price analyst at McDonnell Douglas, died while _____ was in jail. Now, _____ would like to care for his 85-year-old mother in Des Peres.

I really just want to get back out in society and prove myself, let people know that I am a changed person,” he said. “The mistakes I made in my past are not who I am.”

On Tuesday, at the first day of his fourth trial, he’d swapped the orange jumpsuit for a blue button-down shirt. Leg shackles were hidden by gray dress pants.

He sat near his lead attorney, Eric Selig, and jotted notes about potential jurors.

It’s the most important part,” he said during a break in jury selection.

See Also:


CA - Costa Mesa repeals its sex-offender ban

Park Bench
Original Article

02/18/2014

By Bradley Zint

Council unanimously agrees after appellate court rulings opposing such ordinances and as city faces its own lawsuit.

The Costa Mesa City Council on Tuesday night agreed to repeal an ordinance that banned registered sex offenders from city parks without law enforcement permission.

The council's unanimous vote comes after state appellate court rulings against similar ordinances adopted by the Irvine City Council and Orange County Board of Supervisors. Costa Mesa is facing its own lawsuit, John Doe vs. City of Costa Mesa, filed in 2012.

The Orange County district attorney's office has supported a ban and may be appealing the court decisions to the state Supreme Court, according to city staff.

The John Doe suit also targeted Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Lake Forest and their police chiefs, as well as Costa Mesa's chief, Tom Gazsi, and county Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.

Costa Mesa's ordinance, approved in 2012, also banned sex offenders from city sports facilities.