Saturday, April 5, 2014

VA - Underage Virginia ‘sexting’ ring ensnares 100 teens, uncovers 1,000 pictures

Sexting Scandal
Original Article

04/04/2014

By SASHA GOLDSTEIN

A sprawling central Virginian “sexting” ring was busted up by authorities after pictures of naked 14- and 15-year-olds sprang up on Instagram, cops say.

The disturbing investigation revealed more than 1,000 pictures, some videos and more than 100 involved teens through six different counties who may not realize sharing such photos of underage kids can be a felony, police told the Central Virginian.

"Out of those thousand images, there are some of them that are not sexually explicit, but are what we would call inappropriate or provocative — in their underwear,” Major Donald A. Lowe, chief deputy of the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, told the newspaper. “It looks like the majority will be sexually explicit.”

A mother tipped off authorities last month after she noticed some scandalous photos on her child’s Instagram profile. Once police started digging, they found two different Instagram accounts that allowed teens to access them only if they shared a nude photo or scantily clad photo of themselves first.

Officers then learned teens from Louisa, Fluvanna, Orange, Goochland, Albemarle and Hanover counties were sharing photos of themselves either on the site or by sexting each other, the newspaper reported.

About 23 cellphones have been seized as authorities look into the massive ring.

Photos of naked underage teens is child pornography, a felony criminal charge in the state that could even lead to lifelong registration as a sex offender if convicted.

Police are still in the early stages of investigation, and no arrests have been made.

I think if people thought for a minute and didn't do that, they'd save themselves a lot of grief … They're having fun but I can tell you colleges and universities, agencies who hire people, including us, look for those things and those are not going to be positive if they're found in a kids' past," Goochland Sheriff Jim Agnew told WWBT-TV.

Teens told the TV station sexting is a common occurrence — and parents said they put limits on their kid’s Internet access to prevent such pictures.

Lowe, the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said it starts with personal responsibility.

"We're trying to save these teens from themselves," he told the NBC affiliate.

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video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player


DC - DHS Official: US Not ‘Routinely’ Notified When Sex Offenders Enter the Country

Department of Homeland Security logo
Original Article

04/04/2014

By Melanie Hunter

(CNSNews.com) - A Homeland Security Department official testified Friday before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security that U.S. authorities are not “routinely” notified when foreign sex offenders enter the United States.

We can receive information on foreign criminal records, and in fact the NCB (National Central Bureau) is the vehicle through which 190 countries can communicate, and there are … registered sex offenders, but routinely, that information actually would not come unless there’s a specific case or a specific law enforcement inquiry,” Alan Bersin, Assistant Homeland Security Secretary of International Affairs and Chief Diplomatic Officer, told the subcommittee.

The hearing was called to examine the issue of passport security in light of the recent revelation that two Iranians boarded missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 using stolen passports.

Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) asked whether INTERPOL would be alerted if a sex offender from Germany, for instance, flew into the U.S.

If somebody in Germany who was a sex offender … got on an aircraft and was flying into the United States, would they be sharing that kind of information through INTERPOL with us – not just talking about terrorism, but other kinds of threats to security here in the United States? Just so I understand sir how the information sharing works through the organization,” Miller asked.

Shawn Bray, director of INTERPOL Washington, said “that type of information can be received from Germany” and other countries.

We routinely receive information regarding traveling sex offenders, generally registered sex offenders in many of the countries that have a registry for that, but certainly from countries that may be just simply notifying us that a sex offender from their country is traveling,” Bray said.

That information is then relayed to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials “so a determination can be made as to admissibility in the United States.”

There’s information regarding criminals, terrorists, modus and operandi that are transmitted on a daily basis,” Bray added.

According to Bersin, however, “when a German gets on an airplane to the United States, CBP knows that he’s coming, but the German authorities don’t know that he’s coming, and unless that German sex offender or murderer— unless that record is in the FBI database, we have no routine insight into what is in the criminal data records of other countries.”

That’s the issue that— Mr. Bray is entirely right— that if there’s a specific case or specific inquiry, NCB would receive that information, but the point is it’s not a routine data exchange, because we don’t have routine access to German criminal records anymore than they have routine access – unless there’s a case – to our criminal records,” Bersin added.


IL - Petitioners: Release of sex offenders who lack housing

Home
Original Article

When did homelessness become a crime? The very laws the ignorant politicians have passed is what is causing this. Where is the ACLU on this?

04/03/2014

By Edith Brady-Lunny

SPRINGFIELD - A petition filed with the Illinois Supreme Court by 17 prison reform advocates seeks to end a state policy that has forced more than 1,000 sex offenders to serve their parole in prison because they lack approved housing.

Currently, 1,100 sex offenders are being held in state prisons under a "turnaround" policy used for almost a decade by the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Prison Review Board. The policy bars release of a sex offender until housing deemed suitable by the state has been secured.

In a petition filed by lawyers with the MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern University School of Law and the Uptown People's Law Center, inmate _____ challenges his prison stay beyond his April 12, 2013, scheduled release.

Advocacy groups signing in support of the petition included The John Howard Association, the League of Women Voters of Illinois and the Illinois Public Defender Association.

Advocates argue that the policy unfairly punishes inmates who don't have the resources for a home.

"We stand strongly for the proposition that, in the modern day, the state of being poor, indigent or homeless is never valid cause for imprisonment," advocates said in their petition.

IDOC spokeswoman Stacey Solano said the agency is following the law by holding inmates during their mandatory supervised release, formerly known as parole.

"Public safety is the core mission of this agency. Under the law, sex offenders must have appropriate and approved housing prior to parole. If they are unable to find an approved host site, IDOC will continue to house them until an appropriate site is found or until their discharge date, as IDOC cannot keep an offender past that date," said Solano.

Alan Mills, with The People's Uptown Law Center, said Wednesday that several decisions by state officials have contributed to the problem.

A law that makes it illegal for more than one sex offender to reside in the same facility bars two former inmates from living in the same apartment building, regardless of the size of the complex, said Mills.

The state's pool of transitional housing accommodates only 26 offenders on mandatory supervised release and none of those units is in the Chicago area where the largest number of the state's inmates return.

"Everyone is responsible for this problem and we think the courts should do something to straighten it out," said Mills.

Incarcerating 1,100 people beyond their sentence costs the state about $2.4 million a year, based on IDOC's current per-capita cost of housing an inmate.

A change in the "turnaround" policy would have the added benefit of making more space in an overcrowded network of prisons, said Mills.

In addition to delaying an inmate's return to the community, the practice also means that when the individual leaves prison, they are not under the supervision of a parole agent. There are requirements to register with local police who conduct residency checks, but the more frequent monitoring of a parole officer doesn't happen.

After a tour of Pontiac Correctional Center with a group of lawmakers in February, IDOC Director Tony Godinez said more than 1,000 inmates were eligible for parole "but we can't release them because there's no place for them to go."
- So basically you are holding them against their will simply because they are homeless!  Do you also do that for all the other homeless folks?  Of course you don't, so this is unconstitutional!

The state of Illinois has not yet filed its response to the petition.

According to the Illinois State Police, 180 registered sex offenders reside in McLean County, with nine listed as non-compliant with registration rules and four whose locations were unknown.
- So?  What does this have to do with the article?

McLean County Public Defender Kim Campbell said its very difficult for sex offenders to locate appropriate housing.
- And why is that?  Because of the unconstitutional residency restrictions that's why!

"We have no transitional housing here and the shelters won't take sex offenders. Homeless registrants must register where they are staying every seven days. If they don't have a home it's safe to say reporting every seven days and paying fees is difficult," said Campbell.

The consequences of a violation are serious.

"Technical violations of those requirements can land them back in prison for years. Registration (prison) terms of 10 years to life," said Campbell.
- Which in many cases is more time than their original sentence!  The punishment doesn't fit the crime which is also unconstitutional!


UT - Former sex crimes officer (Jeremy Rose) charged with exploitation of minor

Jeremy Rose
Jeremy Rose
Original Article

04/04/2014

By Pat Reavy

TREMONTON - A former veteran officer with the Tremonton Police Department was charged Thursday with 14 felonies for allegedly spying on a teenage girl and gathering nude photos of her.

Jeremy Rose, 37, an officer with the department for 12 years who was a sex abuse investigator and trained with SWAT, was charged with nine counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony; two counts of voyeurism, a third-degree felony; and other charges.

Rose is accused of setting up fake email accounts from a nude modeling agency, and then encouraging a female teen acquaintance to submit photos of herself, according to a police affidavit filed in Box Elder County's 1st District Court. Prosecutors say Rose took thousands of voyeuristic pictures of the teenager, set up a hidden camera in her bedroom and put spy equipment on her cellphone "to view all of (her) cellphone calls, voicemail messages, incoming and outgoing texts, photos and Web searches."

Rose was first arrested 10 months ago. Because the Box Elder County attorney knew Rose, the case was investigated by the Utah Attorney General's Office.

Rose suggested to a then-15-year-old neighbor that she could make money by sending nude photos of herself to a particular website, according to investigators.

"Witnesses told agents that Rose always knew where (the victim) was, showed up to places where (the victim) was, knew what emails and texts (the victim) was sending and receiving, and seemed to know a lot about (the victim) and her friends and activities that he would have no way of knowing except by monitoring her somehow," the charging documents state.

In the spring of 2012, the girl said she received an email from a company soliciting her to model. Rose told the teen he knew people at the company and encouraged her to take the job, according to court documents. She sent photographs of herself at first to Rose, who allegedly told her he forwarded them to the company. She later sent pictures of herself directly to two email addresses of people whom she believed worked for the website.

"They told her she could make more money by wearing less clothing," the charges state.

After submitting more than 150 nude pictures, she told the company she was quitting at the urging of her boyfriend. But the "company" told her she could be sued for not fulfilling contractual obligations, even though the girl told them she was still 17, court documents state.

Prosecutors say Rose was the person receiving the photos and doing the email correspondence the entire time. Rose allegedly set up fake accounts meant to resemble a real company with the same name.

Once police became involved and started serving warrants, they found computers and cellphones belonging to Rose with nude or partially nude images of the teen and a camera that was placed under a dresser in her room, according to charging documents. Investigators said there had also been attempts to erase data on the computers.

"There are over 1,000 images of (the victim) that appear to be from one or more videos that were made into still images," the affidavit states. Many of the images were of the teen drying off after a shower, or catching her reflection in front of a full-length mirror.

Rose was also charged Thursday with communications fraud, a second-degree felony; obstruction of justice, a third-degree felony; dealing in materials harmful to a minor, a third-degree felony; and stalking, a class A misdemeanor.

Rose resigned from Tremonton police in July. In December, a "minor" took out a protective order against Rose. It is not clear from court records if she is the same teen from the criminal case.

An arrest warrant with a $145,000 bail was issued Thursday. Rose is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.


TX - Dallas County Schools Unveils the "School Bus of the Future," Complete with "Pedophile Finder"

School Bus of the Future
Original Article

Sounds like they got this hair-brained idea from John Walsh and his pedophile bus surfing (Article, Video)

04/02/2014

By Eric Nicholson

Dallas County Schools - the local school district with no schools or students but lots and lots of school buses - sent word last Friday that it was preparing to unveil the "School Bus of the Future," and that this futuristic vehicle will "will revolutionize school bus transit and exponentially increase the safe passage of students to and from school." We were intrigued.

My money personally was on some sort of armored personnel carrier, which the Department of Defense is handing out like peppermints. Web editor Gavin Cleaver, a deeply cynical British man, speculated that it's "probably just some unemployed guy in a battered old Ford Galaxy," which would be more in keeping with tradition.

It turns out the School Bus of the Future looks very much like the school bus of the past, i.e. big, yellow and ungainly with a retractable stop sign.

That, Dallas County Schools explained today in a press release, is because the improvements are mostly invisible from the outside.

A brief glance won't tell you the new buses are equipped with voice-over-IP communication systems, or that they transmit data on speed, location and acceleration in real-time. The "Thumbs-Up!" thumbprint scanner, which keeps track of which kids are on the bus and whether they're supposed to be there, is also hard to see unless you're really pressing your face to the glass, as are the multiple interior security cameras.

Slightly easier to notice is the rear-facing camera, dubbed -- no joke -- the "Pedophile Finder."

"I wish we could have come up with a better name for it," says Dallas County Schools spokeswoman Allison Allison. (Yes, that's the correct name.) The camera, mounted on the top portion of the school bus and positioned to capture the license plate of tailing vehicles, isn't just to catch pedophiles. It could be a parent who lost custody of their child, or a kidnapper. But "Pedophile Finder" was the name that stuck.
- So if there is a vehicle behind the bus, how does it film their license plate that is on the back of their vehicle?

"The bus driver can't tell if somebody's tailing him but if they recognize a pattern of a car following a bus" based on video, they can take appropriate measures.

The whole setup is called BusGuard, which was developed by DCS and Louisiana-based Force Multiplier Solutions. DCS provides buses for all Dallas County school districts, serving some 425,000 students. All 1,900 buses will be outfitted with the equipment by the fall, Allison says.

A full list of specs can be found here, along with the comforting reminder that "in the event of a serious terrorist or hi-jacking emergency, the control of the management system can be transferred to the appropriate law enforcement agency."